Automation and robotics is revolutionizing metals and mining companies

In recent years, there has been a step change in the capabilities of robots and automated machines. Today, a new generation of equipment can perform tasks with a high degree of autonomy, working for extended periods without any human intervention. Examples are automated exploration and pit drones, robotic trucks, trains and diggers.


The robot or automated machine can move without human assistance and avoid situations that could be dangerous for itself or a human worker. Operational hardware is also increasingly capable of learning new methods for accomplishing tasks or adapting to changing surroundings.

Robots come in many shapes and sizes and have numerous applications in metals and mining. Take drones: whether autonomous, semiautonomous or manually controlled, they can be equipped with additional technologies such as thermal cameras so that they can, for instance, monitor vast facilities or help with exploration mapping.

How much value does automation and robotics create for the metals and mining industry? Here are what the World Economic Forum estimates by 2025:

$56 billion to industry

  • Through an increase in output, since they can operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at a constantly high productivity level.
  • Reduced personnel costs especially because employing on-site workers is a major cost driver for mining companies operating in remote locations.
  • Some tasks can also be performed more efficiently by machines than humans (e.g. drones for exploration).

120 lives saved & 10,000 injuries avoided

  • Autonomous operations can increase worker safety, especially in extreme conditions such as those found in underground mines or hot mills, reducing the number and severity of health and safety incidents.

400 million tonnes CO2 reduced

  • Greater operational efficiency is expected to reduce emissions by approximately 400 million tonnes over the next decade. Autonomous machines consume less fuel than manual ones.

Technology is transforming everything in the metals and mining industry. Every company needs to look outside of current business and improve data access and relevance. To acquire these, follow our metalshub website and adapt to the digital future.

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