How Will Mining Operate Post COVID-19?

Many industries have been affected by the pandemic, mining being one of them. Mining operations have been stalled as a result, with many companies facing a challenge on whether to reduce operations or shut down. Some whose operations include mining underground are faced with a challenge on how to operate in these conditions which may increase the contamination risk, especially through handovers.

Additionally, many firms have camps on site which house workers during site operations. Infections in these camps could lead to the shutting down of remote operations, making it the biggest risk that miners are facing.

To minimize this, many firms are opting to stagger entry timings for various departments, disinfect common areas and high touch surfaces regularly, reduce the number of non-crucial staff on operation sites as well as practicing physical distancing by use of call-driven or paper handovers.

Other firms are also facing additional challenges that are affecting their supply chains.

To overcome these problems, a joint approach by firms is needed. The following are ways companies like Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE: CLF) can better their operation sites to keep the disease from spreading but also plan for the long term effect it may have on their companies and how to evolve it into a competitive advantage.

Maintain Current Operations

The mining and metals firms should make an effort to operate as efficiently and effectively as they can with their current focus remaining on the safety and health of their workers.

To ensure they are fully prepared and equipped for any unexpected issue that may arise, firms should bring into effect an efficient response protocol, make sure that they maintain steady cash flow while continuing operations and producing output.

Prepare for Recovery

This may be done by:

  • Taking into account any changes new protocols imposed by the government as a result of restrictions may affect their business, especially in terms of how it affects their workers and their business for both now and post COVID-19.
  • Establishing a protocol on well-being and safety maintenance of workers to be used once restrictions are lifted.
  • Finding ways to handle vendor relationships in order to encourage transparency and reliability as well as promote their supply chains.
  • Learn how to manage cash flow as well as inventory of raw materials effectively to ensure that production begins with no hitches once they enter the recovery period.

Adopt New, Better Methods to Ensure Success

To help shift to a new strategy that would be beneficial for the company in the long term while preventing similar disruptions in the future, firms should explore the following areas:

  • How the needs of consumers may change hereafter and how that may affect demand and commodity pricing
  • How to improve and strengthen their inbound supply chain while optimizing quality, innovation and cost
  • How to adopt automation in order to increase safety of operational work and also by ensuring better health measures are put in place
  • Looking into new opportunities provided in acquisitions and mergers

With the unprecedented impact COVID-19 has had on different sectors globally both from an economic and humanitarian perspective, moving forward, it would be best if various industries evolve and employ better strategies that take into account unexpected scenarios that may arise in the future. This will ensure they have a favorable business position in the event that something of this magnitude or larger were to happen again.

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