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June 16, 2022updated 21 Jun 2022 8:52am

Filings buzz in the mining industry: 15% decrease in digitalisation mentions in Q1 of 2022

We've analysed companies' annual reports and other filings to see which key issues are receiving the most attention.

By Data Journalism Team

Mentions of digitalisation within the filings of companies in the mining industry fell 15% between the final quarter of 2021and the first quarter of 2022.

In total, the frequency of sentences related to digitalisation between April 2021 and March 2022 was 559% higher than in 2016 when GlobalData, from which our data for this article is taken, first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.

When companies in the mining industry publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports, and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. Digitalisation is one of these topics – companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether digitalisation is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of companies in the mining industry, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies that have mentioned digitalisation at least once in filings during the past 12 months – this was 66% compared to 30% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to digitalisation.

Of the 10 biggest employers in the mining industry, Sibanye-Stillwater was the company that referred to digitalisation the most between April 2021 and March 2022. GlobalData identified 106 digitalisation-related sentences in the South Africa-based company's filings – 0.6% of all sentences. ThyssenKrupp mentioned digitalisation the second most – the issue was referred to in 0.5% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high digitalisation mentions included Honeywell, Mitsubishi, and Nippon Steel.

Across all companies in the mining industry, the filing published in the first quarter of 2022 that exhibited the greatest focus on digitalisation came from Sandvik. Of the document's 3,023 sentences, 59 (2%) referred to digitalization.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on digitalisation and how important the issue is considered within the mining industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning digitalisation more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into digitalisation have been successes or failures.

In the last quarter, companies in the mining industry based in Eastern Europe were most likely to mention digitalisation, with 0.63% of sentences in company filings referring to the issue. In contrast, companies with their headquarters in Canada mentioned digitalisation in just 0.05% of sentences.

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