Over the course of the collaboration, Barrick and Cisco will focus on research and development, and jointly use their networks and expertise to drive Barrick's digital reinvention. In the first step of the collaboration, Barrick and Cisco will work together to develop a flagship digital operation at the Cortez mine in Nevada, US - embedding digital technology in every dimension of the mine to deliver better, faster, and safer mining.
For example, advanced sensing technology and real-time operational data will be used to inform decision-making. Equipment will be automated for increased productivity, while predictive algorithms will enhance the precision and speed of maintenance and metallurgy. The goal at Cortez is to redefine best-in-class mining.
Building on the Cortez mine digitisation experience, Cisco will support Barrick as it transforms its entire business over time - bringing digital technology to all of its mines as well as to its head office. For example, interactive data rooms outfitted with real-time data, analytics, and predictive tools will allow company leaders to work together across the organisation. An enterprise-wide analytics hub will enable performance management, and financial and operational benchmarking. New digital tools will improve scenario planning and portfolio management. These new technologies will permit Barrick's leaders to make decisions with greater speed, precision, and productivity; to assess and mitigate risk more effectively; and to provide greater transparency to partners.
Digital technology will also improve Barrick's environmental and safety performance. Predictive data and analytics will improve management of energy, water, and emissions. Real-time data capture will allow the company to be even more transparent with, and accountable to, its local partners - for instance, by providing water monitoring information in real time. And the use of digital technology will enhance Barrick's permitting activities, further increasing transparency to stakeholders.
Barrick will apply the same rigour and scrutiny to its new digital projects as it would for any other capital allocation decision. Ultimately, digital reinvention is expected to help Barrick deliver on its vision of growing free cash flow per share over the long term.
John Thornton, executive chairman at Barrick, said: “We are proud to partner with Cisco to drive our digital reinvention. Harnessing the potential of digital technology will unlock value across our business, helping us grow our free cash flow per share. In so doing, we will make ourselves into a leading 21st century company - enhancing productivity and efficiency at our mines, and improving decision-making and performance across every area of our business. We mean to create value and push the boundaries of our industry in entirely new ways. Just as importantly, digital technology will allow us to reduce our environmental impact and be even more transparent with our local partners - especially indigenous communities, local governments, and NGOs.”
John Chambers, executive chairman at Cisco, added: “We are going through the greatest technology and business transition ever - the digital era - which will dwarf the information era and the value of the internet to date. Any company that fails to reinvent itself by harnessing digital technology will soon be left behind. Barrick has long been known for its focus on innovation, and with Cisco's advanced technologies and strategic network of partners, we can extend the frontiers of the natural resources industry.”
As valuable as these new technologies will be in and of themselves, Barrick sees in them even deeper potential: to accelerate the cultural renewal already underway across the company. As Barrick has returned to its historical commitment to partnering, it has placed renewed emphasis on building and maintaining trust with its many stakeholders. The integration of digital technology into the heart of the business will allow Barrick to be all the more transparent with its partners. Furthermore, by embedding technology more deeply into the company, Barrick means to further reinvigorate its tradition as a bold, entrepreneurial company whose people are unafraid to challenge and surpass conventions.