Could Covid-19 spark an autonomous revolution in mining?

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted mining operations across the globe but, as lockdowns lift and miners adjust to new ways of working, we look at whether coronavirus could be the spark for an autonomous revolution.

At the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic’s worldwide economic and social disruption around early April, analysis by GlobalData showed that more than 1,600 mines worldwide had been temporarily suspended. While companies have remained coy on the extent to which this has affected production, the larger picture is slowly being filled in: Fernando Alanis, the head of Camimex, Mexico’s mining chamber,  estimated that mining output in the country is likely to fall by around 17% in 2020; Coal India reported an 11.2% decline in production in May 2020 compared with May 2019, and Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter said that mining output in the country is likely to fall by 8- 10% this year.

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