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New Technologies

New technologies are bringing increased efficiency and productivity to the mining sector along with transformative change concerning workplace health and safety and environmental protection, among other areas.

But new technologies present challenges to host governments and communities, which may see reduced employment- and procurement-related benefits. It remains unclear how the changes will affect established gender dynamics in the sector.

While technological evolution is nothing new in mining, the coming changes—incorporating digitization, big data, automation, artificial intelligence, and more—are faster and stronger than anything seen before.

This emerging wave of technological adoption is a combination of evolutionary and revolutionary technologies, presenting new opportunities for improved alternative livelihoods for communities.

We work with governments to ensure they’re equipped to deal with the changes while spurring sustainable development for communities, the environment, and the economy.

New Technologies in Mining as a Catalyst for Social Development

Our Mining Policy Framework informs the Secretariat’s capacity building, technical training, events, and publications designed to help policy-makers address challenges related to technology-driven changes in mining to support:

  • Communities acclimating to the sector-wide restructuring as some jobs are lost, fewer low- and semi-skilled jobs are available, and newly created or better-paying high-skill jobs emerge.
  • Mining technologies as an opportunity to strengthen community resilience.
  • Skills development and education for locals in mining-affected communities to ensure new jobs are accessible.

Fostering Economic Prosperity with New Technologies

New technologies will lead to a shift in employment and could erode the value that mining activities bring to local communities and host countries. If harnessed and supported, it can also be a game changer.

We work with policy-makers to establish tools to rebalance the sector’s benefits, ensuring governments and communities alike reap the rewards of new technologies in mining, including:

  • Mitigating the digital gender divide and ensuring women have equal opportunities to obtain the mining labour market’s well-paid and safe jobs.
  • Refocusing local procurement strategies toward creating local supply chain opportunities and related indirect employment to bolster economic diversification.
  • Managing the risk for tax base erosion and profit shifting while using fiscal measures to support local development purposes.
  • The transition to a low-carbon economy and demand for the related critical mineral inputs.

New Tech, New Deal


A flagship IGF report to address the important questions about new mining technologies: New Tech, New Deal: Mining Policy Options in the Face of New Technology. The report specifically examines how technological developments will affect communities, governments, and mine operators and identifies how governments should respond to promote sustainable development through mining in the future. It surveys four broad types of “new deal” mining policies, that should:

  • Ensure any new jobs are contestable by locals
  • Use mining to drive economic diversification outside the mining sector
  • Rethink tax mechanisms to account for the new realities
  • Find solutions in the new technologies themselves

Modernizing Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: Harnessing new technologies for sustainable development


Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) directly employs approximately 45 million people across 80 countries and an estimated 150 million individuals depending on the sector indirectly. Process changes within ASM operations can have a significant socio-economic impact on all parts of the artisanal production sector. While technological progress will help improve yields and reduce environmental risks, these evolutions can also negatively impact livelihoods.

Our work spotlights how to ensure technological change does not disrupt local economic development, in particular maintaining the balance between communities, to help improve ASM’s efficiency, miner safety, and environmental performance while ensuring low-skilled workers are not economically displaced.

Modernizing Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: Harnessing New Technologies for Sustainable Development provides a comprehensive analysis of ASM’s current state before examining newly developed technologies to assess the associated benefits, opportunities, and policy options for ASM.

Additional Resources

Modernizing Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: Harnessing new technologies for sustainable developmen

The report provides a comprehensive analysis of ASM’s current state, including tools, techniques, and technologies across the mining life cycle, along with addressing crosscutting iss
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Women and the Mine of the Future Global Report

Rapid technological advances, increasing calls for sustainability, and the low-carbon energy transition are transforming large-scale mining across the globe. But the lack of high-qualit
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New Tech, New Deal: Technology Impacts Review

This review surveys the landscape of new technologies sweeping through the mining sector that are disrupting traditional mining practice. It catalogues those technologies and assesses t
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New Tech and Mining’s Future: Will prospects improve for women?

Mining is traditionally associated with heavy and manual-intensive labour. Accordingly, the mining sector is one of the most male-dominated sectors, with women making up only 5% to 10%
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Impact of New Mining Technologies on Large-Scale and Artisanal Mining in Burkina Faso

This case study of Burkina Faso considers what the new technologies coming down the pipeline in the mining sector will mean for labour force and productivity in both the large-scale and
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Impact of New Mining Technologies on Local Procurement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

This case study of DRC considers what the new technologies coming down the pipeline in the mining sector will mean for local suppliers to mining operations and how the government can en
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