What it means to be a miner in the 21st century – by David Garofalo (Globe and Mail – February 15, 2018)


David Garofalo is the CEO of Goldcorp Inc.

The mining industry has traditionally been a laggard when it comes to innovation. The 21st-century economy, however, dominated by emerging technologies like electric vehicles, green energy sources and ever-more advanced mobile devices, is demanding creative approaches to efficiently delivering the raw materials that will fuel modern economies.

Canadian mining is seeing a real drive to innovate that is bolstering our ability to get materials to global markets as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. And it’s changing what it means to work in mining.

New technologies are enabling workers to make quicker, more informed decisions at the front lines of operations. Advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning are giving geologists more options and the data to understand existing deposits differently, along with tools to make new discoveries. Increased automation is removing workers from the riskiest parts of the mine, making our mines safer as we strive for zero harm.

Advances in tailings management and water recycling are supporting Goldcorp’s Towards Zero Water initiative, which will lead the industry to dramatically lower water consumption over the next decade, and alternative energy projects are helping to reduce our environmental footprints and greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, as society’s expectations around responsible operations rightfully grow.

Today, mines are connected. Fibre-optic infrastructure transfers real-time information from sensor-laden equipment located underground to digital centres on the surface, allowing decision makers to analyze and deliver faster, more informed direction about the use of resources at the mine.

For the rest of this column: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/leadership-lab/what-it-means-to-be-a-miner-in-the-21st-century/article37958358/