Jorge Cristerna
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Mining: A Matter of People Working With People

By Jorge Cristerna | Thu, 03/17/2022 - 17:00

Mining moves the world. You just need to take a look at your average day and at every small or big element you use or need to realize that most of them, if not all, come from mining.

In Mexico, and of course, in almost every country around the globe, mining processes, techniques, technology, ecology and safety have evolved. It is safe to say (at least in most cases) that mining is not the same as it was in 1900 when the first coal mines started operations with few productive processes, poor techniques, no adapted technology, almost no ecological care and very dangerous practices (so safety was not very important back then).

Since then, new safety procedures, new mining techniques, new machines and a central focus on ecological impact have been growing and changing the way mining is done. That is not only important, it is natural that with evolved knowledge, everything else should evolve in every aspect, which is exactly what has happened to mining all over the world.

It is important, nevertheless, to note the one factor that, in essence, has not changed in mining; in fact, it is the most important element, not only in mining, but in every human activity.

We mine with miners, or, in other words: mining is a matter of people working with people, so, as important as they are, techniques, processes, technology, ecology and safety have meaning only when they revolve around people and their needs.

If mining is a matter of people working with people, and if every aspect that is involved in that, including their own evolution, has meaning only when revolving around people and their needs, it is logical to ask: How has mining evolved when we talk about people working with people?

Sadly, this aspect has evolved the least.

Emotional intelligence is a must to improve the way we mine together but before talking about it, we must understand what emotional intelligence is not:

It is not about being nice or letting all your feelings out. Emotional intelligence means to act according to an emotion with the right person, the right intensity, the right time, the right reason and the right way.

During mining activities, even though we are professionals, we are still humans, so we have emotions. Emotional intelligence can help us improve the capacity to acknowledge our own feelings and the emotions of other people and to help us better manage these emotions. Taking care of safety, processes, techniques, technology and ecology will, in fact, create better mining but the key is to put our people at the center of the matter.

Photo by:   Jorge Cristerna