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Author's profile photo Brigitte Kleinschmidt

Mining’s challenges present opportunity for improvement, growth

Hello mining professionals,

this is a very informative aricle about the importance of Mobility in the Mining industry.

Regards, Brigitte

The challenges facing the mining industry should be seen as opportunities to improve and grow the industry.


This is the view of SAP head of sales: mobility Julie Tregurtha, who told a Business Improvement in Southern Africa seminar, held in Johannesburg earlier this month, that “one of the opportunities that can be integrated effectively into mining businesses and industry is the effective use of mobile technology to transform the mining industry”.

She added: “When we look at certain mining companies that have been successful over the years and that have made certain improvements in their way of doing business, the first thing we note is that many mining companies are distributors. The logistics of that means that companies often have people who are stationed in remote areas and they do not have on-hand access to back-end systems and digital data.

“This is a challenge that can be dealt with through the introduction of mobile technology and using it to the companies’ advantage.”

Mobile technology could enable a business to involve all stakeholders in the mining business.

Therefore, there would greater opportunity to overcome challenges, provide people with better information, replace paper-based types of processes, reduce the risk of double data capturing and have information readily available for on-site managers and workers who were far removed from, and do not have access to, head office while working on site.

“Through the use of mobile technology and solutions, we are able to streamline operations, reduce the time between the phases of operation and tear down data communication silos because data that is needed for the workers on site can be easily accessed,” she says.

Mobile technology enables mining companies to virtualise the business and deploy these processes to accelerate daily activities, which, in turn, leads to better decision-making and running the business more efficiently.


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      Author's profile photo SUPRIYO SENGUPTA

      Yes, very important point by Julie Tregurtha.

      We should take the challenges of mining industry as the opportunities for innovation.

      But regarding the subject discussed here, I have some small concerns.

      It is correctly mentioned that most of the mining companies are using logistic component as well as a part of their operations.

      But logistic for a mining company generally have the below situations -

      • Mine to port via Truck
      • Mine to port via Rail
      • Mine to  loading point (railway siding etc) via truck
      • Intermediate loading point point to port via rail
      • Mine to plant via truck in case of captive mine
      • Mine to plant via Rail in case of a captive mine

      These are the most common scenario in mining logistic where the companies directly own the transportation part (though now a days, transportation via third party is again a common scenario).

      But for those above mentioned logistics mode, human intervention is limited.

      "Checking Weigh of Truck + Vehicle Identity" at the time of mine-out and port or plant of loading point IN will be enough I guess to track all the information.

      And for SAP side - may be good readymade plug-in with SAP + Weigh Bridge Application + Vehicle Identifier Application (many cases RFID) will be enough to get the information.

      Input data to SAP from Mobility application (may be some hand-held application) by people at remote site particularly for this logistic part - could be good but may not be so much important if a proper tracking process at weighbridges of mine site and port or destination sites are working fine, with proper mapping to SAP.

      Yes, mobil application for the people at remote site can be helpful for vehicle position reporting or other information purpose