Most mining companies in Africa are struggling to incorporate Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) in their mining operations due to the high costs of interacting technology. The high costs of integrating the first and second tiers have made most local and small-scale miners opt for more affordable mining operations.
According to Keith Fenner, Senior Vice President of Sales for Africa most African mining companies cannot afford more advanced systems to execute the same obligations. However a good ERP helps small-scale mining operators both at the local and global levels. Mr. Fenner mentions that most African countries have partnered with foreign miners who have advanced technological resources to facilitate mining activities. The alternative accessible for most domestic mining companies and small-scale miners cannot allow them to mine some minerals. Alternatively, the low-quality mining equipment cannot mine mineral substances in the desired outcomes.
South Africa is one of the countries in Africa that has invested in the mining industry due to the mineral substances found in this country. Similarly, the country’s GDP has allowed the mining sector to invest in mining activities. Unfortunately, Sage ERP X3 is the software available for most miners. Foreign mining companies such as AngloGold Ashanti have succeeded to integrate ERP mining operations in South Africa. The mining company has enough resources to deploy advanced technology.
The expert Sindane Themba states that large corporations and companies have invested lots of resources to implement cloud-based ERP in South African mining activities. These miners take huge risks because they understand the outcome of their actions. The heavy financial investment is involved in licensing and technological maintenance. The cost incurred threatens small-scale miners and companies who opt to engage in affordable mining with low returns.
Integrating technology into mining activities
The South African leadership has opened the mining sector to both domestic and foreign mining companies. Unfortunately, the foreign countries from Europe and America have dominated the industry due to the support from their nations and the high quality of mining materials. Themba claims that the government has invested in improving the South African IT infrastructure to support domestic and foreign mining companies that wish to incorporate cloud-based ERP. The interaction between the experts of the ERP and the government has enabled South Africa to proceed in integrating technology into mining activities.
In a country like Kenya, the government is considering opening new investments through streamlining regulations that will enable cloud-based ERP to be integrated into the Kenyan mining activities. However, the success of the investment relies greatly on the foreign players who have the skills and expertise to deploy the mining activities. Besides, the Kenyan government understands the high costs incurred when introducing advanced technology to mining. The government has indicated goodwill in digitalizing its mining operations. Regrettably, like most countries in Africa financial and human resources have slowed down the intentions.
The Kenyan experience is shared among most African countries endowed with various mineral substances. Sadly, some of these countries under-exploit their resources creating an opportunity for foreign European mining companies. Foreign companies with cloud-based mining operations have benefitted from Africans’ inability to mine their abundant mineral resources due to the limited technological capacity.