It seems possible that underground mining will soon surpass surface mining, and become the only method of mining. Surface mining is the most preferred type of mining operation right now. Surface mines are preferred by many large companies because they are less expensive to operate and require fewer steps. However, several factors could force the entire industry to reconsider its operating policies. These include changing economic needs, political and public pressure, and technological advances.
There Is a Growing Demand For Polymetallic Ores Deeper Below Ground
Concerns over carbon-induced climate changes are driving a global push to move away from coal as a source of fuel and towards renewable energy.
The mining industry is now seeing greater demand for raw materials used in the manufacture of batteries, solar panels and wind turbines, as well as electric cars and other clean-energy products.
Consider the pressing demand for metals to make communication tech such as cell phones, computers and tablets. Combine that with the growing market demand for raw materials for renewables. This could lead to a major shift in the mining priorities.
The new most important target material for mining companies is polymetallic ores such as cobalt and lithium, copper, and rare-earth minerals are being replaced by coal.
Where Can We Find These Metals, Then?
Contrary to coal, which tends to be closer to the Earth’s surface than these ores, most of these ores require much deeper mining activities. Finding these metals requires a underground mining operation.
Major mining companies will have to change their policy priorities due to the shift in demand. Instead of focusing on surface mining, they will have to dig deeper shafts and make deeper investments to achieve the safety and efficiency required to mine in the 21st century.
A shift in demand might not be enough alone to bring about a significant change. Other factors can make this shift not only prudent but also necessary to prevent irreversible damage to the mining industry as a whole.
Space exploration is a prime example of growing demand. Although it is not yet proven to be as groundwater aquifers can degrade the water supply to areas that are most in need. This makes the land inaccessible for agriculture and places pressure on the local population.
If you are interested in learning more about underground mining or the products needed to run such an operation then contact us today!