The near future of mining: South Africa
02 February 2018
Mining is in the early stages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, and further digitisation is on the horizon. The value of harnessing technology is obvious. Driverless technology increases mining output by 15 to 20 percent while cutting fuel and maintenance costs by 10 to 15 percent and 8 percent, respectively. It also improves mining safety exponentially. At the same time though, these Internet-connected technologies open the mining industry up to new cyberattack vectors that they must hedge against through proper internal controls. If not, they risk seeing their entire operation crippled by a single attack.
Decreased coal consumption in China—the world’s largest coal consumer—meanwhile, is slowing global demand for the commodity. As dependence on coal wanes, we expect renewables to account for one-quarter of the world’s electricity generation by 2020. Reflecting on this period of transition, BDO’s Global Natural Resources team is looking towards the future to help mining companies anticipate and plan for the challenges and opportunities ahead. We believe that to prepare for success in 2020 and beyond, mining companies must strive to become “Lean, Green, Digital” machines.
The global predictions presented in this report are based on research and collective input from BDO’s Natural Resources and Mining leaders in South Africa.