The African mineral exploration and mining industries have a vital role to play in the world’s transition to net zero by 2050 and in the future of the African economy, with the continent home to 30% of the world’s mineral reserves.
But with demand for critical minerals set to outstrip supply, the industry needs to find new ways to increase productivity and efficiency to deliver the future we desperately need, says integrated subsurface software supplier Seequent Europe, Middle East and Africa executive VP Colin Hay.
The International Energy Agency predicts total mineral demand for clean energy will be six times the current levels under a net-zero scenario. But despite huge potential, Africa’s resources remain under-explored, as outlined by the Minerals Council of South Africa at its African Critical Minerals Summit in August.
Hay says: “The industry needs to find new deposits and ramp up production at a previously unseen speed and scale – sustainably and responsibly. Today’s ways of working will not be enough – disruptive changes are essential.”
Many of these disruptive changes will be powered by technology, including autonomous vehicles, advanced robotics, deep geoscience intelligence and better data management, he adds.
Longstanding Investing in African Mining Indaba participant Seequent, The Bentley Subsurface Company, is a world-leader in geoscience software that helps organisations to understand the underground.