Tag Archives: Mining

 

Mining companies know all too well how expensive and dangerous the industry can be, and the demand for safer and more efficient training and procedures is increasing year on year.

The good news is that technology is keeping up with this demand and mining companies are starting to welcome and integrate innovative tech into their procedures.

From virtual reality training sessions to 3D mapping and printing, mining technology is helping streamline complex processes and tasks while reducing safety risks and costs.

In this article, we’re going to look at 7 mining technology innovations that are driving the mining industry forward and the benefits they bring.

1. Mining Drones

Drones have been around for the best part of a decade now and have become popular pieces of mining technology to access hard-to-reach areas and sites.

Drones are transforming the way operators map and survey mining sites. Surveying and mapping sites on foot are often expensive and time-consuming, but drones can relay geophysical imagery and data to surveyors quickly and efficiently without putting anyone’s safety at risk.

Another obvious benefit of drones is the time saved surveying sites and carrying out inspections. Operators are able to use drones to conduct visual inspections of sites and equipment as well as provide surveying and mapping data.

Companies like Exyn Technologies use drones to map out a 3-dimensional landscape of underground mines without compromising employee safety. These drones deliver hyper-accurate, survey-grade 3D maps in real-time. Plus, they’re able to navigate mines with little to no light with ease.

To learn more about Exyn technology and how it compares to more traditional methods, check out our study of Mining’s Top Innovations.

2. Virtual Reality

One of the best implementations of VR in the mining industry is how it’s being used to train employees. Mining companies can now use VR to provide immersive and realistic training simulations to allow employees to practice and navigate complex tasks in a safe and controlled environment.

VR also allows miners to virtually explore mining sites without needing to physically be there. Again, this negates the safety issues concerning visiting dangerous mining sites, but also saves money on travel expenses and transporting cumbersome equipment around the world.

Employees can practice using hyper-realistic machinery through VR, allowing them to experience operating heavy and often complex machinery off-site. This means trainees can learn and make mistakes on the job without severe consequences.

3. 3D Printing

3D printing looks to have a bright future in the mining industry. The ability to print and replicate complex and often expensive mining equipment can save companies a small fortune.

For example, if a piece of equipment becomes damaged during use, companies can use 3D printing to replace this equipment quickly and with incredible accuracy. Sourcing mining equipment is often costly and can take time to deliver specific equipment to mining sites. With 3D printing, both of these issues are negated.

While 3D printing is seeing a steady introduction to the mining industry, the potential it brings could be game-changing. Being able to instantly find, print and install specific tools or parts onsite to damaged machinery can reduce lead times and negate the need to transport expensive equipment to remote sites.

Plus, you don’t need a warehouse to store these parts – as every part can be stored digitally!

4. 3D Mapping

3D mapping is a form of mining technology that provides extremely accurate and detailed digital representations of mining sites.

For example, 3D mapping tools can highlight and pinpoint important areas for excavation, without wasting time and valuable resources. Additionally, it isn’t limited to just mining sites – 3D mapping can also be used to map quarries, waste deposits and transportation routes.

According to the statistics, the global 3D market is expected to grow from $3.8 billion in 2020 to $7.6 billion by 2025.

5. Artificial Intelligence

It would be an understatement to say that AI dominated the technology headlines of 2023. The introduction of ChatGPT, Midjourney and BingChat had (and continues to have) a massive impact on operational processes in almost every industry.

In the mining industry, AI is leveraging smart data and machine learning. Not only does this mean safer training and better mining processes, but it cuts the time to perform these tasks in half. This enables onsite engineers to make decisions faster and with more accuracy.

For example, AI is helping mining companies locate and extract valuable minerals with precision. Additionally, through advanced algorithms and data analysis, AI systems can identify optimal mining sites, predict potential resource deposits, and even guide exploration efforts with exceptional efficiency.

We’re already seeing how AI mining technology is aiding autonomous equipment like self-driving vehicles for tunneling excursions and optimizing drilling systems, and we’ll likely see more processes utilizing AI going into the future.

6. Automation

Automation is becoming increasingly popular in the mining world. Truckless conveyor-belt ore transport systems, subterranean electric vehicles and drones are some of the core automation shifts we’re seeing.

One of the biggest benefits of automation is that it allows mining companies to work around the clock without having to be physically present. By automating processes like ore delivery and transport, site monitoring and drilling and ventilation systems, miners do not have to jeopardize their health and safety by venturing into mines and handling hazardous materials and minerals.

Instead, miners can be trained on how to operate heavy machinery remotely from a control center above ground, providing a safer and more comfortable working environment.

Yes, time and resources will need to be invested in training miners on how to use this mining technology. However, the benefits far outweigh the cons. Miners face fewer health and safety risks, speed and efficiency will likely increase and in the long term the industry will experience significant cost savings.

7. Digital Twinning

Digital twinning allows mining companies to create a digital replica of their entire mining ecosystem. This includes mining equipment, geological formations and other relevant objects or assets.

By integrating data from sensors, IoT devices, and other sources, digital twinning provides a dynamic and detailed simulation that mirrors the physical reality of the mining site.

The main aim of digital twinning in the mining industry is to improve decision-making and operational efficiency. Digital twinning also allows miners to simulate various conditions and assess the impact of different variables on operations. This approach means fewer safety risks for employees.

Digital twinning is changing how mining companies do things. It lets them make a digital copy of their entire mining setup, including their equipment, geology, and processes, in an instance.

In essence, digital twinning is making mining operations more efficient, sustainable, and competitive.

Conclusion

The mining industry has been calling out for more innovative and efficient ways to streamline their processes and improve the safety conditions of their employees.

The mining technology at their disposal today is revolutionizing traditional mining processes and more companies will inevitably invest in this new technology.

Improved productivity, enhanced safety and substantial cost savings are just a few of the benefits technology brings to the mining industry. In the next few years, mining companies will need to adopt this technology into their processes to stay competitive and meet the growing demands for sustainability and efficiency.

Embracing these technological advancements is not just a choice; it’s a necessity for the mining industry to thrive in the evolving landscape.

*This article is written by Sophie Bishop. Sophie is an experienced freelance writer with a passion for sharing insights and her experience within the health and safety sector. Sophie aims to spread awareness through her writing around issues to do with healthcare, wellbeing and sustainability within the industry and is looking to connect with an engaged audience. Contact Sophie via her website: https://sophiebishop.uk/.

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Challenges are not new to the mining industry and 2024 is shaping up to hold several, from ESG pressure to labor shortages. But by focusing on challenges as opportunities to optimize, this resilient industry will no doubt weather these headwinds.

Here are the top issues, challenges and trends we’re seeing on the road ahead.

ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance)

According to 2024 research at EY, mining executives are looking at ESG as the biggest risk to their business — the third consecutive year ESG has received that dubious ranking. Why? It’s because of increasing scrutiny from investors and other stakeholders, and the likelihood of more strict regulations in the area of environmental protection and governance practices. All of which could lead to higher capital costs for mining companies that have to play catch-up in terms of ESG measures and compliance, like investment in new technologies and efforts toward carbon capture and storage. However, there’s a silver lining here for companies that take the lead in these efforts. It can put them on top in terms of attracting the best talent and capital investments, both of which are poised to be problematic this coming year.

Another thing about the environment …

In addition to mounting governmental pressure and stricter regulations in terms of ESG, there are other factors (and fallout) related to the environment as well. Shifting demand could mean changes in operations and production. For some companies, it may mean less demand for the materials they’re mining. For others, especially those that are focusing on nickel and lithium used in EV batteries, it means a boom.

Capital investments

That EY survey of mining executives cites capital as the second most pressing issue for the industry, behind (and hand-in-hand with) ESG. It’s shaping up to be a race for investments to facilitate the exploration for and extraction of minerals like nickel, copper and lithium, all crucial to the energy and environmental initiatives coming down the pike.

Delivering on growth projects

Linking to capital investments is the ability to develop new assets. Bringing new assets on-line faster, more responsibly and safer is more important than ever, especially in stable regions. Excelling in development projects is no longer a competitive advantage, it is an expectation from all stakeholders. Local communities and authorities expect a faster and larger return while shareholders expect a faster return on their investments. Executing growth projects on time, within budget and responsibly will define the exceptional from the pack.

Geopolitical instability

Ukraine, Israel, Gaza, and that’s just what’s making the headlines. Barring a holiday miracle, geopolitical instability isn’t going away anytime soon. In addition to the human toll, it means continued supply chain disruption, price volatility and more for the mining industry. It might mean trade tensions, embargoes, tariffs and other measures that impact the mineral trade, including “resource nationalism.”

Labor shortage

It seems like every year, we’re talking about a labor shortage in terms of recruitment and retention, and this year is no different for the mining industry. It’s particularly pressing because it’s a problem on two fronts. The labor shortage is impacting productivity today when you don’t have enough people to get the job done now. But it’s also the lack of a skilled workforce pipeline, people coming up and getting the skills they need to replace older, experienced workers who are retiring or leaving the workforce for other reasons. Workforce training, like we provide at USC Consulting, is the key to getting everyone on the same page, doing the same job the same way. It boosts productivity, which is an absolute necessity when you are feeling a labor crunch.

Technology

Technology and innovation will be big in 2024 for mining, as it will for most industries on the planet. Investments in automation will improve efficiency and safety, and it might help with the labor shortage as well. But technology advancements in mining aren’t really about the bots taking over people’s jobs. They can create new jobs and new opportunities for skilled workers which, in turn, will ratchet up productivity and process improvements mine-wide. Investments in new technologies will also help in areas of exploration, discovery and mineral extraction, again boosting productivity.

Cybersecurity

As data becomes king in all industries, not just mining, increasing digitalization heightens the risk of cyberattacks. Mining companies are considered high-value targets and are vulnerable to disruption, financial losses and more. Employee training, having a response plan in place and digital security measures are all important areas of focus for the coming year.

Remaining competitive through economic cycles or shocks

Many natural resource companies struggle to remain competitive through economic cycles or market and commodity shocks. The best possible operating efficiencies, productivity and lowest possible unit costs are the best insurance against these cyclical and adverse events. Companies design and develop good systems, but it is at the point of execution or operator level where the best distinguish itself from the others.

At USC Consulting Group, we understand what it takes to weather the headwinds for the Mining industry in 2024. We focus on optimizing processes and procedures, creating operational excellence and improving production to ultimately boost your bottom line and shore you up against whatever the coming year can dish out. Call us today to find out more.

Improve operating performance by identifying these gaps and opportunities in your management operating system

 

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In September of 2022, autonomous aerial robot systems pioneer Exyn Technologies engaged USC Consulting Group to perform an independent evaluation of the AL4 Autonomy being utilized in the ExynAero underground drone.

The detailed study focused around one main objective; to gain practical exposure to the use of this technology by the survey team, while surveying active headings.

The ExynAero uses a LIDAR unit mounted to the drone in order to perform cavity mapping surveys inside of open stopes.

Over the course of a two-day visit USCCG was able to observe surveyors mapping live stopes utilizing the new drone technology on the ExynAero in comparison to the traditional boom and scanner CMS method. The observations yielded immensely positive results including:

As a follow-up to the evaluation of mining’s top innovations, USC Consulting Group worked with both Northern Star Resources Limited’s Pogo Mine and Exyn Technologies to prepare a white paper detailing these findings. This free white paper is available for download below:

ExynAero vs Traditonal CMS Mining's Top Innovations Study White Paper CTA

Mining Benefits

There were many benefits that were observed during the study, which included improved safety, survey quality, and time savings.

“It (ExynAero) is infinitely safer to use… we’re nowhere near the brow now, doing jobs around the corner in some cases. The safety aspect is definitely one of the driving factors to why we purchased the gear.” – Chief Mine Surveyor, Pogo Mine

Working at or around the brow is widely regarded as one of the most hazardous places in any mine. The National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH) still lists it as one of the top five major causes of lost time injuries in underground mining, accounting for almost 10% of reported injuries.

Read the full report of benefits in our white paper: ExynAero vs Traditional CMS: A Study of Mining’s Top Innovations

If you want to learn more about this study or you’re interested in speaking with one of our Mining experts, please contact us.

*Photo credit: Richard Bishop

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USC Consulting Group is a world-class operations management firm that for the past 50 years has helped mining companies around the globe improve their business performance by increasing throughput, reducing costs, eliminating waste, increasing productivity, improving quality and leveraging existing assets.

Discovery

Your process improvement experience starts with USC digging in to begin to learn what truly makes your mining operations tick. We conduct detailed diagnostics, at the point of execution, whether underground, in the pit, surface, processing plants and support services to gain an understanding of impediments to increased performance. We’ll handpick a team uniquely qualified to address your specific challenges. We’ll observe how you do things around the clock, shift to shift, engaging directly with the people on the front lines – production, maintenance, engineering, and all support departments. Then we’ll collaborate with you to turn our findings into a detailed, workable plan, complete with tools from our well-rounded toolkit.

Implementation

This is the point when most consultants leave you with a binder and walk out the door. Instead, we’re developing a project plan, organizing work breakdown structure, developing performance goals, determining measurement metrics and making sure our jointly developed strategies get the desired results. Managing data and information in the mining environment is vital for continuous improvement efforts. As part of our implementation process, we will help you enhance how your organization makes use of key data and information. Knowing where the right data and information lives and putting it to value added purposes is essential to managing a successful business. Leveraging enabling technology such as Microsoft Power BI helps to achieve, and then sustain the desired outcomes. Our LINCS® Lean Information Control System will enhance your existing Management Operating System (MOS) by smoothing the change process, providing timely feedback on KPI’s to process owners and actionable business intelligence to key decision makers. We openly share the results of our collaboration to increase and maintain operating excellence, and provide the extra horsepower needed to put ideas (both yours and ours) into action. We help deliver on your goals by empowering your performance. In fact, we’ll help you audit, verify, and sustain results for years to come.

 

 

USCCG’s Mining team uses the best of tried-and-proven, and emerging, methodologies to bring about enterprise-wide Lean Transformation, resulting in significant operating and financial gains, all at a very attractive ROI.

Discover more about our work in the Mining industry and contact us today to start your process improvement experience.

Of the more than 62,000 employees working in American mines, over half staff maintenance departments, according to data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. This operational distribution has developed because of the ascendance of automated mining technologies, which have reduced the need for production personnel but increased maintenance demands significantly.

Despite the intensified focus on maintenance activities, firms in the sector continue to struggle in this area. Many are leaving efficiency gains and cost savings on the table. As research from EY revealed, many also depend on deficient communication strategies that separate maintenance and operations teams.

Here are a few queries that might help mining maintenance leaders gather the data they need to move forward.

These less-than-ideal mining maintenance tendencies carry serious consequences – especially for mining companies with expansive open-pit operations where cost-effectiveness and operational efficiency reign supreme. Stakeholders at these sites can, of course, avoid financial fallout linked to declines in productivity by bolstering maintenance strategies. But before embarking on improvement efforts, open-pit leaders should pose some key questions to better understand their baseline needs.

Here are a few queries that might help mining maintenance leaders gather the data they need to move forward:

How are work orders processed?
Work orders constitute the backbone of maintenance operations. These documents and the internal mechanisms by which they move throughout the organization are critical in the age of automated mining technology. Yet maintenance departments within many firms do not have such formalized workflows in place to keep mission-critical assets up and running and instead rely on hastily delivered spoken reminders among technicians. This often leads to costly downtime and production pauses.

Ideally, mining companies should maintain digitized work order processes that allow operational staff to configure detailed service requests with all the information technicians need to make repairs in a timely manner. Open-pit maintenance leaders managing looser processes centered on in-person exchanges should embrace this methodology to make headway.

Is the right technology in place?
Mining technology continues to move forward at breakneck speed, catalyzing transformation in the industry along the way. Advanced tools such as automated drills and driverless trucks allow firms to mine continuously and reach new operational heights, according to the MIT Technology Review. Sadly, many of the back-end maintenance systems that support such cutting-edge assets are not as advanced and rely on nontechnical processes. Again, this creates risk.

To keep up with innovations unfolding in mines, open-pit maintenance leaders should adopt digital tools such as enterprise resource planning and computerized maintenance management software.

What is the ratio of planned to reactive maintenance?
Reactive maintenance strategies were common decades back. Now, with the rise of asset sensors and sophisticated data collection and analysis tools, organizations across all industrial sectors must maintain predictive methodologies to keep costs down and stay competitive.

Reactive maintenance is often four to five times more expensive than planned work, which is why firms should develop and sustain 80-20 maintenance ratios, wherein technicians devote 80 percent of their time to scheduled asset management activities and 20 percent to repairs. Open-pit mining operations failing to maintain such balances must work toward implementing proactive maintenance strategies designed to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Mining maintenance leaders supporting open-pit facilities would be wise to kickoff improvement activities by answering these critical questions. Those in need of additional guidance should consider reaching out to USC Consulting Group. With nearly 50 years of experience, we can help open-pit maintenance stakeholders improve their processes and boost productivity. Connect with us today to learn more about our services and work in the mining space.

Truly innovative asset management covers all aspects of monitoring, analyzing, and maintaining capital equipment. Does your business have all its bases covered?

Now recovering from economic instability over the last decade, companies in asset-intensive industries have begun to invest in new and recommissioned equipment. In turn, these decisions ignite a fervent interest in improving uptime quality through optimized workflows, reliability-centered maintenance, and proactive decision-making.

Download our latest e-book “Asset Management: The Rise of Reliability” to discover asset management best practices from our team of experienced operational experts. Here are the seven points examined and discussed therein.

1. Work management
A work order is more than just a slip of paper. Its life cycle extends further than most businesses realize and should include information valuable to future successes in asset management.

2. Downtime tracking
If you fail to understand the nuance of downtime tracking, you will fail to sustainably decrease it.

3. Preventive and predictive maintenance
Reward awaits those facilities that understand what these two cutting-edge maintenance methodologies entail and how to execute on them properly to achieve new heights.

4. Asset criticality review
Are you allocating your resources to the machinery that matters most to your business? Align your goals with your actual asset management processes with a comprehensive ACR.

5. Equipment history capture and analysis
Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Do you know what sorts of data you should capture about your assets today in order to make informed decisions tomorrow?

6. Root cause failure analysis
Assets fail for any number of reasons, but they boil down to three basic types of failure. Learn these as well as tips for digging below the surface when failures strike.

7. Operator equipment care
Line operators can work wonders for an innovative asset management program – if only their leaders know how best to utilize them.

Asset-intensive industries have cautiously maintained their commitment to present and future major capital investments in the wake of the 2008 economic collapse. Total capital expenditure, which includes the purchasing of both equipment and structures, has grown without pause since 2009, according to a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

But ventures today are not the same as they were before 2008. They now come with new perspectives on how best to improve reliability across the business with tightening margins, ensure throughput or productivity by reducing downtime and preserve mission-critical assets effectively, intelligently, and affordably throughout their life cycles. To some degree, all industries with large-scale assets cared about these principles in the past, but now many – energy, oil and gas, process industries, telecom – must do so in the face of trends rapidly transforming their sectors.

Considering major capital investments? Here’s how enterprise asset management and maintenance can save you from dire financial straits.

Are you caught in an asset utilization trap?

asset management

Industries with heavy assets owe it to themselves to develop innovative and more robust asset management practices, lest they fall victim to an endless cycle of profligate capital spending.

Let’s use an example industrial businesses have no doubt experienced: how to respond to low asset utilization. A mining company crunches the data on month-over-month utilization for its fleet of articulating vehicles. Asset management metrics return a utilization rate of around 45 percent, same as it’s been for more than a year. Utilization has plateaued, so company stakeholders decide that increased capital investment on newer trucks will resolve their issue with stagnant asset-related revenue generation.

Chances are good that it won’t, definitely not if low utilization stems from maintenance and scheduling. An ill-prepared asset management program in charge of a larger fleet will only exacerbate the utilization problem, not fix it.

If this mining company, or any other asset-reliant business for that matter, truly believes in the doctrine of continuous improvement, they will turn their attention to the real culprit: underdeveloped asset management operating systems and reliability-centered maintenance. Here’s how to build out these areas and create an asset support network that drives higher utilization:

Get granular with preventive or predictive maintenance

All industries that rely on heavy equipment or high-tech plants must gradually, but assuredly, move toward a proactive versus reactive stance on enterprise asset management. Repairs and calibration must either happen on a time-based cycle (preventive maintenance or PM) or through advanced sensors and preemptive failure detection (predictive maintenance or PdM).

However, these are very broad recommendations asset management teams will probably already understand the value of. What specific details should PM and PdM adopters lock onto if they want to boost utilization?

Pinpoint ideal KPI metrics: Find the measurements that align best with your mission as an organization and can report capably on issues surrounding asset utilization, then automate the acquisition and visualization of those measurements so you understand them in real time.

Investigate data hygiene: Key performance indicators must be accurate to serve operators, technicians, and supervisors. Review where your data comes from, who handles it, and what may adversely affect its veracity.

Standardize cross-functional transparency: Businesses that democratize information allow their workers to contribute to and analyze all data related to asset health. Build visibility into the entire asset management operating system – reporting, inspecting, scheduling, repairing, confirming, and documenting – and leave no area of your business in the dark.

asset management

Devote more resources to root cause failure analysis

Are mechanical failures on critical assets really the result of something mechanical? You’ll never know without comprehensive root cause failure analysis (RCFA).

Although deficiencies or outright failures may present as technical glitches, best-in-class asset management processes must dig below the surface to reveal what’s actually causing asset functionality – and ultimately utilization across the board – to drop.

Returning to the hypothetical mining company from before – perhaps utilization rates were low because heavy trucks require a lot of maintenance. What kind of maintenance? Technicians report back that the most common work order is repair or replacement of shock absorbers. To the untrained eye, this appears rational given the rough terrain and capacity requirements of the job. But practitioners of thorough root cause failure analysis don’t stop there. They ask the following:

Immediate remediation of one, some, or all of these concerns will improve the reliability and availability of assets, raise utilization rates, and may even deter unnecessary capex and opex spending. In order to achieve this high level of awareness over the condition of capital investments, however, asset-intensive businesses must first invest their time and effort into fleshing out RCFA.

Want to learn more about how to improve asset utilization through asset management and proactive maintenance? Contact  USC Consulting Group  to speak to an operations management consultant today.

Like any other industry, metal manufacturing can benefit greatly from a reduction in operational expenses. Smarter, data-driven processes have the potential to eliminate waste in smelting and deliver sustainability at ore extraction sites even during troubled times. What lies ahead for metal producers the world over, and how might operational excellence help them rise to the occasion as their industry matures?

“2017 looks to be an upward-trending year for steel and iron ore prices, but only barely.”

Pricing forecasts show slow improvement
After the commodities boom peaked in 2011 and plummeted thereafter, any small gains to entrenched businesses are welcome. According to Knoema, 2017 looks to be an upward-trending year overall for steel and iron ore prices, but only barely. The projections also show a plateau throughout the rest of the decade, a sign that market value will not soon return to the twofold or even threefold per-tonne prices the metal industry enjoyed at the start of the 21st century.

With this in mind, businesses should feel comfortable instituting opex-cutting initiatives like predictive analysis for asset performance or standardized operating procedures for changeovers. After all, operationally efficient strategies will allow the companies that adopt them to become more responsive to not only their needs, but the needs of their customers, as their interests and expectations shift because of pricing. Operational excellence, therefore, makes room in the budget to build a better, more attractive product with a lower risk of financial turbulence.

Labor costs increase as ore grades decrease
Much of the metal industry’s costs upstream of smelters revolve around labor – around 40 to 50 percent in the mining sector, for example, according to a 2016 study from Deloitte. Industry leaders know the implausibility of simply pushing mining staff to extract more ore at a faster clip. Even though the depletion of high-grade ore deposits across the globe has led to the development of equipment potentially capable of cost-efficient low-grade ore extraction, the exchange has not been commensurate. The loss of high-grade ore opportunities currently trumps any gains reclaimed through innovation.

metal

Operational excellence helps low-grade ore mining become more cost efficient.

With prices as low as they are in 2016 and mining companies squeezing what they can out of already overextended mines, something else has got to give. Metal producers need eyes on upstream operations and actionable intelligence to know how, where, and when to optimize effectively, particularly if they wish to avoid labor fallout from unobtainable operational demands from their workforces.

Economic improvement in other sectors pushes metal to produce under strain
As dim as the short-term outlook appears for many metal producers, long-term growth in areas like construction and automotive provide a silver lining. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, construction output volumes around the world will increase 85 percent between now and 2030, with China, India, and the U.S. leading the charge. And while U.S. auto sales might stagnate over the next couple years, the incorporation of new gadgets into the average vehicle could prove to be a boon to rare metals used primarily in electronics. Moreover, project sales boosts in China signal even more innovation requiring a bounty of diverse materials.

As we mentioned earlier, operational excellence make businesses lighter on their feet and should not be seen exclusively as a method for tightening spend management. After all, the best defense is a good offense. So while metal producers incorporate new processes designed to navigate the disruptions affecting their sector, they shouldn’t lose sight of the opportunities for success on the horizon. To achieve them, however, these companies will need flexibility and agility, both of which they can gain through operational insight and optimization.