FOR millennia, man has broken rocks. Whether with pickaxe or dynamite, their own or animal muscle, in a digger or a diesel truck, thick-necked miners have been at the centre of an industry that supplies the raw materials for almost all industrial activity.
Some mines in the next decade will run without humans and instead rely on robots, virtual models and sensors, according to Anglo American Plc.
Canadian-based firm Nautilus Minerals Inc. plans to launch the world’s first deep sea mining operation in early 2019. The company will launch three remote-controlled mining robots off the coast of Papua New Guinea to the floor of the Bismark Sea to mine rich metal deposits.
The robot on an oil drillship in the Gulf of Mexico made it easier for Mark Rodgers to do his job stringing together heavy, dirty pipes. It could also be a reason he’s not working there today.