The introduction of autonomous systems into a mining operation brings with it many challenges primarily around technology, processes and people. An additional challenge to overcome is the perception that the organisation is only introducing automation and robotics to reduce head count or cut jobs.
To achieve the desired operating efficiency and productivity benefits of an autonomous operation, it is imperative that the autonomous system be maintained fully operational 24/7. To do this requires resources with a different skillset from what is required from the typical mining equipment operator. Therefore, it is more of a skills migration or upskilling opportunity rather than a straightforward head count reduction.
As an industry we have clear examples of where the introduction of autonomous systems and robotics equals skills migration not job losses.
So how do we change this job-loss perception? How do we accelerate the change in conversation from it being perceived as a threat to what is really an opportunity.
One opportunity is to develop several case studies from organisations that have implemented autonomous systems that can then be used or referenced in marketing campaigns by existing and new autonomous mining implementations.
Calling on experts!
GMG is recruiting volunteers willing and able to contribute time and expertise to helping develop a guideline that will benefit the global mining industry. Over the coming months the guideline will be drafted through contribution and collaboration of peers around the globe. The project is kicking off with virtual workshops in the coming weeks to:
The project will enable mining companies to follow lessons learned and best practices regarding skill migrations to be able to implement autonomous systems in their operations. Learn more about the project here.
During this workshop you will virtually collaborate with the global mining community identifying key changes and latest trends in the future of workforce and how the mining sector can respond to them.
To accommodate multiple time zones, we have scheduled separate dates and times:
June 3 – 8:00AM – 11:00AM EDT
June 23 – 11:00AM – 2:00PM EDT
Before we meet, here are some things to consider:
Project background details
Across various industry sectors it is anticipated over the next 10-15 years automation will displace many jobs, but at the same time many others will be created. Jobs of the future will require different skillsets and potentially different education requirements to install, operate and maintain the new automated technologies.
The mining industry is accelerating the implementation of autonomous mining equipment into its operations and there remains some anxiety around what impact this will have on current and future roles.
How to get involved
There are many ways you can contribute to making this project a valuable guidance document: