Mining sector challenged to keep up with industrial revolution

24 Nov, 2022 - 00:11 0 Views
Mining sector challenged to keep up with industrial revolution Delegates follow proceedings during the Association of Mine Managers of Zimbabwe annual conference in Victoria Falls recently

The Chronicle

Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter

THE mining sector has been challenged to invest in research and innovation leveraging on the new trends brought about by the 4th Industrial Revolution to be able to make meaningful and sustained contribution to the economy.

The mining industry contributes over seven percent of formal jobs, 11 percent to Gross Domestic Product, over 74 percent of total goods and services and more than 50 percent of foreign direct investment, as well as a major contributor to infrastructure development.

Government envisions to ensure sustainable exploitation of the country’s mineral reserves for socio-economic development and the realisation of a prosperous and empowered upper middle income society by 2030.

Government has set a target of attaining the US$12 billion mining industry by 2023 and this is expected to make the sector the bedrock of the economy.

Officiating at the annual conference of the Association of Mine Managers of Zimbabwe that was held in Victoria Falls recently, Permanent Secretary for Mines and Mining Development Mr Pfungwa Kunaka said digitalisation of the economy and mining sector should be an opportunity to reskill and redirect into higher value driven jobs such as mining data analysis.

He said a basic ingredient that has to be addressed by industry is training and capacity building of mining managers and practitioners to enable skills development relevant to the dictates of the industrial revolution.

“As we celebrate the silver jubilee for the association of mine managers, as mine managers we need to reflect on what our contribution is to the industrial revolution. Emphasis is on value chains through automation, robotics and smart technologies,” he said

“I believe it’s clear to all of us that the 4th industrial revolution is set to promote improved efficiency, increased productivity, greater safety for workers by reducing jobs in dangerous environments, enhanced decision making with data based tools and improved competitiveness by developing customise products.

Picture taken from the internet

“We, thus, have to marshal the transition from traditional industry and transform and as mining experts, we need to invest in research and development,” said Mr Kunaka.

The conference was held under the theme: “The Zimbabwean mining landscape-Transition towards the present day 4th Industrial Revolution.”

Mr Kunaka said collectively industry and Government need to quickly formulate policies and frameworks that are responsive to the dictates of the 4th Industrial Revolution and that will relook into mining fiscal regime, labour laws and investment frameworks.

He said as technologies change, there is a need to keep abreast with new developments to improve safety and efficiency in mining.

Mr Kunaka said the 4th Industrial Revolution information on the global mineral market trends is power hence there is need to invest in modern ICTs.

He said Zimbabwe has a framework that allows for research at various levels like at universities industrial hubs.
“We definitely have to take advantage of new technologies that are coming, which will improve productivity in mining. There is no doubt that minerals are going to lead the growth of the global economy,” he said.

He urged the industry to take advantage of the Mining to Energy Park being established in Mashonaland West province.

Mr Kunaka said the Government will continue to ensure a conducive environment for the industry while calling upon players in the sector to take heed of President Mnangagwa’s call for intensified science and technology and innovation development across all sectors to leapfrog the modernisation and industrialisation of Zimbabwe.

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