Editor's letter

Issue 137 • February 2024

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

As the mining industry moves towards smarter, digitised operations, much progress has been made in the field of driverless and automated vehicles. But ever-smarter hardware also needs ever more advanced software to run it, which in turn creates new procurement and skills requirements for mine operators. In this issue, we explore the latest in vehicle automation and its impact on fleet management and workforce training.

India has opened its lithium resources to exploration in a bid to strengthen its position in the battery supply chain, but geological and political factors pose significant challenges to mining the country’s deposits. We ask what it will take for India to position itself as a significant lithium producer.

We also find out how the growing global demand for critical minerals in battery production can be met, look at the key drivers of increased cobalt production in 2024, and get an outlook on the commodities expected to see the greatest price increases this year.

Plus, we catch up with the ongoing campaign to secure pardons for the thousands of miners that were prosecuted during the British mining strikes in the 1980s, and ask what this dark spot in the industry’s history can teach us about labour rights.

The MINE team