COVID-19 has had many tragic consequences, and thrust many adverse changes on us. But as we emerge into the post-pandemic world, mining can also be proud and grateful for what's been achieved.
As you will read in this magazine, technology and innovation have stepped up to the plate to help our industry through troubling times.
The overarching objectives of Mining 4.0 - stronger connectivity, centralised control, and of course smarter systems, better automation, and improved remote capabilities, have all been critical in ensuring that safe progress continues.
Operators have, for instance, used augmented reality to communicate expertise thousands of miles across the globe. Projects found new ways to digitalise, automate and streamline to compensate for the loss of workforce and supply chain impacts.
The spirit of innovation in the face of adversity is clear in the voices we hear in this month's magazine
Speaking on the future of mine design, we hear from SRK Consulting on how automation is providing open-pit mines with opportunities for radical changes, especially by removing operators from dangerous areas and allowing them to work in safe office environments.
On Fleet Management, Dingo tell us that adoption of disruptive technologies is proving too uneven - that the mining industry is "too fractured" in its approach to these technologies.
Boston Consulting Group enlightens on the concept of ‘Bayesian Learning', which lets data scientists encode algorithms using prior understanding about how a process works in the actual world. Aspentech describe hybrid models that combine AI, domain expertise and first principles.
FLSmidth dives into the Intelligent process control features built into the company's ECS/ProcessExpert solution, which combine a range of process control techniques to optimise mining operations, leading to a more stable operation, greater productivity and improved quality.
A range of drone companies describe how emerging technologies such as fixed-wing models and ultra-dense LiDar are leading a revolution in how UAVs will be used both above and below ground.
Equipment and vehicles are at the forefront of industry transformation, and Bluvein give insights into a new industry-driven collaboration that is developing a ‘dynamic charging' solution for battery electric vehicles - a safe, standardised and slotted electrified rail technology that can be readily adapted to heavy mobile mining equipment.
The breadth of topics and companies featured is impressive, and Mining Magazine would like to extend a huge thanks to all of our contributors. In the coming months, we are aiming to expand these insights even further, and deliver even more value to our subscribers.
It genuinely feels that there's light at the end of the tunnel, and I hope you'll join us on what promises to be an exciting journey.