African tech companies should create technology for the gold mining sector


Africa is one huge gold mine. Literally. While a lot of US and Canada-based gold mines have operations in the country, it would seem that African-based tech start ups have little to no interest in the mining sector. Instead of mining its own gold out, it’s quickly becoming a technology hub for creating smartgadget apps.

The mining industry of Africa contributes greatly to the demands of many countries around the world. While it no longer holds the prime spot in terms of gold exports, South Africa remains the world’s 5th gold exporter. Investment site BullionVault suggests that one of the reasons why the country’s gold production has declined sharply since the late 90s is because all of the easy gold that can be mined below the Earth’s surface has already been extracted.

Since most of the Earth’s “easy gold” has already been mined, mining firms around the world are rushing to create a new technology that would be able to extract gold in hard-to-reach areas. However, not all firms have the capability to form its own Research and Development team for the creation of a more efficient technology for mining since developing it is very expensive. The current methods to extract ores below the Earth’s surface are already very expensive. In order for the new technology to be efficient, it should be something that would allow miners to extract gold in deeper parts of the Earth for a lower price. If the new technology would make mining operations more expensive, miners wouldn’t be able to generate revenue. Mining ores is a very costly business since its operations involve the extraction of huge ores that yield very little amounts of gold. Currently, investors go for mining companies whose operational costs do not exceed $900 per ounce of gold.

So far, the only new mining technology that the world saw last year was that of AngloGold Ashanti’s. Called “Reef Boring,” the new technology allows the mining company to make their operations fast, convenient, safe, and cost-efficient. According to the company, the Reef Boring Technology would extend the lifespan of their mines in South Africa by around 30 years.

The mobile app industry is one of the biggest businesses in the world now but since the world market vastly depends on Africa’s mining efforts, perhaps some tech startups in the region could help in the creation of one. Computer-based companies generate a lot of jobs in Africa and that’s very good. However, people in the region shouldn’t forget that mining is one of Africa’s main GDP generators.

Africa is the second biggest continent in the world, with over 30 million km² of land. A lot of the region’s lands are still underdeveloped, which suggests large quantities of untapped resources. Mineral exploration and production contributes greatly to the economic growth of many African countries. Apart from gold, the region is very rich in other minerals such as diamonds, cobalt, platinum-group metals, and zirconium.

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