There has never been such a focus on driving up standards and professionalism at all levels across the mineral extractives and quarrying sector - from apprentices to chief executives, from multisite international operators to independent local producers. It’s a commercial imperative at a time when standards of health and safety practice are under the spotlight.
Standards and professionalism is a key segment of the Institute of Quarrying’s Skills Wheel, covering all of the key regulations and standards that affect the quarrying and mineral extractive industries. The most well known environmental standard ISO 14001 is one of the key tools that many organisations use in managing their environmental impacts which in recent years has been revised.
This year’s Institute of Quarrying (IQ) ‘Inspiring for Generations’ centenary conference provided the backdrop to a rare gathering of the Institute’s presidents from around the world.
QM spoke to James Thorne, the new chief executive officer of The Institute of Quarrying, about the growth opportunities and challenges facing the industry, and his quest to ensure IQ continues to be at the forefront of education and training excellence, and professional competence within the sector.
The entire UK economy relies on minerals, according to ‘The UK Mineral Extraction Industry’ CBI report in February 2016. It estimated UK mineral extraction at 210mt with a value of £15bn, contributing 16 per cent of the UK total economy.