Mines require proof of performance

SMART Mining Security Solutions 2024 Mining (Industry)

Africa and its deep connection to the continent’s mineral wealth is undeniable. It is a connection that far precedes the impact that colonialism had across the continent in the first wave of mineral and personnel exploitation. This exploitation continued for many decades, while the continent’s wealth was exported with no benefit to the local populace. Slowly, Africa began to benefit from wealth-sharing initiatives.

Some of the colonial practices, sadly, still exist in some parts of Africa, but the drive towards responsible mining practices in the majority of African states takes continuous effort and attention from security managers, IT directors, health & safety executives and compliance officers. The efforts of these teams of people mean that mining is safer than ever, and mining properties are more secure than ever. Now is the time for more efficient processes and accountability.

The relatively hostile environment and remote locations of mining establishments mean that any electronic/technical implementations have to be easily installed, require little or no maintenance and, once commissioned, require no adjustment. These challenges have seen many come, many try, and most fail, while vast sums of money have been squandered in the pursuit of effective solutions.

How do you avoid repeating past mistakes and installing expensive white elephants?

The most common approach is to ask for specific reference sites.

o This is not a very scientific approach because most reference sites cannot be proven and almost definitely cannot be inspected to see what was installed, how it was installed, and if, in fact, it works as specified and the client is happy.

Visit a trade show.

o Speak to very well-dressed and extremely knowledgeable employees who will sell you ideas with a few specifics and convince you that their way is the only way. (It is worth noting I am also one of these people.)

Request a proof of performance.

o The most reliable way to gauge the performance of the manufacturer’s proposal versus your request, thus identifying any expectation gap, is to have a small-scale installation to replicate your larger requirements and use the products and solution in a real-world environment for a period of time before evaluating the results and then making an educated purchasing decision.

You might want to try any of the above, but any combination of the three would help the decision-making process immeasurably.

The most commonly implemented applications in African mining currently involve UHF technology and vehicle-related issues. Fuel, truck loading/unloading and vehicular movement onsite. UHF is a tricky technology to get right because of its susceptibility to environmental conditions, but if installed correctly can be one of the greatest assets a mine can have onsite. Completely passive technology provides 100% reading 100% of the time. Request a proof of performance and see first hand what is possible.

For more information, contact STid, Jethro Lakin, [email protected], John Lakin, [email protected], www.stid-security.com


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