by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – THE Jwaneng open-pit diamond mine in Botswana has emerged the world’s first 5G-oriented smart diamond mine project.
This is anticipated to take the efficiency, productivity and safety of mining to the next level.
Debswana and Huawei jointly made the announcement at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona 2023.
The Huawei-enabled smart mine solution has been deployed at the mine.
The Jwaneng mine being 5G-oriented means the hardware equipment such as base stations used in the mine’s digital transformation solution support network upgrades to 5G.
5G features such as high bandwidth and low latency can support the application of cutting-edge technologies like autonomous driving, enabling more intelligent digital transformation of the mining industry in the future.
Molemisi Nelson Sechaba, Debswana’s Head of Information Management, pointed out that Huawei’s 4G eLTE private network solution provides stable connectivity for the Jwaneng mine, connecting more than 260 pieces of equipment, including drilling rigs, excavators and trucks.
This enables interconnection between the mine’s production, safety and security systems.
There were limitations before this solution was adopted. These include limited coverage and less robust anti-interference capabilities since the mine used public wireless frequencies.
Sechaba said it was important to deploy the eLTE solution to connect mining equipment in a more stable manner.
Thulagano Segokgo, Minister of Communications, Knowledge and Technology of Botswana, welcomed Debswana and Huawei’s joint efforts to drive digital transformation in the mining industry.
This aligns with the government’s digital transformation agenda across all sectors.
Measures underway include a formulated digitalisation agenda and a 5G roadmap.
Xu Jun, Chief Technology Officer of Huawei Mine, said Huawei is committed to using its strengths in technologies such as 5G, cloud, artificial intelligence and internet of things to develop smart mine solutions based on an industrial internet architecture.
In China, Huawei has jointly developed numerous intelligent applications with leading mining enterprises.
Liao Yong, Vice President of Huawei Sub-Saharan Africa, noted that mining was an economic backbone for many Sub-Saharan African countries and plays an important role in the economy of Africa as a whole.
Over the past five years, Huawei has provided services to mining enterprises in a number of countries in the region, including Botswana, Ghana, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.
Following on the success of the Jwaneng mine project, Debswana plans to also deploy the smart mining solution in its Damtshaa, Orapa and Letlhakane mines in 2023.
– CAJ News