Is it possible the gold mine of the future will require no mining at all?
What if technology could establish the existence of gold in the ground. This could be traded by secure blockchain technology (like Bitcoin) without the need to ever dig it up, the International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne was told today.
Michelle Ash, Chief Innovation Officer of Barrick Gold, the world’s biggest gold producer, used this as an example of how technology could change traditional mining. It was also an illustration of how elegant integration of known technologies could be as significant as the invention of new ones
Michelle Ash outlined a range of technology advances which progressively could see mining made more efficient, safer and more profitable with significantly reduced environmental impacts. Models already exist, she said, for mines with zero net carbon emissions.
She outlined a pathway to this future. However, she warned the industry that technological disruption to the way mining is currently conducted is inevitable– and desirable. The challenge of leaders is to guide this process.