Just 31% of 700 respondents in the sector say digital is high on the agenda at their organisation, while 15% say it is not on the agenda at all.
Paul Mitchell, EY Global Mining & Metals advisory leader, said: “Productivity remains the top operational risk facing the sector and companies know that traditional cost cutting isn’t enough to address this challenge. Embracing new digital technologies is crucial to improving productivity and commercial outcomes.”
The mining and metals sector has a long history of adopting new technologies, including plant control systems, GPS technologies, automated haulage and data storage. And, yet, many companies face substantial challenges in turning their long-term digital vision into a reality finds the report.
The concept of digital mining is not new despite the sector’s reputation for falling behind other industries in embracing digital. Companies have been quick to take advantage of technological developments in the past. However, we now see a disconnect between the potential from digital transformation and the poor track record of successful implementations.
EY said a number of common pitfalls are driving the digital disconnect between mining and metals companies’ vision of a digital future and ability to actually achieve it. They range from a perception of high costs to an ill-defined business model and a lack of detail on the implementation pathway.
Mitchell explained: “Companies are nervous when it comes to digital investments. Many have experienced failed attempts in the past, and they don't want to go down that road again. Many do not have a clear view of what their current capabilities are or where they want to go in the future. It’s navigating this path that is key. Those miners that are working toward defining their digital future are on the right track. It’s those that do not take advantage of digital advances that are putting their future at stake.”
The report outlines how digital can: optimise plans and productivity rates across all operations and manage variability under any conditions; enhance asset availability and reliability; help understand true end-to-end capability and systems bottlenecks and support loss elimination; and increase agility and responsiveness to changes in market factors.
Mitchell added: “Companies need to apply the same rigor that underpins other change programs to their digital transformation. Only then will miners achieve the end-to-end process change the sector needs to achieve the next level of productivity.”
Download the report using the link above.