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ESG, environment and personnel are top of mind for miners

ESG, environment and personnel are top of mind for miners

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Talent recruitment and retention, and working towards a low carbon future, have been flagged as some of the top issues Australian miners will face in 2022.

Deloitte, an advisory firm, released its thirteenth annual Tracking the Trends Report this week. It examines the key trends that mining companies must confront as innovation accelerates due to the need for decarbonisation and other environmental, social, and governance goals.

Deloitte Australia, mining & metals leaders Steven WalshAccording to them, the sector is facing one of its most transformative times in history.

“The level of change and innovation we are seeing across the mining industry is accelerating. This change is being pushed by the demands and expectations of stakeholders across environment, society and governance, and is being pulled by the pandemic-driven adoption of new ways of work,” he said.

“The industry is embracing real opportunities to redefine itself, and to do so faster than many would have predicted a few years ago. Those that succeed in adapting and innovating, will position themselves to lead the mining industry in a new energy future and leave a positive social impact in their wake. 

“The core objective of mining; providing metals and minerals to downstream sectors for all of the myriad uses in society, will still hold in a low-carbon future, but the energy transition absolutely presents a rare opportunity for leaders to reorganise, generate new value, and forge partnerships to create a more responsible and attractive future for the industry.

“The way in which mining organisations position themselves today in preparation for this more sustainable future could redefine competitive advantage over the next decade.”

Walsh stated that operators must also consider emerging trends and technologies in work, as well as how people will interact with them, in order to maximize their human capital potential.

“As new technologies are introduced, new roles with different skillsets are emerging, and traditional ways of working continue to be challenged. Mining organisations are redefining the importance and value of their people, and those who are most successful will adapt to and build on concepts such as remote working, flexible work arrangements and workforce wellbeing.”

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The report stated that the energy transition is changing the traditional mining value chains, creating new opportunities and challenges for miners. It also suggested that mining companies should be prepared for the physical effects that a changing climate could have on their operations and businesses.   

In a post-Covid-19 world, many countries look to regulations and resource nationalism as a way to recover lost revenue from the pandemic. Mining companies are now required to adapt to this new environment by demonstrating their worth through ESG efforts.

The pandemic has also exacerbated the resources sector’s need for staff, with labour shortages intensifying during this time.

“Facing this increasingly competitive labour market requires companies to position themselves as an attractive sector and employer, capable of meeting evolving priorities,” said Walsh.

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