Deloitte executive comments on the future of the country's mining sector

29 April 2019 2 min. read

Speaking at an event at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, the Africa Leader for Energy & Resources at Deloitte Andrew Lane has emphasised the need for innovation to ensure a stable and competitive future for South Africa’s mining sector, which has been struggling in recent years. 

The sector’s revenues and market capitalisation took a substantial hit following the global dip in commodity prices in 2014, which has been detrimental to the overall economy as mining accounts for a large share of the GDP. Nevertheless, the sector is now looking towards innovation.

Big Four accounting and advisory firm Deloitte has been particularly active in driving the modernisation of the country’s mining sector. The firm has urged that technology has a crucial role to play in the sector’s future, and has launched an integrated solution of its own that revolves around the concept of the ‘Digital Mine.’

Deloitte executive comments on the future of the country's mining sector

Andrew Lane has reinforced these claims, arguing that the urgency for innovation has never been higher. South Africa suffers from a significantly high unemployment rate, and Lane claims that the period of struggle in the country’s mining sector over the last four years has resulted in the loss of nearly 100,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, the mines that were central to the sector previously have been substantially depleted, creating urgency for exploration in the country. Lane believes that introducing innovative technological measures at each point can instigate a revival in the sector, and renew its contributions to the GDP.

“The future is intelligent mining. It is not just about technology, it is about changing the way you do business. What gives you a sustainable competitive advantage is the rate at which you innovate. However, mining companies stand to achieve significant gains through applying innovation,” said Lane.

“Even though we have declined from 20% to 5% in terms of gross domestic product contributions, mining remains a large contributor to export earnings. The impossible can be achieved if technology is used for developmental outcomes, employment, and improving standards of living,” he added.