The Mine of the Future

While there has been a strong tendency in resource rich countries to push for more stringent local content regulations, the mining sector is looking to move towards increased automation. Such technological advances have the potential to increase health and safety standards as well as productivity of mine sites. However, this disruptive innovation is also likely to reduce in-pit mining workforce, employ a workforce with different skill sets, and require more advanced procurement standards. In this study titled “Mining a Mirage: Reassessing the Shared-Value Paradigm in Light of the Technological Advances in the Mining Sector,” CCSI, IISD and Engineers Without Borders researched the technological innovations in mining that are being developed, assessing when these technologies could be rolled out, and quantifying their impact on local employment and procurement and how local content policies should adapt. The objective was to better understand how governments could adapt local content, industrial and fiscal policies in order to better prepare for and embrace technological advances in the mining sector. The press release for the study is here.

In a follow-up project entitled “New Tech, New Deal” we, with the aforementioned partners and with the support of GIZ, are assessing how the mining sector can move forward to allow investments to serve as an engine for sustainable development for host countries and communities alike.

The project consists of:

CCSI is also researching other ways to leverage extractive industries to enhance the economic capability of the host countries. See our pages on Employment from Mining and Investments in Land for Agriculture,Fostering Knowledge and Technology Spillovers of Extractive Industries, Local Content Laws & Contractual ProvisionsConceptualizing Economic Linkages to the Resource Sector, and Downstream Beneficiation of Extractive Resources. Also see our page on the impact of trade and investment treaties constraining the policy space on linkage creation.