Mobile services hailed for boosting African mining

Viewed as one of Africa’s most profit generating sectors, mobile guided mining services provides an easy solution to aid with such aspects as drilling locations.

Mobile phones can provide a useful general communications channel for a mine, something that can be very useful in highly unionised environments, reports ITWeb Africa, on the words of Brendan Martin, CEO of Silverkeys Consulting.

Connection to the Internet via mobile devices has the potential to improve the business processes in Africa. According to Martin however, the greatest challenge on the continent is the insufficiencies of infrastructure given the marginalised isolated areas.

MobiThinking’s global statistics for the year shows 644 million mobile phone subscribers, indicating the main source of Internet provision continent-wise. Further African stats show that the sole mobile Internet access for Egypt, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria is 70 percent, 57 percent, 55 percent, 54 percent and 50 percent respectively.

“Mobile communication plays a vital — and growing — role in the African society and business. We’ve already seen some great mobile innovation aimed at individuals and small enterprises – the next wave will be when bigger businesses start to exploit the possibilities of mobile properly,” Martin said.

The most important contribution is the effect on the enterprise resource planning (ERP) with the implementation of the mobile channel.

ERP workflow will no longer be held back by the absence of managers, he says.

Countries such as Indonesia have already proven the benefits of core mining from mobile assistance, reportedly saving expenses by up to US$10 million due to mobile utilisation, according to Martin.

He also explains that the health and safety dimension of the mining industry will benefit greatly from this technological help.

Suitable apps are to provide a solution to a great amount of challenges currently experienced in the sector. Martin described these apps as “entry-level” and advised that they are available for download from the SAP store.

Silverkeys is also in the process of developing asset and service management apps as an enhancement of the Barnstone Mining Solution, SAP’s all-in-one software designed for a mid-cap mine.

Posted in: Mobile

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