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MPI Analysis

Measure the productivity of your mining operations

The missing link in mining-company productivity: People

Nathan Flesher | John Parsons | Pawan Kumar Rai | Joël Thibert

The global mining industry, both underground and open-pit, is struggling to raise its asset productivity. Data from MineLens, McKinsey’s proprietary analysis tool, shows that mining productivity fell by one-third between 2004 and 2009, even after controlling for external factors like site age and geological degradation.

Since then, mining operations have evolved significantly, with companies investing in fleet-management tools and other technologies that allow them to collect more data and gain new insights into the drivers of operational performance. So far, however, these insights have not translated into significant productivity improvements for all players. Productivity has risen only modestly since the beginning of the current decade (Exhibit 1). What is holding these companies back from capitalizing on new innovations?