After bottoming out at the end of 2015 and early 2016, many commodities have begun to recover. Most miners that survived the downturn have achieved this by cutting costs and turning to innovation.
Innovation has arisen in many forms with millions spent on research and development to boost heavy machinery capabilities, safety, fuel efficiency, data gathering and analysis.
CYCLE TIMES LENGTHEN
In a recent Deloitte report Tracking the Trends 2016: The Top 10 Issues Mining Companies Will Face this Year, analysts have revealed resource industry cycle times have lengthened – resulting in longer up-ticks, but also elongated slumps.
Deloitte global leader mining Philip Hopwood said it could take the resources industry years to adjust to the prolonged cycle times.
According to Deloitte Americas Mining Leader Glenn Ives, the shifting cycle has made it more imperative than ever for resources and energy companies to pursue innovation to remain afloat during tougher times.
“Rather than being optional, being bold may be the prerequisite to survival,” Ives said.
Since the mining sector began its decline in 2013, the ongoing focus on cost-cutting has led to billions in savings and improved efficiencies.
AUSTRALIA HAS SOME OF THE BEST MINING
SERVICES ON OFFER
Former mining executive Nick Giorgetta opened the recent annual Diggers and Dealers conference.
In his speech, Giorgetta said Australia had some of the best mining services in the world and was a strong global competitor when it came to developing industry-related technology.
Giorgetta pointed out that despite the downturn, the resources sector remained Australia’s largest contributor to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the nine months ending March 2016.
He said he believed Australia’s mining industry will remain the country’s biggest GDP participant in the coming years.
He, too, mentioned that innovation was a key to resources companies remaining resilient during downturns.
MINERS INVESTING IN TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED HEAVY EQUIPMENT
The Deloitte report revealed the technologies miners were seeking in heavy equipment included enhanced energy and fuel efficiencies, plus data collection and analysis capabilities.
The report states investing in fuel and energy efficient machines has saved miners up to 40 per cent in energy costs. Heavy equipment manufacturers have primarily achieved this by integrating renewable energy technology into their machines and refining processes to optimise energy usage.