What are the details regarding the acquisition of Centric Mining Systems by Datamine, and what does it mean for Centric from an operational standpoint?
There were converging interests in our vision to deliver solutions to the mining industry focused on knowledge management and innovation. Datamine has been in acquisition mode over the last few years, looking for partners that fit their strategic vision to join their team. They saw Centric Mining Systems as a real growth opportunity. Being part of the Datamine group will also provide long-term benefits for Centric, our staff and customers. We have the opportunity to strengthen and grow our business by leveraging resources, including an office network across 20 countries and profound software and mining expertise. Datamine and Centric also shared a vision for a series of highly integrated solutions that would deliver an enterprise-scale, full-service mine information management framework. There is much focus on increasing our market share in traditional markets. However, with Datamine, there is now a focus on South America, Africa and even the Far East and Russia.
Could you provide an overview of Centric’s case study with Perseus Mining?
Perseus is a company we started speaking to a few years ago when they started off as a junior. I thought they had a very progressive outlook in terms of wanting to operate based on data, not just on instinct, while being highly integrated to head office. The leadership team understood that as the company continued to grow, it would require sustainable, scalable processes to be a high functioning, streamlined business that could react quickly and make effective decisions. That aligned with Centric’s mission, so we began to deploy across their mines, replacing a lot of inefficient and inaccurate processes around data collection and decision making. In a short period of time, we proved to Perseus that you could have a better-run business using data-driven decision-making processes. With success at the first site under our belt, we moved to the following two sites, increased the amount of information collected, and integrated the head office in Perth into that information management framework. We see it as a real success, and therefore, an excellent opportunity for a case study as to how a small and mid-size producer saw value in data-driven decision support and executed with us.
How can technology providers convince mining management teams and operators of the benefits of new solutions?
The mining industry is interesting. When we go through low metal prices, or just moderate metal prices, the reaction is almost always that there is no money for innovation. When prices go up and demand goes up, then the attitude is that there is no time to innovate. So, I think the answer links back to having case studies. Mining is traditionally an information management space, not a space for thought leadership. They are skeptical, so they need proof, as we did with Perseus to demonstrate success. The more of these wins we can present to the industry, the more we will, slowly but surely, see adoption rates increasing.
Are there any main themes revolving around the industry and what you would like to achieve in 2022?
The predominant theme we are seeing is getting value from data. In the same way ESG has made a key appearance, there is a real trend towards analytics, something we have been talking about for a couple of years now. As we look forward, we have a long road and a bright future with the adoption of cloud applications, and we continue to upgrade and enhance the Centric Mine Information Management Platform. Our goal is essentially to do a case study on every one of our customers, to publish their success so that people can see the benefits of this strategy. And, of course, we will be leveraging our Datamine partnership. We have a fantastic relationship with all the Datamine partners, with a range of operating companies and products within the Datamine organization.