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Tracking the trends 2021

The top 10 issues transforming the future of mining

2020 took the world by surprise. COVID-19 cut through most companies’ best laid plans, forcing leaders across the mining sector to refine their strategic objectives, recommit to their stakeholders, and reset their priorities. Tracking the trends 2021 looks beyond the pandemic and focusses on how the longer-term trends in the industry are impacted and what new trends are on the horizon. A central narrative emerged from this year’s report, namely the issue of trust between the mining industry and its wider set of stakeholders.

The industry is at an important juncture. Mining holds the key to a lower carbon future through many of the minerals it mines, yet the industry is capital starved. It has the potential to create widespread meaningful employment, yet it’s often not the first choice for talent. And while mining companies have played a significant role though the COVID-19 crisis by flying in personal protective equipment (PPE), leveraging their healthcare infrastructure, and keeping workers safe, many governments continue to look towards the industry for additional taxes and royalty payments.

In many ways, these dichotomies still exist because of a deficit in trust. From investors and employees to the communities where they operate, how can mining companies rebuild trust? In this year’s report, we share our perspective on what companies should consider to increase or rebuild trust among their extended ecosystem of stakeholders.

Now in its 13th year, Tracking the Trends 2021 takes a look at the mining sector and considerations for improvement as we lay a foundation for tomorrow. Our global mining professionals once again share real-world case studies and practical examples that mining companies can leverage in building a path forward.

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Trend 1: Building resilience amid volatility

Scenarios for strategic leaders

Trend 2: M&A in an altered world

Winning back investor trust

Trend 3: ESG—Getting serious about decarbonization

From strategy to execution

Trend 4: ESG—Overcoming the social trust deficit

Linking social investments to sustainable outcomes

Trend 5: ESG—Corporate governance adding to competitive advantage

Emerging risks mandate greater oversight

Trend 6: Creating an agile supply chain

Overcoming the vulnerabilities exposed by global shocks

Trend 7: The path towards integrated operations

Positioning miners to pivot in the face of change

Trend 8: Advancing the future of work

Redefining leadership and adapting the workplace culture

Trend 9: On the road to zero harm

Creating the next generation of integrated predictive safety systems

Trend 10: Meeting demand for green and critical  minerals

Mining’s role in the transition to a clean energy future

The mining sector continues to grapple with complex challenges—from an uncertain geopolitical landscape and technological disruption to increased demands from communities and investors. How can mining companies succeed and lead from the front? Can executives go beyond just good managerial skills to differentiate themselves and prepare their teams to embrace change?

This 12th edition of the Tracking the trends report reveals the top 10 trends that should be on every mining company's agenda for 2020.

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