A year in review from EY center
of excellence advisors
Whether responding to rising costs and supply chain disruption or navigating digital crossroads and low-carbon looking to get an edge on competitors need to fundamentally shift their business and operating models to meet changing demand and expectations.
Those that fail to reposition themselves for an evolving future, risk falling behind in the face of a powerful energy transition that will drive a sector renaissance in 2023. To help proactively plan strategies for the coming year, EY polled its Americas Mining and Metals Centre of Excellence expert advisors and technical mining professionals to better understand what the most impactful technological or geopolitical developments in the mining industry were in 2022 and what should companies be focusing on in 2023.
Patricia Jaworski, maintenance and reliability advisor
The 2020s, from both technological and geopolitical standpoints, are pushing the mining industry to streamline more than ever before; we can no longer rely on the historical, cyclical trends that we have experienced.
To capitalize on tech developments, such as using AI to inform or even dictate decisions, I recommend a “back-to-basics” approach. Diligently adhering to business processes must be the first step in any journey where layering technology solutions onto practices and systems is being considered. Without it, good data does not exist. And a tech solution built on bad data will result in failure. We need the knowledge to develop and introduce cutting-edge solutions and, more importantly, we need to leverage experience to ensure that the people, process,
and data foundations of a business, operation, or site are ready for those solutions.
Doug Stretton, asset management and maintenance
The Russian invasion of Ukraine was the most significant geopolitical event of 2022, disrupting markets and completely changing the agenda of most mining companies. Those impacts will be felt for years to come.
For 2023, with a potential recession looming, mining companies should be focused on getting their operational costs down. As the business cycle turns, cashflow and prices will fluctuate. The coming recession is an opportunity for acquisition and growth, if a mining company can drop costs and build cash. It is important to note that asset management always does well at this part of the cycle as maintenance is one of the biggest costs for mining companies to consider.
Joseph Ashun, asset management specialist
One of the most impactful technological developments in the mining sector was the continuing introduction of the autonomous hauling fleet. This shows early signs of approximately 15% reduction in operational cost compared to vehicles with humans behind the wheels.
While the focus should continue to be on ESG and its surrounding elements, mining companies should also focus on ensuring the basics are done well. This is with regards to safety, business processes, training and development of the new “workforce.” Also, a renewed focus on innovation will always yield dividends.
Future proofing your mining and metals organization to prepare for transformation will require vision and sophisticated orchestration. The next 12 months are expected to be challenging when it comes to inflation and supply chain shortages. Having a bold vision will empower companies to streamline investments today and chart a transformation roadmap for tomorrow.
THEO YAMENGO is the EY Americas and Canada mining and metals leader. For more information, visit www.ey.com/en_ca/mining-metals.