We need disruptive innovation in the mining sector, as well – by Rick Howes (Globe and Mail – February 20, 2016)


Rick Howes is chief executive officer of Dundee Precious Metals.

While declining metal prices have cast a negative light on the status of the mining industry, the facts still speak to the tremendous role mining plays in the Canadian economy. More than 380,000 Canadians work directly in the industry, and in Ontario alone, another 68,000 work for mining industry suppliers.

The dynamics of the global economy are forcing adjustment on many, but our country’s historical strengths and continued expertise in mining positions us to lead globally moving forward.

To do so, however, requires us to apply the same innovative principles to our business as seen in software, financial services and retail. How will we adapt to disruption and the growing distribution of mining expertise around the world? The answer means focusing on how we can build the mines of the future that use technology and data to operate more efficiently and effectively.

The pressure for this isn’t just the product of depressed demand and metals prices. The far more significant driver of change is a restructuring of our industry’s competitive dynamic. In mining, competitiveness will no longer be premised upon land and capital, as it has been in the past.

Instead, we’re quickly moving toward a technology- and data-enabled period in which success and failure will depend on our ability to extract efficiencies and productivity from the information we collect at our operations.

The result will see the evolution of traditional mining companies into knowledge-based companies that use data analysis and technology to optimize the extraction of metals.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/we-need-disruptive-innovation-in-the-mining-sector-as-well/article28817988/

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