The mining industry needs more automation to be competitive: survey

14 October 2014 (Last Updated October 14th, 2014 18:30)

The mining industry needs to automate much of its operations in order to be competitive in the market, according to a survey by Hall & Partners Open Mind.

The mining industry needs to automate much of its operations in order to be competitive in the market, according to a survey by Hall & Partners Open Mind.

The survey conducted for The Australian took opinions from 105 senior managers in the industry and found that more than half of respondents support the need for further automation in the industry, despite this affecting jobs.

"Around 47% of the executives felt that firms were not investing enough in implementing new technologies."

Around 47% of the executives felt that firms were not investing enough in implementing new technologies, and that data analytics or big data could play an important role in improving asset capability.

Implementation of big data technologies could help monitor the machinery used in the mining process, starting from extraction and development through to smelting, leaching, and on to refining, which claimed to offer productivity gains.

About 64% of respondents believe that impediments to the sector's growth include falling ore prices, amongst other factors, and around 40% felt that the price of iron ore will continue to go down in the next 12 months.

Around 51% attributed the slowing Chinese economy to the downfall, with 30% saying that the economy will improve in the next 12 months.

With respect to jobs in the country, 66% of respondents in the survey believed that local mining sector should give priority to local employees while filling jobs.

Nearly 50% believed that Australian resource workers are not poorly skilled when compared with their foreign counterparts.

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