Mining & Metals is one of the world’s oldest industries provides an essential input into many other industries. As of 2019 the combined revenue of the top 40 global mining companies amounted to 692 billion U.S. dollars. The industry has a wide range of plant types from open-cut and underground mines, to fixed plants, smelters, and refineries. The mobile equipment used in the mining is of a scale not used in any other industry and sets unique requirements and challenges. The fixed is equipment is unique in some ways to and tends to see strong wear and tear.
What is not unique is the importance of generating value from capital-intensive assets and the need to drive high reliability, high availability, whilst optimising costs, and ensuring safety.
The Mining & Metals industry is impacted by significant boom & bust cycles, more so than for example the Oil & Gas industry. This often leads to periods of severe austerity and deep cuts, and period of generous spending when commodity prices are high.
That can make managing maintenance and driving reliability improvements a challenge, but it does reinforce the importance of get the basics right because they eliminate waste and make sure you deploy your scarce resources effectively and efficiently. Doing that will see an operation through the austere times in a much better shape. Then use the boom part of the cycle to invest in technologies that will further drive improvements (but keep operating costs low).