Liv Carroll - Responsible Mining: Leveraging Technology for Resource Stewardship
Updated: May 31
Mining is the lifeblood of society as we know it, delivering the raw materials we all need to thrive, including supplying the fertilizers vital to feed the growing population. The industry also generates the materials required for a greener way of life, essential to our sustainable tenure of this planet.
Until recent years, miners have been commodity producers; they extracted natural resources, processed the mineral and sold the commodity to market with little to no engagement with manufacturers or end users. As we address the challenges of climate change; the internet and social media giving access to information on a wide scale; increasing ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) expectations from investors and society at large; customers looking for ‘responsible’ partners; and consumers increasingly making ‘responsible’ choices, the mining industry faces a new world. For miners to survive and thrive they must pivot to being resource stewards or face disruption by those that can.
A key characteristic of resource stewardship is operating responsibly; doing no harm to the environment and communities, sharing the wealth with all stakeholders and not just the shareholders, not wasting water and energy, and shifting towards the circular economy. We at Accenture apply the ethos of Triple Zero; Zero Harm, Zero Loss, Zero Waste.
Recent developments in technology, are both a driver of this change and a tool to facilitate the change. These include connectivity, mobile solutions, analytics, machine learning/artificial intelligence and the move to autonomous operations. The era of digital transformation is ongoing as companies adopt and advance their access to digital data and the necessary insights to drive safety, sustainability, productivity and margin.
Necessity is the mother of invention and devastating events, such as the Samarco and Brumadinho tailings dam failures, have catalysed the industry into action to find an alternative to traditional tailings storage and better communication with adjacent communities as Zero Harm becomes a goal for all. And investors are creating their own tools, leveraging Earth observation data and platform technology, to independently monitor activities on the ground.
Whilst it is technology that enables our industry to operate responsibly, it is changes to how we work that deliver value and mitigate risk. To maximise the effectiveness of available technologies, a systemic and networked approach is required with multidisciplinary working. And success needs to be measurable and reported; there is trust in ‘what gets measured, gets done’.
Globally, there is a growing understanding that mining isn't solely responsible for the impact to our environment and society from extracting natural resources. We all have a collective responsibility for demanding these minerals and therefore we have a collective charge to be responsible employees, shareholders, suppliers, customers and consumers to move towards responsible mining and global resource stewardship.
Liv is a chartered geologist with 19 years’ experience in the extractives industries, supported by an MSc in Mineral Project Appraisal from Imperial College, a BSc (Hons) in Geology from Durham University and an Executive Course in Behavioural Science from London School of Economics &Political Science.
Liv works with Accenture’s mining clients and their stakeholders to address specific business needs – to mitigate risk or capture value – and broader strategy, to achieve improved safety, sustainability, ESG and productivity.
Leveraging advanced platform and mobile technology, data science, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, Liv supports mining operators in the move to data-driven operations and business practice with the necessary new workflows to enable multidisciplinary collaboration.
Liv is an active member of Global Mining Guidelines Group; scrutineers for chartership at the Geological Society; and has been convening the London Mining Sundowner, the UK’s largest monthly industry networking event, since 2007. Named one of the Top 100 Inspirational Women in Mining 2013 and 2016, Liv was also named in the Top 50 Women in Engineering, a joint initiative between the Women’s Engineering Society and The Telegraph, in 2016.
Liv Carroll, Mining Lead Applied Intelligence, Accenture
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