What does the future of mining require from those assuming leadership positions? This is the question that everyone in mining constantly asks themselves. Not only is mining undergoing a revolution in every aspect but is also seeking more leaner ways of operating considering miles of stretching issues surrounding viability of many projects. From social licenses to operate to environmental concerns, the mining woes continue to hamper the field but in as much as these challenges are in existence, its growth is nothing to negotiate about as new projects continue sprouting out of the ground like mushrooms from everywhere.
With commodity prices stable and a nearly unknown future, the mining sector now calls for those that have mastered the art of operational survival to take their rightful seats in steering the field forward. The skill set of yesteryear old executives cant keep pace and as such mining companies continue seeking skills and those that can project operations into the transformed future. It comes as no surprise that maptek has found it necessary to invest and subsequently appoint Gideon Slabbert to the role of General Manager of Maptek in South Africa, leading the Africa part of the business.
Slabbert replaces Nick Venter who will join Maptek’s North American operations as Director of Sales and Technical Sales Support. Slabbert joined Maptek in 2017 as BlastLogic Product Manager and quickly demonstrated strong leadership, and an intimate understanding of customer requirements and challenges in the region.
In the capacity of a General Manager, Slabbert will be required to keenly drive uptake of applications that will help embed digital and automation tools for mining operations in the region.
“I look forward to leading the
team at a time when there is excitement around solving problems by making use of new technology,’ Slabbert says. ‘Maptek is ideally positioned to partner with mining houses during the 4th Industrial Revolution to ensure that digital transformation adds value.”
Implementing change in the mining environment has always been a challenge, according to Slabbert. “Maptek understands the pain-points for end users and mine managers associated with changing technology. It’s an aspect of site implementation that we take very seriously to ensure our customers get the utmost benefit from their investment.”
Slabbert believes that mining challenges are complex and evolving and that Maptek has the mining background and software development expertise to meet the challenge.
“As a professional Mining Engineer with production and technology exposure I have seen how technology can unlock unrealised value,”adds Slabbert.
“Maptek is 100% committed to supporting our solutions, and advising customers around interaction and integration of existing systems, improved workflows and scripting services. Our sales and technical services people have geology, engineering, survey and IT backgrounds. Ensuring they stay up to date with the latest skills to provide industry-leading support is a high priority.”
The company intends to continue to deliver high impact software and hardware technologies to mining operations in Africa, while extending the Maptek reach across the continent. Having built the Blastlogic team into a successful operation, Slabbert proved the natural successor to Nick Venter, who leaves Maptek’s South Africa operations in very good health.
“Gideon has been a self-driven individual and capable manager,” says Venter. “He has a strong, experienced team and I believe he is the right person to lead Maptek Africa into further growth.”
The Mining Executive Reporter