The advancement in technology, flux in mineral prices and government policies as well as tightening of the credit market, poses different challenges to the operations of the mining, the CEO of the Chamber of Mines Sulemanu Koney has said.
He, however, added that these challenges unite the industry to compel the mines to reorganize their business procedures to economize on cost.
Mr Koney speaking at the fourth national conference on human resource management in the mining industry explained that it is obvious the introduction of technological advancement will unavoidably lead to the displacement of labour in the mineral production process.
He advised players in the industry to find creative means to mitigate such outcomes and make positive impacts on lives, communities and the country.
“We must take strategic views on how automation can impair the mines` ability to create low skilled jobs for community members.”
He added that job creation is fundamental to securing the social license to operate in a community and as well as peaceful coexistence.
On the issue of contract mining, he said though some mines in-country and abroad, are settling towards it due to its inherent efficiencies the Chamber will ensure the associated outcomes are not deleterious to the well-being of employees.
Mr Koney said the Chamber is of the firm belief that the advancement in the mining industry requires a more practical and result-oriented approach to teaching and learning in the country`s institution of higher learning.
“The product of these institutions must be trained to be agile problem solvers and au fait with the dynamism of the mining industry.”
He added that all though the tertiary institutions have a primary role in preparing their students to be ready for the job market the Chamber believes the private sector can play a role, hence the set-up of over $2 million endowment fund for the University of Mines and Technology over a period of five years.
“The fund is also expected to provide internship opportunities for students of UMaT and the beneficiary students will be assisted to prepare for selected competency examination by the minerals commission.”
Mr Koney added that the beneficiaries will be assigned to seasoned managers to facilitate their professional development aiming to complement individual initiatives taken by the mines to bridge the gap between academia and industry.
He said the 12 member companies of the chamber employed a total of 10,109 people directly at the end of 2018. Out of this figure, 9,950 were Ghanaians and 159 expatriates and over 150, 000 indirect jobs were created