The online Smart Mining resource centre from digital solutions innovation hub Axora has piqued the interest of African mining companies, particularly those in South Africa.
Axora chief commercial officer Dr Nick Mayhew says these companies mainly mine precious metals.
Launched in May, the Smart Mining resource centre aims to provide the latest industry insights – together with leading digital solutions from Axora’s marketplace – to help accelerate business growth, reduce wasted investment, avoid duplication and assist mining to, ultimately, rebound from and thrive after Covid-19.
“The downtime caused by Covid-19 offers mining companies a unique opportunity to improve their digital solutions, accelerate their digital transformation roadmaps and enable ‘smart mining’. The companies that use this time to make their mines smarter are the ones that will recover the quickest and thrive in the future,” says Mayhew.
Axora’s Smart Mining digital solutions comprise smart devices, smart connected devices and the Internet of Things – the three technologies that comprise smart mining and can help transform and revolutionise mining companies in a post-Covid world, says Mayhew.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is causing an acceleration of digital transformation across the mining sector, as the need to be safer and more sustainable, and for efficient mining, has never been greater.”
Specific technology themes – such as tech-enabled ore sorting, autonomous machinery and remote monitoring for health and safety – are emerging as key priorities and are attracting urgent and significant investments to allow for smart mining, notes Mayhew.
Axora is actively marketing the industry insights and digital solutions hosted on its platform to companies worldwide, including Africa.
To date, the company has mostly focused on South Africa, as larger, more mature mining companies tend to be headquartered in the country.
Mayhew notes that, from his conversations with mining companies, Axora has not identified any challenges that would impede the uptake of its solutions in Africa.
The company has published a survey on the impact of Covid-19 on digital innovation and working-from-home practices in the mining industry.
Using blockchain technology, Axora hosts more than 120 innovative solutions, from sector leaders, startups and universities to consultancies. The company was developed by a team of industry experts, engineers and entrepreneurs, including US-based management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group.
Axora will initially focus on the oil and gas, and mining and metals sectors, but expand into other sectors as the business grows.