HomeCentral AfricaWebinar recording: A 5-year vision for AI in mining

Webinar recording: A 5-year vision for AI in mining

Artificial intelligence (AI) within the African mining space is for the most part a relatively new concept. While the industry is embracing the ideas that this technology has to offer, it is yet to fully understand what it truly means and how to incorporate it.

While the world looks to enter a new AI era over the coming decades, Mining Review Africa and Africa Mining Forum hosted a webinar that outlined what mining companies can do over the next five years to establish the building blocks necessary to deliver a sustainable AI future.

Production uptime, employment, safety and data management are key words linked to AI, but how can the industry achieve more immediate results when investing in technology to do so?

The webinar unpacked:

  • What does AI really mean? How does it differ from the modernisation and mechanisation technologies currently on offer?
  • Preparing for an AI world – what is required over the next five years to build a sustainable AI future beyond this?
  • The real challenges and benefits associated with AI technologies in mining
  • Where in the world is AI in mining truly working?
  • The importance of aligning with academic institutions who hold the stepping-stones to AI.


Laura Cornish, Editor-In-Chief | Mining Review Africa


Prof. Frederick Cawood, Director | Wits Mining Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand

Professor Cawood, who is also the former Head of the School of Mining Engineering at Wits is passionate about responsible mining with his current personal research focusing on the intersection of mine modernisation and public policy. He has served in various capacities at professional body, learned society, industry, government and international structures in the interest of responsible mining for national benefit.

Cawood has published internationally on mineral economics, mine surveying and mining law and policy matters and he currently serves on several Editorial Boards.  He is a co-author of two World Bank books – one on Mining Royalties and the other on Transfer Pricing in African Mining

With the support of Gold Fields, Sibanye Gold, Aveng Mining and New Concept Mining he established the mock-up mine at Wits.  In addition, and with the support of Sibanye-Stillwater, he built the Sibanye-Stillwater Digital Mining Laboratory (DigiMine), which is a 21st century state-of-the-art mining facility suitable for doing health and safety research in a controlled environment.  The objective is to use technology to put distance between mine workers and the typical risks they are exposed to on a daily basis. In addition, the Wits Mining Institute offers several courses on twenty-fist century mining topics.

Jean-Jacques Verhaeghe, Programme Manager for Real-Time Information Management Systems | Mandela Mining Precinct

In his role at Mandela Mining Precinct, Verhaeghe is responsible for research, development, and innovation for the Industrial Internet of Things and Smart Connected Systems for the mining industry.

His expertise lies in ICT and Digitalisation, Business Sustainability and Project Management.

Eric Croeser, Managing Director for Africa | Accenture Industry X  

Croeser is passionate about the future of mining and believes that technology can fundamentally change the face of mining in South Africa and become the cornerstone for the industry’s rise to former glory.

He has over 13 years of mining production & planning experience and spent the last four years developing and implementing Industry X solutions for large mining and energy organisations. Croeser has vast IoT experience and offers the ability to merge technology and practicability to the benefit of the client.

He holds a bachelor’s in mining engineering from the University of Pretoria, an MBA from the University of Stellenbosch’s Business School and has a Manager’s Certificate of Competency for Coal Mines.  Eric is a member of SACMA, and an ECSA registered Engineer.