The Future of a Post Covid Mining Industry

22 October 2020

When the world changes forever, we tend to recall exactly where we were and what we did.

I will never forget sitting at my desk and listening to the radio announcer saying: “An airplane just struck one of the twin towers in New York city.” Without any pre thought or hesitation, I immediately stood up among my colleagues, and for several minutes we all stayed silent, looking at each other in shock. We were a bunch of business analysts and technology consultants with a slow internet. It was 2001 after all, the 11th of September to be precise. So it took us a few hours to realize the amplitude of this historic event.

I don’t remember where I was on the 11th of March 2020, when the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic, disrupting everything. Unlike other historic events, this one is still spreading uncertainty.[1]

These different events have marked most forever. Yet, while these events are tragic at their core, it has caused the world to rebound with sudden technological innovations to compensate. And in all my years of working in different industries, I have never seen such a quick and practical acceleration in innovation.

No other industry touches our daily lives in as many ways as the mining industry. By providing all the materials that define how we communicate, travel, enjoy our life, and stay productive, it is the absolute and primary social influencer. None can ignore how it’s the true foundation of our global economy, and it has always been this way.

How to take innovative action?

The mining industry responded with certainty by rapidly adapting and digitizing all aspects of their operations to create more sustainable, safer and more effective mines. This time, no stone stayed unturned as each department and each employee’s process was re-evaluated and it’s core actions were questioned. Ranging from how mining equipment inspections are done, to safety and security checklists going from paper to specialized mobile software.

How to manage operations in remote locations?

In a survey of 350 mining businesses, researchers identified that 80 percent are battling similar operational challenges. The findings [2]:


  • Collecting and centralizing their data to make collaborative and actionable insights is now the new standard.
  • There is no more excuse for lack of intelligent workflows because of siloed departments.
  • Improving sustainability to creating an evergreen business is a must.
  • Keeping employees safe while deploying autonomous technology is more important now than ever.

The Future of the Mining Industry: an outlook on year 2020 to 2030

The next 10 years of all digital transformation initiatives in the Mining and Metals industry looks promising and profitable for all. This analysis show that the return on investment for key digitalization could generate:


  • More than $425 billion of value for the industry, customers, society and environment over the next 10 years (to 2025). This is the equivalent of 3-4% of industry revenue during the same period.
  • More than $320 billion of industry value over the next decade, with a potential benefit of approximately $190 billion for the mining sector and $130 billion for the metals sector. The total for Mining and Metals is equivalent to 7% of industry revenue and 9% of industry profit.
  • A reduction of 610 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, with an estimated value to society and environment of $30 billion.
  • An improvement in safety, with around 1,000 lives saved and 44,000 injuries avoided. This equates approximately to a 10% decrease in lives lost and a 20% decrease in injuries in the industry.

Source: [3]


The Future of Mining Industry jobs

When digital transformation becomes easy, people need to equip and educate their workforce. Over the next decade, there will be an approximate 330,000 jobs affected in mining operations. That is almost 5% of the entire workforce, a plan of mitigation, modernisation and succession is not only do-able but necessary.

To stay competitive, mines have to innovate

Some of the best mining companies in the world started the trend of rethinking how mining is done. This brings new challenges. To help accelerate innovation, establish sustainability, and increase safety and conformity, nSpek and Neosynergix have partnered with key leaders of the mining industry to help you find and evaluate solutions that are right for your mining company’s challenges and will help to integrate them into your workflows.

The Mining industry has always adapted fearlessly

Digital Inspection Camera View - Virtual Form Report Review Example copy

Digital Inspection Camera View – Example of a Virtual Form Report Review

For over 25 years, my team and I are on a personal mission to develop roadmaps designed to guide and deliver the best software solutions that change lives for the better. To become the best interconnected mine of the future, we will deploy clever technological processes in blindspot areas like centralizing and replacing paper based or inefficient checklists, surveys, inspections, conformity audits.

Before you navigate the difficult acceleration of your mine’s innovation in Artificial Intelligence readiness, Internet of Things implementation, operations, maintenance, asset management, planning and inventory, sustainability, safety and more. Think about integrating and leveraging your data. Because you know as well as I do: Garbage in, garbage out.

– Michel Corbin, CEO Neosynergix/nSpek


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