Biometrics in the golden basin

October 2014 Access Control & Identity Management

Great Basin Gold is a mining company engaged in the development and exploration of Gold properties. The company is currently focused on its two emerging mines in late stage development at two projects in the world’s two most well known gold producing regions, with a substantial resource base of 13.7 million ounces in the measured and indicated category.

The Hollister project is located on the Carlin Trend in Nevada, USA, and the Burnstone project, is located on the Witwatersrand basin. The Burnstone Mine is located about 80 km southeast of Johannesburg and just east of Balfour, in the Mpumalanga Province. Burnstone Mine is the first new mine to open in the Witwatersrand basin for more than 30 years.

This low-cost, long life, shallow mine with a targeted average annual production of 254 000 Au oz over 25 years at a LoM cash cost of US$450 per oz. The current resource is 12.1 M oz (M&I) with substantial upside potential for later phases of development that will position Great Basin Gold as a leading mid-tier gold producer.

Great Basin Gold uses the ERP solution SAP/R3 for company management purposes. Together with the SAP HCM consulting house Swicon360, the company was looking for an integrated time and attendance solution certified by SAP. “The goal was a reliable and clear time and attendance solution that integrates seamlessly into the SAP system,” emphasises Guenter Nerlich, MD of AWM360 Data Systems, which until the end of 2010 was an integrated business unit of the Swicon360 Group and today is the independent and official Kaba access and workforce management partner in southern Africa.

The currently available state-of-the-art technology was to be used. Consequently, the decision was ultimately taken in favour of the biometrics solution from Kaba. It is based on the fingerprint method. The benefit for the mining company: No badges are required; no costs for these and badge handling are incurred. Biometrics also guarantees clear data capture. “A simple, but very reliable and proven system was chosen,” explains Nerlich.

Up to now, just over 26 B-Net 93 20 time and attendance terminals with biometrics reader, six enrolment stations and the communication solution B-COMM ERP for use with SAP have been installed. In the course of the mine’s expansion and the actual start of phase two of the planned roll out, the number of time and attendance terminals will increase to 60. The company initially started with 250 miners and staff; and, within a short period of time, 1000 employees were managed in the system.

As the mine is still growing, additional employees are constantly being included. By the end of 2011, there was approx. 2500 employees. The employees have coped well with the biometrics time and attendance solution right from the start. They first pass through turnstiles in order to access the mine premises or certain areas. In order to record their working hours they book in or out at the Kaba terminals.

The method is simple: they simply have to place their finger on the fingerprint sensor of the terminal; and the time is already recorded. The data are forwarded in encrypted form in order to prevent any opportunities for tampering. For visitors whose data are not required in the SAP system, Great Basin Gold uses the Visitor Management module from Kaba. It enables – independently of SAP – the generation and management of badge numbers and visitor cards. The system is centrally hosted and managed in Sandton.

The implementation of the project was realised by its partner AWM360 Data Systems, which was established by Guenter Nerlich, and is focused on emerging and established businesses that require service and support in order to leverage off innovative and state-of-the-art access-, workforce management- and enterprise data collection solutions. The company has taken over sole distributorship as a certified partner of a wide range of hardware and software solutions manufactured by Kaba to the local market.

For more information contact AWM360 Data Systems, +27 (0)11 460 5335,

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