This paper explores the benefits and challenges of mining automation. Host countries increasingly seek to benefit from technology and knowledge spillovers from foreign direct investment in their extractive industries by imposing regulations on foreign mining companies operating in their economies. Such regulations include obligations to hire and train local workers, buy from local suppliers and advance local research and development. In recent years, technological improvements in mining have accelerated the process of mining automation. As a result, fewer workers are needed at mine-sites, and mining companies need high-technology equipment produced by international mining suppliers. Accordingly, to benefit from technology spillovers from the operations of foreign mining companies with such technological advances, host-country governments need to adjust their policies.


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Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment