From Diversity to Tech: Our Four Top Mining Trends for 2024

Mining trends on screen

Mining is one of the world’s most important industries. In 2023, the global mining market experienced a 6.1% growth, reaching over US$2145 billion, and it's projected to escalate to over US$2775 billion by 2027, maintaining a 6.7% CAGR. This is reflected in local markets as well, with parts of Asia Pacific particularly strong. In Australia, for instance, mining contributed a record A$455 billion (US$299 billion in export revenue in 2022–23, according to recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). That represents two-thirds of all Australia’s export revenue.

These numbers show that globally, the industry is on an exciting trajectory as we enter 2024.

Some of the mining trends we anticipate will have a significant impact in the new year include Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG), Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB), geopolitics, and technology.

Let’s find out more about these key trends.

Trend 1: Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) considerations are playing an increasingly crucial role across different markets and sectors, including the mining industry. This trend will continue to grow in 2024.


As global capital allocation and regulatory reforms continue to shape the industry, companies dedicated to responsible and sustainable mining have an opportunity to bolster their reputation and attract investors – potentially appealing to those deterred by the traditional perception of mining as a “dirty” industry.

The same is true when it comes to opening new mines, which are subject to rigorous environmental impact assessments that take into account both short-term and long-term impacts. As a result, new mines can take five to 15 years to become operational, as environmental approvals and licenses are rubber-stamped and finances secured. With effective ESG considerations built into their strategies, mining companies can hope to make progress quicker.

Bear in mind, too, that by providing strategic commodities used in renewable-energy production and electric vehicles such as lithium, nickel, and copper, mining is fast becoming a sector that’s helping to power a more sustainable future.

The green mining market is forecast to grow from an estimated US$11.2 billion in 2022 to nearly US$19 billion worldwide by 2029. As environmental regulations increasingly impact the global mining industry, more sustainable solutions for mineral production will be required.


Acknowledging and addressing social issues within ESG practices will also continue to be one of the main global mining trends. Beyond the environmental impact, mining companies will need to prioritise community engagement, respecting indigenous rights, and making sure local labour practices are fair. By fostering long-term trust with local communities and stakeholders, companies are more likely to build sustainable operations.

Through ESG considerations, it’s become increasingly vital for mining companies to uphold ethical standards and fortify their social license to operate. Prioritising these factors will not only mitigate risks but also help to build operational resilience and nurture a positive impact, while reinforcing credibility.


Rounding out ESG, corporate governance will continue to be a fundamental trend for mining companies in 2024 - and ultimately it boils down to ensuring organisations are run with transparency, accountability, and a code of ethics in mining operations. There are important internal and external reasons for this, including increased scrutiny from all stakeholder groups, particularly around ESG issues. This will make it crucial for mining companies to balance these priorities with other business goals, including productivity.

And many mining companies are focused on achieving net-positive impact, which brings significant benefits such as improved access to capital, a healthier talent pipeline, and a stronger license to operate.

Wind turbine in green landscape

Trend 2: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

In recent years, there has been a significant upsurge in expectations regarding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) within the mining industry. And as we head into 2024, it’s increasingly evident that DEIB will remain a key trend for the sector.

One big reason is that, while there’s plenty of evidence that progress has been made, there’s still a pressing need for greater diversity in mining. Certainly, there’s an awareness that success in the mining industry relies on having skilled professionals from diverse backgrounds who can contribute different skills. But, until now, that awareness hasn’t always been backed up with action, and numerous groups remain marginalised or excluded.

As an example, the representation of women in senior management positions – and in roles within the wider sector as a whole – remains low. Women make up only an estimated 8 to 17% of the global mining workforce, and only 13% of C-suite positions within mining companies.

In light of this, one of our predictions is that mining companies will re-evaluate their talent optimisation strategies and look to employ more diverse employees. A report by Deloitte shows that businesses that prioritise inclusivity are six times more likely to demonstrate innovation and agility, while according to McKinsey & Company, companies with ethnically and culturally diverse executive boards have a 43% higher likelihood of achieving higher profits.

This is set to be one of the most important mining trends, especially considering the current worker shortages and the need to replace retiring miners.

A group of people sitting at a desk in a meeting.

Trend 3: Technology

The mining industry, like many other sectors, is on the crest of profound change due to a raft of disruptive new technologies, including big data, AI and automation, and digital transformation. With the increasing integration of these technologies, companies are set to experience production boosts, lower costs, safer working environments, and more efficient mine operations.

AI, for example, is helping to streamline data, eliminate information silos, and shorten application-development cycles, smartening up the mining industry rapidly. Equally, digital twinning technology is enabling operators to optimise mine operations, maintenance, productivity and safety by creating virtual, interactive digital models of physical mines. And automated fleets, operating on routes planned by autonomous vehicles, is also enhancing safety on sites.

But with these technology trends in mining, there are challenges to overcome. Companies must carefully manage the adoption of new tech by upskilling the workforce and addressing any safety concerns first. There also needs to be an awareness of the dangers of AI, for instance, as bias in data could prove to be a concern.

Despite these challenges, though, mining technology trends are crucial to ensure companies remain competitive and don’t get left behind in an industry that is so rapidly evolving. Research by McKinsey & Company estimates that mine digitalisation, AI, machine learning and the industrial internet of things (IoT) all have the potential to save the mining sector an estimated US$373 billion by 2025.

And a report by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) found that in the next five years, more than 77% of jobs in the country’s mining sector will be altered by technological innovations, increasing productivity by up to 23%.

Microchip with AI inscription

Trend 4: Geopolitics

Finally, mining companies will need to navigate rising geopolitical risk and economic protectionism in 2024. These global mining trends stem from the evolving landscape of international relations that we’ve seen being redrawn in recent years, which in turn have directly impacted the mining industry. This has resulted in changes in trade policies, resource accessibility and market dynamics. Consequently, these shifts have significantly affected supply chains, resource prices, and investment decisions, thereby reshaping the industry’s operations and growth.

Countries like the US and the UK are pursuing strategies to reduce their reliance on China and secure their supply chain of raw materials. In the US, the Inflation Rate Act, also known as the IRA, underlines the country’s attempt to secure and control their supply chain of critical raw materials.

There will be an even greater focus on concerns relating to the battery industry. For example in the UK, the government aims to develop a globally competitive battery supply chain to support economic prosperity and the net-zero transition. As global commodity demands continue to rise, trade agreements and alliances are likely to be established to navigate geopolitical uncertainties. This move comes at a time when both the EU and the US are striving to support their battery industries amid a global demand boom, particularly for lithium-ion batteries.

With global geopolitical shifts and the electrification of society, the pressure to reduce reliance on dominant producers like China and wider East Asia is increasing. As commodity demands soar, we can anticipate a surge in trade agreements and alliances to navigate these dependencies effectively, ensuring uninterrupted supply chains.

A man talking on the phone with a backdrop of international country flags in the background.

An interesting year ahead

Like so many other industries, the mining sector is facing an uncertain 2024, but there still a number of certainties in place. These include the four mining trends we’ve outlined: ESG considerations, the value of DEIB, technological advancements and geopolitical factors. All of these will have an impact on how the industry will operate in 2024, from sustainable mining and the increase of diversity in mining to the integration of leading-edge technologies and other general mining technology trends.

At Brunel, we’re also aligned to these global mining trends. We’re committed to being a carbon-neutral company with a dedicated ESG strategy in place, and with the capacity to help others develop their own ESG goals. By offering company-wide assessments, we help organisations reduce their carbon footprint and achieve sustainability in mining. And we hope we can help more companies do just this in 2024.

Unlock the expertise of Brunel - your strategic partner in talent retention and acquisition. With more than 45 years of experience in the Mining industry, we're committed to securing top talent for your business. Rely on Brunel's proven track record and experience to confidently navigate the complexities of talent acquisition. Our dedicated team is here to support and empower your workforce, ensuring seamless project execution and personal growth.

Fletcher Tracy
Global Lead, Mining, Brunel