In this issue

Issue 112 • January 2022

Welcome to the latest issue of MINE.

We begin the year with a look at one of the most important, and controversial, mining laws of recent years. South Africa’s Black empowerment laws aim to undo the damage of years of Apartheid rule, but there are growing concerns that the “once empowered, always empowered” principle could now be impeding financial progress in the country’s critical mining sector. With the dispute a complex web of social injustice, legal uncertainty and industrial potential, we assess the merits of the latest decision by the country’s courts.

Elsewhere, we consider some of the new technological innovations in the mining industry, and ask if they can progress from small-scale proofs of concept to widespread implementation. From autonomous drones used for exploration work to AI-powered tailings management systems, such emerging technologies offer economic and environmental benefits, if only their potentials can be realised.

We also hear from industry experts, including members of the IEA and leaders of ING, about India’s investments in coal, and the implications of changing mineral demand around the world. In the wake of the COP26 summit, and in a world where environmental responsibility is more important than ever, we consider the challenges that as disruptive an industry as mining will have to overcome.

Finally, as battery technology becomes more sophisticated, we ask what role battery recycling in mining will have to play in a world increasingly aware of its environmental footprint.

For all this and more, read on.

JP Casey, editor