New Forces at Work in Mining

Industry Views of Critical Technologies

by D. J. Peterson, Tom LaTourrette, James T. Bartis


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Over the past century, technology advances have had major impacts on mining practices and the nature of the mine and quarry sites in the United States. The evolution of current technologies, as well as the introduction of innovations, will continue and perhaps accelerate in the new century. Several industry objectives will drive future technology change, including lowering production costs, enhancing the productivity of workers and equipment, opening up new reserves and extending the life of existing ore bodies. Continuing to meet regulatory and stakeholder requirements in areas such as health and safety, environmental impacts, and land use. Between March and July 2000, the RAND Science and Technology Policy Institute conducted a series of in-depth, confidential discussions with key members of the mining community to elicit a wide range of views on technology trends in all sectors of the U.S. mining and quarrying industry. The discussions included 58 organizations engaged in coal, metals, aggregates, and industrial minerals production, as well as technology providers and research institutions. This report brings to light those technologies viewed by industry leaders as critical to the success of the industry currently, and critical technologies likely to be implemented between now and 2020.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

  • Figures

  • Tables

  • Summary

  • Acknowledgements


  • Abbreviations

    Acronyms and Abbreviations

  • Glossary

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Drivers of and Impediments to Technology Change

  • Chapter Three

    Critical Technologies for Unit Operations

  • Chapter Four

    Critical Technologies for Process Optimization and Control

  • Chapter Five

    Critical Technologies for Operations and Maintenance

  • Chapter Six

    Critical Technologies for Organization and Management

  • Chapter Seven

    Concluding Remarks

  • Appendix A

    List of Study Participants

  • Appendix B

    Discussion Protocol

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's Science and Technology Policy Institute.

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