Digital evolution spearheads DRC mining growth

drc miningFrom JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC,KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – DIGITAL innovation is driving transformation within the mining sector in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the mineral-rich Central African country whose development has nonetheless been scuttled by eternal conflict.
With over 25 international mining groups active in the region, the mining sector has become significant as it is also widely known for the world’s production of diamond, cobalt, copper, gold, tantalum and tin.
Ali Bofulo, Managing Director of iWayAfrica, said mining accounts for the DRC’s largest source of export income and is an important and growing sector.
The executive said while the region was ripe with opportunity, reliable, adaptable and ubiquitous connectivity was a critical enabler for a digital innovation roadmap.
“This is especially relevant to the mining sector, where connectivity requirements are more than just linking a remote site to a regional or global head office,” said Bofulo.
If the DRC is to evolve, embrace digital innovation and increase its mining production, technology issues such as connectivity need to be addressed, hence this was becoming more relevant as organisations look to technology as a means to differentiate.
“Internet of Things, among other digital technologies, have started driving increased automation and system reporting for performance and yield management. All of which requires real connectivity in remote areas to succeed,” said Bofulo.
This quest for improved productivity is driving the mining industry to implement more automated systems and seek greater IT integration.
Real-time monitoring, health and safety systems, security services, online customs clearance and access to enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications are among the key mining issues being addressed through digital innovation.
iWayAfrica, together with parent company, Gondwana International Networks, launched a satellite communications Hub in South Africa to offer its new pan-regional Ku-band satellite service, Jola.
The service is available across Sub-Saharan Africa via authorised partners of iWayAfrica, and provides lower latency for Intra-Africa traffic. This enables and improved the use of ERP applications. It also has the potential to provide the technology boost mining requires to stay competitive and innovative.”
Leveraging Intelsat 28 Ku-Band coverage and utilising efficient and leading technology on the ground, Jola offers the widest coverage access across sub-Saharan Africa with the most flexible service offering.
The approach enables end-users to combine optimal speed, monthly data usage and budget.
“The mining sector can now deploy satellite for various cases that suits the specific requirements. This includes single or multi-site connectivity, real-time monitoring systems, occasional WiFi usage or as back-up connectivity,” said Bofulo.
He noted satellite had long been used as an access technology by mining and exploration companies in establishing communications in remote sites.
“Now these same companies can leverage off enhancements in the satellite industry to implement their own digital innovation strategies in the same remote locations.”

 CAJ News

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