State of emergency: how vulnerable is the mining supply chain? – by Scarlett Evans (Mining Technology – May 21, 2020)

The coronavirus pandemic has proven devastating not just to healthcare systems but also in its impact on manufacturing and financial markets. We examine the mining supply chain and see whether it is fit for purpose in the face of crisis, and look at what moves have already been made to strengthen the industry in the pandemic’s wake.

A statement released by Australian mining unions described the pandemic as the ‘most significant disruption to daily life since the Second World War’.

One doesn’t need to look far to see the reality of this claim, with borders closing and businesses grinding to a halt – the knock-on effects trickle down to reach every facet of home and industry life.

Considering mining’s reliance on global supply chains, transient workers and efficient transportation, it is no surprise manufacturers are increasingly questioning whether operations will fall prey to disruptions.

Although everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief when the major producer that is China came back online, the impacts of operation closures during the country’s peak of pandemic is, as of yet, unknown. While nobody is able to say for certain how long the situation will last or what its long-term impacts will be, it is evident that no industry will come out of this entirely unchanged.

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