Innovation & Green Solutions
Technology has revolutionized every stage of the mining process. Developments in digital technologies, analytics, cloud and autonomous operations create a massive opportunity for mining, as this infographic shows. From satellite imaging to robotics, mining companies invest heavily in research and development to implement safety solutions, improve working conditions, increase efficiency, lower production costs and enhance environmental protection. It is an investment that is yielding results.
Satellite imaging and specially equipped aircraft are used to chart geophysical data and can detect areas of high mineral potential before work on the ground begins. Explorationists use complex geophysical databases to analyse characteristics of ore deposits and planners build computerized "virtual" mines to predict a mine's profitability.
From surface control rooms, today's miners can operate heavy equipment below ground by remote control and use robotics, adapted from Canadarm technology, to prepare areas of the mine for drilling or blasting. A virtual reality mining helmet worn by operators on the surface can be used to direct heavy equipment underground. Advanced technology in mills, smelters and refineries monitors every facet of operations against stringent safety, production and environmental controls.
Industry leaders, along with leading-edge firms in the equipment and service sector, often work in partnership with researchers to develop innovative approaches to industry challenges. At the same time, mining is supplying the world with the materials needed for innovation. From life-saving medical devices to planet-saving green technologies, all techical breakthroughs begin with the products of mining. Learn more about the connection between innovation, next-generation technologies and mining.
Read 100 Innovations in the Mining Industry. Find a list of innovative solutions on the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines website. Ontario mining-focused research and development organizations and programs include:
Canadian Mining Industry Research Organization (CAMIRO)
Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC)
Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI)
Mining Exploration Research Centre (MERC)
Mining Innovation, Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation (MIRARCO)
Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (NORCAT)