In the second part of the two-part series today, Jamie van Schoor discusses the Human Team’s component of his thoughts around “Mining Technology & Human Teams 4.0”. In this short and thought-provoking article, Jamie highlights some of the main areas that mining centric businesses could be nurturing to enable their workforce to thrive in the digital age.
I was keen to engage with Jamie to find out what issues or skills gaps he encounters when working across Africa, so we could share his learnings with the wider global industry.
HUMAN TEAMS 4.0 by Jamie Van Schoor, CEO @ Dwyka Mining Services
1.0 Get ready to develop talent – it is not available off the shelf
Excitingly, there is a pipeline of determined youth entering the marketplace with relevant theory-based knowledge. These individuals are the future stakeholders of the industry, relooking at apprenticeship programmes and job-shadowing as new technologist roles evolve that require a blended capability set from control and instrumentation, information technology and computer science and mining disciplines.
2.0 Engage HR and rewrite the rulebook for new roles
Creating new departments, dividing and understanding IT and OT responsibilities and mapping KPIs will be critical in blending legacy roles with new user and data requirements on-site. An interesting development is the creation of previously unimaginable roles to launch and manage new workflows and business imperatives with the advance of artificial intelligence.
3.0 Headquarters relocating and competing for talent
With remote working and connectivity improving, expect a battlefield for talent and competition for “minds for mines”. We see many African operations following listed global majors replicating the creation of high-tech headquarters away from remote sites, in urban areas to attract and retain the best talent as they compete with non-mining technology businesses.
Van Schoor adds, “In the future, mining companies will be technology businesses that are data oriented linked to resource extraction. With connectivity to remote sites being solved on surface and underground by our teams at Dwyka Mining Services, we won’t be surprised to see ‘Google-like’ headquarters of mining companies popping up in major cities across Africa.”
4.0 Digital transformation requires focused accountability and incentives
At a high level and focused on the adoption and adaptation of technologies for African mine-sites, Dwyka Mining Services, have the privilege of seeing a breadth of operational strategies to embed technologies. It is our view that this digital journey can be over-complicated but never understated the importance of C-suite buy-in and the support that the management of change involves across the organisation.
Jamie outlines four brilliant discussion topics for mining leaders to consider as we transition to a more data lead mining environment. The use of remote workers is something we have seen in Australia with the larger Iron Ore miners and we will no doubt see a trickle-down effect into the wider business landscape. It would be amazing to walk into world class head offices and be able to supported by a suite of technical specialists who assist in the background!
I would like to thank Jamie for providing the readership with his insights, some of which can be forgotten in the process of new technology implantation! The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly pushed forward many remote working habits within the mining sector, highlighting our ability to complete ever increasing tasks away from the mining face.
Jamie van Schoor is Founder and CEO of Dwyka Mining Services, which is a pan-African mining technology platform that assists underground mining clients to adopt and adapt to evolving technologies with a focus on supporting efforts to improve safety, health and environmental conditions in the collaborative pursuit of the digital mine of the future. https://dwykamining.africa/
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