Despite it being a worldwide health issue, COVID-19 has also spread to the social and economic realm. During the global crisis, international organizations are updating the world’s economic prognosis regularly. Revisions deteriorate rapidly in the early stages but may deteriorate far more quickly if economic activity rebounds soon.
The impact of COVID-19 outbreaks, like other economic sectors, the mining industry has not been spared. Tight working conditions on mine sites place mine employees in harm’s way and, as a result, miners in a more precarious position from a health and safety standpoint.
Because of its abundance of iron ore and gold, Western Australia has the world’s highest demand for truck drivers. Some mining firms meet the need by employing troops and pilots on leave and providing gourmet meals and Olympic-sized swimming pools to entice additional drivers. Wage competition causes prices to rise, increasing the burden on working families and supporting metal prices. Projects intended to satisfy the next wave of commodity demand are postponed for miners who can’t find enough employees.
Lower-income countries may bear a disproportionately more significant burden than higher-income countries because of their subpar health institutions and sanitation standards, a higher proportion of people working in the informal sector, irregular migrants, and employees who hold jobs outside of their country of origin. Not only that, but demand for metals is rising worldwide, including Canada and Mongolia, where metals companies are dealing with issues related to an inadequate supply of employees, especially drillers.
The mining executives claim that even in nations where borders are open, like the United States, some employees are reluctant to relocate from Australia, which survived the worst of the epidemic just recently. COVID-19 shows where global labor markets are weakest. Mining firms of sizes are delaying or stopping their operations from saving money while their employees must remain home. While modern technology and internet connection make remote work a possibility for many workers, this is not true for all industries or businesses. The benefits of remote work are not evenly distributed across all professions.
You might be interested in
- Despite Covid-19, Rwanda’s mining sector boomed.
- Covid-19: Unsung mining heroes brave odds to produce coal, keep power plants running.
- Rio Tinto targets M&A opportunities amid COVID-19 uncertainties
- Assore chrome mine in South Africa shuts after worker diagnosed with COVID-19
- Hearst-area mining company has strategy to contain the spread of Covid-19
Although jobs in underground mining provide greater danger, they pay better wages. Because mining requires huge employees to descend into the mines in packed elevators, underground mines may serve as a gateway for quicker viral transmission. In South Africa, all underground mining operations were required to be put on care and maintenance since it is felt that doing so would help safeguard employees. As is often the case in other countries, in Poland, industry closed underground mines as a preventative measure when instances were found at mining sites.
The mining industry, which is intertwined with other sectors and employees who have interacted with those industries, will take a while to fully restore. Until more workplaces are safe, the sector will not reach maximum output and employment potential.