Business First - - NEWS -

Across the min­ing sec­tor, Aus­tralia’s in­creas­ing pro­duc­tion costs for oper­a­tors are im­pact­ing their com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage, says Deloitte in its re­cently re­leased re­port Ex­tract­ing busi­ness value through op­er­a­tional in­tel­li­gence.

Dur­ing the re­cent min­ing boom, high de­mand and high com­mod­ity prices cre­ated favourable con­di­tions for in­vest­ment and ex­pan­sion of min­ing op­er­a­tions whilst mask­ing some in­ef­fi­cient work prac­tices.

Now that the eco­nom­ics of the in­dus­try have shifted, Aus­tralian min­ing oper­a­tors are re­spond­ing by cut­ting costs and pur­su­ing op­er­a­tional ef­fi­cien­cies.

“Our ex­pe­ri­ence re­veals that a del­i­cate bal­ance has to be main­tained be­tween ‘cut­ting too close to the bone’ and main­tain­ing a sus­tain­able oper­a­tion that can re­spond quickly when the next op­por­tu­nity pre­sents it­self,” says Deloitte Part­ner Links Chithi­ray.

The re­port states that op­er­a­tional ef­fi­cien­cies can be gained by au­tomat­ing and in­te­grat­ing in­for­ma­tion across the value chain, which can also in­form the more rad­i­cal step of redesign­ing the op­er­a­tions.

Op­er­a­tional in­tel­li­gence is one of the key levers for im­prov­ing ef­fi­ciency. It equips min­ing businesses with ac­tion­able in­sights across the en­tire value chain and be­tween mine sites. It is chang­ing the way in­for­ma­tion is used in min­ing.

“It is the com­pa­nies that en­able their oper­a­tors and man­age­ment to re­spond in a timely way to op­er­a­tional vari­ances and mar­ket vo­latil­ity, that will be bet­ter placed to min­imise any ad­verse im­pacts and take ad­van­tage of pro­duc­tiv­ity op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Mr Chithi­ray says.

“Ul­ti­mately, the goal of any min­ing oper­a­tion in sim­ple terms, is to op­ti­mise pro­duc­tion at the low­est cost with zero harm to the work­ers and the en­vi­ron­ment. It is no co­in­ci­dence that de­spite the tougher mar­ket con­di­tions, global min­ing lead­ers are mak­ing big data in­vest­ments in op­er­a­tional in­tel­li­gence, re­mote op­er­a­tions cen­tres, au­to­ma­tion, an­a­lyt­ics and mo­bil­ity.”

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