Prior studies have highlighted the challenges to ramp up productivity in the Mining sector. Mining companies are struggling to be sufficiently profitable and to satisfy investors with the returns on capital, despite prices being 3 to 5 times higher than the lows of 2000. While pricing and increased extraction of deeper or lower grade ore are contributing factors, a significant threat to mining's growth is its innovation deficit: the lack of application of technologies proven in other industries, and the slow speed from idea to adoption and scale.
This is exasperated by recent events such as Vale's tailings dam collapse in Brazil at Córrego do Feijâo, which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 300 people and highlighted the significant safety challenges for mining companies. This is in addition to other health and safety risks, such as diesel emissions, water scarcity and pollution, dust, noise, and chemical hazards.
When you consider the imperative to address rising environmental concerns from the use of energy and water, and decreasing carbon intensity, mining companies faces increasingly significant challenges.
In this piece, partner Satish Rao highlights how small to mid-tier mining companies can also quickly and effectively undertake transformational innovation - without huge investment.