Urbanisation. Development of transport and energy infrastructure. Digitalisation of the economy. Introduction of alternative energy sources. Electrification of transport. These and other global trends will be the main drivers of growth in consumption of metals, minerals and energy for foreseeable future.  Resource base of most of the developed and developing countries largely determines their potential for economic growth, wellbeing and security. Mineral resource base is an important competitive advantage for Russia, both with regards to internal factors, and in the creation of international alliances. Up to 2050, the mineral resource base and mineral complex of the Russian Federation will continue to make an important contribution to the gross domestic product of the country, and to the national budget.

One of the global trends in mining industry is depletion of mineral resources and rise in cost of extraction of raw materials. According to the Fraser Institute, Russia ranks 17th among 120 countries in terms of geological potential.  More than 70% of reserves in Russia come from traditional and easily recoverable sources.  But not all of them can be extracted economically. In order to ensure sustainable development of the industry, mining companies and the State are faced with the task of stimulating growth of mineral resource base and developing new technologies that reduce costs of extracting minerals and metals.

Mining and Exploration today are strategic sectors on which economic development of Russia depends. Ensuring growth of the reserves is associated both with the development of new territories in the Arctic and the Far East, and with industry digitalisation. According to the Russian Economic Forum, potential effect of digitalization on the Russian economy is an increase in the country’s GDP by 4.1–8.9 trillion roubles by 2025, which represents between 19% and 34% of the total expected GDP growth. Even greater gains may be encountered in the subsoil use sector, as large-scale digitalisation will significantly reduce cost of the most expensive components – exploration, drilling and transportation, and will ensure rational subsoil use. The creation of a single geo platform that incorporates research data will give a new impetus to the regional geological exploration. Another promising tool for ensuring quality improvement in the industry is transition to more efficient energy-saving technologies.

Unpredictability and rapid changes in the markets determine success or failure of mining companies. Manual and reactive control is becoming less effective.  Ensuring sustainable development of modern mining business is now largely dependent on introduction of a culture of constant renewal and business agility, as well as creation of new models that anticipate future needs of consumers.

The 15th MINEX Russia Forum, held in Moscow, will offer a platform for discussion on the challenges and prospects for subsoil use development in the era of digitisation of economy, growth of demand for strategic metals and minerals, and transformation of the mining industry.

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