Stan Sudol is a Toronto, Canada-based communications consultant, mining columnist and blogger. firstname.lastname@example.org
Biggest commodity super-cycle in the history of mankind
The future of mining has never been brighter, yet its image among the general population seems to have plunged lower than the famous Kidd Creek mine in Timmins, Ontario – the world’s deepest base metal operation. The largest rural to urban migration in the history of mankind is taking place in China. It has been often said, that China needs to build two cities the size of Toronto, Canada and Sydney, Australia to accommodate that growth, every year! Analysts estimate that China’s middle class is expanding so rapidly that it will soon overtake the current U.S. population of 312 million.
In October, 2011, the world’s population had passed the seven billion mark. India, Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey and many other developing countries are following China and urbanizing and industrializing their economies. Mining experts feel that over the next 25 years, we will need to dig out of the ground as many minerals as consumed since the beginning of mankind.
One of the biggest concerns is a shortage of skilled workers. In the next decade half the mining workforce in Canada is eligible to retire and there are significant difficulties attracting and engaging the digital generation.
According to the Ottawa-based Mining Industry Human Resource Council’s 2011 hiring report, the industry will need to hire betwee 75,280 to 141,540 new workers in Canada depending on the state of the global economy by 2021. Similar labour shortage issues exisit in other western mining jurisdicitions like Australia and the United States.