Australia: Study reveals an increase in mining numbers
A study authorised by the Minerals Council of Australia, and undertaken by tech firm CoverCard, reveals strong employment resources despite the pandemic.
The Covic-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the mining industry both in Australia and around the world. Despite this, it has been reported by CoverCard that employment has remained very strong, particularly in the resources sector.
Both Western Australia and Queensland have seen an increase in job advertisements in the mining industry is in Q2 2020. Western Australia saw a growth of 4% whilst Queensland saw an increase of 5%.
CoverCard collected the data by evaluating trades and skilled mining job trends from over 193,000 job advertisements across the minerals sector. The study is one of the largest of its kind in four years.
MCA CEO, Tania Constable commented, saying: “The sector is holding its ground relatively well in the face of a global pandemic.
Another 8 785 mining job ads were added to the research study in the last quarter. While that’s lower than the 9 242 job advertisements identified in the previous quarter, it shows that mining jobs have stayed strong even in the face of an unprecedented global pandemic.”
Both states are thought to lead Australia’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic as the minerals industry remains strong, despite struggles in many other industries and areas of employment.
In addition to the analysis of employment and job availability in the sector, CoverCard also revealed that licensed qualifications saw a rise in demand during the quarter. This suggests that job ads for trades and skilled roles have shot up in comparison to professional roles.
The report also highlighted the robustness of trades and skilled recruitment has increased in relation to professional corporate roles. The share of the sector’s job advertisements referencing fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) went up in the March 2020 to May 2020 quarter to 22.8%, which is noticeably higher than the long-run average of 18.2%.
Constable made further comments saying: “The CoverCard analysis not only allowed the industry to identify the key roles and skills in demand for the industry, but also to target initiatives that support local skills development initiatives in regional communities to access these jobs.
“Australian mining is proud to offer more job opportunities both during and in recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and is doing more to recruit more people to the highly skilled, highly paid jobs which mining offers”.
Copper production from top ten companies to increase by 3.8%
Copper production from the world’s top companies is set to increase by up to 3.8% this year, following a fall of 0.2% in 2020, GlobalData analysis reveals. Last year’s marginal slump saw production drop to 11.76 million tonnes (Mt).
The initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mining operations was immense, however, six of the ten largest copper producers succeeded in increasing output last year. In 2021, copper production from the top ten copper companies is expected to bounce back, rising by up to 3.8%, to reach 12.2Mt, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
The highest increase in copper production was by Canada’s First Quantum, which, despite all the challenges, reported 10.4% growth in 2020. The company’s Sentinel mine in Zambia and Cobre Panama were key contributors to this growth. While the latter remained under care and maintenance between April and August 2020, it delivered record production levels during the subsequent months.
Codelco, the world’s largest producer of the red metal used in electric vehicles, also bucked the trend.
Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, commented: “Despite Codelco reporting over 3,400 active cases during July 2020, the company achieved 1.2% growth in its production in 2020. The company implemented a four-phase plan, as part of the COVID-19 measures, to ensure the health and safety of its employees, while also avoiding any significant impact to its copper output.”
Although the overall impact was minimal, declines in production were observed from Glencore (8.2%), Antofagasta (4.7%), BHP (3.9%) and Freeport McMoRan (1.3%). Reduced operational workforces due to COVID-19 measures, lower ore grades and production halts due to maintenance were the key disruptors to output during 2020.
The move towards electric vehicles and clean energy from renewables sources such as solar panels and wind turbines has driven the copper price to all-time highs. Copper has been among the best performers over the last month where metals ranging from aluminum to iron ore have surged to their highest prices in years. The rally is being fueled by stimulus measures, near-zero interest rates and signs that economies are recovering from the global pandemic.