As South Africa progresses toward its 2050 net zero emissions targets, it needs to transition from a fossil fuel-based energy system to one that is renewable and ultimately more sustainable.

The latter is totally dependent on mining: Copper is believed to be the most important metal for electrification and is necessary to all net-zero plans; nickel, lithium, cobalt and graphite are also critical to meet demand for applications such as energy storage batteries and electric vehicles.

As downstream companies seek adequate, affordable, secure and ethical critical mineral supply, the only path forward for mining companies is to pivot their operations toward more sustainable forms of mining.

However, driving substantial change at scale requires engaging multiple stakeholders to bring together perspectives and resources that create lasting operational solutions. Addressing these operational challenges and building the required organisational capabilities is paramount to the success of the industry in the coming years.

Drawing from a wealth of experience in operational excellence, sustainability and operational risk management from around the globe, operational management consultancy dss⁺ is well-positioned to assist local mining companies in taking advantage of the situation and building the required organisational capabilities.

We can work with mines to move beyond their net-zero roadmaps, using our extensive experience in operational transformation to realise their ESG targets and implement the necessary changes for future resilience,” says global mining and metals director at dss⁺, Johan Coetzee.

Global mining and metals director at dss⁺, Johan Coetzee

“We aim to help clients in the mining sector to build the organisational capabilities required to embed sustainability mindsets, behaviours and processes that establish fully operationalised sustainability projects. This also facilitates enhanced production and responsible asset stewardship in the process.”

The group’s involvement in the Mining Indaba promises to add significant value with some high-impact sessions delivered by seasoned veterans of the industry. On the Indaba’s main stage, Coetzee will discuss paths to resilience in mining operations, and how mines can lay the foundations to manage complex large-scale volatility challenges today and in the future.

Helder Santos, director of mining and metals for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, stands among Africa’s industry pioneers working to build the organisational capabilities for sustainable mines of the future.

Having conducted several successful transformation programmes in the region, Santos will provide in-depth industry insights around operational excellence and operational risk management that facilitate paths to the new mining of the future, including energy transition and social impact, for example.

However, discussions about the future of mining and the management of key operational risks cannot be had without conversations around safety, and in particular the management of processes to ensure asset integrity and impact on communities.

To this end, Jaco Pieterse, principal consultant and process safety management expert at dss⁺, will moderate a panel about tailings, safety, asset management and community impact.

In sub-Saharan Africa, dss⁺ is helping to build baseline resilience for its mining and metals industry clients, as well as organisations in related or downstream sectors like oil & gas, chemicals and manufacturing.

“dss⁺ looks forward to contributing vital insights at the Mining Indaba on how mines can lay the groundwork now for organisational resilience in the future,” Coetzee remarks.

The 2023 Investing In African Mining Indaba, running in Cape Town from 6 to 9 February, will see experts explore themes such as supply chain security for the energy transition and how mines can capitalise on the investments to unlock value today and tomorrow.

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