The outermost reaches of available mineral resources will be the topic of discussion at the 3rd International Future Mining Conference, which begins today in Sydney.
The conference will showcase innovations and technological developments in the minerals industry, such as autonomous mining, emerging exploration technologies, new commodities for high-tech equipment, and asteroid capture.
Senior executives speaking at the event include Rio Tinto chief growth and innovation officer Craig Stegman, Caterpillar Global Mining Division’s James D. Humphrey, Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland, and NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (Engineering & Science Directorate) deputy director René Fradet.
Topics to be discussed will include the types of new minerals that will bring wealth in the future; how global warming and climate change will affect the industry; renewable and alternative energies; mining in environmentally sensitive areas; advances in water treatment and reuse and a site of novel mining systems; and technologies that are revolutionising the industry.
The second Off-Earth Mining Forum will be held concurrently on Thursday 4 and Friday 5 November, which will hear speakers from space agencies NASA (US) and JAXA (Japan), as well as space mining companies Deep Space Industries and Shackleton Energy.
Engineers and scientists will join the forum in discussing the work being done to prepare for the coming age of asteroid mining in space; issues such as resources, technologies, robotics, automation, instrumentation and business risks.
The Off-Earth Mining Forum was organised by Professor Andrew Dempster, director of the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research at UNSW, and professor in Space Systems Engineering
Conference chair and geotechnical engineer Serkan Saydam is an associate professor at UNSW, who is currently working on to develop financial and technical models to evaluate various off-Earth mining scenarios, including mining on Mars.