The giant accounting and advisory company Deloitte launched at Diggers & Dealers Forum in Kalgoorlie a programme for greater communication on mining that would also be relevant in New Zealand.
Deloitte launched Mining Matrix which explores how four inter-connecting four core industry trends can help restore public pride in the industry. These were innovation, digital transformation, the future of work and the image of mining.
These four trends could provide a pathway for the industry to maintain its focus on growth and increased productivity, according to Deloitte’s mining leader in Western Australia. Nicki Ivory.
“We need to educate society of the value the industry delivers, and what more it can deliver in the future. We need to educate our potential employees of the future – the young students of today – in what the industry can offer; and we need to educate ourselves on their desires, needs and wants.
The core issues:
- Innovation: The mining sector is embracing technological innovation, but Deloitte research across Canada, Australia, Africa and Latin America shows the sector still lacks systematic and strategic focus when it comes to innovation. Innovation includes adoption of different approaches to engaging stakeholders, re-envisioning the future of work, and identifying the commodities that will be in greatest demand in the future, while continuing to push the boundaries harder from a digital perspective.
- Digital transformation: While majors have been investing in automation and technology innovation for several years, Deloitte was seeing the digital agenda moving into the domain of the broader mining industry. Rapid advances in technology, along with decreasing costs, have meant harnessing the power of digital has become more practical and achievable – to the extent it is now becoming an imperative.
- The future of work: The nature of work is poised to change dramatically at both the mine site and back office, driven by technological and social trends across the globe. There have been significant strides in areas such as automated equipment, remote operations centres, robotic process automation and creation of new operational models that deliver greater flexibility. Until the industry redefines the way work is done and delivered, many across the industry automating processes won’t necessarily reap rewards in a fundamentally different way to drive greater productivity despite.
- The image of mining: Explaining the four core issues: Negative perceptions can do more than damage reputations and affect stock prices. They can also spill over into the community and result in the loss of social licence to operate. This mandates mining companies to take proactive steps to address, and change, their reputations. The sector has the opportunity to reframe the conversations across society on the importance of mining. Not only the economic importance to Australia, but also the daily importance to a society which depends heavily on products that would not exist without mining – from smartphones to bridges, health technology and electric vehicles.