Ernst & Young: Mining Industry Needs to Focus on Work Talent
As the aging workforce of the mining industry continues to retire, a new report by Ernst & Young (E&Y) suggests companies should focus on talent management to reduce future risks. The report outlines factors such as globalization, disruptive technology and an aging workforce are affecting the future supply of talent.
"The war for talent just got a lot more complex,” said Brue Sprague, EY Canadian mining and metals leader.
According to the report, if mining companies fail to concentrate on talent management, they will lose intelligent, experienced people from the sector and endure significant talent shortages in the industry’s next upturn.
"During the boom years, many mining companies hired talent at any cost. Now, as cost-cutting exercises mean there are fewer jobs to fill, the best people are able cherry pick the top roles in a global marketplace and in other sectors as well,” said Sprague.
"Now more than ever, mining companies must not lose their focus on talent management."
E&Y advises mining companies to focus on acquisition, maintenance and optimization of human capital. In addition, the report says companies need to optimize their inventory of skills for their valuable projects, along with employing robust people programs.
"Those companies that are innovative and flexible in how they effectively attract, retain and grow talent will be the ones to realize productivity gains now, and position themselves to win in the next upturn,” Sprague adds.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.