Harris Gomez Group has been working with Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) businesses in Latin America for 16 years. Over the last 5 years, I have had the opportunity to personally speak with over 200 METS companies and their management teams about the various aspects of their businesses. I typically learn through those conversations what products/services they offer, what differentiates them from their competition, why they have been successful in their home market, their efforts to grow internationally, where the industry is going and the feedback they receive from the mines they are visiting. From all of my conversations, there is a common theme. METS companies are listening to their customers and the problems they are facing. They are then going back and creating innovative solutions to help their clients solve whatever challenges they are facing.
That is why earlier this year, when the report, ¨A Roadmap for unlocking future growth opportunities for Australia¨ was released by CSIRO, I made sure to read it as I headed from Santiago to Antofagasta to visit one of our clients.
For those who have not had the opportunity to read the report, I have provided a brief overview. The point of the report is that the mining industry is going through a transformation, which is creating new opportunities and threats for the future of the METS sector. The report calls these changes ¨global mining megatrends¨ and are projected to have a significant impact on the sector for the next 20 years. They are defined as the following:
Rates of discovery for high-quality and accessible ores are declining and not keeping up with depletion.
The Knowledge Economy
Emerging markets will need support developing the applicable skills, services, and technologies that will be required for the future. In addition, skills from outside of the mining industry will be needed to achieve best practice in automation, digitisation and data analytics. New METS players will enter the market and there will be fierce competition for talent.
The Innovation Imperative
A drop-in commodity prices, along with rising costs, declining ore grades and concerns about decreasing productivity are compelling the mining industry to focus on operational costs.
Plugged In and Switched On
Digital technologies, data analytics and automation along with greater mobility and increased connectivity are creating exciting opportunities for the mining industry.