The world is changing and miners, in many instances, will need to adapt their practices and product offerings to stay relevant, says Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of South Africa (Aspasa) director Nico Pienaar.
He explains that years of tough trading conditions have reshaped the South African and global economies and that tightening legislation surrounding health and safety, as well as environmental and sustainability issues, have added to miners’ compliance and financial pressures.
Commodity prices also remain under pressure and certain mined goods having “lost their sparkle” on the local stage, while demand for others has dwindled in global markets.
This, Pienaar notes, has led to some confusion in certain quarters and prompted Aspasa to encourage its members to consider future developments.
“We don’t know exactly what the future holds, but at least we can examine emerging trends and try to plan for the future,” he comments, adding that this is why industry players “need to start debating the future and our position in it, both globally and locally”.
Pienaar says various trends may impact miners’ future trading, such as the Internet of Things, water scarcity, energy sources, social currency, climate change, sustainability and even broad-based black economic empowerment.
“We need to start thinking about the future, what commodities the world will need, how we will need to reshape our environment to survive and how we can ensure that our mines will prosper and be able to compete in years to come,” he states.
In this regard, he adds that Aspasa will hold workshops to help miners plan for the future.