Coinciding with the launch of our revamped website, I've become a full-time member of the Mining Magazine editorial team. As the new online editor, my aim is to make sure we continue to produce high-quality online news stories and features, while also digging a little deeper and making sure we analyse the whys and hows behind some of the key headlines.
While we'll be creating more content, we're still sticking to quality over quantity, but also adding a bit more immediacy to our reporting.
So, what do these changes - and the new website in general - mean for our readers? First of all, the new categorisation will make it easier to find the content you're looking for, and, more importantly, we'll be covering a wider range of topics, from the key issues affecting mine management today to technologies and strategies of tomorrow.
Our Future of Mining channel has already been keeping readers up to date on the latest in smart and digital technologies. We're now extending this forward-looking approach to our other topics, to give you a glimpse at innovation programmes and new ways of thinking. This also means looking outwards at industries that have the technological edge over the more traditional mining sector.
While many mining operations will stick to what they know best, the world around them is changing. The relatively easy-to-find mineral deposits have been discovered, and explorers and miners will have to literally dig deeper, perhaps even under water, to get to them. This means the industry needs technologies and equipment capable of achieving this.
As highlighted in the special June energy issue of MM, miners also have to deal with the industry's dubious environmental reputation. Many are keeping a close eye on changing and tightening environmental regulations; however, De Beers tells us it also wants to "provide a more sustainable product long into the future". In fact, its grand goal is to (hopefully) achieve carbon-neutral mining within the next five to 10 years.
Some majors are turning to renewable energy options - or at least dipping a toe into the water with research and pilot projects. However, as pointed out in this issue, miscommunication and misinformation are still putting the brakes on more wide-spread adoption of these systems.
With comminution able to consume about 53% of a mine site's energy, a more energy-efficient strategy for this process is also becoming increasingly important. Alison Keogh, CEO of the Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC) speaks to our senior reporter, Donna Schmidt, about how "a focus to reduce energy used in comminution can add significant value to miners".
The themes covered in the June issue represent the type of content that will now be featured more widely on our website - in the form of in-depth, online-exclusive articles. (To be able to access all of our online articles, please remember to sign up to a digital - or print and digital - subscription on our website.)
I look forward to meeting many of you at future events, and please don't hesitate to get in touch with your ideas and feedback regarding our new website.