JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The key to a future in the mining sector increasingly lies in overcoming innovation barriers, embracing digitisation and unlocking the workforce of the future, as well as anticipating the digital mine of the future, Deloitte Global’s latest mining report shows.
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu’s tenth yearly mining report, titled ‘Tracking the trends’ forecasts a continuation of rapid change in the industry, with mining executives doubling as futurists and predicting and anticipating the disruptors of the future — from growing demand for lithium for use in electric vehicles to potentially mining asteroids for rare metals with the advent of a viable deep space industry.
“To thrive in the mining industry’s historical boom and bust cycle, and capitalise on new opportunities, companies must rethink the traditional mining model,” said Deloitte Global Mining leader Philip Hopwood.
For mining companies, turning disruption into opportunity requires a long-term view that assesses how emerging market trends may affect the demand for specific commodities.
“The mining industry must focus on driving ongoing investments in innovation and digitisation, inspiring their approach to the workforce of the future, manifesting in their commitment to strengthen government and community relations, and guiding their efforts to repair their public image,” he explained.
The report also identifies trends such as embedding digital thinking into the mining operations and transforming the way decisions are made; the need to overcome innovation barriers and the adoption of more innovative approaches to engaging with stakeholders, re-envisioning the future of work, and identifying the commodities that will be in greatest demand going forward.
Further, as the digital mine becomes a reality, the redesigning of jobs will increasingly become necessary as adoption of digital solutions, such as robotic process automation, autonomous equipment, and artificial intelligence that augments performance in the mining industry, causes upheaval.