Market Overview

Attracting People into the Global Mining Workforce

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Douglas Morrison, President and Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), a speaker at the marcus evans Global Mining Summit 2012, on how innovation in the industry will attract the younger workforce the industry is looking for.

New York, NY, Nov 1, 2012 - (ACN Newswire) - It will be very difficult for the global mining industry to meet growing demands if it does not attract a younger generation of people into its workforce, according to Douglas Morrison, President and Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI). "We have to put a great deal more effort and money into showing the younger generation that we are an innovative, dynamic and forward-looking industry," he said. "Many companies do not support research and innovation, which does not enhance the image of the industry and fails to attract young people."

A speaker at the marcus evans Global Mining Summit 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada, December 6-7, Morrison talks about innovation in the mining industry and why it is the key for attracting young people into the workforce.

What is missing in the global mining industry today?

The biggest issue confronting the industry is the low number of educated, skilled and experienced people that are interested in joining our industry. In most cases, the average age of employees is 50 or older. The industry is simply not attracting young people. We have to put a great deal more effort and money into showing the younger generation that we are an innovative, dynamic and forward-looking industry.

Many mining executives do not understand the severity of this issue. If they do not put more money into attracting people, they will not be able to meet the demand for their products. Many companies demonstrate very little commitment to research and innovation, and this creates a barrier to attracting young people.

CEMI recognizes innovation as a three-phase process: research, development and implementation. Is research in the mining industry delivering innovation?

Over the last 20 years, there have been many research groups working on mining innovation. Many were successful, with those working on the project being awarded a MSc or PhD. The problem is that few have moved forward into the development stage, with an industrial partner taking up a new idea, approach or technology, developing it, and delivering it to the mining industry as a whole.

Innovation only happens if those ideas are introduced into routine applications in mining operations. If normal operations do not change, then no innovation has taken place. The research project may have been successful, the product might have been developed into a commercial product, but if a mining company does not take it up, no innovation has actually occurred.

How can mining companies achieve better results?

A technique called drill and blast is used to advance in tunnels and get to the ore. The faster the advance rate, the faster this is done, the faster mining companies can produce ore and generate revenue.

The drill and blast technique is the most flexible approach, but it is now the slowest way for advancing in tunnels and mines, which are in tougher and more remote locations than ever before.

The amount of infrastructure that has to be installed before we can bring those metals to market is now much greater, therefore metal is more expensive to extract and the speed at which we can extract is slower. This is another area that would benefit from innovation.

About the Global Mining Summit 2012

This unique forum will take place at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa, Las Vegas, Nevada, December 6-7, 2012. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. For more information please send an email to info@marcusevanscy.com or visit the event website at www.miningsummitna.com/DouglasMorrisonInterview

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marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world's leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-on-one business meetings. For more information, please visit www.marcusevans.com.

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