It’s time to accelerate growth in the
mining and metals sector: Deloitte

The business consulting firm has released its annual Tracking the Trends report navigating global challenges and opportunities in the mining and metals industry.

Edited by Josephine Patterson

According to Deloitte’s 16th annual edition of Tracking the Trends, mining and metals companies must work to address supply shortages; environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges; and adopt emerging technologies this year.

“We all know that the green energy transition, here in Australia and around the world, is a minerals-intensive one. Miners must continue to advocate for the critical role minerals play in addressing climate change challenges and lead the way to a sustainable future,” said Deloitte Australia Mining & Metals Leader Nicki Ivory.

“With global uncertainty and critical mineral shortages presenting challenges for the industry across multiple fronts, our report once again identifies 10 key trends that will impact miners over the next 12 to 18 months.”

These top trends are:

1. Putting purpose at the heart of mining and metals: Creating social momentum.

With demand for certain critical minerals outstripping supply in the near term, the industry will likely need to seek greater capacity in previously unmined regions. Therefore, companies will need to harness the power of purpose to build trust.

2. Navigating global uncertainty: Building capacity to thrive in the face of disruption.

Companies will have to lay the foundations for greater agility and optionality to capture opportunities and manage risk associated with the uncertainty in the current business environment (rising geopolitical tensions, generative artificial intelligence, etc.).

3. Deal making for future-focused growth: Rethinking minerals and metals investments.

Companies will need to explore new strategic investments that maintain their competitive edges, increase access to resources, and bring important minerals supplies online faster.

4. Working toward net-zero: Building capacity and future-proofing ESG strategies for a credible transition

Organizations will need to apply a broad approach to mitigating climate change, including creating climate transition action plans, focusing on how to uphold leading practices, and looking to collaborate with stakeholders to create material change.

5. Collaborating with governments to rethink regulation: Unlocking critical resources through permitting.

A new approach for permitting is needed to ensure projects receive appropriate reviews, while delivering critical minerals within a time frame that reflects 2050 net-zero goals, including establishing true partnerships with Indigenous rightsholders.

6. Going back to grassroots: Nourishing growth through investments in exploration.

Major miners may need to start spending more on grassroots exploration instead of relying only on the acquisition of a finite number of smaller exploration companies.

7. Addressing workforce challenges through a skills-based approach: Equipping mining and metals companies for the future. 
Companies should consider switching the focus from roles to skills. Separating some work from job descriptions allows organizations to tap into a wider range of workers’ capabilities and find new ways of working.

8. Unlocking new value in existing assets: Balancing complex priorities and meeting supply demand through operational optimization.

By leveraging operational technologies such as simulation and mathematical optimization, companies can drive more predictable operational outcomes by recreating assets in the digital world.

9. Bringing Generative AI into 
mining and metals: Capitalizing on current and future opportunities

Adopting generative AI presents a range of opportunities to address energy security and improve profitability, generate operational efficiencies and resilience, and reduce emissions.

10. Third party delivery models: Gaining agility and competitive advantage through next-gen approaches to outsourcing.

By rethinking operating models and outsourcing certain functions such as cybersecurity, data analytics, and ESG reporting to third parties, mining and metals companies can dedicate more resources to core operations.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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