South Africa is a world leader in the mining and processing of mineral resources. The South African mining market can be divided into six major sectors:
- PGM (Platinum Group Metals)
- Ferrous and Non-Ferrous metals
The most effective security programmes are based on a well-balanced integration of technology, highly trained security officers and effective and flexible process and procedures.
Security is not only a key component to a mine’s SHEQ operations and management, but also plays a vital role in ensuring that the daily operations are not impeded by incidents caused due to failures in the mine’s security programme. The management of an effective security programme ensures a safe working environment, which leads to production efficiencies, which leads to profitable mines, which leads to investment into not only new exploration projects and mines, but also the expansion of existing mines, thus creating a sustainable mining market. The implementation and management of effective security programmes has a direct impact on the sustainability of the South African mining market.
Security in the mining environment has evolved from the provision of basic services, such as access and egress controls, to becoming an integral part of the mine’s operations, which involves duties such as:
- Weighbridge operations
- Pro-active CCTV monitoring
- Diesel management
- Civil unrest/ strike intervention services
- VIP and high value goods protection, transport and escorting
- Illegal mining combatting
- Process mapping and risk management
Innovative operating models and the utilisation of technology, enables security providers to operate effectively to ensure an efficient integration of security duties and mining operations.
Added pressure and regulations regarding community development into mining operations, sees mining houses turning to their contractors to aid in adherence to local empowerment regulations. Security providers have had to adapt to this and have taken an inclusive approach to service delivery. This has enabled sustainable community development.
Mining security focus areas
Developing a security management system for the mining sector is a complex task. Mining operations are typically characterised by multiple sites in remote locations, often in hostile environments with limited infrastructure.
In addition to preventing incidents that involve security breaches and theft, the security or risk management plan must take a number of other factors into consideration, including occupational health and safety, as well as the threat of labour unrest by hundreds of workers on site – which in the past was possibly the greatest threat facing mining operations in South Africa. Today the mining security focus has shifted to protecting people and assets. With modern mining houses taking a zero tolerance approach to health and safety, security providers are compelled to implement and enforce company health and safety policies. Security company personnel need to be extensively trained in client health and safety regulations, and be well-equipped to enforce these effectively.
A typical mining security management system would combine various aspects of security features, including: manned guarding, CCTV surveillance, access control, perimeter security, fire protection, alarms, X-Ray systems and plant management systems.
At Servest, as a trusted security solutions company, we understand the complex landscape that is mining security in South Africa. We know what it takes to have the tools to create a secure environment that affords peace of mind to colleagues and clients alike. Our goal is to develop a secure workplace experience, reinforcing the company’s value propositions, within the mining sector, at all times.