Mining a successful future


Williams took over as the Managing Director of Basil Read (BR) Mining in May 2018. His expedition to the top was not without incident in an industry that is undergoing tough times but, today, he is the Executive Officer.

Mining comes with a contested legacy. The 21st-century version of mining is far more responsible than its earlier iterations. It has to be responsible, not just for the company and its shareholders but also for the environment and communities it operates in.

What are your three key priorities for 2019 and why they are paramount?

Our key priorities for 2019 are quite simple: retaining our edge as a safe and highly efficient mining operator, introducing more technology into our operations and continuing to demonstrate integrous caring for all our stakeholders.

We believe in being a responsible partner and in contributing value to our clients, staff and our suppliers. It is the only way to be sustainable and to enhance the legacy of the mining industry in an African context, which helps us stay true to our mantra of building legacies at Basil Read.

What are the steps your company is taking to embrace Industry 4.0?

Having autonomous equipment removes our staff from front-line danger and with the advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT), there is greater opportunity to integrate operations and realise higher operational efficiencies. At BR Mining, we have partnered with a service provider of integrated systems and we are already using intelligent operational guidance systems on our drilling machines, which has enabled safer, more efficient operations. We believe the evolution will improve our expertise towards more effective service delivery to our clients.

Is there enough industry transformation in terms of the previously disadvantaged having equal opportunities, as well as gender equality?

The short answer is “no” on both counts. We have intentionally targeted training women as mining and civil engineers and have sponsored tertiary education for them. They have been selected from the neighbouring communities on the mines where we operate. We have also increased our procurement of goods and services to designated and emerging black enterprises to 60%. Our senior management team is transformed and we fully embrace diversity because we believe that in diversity, there is strength.

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