Mining Indaba 2021
SIM Virtual
OpinionTechnology

Innovation as antidote

During the pandemic, the role of technology in helping us to continue with (something like) normal life has been a frequent topic of conversation on Zoom calls with family, friends, and colleagues. If this pandemic had hit as recently as, say, 2000, how would businesses have coped with lockdown restrictions? There is no doubt that the events of 2020 have had a devastating impact on the global economy, businesses, and employment. Fortunately, however, the technology available to us today has offered some businesses a reprieve. At Acrux Resources, we have positioned ourselves at the forefront of technological developments, to help our clients prepare for the future – even when it includes “black swan” events like Covid-19.

In keeping with this approach, Acrux Resources has recently launched two innovative recovery technology businesses. Together with a strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) focus, our innovations will help mining enterprises improve efficiencies and ultimately recover faster. We understand only too well that capital constraints come into play at a time like this. As a result, both these new businesses offer bespoke, fully financed solutions that will allow investment in this game-changing technology without placing additional strain on balance sheets already weakened by the pandemic. Together with our partners, we are excited about focusing on delivering these solutions to the mining sector.

When the crisis really started to take hold in March of this year, many businesses faced an indefinite period with little or no revenue. The immediate – and natural – response was to make deep cuts in capital and operating costs. Those who had the liquidity to weather the storm limped on, hoping to outlast their competitors until such time as the economy began to cover. Technology firms were the only real beneficiaries in a world where online connectivity became more essential than ever, both as a business tool and a social necessity.

At Acrux, we have always been curious about the future of the mining industry. We have dedicated time to reimagining how the mining sector might look following this crisis, and we can see that an opportunity exists to reset certain aspects of our sector. During daily virtual debates, our team has considered the impact this crisis would have on our economy and the industry we operate in. We discussed a world where the pace of change has been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic. A recurring theme was the role of technological developments in continuing to improve efficiencies and outputs in all sectors, and how companies that pivot or reset their offering would benefit themselves and their industries.

The need for improved efficiency and output in the mining sector, which would enable a move down the cost curve, has never been more important. However, we recognise that as companies emerge from this economic crisis, with weakened balance sheets and a low commodity price environment hampering their repair, the need for bespoke, cost-effective solutions will be greater than ever.

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By Sean Browne

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