The mining industry must present a compelling picture about its future to its workforce and communities to continue to grow and prosper, according to Chief Executive Officer of Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal business, Tyler Mitchelson.
Mr Mitchelson believes that technology was only one factor in the broader change agenda for the sector, with people and communities being a key part of the solution in building a sustainable industry.
“Innovation and technology have a strong part to play in building a sustainable industry, but technology for the sake of it can lead to nowhere,” commented Mr Mitchelson.
“In the future, when someone refers to ‘mining’ I hope they see a picture of people doing valued work in a cleaner, smarter and more socially responsible way, providing the essential ingredients for modern life.”
Mr Mitchelson acknowledged that Environmental, Social and Governance issues were fast becoming mainstream.
“The world is going through unprecedented change at extraordinary speed thanks to a revolution affecting markets, technology, demographics, development and social values,” he said.
“Society is facing challenges and risks that are being amplified around the world in a more connected way than ever before – climate change, greater political instability, growing dislocation and migration, and hyper inequality.
“As a result, the industry’s stakeholder ecosystem is becoming increasingly complex. And from this, we can expect that the next decade will bring fundamental changes in stakeholder expectations about the way we develop and operate our businesses.”
In 2018, Anglo American launched FutureSmart Mining – an innovation-led pathway to sustainable mining, applying thinking and technological advances to address mining’s major challenges. To be safer, to use less land, water and energy and to be more productive.
“This plan was developed through extensive internal and external engagement and analysis of critical opportunities and risks, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan has three pillars –Trusted Corporate Leader, Healthy Environment and Thriving Communities and it sets global stretch goals designed to challenge us to lead and innovate.
Mr Mitchelson said the industry faced enormous transformation in the next 10 years.
“We can’t afford to limit our thinking to ensuring that we have the right skills and the right culture to support the shift to a more technology centric environment,” he said.
“We will need to think about technology, people and culture in the context of reshaping the way we do business.