The annual Tracking the Trends mining report identifies a mood of cautious optimism in the mining industry, with commodity prices on the rise, shallow growth returning to different end markets, and most mining companies in better cost positions than in the recent past, Deloitte national mining leader Nicki Ivory said.
“These companies will require strong leadership, greater collaboration and adoption of a long-term view to propel the industry forward,” she said.
“The focus on shareholder value in the mining industry is sharper than ever before, with return on invested capital a key metric.”
While there are a number of benefits to embracing digital capabilities, the report states miners have to learn how to turn potential benefits into reality.
To thrive, companies must embed digital thinking, processes and structures into the entire organisation.
Companies that took steps to strengthen their balance sheets in the latest round of cost take-outs are considering how to align their operating models against those choices so they can position themselves to meet their strategic objectives and sustain their lower cost positions.
“While companies are starting to focus on growth again, this is being carefully balanced with the need to maintain financial discipline,” Ivory said.
“Growth strategies are no longer about significant M&A deals and major new capital projects, but focused on portfolio optimisation through a combination of brownfield expansions, strategic acquisitions and/or divestments and productivity improvements.”
“While optimism is increasing, the industry is still at a pivotal point as it confronts challenges from cyber security threats, technological disruption and environmental issues. Mining companies now face key choices about where to invest and how to position themselves in the coming years.”