Greenfields Research

Blog Header Image

Re-designing mineral explorers for an uncertain future

- By: John P Sykes
Posted in: Blog, Exploration, Mining, Strategy


This week’s Strictly Boardroom article draws from a recent scenario planning workshop (part of my PhD research), with colleagues at the Centre for Exploration Targeting looking at the future of minerals exploration. The team consisted of Prof. Allan Trench, Prof. Campbell McCuaig and PhD students: Jon Bell, Jeremie Giraud, Constanza Jara, Ahmad Saleem, Dave Stevenson and Jan Tunjic.

The team developed three scenarios for the future of exploration. The ‘Old World’ scenario looks at the present day and near future seeing an inevitable transition into a greener, cleaner, technologically-rich future, but questions how long it will take for this future to arrive. The other two scenarios look at this post-transition future, both of which have some similarities (energy transition, green tech etc) but which are structurally and socially quite different. The ‘Captain Planet in Wonderland’ considers a libertarian green technology utopia, with a ruthless anarchic underbelly; whilst the ‘Battlefield Earth’ scenario looks at a world divided into great blocks of power, but missing the critical access to oil, finally realising it needs to make the energy transition. Such varied potential futures create a strategic conundrum for mineral explorers, big and small.

The full article is available for subscribers: “Re-designing mineral explorers for an uncertain future“.

For keen followers of the Strictly Boardroom column, our new book “Strictly (Mining) Boardroom Volume II: A Practitioners Guide for Next Generation Directors” is out now; available as a paperback or e-book from the publisher or Amazon.