Where risk management is concerned, the majority of mining and metallurgical companies (92%) believe digital tools will bring value to their operations. However, only 52% have a clear, unified digital transformation strategy and less than half (49%) are focused on developing the requisite skills and mindsets and behaviours of people to effectively adopt digital tools.
For example, digital solutions such as sensors, smart wearables, video analytics, artificial intelligence and VR/AR can be effective tools to mitigate risk if applied correctly. Yet reams of data alone do not produce actionable insights; people must be intrinsically involved in analysing and interpreting the data, and translating this into concrete actions to mitigate risk.
Furthermore, mining companies have still not broken the silos between safety, operations and IT departments to focus on priority risks – a trend that we have seen broadly across the industry.
The lack of corresponding skills in the workforce exacerbates this problem. Half of companies (50%) do not have strong data analytics capability. These challenges are however not exclusive to the mining and metallurgical industries, as research shows around 70% of all digital transformation projects fail. There is a tendency to invest in the newest, most innovative solutions available on the market, but without correctly identifying what problem the technology is aiming to solve. In a highly intensive, people business like mining and metallurgy, it is critical for leaders to adopt a risk-based and user-centric approach that effectively combines digital solutions with the necessary mindsets and behaviours shift and capability building to drive real-time risk mitigation.