Welcome to the latest issue of MINE.

This month, we look at innovations in drilling and blasting technology, and consider the benefits of making this critical mining process wireless. A four-year study conducted by LKAB and Orica has yielded positive results, with safer and more efficient blasting operations across a number of mines, and this could set a precedent for future operations.

Elsewhere, we speak to industry experts on a range of topics, from the UK’s role in the rare earths sector to the ethical challenges associated with lithium mining, and assess whether steel can ever be produced in a sustainable manner. 

This month’s thematic supplement tackles ESG, asking how best indigenous voices can be heard with regard to mining operations. With much of the world’s mining exploration and permitting tied up in issues of land ownership and local identity, ensuring ESG compliance is not simply a prudent legal decision, but a wise ethical one.

For all this and more, read on.

JP Casey, editor