Telstra moves into the mining industry
Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, is moving into the mining industry with the formation of Telstra Mining Services.
Telstra Mining Services is a strategic investment following the appointment of global mining experts and the acquisition of mining communications technology services business from CBO Telecommunications.
Martijn Blanken, Group Managing Director, Telstra Global Enterprise and Services, said that Telstra Mining Services was a key pillar of Telstra Global Enterprise and Services’ strategy to build new growth businesses.
“These investments are part of our strategy to create a significant global mining technology product and services business,” he said.
“Telstra is committed to becoming a new driving force for mining in Australia by helping the industry transition to a digital future.”
David Keenan, Head of Telstra Global Industries, said: “The decline in global commodity prices is largely driving a downturn in the resources sector and, as a consequence, sharpening the industry’s focus on reducing costs and maximising production.
“This downturn has created a once in a lifetime shift, where miners are looking to technology innovation to help them future proof their operations.
“Telstra Mining Services will be focused on helping our mining customers drive better business outcomes by significantly improving in-shift staff and asset productivity.
“Telstra Mining Services will deliver the technology solutions that makes this possible, such as high bandwidth networks, mobility solutions and software capabilities, through our own developments, strategic partnerships and in bespoke collaboration with customers.”
Telstra has also appointed Jeannette McGill and Eric Nettleton. Starting on July 1, Ms McGill, the recent Head of Technology and Innovation at AngloAmerican Platinum, will be the Head of Telstra Mining Services.
From Johannesburg, McGill is well respected for translating technology insights and trends in global markets to strengthen mining business’ value chain and has a wealth of technical and operational mining experience.
“This investment means we can confidently meet the industry’s communication needs at Australian mine sites. With the addition of Jeannette McGill, Eric Nettleton and the CBO team to the existing Telstra Mining Industry team, we have significantly strengthened our mining specific domain expertise.
“This is only the beginning as we will continue to deepen our capabilities to deliver tailored technology innovation to our mining customers, both in Australia and internationally.”
Global iron ore production to recover by 5.1% in 2021
Global iron ore production fell by 3% to 2.2bnt in 2020. Global production is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% to 2,663.4Mt between 2021 to 2025. The key contributors to this grow will be Brazil (6.2%), South Africa (4.1%), Australia (3.2%) and India (2.9%). Key upcoming projects expected to commence operations include South Flank in Australia (2021), Zulti in South Africa (H2 2021), Serrote Da Laje in Brazil (H2 2021) and Gudai-Darri (2022), according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, comments: “Declines from Brazil and India were major contributors to the reduced output in 2020. Combined production from these two countries fell from a collective 638.2Mt in 2019 to an estimated 591.1Mt in 2020. The reduced output from the iron ore giant, Vale, was the key factor behind Brazil’s reduced output, while delays in the auctioning of mines in Odisha affected India’s output in 2020.
“Miners in Australia were relatively unaffected by COVID-19 due to effective measures adopted by the Australian Government, while a speedy recovery in China led to a significant 10.4% increase in the country’s iron ore output.”
Looking ahead, the global iron ore production is expected to increase by 111.3Mt to 2,302.5Mt in 2021. Rio Tinto is expected to produce up to 340Mt of iron ore, while BHP has released production guidance of 245–255Mt, supported by the start of the Samarco project in December, which is expected to produce between 1–2Mt.The company has retained its guidance for Australian mines at 276–286Mt on a 100% basis, due to scheduled maintenance work at its ore handling plant and tie-in activity at the Area C mine and South-Flank mine.
Bajaj added: “The remaining companies are expected to produce more than 600Mt of iron ore, including FMG, whose production is expected to range between 175–180Mt supported by its Eliwana mine that commenced operations in late December 2020, and Anglo American, which is expecting to produce between 64–67Mt. Vale is expected to resume 40Mt of its production capacity, taking its overall production capacity to 350Mt in 2021, with production guidance of 315-335Mt.”