I recently attended a national mining convention where the ‘Changing Face of Mining’ was a primary theme. Automation, innovation, disruptive technologies, IIOT and Industry 4.0 were among the focal areas. How Canada’s massive @ $97B (annual) mining industry remains world-leading is dependant on how well we perform in these areas.

How can we stay world-leaders?

At the convention, a luncheon workshop focused on the human resources involved with Mining. We heard how the industry continues to forecast a relatively significant labour shortfall and yet enrollment in technical programs has significantly declined in the last several years. How can we stay world-leaders in an industry that is really quite technical while inadequately supplying this essential resource?

It is a global industry and there is lots of great global talent to draw from. And talented diversity does help our mining industry strengthen. Canada is leading the world in many aspects of technology, not only in Mining, but also in many other industries. It’s our Canadian style, attitudes, culture, workmanship, sense of collaboration (etc.) that allow us to compete globally and specifically make us the great miners that we are.

So, what about Learning?

Mining is full of inherent variability. Beyond technology, it takes clever, motivated people that give a shit (ok, sorry for that, they care…) to keep things moving. Learning, that is how we are taught, what we learn, how much we retain, is an essential layer in how our behaviours and attitudes are formed. We know that some of us will lead, some will follow and the bulk of us, in the middle, can be influenced one way or the other. Where we sit on this curve defines really how much value we can bring to the industries that pay our wages.

I believe that managing the content of Canadian Technology in our mining industry is important. We should not permit the global community an opportunity to erode our market-share in our industry. Supporting our Canadian post-secondary programs, that directly and indirectly enable our industry to thrive, is an essential aspect of this need. Support can mean any or all of the following; acknowledgment of the importance of the industry and for those involved in it, research content, funding, as well as student and full-time employment opportunities.

                            “If it can’t be grown it has to be mined” is a truth that we have to get behind…

                                                                                          …by ab, Subject Matter Expert for open-pit Mining Technologies