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Technology

Technological innovation is an important aspect of our drive to deliver value by improving efficiencies and productivity at our deep-level gold mining operations.

Sibanye-Stillwater established a Safe Technology and Innovation Department (STID) in 2014 and defined three strategic pillars with respect to its strategy, namely, safely optimising current mining horizons, capitalising on legacy mining and developing a safe, innovative mining method for the future.

The pillars are designed as a multifaceted approach to technology and structured to create short, medium and long term value in the following ways:

  • Harnessing technology to improve safety and optimise the cost-effectiveness of current mining will improve current production as well as reduce pay limits, enhancing our ability to maintain sustained delivery at a higher rate for a longer period
  • Capitalising on legacy mining, in the short term, intends to return value, inherent to legacy assets, by enabling the return to old areas that are otherwise inaccessible by conventional means and recovering ore bearing material through sweeping and vamping. A longer-term value driver would be the ability to bring the otherwise sterilised resources contained within stability pillars to book by applying technology that is able to safely extract the same
  • Developing a safe, innovative mining method for the future will allow Sibanye-Stillwater to consider mining ore bodies that are otherwise technically impractical as a result of depth or economic viability

The STID has identified more than 40 projects that fit within the scope of the MoTF vision. To ensure that resources are allocated as efficiently as possible, the department continuously ranks all projects based on impact, cost and complexity (potential return versus lead time to adopt), reserve applicability (how much of the organisation is able to adopt the technology) and interdependence (whether a project is dependent on, or contributes to, another project, programme or portfolio). Throughout the continuous ranking process, a common theme has emerged in that “connected” projects are generally very highly ranked. The STID has thus embarked on a process of “digital understanding” in order to ascertain the organisation’s “digital status”, determine technology gaps in operational information technology and identify quick-win and high-impact initiatives to pursue in 2018.

For the latest information on prioritised projects, refer to the section on Technological innovation and modernisation in the 2017 Integrated annual report.

STOPE MECHANISATION

With manoeuvrability identified as a priority by the STID, we embarked on the development of two primary moving platforms, the MT1000 and MT100.

See FACT SHEET: Stope Mechanisation Programme

CEO INTERVIEW

Sibanye-Stillwater’s CEO, Neal Froneman talks about transformative technology.

Watch the video