While Africa’s economies are diversifying, resources still account for more than 15% of the continent’s gross domestic product.
Mining thus remains a key foundation for the continent’s growth – and much of it will come from the success of its mid-cap mining houses, which open up new mining areas. It’s therefore vital that these new ventures are able to access the best business tools to help them attain profitability more quickly and sustain long-term growth.
“Africa has rich natural resources and while the large mining conglomerates are very active in Africa, there’s still a lot of potential for new mining companies,” says Andrew Strachan, head: Energy & Natural Resources at SAP.
“SAP sees this middle market as a very important engine of growth for the sector, and thus continues to focus on ways to make our software accessible to these players.”
Strachan says that SAP is working with their Service Partners to develop ways for smaller miners to use SAP’s industry-leading mining solutions. SAP and some of its partners will be attending the forthcoming IIR conference for junior mines on 5 to 7 November at The Forum in Bryanston.
“Our approach was to develop a template-based mining rapid-deployment solution for SAP All in One,” says Lizelle Pauw, industry lead: Mining and Resources at Barnstone. “The Barnstone Mining Solution provides a way for a smaller mining house to access the same best practice that an established big player does.”
The template approach takes into account the fact that small or start-up operations do not have to accommodate the same complexities in business processes that a global multinational must. Pauw says that Barnstone has already implemented its Mining Solution in 12 weeks for a large, remote open-cast iron-ore mine.
“By providing a high degree of ‘fit’, templates like Barnstone’s help us to reduce the cost and time needed to implement an SAP solution,” Strachan observes. “That means that investors can potentially see a return quicker, and thus the mine’s potential for accessing future investment is enhanced.”