The Fourth Industrial Revolution to Favor African Mining

African mines have faced a commodity price collapse, harsh labor conditions, regulatory changes, rising costs, and unpredictable international politics in the past five years.

FREMONT, CA: The digital age will alter the lives of individuals, communities, and businesses. Mines are not an exception to this rule, as they have significant repercussions and potential. Mines on the African continent must be cognizant of the impending changes to their operations and their effects on the society in which they operate.

According to Deloitte, African mines have navigated a decline in commodity prices, demanding labor conditions, regulatory changes, rising cost pressures, and unpredictable international politics during the previous five years. During this time, the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) has evolved, offering mining firms new prospects and difficulties. Moreover, regulatory changes and societal implications need mines not only to become compliant but also to develop better methods of earning value from regulation while assuring reciprocal benefit to the people and surroundings in which they operate. New skills, a shifting workforce, organizational reorganization, and new technology are crucial for navigating this era.

Emerging potential from the Fourth Industrial Revolution for mining enterprises includes what a digital mine will look like and the future of working in a digitally connected mine. These alterations will promote competitive innovation and sustainable mining practices by covering incremental improvements to existing difficulties via digital infrastructure and improved planning and decision-making.

Perspectives on the advantages of 4IR

The African mining sector utilized modern technology to run more efficient operations, manage risk, improve health and safety, reduce the cost of maintenance and extraction, and pursue skills improvement.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the use of automation and other novel instruments in the mining industry and the digitization of labor processes. These are some of the most important results from a report produced by PwC and the Minerals Council of South Africa. The purpose of the report titled "The state of digital transformation in the South African mining industry" was to gain an understanding of how the mining industry visualizes the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) on its people, processes, and technologies; how they perceive the evolution of the 4IR on their businesses in the coming years; and what steps they are taking to transform their businesses in preparation for these changes.