The mining sector's automation agenda

Miners are still not spending enough on technology and need to breakout of the conservative mindset that will only hurt their bottomline.

As the resources boom slows and costs continue to rise, the pressure to improve productivity through technological means is increasing. The sense that the resources boom will become static at best has been reinforced by the news that BHP is predicted to announce a fall in profits this week, the first time they have experienced a fall in profits in three years.

Analyst firm IDC has reiterated this point with the release of a report saying that the Australian resources sector will be increasing spending on ICT to $3 billion by 2015. They cited that the driver for this increase would be the attempt by the industry to contain costs and increase productivity.

There has certainly been evidence that the larger mining companies have been investing in technology that allows them to operate mines, wells, processing and transportation autonomously, thereby reducing the most expensive and scarce resource of the production process – people.

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