Four challenges facing the mining industry (Part 1 in series)

In our recently published Mining Risk Review, Willis Towers Watson identified four challenges that all mining companies should be addressing as we move further into the second part of this decade. These are:

  1. Operating within a volatile geopolitical landscape: Mining companies need to understand the driving forces behind recent geopolitical changes, as they will be crucial to future business development. At the same time, the terrorist threat in some key geographies remains constant, with mines continually under threat of attack, while the rise of protectionism in some of the major global economies threatens the viability of global supply chains.
  2. Developing new stakeholder relationships: No mining company can take its Social License to Operate (SLO) in a particular region for granted, and new strategies may have to be generated to ensure renewal in some key regions. Without a renewed stakeholder engagement strategy, some miners may find their SLO is revoked; surely everything possible should be done to avoid this at all costs.
  3. Thriving in the new digital world: The future of mining will support efficient and collaborative workforces, encourage centres of excellence in data management and allow miners a shared service mix of onshore, offshore and robotic workers. In the meantime, mining companies are going to have to find new ways of resolving any technical faults if human labour forces are going to be stripped back in favour of automation.
  4. Managing people risk in an age of turbulence: There’s a growing discrepancy between available and needed skills, especially in the new, often remote locations where miners have had to invest during the course of the last 10 years or so. Mining companies are therefore going to have to compete with other industries to secure suitable workforces that have the right digital skillsets to match the industry’s new requirements.

Savvy miners will adapt to the new business environment and risk landscape in which they find themselves; those who continue to rely on outdated approaches to managing both their people and asset risk may find challenging times ahead. Have a look at our review to find out more.

Next in series: What communities really want: Rethinking local engagement.

About Robin Somerville

Robin is the Business Development Director for Willis Towers Watson Natural Resources P&C based in London. With…
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