Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 74 | Page 62

INTELLIGENT BRANDS // Mobile Technology

BCX collaborates on 5Genabled innovation set to transform mining

BCX , one of the largest systems integrators in Africa and a division of Telkom , ushered in a new 5G-enabled era for the Nungu Mine , in collaboration with its industry-leading partners .

The South African mining industry took a crucial and momentous step forward in November 2022 . Unparalleled enhancements in worker safety and business productivity have been introduced at the Nungu Mine in Elandspruit – with pioneering 5G wireless-enabled technology , instantly addressing a wide range of challenges faced by the mining industry .
The deployment of the latest 5G-enabled technologies is set to radically enhance the mine ’ s operational efficiencies and safety . “ This is a game changer for the entire industry and the hundreds of thousands of people it employs ,” said Neo Phukubje , Managing Executive at BCX Wireless Solutions .
The mine has been revolutionised with wireless connectivity , data analytics and automation that enables video monitoring via drone technology , integrated connectivity with handheld devices and tablets and a facial recognition Proximity Detection System . Wireless technology in the form of 5G solves for use-cases within businesses , where speed , reliability and reduced latency are critical .
It creates possibilities to transform every area of the operation , from workplace safety to improved productivity through predictive intelligence . Each of the ecosystem partners , including Huawei , MPI Holdings , Umnotho Technologies and Dahua , has played a pivotal role in this far-reaching venture .
Gert Venter , from MPI , said : “ The importance placed on the partner ecosystem in the project helped develop vital innovations in safety . This includes 5G-enabled proximity alert between two heavy vehicles for collision prevention , which can mean the difference between life and death .”
Frenndy Wang , Channel Department Director at Huawei South Africa ’ s Enterprise Division , said in addition to improved safety and operational efficiency , another differentiator is that 5G allows for AI-based real-time data analytics , a key to smart mining .
“ Data is a valuable asset for miners , enabling ‘ Data Driven Decision-Making ’ in the critical mining environment . 5G connectivity will make the South African mining sector globally competitive . We are excited about working together with our partners like BCX to drive Digital Transformation in the mining sector , which is such a crucial industry in the economy .”
The project at the Nungu Mine consists of two phases : above-ground and underground . In phase one , BCX deployed 5G-enabled cameras at critical points at the mine to enable :
• Proximity detection , enabled by IOT sensors and digital processing technologies .
• A stockpiling monitoring system , enabled by footage collected via drones and processed via the digital Edge Computing systems .
• In-car connectivity to monitor driver fatigue and collision prevention to minimise the number of incidents and collisions .
• Pedestrian Protection System , enabling the safety and monitoring of miners on site .
These technologies are bringing smart mining in South Africa to life , enhancing their ability to monitor the mines on a 24-hour basis , enhancing the security and safety of employees and increasing productivity , while actively minimising incidents . p
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