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Publication Overview

Mining a Mirage? Reassessing the shared-value paradigm in light of the technological advances in the mining sector

Technologies currently being deployed will mean that the mines of the future look much different than today’s operations.

Among the major changes will be fewer employees, thanks to labour-saving innovations. Yet local employment and employment-related procurement are major drivers of host country benefits, and an important part of the shared-value proposition.

This report, co-produced with the Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment, looks to the near and medium terms, exploring what will happen to the local employment and procurement components of the shared-value paradigm—and, by extension, to the mining companies’ social licence to operate—if technological change radically alters the amount of money mining firms are spending on hiring and procurement. It surveys the trends in technology development, and uses procurement and other data from two global mining firms to estimate the types of impacts we might see. It concludes by exploring the ways in which governments and firms might address the predicted results.