Editor's letter

Issue 139 • April 2024

Don’t miss out – sign up to our free industry-leading magazine and newsletters

Cover image: Autonomous haul truck at Rio Tinto’s Australia operations. Photo: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Production of critical minerals has ramped up in response to demand for EVs and other energy transition technology, but how will a recent slump in demand and concerns over ESG risks impact miners? We catch up with the roller coaster of critical mineral mining and the development pipeline.

Autonomous drilling has seen notable uptake, driven by safety and productivity gains and ongoing innovation from OEMs, while blasting is much earlier in its automation journey. We round up new technologies emerging for both processes. We also explore the vital role of technology in mine safety and rescue and look at recent innovation in this area.

In commodities, we look at the different approaches countries are taking to securing supplies of uranium, review the top 10 nickel-producing countries of 2023, hear about the anticipated rebound of silver in 2024, and get an outlook for global cobalt mining to 2030.

We also speak to the leaders of Dot Lake Village, Alaska, to understand the social and environmental impact new mine development can have on local and indigenous communities, and how this can be mitigated.

The MINE team