By; Gary Kakompe
The future of African mining will take centre stage as industry experts delve into the latest technology developments that contribute to building and delivering mines of the future, today. Brand new to Mining Indaba 2023 is the launch of the three-day InfraTech content platform. It will debut with an exciting lineup of panel discussions for audiences to attend from 6-8 February.
“For the first time in 2022 we held our dedicated Infrastructure & Supply Chain Forum, bringing together the vital mining supply chain companies and senior mining executives to discuss ESG-focused solutions to Africa’s growing mining operations. Such was the success of that programme that we have integrated it with our technology-focused Mining 2050 stream to create the brand new three-day InfraTech content platform looking at critical aspects of mining infrastructure, technologies and building effective supply chains,” said Simon Ford, Portfolio Director of Investing in African Mining Indaba.
Top discussions at InfraTech will include innovation in mining technology and how ‘global pandemics’ and geopolitical realities act as accelerators in technological progress and make supply chains resilient and agile. Also, under discussion will be the just energy transition and its push for renewable energy. The increased demand for critical minerals needed in renewable energy solutions will mean a renewed interest in exploration and the need for a holistic lifecycle approach. Speakers will also discuss the future of work and how mining companies are adapting to the ‘new normal’ while creating vital employment and utilising technology.
Attendees will hear from leading industry experts including BHP Xplor VP, Sonia Scarselli; Kumba Iron Ore COO, Vijay Kumar; Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa CEO, Sabina Dall’Omo; Ivanhoe Mines VP for Sustainability, Jasmine Abrahams; Zanaco Chief Commercial Officer, Chali Mwefyeni and CGC Consulting & ADAPT Digital Solutions CEO and Founder, Clive Govender.
A key panel discussion “Evolving Infrastructure to Grow the Zambia – DRC Battery Manufacturing Partnership” will focus on the Zambia-DRC battery manufacturing partnership to establish a battery manufacturing hub in the Copperbelt region, a revolutionary step for African mining. It will explore not only what this great partnership means and how it is progressing, but will also look at the infrastructure and logistics needed to ensure product reaches global markets. The panel will be moderated by the Cobalt Institute Head of Responsible Sourcing and Sustainability, Susannah McLaren and includes the following speakers: Chamber of Mines of Zambia CEO and President of MIASA, Chilembo Sokwani; Zanaco Chief Commercial Officer, Chali Mwefyeni; DRC Chamber of Mines CEO, Simon Tuma-Waku and DRC Chamber of Mines President, Louis Watum.
To provide institutions of higher learning with insight into how they can use technological change to close the mining industry’s talent gap, a panel discussion will be held on “How can academia keep up with Exponential Technological Progress”. This panel will weigh in on how academia can work with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and mining companies to develop a highly skilled and motivated workforce and more importantly, make mining attractive to the next generation of professionals. The panel will be moderated by Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the Free State, Professor Francis Peterson who will glean insights from Minktek CEO, Molefi Mutuku; UCT Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sue Harrison; Wits University Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Zeblon Vilakazi and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research CEO, Thulani Dlamini.