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Operational excellence tops list of mining trends

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World Coal,

Operational excellence and innovation remain at the top of Deloitte’s list of mining industry trends, according to its ‘Tracking the Trends 2016’, but its adapting to the changed demand landscape that dominates the rest of the top five.

“The operating environment remains volatile and complex and the imperative remains to innovate, adapt, manage costs and drive sustainable operational excellence and productivity improvements, while also driving and maintaining cultural change, in the face of these challenges and around workplace safety and health,” said Nicki Ivory, Deloitte Australia’s National Mining Leader, West Coast.

Adapting to China’s transition comes in at number three in the list with Deloitte warning that miners need to understand the global impact of China’s domestic market trends. This is particularly true of coal markets, where falling demand for coal in the Chinese power market has had a significant knock-on impact on the global seaborne thermal coal trade – as well as driving the Chinese government to place quality restrictions of coal imports to try to protect its domestic industry.

Meanwhile at number five Deloitte highlights the need to prepare for inevitable change in the global energy mix: “Fossil fuels will remain critical in the global energy mix but the global move towards renewables threatens the outlook for thermal coal – and is inevitable.”

Changing the nature of stakeholder dialogues comes it a number six with Deloitte arguing the miners need to “align their investments with the underlying needs of the disperate stakeholders to fully maximize opportunities.”

Financial matters dominate places seven to nine with Deloitte picking out the shortage of finance available to miners, tax challenges and the M&A conundrum. Rounding out the top ten are issues related to personal and corporate risk with Deloitte highlighting cyber security threats and strengthening safety and health programmes.

“Creative approaches to safety and workplace health need to be at the forefront ofor local operators. The industry has invested a vast amount of money, time and effort in safety, for example, but incidents are still occurring and even increasing,” said Reuben Saayman, National Mining Leader, East Coast, at Deloitte Australia.

“Enhanced safety analytics, strengthening mental health policies, improving security protocols, emplying risk monitors and improving crisis management are just some of the strategies that can be used to detect risks, prevent incidents and change workplace cultures,” Saayman concluded.

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