Mining Ecosystem: Using ‘Digitization’ to Cope with the Evolving Times

Mining Ecosystem

Mining EcosystemIn the era of market dominance in every sphere, there is no prize for guessing that mining firms also have to follow the line. Thus, they are learning the tricks of the trade. Learning includes the changing orientations and demands of stakeholders, searching for appropriate personnel with creativity and talent to take up the challenging situations, shrinking access to energy, and so forth. It is not just a coincidence that the year 2019 became a watershed in the mining industry when there was a sea change in perception. The traditional model of total focus on exploring ways of spending the least to procure the highest quantity of ore started giving way to portfolio management in multiple ways. This, as evident, is a strategy long followed in the corporate world.

The mining firms are now privileging business models in planning and decision-making, which will have dual stress on wooing investors and making themselves sustainable in the long-run operation. In this effort, technology is privileged in a major way. To be precise, it involves calibrating data power and giving new configurations in analytics, AI, robotics, blockchain, and the Internet of Things. Extending their past reliance on the physical mode the challenge is to gather real-time data from the miners, which would also call for extensive use of sensors. All this not only ensures greater competition among miners but also by way of constant urge for improvement brightens the chance of being in the mining ecosystem for the long run.

The game-changing initiatives not only concern the issues of costs and productivity. Important as they are the issue of safety is also of vital importance. Mining has never had a great reputation insofar as the question of safety is concerned. It is only expected that with the technological progress of the kind we are having the safety issue will receive the utmost attention.

The supply chain is another important issue in mining. The digital conversion of the supply chain in the form of a digital supply network concerns effective interlinkages and a smooth journey from excavation sites to transportation. It also increases operational efficiency and effective asset utilization.

The human factor has become all the more important in the process. The mutuality of all concerned— the stakeholders, workers, clients, regulatory organizations, and networks — with much greater intensity. It is not just to mechanically comply with some rhetoric or legal compulsion vis-a-vis corporate social responsibility but to make the relationships more organic.

Two other items which give mining companies a run for their money are water and energy. The optimization of both is now an essential condition for successful business models which have to see to it that both being under severe strain due to manipulative actions by profit-seekers in the industry they are subject to optimization for community interests. Managing water and energy in the greater interest of all also leads to better environmental management, which is of no less importance. Better environmental management may also absolve the mining sector from being criticized as a ‘destroyer of the environment’.

Not least, the reorganization of the mining industry in such a manner cannot be a top-down process at all. It has to adopt a bottom-up approach by preparing the workers for such sea change. In considering the human factor again it is important to realize that in a way they are literally the shakers and movers of the show. Forget about ignoring them, even putting them in a secondary position in terms of preparedness for the emerging challenges in the mining industry will be disastrous. The existing workers have to be trained and the new workers are to be suitably recruited and hired with prioritization of talent.

In sum, the mining industry is in for a challenging reorganization of technological and physical factors along with the change in mindset. When the demands are not only rising but taking a different turn the supply side cannot but take the call. The task is huge and complicated there is no other way as updating is the only way to survive the waves of change.

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