MINE Issue 45 | June 2016

When Integra Gold purchased an old mine in Quebec, it also inherited 75 years’ of geological data. Instead of pushing ahead, the company digitised its data which it released to the public as part of a crowdsourcing campaign called the Gold Rush Challenge. Teams from all around the world were invited to use the information to devise a modern method of prospecting for gold. We speak to Integra Gold about whether data mining could herald the next wave of mineral exploration.

Continuing with gold, we discover why gold is the best-performing commodity of the year so far, hear about a collaborative research project aiming to locate essential raw materials deposits across Europe, and speak to the designers who broke the world record for the largest ever electronic detonator blast at Daunia mine in Queensland.

Also, we look into setting standards, both in improving the safety of Russia’s mining industry following further fatalities from a mine explosion, as well as exploring the potential for standardisation to create a fair trade industry.

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In this issue

The gold standard
Gold prices have risen by 15%, with Australian production at a twelve-year high and South African operations boosted by the strong dollar. Why is gold performing so well and how will this affect the industry?
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The Search for Raw Deposits
The University of Exeter and geologists from the Camborne School of Mines are working on a research and innovation programme to discover new deposits of raw materials across Europe. We find out more about this four-year, €5.4m plan.
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Digital Mining for Golden Data
When Integra Gold bought an old mine in Quebec it came with a haul of geological data, which the company released it to the public, inviting teams to create new ways to prospect for gold. We speak to Integra Gold about the success of the challenge.
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Setting a Standard in Responsibility
The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance wants to achieve a fair trade mining industry through its proposed Standard for Responsible Mining. Can self-regulation clean up the industry and smooth out the huge levels of diversity?
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The Biggest Bang
Daunia open cut coal mine in Queensland broke the world record for the largest electronic detonator blast ever using the AXXIS digital detonation system from BME. We speak to the operators to find out how it was executed.
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Russian Revolution in Coal
Russia’s coal mining industry suffers from a terrible safety record, resulting in the deaths of many mine workers and rescuers. We investigate whether this latest tragedy can prompt decisive action to improve safety standards for Russian miners.
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Next issue preview

Corruption, fraud and illegal mining are persistent problems for the mining industry in the Indian states of Goa, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. While government reforms may help, the industry is increasingly turning to sophisticated sensor-based tracking systems to improve transparency in the management and transport of commodities. We speak to Bangalore-based tech company Telematics4u to find out how training in technology can help reduce criminality in the mining supply chain.

We see how the launch of Oculus Rift could make augmented reality an exciting and realistic possibility for industrial applications, we investigate the global issue of black lung in coal mining, and discover the factors shaping the availability of phosphorus and its supply constraints.

Also, we take a look at the history of copper mining in Zambia and whether Glencore’s Mopani copper mine could boost the country’s economy, and catch up with the controversy over Queensland’s Carmichael coal mine and its effects on the Great Barrier Reef as well as the economy of India.

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