Women in Mining

Women in Mining

For the past centuries, women were only included in domestic labor. So, they couldn´t work in the mining industry. Miners had some “beliefs”, they said “women bring bad luck to the mine”; Fortunately, this changed, we can see women around the world working in different positions that involve mining tasks.  

It has been a slow process, but thanks to open dialogue and interaction of genders now we find a balanced point towards a mining activity that does not discriminate against women, and this has increased gradually over the years. 

Now it is considered that promoting the diversity of the workforce, in particular, by hiring more women in the mining sector, makes it possible to increase labor productivity as well as encourages innovation. Some mining companies maintain that “incorporating more women has competitive advantages, which can increase profitability; diverse teams achieve better results” (Expomin,2016) 

In the last decade, we can see an exponential increase in female employment, especially in Latin America, with incorporation into mining operations and leadership activities. However, we still have limits, some people in hiring positions do not trust women, they consider us to lack commitment due to our responsibilities with our children and house chores, and state that the long mining hour schedules prevent compatibility between Us and efficiency.  Fortunately, some companies adapt faster to changes and include women in a higher percentage, they recruit us for all stages from junior up to management. That is the case of Promine which is committed to gender equality, every woman who works in this company feels valued and respected. Talking on behalf of Promine Female Workers, and all the talented women that belong to the mining environment I can guarantee that we are committed and highly efficient in every duty that we carry out. 

Without a doubt, we have achieved a lot, if we look back and observe everything that we have done, we should feel proud of each step achieved, there is still a long way to go so that the mining industry is transformed into a space of total equality, that promotes sustainability in all its dimensions, it’s a hard job but we are heading in the right direction. 

 

References: 

Promoting Equality in Mining

Promoting Equality in Mining

The “Women’s performance in the industry” topic, is still a conflict between the two genders. All around the world, and in every industry, Women suffer from discrimination, their physical abilities are always questioned in normal work circumstances. The mining industry is no exception, it is known as man’s world, yet so many women are digging their way through that masculine word fiercely. 

In 2022, despite all the developments, mining is still one of the most perilous and challenging industries in the world. Therefore, the proportion of women employed by mining companies sits at around 15.7%, most of them are recruited to work on the surface. Stereotypes, embraced by so many minds, are preventing women from achieving their dreams, taking their chances away from them, and even worse, drawing their paths for them. So instead of encouragements, Women are only seeking to promote equity, The minimum chance to let their abilities decides whether they are able of a certain job or not, not gender diversity. which is a basic right, that shouldn’t be an issue at this point of development. 

Women continue to be harassed and vastly under-represented, even if they have proven their intellectual abilities, responsibility, strength, and creativity, features companies are looking for. Thanks to women’s determination in the mining field, many female engineers, geologists, and all mineworkers staff keep working hard, underground, in extremely difficult situations, forcing the promotion of equity and defying the masculinity culture. 

 

References: 

Why The Mining Industry Needs More Women (forbes.com) 

 

 

Workflow Processes in the Mining Industry

Workflow Processes in the Mining Industry

A mine is the product of a successful study in a geological exploration stage where there is enough information to define a proven reserve (NRGI Reader, 2015), with a very high certainty which includes the knowledge of basic parameters such a rock density of the orebody as the neighbor rocks, lithology, depth, size, the shape of the orebody, and stress fields. All these characteristics are part of the minimum requirements needed for identifying the best way to recover the mineral based on a forecast of daily dilution tons and the equipment and facilities that will need for the construction of the drift and mineral’s removal, transport, and processing (DARLING, P., 2011).  

It is important to understand that the mining planning is always according to the corporation’s strategies, so the tactical level, that means engineers and operators, must apply effective and efficient techniques according to the initial estimation, defining the business value (DE KOCP, P. 2007). Mining is a business, an economic activity, which needs to be profitable, using the best techniques possible to recover the maximum of the mineral reservoir, avoiding damage and perturbation to the environment. 

Control and management of different stages, situations, or operational events are an indispensable part of doing any planning. Is mandatory to have a wide view and deep knowledge of all variables and must be considered especially those whose magnitude could affect the drift integrity having consequences for people, operations, or the company’s assets. Even if the corrective actions are executed in the operational or post-operational phase, the continuous update of the database (Manoj, M. 2013) and variable refinement, will let have a better understanding of the geological and operational settings, letting avoid, minimize or control the possible deviation. That is the key to a successful exploitation phase. 

PROMINE, considering all mentioned aspects has designed a module in one of its categories for drift planning with very high accuracy, making possible covers the different scenarios easily and quickly, based on specific commands for each process, bring on the table simple but powerful tools. The tools are ready for saving time in conceptualization, planning, and visualization in all mining processes such as drift planning and construction. These can be interpreted as money-saving because the design can be done in a short time. 

Drift planning control and quick powerful tools are an undeniable combination, for improving the proficiency of the business and increasing its profit. Best practices are time-saving and time is money. 

 

References:

DARLING, P., (2011). SME Mining Engineering Handbook. Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc. 

DE KOCK, P. A. (2007). Back to Basics Approach to Mining Strategy Formulation. The 6th International Heavy Minerals Conference ‘Back to Basics’, The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
http://saimm.org.za/Conferences/HMC2007/173-178_deKock.pdf

Manoj, M. V., Likewin, T and Annappa, B. (2013). Phenomenon of concept drift from process mining insight. ResearcheGate. DOI: 10.1109/IAdCC.2014.6779378.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262767727_Phenomenon_of_concept_drift_from_process_mining_insight 

Resourcegovernance.org. 2015.NRGI Reader. [online] Available at: https://resourcegovernance.org/sites/default/files/nrgi_Mineral-Industry.pdf
[Accessed 9 February 2022]. 

 Greatmining.com. 2022. Drift Mining, Mining Process, Mining Techniques, Gold, Zinc, Coal, Mineral Mining. [online] Available at: https://www.greatmining.com/drift-mining.htm
[Accessed 9 February 2022]. 

Diamond Drill Hole Techniques

Diamond Drill Hole Techniques

Since the dawn of time, human beings tried to recognize and reach the underground wealth of our planet, the only difference is the evolution. Nowadays we can operate even in rigid rocks, thanks to the diamond drill hole process. 

Diamond drill hole is a logging process, providing engineers and geologists precise, intact, and solid samples of rocks lying hundreds of meters beneath the ground. 

This method consists of creating a circular cut in the ground all along the depth needed, using a diamond drill bit. Diamonds are Known as one of the most rigid structures, they are a solid, form of pure carbon, makes them a perfect tool to be used on very hard materials, such as concrete and steel. Once the diamond drill bit is designed, the drilling gets started. This fast rotation drilling is used to destruct the rock no matter how hard it is. It is an environment friendly method that causes no vibration nor damage nearby. However, the drilling must be with proper techniques, respecting the Drill Speed, Drill Pressure and Lubrication limits to prevent the overheat of the drill bit, that can cause serious spalling, fractures problems and material breakage, therefore reducing the life circle of the hole and damaging the samples. 

To avoid those potential problems, and as we have variety of material abrasiveness, drill speed must be reduced, so that it can fit every grade of hardness. Also, it is important to reduce the pressure to let the drilling take its normal speed, because increasing pressure will not speed up the cutting, but it will only increase the friction. Moreover, during the drilling operation, and in order to prevent the overheat of the diamond drill bit, we need to lubricate, with water to control the temperature and get rid of the dust. Sometimes the drilling can proceed without water or using small amount of it (such as drilling in fiberglass). 

Finally, we extract a continuous, cylindrical sample for geologists to assess. The importance of this method is crucial; therefore, it is one of the important modules in Promine software called DDH. This module allows the mine to manipulate the diamond drill holes, insert information and annotate them easily. 

 

 

References: 

Diamond Drill Bit Drilling Techniques (diamondsure.com) 

What is Diamond Core Drilling and Stitch Drilling? – CA Drillers 

 

Mining Industry Expectations in 2022

Mining Industry Expectations in 2022

Despite the challenges faced in 2021, a number of commodities have reached new historical values and more is expected in 2022. According to Fitch Solutions, lithium, tin and coking coal prices are expected to be on the rise amongst all the minerals. Therefore, most mining Companies can continue to expect a strong ore and metal production and a year of high earnings. On a further note, with new technologies shaping the future and the way we do things, the mining industry is in a state of “disruption”. This is mainly caused by consumption patterns and environmental, social and governance (ESG). The electric vehicle sector will also require a higher demand, causing higher investments in copper, lithium and nickel. The figure below shows the expected sector growth in 2022. 

Mining industry expectations

The technological advancement is accelerating, the mining industry is expected to widen the gap between developed and underdeveloped markets, which might cause higher competition between developed markets. With that being said, as sustainability is becoming an integral part of the mining industry worldwide, there is pressure on mining companies to decarbonise and to minimize environmental impact. This will dramatically improve mining’s image from an environmental point of view, considering that mining is responsible for 4%-7% of global CHG emissions, according to McKinsey & Co. 

Making sure that social responsibility and human factors are taught in academia is also a step towards better sustainability. Students and young engineers should be taught these concepts from the beginning in order to start implementing them right away in the workplace. Creating awareness in academic institutions will ensure that sustainability is an integral part of mining even it is not within a mining operation. Sustainability is also a holistic concept, where it involves environment, society and humans. So, with many technological advancements, the need of human ethics is also needed. Technology needs to be used in a way the benefits the greater population of a country, rather than a small group of people. 

The need of an adaptable mining software is also expected to be in high demand in the upcoming years. This originates from the fact that every mine is different. The similarities are located in the mining method in general, but there aren’t any mines that operate exactly the same way. Therefore, having a customizable mining software that is able to meet the specific need of a particular mine is crucial. Overall, this will help the mining industry advance from a technological point of view. 

 

References: 

Mining and metals key themes for 2022. Fitch Solutions: Data, Research & Analytics for Credit Risk & Strategy. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2022, from https://www.fitchsolutions.com/mining/mining-and-metals-key-themes-2022-06-10-2021?fSWebArticleValidation=true&mkt_tok=NzMyLUNLSC03NjcAAAGCFHeBzslYdPnBDYQPHAH0zGMi4oDoIsggteKLSP2tvAhwkvwE-XJcntL4E0wtQDgPoy0z8BIlfLrLXTULMfSVbh_SylQNE7RTVsaajzYSL2zPeVUI4A  

Mining industry to continue flying high through 2022 – report. MINING.COM. (2021, June 2). Retrieved January 20, 2022, from https://www.mining.com/miners-to-continue-flying-high-through-2022-report/  

The Mining Industry in 2021

The Mining Industry in 2021

Given this past year’s heavy challenges, including COVID-19’s pandemic, the mining industry overcame the obstacles and developed a few trends that are now valuable to a lot of Companies. The unexpected events of 2020 forced a change to develop new strategies to approach the mining sector in different ways. Several trends have been developed by many Companies that were noticeable. In this article, we will have a look at 2 trends and how they helped mining Companies through this year. 

The first trend is Building Resilience and Volatility. With many uncertain events this year, leaders and managers from the mining sector were taught how to be flexible and how to come up with different scenarios for their organization. When doing this, they can anticipate obstacles that might hinder their productivity, which allows to build resilient organizations. This requires a strategic plan that can meet the balance between productivity and maintaining a safe work environment. When this is achieved, Companies can excel quickly while ensuring the health and safety of its workers. 

The second trend is related to more attention attributed to decarbonization. While the pandemic was a big factor, climate change remains an important aspect of the mining industry. This is a critical area as Companies work to meet the environmental obligation associated with their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). 

Before effectively decarbonizing, mining Companies need to understand the impacts of climate change on their operations by setting a baseline using historical data. Following, Companies can obtain scientific information from organizations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), or the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), to then assess the forecast of their emissions reductions. Finally, when executing operations, mine sites can optimize by adjusting based on the collected data to effectively start decarbonizing. Some examples include innovating with new technologies, obtaining new methods for operation, software, safety, etc. 

Aside from the trends in 2021, the top 2 mining Companies in 2021 by market capitalization are BHP ($179B) and Rio Tinto ($132B). Both mining Companies produce a wide variety of minerals, mainly iron ore and copper. Vale, with a market capitalization of $112B, comes in third after BHP and Rio Tinto.  

Based on the data from 2021, the mining industry is moving towards electrification and using renewables for electricity, to contribute to ESG. Therefore, mining companies should be aware that this shift requires a lot more minerals for lithium batteries and other infrastructure to meet the demand of this change. Hence, it is important to create a balance between moving towards decarbonization and increasing productivity to meet the demand of this shift. 

References: 

The biggest mining companies in the World in 2021. (2021, August 05). Retrieved from https://www.mining.com/web/the-biggest-mining-companies-in-the-world-in-2021/ 

Tracking the trends 2021. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/mining-and-metals/tracking-the-trends.html