Mr Sulemanu Koney, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, has urged mining firms to consider the implications of technological advancements on their relationship with its host communities.
He said the advancement in technology, flux in mineral prices, government policies and tightening of the credit market posed as a different challenge to the operations of the mining industry.
Mr Koney noted that some mining companies in other parts of the world were fully automated with a minimal human resources, but those in Ghana complemented talent with automated process.
Addressing participants at the 4th national conference with Human Resource Management practitioners in the mining industry at Tarkwa, the CEO reiterated that the introduction of technological advancement would unavoidably lead to the displacement of labour in the mineral production process.
The theme for this year’s conference was “The future of work in the mining industry- the implications for people management and other key stakeholders”.
Mr Koney added that since job creation was fundamental to securing the social license to operate in a community and also ensure peaceful coexistence, they must find creative ways of mitigating such outcomes and their impact on the lives, communities and the country as a whole.
He advised mining companies to take a strategic view of how automation could impair the Mines ability to create low skilled jobs for community members.
Touching on the theme for the conference, Mr Eric Asubonteng, Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi and president of Ghana Chamber of Mines said it was not only all-encompassing, but specific to engage in progressive discourse to improve upon the quality of their workforce and the working environment.
Over the years, he said, most progressive businesses have come to appreciate the integral role that employees played in their success.
According to him, studies globally had proven that productivity and efficiency are ultimately driven and sustained by a diligent and engaged workforce.
Mining industry appreciate even better that, they cannot select and treat their workforce recklessly and expect favorable outcomes from their endeavors, he stated.
In the last two decades, the President said much attention was focused on the impact of technological advancement on work outcomes.
Mr Asubonteng emphasised that “technology is constantly evolving; hence the urgent need for human skills to transition in our talent development to meet such demands”.
He said the mining industry had a responsibility to ensure that those they were currently training could be relied upon to add more value to their work, where ever they find themselves.