Skip to main content
Uncategorized

What Will the Future of Work and Workers in the Mining Industry Look Like?

By October 21, 2021No Comments

In a unique collaboration, Wikistrat and idoba partnered to explore the future of work and the workers in the mining industry. How will emerging technologies affect the workforce in the upcoming decade? Why will leaders need to rapidly change their managerial approach and adopt new organizational models? And did COVID-19 really have a significant impact on the industry? Read the full report now

Following the recent success of Digital Mining in the Age of Social Awareness, which culminated in a Mining Global feature on the Top 10 Predictions for the Future of Mining, Sandpit Innovation and Wikistrat have combined forces once again, but this time with the added strength of a new brand – idoba.

idoba is a digital transformation service business, recently announced by global industrial services company Perenti, with Sandpit Innovation the first acquisition within idoba. Optika Solutions, a leader in data science and industrial mathematics, has also been acquired, continuing the growth of idoba as an innovation ecosystem.

In the new collaborative simulation, idoba and Wikistrat initiated a crowdsourced conversation around not only the future of work in the mining industry but also what that future might look like for workers in the industry.

Download Future of work(ers) in the Mining Industry.pdf

Some Background

The mining industry is under pressure to change at a more rapid rate than ever before. This need to change is driven by external trends and from within, by the increasing need for mining companies to compete with new sectors to attract top talent, the adaptation of the new technologies, and as a result, the need to invest more in training and upskilling the current workforce, and ever-existing operational pressures to reduce costs and increase productivity while at the same time maintain a safe and healthy working environment.

The Simulation

Participants in the simulation were asked to answer questions and comment on changes and trends that are likely to impact the industry by the year 2030 through three lenses:

  1. People – A focus on talent, skills, and labor supply.

  2. Technology – The role of robotics, data science, and digital transformation.

  3. Society – The impacts from an ESG, regulation, legal and social standpoint.

The assessments in each of these three categories have been further enriched thanks to idoba, Optika Solutions, and Sandpit, who were each leading in their field of expertise.

idoba, a digital transformation service business, has championed a focus on people – the workers – who are impacted by, and expected to adapt to, an ever-changing mining industry.

Optika Solutions, a leader in data science and industrial mathematics, has spearheaded the participation of those in the world of tech, to further strengthen the cross-section of opinion. With a commitment to driving positive ESG outcomes, the team at Sandpit Innovation has extended the conversation further, to consider the impacts of the future from an ESG, regulation, legal and social perspective.

Download Future of work(ers) in the Mining Industry.pdf

Strategic Insights

Technological changes will have to be accompanied with meaningful adjustments.

During the simulation, the significance of technology (AI, AR, and robots) to the future of work and workers in the industry played a major theme. It will make mining safer for workers, less environmentally damaging, and more efficient. However, these technological changes will have to be accompanied by a rethink of firms’ approaches to training, ensuring that personnel are upskilled and able to work effectively alongside advanced new technologies.

Industry leaders must increase their companies’ preparedness for the future.

In terms of skills, investment, and HR decisions, the industry will have to radically upscale its game to better prepare for the impact of tech and ESG issues, such as the reduced need for human labor in light of an anticipated increase in automation and growing environmental requirements. Industry leaders and firms will have to plan to retrain employees and further invest in innovation and technology to offset their impact on the environment.

Talent won’t be easy to retain or recruit; creativity will be needed.

A highly discussed trend was the need for a more creative approach from industry leaders to keep and recruit top talent and move from the fairly conservative approach of management. Potential solutions that were discussed were a decentralized autonomous organization (DOA) model, a more open talent-hiring approach, the creation of multidisciplinary teams of people from different backgrounds, and the completion of digital transformations in companies.

ESG issues will change the future.

The rapid advance of digitization and fast transformation of information and knowledge between people around the globe will increase public pressure for change in issues like commodity pricing, climate change, decarbonization, and sustainability. Governments, who will address the public sentiment, will gradually become a significant factor, and the mining industry will have to improve its readiness to answer the requirements. In order to do so, the mining industry will have to enhance its communications with local communities and governments, as well as diversify and engage with the circular economy and end-users that will help collaborate solutions to ESG problems.

Does COVID-19 play a marginal role in the future of the industry and its workers?

Surprisingly, the pandemic did not play a major role in the different themes and discussions during the simulation. In the voting phase of the simulation, 43% of the participants assessed that COVID will have a very low significance or none at all for the future of work in the industry. This might suggest that while COVID impacted the future of work in other industries in terms of remote-working and firms/managers-employees relations, the crowd did not identify relevant focal points of impact on the mining industry or was not sure in what exact ways it will impact the industry.

Read the full report now:

Download Future of work(ers) in the Mining Industry.pdf