imraan from Autodesk
Imraan Lambat, Applications Engineer for Autodesk says many mining challenges can be resolved through innovation and technology

By Imraan Lambat, Applications Engineer for Autodesk.

Mining remains an important industry across Africa and the largest foreign exchange earner for most country’s economies on the continent.

The world’s biggest mining companies, government leaders, industry expert and investors united at the Investing in Africa Mining Indaba recently held in Cape Town to discuss some of the challenges affecting mining in South Africa and other countries in Africa.

Slumping commodity prices, labour unrest and the impact of power shortages were highlighted as contributors to the downward trend seen in revenues for mining sector over the past decade, resulting in low investor confidence and slow growth for Africa Mining.

Companies are also battling with high input costs and start-up companies in emerging markets such as Africa find it difficult to raise capital investment in the current mining environment.

Innovation and Technology can provide a solution for some of the mining challenges. As a global leader in 3D Design Software and service provider to the mining industry, Autodesk, has adapted its AutoCAD software solutions to include applications tailored for mining – with benefits that optimise production and improve efficiencies.

Autodesk’s technology solution provides three benefits to mining challenges:

Boost investor confidence

With the use of 3D design technology, engineers can simulate future performance by optimising the results of their idea in context of the real world. This enables a far smoother workflow, and engineers are able to identify and resolve potential clashes in the design phase of the project instead of incurring costly overheads later on in the project workflow. Project team can market projects more effectively to capital investors and investors can make informed investment decisions.

Reduce high input costs

Resources are strained in Africa’s developing mining sector, and cost cutting is a crucial business imperative for mining companies. Current load shedding requires industrial customers and mining plants to cut consumption by 10%. Autodesk’s plant-design software can improve efficiencies by between 30% and 40%, for example.

Improve efficiencies

Over the past few years there has been a definite trend showing the blurring of lines between industries – whereby software solutions in other industries, for example in the manufacturing industry, has become applicable to the mining industry.

This trend stems from the customer’s need to streamline the workflow, regardless of the industry, to ensure greater efficiencies and faster decision-making.

Industrial revolutions have long demonstrated that advances in technology can disrupt the world as we know it. As such technology will continue to play an increasingly important role in providing solutions for the future of Africa mining.

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