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Mining sector experiencing innovative shifts

PARTNER UP Kal Tire is participating as a partner at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba

JOHN MARTIN Martin anticipates the most important positive disruptions to be around how companies have innovated methods to comply with their own journey to achieve their ESG ambitions

TRANSFORMATION Martin believes one of the foremost signs of changing times is the growing employment of women in mining

POSITIVE CONTRIBUTIONS Kal Tire’s existing technologies and innovations all contribute positively to ESG targets that its customers have set for themselves

26th January 2024

     

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To support the evolving industry, and with deep roots in Africa, mining tyre services provider Kal Tire is participating as a partner at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba – to be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, from February 5 to 8.

The company reports that amid new technology, new ways of working that enhance safety, inclusivity and transformation, and the commitment to operating in ways that are better for the environment and communities, innovative solutions have come to the fore in African mining.

“Mining Indaba attracts the highest levels of leadership in mining and governments; therefore, to participate offers a great opportunity to gain a deeper understanding about the developments and plans that the mining industry has for Africa,” says Kal Tire Mining Tire group VP John Martin.

He adds that attending the Mining Indaba presents a “critical chance” to gather and share ideas with leaders.

Beyond sharing how Kal Tire can help customers advance environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) through unique sustainability and safety solutions, for example, Martin says the conversations at Mining Indaba deepen relationships and renew the company’s enthusiasm for driving positive change.

“Every year, one learns about new opportunities and community upliftment plans within the continent, filling delegates with a renewed sense of optimism. I believe the same will apply for [Mining] Indaba 2024.”

Positive Disruptions

With the theme of this year’s Mining Indaba being ‘Embracing the power of positive disruptions: A bold new future for African mining’, Martin notes that the African mining industry is often ahead of the curve of legislative bids to regulate change and accountability.

He anticipates the most important positive disruptions to be around how companies innovate methods to comply with their own journey to achieve their ESG ambitions.

“Discussions around a healthy respect for the environment, the sustainable development of local communities and lowering of Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions should all be examples of positive disruption that will be experienced.”

Anticipating the need to help customers reduce their carbon footprint and demonstrate their related efforts, Kal Tire developed a third-party verified carbon calculator and the Maple Programme – which is used by Kal Tire to recognise customers’ carbon savings.

Customers can receive certificates that detail accredited data of the carbon emissions saved by fitting their fleet with Kal Tire retreaded tyres, or through effecting repairs to used tyres as an alternative to buying new tyres.

“Lowering of the carbon footprint is very high on the agenda of every mining house,” says Martin.

Kal Tire is also advancing with its thermal conversion mining tyre technology now in use at its recycling facility in Chile.

He says many of the positive disruptions that Africa’s mining industry is experiencing are summarised in the ESG charter published by the United Nations.

“It’s not only in Africa that we see these ESG-inspired disruptions, but it has contributed to the increased rate of transformation,” says Martin, who believes one of the most impactful signs of changing times is the growing employment of women in mining.

He explains that, although the African mining industry started the transformation process many years ago, women in mining, in recent years, has been one of the “most revolutionary” positive disruptions in what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry.

“This disruption has extended across all roles and skillsets, from the board room to operators to technicians. A very positive spinoff from this disruption has been investment in automation and an increase in mechanisation to ensure operational roles are not limited to team members requiring a lot of brawn.”

Safety

Keeping all team members out of harm’s way has also been an important area of focus for Kal Tire through the development of purpose-built tools at its Innovation Centre, in Canada.

The Gravity Assist Tooling Rig, for example, supports the physical weight of heavy torque guns, as a means to reduce fatigue and strain, as well as pinched fingers, among tyre-handling technicians.

In addition, Kal Tire’s WheelJaws provide secure, remote-controlled clamps that enable technicians to operate at a safe distance during what is the most dangerous step of the large off road tyre removal processes.

Further, Martin argues that automation should not only be limited to mobile machinery, but should be considered as risk reduction opportunities to reduce the frequency of people having direct interface with machines.

“As a specialised service partner, Kal Tire delivers far beyond what a simple outsourcing model would typically deliver for tyre management. Kal Tire’s existing technologies and innovations all contribute positively to ESG targets that our customers have set for themselves.

“This achievement is a clear indication of our long-term commitment to sustainability and transformation. Kal Tire fully supports the spirit and intent of transformation in Africa, where we operate,” he says.

The company will continue to strategically expand to new regions and countries to support customers seeking the mining tyre expertise and innovative, ESG-driven solutions of Kal Tire, concludes Martin.

Edited by Donna Slater
Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

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