Across the mining sector, increasing production costs in Australia are impacting operators’ competitive advantage. However, big data and operational intelligence can help drive sustainable productivity increases in mining, according to a Deloitte report.

The recent mining boom created favourable conditions for investment and expansion of mining operations whilst “masking some inefficient practices.” Now that the economics of the industry have shifted, the report states, Australian operators are responding to this by cutting costs and pursuing operational efficiencies.

However, according to Links Chithiray, a Deloitte Parner, companies have to be careful when cutting costs and must keep “a delicate balance” between “cutting too close to the bone and maintaining a sustainable operation.”

“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,” Chithiray said. “Operational intelligence is driving fundamental changes in the way information is exploited in mining. These solutions are delivering new insights to mine site executives, management teams and operations staff that reflects their environment and empowers them to make data-driven decisions on performance and costs.”

As the market becomes tougher for mining operators, new technologies must be used to gain a competitive advantage – and just like so many other sectors, big data is a promising prospect for the mining industry. As Chithiray suggests, rather than cutting costs, investment in big data and integrating information across the value chain will help mining companies save millions of dollars a year.

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(Image Credit: Dominic Alves)

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