Conference drives mining innovation, skills

Memsa CEO Lehlohonolo Molloyi standing at a podium addressing delegates and speakers at last year’s Mind Shift Conference

LEHLOHONOLO MOLLOYI South African industrial developments are gradually decreasing the country’s reliance on multinational developers, thereby further promulgating locally developed and manufactured technologies

26th April 2024

By: Halima Frost

Senior Writer


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The second yearly Mind Shift Conference, hosted by industry association Mining Equipment Manufacturers of South Africa (Memsa), will delve into innovation, digital technology and skills in the South African mining supply chain.

This year’s event will be held from May 15 to 16 at a new location – financial institution Old Mutual’s head office in Sandton, Gauteng.

Old Mutual, a core sponsor of the event, offered its conferencing facilities to Memsa as a way of showing its dedication and support to the initiatives and startups being formed by, and with the help of, the event, as well as its forward-thinking strategies.

“We are grateful for Old Mutual’s support and assistance in not only funding but also housing the event this year,” says Memsa CEO Lehlohonolo Molloyi.

Through event sponsors and attendees, the theme of collaboration is accentuated and better conveyed to the sector.

The event will also host this year’s Innova-tion for Mining Awards, which enables companies to highlight new innovations, seek funding and collaborate to develop new technologies aimed at not only the mining sector, but also industrial applications.

The ten awards categories include recognition for Innovative use of Data, Collaboration for Innovation, Innovation towards Zero Harm and Innovation for an Energy Transition, aligning with the conference theme of ‘Smart Solutions for People and Planet’.

Molloyi notes that the 2024 awards “have seen favourable submissions”, which are being evaluated by two panels of independent judges.

“Once the winners are announced, Memsa facilitates the further development of the innovations and assists in marketing the technologies, while garnering finance where needed and possible,” he adds.

The 2023 winners were highlighted at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba through a virtual webinar: Innovation, Digitisation and Collaboration in the South African Mining Supply Chain Power Hour.

The webinar, hosted by Minerals Council South Africa modernisation and safety senior executive Sietse van der Woude, highlighted the technological and collaborative developments the 2023 winners had made over the past nine months.

Further, many of the submissions received represent the smaller roleplayers in the sector that have invested their time and capital during the research and development process.

This is testament to the dedication of these companies, and the willingness to develop the mining sector in South Africa, adds Molloyi.

He also points out that the new technologies being developed are on par with global competitors and, in some instances, are even better, confirming that South Africa has the skills and knowledge to compete globally.

Edited by Donna Slater
Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer



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