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Schneider Electric heads positive disruption in mining industry through sustainable energy solutions

Schneider Electric Mining, Minerals and Metals Segment Lead for Anglophone Africa Johan Pretorius

Schneider Electric Mining, Minerals and Metals Segment Lead for Anglophone Africa Johan Pretorius

12th February 2024

By: Shannon de Ryhove

Contributing Editor

     

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Global energy management and automation leader Schneider Electric offers valuable insights into emerging technologies which are set to revolutionise the environmental impact of the mining industry.  This occurred during the Investing in African Mining Indaba, held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town earlier this month.

Schneider Electric Mining, Minerals and Metals Segment Lead for Anglophone Africa Johan Pretorius focused on distributed energy resources and their pivotal role in making mining operations greener and more sustainable.

He emphasises a holistic approach to emerging technologies, particularly in the digital realm. “From copper to cloud, Schneider Electric is developing software solutions that seamlessly integrate with mining operations, ensuring efficiency and sustainability from installation to end processes,” he says.

Pretorius explored the effective integration of renewable energy sources into mining operations, highlighting the importance of sustainable practices, especially in using solar energy.

“Schneider Electric's integration solutions, ranging from software to connected equipment, aim to empower end-users and clients in adopting cleaner energy sources,” he notes.

Addressing the shift away from fossil fuels, Pretorius underlines the role of solar, wind and other distributed energy sources in ensuring a cleaner and more sustainable mix of energy for mining operations. He points out that the use of battery storage complements the clean energy generated, promoting a more efficient and environment friendly approach.

He notes the unique situation in South Africa, where the move towards renewables is driven by necessity arising from the Eskom situation. However, he emphasises that this shift is an opportunity for South Africa to lead the global trend in sustainable mining practices.

When discussing Schneider Electric's collaboration with other organisations, Pretorius outlines the company's commitment to positive disruption. “By working with industry partners, Schneider Electric aims to provide energy-saving models, reducing operational expenses and ensuring more efficient energy use. Our core values align with the theme of this year’s Mining Indaba – positive disruption.”

Schneider Electric’s approach to sustainability revolves around three pillars which is referred to as the sustainability triad: automation, electrification and digitisation.

As mining industries evolve, the company recognises the importance of digital tools in attracting the new generation workforce. From PLCs to software, the company is equipped to cater to the evolving needs of the industry, ensuring a seamless transition into a more sustainable and digitally driven future.

Schneider Electric's commitment to supporting the market, be it end-users or partners, underscores its dedication to guiding the mining industry from copper to cloud. As mines navigate the challenges posed by the energy crisis, the opportunity to become global trendsetters in sustainable mining practices is within reach, turning crisis into an opportunity for positive change.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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