Leading mining software solutions and services provider MICROMINE Africa continues to place a large focus on offering tertiary institutions such as Schools of Mines specialised software packages to better equip graduates with the skills needed for the evolving mining industry on the continent.
With investment in emerging economies on the rise, the aim is to use this investment successfully. One such way is investing in training and technology, which improves the efficiency of mining operations. In addition, an important trend is co-investment in projects. This reduces the capital outlay for governments which, in turn, results in greater productivity, job creation, and increased exports.
“No doubt Africa has a long way still to go. However, it is now taking its resources much more seriously, and has a far better understanding of the potential of mineral deposits to generate income, uplift communities and put more resources into Skills Development. Africa is on the up with regards to better mining practices, as well as investing in projects and businesses that will better its economies,” MICROMINE Africa Marketing Coordinator Craig Sternslow comments.
A major contributor to the growth in exploration in emerging economies is advancements in software, such as Micromine, Pitram, and Geobank. Many African governments are also creating more investment-friendly policies and regulations. “Legislation and policies have taken centre stage in Africa over the past year, with many governments starting to realise they need to manage their resources and interests more efficiently,” Sternslow elaborates.
This is where MICROMINE’s software solutions play an integral role, as having a database of all historic and current data, from aeromagnetic to drill-hole or topographic data, will assist in justifying and validating the resource capabilities of a particular country.
Regulatory improvements have seen a more open-minded and community-focused movement. Simplified permit and licence processes, with a reduction in restrictions on prospecting, makes it easier for mining and exploration companies to explore new areas.
“Governments and mining companies must understand the need to have local equity partnerships, improved labour laws, and incentives for local investment, as well as technology transfer for local communities,” Sternslow stresses.
A drastic shift towards financial sustainability is currently happening right now in Africa, which is leading many financial analysts to, indeed, call it the next emerging market. Africa has definitely changed over the last decade, with a proactive shift in driving the evolution of the mining industry.
“The rise in commodity prices such as gold and copper is creating a more stable environment for some mining operations. This is resulting in an uptick in exploration growth, because mining companies are viewing Africa as an ideal destination for new finds,” Sternslow concludes.