From the editor's desk: Mining is the easy part

Smart Mining Security Solutions 2023 News

Andrew Seldon, Editor

Welcome to the Smart Mining Handbook 2023. Security and risk management have always been an important component of extracting wealth from the earth, but mines today face an extraordinary onslaught from criminals, from the petty to the well organised and, sadly, to the downright violent and murderous contempt for life that is becoming common in South Africa.

The stories one hears ‘off the record’ are horrendous, sometimes bordering on what one would expect to read in an apocalyptic science fiction story about a dystopian future. Given the level of corruption and incompetence from authorities, the only skills needed to succeed in the current regime, mines (and the rest of us) are more often than not on their own when it comes to security. This is simply an added burden to management as they also face the challenges of digital transformation and threats from the cyber realm, as well as crumbling power, road and rail infrastructures, to name only three.

The real security issues in mines go far beyond what one can contain in a single handbook, but we have tried to highlight a few issues that are pertinent to mining security today. Above all else, the ‘old way’ of handling security simply does not do a good enough job anymore, and mines need to develop a complete risk framework that incorporates all aspects of the business into their security calculations. Not a simple or quick task. However, with the criminal innovation apparent in syndicate operations, mines need the ability to adapt to changing circumstances in real time.

Mining conference

Later this year, Smart Security (the new branding for Hi-Tech Security Solutions) will be holding a full-day conference dealing specifically with risk and security on mines. The event will expand on what we have in the handbook, and address other issues as well. (If you would like to be notified of the date and other details later this month once we have the format and speakers finalised, please let me know at, and I will let you know – no spam!)

Additionally, as this is our first handbook aimed at the mining sector, comments and criticisms are very welcome; our goal is to make the editorial relevant to the realities on the ground today, and your input is valuable. This publication is biased towards South African mining due to our location, but in future we plan to include more about African operations in general as the continent is no stranger to similar challenges. Once again, feel free to contact me at

I hope you enjoy the first Smart Mining Handbook.


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