Feb 1, 2021

Only 11% of mining executives using digital - MCi report

contractors
DigitalTransformation
surveys
Dominic Ellis
2 min
MCi report surveyed 140 mining executives and found only 11% using digital and 90% manually process data
MCi report surveyed 140 mining executives and found only 11% using digital and 90% manually process data...

An alarming 90% of mining executives continue to manually process data and only 11% use a digital platform, according to The State of Contractor Management in the Mining Industry report from Management Controls inc (MCi).

The report surveyed 140 executives and found the more contractors a company manages, the more challenges they face, such as additional cost, controlling issues such as having the proper skill mix to get the job done, managing variations on agreement terms, and keeping project timelines on schedule.  

"At a time when a great digital transformation is underway within the energy and manufacturing sectors on the heels of Industry 4.0, it’s clear that mining could strengthen its position by adopting more streamlined digital systems for contractor and project management," it concludes.

Staying competitive means adopting digital tools to reduce manual processes and promote more accurate spending and allocating of time and resources, the report adds.

The survey also found:

  • 60% of surveyed companies reported projects being behind schedule and over budget 
  • Enterprise-wide contractor spend is upward of $1 billion per year for 11% of companies 
  • 15.3% of respondents reported spending more than $100 million per year on contractor management, rising to 23.5% spending $50 million or more 
  • An equal split (27.5%) expect contractor spends to increase slightly and decrease slightly

Key contractor pain points included maintenance scheduling, achieving proper skill mix, manpower visibility, permit process, available workforce, staying within budget and timeliness. 

Procurement department challenges comprised variation in agreement terms, Managing vendor disputes/concerns, Vendor insurance, certifications, Negotiation of terms, Managing purchase orders and Vendor audits.

Despite the weaker and less certain global economy, the mining industry is still strongly positioned. According to Mine 2020, PwC’s 17th annual review of global trends in the mining industry, the top 40 mining companies remain financially strong, with flat EBITDA and revenue up 4% to $692 billion, and Capex up 11% to $61 billion worldwide. 

Although PwC forecasts capital spend to drop overall by the end of 2020, solid financial performance and capital discipline in 2019 has left mining well-positioned in the wake of economic contraction. In the United States, the mining sector’s market share is $396 billion according to IBISWorld, and it employs more than 569,000 industry workers.

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Jun 30, 2021

Rio Tinto and Alcoa begin construction with ELYSIS tech

Rio Tinto
ELYSIS
Decarbonisation
Alcoa
3 min
ELYSIS
Rio Tinto and Alcoa’s JV project ELYSIS has the potential to transform the aluminium industry, with a significant reduction in its carbon footprint

Eliminating all direct greenhouse gases from aluminium smelting has taken a major step forward with the start of construction on the first commercial-scale prototype cells of ELYSIS’ inert anode technology, at Rio Tinto’s Alma smelter in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec.

ELYSIS has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of aluminium production

ELYSIS is a joint venture company led by Rio Tinto and Alcoa that is developing a new breakthrough technology, known as inert anode, that eliminates all direct greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the traditional smelting process and instead produces oxygen.

The technology has the potential to transform the aluminium industry, with a significant reduction in its carbon footprint.

The inert anode prototype cells will operate on a commercial scale typical for large modern aluminium smelters, using an electrical current of 450 kiloamperes (kA).

The Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry joined representatives from ELYSIS, Rio Tinto and Alcoa to mark the start of construction and announce a further CAD $20mn financial contribution from the Government of Canada to support the project.

The federal government's financial support will enable the creation of a unique commercial size inert anode technology showroom for future customers and will help develop the supply chain by involving local and regional equipment manufacturers and suppliers in the project.

ELYSIS is working to complete the technology demonstration by 2024 followed by the commercialization activities.

ELYSIS technology at a glance:

  • The ELYSIS technology addresses the global trend towards producing low carbon footprint products, from mobile phones to cars, planes and building materials.
  • The new process will reduce operating costs ofaluminiumsmelters while increasing production capacity. It could be used in both new and existing aluminium smelters.
  • In Canada alone, the ELYSIS technology has the potential to reduce GHG emissions by 7 million tons, the equivalent of removing 1.8 million cars from the roads.
  • ELYSIS will also sell next-generation anode and cathode materials, which will last more than 30 times longer than traditional components.

Alcoa and Rio Tinto will continue to support the ELYSIS development program alongside the Governments of Canada and Quebec.

ELYSIS is working closely with Alcoa's Technical Center, where the zero-carbon smelting technology was invented, and the Rio Tinto technology design team in France.

Alcoa's Technical Center supports ELYSIS in the manufacture of proprietary materials for the new anodes and cathodes that are essential to the ELYSIS process. The Rio Tinto technology team in France is creating commercial scale designs for the ELYSIS technology.

 

Vincent Christ, CEO, ELYSIS commented: “This is a great day for ELYSIS. It means that we are becoming the first technology company in the world to build commercial-size inert anode cells. While we refine the technology in our R&D Centre, we start the construction of our prototype cells. This shows our confidence in our process and in the know-how of our team. The combination of ELYSIS' zero CO2 technology and Quebec's renewable energy will be great competitive advantage for the future. I would like to thank the government for its support and all the partners for their commitment.”

Samir Cairae, Rio Tinto Aluminium managing director Atlantic Operations and ELYSIS board member added: “Today marks a real step towards the future of the aluminium industry, by progressing this breakthrough technology to cut carbon emissions. Rio Tinto is committed to supporting its ongoing development here in Quebec where we already use clean hydropower to deliver some of the world’s lowest carbon aluminium. Combining this technology with renewable hydropower holds the promise of zero carbon aluminium smelting.”

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