The Future of Mining Technology
- 16 Mar 2017
As you probably know already, the use of microbes isn’t something new to the mining business, but what we are looking forward to is drastic improvement. While the current bacteria used for breaking down rocks were only suited for a specific type of rock, and only when the environment was favourable, the new breed of bacteria transcends those limits. The “programming” involves keeping a certain strain of the microbes under a strict diet that follows the rules of metabolic engineering. As a result, the bacteria can actually be trained to break down very specific substances with its surrounding environment having no effect on the microorganism’s behaviour. Apart from its obvious extraction utilities, this process can also turn out to be an excellent way to get rid of hazardous mining waste.
The Gold-Sniffing Camera
What if you could use a camera to detect gold in natural rocks? It would be amazing in terms of efficiency and productivity, so this is exactly what Gold Sniffer Inc. has come up with. In terms of hardware, the setup only needs a digital camera, a special customized light source and a macro lens. However, it’s the complex algorithm used in the software that runs the Gold Sniffer, which is truly extraordinary. The camera is able to detect the optical signature of gold in rocks, confirming in minutes what would normally take days or even weeks to confirm after a lab test.
VR and Mining
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have been hailed by many experts as the upcoming trend that will change the way we see and do things. It seems that even mining is not about to be excluded from that list. Metaverse came forward with the idea that VR and AR could be used to train employees in mining equipment handling and teaching safety protocols. The VR headsets showcased at the convention promoted their use as a way for potential investors to visit a mining site, without ever having to leave the office. Imagine the usefulness of a mining helmet that also doubles as a handy AR helmet, showing relevant data on ore deposits and other things inside an actual mine.
Mining is a traditional business that has been going on in much the same way for a very long time with only incremental improvements in the existing technology rather than actual innovations. It seems like that is about to change now, but it will take quite a few more years for the new tech to be properly developed and widely integrated everywhere.