The Increasing Capability of Digital Technologies in Mining
According to a recent white paper by World Economic Forum, compared to other industries, especially customer-facing ones, the mining and metals sector is considered to have lower levels of digital utilization. However, For those organizations that can move from being digital laggards to digital first movers, the value is real.
Though the digital technologies and capabilities available to the mining industry are in varying stages of maturity and usefulness, one can already see a vast difference across mining and metals companies in terms of testing, adoption and expected benefits.
As with historical upheavals, technology has hastened the spread of ideas. The major difference between disruption today and in the past is the accelerating pace and pervasiveness of change. When analyzing core digital technologies and the evolution of their capabilities over time, the speed of capability improvement, adoption and displacement by new technologies has quickened.
Much of this acceleration has been generated by the falling cost of technology.
It has been proven that when digital technologies are used together, they generate “combinatorial effects”, which boost the capability of these technologies exponentially – and far more than if each was used in isolation (see Figure). These combinatorial effects are an additional reason for organizations to adopt digital technologies.
A digital first mover has been projected to show a substantial increase in EBITDA in 2025 (at an enterprise level for an average mining and metals company) versus a digital laggard.
Mining companies – in collaboration with the larger community – must take steps to enhance their digital capabilities, helping them to improve their bottom line, become more responsive and resilient to industry challenges, and develop into more sustainable, transparent organizations.
For links to all the sources, please refer back to World Economic Forum’s original white paper here.