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Mining Industry Should Prepare Finances for Proposed Robot Takeover

The global mining industry must brace itself for job losses if a claim from accountancy firm BDO that robots will replace 50 per cent of miners by 2020 proves true.


As technology becomes a staple in day-to-day lives, traditional business concepts are under threat. First, paper notepads were replaced with computers, then the growing popularity of online banking reduced the value of bank tellers, and now,  human employees could see themselves replaced by a whole robotic workforce.

This is something that has been on the lips of industry leaders for a while, with any autonomous task at the mercy of automation. As productivity levels once again dwindle, the utilisation of automation could be a strong solution and see Britain racing ahead of rivals.

Economists have expressed concern for a while, with employees within technology sectors expecting a shake-up by 2023. According to a new report from accountancy firm BDO, the drilling, blasting and driving positions within the mining industry are now at risk of being handed over to a new type of workforce. The report from BDO suggests current workers could be retrained in different areas of the business, encouraging flexibility in specialised workers.

The business landscape of the UK could look very different by 2020, and not necessarily for the worst.

While bringing automatons into the workforce will bring forth many changes, it could also bring vast improvements in productivity as well as safety and business accuracy. Rather than resist the inevitable, businesses should instead prepare for it. At the Credit Protection Association, we always encourage our Members to embrace new technology and new business concepts. Our debt recovery services free up cash flow and give our members the financial power to invest in the future business landscape.

According to the report, the robots will hugely improve worker conditions. From robotic drills to self-driving ore trucks, automation will bring a new measure of safety to mines.

Accidents will be cut by 75 percent and fatalities by 50 percent in the next two years, according to BDO’s ‘2020 Vision: The near future of mining’ report.

“Global mining companies are under pressure to reinvent their business models and are striving to become lean, green digital machines,” said Scott McNaughton, Head of Natural Resources at BDO.


However, the firm warns poor internal controls could give rise to activity hackers – ‘hacktivists’ – as internet-connected technologies open the mining industry up to increased cyber risks. “Technology will be instrumental in the mining industry’s future, but it could also be its Achilles heel when it comes to cybersecurity” he added.

Technological advancements have steadily progressed for years. While some business owners and consumers insist on resisting it, the whole landscape of the UK will change shape nonetheless. Consumers will see even more customer service activity run by automation and some offices and building sites could be handled by automatons. While this may be hard to comprehend, businesses owners should start digitising their workplaces now.

Investing in new technology and more digitalised services will not only allow your customers to adapt to a more technological platform but will also allow the same for employees. In mining and construction industries which rely on manual labour, physical positions could be passed over to the automaton workforce, and as a result, the current worker will have to retrain. Business owners should launch training schemes now to introduce employees to new skills and new areas of the business

At the Credit Protection Association, our debt recovery services chase unpaid invoices and uncover funding that can be used to purchase new equipment as well as new training schemes and prepare the workplace for the future.


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