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TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANYCOPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY The emerging skills shortage in the minerals industry - potential constraints.

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Presentation on theme: "TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANYCOPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY The emerging skills shortage in the minerals industry - potential constraints."— Presentation transcript:

1 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANYCOPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY The emerging skills shortage in the minerals industry - potential constraints on future sustainable development John Thompson

2 2 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Outline Mining Industry – changes and challenges People – demographics and demand Exploration – geoscientists and skills Area selection Target generation and testing Evaluation and development Critical skills – concerns Constraints on development Opportunities

3 3 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Industry – the last ten years The resurgence of the resource business Supply-demand – high commodity prices Opportunities and challenges: Markets – capital and consolidation Discovery Cost escalation Technology Politics, environment, health and safety, communities - sustainability

4 4 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Supply – demand Supply constraints Low discovery rate – relative to expenditure Limited effective grass roots exploration, technical challenges, land access, people Cost escalation – materials, energy, labour Development & mining – labour, skills Politics and social/cultural issues Demand China, India etc…. Future? Sustained prices? Volatility

5 5 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY The people picture Demand New projects and expansions Limited hiring – a lost decade Demographics Retirements – loss of knowledge Job pressure – early retirement, life style Competition Location Image

6 6 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Exploration – people skills The role of the geoscientist Early stage – generation Projects – evaluation Business – management

7 7 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Early stage – Generation Understanding the target – metallogeny Using available public data Developing the concept Testing the concept Acquiring the right data

8 8 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Project exploration Target definition Intelligent collection and use of data Target testing – drilling Logging drill core/chips Interpreting results Exit strategy

9 9 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Understanding the model Classic 2D geological models Extrapolation to 3D Building from experience Resisting dogma – dealing with uncertainty Empirical v theoretical models e.g., IOCG – major deposit class but no adequate exploration model

10 10 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Data and modeling Targeting: Data quality Variables Assumptions

11 11 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Interpretation 3D Models: Organize & integrate data Interrogate & visualize results

12 12 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Project development Communities Resource evaluation Geometallurgy Mining and processing Environment

13 13 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Using the data Exploration to resource Understanding deposits Delineation, evaluation Resource model Resource to mine Geotechnical data Ore characterization Waste characterization Geometallurgy

14 14 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Geometallurgy Define mining/processing characteristics Start-up risk mitigation Mine site optimization and integration Predict mining/processing results from geological characteristics A new skill set using mineralogical and textural data

15 15 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Data to Predictions

16 16 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Geometallurgy Current geometallurgical tests Relatively expensive – hence limited to a few (composite) samples May not reflect or define inherent variability New cost-effective methods – better use of mineralogical, chemical and physical data Generate enough data to be spatially representative and predictive

17 17 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Geometallurgical models Incorporate data into resource models Potential Total economic optimization Optimize flowsheet/plant size Reduce technical risk Liberation Recovery Disposal & environment Blasting Crushing Grinding

18 18 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Critical skills - concerns Field Observations – rock, drill core/chips, outcrops Interpretation – regional to project scales Experience – time on the rocks Leadership Technical and non-technical skills

19 19 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Loss of field skills Fundamental for exploration Observations – outcrop to drill core Experience – 3D interpretation Lack of emphasis in education Inadequate training - industry/government

20 20 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Leadership Challenges Range of projects Managing uncertainty Risk analysis Team leadership Attributes and skills Presentation and salesmanship Cultural/social awareness Determination and flexibility A people business

21 21 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Constraints on discovery & development Discovery People and budgets (market conditions) Skills, expertise and determination Politics – land access Development Land-politics, energy, water, and costs People – mining engineering and metallurgy Finding the A team Creativity and rigour (geometallurgy!)

22 22 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Constraints on different players Majors Good budgets – focus, speed, awareness? Expertise and teams – commitment? Approach/ability to work with juniors? Juniors Funding – understanding the options? Staff – business and technical demands Balanced portfolios Breadth v focus – frontier v mature Technical risk v non-technical risk

23 23 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY Opportunities Companies Attract and retain the right people Use people in the right place Career development and flexibility Invest in education – build capacity Universities Provide fundamental education Introduce breadth and application

24 24 TECK COMINCO - A DIVERSIFIED RESOURCES COMPANY COPPER - COAL - ZINC - GOLD - ENERGY For the geoscientist Mining industry – Enormous opportunities – career advancement Adventure, diversity, challenge Geoscientists are capable of anything Quantitative and qualitative science Interpret vast amounts of complex data Deal with uncertainty Work with people Leaders – CEOs……


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