Unlike other segments of the mining sector, exploration is not covered by a nationally recognized industry classification, nor is there a specific collection of occupations that can be used to define the scope of its labour market.
To address this gap, the 2020 report enhances labour market information available to mineral exploration stakeholders, identifies short- and long-term human resources challenges and opportunities, and serves as the basis for developing an industry strategy and action plan to address key human resources issues.
The report reveals several overarching themes such as
Mineral exploration is the first stage of the mining process and requires collaboration between multiple stakeholders to be successful. Mining Industry Human Resource Council (MiHR) partnered with the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) to conduct a pilot study on the exploration industry, and provide valuable information about the least-understood labour market in the mining industry. This research will support industry stakeholders in creating strategies to increase the sector’s ability to engage new pools of talent in mineral exploration.
This national survey is the first step in a larger strategy that incorporates learning from all stakeholders in our sector – not just mining extraction – enabling us to better understand and address labour market issues related to the entire mining cycle.
In 2011, PDAC collaborated with MiHR to produce Unearthing Possibilities, a report that provided reliable, relevant and timely labour market information to support strategic workforce planning and to simulate a proactive approach to the Human Resources (HR) challenges facing the mineral exploration sector.
Industry consultation revealed several HR challenges and opportunities under the headings of career awareness and attraction, recruitment and retention.
As a follow up to Unearthing Possibilities, PDAC and MiHR conducted this research study to investigate the impacts of post-secondary field experience on the flow, recruitment and retention of talent from education in the geosciences to the mineral exploration industry.
This research followed on recommendations from Unearthing Possibilities, where employers articulated that the most challenging positions to fill within the exploration sector were geoscience positions, and for all positions that require field work a lack of field experience persists as the number one challenge in filling those vacancies.