This Week in Consulting

Wednesday, March 11th 2020

What does digital transformation in Mining and Metals look like


The mining and metals industry is recovering from one of its most difficult periods in decades. Market volatility and a downturn in commodity prices have created a new normal where cost cuts, automation and operational efficiency are vitally important. Meanwhile, industry-specific issues related to regulation, geopolitical risk, legal limits on natural resource use, shareholder activism and public scrutiny have created additional challenges​.”

Disruption is everywhere, even in traditional industries. What are the forces shaping the future of mining and metals? Automation? Digitalization? What else?

This Week’s Must Read   is an insight piece from the World Economic Forum, where the author lists trends that will shape the future of the mining and metals industry.

Read on to Find out More: “Seven trends shaping the future of the mining and metals industry | Nicolas Maennling and Perrine Toledano for World Economic Forum.

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The top 10 issues transforming the future of mining.


  • Rethinking Energy and Natural Resources for a Net-Zero Carbon Future: “Until very recently, many energy and resource executives believed they could meet sustainability requirements by publicizing a few carefully chosen environmental projects and technology programs. In annual reports and TV ads, these companies have highlighted their successes in, for example, reducing fugitive emissions, developing biofuels and protecting fragile environments—initiatives of which executives can justly feel proud.” The authors offer his take on the obstacles that stand in the path of sustainability for companies in the energy and resources sector. | Peter Parry and Dave Rennard, Bain & Company
  • Disruption in the African mining and natural resources sector: “Despite concerns regarding regulatory and policy uncertainty across Africa, as demonstrated by the implementation of radical new laws in Tanzania, and the publication of the third version of the Mining Charter in South Africa, perceptions surrounding corruption and nepotism, and inadequate infrastructure (water, roads, electricity and ports), there are a number of current and potential investors who hold a positive view of investment in Africa, including the natural resources sector.” Can Africa develop a long-term sustainable mining industry, and at the same time, address the key challenges it is facing?. | Warren Beech, Eversheds Sutherland
  • Digital transformation of Gold mining operations: “Gold mining companies have several challenges in operating their mines. The value of the gold mining company reflects its mineral resources and its ability to extract, process and recover the gold and get it to the market in a sustainable way. Often deposits are low in grade (between 1 to 4 grams per ton on an average across the Life of Mine) and occur in veins in fractured rock. External dilution further lowers the grade,which impacts the recovery. For low-grade deposits, more ore must be mined to extract the same value as a high-grade deposit.”  Data is a key enabler for digital transformation and an essential source of insights for operational teams to make decisions in the gold mining sector. | Sudip Kumar Chaudhuri, Joseph Plant and Prasant Kumar Padhy, Wipro
  • Mining industry on the cusp of digital transformation: “The digital transformation journey in mining has started, and we as a company are willing to drive that with mining houses. We will embark on this journey with them, through identifying the appropriate technology from other industries that could be applicable to mining.” This interview of David Osborn, Managing Director at Dassault Systèmes South Africa, shows how the mining industry in South Africa is on the cusp of the digital transformation journey.| David Osborn for Mining Weekly.


  • FTC Rejects Planned Coal Joint Venture by Peabody, Arch: “Last June, Peabody and Arch agreed to combine operations in those states, where both companies produce thermal coal that utilities use in power plants. The plan called for integrating Peabody’s North Antelope Rochelle and Arch’s Black Thunder properties, two mines that abut each other in Wyoming, among other changes.” | Micah Maidenberg, The Wall Street Journal
  • HSBC evacuates Canary Wharf office after confirmed coronavirus case: “HSBC has evacuated part of its Canary Wharf office after a confirmed case of coronavirus, following at least two false alarms at the bank’s London headquarters in the last seven days.” | Financial news
  • Pharmacovigilance Outsourcing Market revenue to hit USD 10.5 Bn by 2026: “According to the latest report “Pharmacovigilance Outsourcing Market by Service (Pre-marketing Services, Post-marketing Services), Service Providers (Contract Research Organizations, Business Processing Outsourcing), Regional Outlook, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2020 – 2026”, by Global Market Insights, Inc., the market valuation of pharmacovigilance outsourcing will cross $10.5 billion by 2026. The increasing prevalence of adverse effects and safety concerns associated with medical products will drive market growth.” |PRNewswire
  • Publicis Sapient co-launches new AI lab: “A collaboration between Publicis Sapient, Elder Research and Tquila is behind the launch of a new lab, aimed at helping clients scale their artificial intelligence programmes. PS AI Labs aims to leverage the expertise of the three organisations to build unique enterprise efficiency and cost optimisation models.” |


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Hélène Laffitte is the CEO of Consulting Quest, a Global Performance-Driven Consulting Platform and author of “Smart Consulting Sourcing”, a step by step guide to getting the best ROI from your consulting. With a blend of experience in Procurement and Consulting, Hélène is passionate about helping Companies create more value through Consulting.

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