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Minding the Generational Gap

  Daniel Poon, Executive Producer of the marcus evans Mining Technology & Innovation Summit 2012, taking place in Perth, Australia, 6 - 8 June 2012, shares his outlook on the mining sector.


Underneath the wide expanse of Australia’s landscape and New Zealand’s rough terrain, lies one of the most sought after commodities in the world - natural resources. The mining industry and mining-related sectors single-handedly bolstered the Australian economy during the recent global financial crisis, triggering a two-speed economy. As the Chinese and Indian economies are rapidly developing into global powerhouses, their inevitable appetite for resources has also been compounding. As production, operation and expansion projects are proliferating, it is apparent no one wants to be left behind.

Yet, everyone is sharing a common speed bump across such a diverse industry during this boom - talent shortage. Yesteryear’s low desirability to begin and continue one’s career in the mining sector is proving to be the reigns, holding back a bullish industry. There are not enough young workers capable of replacing an aging workforce, causing a growing generational gap. Fortunately enough, companies were quick to notice this and are going all out to recruit, retain and motivate talent to remain competitive in such a cannibalistic environment. With not enough talent going around, poaching is second-nature and corporate cannibalism has become a survival-of-the-fittest practice. To make matters worse, wages are escalating because the demand for skilled professionals outstrips its supply, thus putting employees in a powerful position to command better remuneration and FIFO opportunities.

With a smaller employee pool to draw from, technology is slowly but surely taking over. Intelligent systems not only reduce operating costs by increasing predictability in production and maintenance, but also eliminate human exposure to hazardous working environments. As automation is quickly gaining grounds and integrating itself to daily operations, senior executives will have to anticipate a paradigm shift in recruiting and working with the future workforce. The next generation of miners will have to be competent with automation systems in order to be relevant in the industry, so much so that IT and automation knowledge can potentially make or break a miner’s career.

In the short term, there is still increasing pressure from various parties for mining companies to contribute back to society because of the boom by creating a win-win situation for all. These can include creating jobs for local residents, engaging transparently with the local community, and providing public infrastructure, transport systems and educational facilities in mining towns. Furthermore, the growing interest from highly-capable female professionals is ideal to fill in the gap caused by the lack of skilled professionals. With an increasingly diverse demographic at the mines today, it is imperative for senior management and leaders to inspire a unified workforce to boost motivation, loyalty, and ultimately productivity.

The marcus evans Mining Technology & Innovation Summit 2012 offers vital opportunities for top operations executives and solution providers in this maturing market to benchmark their learning experiences and hear from the industry’s leading executives as they reveal the key factors to consider when maximising the global demand for local resources.

Contact: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division

Tel: + 357 22 849 313

About the Mining Technology & Innovation Summit 2012

This unique forum will take place at the Hyatt Regency Perth, Australia, 6 - 8 June 2012. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on changing business parameters, risk management framework and boosting returns and productivity.

For more information please send an email to or visit the event website at

marcus evans group - mining sector portal

The Mining Network – marcus evans Summits group delivers peer-to-peer information on strategic matters, professional trends and breakthrough innovations.




Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

About marcus evans Summits

marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-to-one business meetings. For more information, please visit

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