An innovative mining simulation centre based at the Mandela Mining Precinct in Johannesburg, is set to fast-track South Africa’s mining sector to adopt Industry 4.0 principles as it activates minds for mines.
SiMINE – a first for South Africa – is aimed at senior executives in the sector, aspiring mining engineers and the youth. It is a purpose-built mining simulation centre that provides a true-to-life experience of the financial, physical and interpersonal dynamics in a complex commercial value chain. Job description detailing the duties of each player.
The SiMINE team, a start-up consisting of entrepreneurs Gary Lane, Harry Sinko and Anthony Mello, occupy a small office at the Mandela Mining Precinct. The mining simulation game offers an integrated approach to collaborative experiential learning. It is highly interactive, promising, immersive and experiential learning. The SiMINE team comprises mining engineers who have worked in the sector and are well-versed in the complexities of mining operations.
Taking edutainment to the executive suite, Sinko says, “The purpose of the game is to demonstrate to executives in the mining sector how this complex system of interconnected activities is managed”. SiMINE will be hosting workshops with mining executives to demonstrate the complex and dynamic system of interconnected activities in mining and how the digital revolution adds to these complexities. The simulation game is designed to expose, demonstrate and teach a number of key principles in operating and managing a complex business.
A number of stations are set up in the workshop and each station must be manned by an individual or “player”. Players are divided into departments commonly found in mining operations, namely mining engineering, screening, product loading, as well as sales and logistics.
The Mandela Mining Precinct staff and tenants were recently invited to SiMINE’s first open day. The open day entailed playing the game with all stations manned, thereby creating a true-to-life experience of the financial, physical and interpersonal dynamics in a complex commercial value chain. Each team member was assigned a duty in the five departments, including a management team. The game is typically 10 and 20 minutes long, with specific activities and learning sessions between each round.
CSIR research group leader, Fatheela Brovko, took on the role of drilling and blasting.
In a production environment, time is key. The game captures digitised data using an app interface and every time an activity is completed by a player, a button is pressed on a digital device that assists in determining production turnaround times. The results are then reflected on a screen and become available for viewing by management in real time.
After a rigorous first round of extracting orebody, labelling containers and transporting to sales, production was halted to determine appropriate key performance targets for each department. A report back on performance and suggested measures to improve performance before a second round commenced was provided to management.
A member of the screening department sorting the orebody.
The team managed to process 27 orders, but only delivered 12 to the customer in 20 minutes. “You can do better,” said Harry. “It is possible to deliver more than three orders per minute to the customer”. He explained that this is the optimum level of production within the set up.
The game creates a real-life environment in which participants explore, identify, execute and test effective applications of theories and methodologies to overcome constraints in practical ways.
SiMINE also recently hosted a group of Grade 8 to 11 learners from Realogile Secondary School, in Alexandra. “Aside from executives, we are also targeting the youth,” explained Harry. “We want to demonstrate that mining is not only about digging holes; it is a trending career with great opportunities for young, digitally savvy individuals”.
Learner engagement to encourage a career in mining
and make learners aware that mining is not
only about dark tunnels and digging.
The future of mining in Industry 4.0
will require a variety of skills and expertise.
SiMINE has extended an invitation to stakeholders in the industry to visit its offices at the Mandela Mining Precinct in Johannesburg to understand mine operations. Visit http://www.simine.co/ for more information.