The Digitised Mine of the Future

At the annual meeting with SAP Advisory Council for Mining recently held in Cape Town, key global mining organisations said that digital technology is to be a key enabler in reinventing business processes that will support efficient operations and sustainable growth in Africa

At the annual meeting with SAP Advisory Council for Mining recently held in Cape Town, key global mining organisations said that digital technology is to be a key enabler in reinventing business processes that will support efficient operations and sustainable growth in Africa.

A wide range of digital technology and its uses were discussed, including the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, big data, enterprise mobility, autonomy, geo-sensing, analytics and 3D printing.

The mining companies shared examples of digital transformation projects that already use SAP software and services, which are increasing productivity, increasing satisfaction of customers' end users, enabling new business models and providing more ways to drive efficiency. 

AngloGold Ashanti, a global gold producer operating in four regions across 10 countries and managers of 20 gold mining operations, utilise SAP SuccessFactors Learning and SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting Management solutions to satisfy its rigorous demands for agile global deployment. “In a global enterprise such as ours, the ability to standardise the employee lifecycle across various geographies is imperative,” said Pieter du Toit Ooshuizen, Vice President, IM Planning and Governance, AngloGold Ashanti.

“SAP SuccessFactors solutions enable us to not only manage compliance, ethics and process training in various locations and languages but also internationally to expedite the process of recruiting talent. In addition to the current benefits we are seeing, we will also be utilising SAP SuccessFactors solutions to optimise and deploy other existing functionality over the next four years,” he added. 

Similarly, Cameco Corp., one of the world's largest uranium producers, is actively working with IoT and Industry 4.0 concepts for production loss management. The company uses the SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence application to address some key business issues with the integration of its enterprise resource planning (ERP) data and its control systems data. 

“SAP solutions for the IoT are enabling us to solve some big challenges in the area of production loss management at Cameco,” said Mark Leach, Vice President, Business Technology Services, Cameco. “Being able to develop human machine interfaces, transfer data more quickly to data historians and do more sophisticated reporting will help us to uncover process inefficiencies and help reduce the cost and risk of operations.” 

Lastly, Samancor Chrome, one of the world's largest integrated producers of ferrochrome, which is used in different areas of the stainless steel smelting process, has purchased the SAP Business Planning and Consolidation application to help it focus on business agility in the digital economy.

“The application will enable improved access to critical integrated business information, thereby reducing cost, bettering forecasting, cash management and thus decreasing financial - and operational - risk because of a better view of the future. IT touches everything. Accurate information intelligence today will impact upon the business of tomorrow. But if you add innovation as a key ingredient, IT can shape the future of your business,” summarised Cuan Kloppers, CIO, Samancor Chrome.