Mentions of the internet of things (IoT) within the filings of companies in the mining industry rose 42% between the second and third quarters of 2021.

In total, the frequency of sentences related to IoT between October 2020 and September 2021 was 51% 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. IoT 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 IoT 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 IoT at least once in filings during the past 12 months – this was 45%, compared to 30% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to IoT.

Of the 50 biggest employers in the mining industry, Komatsu was the company which referred to IoT the most between October 2020 and September 2021. GlobalData identified 63 IoT-related sentences in the Japan-based company's filings – 0.5% of all sentences. Magnitogorsk Metallurgicheskiy Kombinat mentioned IoT the second most – the issue was also referred to in 0.5% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high IoT mentions included Metalurgica Gerdau, Honeywell International, and MMC Norilsk Nickel.

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By GlobalData

Across all companies in the mining industry, the filing published in the third quarter of 2021 that exhibited the greatest focus on IoT came from Komatsu. Of the document's 1,801 sentences, 15 (0.8%) referred to IoT.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on IoT 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 IoT 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 IoT have been successes or failures.

GlobalData also categorises IoT mentions by a series of subthemes. Of these subthemes, the most commonly referred to topic in the third quarter of 2021 was "industrial internet", which made up 42% of all IoT subtheme mentions by companies in the mining industry.