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Mar 19, 2020


Industry News

What is in Store for 2020 for Mining?

[rt_reading_time] MIN READ

February 2020
Dick DeStefano
2020 What is coming?

It has been a productive year in mining globally and all indications are 2020 will be a more expansive and profitable year. If we look at the global context for mining and the projections, it becomes clearly evident that the new technologies and reach of mining companies especially Canadian demonstrates the energy and effort being placed on the mining sector. Most studies and research supports our belief that the industry will grow significantly and increase the capacity for more innovation which will escalate more activity in the market place.

BDO Canada has recently identified a number of scenarios which will be powerful in the future and have global implications;

ROBOTS: By 2020, robots will replace more than 50 percent of miners, and mining accidents will be cut by 75 percent. Half of the miners will themselves be retrained to run the technology controlling the robots.

EU CONFLICT MINERALS RULE: Supply chain transparency will take the compliance spotlight for 2020 as companies gear up for the European Union’s Conflict Minerals Rule, effective in 2021.

CYBERSECURITY: By 2020, activist hackers will launch at least five cyberattacks on mines around the world in Permanent Denial of Service attacks aimed at eliminating the environmental and social threats they pose. They’ll use workers’ connected devices to initiate the attacks.

RENEWABLES: By 2020, renewables will account for one-quarter of the world’s electricity generation as dependence on coal wanes.

Joseph F Gouvreau is vice president-research for the Metals & Mineral Division of Industrial Info Resources ( has written an exhaustive global profile that puts everything in context in Engineering and Mining Journal Published in January 2020(page 20). I will try to capture some of his insights but if you want a comprehensive review please pick up a copy.

Global Industrial Info Resources is tracking nearly 12,000 mining projects representing total investment value of $1.2 trillion/ These projects involve capital expenditures ranging from grass root mines to in plant capital at existing operational mines Six of the top mining companies show a combined 10 % in planned capital expenditures in 2020. Currently more than 209 billion worth of mining projects are under construction. Mining companies continue to develop new mines but at a slower pace.

Joseph captures the issue in an insightful commentary that captures the future of mining.
“Mining companies are paying attention to optimizing and expanding existing assets Grassroots and unit additions are being developed to replace depleting capacity from existing mines in order to keep up with demand which is growing due to urbanization, and battery storage and electrification that require greater and more diverse metals and metal compounds.”

There is some consistency in publications and commentaries that the electrification will be the most powerful catalyst in the future and will shift attention in the extraction industry and exploration field.

Attention is being given to Industry 4.0 and harnessing the Industrial Internet of things which analyse big data.

The greatest challenge in 2020 to mining projects include rising costs associated with social responsibilities, environmental stewardship, water resources, raw materials, energy and labour.

But with all these challenges the future looks bright on a global scale and major shifts will be seen in the industry in 2020.