BHP Group plans to downsize its technology division by as much as 35% by the end of the year and fast-track the implementation of machine learning and data analytics, The Australian reported Feb. 26.
According to the report, CEO Mike Henry said that BHP is looking to trim A$756 million from its current costs through a restructuring of functional teams, with special focus on its technology division. Acting technology head Rag Udd announced the plans in a series of meetings, with the 2,000-strong section told that there were significant changes on the way, according to The Australian.
Henry inherited the CEO role without flagging any major changes to BHP's core strategy, but he aimed to hasten productivity gains, mainly through more rapid technology adoption.
The miner's technology team will place emphasis on analyzing data generated by the company's trucks, diggers, processing plants and logistics infrastructure in a bid to cut costs and increase productivity, instead of implementing large-scale automation projects through autonomous trucks and trains.
BHP has already piloted such a data analytics model, with the miner implementing improvements at the processing plant at the Caval Ridge coal joint venture in Queensland, Australia, after gathering data over a period of 18 months.
After the implementation, the Caval Ridge processing plant yielded an extra tonne of saleable coal for every 100 tonnes processed, increasing returns for the coal operation.