Deloitte launches integrated solution for mining sector in South Africa

17 April 2018 4 min. read
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In line with its predictions on the advent of the ‘digital mine,’ global professional services firm Deloitte has launched a comprehensive Intelligent Mining Solution in South Africa. The solution incorporates a range of use-cases, including short interval control, gamified performance management, predictive maintenance, and integrated digital planning.

Digitalisation has hit every industry, even ones such as mining that are, for the most part, physically intensive. In South Africa, mining ranks among the most crucial industries, accounting for approximately 10% of the country’s GDP, despite currently navigating a slump brought on by a dip in commodity prices.

The fluctuation in prices has caused a number of mining companies to reflect on their position in the market, and look to become more agile in their operations. Earlier this year, Big Four accounting and advisory firm Deloitte published a report on mining across Africa, predicting the increased digitalisation of the sector, and elucidating what a new age mining company would look like. 

Transformations include the digitised gathering of geological inputs, autonomous mining equipment, real-time data capture and feedback, drones for inspection monitoring, and an optimally connected workforce.

The consulting industry has recognised this as an opportunity, and has been active in evolving its mining services to better incorporate such innovation. Australian consulting firm WorleyParsons opened a Centre for Excellence in South Africa for the mining sector late last year, to advise on each stage of the mining process, from “conception to completion." 

Deloitte launches integrated solution for mining sector in South Africa

Since last year, WorleyParsons has been engaged in a strategic partnership with Deloitte, also to provide advisory services to the mining sector with the objective of improving client experience. Now, having made the ‘digital mine’ forecast, Deloitte has launched its own mining solution.

Intelligent Mining Solution

The Big Four firm has worked with leading technology experts to compile its Intelligent Mining Solution, which is constructed around an enterprise resources planning (ERP) software, with other software layered on, and consists of four use cases that deal with different aspects of the process. 

The first use case of the new solution is Short Interval Control, which involves the utilisation of real-time information that is gathered based on unique performance indicators to provide senior professionals in the company with an overview of the challenges in the production process. The solution is especially effective due to its ability to integrate data on distinctly varying elements of the process, from workers, to equipment, to topography.

Secondly, the solution offers gamified performance management, which is programmed to evaluate operations and inform an operator about the performance of his team as a whole, as well as the individuals within it through a ranking system. The solution employs Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) technology to inform the operator of the performance as he exits the mine.

The third use case is termed Predictive Maintenance, and allows operators to monitor the condition of their equipment with respect to temperature, vibrations, holding capacity, oil analysis, and a range of other functions. The software then uses predictive algorithms to generate warnings about possible equipment failures. In response, the operator may also use the software to access detailed instructions on how to mend the equipment.

The last use case of Deloitte’s solution is Integrated Digital Planning, which, as the name suggests, facilitates the planning process by making quick adaptive evaluations of each situation to generate a detailed plan for each possible course of action.

Commenting on the comprehensive nature of the solution, Strategy & Operations Leader at Deloitte Energy, Rhyno Jacobs said, “If you ask people to think about a digital transformation journey, it’s difficult for people to wrap their minds around the enormity of what can be done and how . . . but if you talk about five or six different things – as demonstrated here – it’s easier to relate . .  . to match a solution to some of their challenges. They can see how it creates value and this creates momentum in terms of  the operator envisioning the start of their operation’s digital transformation.”