Sustainable Mining: How new technologies are reshaping the mining industry


Mining sector has been one of the major emitters of greenhouse gas emission, about 4-7 percent globally . Recently concluded UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26)and the ongoing pandemic has put a spotlight on the world to go green and the conversations have shifted to a sustainable future.

Countries around the world are committing to change the way we source minerals and metals. To combat climate change, the mining industry is also doing its part and focusing on new technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, big data, hydrogen fuel cells and renewable energy that could promote safety, increase productivity and efficiency.

Autonomous mining operation, including drilling, excavation and controlled blasting, automated drones, Robotics, Electric vehicles/ Hybrid Electricvehicle,digitization etc. have changed the face of traditional mining sector. Now, with minimal harm, mining operations can happen smoothly. 

If we consider modern excavation, especially in the urban areas, the advanced techniques and machines are making sure that there is no seismic interference on the current morphology and structures above the ground. These machines have made development possible with minimal harm to the project surroundings.

Delhi Metro is an iconic example of futuristic mining. Most of the metro has been constructed underground in areas that are densely populated with minimal disruption.Mining operations done with cutting edge technologies have also been allowed in the areas adjacent to QutubMinar in Delhi and limestone mining in the cement cluster adjacentto Chittorgarh fort in Rajasthan.

Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Park, National Grid in the state of Madhya Pradesh supplies power to the Delhi Metro thus making it a unique marvel in engineering and mining sector.

Similarly, we keep on hearing about underwater projects, which were impossible to imagine a few decades ago.

Several projects are coming forward to utilize the modern technology. For example, adiamond miningproject in Buxwaha tehsil of Chhatarpur district in Madhya Pradesh will be implementing the state-of-art technologies in the mining sector. The diamond mine shall minimizethe environmental footprint by focusing on renewable energy. On the one hand, the project will use electric vehicles / Hybrid electric vehicles in its operations and on the other, it will optimize the water usageandsmart water harvesting.

Safety, sustainability and productivity are taking precedence, and it has given more headway to the adoption of technology in mining operations. Increasing industrial activities and consistent efforts in infrastructure development will provide lucrative opportunities to the mining companies. 

India’s mining industry can definitely give a stronger push to the economic growth and development whichwill truly help us harness its potential with the emergence of new and cutting-edge technologies. RF