NEW YORK, NY, USA, 1 February 2021—Released today, the 13th annual edition of Deloitte Global’s mining and metals report, Tracking the Trends 2021, explores key trends facing mining and metals companies as they navigate the impacts of the pandemic and the need to rebuild trust among stakeholders in their pursuit of renewed productivity, financial discipline, operational excellence, and future growth. The report takes a look at what the mining sector is doing right and what needs to improve, as well as offering best-practice examples.
"This is a critical moment for mining," says Andrew Swart, Deloitte Global Mining & Metals sector leader. "The industry is charting a path out of a pandemic where the impacts varied greatly depending on what commodity is mined, and where the company is located, therefore resiliency is one of the most important tools. At the same time miners need to rebuild trust among stakeholders, including investors, the workforce, and the local communities, as success in the future will be based on factors beyond just financial performance."
Overcoming the “trust deficit”
The World Economic Forum released a report in July 2020 that identified a “trust deficit” as being the most important risk facing the mining industry. Addressing this challenge is causing mining leaders to redefine their strategic objectives, reconnect and recommit to their stakeholders, and reset their priorities.
This year, we share our perspective on what mining companies need to do to rebuild trust among their extended ecosystem of stakeholders, from their investors and employees to the communities and societies where they operate.
As miners navigate the new normal, resiliency is imperative, so it’s not surprising that we kick off this year’s trends with four divergent scenarios of how the world might play out over the next three to five years. COVID-19 has accelerated many trends, but the world remains uncertain and these scenarios will be key as firms navigate different stakeholder needs to close the trust deficit.
From an investor perspective, this means winning back confidence by finding new ways to deliver consistent shareholder returns, particularly as transactional activity picks up, and closing the supply chain gaps that the pandemic brought to the fore. Many miners are also taking this opportunity to recalibrate for the future by shifting towards integrated operations to drive more predictable returns.
To rebuild trust across their talent network, companies are redefining leadership, adapting the workplace culture, and recommitting to the goal of zero harm.
They are also revisiting their commitments to local communities, and to society at large, by enhancing their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance. This has seen them working to get serious about decarbonization and turn their corporate governance frameworks into a competitive advantage—initiatives that will drive value for their broader stakeholder groups as well. Mining companies are also working to link their social investments to sustainable outcomes and playing an active role in the world’s transition to a clean energy future.
Top industry trends
Deloitte Global has identified ten trends as defining the present and near future of the mining industry. Each of these trends has a role to play in guiding companies to success beyond the pandemic, and in re-establishing trust with stakeholders.
“Planning for a range of outcomes is key as leaders build resilience in their organizations,” adds Swart. “To do this, leaders should reconsider the assumptions of their current strategy, determine how they will respond if an unexpected scenario occurs, and pay attention to local, regional, and global indicators about where things are heading.”
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