The mining industry, and in fact the world, has undergone significant changes in the past five to ten years, ranging from the metals boom, the global financial crisis and the rise and fall of national economies, to name just a few. There has been a focus on sustainable development for projects and operations in the mining industry, mainly pushed onto the industry by communities, governments and other agencies. While sustainable development and operation is a worthy priority for mining operations, discussions with mining industry personnel (with a strong slant on the mineral processing perspective) have shown other issues have surpassed the typical issues of water resources, energy availability and the environment. These include staff turnover and skills shortages, extracting metal from more complex orebodies and the uptake of new step-change technology.
A number of key operating mineral processing personnel were interviewed to determine their perspective on the current issues facing the mining industry. This paper details the findings of this survey and highlights some of the topics that have been identified as the top issues from a mineral processing perspective.
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