South Africa’s mining sector is showing signs of sustained recovery, but are we out of the woods yet?
Mines that were able to sustain themselves during the three-year downcycle did so by outsourcing services and essentially lowering costs.
Outsourcing offers several solutions to the mining industry
Mining companies operate under permanent pressure. Operational targets, costs and profitability are all constant factors. When the three-year downcycle began, mines were left with no choice other than to cut costs, drop weight and reassess their investments. However, even with the recent signs of the industry’s revival, mines are still opting to outsource services instead of hiring their own in-house specialist teams.
More than just a cost lowering factor, outsourcing services gives mines access to groups of specialists, their wide range of skills and the latest technologies – while also avoiding any long-term commitments. In essence, outsourcing gives mines the financial flexibility they need during a time of uncertainty.
Additionally, job-shedding during the downcycle has left the industry with a lack of mine-based skills. This is a gap that needs to be quickly filled if mines wish to capitalise on higher prices. However, it’s hard for mines to attract local talent with the correct skillsets while also ticking the SME development box.
Mining consultants are driven by task completion for compensation. Therefore, opting for short-term contracts in the interim is the only way mines can ensure successful task completion. Furthermore, potential graduates and professionals are now left with the challenge of filling senior positions and their duties, while also facing day-to-day operational and technical challenges.
Outsourcing services to external mining consultants helps avoid duties being neglected, while also opening doors for possible learning and mentorship.
VBKOM – Mining Engineers and Consultants South Africa
At VBKOM, our commitment is to face your problems with you, and unearth the opportunities that lie within those challenges.
Our team of highly qualified professionals excels at turning problems into practical solutions that make a real difference to our clients. It consists of mining engineers and mine planners who will support and facilitate the mine planning process, implementation, training and support of technical teams or the provision of additional capacity on a short-term basis, depending on the project’s requirements. Our mining experts integrate solid mining engineering fundamentals into every aspect of your project.
We have experience in bringing success to clients across Africa in both short-term and long-term outsourced contracts.
We also offer complete multi-disciplinary economic studies for blue chip mining houses, junior miners and financial institutions across the full range of mineral commodities.
We conduct the following studies:
- Concept studies
- Scoping studies
- Mining pre-feasibility studies
- Mining feasibility studies
- Pit optimisation studies
- Trade-off studies
- Continuous improvement studies
- Technical audits and due diligence studies
- Implementation studies
- On-site support
Our mining consultants will partner with you to help you achieve success while empowering your business to have a positive impact on people’s lives. They have the experience, education and professional credentials to act as qualified persons and/or competent persons as required by worldwide regulatory agencies, including the determination of reserves, in a way that is consistent with all internationally recognised reporting standards.
We have been teaming up with our clients and driving their success for more than a decade – just imagine what embarking on a journey with us could lead to.
For more information about our mining consultants and services, please contact us.