Jeremy Hunter-Smith, CEO of KwaZulu-Natal based Blurock Quarries, has officially taken the reins as the Institute of Quarrying Southern Africa’s (IQSA) chairperson. Hunter-Smith’s two-year tenure, which commences today (16 March), coincides with the start of the annual IQSA Conference currently underway at the Kopanong Hotel and Conference Centre in Benoni, Gauteng.
Hunter-Smith takes over from PPC’s Lazarus Meko, whose two-year term ended today. Speaking on his inauguration, Hunter-Smith said although the COVID-19 industry has been a challenging period for the quarrying industry, there are also ample lessons to be learnt from the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic, he says, has reiterated the need for the industry to speed up its digital transformation and technologies. To stay competitive in the post-COVID era, urges Hunter-Smith, requires new strategies and practices. He believes that for the quarrying industry to succeed, there is need to recognise technology’s strategic importance as a critical component of the business, not just a source of cost efficiencies.
As part of the industry’s focus on modern technologies to drive efficiencies, this year’s IQSA Conference casts the spotlight on digitalisation, with Mintek’s Petrus J. van Staden set to give a presentation on digitalisation of quarry operations.