Miners go back to (business) school – by Jennifer Lewington (Globe and Mail – February 27, 2018)


Seconds count when scheduling fleets of trucks to haul waste rock and coal from a mine site. That’s why engineer Cory Takenaka, superintendent of processing at a southeastern British Columbia coal mine of Teck Resources Ltd., chose truck productivity as his assignment to complete a company-funded, mining-focused Executive Master of Business Administration at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business in 2015.

His analysis of the amount of time trucks were not moving materials at Line Creek, followed by the introduction of best operating practices, led to a 15-per-cent rise in fleet efficiency over 2014-15. “We measure efficiency in seconds, given the size of the fleets,” he says, estimating savings of “millions of dollars” through reduced idling time.

The customized mining EMBA for high-potential employees at Teck, developed by Beedie for the company in 2010, is one example of mining industry efforts to attract a new generation of well-rounded leaders with technical expertise and political savvy to manage unprecedented disruption.

“Mining has become a very difficult business and will continue [to be],” observes Andrew Swart, global mining consulting leader for Deloitte, which recently issued a report identifying “re-envisioning talent management” as one of 10 top sector trends worldwide.

With “more attractive industries” competing for top employees, the report urges mining companies “to redefine roles, change corporate cultures, attract and train in new ways, reimagine traditional career paths, and rebrand to raise their appeal among millennial talent.”

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