Shareholder value focus & Innovations in productivity growth
The focus on shareholder value in the mining industry is sharper than ever before, with return on invested capital a key metric. While companies are starting to focus on growth again, this is being carefully balanced with the need to maintain financial discipline. As a result, growth strategies are no longer about significant M&A deals and major new capital projects, but focused on portfolio optimization through a combination of brownfield expansions, strategic acquisitions and/or divestments and productivity improvements
02. Productivity growth
Focus shifts to becoming serial innovators
Although productivity improvement remains a critical priority for mining companies, there are now fewer easy wins. To get to the next layer of efficiency gains, miners will need to foster innovation by adopting the right systems, technologies and culture
Serial innovators abound in sectors such as manufacturing, automotive and pharmaceuticals. Leveraging learnings from the manufacturing and automotive industries, for instance, miners are exploring the benefits of full automation, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, lean operations and outsourcing.
03. Building an ecosystem
Collaboration and unorthodox partnerships will drive the industry forward
Some companies are leveraging the power of technology to encourage idea sharing through crowdsourcing. Through open industry forums, companies can work collaboratively with suppliers and other stakeholders to brainstorm solutions to critical issues. Similarly, hackathons allow large numbers of people to engage in intense, collaborative software development aimed at rapidly resolving a specific problem. In May 2016, BHP Billiton teamed with Unearthed to host a 54-hour hackathon. Participants were provided with actual data from BHP Billiton’s Western Australia iron ore operation and given challenges designed to uncover more efficient, effective and safer ways to work
04. Digital revolution
Companies start to reinvent the future
Using digital to drive value The question for companies is how to turn those potential benefits into reality. Success in this space is not about adopting the latest apps and point solutions. Instead, they must embed digital thinking into the heart of their processes
Second, to reinforce these changes in core operations, companies will need to rethink the way in which they generate and process information. In essence, the integrated digital facilities will improve planning, control and decision support across the facilities value chain to optimize volume, cost and capex, and improve safety.
Insights will be derived by integrating data across three levels of analysis that map to three information time horizons:
• Historical analysis and reporting at all organizational levels.
• Real-time data visualization that combines operational data sources with corporate information.
• Predictive models and cognitive analytics that improve planning and reduce the need for reactive maintenance.