Mining companies are adopting sustainable strategies, including urban mining and advanced ore sorting technologies, to improve resource recovery and operational efficiency. They are integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) into mining practices, revolutionising urban mining and the circular economy.

These initiatives drive sustainable resource extraction, reduce environmental impact, and bolster the mining industry’s resilience and sustainability, says GlobalData.

Rahul Kumar Singh, senior analyst of Disruptive Tech at GlobalData, comments: “The intensified emphasis on critical minerals highlights the role of urban mining and sophisticated ore sorting methodologies in global commerce. As enterprises shift to sustainable models, joint initiatives and calculated investments in these areas will play a pivotal role in propelling the sectoral expansion and fortifying supply chain robustness.”

GlobalData’s FutureTech Series report, “Digging deeper into sustainability: key disruptive forces in mining”, highlights more than 25 disruptive forces in mining as emerging, accelerating, and maturing innovation areas based on their rate of growth in innovation.

Rio Tinto announced plans in June 2023 to invest in its Kennecott operation near Salt Lake City, Utah, to strengthen the supply of copper in the US by increasing production from underground mining and improving the health of key assets.

Metastable Materials announced the commissioning of an urban mining unit in October 2022 to expand its current operations in battery recycling and urban mining domains.

Metso Outotec and Malvern Panalytical signed a collaboration agreement in May 2022 to provide sensor-based bulk ore sorting solutions for the mining industry.

Singh concludes: “The trajectory of the mining industry is clear – innovation and sustainability are no longer optional but essential. As urban mining and technology-driven methodologies become industry standards, the emphasis on critical minerals will shape global trade dynamics. Strategic collaborations and investments are the linchpins ensuring long-term growth and resilience in this evolving landscape.”