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Creating value through supply chains 

I’ve chosen to examine both mine value chains and supply chains this March on The Intelligent Miner. Why? 

Firstly, because the two are so often confused. Although distinctly separate, supply chains and the way in which they are managed play an increasingly important role in mine value chains. 

If managed carefully with commitment to procurement from reputable and local suppliers, supply chains can be a source of great value – monetary and more – to both mining companies and communities. They can help secure and maintain a social license to operate.

Conversely, if managed poorly, supply chains can increase a business' exposure to operational and financial risk, particularly through times of uncertainty, as many miners discovered during 2020.

Secondly, because of the heightened interest that investors are taking in environmental, social governance as part of their due diligence and, likewise, consumers in responsible mineral sourcing, value chains are being scrutinised today more than ever. Miners cannot afford to lose access to capital or markets because of procurement mechanisms that, for example, unintentionally leave a backdoor open to corruption. 

Thirdly, the eyes of end users are (slowly) being opened to the necessity of mining in the products they rely on in their day-to-day lives. The growth that we’ve seen over the past 20 years in sustainable fashion and fair trade foods prove that people do care about the materials they consume and are willing to pay a premium for those that are produced responsibly. 

With technologies like blockchain comes the proof of provenance that consumers and end users will demand of metals in the future. Reputation and worth will be judged on how mining companies handle their value chains, so now is the time to review current practices and implement changes if necessary. 

Leave no stone unturned.


Next month on The Intelligent Miner: Reconnecting mines, markets & consumers

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Reading list
Eight of the most interesting articles I've read on mine value & supply chains
EY: How mining companies can build more resilient supply chains 
Some useful tips here and thoughts on what mining supply chains could look like in the future
BHP: Building a COVID resilient supply chain, part 1
The first in an interesting three-part series of articles from the world's largest mining company. I'd urge you to go look at the other two as well
IMARC: Responsible sourcing going forward
Something to listen to on your lunchbreak... An excellent webinar on responsible mineral sourcing and its impact on stakeholders
FLSmidth: A healthy supply chain ensures you stay up and running
A look at how one supplier and its customers overcame the supply challenges associated with COVID-19   
E&MJ: blockchain, a new level of trust for miners 
How blockchain technology can help miners secure investment and future access to markets through times of unprecedented change
McKinsey: the mining value chain, a hidden gem
Pretty much everything you need to know about creating end-end efficiency and safeguarding against volatility in mine value chains
Global Trade Review: How blockchain is transforming the metals & mining supply chain
Another perspective on blockchain and its applications in mineral sourcing
FT: Tesla's move into mining aimed at energising battery supply chain
Because disruption to value chains comes in many different forms. Tell me, do you think we'll see more of this from consumers going forward as electrification challenges metal supplies?
Last month on The Intelligent Miner
We explored building teams for different challenges
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