Think your life has been unadventurous over the past few years, as the pandemic and closed borders have kept you bottled up at home? Spare a thought for the mining sector.
An industry built on the romance and horror of finding riches on the wild frontier — from the Klondike to Kimberley, Kolyma and Katanga — has for years barely needed to get out its passport.
Take BHP Group. Under former Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie, the biggest miner developed a mantra that it would focus only on “stable, low-risk jurisdictions” — meaning, for the most part, rich countries.
Over the past decade, it’s been getting rid of operations in Algeria, Brazil, Colombia, Mozambique, Pakistan, South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago, to focus almost entirely on Australia and the Americas.