While in 2020, most miners have focused on operational safety and the health of their employees through minimising risks of covid-19 spread in their mines, Fitch believes miners will once again focus on improving efficiency and cutting costs through technological integration once the pandemic clears in late 2021.
Fitch’s outlook for Australian mineral production remains positive in 2021 as was in 2020 as major miners including BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group faced no disruption as a result of covid-19. In Western Australia, mining employees have been exempted from travel restrictions so as to ensure smooth operations for miners.
Australia will spearhead the global as well as Asian miners’ race to utilise technology in order to cut costs, enhance efficiency and increase mine safety due to the country’s availability of strong network connectivity, power, highly skilled labour and government support, Fitch predicts.
The mining landscape is in the age of technological disruption today, where players are at the crossroads between a traditional past and a transformative future that is sustainable. Starting from cloud computing to new sensors, drones to ever more automation, and now the rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence, state-of-the-art mines have all the latest technological innovations embedded in their operations.
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