G4S Director for Global Mining Solutions, Andrew Hames, discusses the security challenges facing African mining operators in unlocking the continent’s vast resources.
Mining companies operating in Africa face a rapidly evolving risk environment which threatens their assets and businesses. From Ebola to cyber-crime, new challenges are changing the way the mining industry in Africa assesses investment opportunities. Therefore, in order to continue to benefit from Africa’s growth potential, the industry has to change its approach to risk management and mitigation. In this context security is becoming even more important, and needs to be a part of project planning from the very beginning. Companies need to view security as more than just manned guarding – it’s about physical infrastructure, proper crisis planning, technology and training. This trend is already evident in companies’ planned spending on security. The mining industry in Africa will spend approximately £1.9 bn on security over the next two years, of which £927 million will be on technology.
Companies chasing ever higher returns for their shareholders will inevitably need to bear a degree of operational risk, but by prioritising security and treating security providers as strategic partners, companies are able to accept higher risk, thereby enhancing their business performance and associated potential returns on investment. In turn, this benefits the region by encouraging foreign investment which drives community development, creates employment and unlocks the potential of Africa’s vast resources.
In this article you will learn about the African regional economy, our regional involvement, business challenges facing our customers, our role in risk management and mitigation, community integration, human rights, labour unrest, illegal mining, cyber-crime, Ebola and security partnerships.
Please use the information to gain a better understanding of what it is we do, our thoughts on risk management and mitigation and the varied challenges our customers face.
This article first appeared in the September/October 2014 issue of Coal International.