Tech has changed historical mining practices, from virtual reality mapping of ore bodies to electric vehicles and autonomous fleets to increased employee safety and mine site productivity.
Mining operators are also starting to run their operations on solar power and use closed-loop systems to limit water usage.
“Yes, we admit, we do move a lot of water, but we use very little water,” Gray said. “Usually less than 5% of the water that we move do we actually use.”
Mining’s embrace of tech and eco-friendly practices is something the industry is working to educate the public about.
After all, Gray said the stigma of mining workers “just killing the earth” needs to be corrected, especially with critical minerals so essential in the transition to renewables and environmentally sustainable technology.
“We have to understand,” Gray said, “as we want this green technology and future, there has to be an understanding that mining is the first link in that. And without mining, we don’t get what we want — we don’t get solar panels, we don’t get electric vehicles.”