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The Mining Show 2023 highlights the importance of innovation in the industry

Colonel Abdul Rahman Al Mansouri, director of weapons and explosives at UAE's Ministry of Interior, addresses the audience at The Mining Show. (Image source: Alain Charles Publishing)

The Mining Show 2023 opened its doors on Tuesday morning. Running from 21-22 November this year, the key themes for the show will be innovation and automation in an ever-changing industry

The event was opened by HE Eng Saif Ghubash, the assistant undersecretary for petroleum, gas, and mineral sector, at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure. He highlighted the reasons why the UAE is best positioned to bring a transformation in the industry, while explaining how the region is poised to develop better technology for the world. 

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Later, Colonel Abdul Rahman Al Mansouri, director of weapons and explosives at UAE's Ministry of Interior, also explained the importance of innovation. He said that it is a key task of the industry to keep innovating, and that he was looking forward to seeing the UAE develop further in this field. 

The event included interesting panel sessions, which included topics such as Mining 4.0. One of the sessions, aptly titled "Mining 4.0 and the impact of new technologies: exploring global strategies and opportunities to incorporate technology in mining", looked at how the energy transition can aid in mineral deposits, and how metal refining technology can impact the mining industry. Errol Smart, CEO and managing director of Australian company Orion Minerals gave the presentation. 

"Historically, refineries have been located where there is a lot of coal or a lot of gas. And as they become more and more high tech, like going to where these hydro plants but to get sufficient energy to drive those those old pyrometallurgical plants is a challenge. Secondly, those plants produce massive amounts of waste. So the whole mining industry is really a price taker. The smelters determine price. So your payability of the mining industry is actually determined by the smelters and refiners. They set the rules of the game," he said. 

At another panel session looked at how the UAE quarrying industry is embracing data and digital technologies to improve safety and efficiency in drilling and blasting. Mark Roberts, drill & blast manager at Stevin Rock, said, "We always focus on safety as our number one priority. For example, we have permission to fly drones on a daily basis to produce the survey, where we can have photogrammetry software to design 3D designs for the blast design. Secondly, inside the blast design, you can even drill optimisation as well where you can transfer the data from the drill rig back into the software on before into the drill rig, so you can have a drill fan. This way, we can actually drill the layout. Using GPS surveys improves the accuracy of your design as well."

Such technology can help UAE companies to grow faster and more sustainably, the panel session concluded.