Using the power of technology to transform and reimagine mining in South AfricaMicrosoft South Africa is working with its partner ecosystem and ...

Using the power of technology to transform and reimagine mining in South AfricaMicrosoft South Africa is working with its partner ecosystem and ...Using the power of technology to transform and reimagine mining in South Africa

Microsoft South Africa is working with its partner ecosystem and customers to showcase the power of technology, particularly AI and cloud technologies, in helping one of the country’s key industries – mining – accelerate digital transformation to reimagine new and better ways of working, drive sustainable recovery, and transform mining communities.

This follows the launch of Microsoft’s Mining Core – AI Centre of Excellence for Mining facility in Johannesburg earlier this month. The Mining Core, which is the first of its kind in South Africa, makes use of Microsoft’s extensive partner ecosystem: it allows customers to immerse themselves in emerging technologies to build and create solutions that not only overcome specific business challenges but also broadly enable the sector to grow and prosper.

“Mining is a critical industry in South Africa, and has historically been a major contributor to the country’s GDP, tax revenue and employment: last year alone, the mining sector employed over 450 000 people, contributed R24.3 billion in taxes and R360.9 billion to GDP,” says Amr Kamel, Enterprise Director at Microsoft South Africa.

The sector’s importance to the economy is undeniable – but it has faced challenges in recent years. These include declining output, weakening global cost competitiveness based on the volatility of commodity prices, regulatory uncertainty and unreliable energy supply, according to a report by the Minerals Council.

Combined with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it becomes clear that the sector needs solutions that can shift and boost it to regain its competitiveness and become a key contributor and driver of economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic.

Technology holds the key to achieving those goals. Accelerated digital transformation, and the introduction of solutions through emerging technologies such as AI, the Internet of Things and data analytics, have the power to help the industry adapt, reinvent and transform in a sustainable and responsible way.