The shift towards a technological revolution in the mining sector has occurred just in time to facilitate functionality in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, explains mining logistic solutions provider Mixcorp.
“There is a need to move beyond the man- machine mining interface to operate productively and profitably. The need for mining to transition towards automation is becoming more apparent,” says Mixcorp CEO Mixo Kobe.
He notes that, with this shift to automation, “fewer hands are needed” in the mining industry, which creates employment concerns. Moreover, through the introduction of drones and robotic processes, aspects of minerals handling have become fully automated operations.
“There are several technologies available on the market for the train and truck industries, as well as drills and charge truck equipment. Automated technology is introduced and supplied by a variety of technology companies,” he states.
There is a drive towards remote-controlled technology, which eliminates proximity as a factor in the operation and management of devices and equipment. This technology is applied in warehousing, transportation and distribution.
Kobe states that Mixcorp has recently undertaken projects in the oil and gas industry, prompted by increased demand for storage of crude oil. This need for storage was caused by plummeting crude oil demand, as a result of travel restrictions implemented globally to try to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Further, “gas is becoming more inaccessible to large industrial consumers owing to the seasonal shift towards winter. Mixcorp has embarked on operations which will be beneficial in assisting essential industries in sourcing and distributing gas products”.
While Mixcorp primarily handles coal, chrome and manganese, the company is opening a bulk storage holding facility in Gauteng for an oil and gas project that is currently in the remedial stages, set to launch in the first quarter of 2021. The company is also overseeing the import of bulk products from neighbouring countries, such as Mozambique, as well as importing petroleum products from West African countries such as Nigeria, Ghana and Angola.
“We were optimistic about launching this project in the third quarter of this year; however, this depends on the continued effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. In all likelihood, this project will start in the first quarter of 2021,” he concludes.