MITAL 4.0, is an NGO established with the objective of developing next-generation digital savvy miners by providing digital mining skills to disadvantaged learners within mining communities.
“Our next-generation miners need a foundational level of digital knowledge, career guidance and mentorship in order to prosper at Smart Mines,” states MITAL Founder, Kennedy Tsimba.
There can be no question that the modernisation of mines through the implementation of digitalisation and automation technologies to gain the already well-known associated efficiency, safety and green benefits, is fundamental to this industry’s sustainability. Digitalision reaches across multiple disciplines, from machinery and operations to procurement and finance. So as mines proceed on their digital journey, it is imperative that they address the digital skills of personnel to ensure that they gain the full benefits offered by digitalisation.
It is against this backdrop that Tsimba established MITAL 4.0 in 2021, the name derived from combining the words mining and digital, to provide these much-needed digital skills to young aspiring miners, thus creating pathways for them into a modern digital mining career. MITAL’s vision is about the collaboration of the mining industry, which forms the backbone of the South African economy, around a common goal, reducing the digital divide, increasing digital literacy and improving social and economic outcomes amongst disadvantaged communities by exposing the youth to mining careers. “This is an ideal opportunity to help reduce the digital divide that currently exists by bringing together companies involved in the mining industry in a common cause,” notes Tsimba.
Tsimba has a deep connection and involvement with empowering youth in mining communities of over ten years, through his association with Impala Platinum Skills Academy where he was instrumental in realising many positive outcomes.
Tsimba points out that the increased digitalisation and automation of operational processes is affecting mine personnel in two primary ways; labour intensity is being reduced and the workforce demographics on mine site and back office levels is being reshaping. With worker safety the number one priority, more and more mines are embracing remote operation of equipment.
Subsequently mines need to have digital skills development plans in place to address the new and modern way of doing things.” Tsimba adds that the mining industry will look to embrace the digital cultural shift across all generations and needs to connect with the next generation. This is where MITAL 4.0 steps in, bridging that culture gap through creating awareness, education, training, innovation and integrity. “Our initiative is also focused on encouraging greater workforce participation by young women in mining and it is our objective to capitalize on technology to enhance career opportunities amongst female learners.”