Investing in technology that drives efficiency and productivity is key for mining companies and suppliers alike to remain relevant in a rapidly-changing mining industry. This was the message delivered by industry-leading software solutions vendor MICROMINE at the Investing in African Mining Indaba from 4 to 7 February at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and billed as the world’s largest mining investment conference, as well as the largest mining event in Africa, the Mining Indaba “was a showcase of different projects and resource assets,” MICROMINE Africa Marketing Coordinator Craig Sternslow highlights.
Investing in technology that drives efficiency and productivity is critical. “Mining companies no longer have the luxury of large budgets that can be allocated on-the-fly. Nowadays the allocation on innovation and business improvement is significantly reduced. This has exacerbated competition not only between competitor industries, but also between different suppliers and vendors,” Sternslow notes.
Commenting on the prevailing atmosphere at this year’s Mining Indaba, Sternslow points that there was a sense of optimism in the air. “There was a palpable excitement that everyone could feel. And how do we take this forward into the rest of 2019? In Africa, at least, there has been the introduction of local collaboration when beginning new projects.
“Engagement with government and communities has long been a standard, but in order for this to be successful, mining companies need to look at this collaboration more positively, and more as an opportunity to do good, and also to potentially increase the skill levels of the workers at their mines,” Sternslow elaborates.
Another factor is investing in people. “The workforce is changing constantly. Mining houses need to understand the kind of employees they will have in the future, and what they will need in order to be productive and efficient. Investing in skills is vital, not only for the mining companies themselves, but it is also a good corporate social responsibility initiative,” Sternslow concludes.