At present most mine companies are focused on productivity; they are optimising existing equipment to increase production and to reduce costs of operation. Attention to sustainability, including health, safety and environment, is growing. Higher living standards are driving demand for more sustainable solutions.
Nevertheless, there is potential for new projects. Demand for minerals has surged as smart phones, computers, electric vehicles, renewable energy solutions and vast numbers of other devices based on minerals like copper, gold and lithium have become global necessities. But tapping into these growth opportunities for the mining industry is not as simple as it sounds. Greater scarcity of resources such as energy, water, and raw materials, along with declining ore grades and stricter regulations, lead to more complex and costly operations. Minerals producers have to minimize the use of resources and environmental impact, while optimizing production and maximizing their investment. This calls for new solutions and new ways of working.
To reduce emissions, we either need to find new sources of energy to keep the equipment and vehicles running, or reduce emissions from the energy we use today, or find ways to increase production using the same amount of energy as today. Some of the most important issues that we discuss with our customers are water usage, waste management, energy efficiency and emissions. Innovative solutions must also be financially viable. Customers must have an opportunity to grow their business while minimizing their impact on the environment. Sustainability and productivity cannot be thought of separately—they are two sides of the same coin.