Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development Mr Pfungwa Kunaka has encouraged Mine Managers to take advantage of industrial hubs being spearheaded by the government to research on technologies that can propel the mining industry in Zimbabwe to achieve world-class status.
Speaking at the Association of Mine Managers of Zimbabwe‘s Annual General Meeting held at Elephant Hill Hotel in Victoria Falls which ran under the theme, Transition towards the present day 4th industrial revolution Kunaka said experts in the mining industry need to invest in research and development as the country seeks to achieve an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
“As mining experts, we need to invest in research and development. Zimbabwe has a framework that allows for research at various levels. It could be in universities where the sector can make use of industrial hubs that are being developed at these institutions,” Kunaka said.
He said as the Mine Managers were seeking to adopt the 4th industrial revolution, research was of importance as this will help in promoting and recognising safety and efficiency.
“Collectively, government and industry need quickly to formulate policies and frameworks that are responsive to the dictates of the 4IR. The policy matrix that is required includes mining fiscal regime, R&D, labour laws, investment framework etc. Under 4IR we have to adopt the technologies that promote and recognize safety and efficiency,” he said.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, 4IR, or Industry 4.0, conceptualizes rapid change to technology, industries, and societal patterns and processes in the 21st century due to increasing interconnectivity and smart automation.
The digitisation of the mining sector and the broader economy should be seen as an opportunity to re-skill and re-direct workers into higher-value technology-driven jobs such as data mining and data analytics.
A greater emphasis on and investment in research and development funded by the mining industry at universities is seen as an important part of the mining sector’s future success. The creation of new academic and research chairs would lead to knowledge development and greater applied research.
The AMMZ celebrates 50 years this year. The technical arm of the mining industry as the AMMZ is sometimes referred to yesterday re-appointed Bulawayo Mining Company’s Elton Gwatidzo to lead the organisation for another year deputised by Unki Mine’s Abel Makura.