The Implementation Of New Technology In Southern African Mines: Pain Or Panacea

Macfarlane, A. S.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 12
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2001
The introduction of new technology into mining operations is seen as a strategic necessity by many mining companies, in order to improve safety and to improve operational effectiveness. Many attempts have been made in recent years to introduce new technologies into mining operations in southern Africa. Amongst these are noteworthy successes, as well as some disappointing failures. Often, the reason for failure does not lie with the technology itself, but with the work system into which the technology is introduced. Such failures may come with a significant opportunity cost, and have a detrimental effect on future development, simply because the system has not been adequately engineered, and the risks have not been adequately assessed and managed. This paper examines the reasons for such failures, and proposes a methodology to be followed to ensure successful and sustainable implementation of new technologies, such as to reduce technical and financial risk to the company, and to energize the workforce into ensuring the initial objectives of the project are met. The paper also focuses on the application of appropriate technology, and the development of technological applications which are commensurate with the level of development of the work environment into which it is introduced. The paper therefore focuses on the application of risk management, change management, systems engineering and feasibility analysis as being key elements of a successful and holistic technology implementation programme.
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