Editor's letter

Issue 142 • July 2024

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Cover image: Hyperspectral image of Kennecott mine in Utah, US. Credit: Bryony Richards

Satellites are already used in mineral exploration but advances in technology are creating opportunities for more sophisticated remote prospecting. We find out how researchers in Utah are combining satellites, hyperspectral imaging and AI to uncover mineral deposits in far-flung places, and how mining companies think this approach could be applied.  

We also explore the environmental benefits of autonomous underground mining equipment, which can create significant energy savings. In tech innovation, we speak to Rockburst Technologies about its CO2-based ore processing innovation, which promises to significantly reduce energy and water use in the crushing and grinding process, and hear from Impossible Metals about how it plans to use autonomous robots to mine the seabed in a less invasive way.  

In commodities, we get an outlook for the global bauxite market and find out how growing demand could cause risks to countries that heavily rely on imports from Guinea, the world’s largest producer, and look at the countries driving growth in West Africa’s gold production.

The MINE team