We are a global management consultancy that delivers exceptional outcomes and sustainable change

We are a global management consultancy that delivers exceptional outcomes and sustainable change


Why — And How — To Imple­ment Dig­i­tal Inno­va­tions in Mining


The min­ing indus­try comes with its fair share of chal­lenges; from scarce resources to uncer­tain­ty around com­mod­i­ty prices, min­ers are always look­ing at ways to over­come bar­ri­ers to stay competitive.

Min­ing busi­ness­es are there­fore chang­ing their approach­es to be able to man­age their min­er­al assets in an effi­cient and cost-effective man­ner. They’re doing this by imple­ment­ing new busi­ness and oper­a­tional mod­els that has incor­po­rate new tech­nolo­gies for a more inter­con­nect­ed, information-based oper­a­tion, and are under­tak­ing this on a more rapid and glob­al basis than ever before.

Dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion has opened new ways to improve oper­at­ing effi­cien­cy by devel­op­ing more accu­rate sprints for plan­ning, hyper-aware ven­dors and col­lab­o­ra­tion with busi­ness part­ners through­out the val­ue chain.

The move to a more digital-focused oper­a­tion in the min­ing indus­try is cer­tain­ly a tall order. How­ev­er, the min­ing indus­try is at the epi­cen­tre of this dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, which is very real and can dri­ve con­sid­er­able and com­pet­i­tive advan­tage with­in the industry.


Min­ing com­pa­nies can’t rely on age­ing sys­tems to sup­port their busi­ness activ­i­ties of the future. To remain com­pet­i­tive, mines need to cre­ate new oper­at­ing and busi­ness mod­els and fos­ter a dig­i­tal cul­ture where real-time data of employ­ees, assets and busi­ness per­for­mance is not only read­i­ly avail­able but can be used to make changes in real-time from any­where in the world.

For min­ing com­pa­nies, com­pet­i­tive dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion is about using tech­nol­o­gy to change the phys­i­cal real­i­ty of man­ag­ing min­ing oper­a­tions by improv­ing, stream­lin­ing and sim­pli­fy­ing work prac­tices, roles, and process­es that are core to min­ing oper­a­tions, and con­tribut­ing to a step change improve­ment in productivity.

Under­stand­ing the imple­men­ta­tion of dig­i­tal solu­tions requires an appro­pri­ate tech­nol­o­gy envi­ron­ment and a pre­pared tech­nol­o­gy organ­i­sa­tion to dri­ve these solu­tions, while ensur­ing buy-in across all lev­els of the organisation.

The inher­ent val­ue of dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion comes from the way it enables min­ing busi­ness­es to embrace new and inno­v­a­tive ideas that can dri­ve con­tin­u­al improve­ment, while improv­ing effi­cien­cies, safe­ty met­rics and real bot­tom line results.

Across the entire min­ing val­ue chain, every work­er must adapt to the new tech­nolo­gies and process­es that con­tin­ue to be intro­duced. They should be pre­pared to improve their lit­er­a­cy in dig­i­tal solu­tions and be able to work har­mo­nious­ly with their new col­leagues, whether it be with robots or data scientists.

A lot of these solu­tions tend to scare long-time min­ing exec­u­tives away because of cost con­cerns. Luck­i­ly, the grow­ing num­ber of tech­nolo­gies and their estab­lished pres­ence across many indus­tries great­ly reduces the cost.

Dig­i­tal­iza­tion is also the enabler of sev­er­al ben­e­fits in min­ing oper­a­tions, pri­ma­ry amongst them being safe­ty of the oper­a­tor. Trans­for­ma­tion for min­ing pro­duc­tiv­i­ty include:

  1. The automa­tion of mate­r­i­al management
  2. Asset man­age­ment and maintenance
  3. Pre-emptive and pre­dic­tive per­for­mance monitoring

The future of min­ing is to cre­ate the capa­bil­i­ty to man­age min­ing oper­a­tions through the inte­gra­tion of process­es and pro­ce­dures with the intro­duc­tion of new tech­nolo­gies to com­mand, con­trol and respond pre­dic­tive­ly. Some of the more tan­gi­ble ben­e­fits that can come from this approach include:

  1. Effec­tive con­sol­i­da­tion of an increas­ing amount of data to dri­ve real-time and insight-based deci­sion mak­ing and con­tin­u­ous optimisation
  2. Unprece­dent­ed pos­si­bil­i­ty of autonomous oper­a­tions, remote con­trol of assets, track­ing of equip­ment and people
  3. Increased col­lab­o­ra­tion and knowl­edge shar­ing among oper­a­tions teams with­in the organisation
  4. More flex­i­ble and respon­sive deliv­ery of solu­tions to new busi­ness demands

For exam­ple, by look­ing at data relat­ed to com­mu­ni­ca­tion between min­ing machines, as well as out­put of var­i­ous steps in the min­ing process, com­pa­nies can gain mean­ing­ful insights that guide future projects and job sites.

Tech­nol­o­gy has a vital role to play in the devel­op­ment and appli­ca­tion of new min­ing meth­ods, which will improve both safe­ty and health, and oper­a­tional effec­tive­ness in our mines.


Dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion has the poten­tial to be the deter­mi­nant fac­tor for increas­ing pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. Organ­i­sa­tions that can estab­lish coor­di­na­tion at exec­u­tive lev­el will be pre­pared to imple­ment effec­tive dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion programs.

The pos­si­bil­i­ties for new oper­at­ing mod­els and new lev­els of opti­mi­sa­tion will cre­ate the next wave of dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion in the indus­try. This new way of work­ing can include:

  1. A dig­i­tal agen­da dri­ven by the CEO
    Accord­ing to a report by PwC and the South African Min­er­als Coun­cil, dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion ini­tia­tives in South African min­ing busi­ness­es are pri­mar­i­ly dri­ven by the CEO. This top-down approach kick­starts the process, pro­vid­ing the impe­tus and com­mu­ni­ca­tion need­ed to keep it going.
  2. Nur­tur­ing cham­pi­ons and innovators
    Dig­i­tal cham­pi­ons and inno­va­tors would be will­ing to pilot new tech­nolo­gies with­out wait­ing for oth­ers to prove it first. They would also find new val­ue by shar­ing infor­ma­tion and work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly between busi­ness functions.
  3. Engage­ment and strate­gic fram­ing of the dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion through lead­er­ship engage­ment, guid­ance into action­able plans, ben­e­fit analy­sis, val­u­a­tion, and pre­ferred future states.
  4. Inte­grat­ing peo­ple, sys­tems, and process­es to cap­ture the val­ue of increas­ing amounts of data and infor­ma­tion com­ing from the dif­fer­ent busi­ness units or operations.
  5. Expand­ing employ­ee skillsets
    Min­ing lead­ers believe there would be a change in the nature of the work­force over the next five years to “more skilled employ­ees,” lead­ing to an increase in pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. Some have already start­ed to invest in skills uplift to unlock the ben­e­fits of dig­i­tal transformation.


When it comes to dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, we help clients by ensur­ing organ­i­sa­tion readi­ness, selec­tion of the appro­pri­ate solu­tions and adop­tion of the solu­tions through our change man­age­ment methodology.

Rather than being a solu­tion provider, we focus instead on iden­ti­fy­ing the process­es as well as the behav­iour change need­ed to dri­ve sus­tain­able change man­age­ment. It’s about col­lect­ing data and turn­ing it into infor­ma­tion that can be used to dri­ve bet­ter deci­sion making.

We help com­pa­nies under­stand what their busi­ness needs tru­ly are, what dig­i­tal solu­tions can help them ful­fil those needs, and ensur­ing those solu­tions are imple­ment­ed, adopt­ed, and sus­tained over time. You can talk to one of our con­sul­tants today to see how our solu­tions and exper­tise can help your organ­i­sa­tion address your unique chal­lenges effi­cient­ly and sustainably.

Share This Article

Share this article

Other articles


Organ­i­sa­tion­al Must-Haves To Suc­ceed in the Year of Sustainability



The foun­da­tions of a future-ready finance function


The Future of Health­care: New Tech­nolo­gies Pow­ered by You


Dig­i­tal Transformation

You Don’t Own Your Brand
21 Feb 2020


Oper­a­tional Excellence

The Art and Sci­ence of Cost Cutting
27 Dec 2019


Unlock­ing The Next Stage of Manufacturing
25 May 2023

Connect with us

Let us work with you to achieve exceptional results.