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Digital and people-centric solutions for mining modernisation

By July 26, 2023No Comments

The Mandela Mining Precinct (MMP) participated in the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) Digital Transformation in Mining Conference, which was held in Johannesburg in June 2023.

SAIMM is a professional body whose aim is to disseminate knowledge and assist its members to source information regarding technological developments in the mining, metallurgical and related sectors. The objective of the Digital Transformation in Mining Conference is to showcase global thought leadership in the use of digital technologies in mining and other industries and understand the ‘art of the possible’, as well as gain an understanding of how advances in these technologies are being transferred into the mining industry.

The MMP participated at the event as a sponsor and hosted several sessions. MMP Real-Time Information Management Systems (RTIMS) Programme Manager, Jean-Jacque Verhaeghe, chaired a session in which MMP RTIMS collaborators shared digital solutions developed in collaboration with the MMP. Dr Mulundumina Shimaponda-Nawa, acting Research Centre Lead at the Wits Mining Institute, presented on the necessary components of RTIMS for the minerals sector. In her presentation, she emphasised the importance of a holistic approach in the planning and scoping of RTIMS for the achievement of a connected mine of the future.

In the same session, Esri South Africa’s Carl Bester showcased the open data analytics platform, a system that facilitates data from source to decision-makers using industry data standards in near real-time to process data for various analytical domains, including vehicle proximity detection, collision avoidance systems, environmental monitoring and compliance, production processes and other real-time monitoring data. While Dawie Maree, also from Esri South Africa, showcased the MMP Knowmore Portal – a knowledge transfer solution from which the public can access content that was created and captured within the MMP knowledge pool. It can be accessed through the MMP website.

People-centred technologies

The MMP’s Successful Application of Technologies Centred Around People’s (SATCAP) Programme Manager, Dr Sherin Ramparsad, chaired a session on ‘people-focused technologies’, which included showcasing the SATCAP Programme’s people-centred tools.

The SATCAP Research Programme aims to understand the challenges, effects and impacts of mining modernisation on people in the minerals sector. SATCAP lends support to the environment, social and governance (ESG) agenda. Together with collaborating partners, the programme showcased its Change Management Blueprint tool for the adoption of modern mining technologies. A project that was led by the Enterprises University of Pretoria.

It also showcased its Community Training-Needs assessment tool, the Communications and Engagement tool for local suppliers and small, medium and micro enterprises, a Community Social-Needs assessment tool, as well as the Digital Leadership Competency gap assessment tool, which were developed in collaboration with the Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability. All the SATCAP tools are available for use by South African mining operations, with transfer to industry offered through the MMP website.

Panel discussion on fourth industrial revolution study

In February, PwC released the latest State of Digital transformation in the South African Mining Industry: Ten Insights into Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) 2023 report. The study focuses on digital transformation and 4IR readiness, as well as ESG aspects to assist the industry in aligning itself with modern world expectations. The study was done in partnership with the MMP.

As part of the SAIMM Digital Conference programme, Ramparsad led a robust discussion on the 4IR study, with Verhaeghe and PwC’s Ian McKay as panel members. They discussed and tackled questions on enabling the workforce for digital transformation, challenges and opportunities in digital transformation and the adoption and resistance of mining digitalisation, among others. The full 4IR study report is available to download from the MMP website.



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