from SAVIOUS KWINIKA in Cape Town
Western Cape Bureau
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – GUGULETHU, the newly-developed coal mine in South Africa, is to integrate 5G technology in its operations following a partnership featuring Huawei, Menar and MTN.
This comes as Gugulethu, located in the eastern Mpumalanga, edges closer to start producing in early 2024.
Gugulethu (translates to “out treasure” in vernacular) is managed through Canyon Coal, a subsidiary of the private investment company, Menar.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in Cape Town by Menar and mobile network operator, MTN , as well as technology firm, Huawei, will enable implementation of leading 5G technology at the mine.
Cleavon Moothoosamy, Menar’sChief Innovation Officer, said the MOU symbolises the company’s drive to embrace technology across its operations.
“We want to be at the forefront of mining innovation, and this partnership is a bold step towards a future where technology and connectivity redefine the mining landscape,” said Moothoosamy.
The companies involved now look forward to further discussions after the signing of the MOU, which entails the possibility of rolling out a three-phased project to install 5G connectivity on the mine campus and shafts, among other elements.
“Huawei’s technological infrastructure serves as the backbone of this venture and could enable us to leverage cutting-edge solutions to drive productivity and sustainable practices within our operations,” Moothoosamy added.
The 5G technology is increasingly being adopted in South Africa, where MTN said it is excited to be playing a leading role in this space by using its network and systems to promote the growth and sustainability of its enterprise customers.
Tumi Chamayou, Chief Business Enterprise Officer at MTN, said the investment towards the network puts the operator in a greater position to offer state of the art, faster and seamless connectivity to its customers.
“The partnership will see all parties involved reaping the benefits of our best network,” Chamayou said.
Gugulethu has become the second mine under the Menar stable to form a partnership with MTN and Huawei.
In December 2022 Canyon Coal’s Phalanndwa Colliery, also based in Mpumalanga, signed an agreement that ultimately saw the mine adopting 5G technology.
“Importantly, 5G supports Artificial Intelligence (AI) based real-time analytics, thus enabling data driven decision making which is critical in the mining environment,” Jason Shao, Huawei MTN KAD Account Director , said.
In 2022, Nkwe Platinum and South Africa Zijin Platinum, wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Zijin Mining Group, partnered with MTN and Huawei for a collaboration agreement to build the Southern Africa region’s first 5G-enabled smart metal mine.
– CAJ News