TECHNOLOGY HUB SPONSOR INTERVIEW: “At DRC Mining Week Maptek will be demonstrating a couple of ways that mine sites can gain really powerful insights by measuring and collecting certain site data”

Nick Venter, Maptek, DRC Mining Week1) Let's start with some background on Maptek.
Maptek™ is best known for, Vulcan, our industry leading 3D mine planning software, and I-Site, our range of 3D laser scanners and mine surveying software. Founded in Australia, we have been at the forefront of mining technology for more than 35 years and we are constantly researching and developing ways to help mining companies reduce risk and to operate more safely, productively and profitably.

2) What current mining projects in which you are involved are particularly exciting for your organisation at the moment?
Maptek is involved in many of the African and more specifically DRC mines. We have clients that are mining open pit or underground. We are very excited to assist mines of any nature to integrate their systems and to efficiently use our solutions to maximise their return. Our blasting solution, BlastLogic, for example is demonstrating to mining operations how to more effectively measure and reduce costs throughout the blasting process.

3) In your view, what are the challenges facing the mining sector in the region?

There are many challenges, but to summarise a few:
•    Logistics can be challenging, especially when sending and receiving mining hardware from clients. The process can be very time-consuming.
•    Integration is another major challenge. Different mining departments often use different mining software packages and may use different processes when it comes to managing data for example. Getting different departments or teams to work together and to adopt streamlined workflows or processes can be a real challenge.
•    Data: Getting one version of the truth can be a major challenge. Ensuring that the data is verified and agreed upon by the multiple departments in the mining value chain.

4) What is your vision for the sector?
Seeing a meaningful improvement in the adoption of technology in the mining industry. The most advanced mining operations in the world are adopting technology such as automation, digitisation and real-time monitoring. Rather than fitting such technologies around current processes, many sites are choosing to put these new technologies at the core of operations. They’re seeing tangible improvements in production, sustainable cost-cutting and safety. Over the next few years, we believe more and more mines across Africa will implement new technology in such as way.

5) What excites you about the future of mining in DRC?

The Democratic Republic of Congo is the country with the largest reserves of cobalt. With the global move towards battery powered cars and other renewable energy sources we believe the DRC will be a major player in the mining industry. Should the economists and analysts be correct the DRC will be the number one source for tech companies like Tesla and Solarcity to get their materials from. This makes us at Maptek very excited about being part of the DRC mining industry.

6) Maptek are the hosts and sponsors of the Technology Hub at DRC Mining Week – can you give us a preview of what your message will be at the event?
We don’t want to give too much away, but we’ll be demonstrating a couple of ways that mine sites can gain really powerful insights by measuring and collecting certain site data.

7) What are you most looking forward to at DRC Mining Week?

Maptek would like to find out exactly what our clients in the DRC are struggling with. Finding out directly from our clients gives us the opportunity to develop our solutions to their specifications. In addition it keeps Maptek aware of the challenges that currently plagues the mining industry as a whole. Every mine and region is unique and should be treated as such.

Maptek DRC Mining Week