Technology in mining is important; people are more important – by Peter Marrone (Yamana Blog – August 17, 2020)

Peter Marrone is the Executive Chairman of Yamana Gold.

In recent years, there has been a drive to digitize and automate in the mining industry. Mining, according to this construct, is behind the times with few recent innovations of significance.

And as deposits become ever harder to find, the industry must embrace twenty-first century technology with great haste or risk irrelevance or ruination. To this I say: not so fast. Automation, digitization, and other forms of technology are important, to be sure.

However, a singular focus on technology without also recognizing that there has to be a focus on people overlooks an important part of what makes a mining enterprise successful.

The disruptive solutions of the future will come from the people that are working for you. They will not come from technology, although technology may be a part of it.

At our Jacobina mine in Brazil, for example, changing the mining methodology allowed us, for the same amount of development cost, to do more development, which led to higher production and lower overall costs.

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