Deloitte’s 2020 Tracking the Trends – a summary

Deloitte’s 12th edition of the Tracking the Trends report explores trends for mining companies in their ongoing pursuit of productivity, financial discipline, operational excellence and sustainable growth.

Read Australian Mining’s analysis of this year’s trends.

Here are the 10 key trends for 2020 (source: Deloitte):

  • The social investor. The drive towards social value is no longer limited to environmental activists. Civil society and investors alike are demanding greater transparency around the environmental, sustainability and governance principles. To regain investor trust, miners must embrace a commitment to value beyond just compliance with regulations and embed these processes in their organisations.
  • Getting partnerships and joint ventures right. In the next year more companies will be looking to explore joint ventures and partnerships in the execution of their strategies. However, looking back, many of these JVs and partnerships have failed to deliver the kinds of value originally envisaged. In this trend some of the common pitfalls and ways for companies to maximise the success of a joint venture or partnerships through decision making, governance and transparency is looked at.
  • Seize opportunity amid uncertainty. Commodity prices rise and fall in tune with economic trends, which are currently foreshadowing a potential downturn or lower growth environment. To avoid being blindsided, there are five bold plays mining companies can make to prepare: 1. Future-proof tomorrow; 2. Continue to innovate; 3. Redesign rather than abandon; 4. Review business relationships; and 5. Acquire resources.
  • Dynamically managing risk. As global volatility rises, mining companies can no longer rely on their risk registers to identify danger areas. Systemic issues such as insufficient risk sensing, a ‘tick the box’ mentality, and complex operating models are forcing companies to predict the impact of emerging events and prioritise key risks. In this trend embracing more strategic risk management practices is looked at.
  • The path to decarbonisation. Driven both by pressure from stakeholders and the strengthening business case for decarbonisation, mining companies are taking steps to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. While the path won’t be easy, the commitment is necessary if miners are to contribute to the mitigation of risks associated with climate change and at the same time create value for customers, investors, governments, communities, and employees.
  • On the road towards intelligent mining. Digital technologies, artificial intelligence, and analytics solutions have the potential to transform the mining industry. While many companies have launched digital programs, companies often are not deriving the value they originally hoped for. A retrospective look at this trend was taken, summarising key lessons learned and where companies need to focus going forward.
  • Modernising core technologies. Over the years, mining companies have made significant investments in a range of backend technology systems. Many of these legacy systems will need to be. This raises considerations such as moving to the cloud, adopting sound cybersecurity strategies, managing data and choosing the best approach for revitalising core systems.
  • The intersection of talent and community. To capitalise on the digital revolution, mining companies need to drive radical change both internally and within surrounding communities. This requires a thorough understanding of the impact that digital transformation can have on work, the workforce, and the workplace, and in turn on the communities in which they operate.
  • Leadership in an Industry 4.0 world. There are four drivers reshaping today’s leadership landscape: the emergence of non-traditional teams; the creation of exponential roles; the proliferation of data; and the imperative to embrace greater diversity and inclusion. Mining companies that want to strengthen their competitive advantage, and create an adaptive and responsive culture, must commit to upskilling their leaders now.
  • Tax tribulations. Various global tax measures potentially could create serious constraints on mining economics. To mitigate any unexpected tax obligations, mining companies should be aware of these changes, understand how they could impact their tax affairs, and take steps now to mitigate tax risk. This will involve new forms of agreements and government partnerships, and greater transparency regarding taxes paid.

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