Joanne: It’s clear that technology is a big part of decarbonisation. I imagine that means that the types of roles and skillsets required on the job site will be changing. What does the future of mining work look like for you Tony?
Tony: I think the 40-hour work week is going to become obsolete and the way people work is going to change. Moving forward, we will start to see workplaces with schedules that are more flexible and allow people to enjoy a better work-balance. When people have a better balance in their lives, they are more comfortable, can be more creative and are quicker on their feet. Because we are in a culture of information overload where people are attached to their devices all the time, we need to ensure people can focus and multitask in a way that is comfortable and productive for them.
Joanne: I agree. Given that the critical inputs that will enable the energy transition lie within the mining field, I think that could really resonate with the younger generation. How do you think we can attract the next generation to come and work in this industry?
Tony: Somebody once asked me: What is sexy about the mining industry? From my perspective, it’s the versatility. There are a lot of interesting and impactful roles to do in this industry. You can be an environmentalist, an engineer, a mechanic, an electrician, a labourer, or a truck driver.
Take for example, the tradesperson. The future tradesperson will need to understand the mechanical aspects of our applications as well as the new technologies that are being put in place. The traditional heavy-duty mechanic or millwright that carries a big toolbox around will still exist, except that they will also be carrying a tablet and digital readers for monitoring equipment. In the digital age, it is a very exciting time in terms of what the role of a tradesperson will involve.
The other part of our industry that I have always found exciting is that we travel to sites that are in some incredible locations that are one in a lifetime to visit. You can see the Northern lights in Nunavut. You can see the outback in Australia. You can experience the culture and the lifestyle in Mexico. You get to experience the community and the geography in those regions.
Joanne: Absolutely. Some of the most memorable trips in my career have been to mine sites in remote locations. Those were very eye-opening experiences. To close off our conversation, could you share what you would consider to be one key piece of leadership advice for those aspiring to work in this industry?
Tony: The best advice I have is to always look for the truth and say what needs to be said, even if its not what people want to hear. When we stay honorable, live up to our word, and hold ourselves to high standards, we prosper.