Information Technology is changing the way we mine. Advancements in technology are having a lasting impact not only on production but also safety and sustainability – allowing us to make intelligent decisions and create safer, more sustainable operations. Digital transformation demands radical change. Progress is hampered by a lack of understanding of the value of technology and internal organizational barriers.
On 17 October 2018, we hosted our “Digital Transformation in Mining” breakfast seminar at the Indaba Hotel and Conference Centre in Fourways.
Speaking at the seminar were Matthew Lawlor, Senior Manager, Energy & Resources, Strategy and Operations at Deloitte Consulting and CJ Jooste, Principal Solution Specialist at IsoMetrix. Both speakers shared their views on how technology is changing mining in all spheres, and; how drastically necessary the regulations are, to curb climate change and drive sustainable industry.
Matt is a Manager within Deloitte Consulting’s Africa Strategy and Operations practice. He operates across the Energy, Resources & Industrials industry cluster, in particular mining.
“Due to continuous changes in issues facing the mining industry, mining companies must be agile in reacting to these changes,” said Matt in his presentation titled Intelligent Mining – Beyond Digital. He highlighted the top ten concerns for mining CEOs in 2018 as:
“Digital is here, it’s now and it is a discussion that we need to be having,” said Matt. Because the Earth’s resources are depleting, alternative resources can be sourced in outer space. Matt points out that mining in space is no more farfetched than mining kilometers underground. “Mining is a finite resource, so think outside the globe,” he says.
Matt used the example of the advance in electric vehicles (EV) to illustrate technological advances that are disrupting mining. “The EV boom is growing and becoming more affordable,” said Matt, “Legislation around EVs will disrupt the mining industry.” EVs will impact infrastructure and will impact the mining industry. This is not necessarily negative, stressed Matt, as it presents new opportunities for mines.
“There are predictors to disrupters in industry. How well we understand these drivers of disruptive change will determine how well we adapt to the changes and turn the disruptions into opportunities,” advised Matt. “The future is not predictable, but we can identify the important drivers, that will shape the future,” he says.
Digital transformation will have an irrevocable impact on how we work. Matt explains that “Deloitte’s approach to helping organizations understand how to coordinate and integrate Future of Work disruptions into their transformation.”
CJ Jooste presented his keynote address “Management systems in the Digital Mine”.
CJ has over 8 years’ experience designing and implementing integrated GRC software solutions for major international clients. He specializes in designing forward-thinking business and technical-build requirements for clients that are at the cutting edge of agile application development and meet their requirements exactly.
“There so much data. Our challenge is to know what to do with the data,” said CJ. “The first step to leveraging your data is knowing what data you have.”
CJ described the evolution of Technology in the GRC space. He described what he calls the “Technological Stone Age” as data collection for paper reporting, decision making based on standalone data and having limited or no visibility of improvements. The evolution from this is collecting data for analytics, integrated data and reactive trends. This has evolved from reactive management to proactive management.
With so much information available to companies -from smart monitors and wearable devices to automated drones and live weather data feeds -the mine of the future can relate information to their management systems and proactively manage risks before they materialize.
“Digital mines are gearing towards predicting trends before they happen, acting pro-actively and ensuring they maximize profits efficiently and safely. The next frontier of mining will require people to think and mine differently,” said CJ.
The breakfast seminar is part of our annual calendar of thought-leading seminars, where industry experts are invited to share their expertise on a range of pertinent topics relating to HSE and risk management.