Nkwe Platinum and South Africa Zijin Platinum, owned by China’s Zijin Mining Group, have contracted MTN and Huawei to build what the parties are calling Southern Africa’s first 5G-enabled “smart metal mine”.
MTN and Huawei will provide the Zijin Garatau Platinum Mine in Limpopo with 5G broadband as well as smart mining technologies such as vehicle remote control and internet-of-things tools.
“Once complete, the mine will mark a significant step forward in the digital transformation of the local mining industry. It will effectively demonstrate how a number of emerging technologies can be combined with 5G to improve functions across the mine,” Huawei said in a statement on Thursday.
“This kind of advancement will become increasingly important as South Africa looks to remain competitive in the global mineral and resources space. The country is the world’s top platinum producer, and mining accounts for 8% South Africa’s GDP.”
The technology employed by the mine, which was launched last year, will help ensure it is globally competitive, said Nkwe Platinum CEO Fan Zhiyu in the statement.
“The Zijin Garatau Platinum Mine is one of Zijin Mining Group’s major overseas projects. The collaboration with MTN and Huawei will help Zijin Mining Group build its first high-tech and safe overseas smart mine…,” he added.
Mining Weekly reported last year that Zijin Mining Group would invest US$700-million in the project and that it would directly create about 2 500 jobs.