Dundee invests in SA software provider

Dundee Precious Metals has spent US$20 million on a South Africa-based mining IT firm to “further capture” the opportunity presented by increased reliance on digital operational enhancement in the industry.
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Howes speaking recently at Sudbury's Laurentian University

Staff reporter

Dundee is acquiring 78% of a “Newco” established with MineRP to market the proprietary Terrative underground-mine wireless communications technology developed and deployed at Dundee’s Chelopech gold-silver mine in Bulgaria, and MineRP’s software.

CEO Rick Howes said the combination can facilitate faster deployment of the Terrative technology and “support its full growth and value potential” outside the Dundee division set up to house it.

“We are excited by the strength of the combined company and the opportunity to significantly grow this business outside of DPM,” he said.

As part of the deal with MineRP, Dundee is also proposing to inject up to US$5 million into the jointly owned entity for working capital and to support growth initiatives.

Howes has said miners around the globe must grasp opportunities presented by the digital revolution impacting industrial systems and processes, to significantly improve on historic capital investment returns.

Reliable underground mine communications has enabled Dundee to use digital monitoring, control and reporting technologies to drive operational improvement at Chelopech.

“What has now become important is how quickly we can make decisions and what information we have and what we do with that information to run a better operation, or optimise performance, and really run the leanest and most efficient operation we can,” Howes said previously.

“If you execute successfully you’ll get your production targets. If you plan and schedule successfully and achieve 100% of what you were supposed to do, and you measure everything, then you can find out where you can do better in certain areas; you measure, analyse and improve, then you start to ratchet up your expectations, and then when you ratchet up your expectations you set new targets – higher targets – better-performing targets.

“Each time this cycle goes around you should be getting better. If you do it right, that’s what should happen. Not many operations do that well.”