Mining growth stays strong throughout the pandemic
COVID impacted a lot of industries, but WA is once again leading the pack in mining investment. In the 20-21 period, an additional $20.6 billion was invested in this region, and a November 2021 report from the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation showed that mining commodities made up a whopping 47% of Western Australia’s Gross State Product (almost $170 billion). This is up from 36% in 2020.
Alongside this, based on metallurgical, geological and policy indicators laid out in the Annual Survey of Mining Companies by the Fraser Institute, WA has been voted as the most ideal destination in the world for mining investment. All of this point to a period of sustained growth for mining in WA.
The mining sector is feeling the effects of the Great Resignation
Despite these positive growth trends, there remains challenges for the industry. Worldwide, staff recruitment and retention has been a massive issue, and WA is not unaffected. This phenomenon has been coined ‘The Great Resignation,’ which is a term that’s becoming more and more accurate, with mining recruitment agencies experiencing an influx of service requests without the staff to fulfil them.
Thanks to border closures and record low unemployment figures, the candidate pool is significantly reduced, and disruptions to supply chains have caused delays and increased the costs of both materials and services. From a resourcing standpoint, this means mining companies are having to find ways of doing more with less, as well as outsourcing non-core processes, and increasing perks and benefits to staff with the intention of attracting employees.
How businesses can use technology to counter staffing and supply chains challenges
Instead of throwing extra bodies at these challenges, there are opportunities for tier 1-3 miners to leverage technology to address them. Here are some of the mining technology innovations you can use to get the best return of your investment as you resolve staff and supply chain problems.
Scalable networks that cut costs and benefit staff
With a network infrastructure designed and implemented not just to support operational processes, but that’s also agile enough to serve other functions means mining sites can operate much more seamlessly. Fast flowing data allows for instant communication across the job site, quality connections for staff when talking to their families back home, and the ability to stream things like Netflix and sports games as people would at home. This is a great selling point for attracting new staff, and much more affordable than costly commercial satellite TV options. Plus, you can scale your network capabilities up and down as needed as teams expand and contract.
Outsourcing server maintenance with hosted servers
A lot of mine sites hold vital virtual resources on-premises so they can manage their server infrastructure for process control, SCADA and production requirements. IT is not something you’d typically associate with mining, but it’s critical in keeping operations running day and night.
With hosted server solutions, the need for on-site servers is eliminated, along with the maintenance that comes with them. This removes the need for in-house staff in a competitive and costly ICT market, while maintaining and even improving the performance of on-premise networks.
Thanks to reliable, locally hosted servers, mining companies can keep things running at all times in a 100%, 24/7 uptime environment. Any issues or maintenance is instantly resolved, meaning work never has to stop, especially with high quality failover solutions. Plus, everyone can have peace of mind knowing their information is stored in a secure location that must adhere to international security standards.
Keep critical spares handy
This may seem like an obvious point, but there are currently major supply chain issues in WA thanks to the pandemic, with delayed trains and ships stuck outside Shanghai. This makes it vital to have an abundance of critical spares on hand for your data and telephony networks. We’ve witnessed lighting strikes and storm damage cripple mining companies due to a lack of important, inaccessible resources that are usually readily available – so make sure you stock up!
Grow your team with the right mining tech
At Cloud Connect, we can help your mining company leverage leading tech to give you a competitive advantage with your recruitment. We’ll design bespoke network solutions, and provide access to our reliable hosted servers to keep you connected when it matters. We can help ensure your staff stays happy and trusts you to cultivate an ideal working environment. Talk to us today to get things moving.