The Mandela Mining Precinct (MMP) focuses on, among others, facilitating the rebuilding and repositioning of South Africa in mineral extraction and supply chain RD&I by building human resources skills, capabilities, and capacities in a manner that takes environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into account.
Within these focus areas, MMP director Johan Le Roux notes that the organization focuses on rebuilding supply chain networks, while simultaneously creating new business opportunities through technology development, innovation, and knowledge transfer.
The MMP largely conducts its work through a network of RDI collaborators, industry partners and international collaborations.
This work, Le Roux notes, currently comprises, inter alia, an underground testing facility (referred to as the test mine), a partnership with Mining Equipment Manufacturers of South Africa (Memsa), relevant government departments and the Mineral Council of South Africa to create various opportunities for the industry.
The MMP also focuses on environment, social and corporate governance (ESG) opportunities, as well as new mining technologies, such as the remote explosive charging unit prototype, the electronic shift boss logbook (which assists with data capturing and reporting), the remote scraper cleaning winch and isidingo drills.
In addition, despite the Covid-19 pandemic having created a “new normal” globally, Le Roux states that the MMP has adapted “very well” to a flexible working model, which supported the MMP’s facilitating and coordination role, while ensuring more time with research and development collaborators, rather than spending this time in the office.
Looking ahead, the MMP will be focusing on R&D projects, which are implementable and relevant to industry needs, as well as the transfer of technology solutions and the dissemination of research and development outcomes.
The MMP, Le Roux adds, will also focus on operationalising the test mine.