The existence of the mining industry dates back to pre-historic times, and this industry has had its fair share of ups and downs. What are some of the key mining industry challenges and dilemmas that have left this industry grappling to survive? Can these challenges be overcome? Let’s find out:
- Aging Workforce
The current retirement ratio and potential workforce demand in the mining industry do not go hand in hand. The number of fresh candidates looking for a career in mining are much lesser compared to the retirement rates, adding to the mounting mining industry challenges. To attract new professionals to the industry, it is essential to have simultaneous efforts from different areas and partnerships ranging from human resources, technical teams, R&D, public relations, etc. In short, the mining industry must showcase itself as an attractive and exciting industry for career development.
- Water, Water Everywhere But…
Water has been one of the leading mining industry challenges that has become a major issue of concern for the players in the mining industry. Factors such as “Water stress” and inability to formulate a proper water management and water footprint reduction strategy are some of the key mining industry challenges that needs to be overcome.
- Productivity Going Downhill
Productivity is one of the key deciding factors for the success of an organization. Most of the easily accessible high-grade ores are almost tapped out, and mining companies are now left with options of either mining low-grade ores or mining in remote or difficult regions. Mining industry challenges involved in extracting low-grade ores include crucial monitoring to ensure that no valuable minerals are lost to make the process economically feasible.
- Tough Task of Process Control
One of the prominent mining challenges at the site is the variation in ore body that can cause extraction issues. Therefore, mining companies must employ a constant raw material analysis to ensure accurate process control. This is due to the fact that if the composition of the ore body changes, the extraction process will have to be changed quickly as well.
- Environmental Footprint
There is a great deal of pollution that results from mining activities, some of which are highly toxic. Such pollutants can cause acid mine drainage as well as groundwater contamination; therefore, it requires close monitoring to ensure that these pollutants have been neutralized before being returned to the earth. The government is also taking strict regulatory actions against the disposal of mining waste and pollutants.