Digitalisation: Connectivity in the Namibian mining industry

Silas David
Silas David

The Namibian mining industry has to espouse a few new-fangled technologies due to the scale and convolution of its operations, but there are heavy outlays that come with the alteration. However, many mining companies are eagle-eyed on the growing implementations of new digital technology and related modernisations. There are three aspects that are anticipated to be vital to the digitalisation of the Namibian mining industry.

The usage of computerisation, automation and digitally-enabled hardware tools to take over activities traditionally carried out by human-controlled machinery is already growing in some mining and metals industries in Africa.

Important technologies to be espoused include 3D printing, automated exploration drones and autonomous robots. Companies should opt to empower a digitally-enabled workforce by using connected mobility and technology, and cybernetic and augmented reality to monitor field, remote and centralised workers instantaneously.

For example, equipping workers with coupled, intelligent wearables and peripatetic devices will allow mines to incarcerate perilous data immediately. This constructs unified communiqué and abrupt, secluded expert assistance.

Using geoscientific algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) to process data may help with instantaneous decision-making and upkeep regarding imminent prognostications. Using unconventional analytics provides a platform to achieve substantial dynamism in savings.

For example, Goldcorp was the first company to mine historic data from sensors and to ascertain energy waste and usage inclinations in its generators, depressing its environmental impact.

Digitisation and mechanisation upsurge safety for mine workers. Treacherous environments, poor air quality, curbed spaces and a lack of fundamental veracity are a few instances of safety hazards encountered by some mineworkers daily. Thus, when the mining processes are automated, fewer personnel are required, which result in fewer workers being exposed to the impending hazards found in a mine.

Digitalisation enables autonomous decision-making grounded in instantaneous information. Once data are persistently updated with accurate information, it countenances for better, faster decisions.