When mining companies started talking about mechanising some of their core operations people thought that they were just making calculated threats to compel the government to intervene. But newly launched Booysendal Platinum Mine, which is located in the mountains on the border between Limpopo and Mpumalanga, is a development which should worry mine workers.
In a break from conventional mining, Booysendal Platinum’s lean workforce is able to perform the task of personnel ten times their number, using high-tech machinery imported from Scandanavian countries.
The machines require skilled personnel to man them. Through expensive, their benefits are not as long-term as people think. That is when you consider that a miner minimises dealing with volatile and stubborn unions. In addition, there are no fatalities.
Owned by Northan Platinum, once fully operational, it will produce 160 000 ounces of platinum metals group.