All articles by Ross Davies

Ross Davies

A modern Eldorado: deep sea mining at the Clarion Clipperton Zone

Deep on the seafloor in a section of the Pacific Ocean, companies have started harvesting polymetallic nodules in the hope of diversifying the global supply of niche metals. Ross Davies asks, is deep sea mining set to become a reality?

Could blockchain sift out conflict minerals and fakes from the supply chain?

Blockchain could bring about new levels of traceability and accountability across the diamond supply chain, according to miners Alrosa and De Beers, who recently began trialling a new platform. Wider adoption of the technology could be beneficial to all, as Ross Davies finds out.

Predicting earthquakes: what’s the best technology available to miners?

A recent earthquake in Papua New Guinea shattered some of the country’s most important gold mines. It also raised the question of what technologies are at miners’ disposal when it comes to predicting quakes? Ross Davies reports.

Cleaning up the mess: Is self-bonding fair play?

US coal miners can guarantee they have the cash to clean up coal mines upon closure based solely on their financial health. Known as ‘self-bonding’, it remains deeply controversial as taxpayers are often left with the bill when things go wrong. Ross Davies looks at the practice and whether it’s time to stamp out self-bonding.

From buildings to batteries: is the time right for Vanadium?

While mostly synonymous with steel reinforcement, vanadium has emerged as a useful mineral for electricity storage and batteries. As the world slowly transitions away from fossil fuels, the metal could have a big role to play, but the economics remain uncompetitive for mines, writes Ross Davies.

Could snow, soil and trees point the way to the next big mining discovery in British Columbia?

Amid the high peaks, alpine tundra and glaciers of British Columbia, it’s hard to tell what lies beneath your feet, much more so than in less hostile areas. But, as Ross Davies finds out, a new set of analytical tools uses tell-tale signs in the landscape itself to narrow the search. Could this change mineral exploration forever?

What’s next in store for Indonesia’s Grasberg mine?

After months of bitter dispute, Freeport-McMoRan agreed to hand over its majority stake of Grasberg mine to the Indonesian state in August. While the US-based copper miner may be relieved to reach a provisional agreement, details of what will happen next are far from clear, as Ross Davies reports.

Going underground: The Portland stone industry moves into mining

Used in the construction of some of the world’s most elegant landmarks, Portland stone is renowned. But after centuries of being quarried, surface reserves are dwindling, leading the only two licensed extraction firms to turn to mining instead. Ross Davies reports on how the transition underground is being made.

Introducing HyLogger: Mineral analysis without delay

Australian scientific research agency CSIRO has licensed HyLogger, its mineral analysis technology, to METS group Corescan. Using hyper-spectral imaging, it has the potential to make logging drill cores faster and more accurate – and Australia’s mining sector more competitive, as Ross Davies reports.

Mucking around: Inside the International Collegiate Mining Competition

Since the 1970s, the annual International Collegiate Mining Competition has given mining students worldwide a chance to get in touch with traditional extraction methods of yesteryear. It also provides them with invaluable networking and career opportunities, as Ross Davies finds out.