Why Your Mining Business Sucks, And What To Do About It

As you’re probably already aware, mining is a complicated and challenging industry. It relies on exploration, non-standard processes, and highly variable prices, making it a nightmare to manage.

As such, there are a bunch of reasons why your mining business sucks. It’s all too easy for even seasoned professionals to get things wrong.

Fortunately, that’s where this post can help. We take a look at the suckiest elements of your operations and how you can improve them.

This is a contributed post. Please refer to my disclosure for more information.

You’re Not Transparent

Failing to be transparent about your mining practices and safety records is one of the main reasons mining companies wind up getting into trouble. Not providing stakeholders with all the information they need can cause funding cuts and brand issues.

The trick here is to make transparent reporting an integral part of your processes. Everyone on your team should maintain an open dialogue with everyone else, making it clear that there is always room for improvement. If your mining business is facing financial or operational challenges, make them public, disclose them, and then canvas for ideas.

You’re Losing Talent

Another major issue at mining companies is talent drain. Young professionals regularly rotate out of mining roles to seek better, more lucrative opportunities elsewhere. Excessive talented individuals leaving the company can lead to operational efficiency issues and increased employee turnover.

The key here is to provide employees with a clear career track. Invest in their personal and professional development, and make sure they have plenty of promotion opportunities as the years go by.

You’re Negotiating On Innovation

Your firm might also suck because you’re negotiating on innovation. You think upgrading your technology and processes is optional because you were efficient in the past.

This approach is problematic because it means you miss out on all the advances in the sector, whether it be improvements in metal core trays or iterations in field data analytics, software, and artificial intelligence.

To solve this issue, dedicate a team to researching and implementing the latest technologies. Remember, you don’t need to be the first-mover in your industry (though this can help). You just need to respond quickly when better and faster techniques arrive.

You Put Safety Last

Mining companies often find themselves struggling when they make the mistake of putting safety last. Injured workers and accidents can affect your professional reputation, the likelihood you’ll attract new talented staff and your legal costs. Insurance premiums often shoot up for mining firms with workers injured or killed because of negligence.

Fortunately, solving this particular issue is usually pretty easy. Make sure you enforce a rigorous safety policy, track your safety record and ensure you get buy-in from all your managers that the well-being of workers and other stakeholders should be a priority.

You Can’t Adapt To Demand

Finally, your mining company might suck because of fluctuating market demand. Companies that rely on a single commodity can often find themselves at the mercy of lower prices.

The solution to this problem is to diversify your business, preferably among uncorrelated commodities. Mining both gold and zinc, for instance, is usually a safe bet, since they rarely go down in price together.

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