Industry Views:

What is Hindering the

Digital Mining Revolution in Southern Africa?


“Globally, the mining mind-set is the biggest constraint to the adoption of digital solutions. Mining is a very conservative industry where people tend to follow the same processes, failing to see the opportunities that true innovation can bring.”

Albert Du Preez, SVP, Head of TOMRA Mining, TOMRA Sorting Mining

“The first hurdle is to get over the industry’s resistance to change. There is not a broad acceptance that a plant can run in a very automated fashion. It is thus of paramount importance to educate the market on our product and the benefits of digitization and automation.”

Christian Gerhard, Managing Director, LOESCHE South Africa

“Traditionally, mining in Southern Africa has been conservative in adopting new technologies. The challenge is getting everyone involved in the change management process and driving the most value out of their software for the mining company.”

Gideon Slabbert, General Manager, Maptek

“Potentially hindering factors relate to: business construct and sophistication of innovation, people and or organizational culture, digitalisation technologies, mining value chain and technical issues, and finally technical and legacy debt.”

Johan le Roux, Director, Mandela Mining Precinct

“A hindrance is the lack of greenfield projects in Southern Africa. It is more challenging to retrofit old mines with new technologies than it is to look at digital offerings in a more modernized design right from the beginning.”

John Manuell, Local Division Manager, ABB

“Digital products of the future will significantly enhance productivity and reduce operating costs, which will invite the hesitant risk-averse players to adopt these technologies to be able to compete and survive in the market.”

Wilfred Barkhuizen, CEO, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions

“A significant challenge is the resistance of mines to adopt new technologies. When cash flows are reasonable there is little incentive to innovate, but there is nothing like disaster and hardship to sharpen the mind and discover better ways of doing things.”

Kevin Reynders, Managing Director, Rham Equipment