Building an Innovation Ecosystem in the South African Mining Industry

Published: 09/04/2016

The current economic status of the mining industry is forcing us to think in new ways and adapt to our surroundings. To succeed, we not only have to focus on in-house innovation, but the time is overdue for us to start collaborating, sharing our ideas, innovating, and creating an environment in which knowledge sharing becomes part of life.

Crowdsourcing is revolutionizing the IT, Finance, Education, and Government sectors. Leveraging these collaborative practices and tools creates disruptive businesses and transformative innovations: it is time for the mining industry to also adapt and innovate. At Mining Innovation Portal (, our aim is to create an enabling environment for this much-needed collaboration and innovation in the mining sector.

In recent years, innovation through application of technologies is accelerating and the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming common in our day-to-day mining operations. Be it a smart borehole, driverless trucks, mapping by drone, or smart vaults and vents, the mining industry is catching up with technological advances. To create momentum in innovation, we need to further accelerate changes to the current mindset.

Innovation in the African mining industry is mostly limited to the development of continuous mechanized mining that, with the associated imported machines and technology, results in higher costs of mining and consequent lower economic growth and reduced employment in the sector. To achieve a sustainable industry, it is necessary to build an innovation ecosystem in Africa that can reduce mining costs by applying local technologies, encourage entrepreneurship with local talent, collaborate with international players and innovators to develop local skills and developments, and thereby attract the best people.

At the Mining Innovation Portal, we believe that these goals can be achieved by opening up dialogues for innovation and creating working groups to implement innovation in mining. We invite industry leaders and change agents to come and join us in this movement to build a better and more sustainable mining industry by application of technology. Drop us an email at

Let’s think Innovation, Let’s rethink Mining

About Me:
My name is Gargi Mishra. I am the founder of Mining Innovation Portal.

I started this initiative with the philosophy of “Be the change you want to see”. The mining industry is currently at a crossroads and the need for innovation is acute. This requires raising awareness about much-needed innovation in the industry and building an ecosystem in which such innovation and new ideas can thrive. Mining Innovation Portal aims to create an enabling environment for such collaboration and innovation in the mining sector.
I am a diamond exploration geologist and my work has taken me to countries including Canada, Angola, DR Congo, Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Australia, and remote parts of India.

In India, it’s uncommon to see a field geologist working in remote conditions. I have tried to break that barrier and rise to be a role model for young and aspiring geologists. I hold a PhD in geometallurgy from the University of Johannesburg and am currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Mining innovation and empowerment of women are two topics close to my heart. I am also busy writing a memoir-style book based on my field experiences to inspire young girls to consider geology or mining as a career, to be geologists, mining engineers, or scientists, and to learn that there is nothing impossible when we are determined to chase our dreams.