Everything You Need to Know About In-Situ Mining
How do you mine without moving a rock?
When most people think of mining they think of massive open pits or deep and winding underground tunnels. But there is one mining method that does not move a rock and leaves the landscape as is.
Today’s infographic from Excelsior Mining Corp. outlines a unique mining method, In-Situ Recovery “ISR”, also known as In-Situ Mining.
An Intro to In-Situ Mining
ISR is not a recent innovation in the mining sector. In fact, ISR has been used for the past 50 years in uranium mining, and 48% of the world’s uranium gets mined this way. Uranium is not the only mineral it can extract; there is also silver, copper, and sometimes gold.
ISR involves dissolving a mineral deposit in the ground and then processing it at surface, all without moving any rock. It is cost effective and environmentally friendly.
But if this method is so great, how come more companies do not mine this way?
The Right Geology
ISR is not widely used because the geological conditions have to be just right. There are few locations around the world that meet the following criteria:
- Highly permeable ore body. In the case of copper, the ore body must be naturally broken, fractured and permeable.
- Mineable. The target mineral must be soluble with the right fluid, typically a weak acid.
- Under the water table. The mineral deposit must be below the water table to allow for the movement of fluids throughout the ore body.
If geologists can find these conditions and it is a large enough mineral deposit, it is time to mine.
The ISR Process
Once the right conditions are met and drill holes are sunk into the ore body, mining can begin.
- Leaching solution is pumped through injection wells
- The solution moves through the naturally fractured rock and leaches the copper
- Recovery wells extract the copper-rich solution
- Solution is pumped to the surface to the plant for processing
- Copper is extracted from the solution to create pure copper sheets
- Mining solution is recycled back to the well field
Once an area is mined, the wells are flushed with water to clean out any remaining leaching solution. Meanwhile, the surface is returned back to pre-mining conditions, allowing it to be used for any purpose in the future.
Advantages of In-Situ Mining
The environmental advantages are clear, including: minimal noise, dust, or greenhouse gas emissions, along with minimal visual disturbance. In addition, it also lowers capital and operating costs while creating a safer environment for mine workers.
Too bad not all mines can operate without moving a rock.
The 26-Year History of ETFs, in One Infographic
This graphic timeline highlights how the exchange-traded fund (ETF) came into existence, as well as the 26-year history of ETFs as an investment vehicle.
The 26-Year History of ETFs, in One Infographic
In recent decades, there have been many breakthrough technologies that have re-shaped entire industries.
In finance, perhaps the most notable disruption has been the rise of the exchange-traded fund (ETF) — an investment vehicle that has quadrupled in size over the last decade alone. But how did the ETF originate, and how has its use evolved through to today?
Today’s infographic comes to us from iShares by BlackRock, and it shows how the ETF has gone from an obscure index tracking tool to becoming a mainstream investing vehicle that encompasses trillions of dollars of assets.
The Origin of ETFs
ETFs emerged out of the index investing phenomenon in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and there are two early examples that can be used as a starting point:
- Index Participation Shares – 1989
This initial attempt to create an ETF was set to track the S&P 500, and garnered significant investor interest. However, it was ruled to work like a futures contract according to a federal court in Chicago, so it never made it to the exchange.
- Toronto 35 Index Participation Units – 1990
These were a warehouse, receipt-based instrument that tracked Canada’s major index, the TSE-35. They allowed investors to participate in the performance in the index, without owning individual shares of stocks in the index.
Since these pioneering ETF endeavors, the investment vehicle has caught on in popularity — and it is now clear that ETFs provide a range of important benefits to investors, such as: low costs, liquidity, diversification, tax efficiency, flexibility, accessibility, and transparency.
How ETFs are Used
Today, the U.S. ETF industry has $4.04 trillion of assets under management (AUM), covering a wide spectrum of assets including equities, bonds, alternatives, and money markets.
ETFs are now the go-to index vehicle for 78% of institutional investors, according to a study by Greenwich Associates. Here are the 10 most popular applications for ETFs based on the same data:
|Tactical adjustments||72%||Over- or underweight certain styles, regions, or countries on the basis of short term views.|
|Core allocation||68%||Build a long-term strategic holding in a portfolio.|
|Rebalancing||60%||Manage portfolio risk in between rebalancing cycles.|
|Portfolio completion||57%||Fill in gaps in a strategic asset allocation.|
|International diversification||56%||Gain efficient access to foreign markets.|
|Liquidity management||54%||Maintain exposure in a liquid investment vehicle to meet cash flow needs.|
|Transition management||44%||Facilitate manager transitions with ETFs.|
|Risk management||42%||Mitigate undesired portfolio risk and hedge asset allocation decisions.|
|Interim beta||37%||Maintain market exposure while refining a long-term view.|
|Cash equitization||37%||Put long-term cash positions to work with ETFs to minimize cash drag.|
In 26 years since the introduction of the ETF, it has grown and evolved to cover almost every aspect of the market. The next stage of growth for the ETF will be driven by investors finding even more uses for these versatile tools.
Why Telcos Must Get in the Game for the Rise of Esports
Telcos failed to capitalize on the ‘Netflix’ opportunity — however, the birth of a new multi-billion dollar industry (esports) could change the game.
Why Telcos Must Get in the Game for the Rise of Esports
Over the last century, the world’s telecommunications companies have built out the complex infrastructure that makes the information age possible.
Hundreds of billions of dollars has been invested into phone lines, submarine cables, wireless towers, and fiber optics to connect the world. And with 5G innovations in the pipeline, the world has never been able to communicate faster and more effectively.
Despite this impressive accomplishment, telcos find themselves in an awkward situation: their revenue growth is stagnating and margins continue to shrink, all while companies like Netflix are monetizing internet bandwidth around the world.
Today’s infographic is from Swarmio Media, and it highlights challenges faced by telcos — and how they can potentially capitalize on the emergence of esports and a massive gaming market.
A Missed Opportunity
Habits around content consumption can change abruptly, and fast-moving technology companies have been able to capitalize on these changes.
That’s why, in recent years, there’s been a boom in over-the-top (OTT) media services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Skype, etc.) that have found effective ways to operate on top of the telco infrastructure, streaming content or providing VoIP services to end consumers.
|Television||Voice & Messaging||Audio|
|Example OTT services||- Netflix|
- Amazon Prime
- Apple Music
- Internet Radio
|Global market size (2018)||$68.7 billion||$26.7 billion||$8.9 billion|
|Growth rate (2017-2018):||28%||15%||33%|
Although telcos arguably missed the boat on video streaming, voice, and messaging, there is now an emerging segment that could help fill the gap.
The rising popularity of esports could be the multi-billion dollar industry that provides telcos a much-needed growth area to better monetize their infrastructure.
The Esports Boom
In recent years, the growth in professional gaming has been explosive.
Already worth over $1 billion, the market is projected by experts to triple by 2025. Esports is regularly packing stadiums with avid fans, spawning new professional teams, and selling massive sponsorship deals.
This boom in esports – and in online multiplayer gaming in general — has created a commercial audience of digital natives that is both young and affluent. It’s a growing segment that sees gaming as a lifestyle, and they see professional esports gamers and personalities as their heroes.
The Need For Speed
Any multiplayer gamer will tell you that there is one surefire way to ruin the gaming experience: high latencies (or as they call it, “lag”). This is an area telecoms are uniquely positioned to help with, especially with the advent of edge computing technology and 5G.
When it comes to online gaming, a sophisticated edge computing system will be able to detect where each player is located, while creating a server in an optimal location that provides all the players with the same high bandwidth, low latency, and experience.
By leveraging technology that enables edge computing at scale, forward-looking telcos can take gamers to where they want to go – and with plenty of value-adds.
Living on the Edge
To compete against growing outside threats like Netflix and Google, telcos must make bold investments in enabling technologies that bring edge computing to their customers at scale.
Beyond acting as the gatekeeper to lightning fast connections, telcos can take advantage of esports and gaming by building internal online communities, delivering tailored esports content, and enabling and promoting esports tournaments.
If done right, this can help telcos engage with digital natives, create meaningful experiences, win lifelong customers and advocates, and maximize average revenue per user (ARPU).
For many of the 2.5 billion gamers globally, there is little reason to be loyal to a telco – until now.
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