MINERAL RESOURCES, A CHALLENGE WITH HIGH EXPECTATIONS
Let‘s start from the very beginning. Resources are assets or raw materials that are in some way useful for an objective. A resource satisfies a particular need. Thus, a mineral resource is one that is exploited for a certain purposeand extracted through mining.
The Earth is the immense continent and all these resources are contained within it. In the same way that there is no endless jar of nutella, the Earth‘s minerals are neither endless. The majority of the Earth is made up of fossils or rock formations that are the result of thousands of millions of years of pressure and natural chemical processes, which for us it takes just a few days to extract. It is sort of like when your mother spends the entire morning making croquettes from scratchfor a family of five and the entire supply vanishes in less than 10 minutes.
It is necessary to reflect on this and look for ways to optimize mines, create alternative energy, manage, make mining profitable, etc. The leading mining groups are already presenting approaches to redirect mining towards a more sustainable future. The idea facing the years to come is the ability to meet the increasing demand for raw materials, energy and water at competitive prices for both business and for families as end consumers, in a way that is compatible with the concept of sustainability, and in addition, help eliminate existing territorial and social imbalances.
Experts realized this during the month of April 2018 at the XIV International Congress on Energy and Mineral Resources, which took place in Seville. From their different areas of specialization, they all coincided with each other in their propositions on three main ideas:
Safety, the environment, and development of new technologies that will make it all possible.
The concern for better mining was clear in all their presentations. All of the groups gave interesting and specific propositions for improvements in the functioning of their mines. In addition, in the area of technology, an important idea was discussed about developing software that could be used by all companies, such as the proposition of Geocalcali S.L. with DESKWIK,a mine planning and design program that allows for cost optimization, or the method of ICOM, an application for calculating mass balance for public works excavations, applicable to mining.
Mining – in addition to reducing costs and what is merely productive – has a significant challenge ahead that can be overcome thanks to these new propositions: convincing a large percentage of the population that in the 21stcentury, responsible mining is possible. It is the only path that will make it beneficial for everyone, from businesses to consumers, making sure our immense continent doesn‘t run out of its content.