Mining must ‘change the dialogue’ around industry: Anglo CEO


Date: Mar 22, 2018

The ideal ore mine of the future would deliver higher-quality material, have a smaller environmental footprint and operate without tailings dams, Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani said Wednesday.

Cutifani, speaking during the FT Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland, said the mining industry has not altered the way it operates for decades, and that approach was not sustainable.

“We really have not changed much of what we do — we have just gotten bigger or we have automated,” he said. “That is not real innovation.”

The size of typical ore bodies necessitated large-scale operations for the most part, Cutifani said, but “in the future we are going to have to be a lot more laser-like in the way we operate”, while making exploration and material processing more efficient.

For instance, rather than grinding ore to a fine matter, “grind it to chili flakes and use 40% less energy,” he said, and because it is not as fine, the reliance on metallic dams could be eliminated within the next 10 years.

Preconditioning ore before presenting it to mills could also enhance grade qualities by 30%-40%, Cutifani said.

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