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 Mining mega-project opening up in Canada

The Baffin Island iron mega-mine project in northern Canada recently received the green light to proceed, after years of planning, opening up what many people have called "Mining's Last Frontier".

The project poses huge logistical challenges, due to its remote location and the infrastructure that must be built to support extraction activities. Many new jobs will be created in the process.  

"There is no easy way or off-the-shelf solution for workforce planning," according to Paulo Brinholi, General Manager, Human Resources, Luna Gold Corp. Even harder is integrating workforce planning initiatives with the business strategy. "You need to implement it step-by-step with your partners and technicians, to show them how it can be more effective when planned in advance," he added.  

A speaker at the upcoming marcus evans Workforce Planning in Mining Conference, in Toronto, Ontario, October 25-26, 2012, Brinholi has experience with operating a mine in a remote location in Brazil. At first, he says it was a real challenge to find and train people with no skills, who had been farmers and fishermen all their lives and never worked in a mine company or a corporate environment before.  

"It was a challenge to make them feel part of the progress of the organisation. We successfully engaged them in programmes where they could learn many things, such as how a mining company operates, safety behaviour, technical trainings, etc," he went on to say.  

What Brinholi considers crucial for jumpstarting workforce planning, is not to have preconceived assumptions. "If you put assumptions aside and work with the people to bring what they have to offer to the table, that is the best way to ensure workforce planning works."  

The marcus evans Workforce Planning in Mining Conference, will take place in Toronto, Ontario, October 25-26, 2012. For more information, visit the event website.

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