From the Editor's Desk: Something old and something new

SMART Mining Security Solutions 2024 News & Events

Andrew Seldon, Editor

Welcome to the 2024 edition of SMART Security Solutions’ Mining Handbook. Mining is a challenging industry for security professionals, although security is a challenge on this continent, no matter your industry. Mines, however, much like the CIT sector, are faced with increasing levels of extreme violence along with the increased criminality the current government seems to encourage.

In some markets, we joke that security is a grudge purchase (in which industry is it not?), and we raise an eyebrow at companies that pay less than the minimum wage and have untrained security personnel on the job. Mines no longer have the luxury of simply having any old guards at the gate. Their security teams today are well-trained and armed tactical forces with body armour and armoured vehicles, and the crime syndicates sometimes still outman and outgun them.

In the handbook, we chat with Nash Lutchman, a leader in the industry for 20 years. Nash tells us how the security operations on mines have changed from an internal focus on preventing insider crime to a strategic approach in dealing with highly organised mafias. Nash is a mine of information (pun intended), so we have only been able to pass on a few of his thoughts, but it makes a fascinating (perhaps horrifying) read to see how things have changed. The old ‘body on patrol’ is certainly not a feature in mines focused on security and successful operations.

We also spoke to some clever IT people about digital transformation at mines. Sometimes, it seems strange that dusty mines with decades-old equipment would be in the digital transformation game. Still, they definitely are, as while there are no shortages of old industrial equipment, there is also a plethora of new technology in all areas of operations (including security). However, while digital transformation may be the ‘in thing’, the process is complex. It’s not about technology but the convergence of processes, people, technology and strategy into a new world.

We also include a brief introduction to our mining round table, which went off course as the people involved in risk and security on mines started talking about what matters to them. Unsurprisingly, while technology is a critical factor in mine security, their challenges mean they need more than cool tech. We only touch on the beginning of the round table, but we will publish an audio review of the whole event – keep an eye on our LinkedIn page or the home page for a link.

Of course, we couldn’t have a publication without a few articles focused on technology.

The handbook should be seen as a good start because we will host a SMART Mining Security Conference in Johannesburg later this year. We have only started planning, but it looks set to be very interesting. Once again, keep an eye on our home page, LinkedIn, and the news briefs for more information.

On the topic of conferences, SMART Security Solutions will be hosting the Seminar Theatre at this year’s Securex from June 11 to 13. In the coming months, we will do some self-promotion to let you know what to expect. It will definitely be worth a visit.


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