Miners must embrace the digital revolution: Deloitte

Deloitte is encouraging mining companies to put digital thinking at the centre of their business strategies and practices to positively transform decision making.

Deloitte’s national consulting lead for energy and resources, Steven Walsh, said digital disruption has been altering businesses and in some instances, entire industries; with digital technologies expected to impact the mining sector.

“For miners, cost and productivity pressure means that in many cases, the easily attainable savings have gone,” he said.

“Resources companies in Australia and globally are seeing a return to profit and while this is undoubtedly a good news story, miners need to ensure they focus on the next wave of competitive advantages through digital technology.”

Walsh added that the digital revolution presents an opportunity for companies to build closer relationships with stakeholders, access new markets, enable greater knowledge sharing and training, and make everyday operations safer.

Deloitte consulting partner Paul Klein said the key question for business leaders is how to turn potential benefits into reality, which will be facilitated by using data insights.

The company’s latest research on how the digital revolution will help reinvent the mining sector focuses on three key parts: core operational processes and how these will be highly automated; the ‘digital mine nerve centre’ – which will bring together data across the mining value chain to improve control, planning and decision making; and support processes – highlighting how the convergence of the historically separate information and operational technology, and integrated communications networks, will enhance mobile workforces.

Klein said that Deloitte’s vision for the future is based on existing capabilities that are being applied in the energy and resources business, “but no organisation is integrating it all yet”.

Walsh added that if miners are not ready to conduct full digital strategy and transformation, they can begin by automating certain processes and digitising particular assets.

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