Metals & Mining

We help metals and mining companies create Change that Matters by leveraging artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to shape their strategy, boost productivity, and drive innovation.


McKinsey serves most of the world’s largest metals players, across every region. We help them shape strategy, transform operational performance, and build agile organizations.

We bring a unique blend of industry, functional, and regional expertise to help metals companies solve their most important and complex problems—and deliver fundamental, measurable, and lasting performance improvements in a commodity world that has become more challenging and volatile.

Metals players, whether in steel, aluminum, copper, or other base metals (nickel, zinc, chrome, lithium,), must shape strategy and drive performance in an environment of unprecedented volatility driven by many global factors such as trade flow patterns, global warming and continuous cost pressure.

Metals value chains are “slivering” into distinct slices, each with its own economics, while radical shifts in global supply-and-demand patterns mean producers must adapt to a multi-speed world. There is no one path to sustainable value creation; each player must tailor its agenda for moving ahead—including growth across new markets and products—and focus on operational excellence and agility in the face of uncertainty.


We serve two-thirds of the world’s top 25 mining companies, across all regions and functions—helping them navigate a volatile world and deliver outstanding performance.

We help mining leaders hone strategy, transform operational performance and organizational effectiveness, and deliver step-change improvements right across the value chain—from resource efficiency to capital productivity to marketing

Mining represents a major proportion of the world economy, a focus of massive investment, and a key growth driver for many countries. Yet after the past decade’s commodity boom, mining companies are operating in a complex environment characterized by high price volatility, increasing operational challenges, and shifting regulation. To create value today and secure competitive advantage for the future, they must achieve laser-sharp strategic focus, drive operational excellence across the business, and deliver high levels of capital and resource efficiency.



Optimizing productivity with data and insights from MineLens

Volatile commodity prices and industry market valuations are forcing mine operators to cut costs, limit capital expenditures, and boost productivity. The size and speed of profitability improvements are hard to predict and vary significantly by commodity, region, and specific mine. MineLens analyzes labor, cost, and equipment-productivity data; benchmarks that data against a global set of peers; and delivers insights into performance-improvement opportunities.


Distinctive knowledge in mining cost curves, supply and demand models

MineSpans enables strategic decision making by providing mining operators and investors with the most robust cost curves, tools, supply and demand models, and commodity outlooks.


Optimizing steel-making productivity

Over the last decade, global steel industry EBITDA margins have averaged eight to ten percent, which is below the margin of 15 to 17 percent necessary for long-term sustainability. However, during the same period, we have seen the best performing steel producers achieve EBITDA margins of 20 to 30 percent as a result of structural advantages such as low factors costs, as well as equipment, labor, and cost productivity. This suggests an improvement potential in operational excellence across the industry.

SteelLens helps steel plants achieve operational excellence. Our proprietary assessment methodology identifies, quantifies, and prioritizes value creation opportunities in steel plants operations. We link operational metrics such as blast-furnace fuel rates, product yields, and labor productivity to financial outcomes such as EBITDA and cost-curve position. We combine global technical industry benchmarks, operational impact cases developed in collaboration with steel producers, and deep steel industry expertise to help steel producers optimize cost and performance.


Increasing productivity in heavy industry processing plants with advanced analytics

Processing plants are complex, with intricate, non-linear interactions across thousands of variables and multiple trade-offs to solve for. Operating decisions are typically made through process control tools solving for a local optimization, or are based on an individual operator’s experience, which can vary significantly. Amidst this complexity, technology generates enormous amounts of data across the value chain. When used to its full potential, data can drive productivity improvement and help plants achieve optimal results.

Capturing value from advanced analytics requires multiple skillsets, such as data science, process control and metallurgy, IT, change management, and capability building. OptimusAI leverages a full portfolio of digital solutions that combines science, data, and experts to help processing plants in heavy industries make data-driven decisions to improve profit per hour.