Digitalisation brings vast prospects for mining sector

DRC mining

Coal mining

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) THE current decade is projected to be one of opportunity for the mining industry thanks to digitalisation and the shift towards lower carbon power.

According to an industry executive, the mining industry is thus well positioned to defy the volatility experienced in recent years, characterised by low commodity prices.

John Lewis, Managing Director of Aggreko Africa, said this coupled with emerging technologies creating demand for different metals and minerals, and greater pressure for carbon reduction, miners have had to adapt quickly in response to the realities of this operating environment.

“But perhaps it is time that we change how we interpret this outlook,” Lewis argued.

He said while it was undeniable that the industry (mining) was entering the 2020s with the need to overcome a number of challenges, the sector should change the narrative and consider the opportunities that come with this change.

“Digitalisation enables greater efficiency while the shift towards lower carbon power has the potential to significantly reduce operating costs,” Lewis said.

“This is a time of significant transformation for the industry as the traditional operating model is turned on its head,” said the executive.

Lewis said with mining having an integral role in future global development, the opportunities that came with this were boundless and should not be overlooked.

With the mining industry estimated to account for 6,2 percent of the total global energy consumption, the industry in particular is under the spotlight to put in place measures to address carbon footprint.

How the mining sector will look like in 2030 is still unknown, Lewis said with some certainty is that it would be markedly different from the one in which the industry operates today.

He said rather than view this transition with scepticism, the mining sector should embrace the opportunities that are a by-product of this change.

“With the chance to reduce carbon emissions, improve margins and drive efficiency as a result, what’s not to like?” he quipped.

– CAJ News

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