Mining For Our Future

Innovative technologies made possible through and employed by mining are providing the mineral and energy resources essential for a better life and a better future.

Minerals play a leading role in nearly every aspect of the modern American experience. Copper, zinc and other minerals are essential in electric and hybrid vehicles. Silver and copper’s natural antibacterial qualities make them ideal for medical applications. And copper’s high thermal conductivity makes it a preferred material for wiring homes and office buildings.

And when it comes to the energy that is powering today’s innovations, new technologies are making combustion of coal more efficient and cleaner. Dramatic reductions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter that have already been achieved show how advancements in emissions technology hold even more promise for the future.

Member Feature Story

Rare Earths Discovered at Coal Site

As we search for sources of critical minerals available within the U.S., some are looking at coal in a new light. Randall Atkins, chairman and CEO of Ramaco Resources, discovered that coal at the company’s Brook Mine in Wyoming contained a rich source of rare earth elements. The company worked in collaboration... Read More

Mining For Our Future

Conveyor Maintenance Moves Forward

The keys to efficient operations are processes that maximize mining productivity with as little downtime as possible. Martin Engineering designs equipment solutions that significantly improve safety and reduce maintenance for a lower cost of operation. Conveyors are complex networks that move large... Read More

Collision Avoidance Systems for Safer Minesites

U.S. mining is using the world’s most advanced technologies and innovations every day, making mining safer than ever before through the use of artificial intelligence, drones and remote operated machinery. One of the leading technologies in use today is known as a Collision Avoidance System (CAS). Wabtec... Read More

Zero Emissions Equipment

World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs and is focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and brave concepts that make the world better. This year, they recognized First Mode’s proof-of-concept hybrid hydrogen and battery powerplant, which replaced... Read More

An EV Revolution Requires Lithium

The complete remaking of our transportation system and arrival of electric vehicles (EVs) onto the roads in large numbers requires the building blocks to make those cars – building blocks like lithium. That’s why we need to support mining and processing lithium here in the U.S., and there are efforts... Read More

New Supply Chains to Support America

There’s growing concern around the battery supply chain, and for good reason: the minerals that are fundamental to batteries are in astronomically growing demand with few existing domestic producers despite robust resources. That’s why efforts have been put forward to not only mine more minerals domestically,... Read More

New Supply Chains to Support America

Sometimes, innovation isn’t about the product, but the process. Supply chains are a critical foundation of our economy and national security, and that’s why we need to find ways to secure our supply chains here at home. The White House is looking for ways to shift supply chains here to the U.S., particularly... Read More

Carbon Capture for Our Future

Carbon capture is a necessary innovation for our climate goals. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, said, “Investment in carbon capture, utilisation & storage (CCUS) will be critical to ensure that the young global coal fleet is in line with climate targets.” That’s... Read More

The Future for Copper Mining

Being the first takes a pioneering spirit, and Florence Copper’s method of mining for copper highlights innovation in-action. Florence Copper is still awaiting its final permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but has plans to be a large-scale, commercial mining facility in Arizona that... Read More

Breaking Limits

The drive to best records is heavily prevalent, and miners are not immune. That’s why Eagle Mine teamed up with Porsche to set a new Guinness World Record: greatest altitude change ever achieved by an electric car. While the lowest point in America is Badwater Basin in Death Valley, this record-setting... Read More

Better Batteries for Tomorrow’s Roads

As our transportation sector includes a greater number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the roads, it’s important that we secure our supply chains to ensure we have the materials needed to make them. Nickel is a key component of EV batteries, and for good reason. Nickel in lithium-ion batteries gives a... Read More

Zero Emissions Vehicles on Site

Zero-emission mining is the future of mining, and Rio Tinto and Komatsu are at the front-end of mining innovation. Komatsu has been developing zero-emission haul trucks, and Rio Tinto will conduct a pre-production trial of the new equipment on site. “We know that addressing climate change effectively... Read More

Modern Mining Rests on Innovation

It’s important to innovate and grow, and the mining industry is no outlier for growth. Modern mining depends on powerful innovations as much as any other industry, from the mine all the way through the machinery manufacturers. Cummins, a manufacturer of engines, filtration and power generation products,... Read More

CONSOL Energy, Cleaner Plants for Tomorrow

Innovations are constantly being developed to make coal-fired power plants operate cleaner than ever before. Today’s coal-fueled power plants emit 90 percent fewer emissions than the typical plant from the 1970s. Ongoing advancements in high efficiency, low emission (HELE) coal technologies and carbon... Read More

Alliance Resource Partners, AI to Prevent Collisions

Imagine a world where a computer could prevent your vehicle from colliding with another. In mining, this is a real development. Alliance Resource Partners subsidiary Matrix Design Group has developed a system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to prevent collisions of mobile surface equipment, machines... Read More

Freeport-McMoRan: Copper is Essential

Copper is essential to our future, and people have used it for a variety of purposes for hundreds of years. Copper has an inherent ability to kill a wide range of harmful microbes relatively rapidly and with a high degree of efficiency, making it especially useful in combating the spread of COVID-19. Freeport-McMoRan... Read More

Rio Tinto: Copper Mining for Our Future

Minerals and metals are essential to our modern medical world and are key to many of the medicinal innovations we see today, serving as the building blocks of the life-saving medical devices and medications that doctors and patients rely on every day. The antimicrobial and antiviral properties of minerals... Read More

Innovating with Coal-Based Materials

CONSOL Energy recently announced an investment in the innovative coal-to-products market by acquiring a 25% equity interest in CFOAM Corp., a manufacturing company that uses coal to produce high-performance engineered materials from coal for the industrial, aerospace, military and commercial product... Read More

Standard Lithium Pioneers in Lithium Extraction as Demand Rises

In June, NMA member company Standard Lithium began construction of its first-of-a-kind direct lithium extraction demonstration plant in El Dorado, AR.  The environmentally friendly extraction process significantly decreases processing time from months to hours, eliminates the need for evaporation ponds... Read More

Goldcorp Partners with IBM to Improve Mineral Exploration

Goldcorp and IBM Canada have pioneered the world’s first IBM Exploration with Watson platform to more accurately predict where geologists could find gold. Developed using data from Newmont Goldcorp's Red Lake Gold Mines in northern Ontario, the new technology helps miners locate key information and... Read More

Artificial Intelligence Predicts When Haul Trucks Need Maintenance

Through work with Google Cloud and Canada-based tech solutions company Pythian, Teck, Canada’s largest diversified resource company with operations and projects in Canada, the United States, Chile and Peru, has introduced a machine learning system trained to identify maintenance issues in their haul... Read More

Caterpillar: Using Virtual Mining to Improve Real Operations

How do equipment suppliers prepare for the mining needs of the future? They build a mine all their own – a virtual mine. Caterpillar’s virtual mine site, run by advanced computer systems at its Mossville, Ill. site, operates 24 hours a day with 350 pieces of equipment working in a virtual area covering... Read More

Barrick: Digitally Transforming Underground Mining

Underground mines are full of activity and keeping all the moving pieces in order is now easier with new digital developments from Barrick Gold. The company has developed new technologies to improve safety and productivity at its operations. Barrick’s Underground Short Interval Control System (UG... Read More

Barrick Gold: Advancing Digital Mining Maintenance

Barrick is undergoing an impressive digital transformation and leading the development of a cutting-edge Asset Health tool designed with mechanics and shop supervisors in mind. At Barrick, the days of running around trying to collect and verify data needed for maintenance work will soon be over. Through... Read More

Rio Tinto Kennecott Becomes a Hub for Innovation

Rio Tinto Kennecott, located 35 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, is one of the world’s most innovative mining operations. It comprises the Bingham Canyon Mine, Copperton Concentrator, Garfield Smelter, refinery and power plant. The business produces copper, molybdenum, gold, silver and sulphuric... Read More

Caterpillar: Bringing Mining Innovation to Deep Space

Often cited as a global mining equipment giant, Caterpillar Inc. has expanded its reach and is teaming up with NASA to create revolutionary housing solutions for Earth and beyond. “NASA is closer to sending American astronauts to Mars than at any point in our history,” said former NASA Administrator... Read More

Rio Tinto: Using Cutting-Edge Technology to Mine a Mile Down

Innovation isn’t limited to the technologies minerals and metals help create; it’s also a large part of the changing methods mining companies use to secure these raw materials. A perfect example is from copper giant Rio Tinto, who plans to deploy tens of thousands of electronic sensors to help operate... Read More

Hitachi Showcases Mining Innovation at Trade Show

At last year’s MINExpo® INTERNATIONAL, Hitachi Construction Machinery showcased everything from autonomous haulage systems to new trolley truck technology to electric powered hydraulic mining excavators -- all designed to meet increasing customer demand for solutions that lower operating costs and ultimately... Read More

Resolution Copper: Investing in Our Future

Copper is essential to the way we live. It brings clean water, efficient energy transmission and it is a known antimicrobial that can help eliminate the spread of harmful viruses and bacteria. It is a crucial mineral in energy-efficient transportation, infrastructure and industry.  It is one of the most... Read More

Joy Global: Combining Fuel Consumption and Energy Storage Solutions

Answering the industry’s dual calls for reduced costs and more environmentally-friendly solutions, Joy Global recently introduced its new KESS unit, or Kinetic Energy Storage System, that pairs with its proven Joy SR (Switched Reluctance) Hybrid Drive motors. Officially debuted at MINExpo® 2016, the... Read More

National Miners Day 2013

In 2009, Congress proclaimed Dec. 6 as National Miners Day to celebrate the historic contributions America's miners have made to our country. It is no exaggeration to say that the coal, iron ore, copper and scores of other minerals and metals mined from Appalachia to the coastal West have provided the... Read More