South African mining companies Nkwe Platinum and Zijin Platinum have joined forces with MTN and Huawei South Africa to create South Africa’s first 5G-enabled smart metal mine. Weird… right? 5G and mining aren’t usually two words thrown around together. The partnership will see MTN and Huawei provide the 5G, while Nkwe and Zijin supply the mines.
MTN and Huawei are providing more than just 5G broadband access. Once they’ve had their way, the mines will become way more efficient, in multiple ways. Not only will the network providers be supplying 5G broadband, it’ll also offer remote vehicle control, IoT (internet of things) communication, and enterprise digital transformation. Whatever that last one is. Once complete, the mines will have made a gargantuan leap forward in the industry, setting the standard for other mines to compete with.
But which mine will be getting the 5G makeover? The Garatau platinum mine in Limpopo seems to be the lucky mine. It’s the first, but we’re sure it won’t be the last.
Do you have signal?
Those involved believe the partnership is also a chance to show off exactly what 5G can accomplish. If implemented correctly, it can do wonders for any sort of business field looking for a leg up.
Nkwe Platinum’s Managing Director and CEO, Fan Zhiyu, said the introduction of 5G would help lessen the strain of the job. He also said it would ensure better safety and environmental practices.
“The development of metal minerals is laborious and technical work. Therefore, the Zijin Mining Group regards informatisation and intelligence as key strategic directions and actively explores technical solutions that can improve the safety, process automation, and benefits of mining.” Zhiyu said.
The companies also said that the partnership with MTN and Huawei would be especially useful for future mining companies. MTN and Huawei will help Zijin build its first smart mine overseas, with the ability to have 5G access from the get-go a ‘game changer’.
It will be interesting to see just how this affects any other industries. We could see the emergence of more 5G-led businesses cropping up over the next couple of years. Or, people will go on how they are, and not even attempt a change. We’ll have to wait and see.