Indigenous Employment Futures in an Automated Mining Industry

December 2018

Dr Sarah Holcombe, Senior Research Fellow
Professor Deanna Kemp, Director
Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) The University of Queensland.

New technologies – such as increased automation and robotics – are transforming the nature of mining. This paper discusses the implications of this shift for Indigenous peoples and the Indigenous mining workforce. During the past two decades the number of Indigenous employees has grown to unprecedented levels in jurisdictions like Australia and Canada. The predicted acceleration in mine automation could disrupt this positive trend. There are few indications that the global mining industry is proactively considering the potential downside effects of mine automation on Indigenous peoples. We argue that an examination of mine automation and its effects on Indigenous peoples is urgently required.

Holcombe, S. and D. Kemp (2018) Indigenous Employment Futures in an Automated Mining Industry: An Issues Paper and A Case for Research. Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland: Brisbane.