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Africa|Building|Energy|Indaba|Mining|Power|Risk Management|Safety|SECURITY|Sustainable|Technology|Solutions|Environmental|Operations
Africa|Building|Energy|Indaba|Mining|Power|Risk Management|Safety|SECURITY|Sustainable|Technology|Solutions|Environmental|Operations
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Firm discusses sustainability, safety at Indaba

FUTURISTIC The discussions also emphasised the relevance of using technologies to establish so-called mines of the future, which include solving safety and energy issues for mines

DISCUSSION TIME Representatives from dss+ participated in discussions regarding security of supply from Africa’s metal and minerals sector during the prevailing super cycle at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba

24th March 2023

By: Sabrina Jardim

Creamer Media Online Writer

     

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Representatives from operations management consultancy dss+ participated in discussions regarding security of supply from Africa’s metal and minerals sector during the prevailing super cycle at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba, held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre last month.

The discussions detailed how Africa could play a key role in the global transition to clean energy, owing to the continent’s abundance of critical metals and human capital.

“As a company focused on helping organisations save lives and creating a sustainable future, the discussion was a useful starting point to set the tone for accelerating the transition to a more sustainable mining industry that will attract the capital required to meet the supply challenges,” says dss+ mining and metals global director Johan Coetzee.

He notes, however, that government, the private sector and civil society need to collaborate to leverage opportunities while creating sustainable and resilient mining operations.

Collaboration will expedite the creation of value for all stakeholders and, in turn, help Africa to capitalise on the opportunity to supply critical metals and minerals globally.

“To mitigate the turbulence of the global commodity cycle, mining companies should lay the foundations for resilience now. Operational excellence, practices that ensure agility and stability, and ensuring proper engagement with governments, civil society and other private players, are an essential component for mining companies,” says Coetzee.

While integrating sustainability into mining operations will require significant changes to current operating models and supply chains, incorporating power solutions that address security of electricity supply and decarbonisation can be advantageous, particularly considering South Africa’s energy crisis.

Hence, Coetzee notes that there is growing support for junior miners from government and large mining companies in this regard, with increasing evidence that sustainability can be aided by technology.

He says the discussions also emphasised the relevance of using technologies to establish so-called mines of the future, which include solving safety and energy issues for mines.

Other Discussions

Representatives from dss+ also moderated a panel discussion, titled From Intent to Impact: How to Activate the Journey Towards Sustainable Mining of the Future, which focused on how mining companies could use technology to achieve sustainability goals while highlighting the subsequent challenges of actualising them.

“This session initiated an essential discussion around the challenges of actualising sustainability. From our perspective, bringing the sustainability agenda to fruition can take place only within a framework of a solid, fit-for-execution operating model,” says Coetzee.

dss+ also moderated a discussion titled Tailings, Safety, and Mining’s “Zero Harm” Approach: Are People and Communities Being Prioritised and What Frameworks Are In Place to Assure Transparency?.

Coetzee says the tailings discussion was relevant for a company that emphasises safety and mitigating catastrophic failures, noting that tailings form the apex of various issues.

These issues include individual and community safety, operational excellence and environmental management. Similarly, the discussion provided insights on the downside risk and upside potential for mining companies, demonstrating that tailings are a challenge that, if managed properly, can be an opportunity, says Coetzee.

Moreover, dss+ aims to help clients meet their growth targets while building a solid foundation of operational excellence, operational risk management and instilling a culture of zero harm.

Coetzee enthuses that engaging in discussions at the Indaba helped the company to bring these industry issues to the forefront.

“We are committed to helping our clients throughout Africa to align with these goals and make a positive impact – both on their bottom line and the world in which they operate. We use our global footprint to align with mining best practices from around the world. 

“The industry operates in uncertain and volatile times, and the operational context has complexities and risks. The challenge to all who work in the industry is to turn these into opportunities for the mining companies and the communities they operate in,” concludes Coetzee.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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