Gold mining is a cornerstone of the Ethiopian mining industry, accounting for 93% of the sector’s value; but does this point to a lucrative industry delivering financial gains or an unbalanced sector prone to volatility and loss?

Elsewhere, we consider the potential of automation to continue to disrupt traditional mining operations, and ask to what extent a miner can be held responsible today for the crimes committed half a century earlier?

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In this issue

A new golden age: inside Ethiopian mining

Driven by gold and supported by Canada, Ethiopian mining is a sector full of potential for prospective investors. JP Casey asks how governments and companies can help realise this potential, to deliver a beneficial mining sector for all.

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Automation and excess: El Teniente leads mining’s automation drive

Investment in autonomous mining technology is on the rise, with major projects such as Chilian Codelco’s El Teniente underground mine expansion – the world’s largest – opting for autonomous fleets. Heidi Vella takes a look at the projects betting big on digitisation and automation and asks whether the technology is finally making its mark.

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“Known and potential deposits”: obstacles and opportunity in Greenland

Greenland has immense potential for the mining of gold and other rare earth metals essential for the green transition. Zachary Skidmore speaks to the founder of AEX Gold, Eldur Olafsson, about his company’s operations in the region and the potential of Greenland.

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Broken systems and endangered people: illegal gold in the Brazilian Amazon

Illegal gold mining in the Brazilian Amazon has skyrocketed since the election of Jair Bolsonaro in 2019, with indigenous zones bearing the brunt of this uptick. Zachary Skidmore investigates the phenomenon.

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Paying for the past: how long can a miner be held responsible?

Holding individuals and companies responsible for their historical actions is a subject of contention, perfectly illustrated by legal action being taken against Anglo American for one of its former mines in Zambia. Andrew Tunnicliffe talks with Richard Meeran and Zanele Mbuyisa about the case and the fairness of seeking reparations for the ills of the past.

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Next issue: rare earths

Once touted as a range of unusual, potentially disruptive minerals, the role of rare earths in the global mining industry has exploded to the point where conflict over these commodities is driving geopolitical decisions. With the minerals, and the power they offer, concentrated in just a few parts of the world, what will the future hold for rare earths, and how could they change the world?