There has been much progress at the Mandela Mining Precinct (MMP) in terms of achieving its key objectives, as well as those of its research and development (R&D) collaborators, and several considerations have emerged which would bolster this.
This was noted during the MMP’s Collaborator’s Forum, held at the precinct on July 27, which was held to share knowledge, lessons and discuss key issues among all stakeholders.
Some of the progress and key objectives achieved by the MMP, in recent times, included the refining and implementation of MMP policies and procedures with a special focus on contracting, collaboration and asset management matters.
MMP audits have also been completed, with this showing improved operational practices by the precinct.
The MMP was also noted to have strengthened its relationship with different entities, including its R&D collaborators.
Notably, the MMP also signed an agreement with five unions, representing about 450 000 mineworkers, to ensure that all direct stakeholders can participate at strategic and policy level in R&D planning for a modernised mining industry.
In terms of R&D collaborators, while considerable progress has been achieved in terms of knowledge products for industry uptake, moving forward, several expectations are being aimed for by the MMP and its collaborators.
This includes quality and excellence to be strived for in all that is done, for example, in processes, R&D and reports.
Further, there is a need for rapid two-way feedback in instances where there are issues of concern.
An important element that was stressed was the need for strong ownership and commitment to deadlines and budget, to ensure that funding continues to be received for projects from government.
Moreover, R&D excellence and leadership are required.
Also, there is a need to define roles in knowledge products, to ensure there is no duplication.
Another key expectation that was emphasised was for the dissemination and publication of R&D outcomes to ensure that research does not “stay on the shelf”, and can be used and accessed.
A portal has been created to accommodate this and the onboarding of different projects needs to be undertaken.
The forum was deemed valuable by attendees and holding it either yearly or bi-yearly, to ensure communication, as well as to monitor and reflect on progress and challenges, would be considered.