Due to the many risks involved with mining, it has become an integral part of mining operations to assess risk. This is done, not only for employee safety, but also for profitability. Concerns for risk, in this industry, include: worker safety, high commodity prices, power consumption and technological reliability. In addition, further concerns are taken into consideration such as maintaining equipment, increasingly strict country regulations, restricting access to capital and regulating an unpredictable need for raw materials. Fortunately, many risks can be properly assessed and effectively prevented.
Mining is Risky Business
Effective risk assessment in mining is already in place, according to the Canadian Mining Journal. The journal states that mining companies are seeking advice on risk assessment before making investment decisions. For large mines, risk management uses multiple resources to create and implement reliable assessments.
5 Tips on Managing Risk in Mining:
- Build relationships with politicians: Get to know the political setting before you invest your money into a project. Problems in this area can arise, which could quickly put a stop to your project. You can reduce your risks by understanding the political setting first. It is important to know when to walk away from an investment.
- Know your supply threats: Remote areas are often the riskiest in this industry. One obstacle could be that transportation to, and from, the mine. Another issue might be having supplies shipped to the job site, which can become a problem with remote locations. Additionally, finding qualified workers can be challenging. It would be wise to review these risks thoroughly, so you know what your profit will likely be.
- Strengthen your relationship with insurers: Have a clear conversation with insurers and brokers, and make sure everyone knows exactly what coverage there is and what is being offered. Talk to your brokers who can help you transition from one stage of your project to the next. Your brokers will be able to offer you customized coverage for your specific needs.
- Create a business plan that outlines all potential risks: Without a strong risk assessment plan, you will be caught with surprises, when problems occur. This means sitting down with key members of your team to identify, prioritize, provide solutions and create a map about how to best minimize the risks.
- Implement ISO31000 in your company: ISO 31000 is the standard in risk assessments. It is useful in providing a clear outline on managing risks. It provides executives with a flexible plan, which they can implement as situations arise.
There are some great resources online that can help your company with building a risk management plan. A few options are:
- An Introduction to Risk Assessment and Crisis Management for Mining Professionals
- Risk Management in Mining
As miners, you face a lot of risks and volatility, which is why it is important to create an effective risk management program. These programs can help your company deal with threats and maximize any opportunities. By planning ahead and developing an experienced team, your company would be prepared for any situation that may arise.