Innovation in the Mining Industry: Technological Trends and a Case Study of the Challenges of Disruptive Innovation

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Innovation plays a critical role in the mining industry as a tool to improve the efficiency of its processes, to reduce costs, but also to meet the increasing social and environmental concerns among communities and authorities. Technological progress has also been crucial to allow the exploitation of new deposits in more complex scenarios: lower ore grades, extreme weather conditions, deeper deposits, harder rock mass, and high-stress environments. This paper discusses the importance of innovation for the mining industry and describes the mechanisms by which it is carried out. It includes a review of the drivers and actors involved and current trends. The digital transformation process that the industry is going through is analyzed, along with other relevant trends that are likely to shape the mining of the future. Additionally, a case study is presented to illustrate the technical and economic implications of developing a disruptive innovation project.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1385-1399
Number of pages15
JournalMining, Metallurgy and Exploration
Issue number5
Early online date23 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2020


  • Digital transformation
  • Industry 4.0
  • Mining innovation
  • Mining technology

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