Is the Mining Industry Really Innovating?


In a meeting the other day an executive from an operating mining company made a statement to the effect that, “We need to inventory all of the innovations we are doing as individual companies.”

My immediate gut reaction and response was “What innovations?”

True innovation fundamentally changes the world,  fundamentally changes who we are as global citizens, fundamentally changes who we are as individuals and fundamentally transforms our businesses and our industry.

So if we, as an industry, are innovating then why do we see trends such as rising costs for over 10 years? or 28% reductions in productivity annually or declining share holder margins when every other industry is showing growing shareholder returns? Why do we accept that comminution consumes 3-4% or the worlds energy and yet is 5% efficient? Surveys clearly show that we as an industry are failing at innovation.

True innovation tackles big challenges and results in massive gains and changes in companies and industries. These aforementioned trends and data clearly demonstrates that we as an industry are not innovating.

Rather we are gaining efficiencies, optimizing and doing more with less.

We need to stop resting on our laurels and start tackling these challenges. We must start collaborating and sharing a vision, experiences, data, information, projects, costs.  We need to act as an industry.

We need to look outside of our industry and adopt what is already out there. I constantly hear, “We are different than those guys in aerospace (for example) they have it easy.” Seriously?

We are estimating that >70% of the technology needed to solve some of mining’s biggest, pre-compettive challenges already exists in some shape or form.

Thus, we don’t need more startups with “cool” technology that have no concept of how the business actually works. We can’t afford to invest in individual companies or technology development, that simply will not work.

Here at CMIC we have developed a bold and audacious vision for the industry called Towards Zero Waste in Mining. The business case for Towards Zero Waste  is based on industry needs and in depth conversations with senior executives in the industry.  It outlines why, how and the benefits of taking on 5 of the 8 large scale problems identified by senior executives in the industry. We are creating or have created technology roadmaps and project plans to get there.

True innovation is about being bold, taking risks and changing our world.  Our plans are bold and some even say impossible.

Zero waste is the most innovative program, with real teeth, to hit the industry in decades.

Are you tired of increasing costs, declining returns, even an uncertain future?

Do you want to fundamentally transform the mining industry and in the process our world?

Lets join forces and truly innovate!