A major gold deposit was recently discovered in South Africa’s Free State province, which could lead to one of the country’s first new mines for metal in 25 years.
As the gold mining and exploration companies responsible for the find prepare to conduct a full prefeasibility study on the economic merits of the project, now would be a good time to look at some of the key operational challenges facing mines who wish to compete in the modern landscape.
Embracing digital mining and new software technologies
Mines today have access to large amounts of data related to operations thanks to modern sensors and equipment. The challenge for most mines however remains finding ways to interpret this data into meaningful information that they can use to make informed important decisions. This is where embracing new software technologies designed to do exactly this comes in. More mines need to take advantage of the range of new software systems available catering specifically to their market.
Embracing mechanisation and automation
Mechanisation is not a new concept in the South African mining industry as varying degrees of mechanisation have been evident in the country’s mines for over a century, however, the full business potential for increased mechanisation and automation has yet to be realised. Some of the main benefits include increased productivity, improved safety and improved profitability. Despite these benefits many mines are still hesitant to fully embrace the mechanisation and automation of their operations.
xMMP (exploration, Mining & Minerals Processing) is a mining “ERP” solution that covers the Total Life of Mine (‘LOM’). Managing mineral rights (tenements) claims, exploration, drilling, EPCM for the development phase, actual mining, stockpiles, plant, shipping and dispatching all the way to mine rehabilitation.
Embracing energy and water efficiencies
More mines around the world are realising that energy efficiency measures are valuable tools for mining projects as they enhance productivity, improve quality and reduce operating costs. Certain countries, like South Africa, are renewable energy development hubs. This presents an interesting opportunity for mines looking to reduce their carbon footprint because some sources offer predictable output at certain times of the day or year meaning mines can optimise their systems to operate during times of greatest energy availability.
Opening and running a new mine in the face of these three challenges can seem daunting but with the help of a mining ERP solution that covers the Total Life of Mine, mine owners will have the tools and real-time data needed to improve asset performance, impress compliance and increase production from the mine to the final product.
Dynamics xMMP (exploration, Mining & Minerals Processing) available from Resolve Immix is an ERP solution that handles everything from managing mineral rights (tenements) claims, exploration, drilling, EPCM for the development phase, actual mining, stockpiles, plant, shipping and dispatching all the way to mine rehabilitation.