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Input and output prices are only two factors affecting growth and profitability in mining. Productivity improvements must accelerate to counteract negative price trends.

Mining may remain a boom-and-bust industry, but companies don’t have to depend on the whims of commodity prices for success. It doesn’t take a long period of declining prices to remind mining executives of the benefits of improved productivity. But the industry has a decidedly mixed record when it comes to successfully implementing productivity improvements.

In many failed productivity initiatives, efforts stall because executives in charge lack a long-term vision and fail to rally the rest of their team to the cause. Other frequent roadblocks: operational silos and ingrained cultures that hamper productivity efforts.

Successful productivity efforts incorporate a global view that aims to improve not only internal operations but also external relationships with suppliers and customers. Productivity efforts must be continuous and sustained to have a lasting impact.

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