Modern Mining February 2023


information.  Is mobile and practical – whether handheld, wear able or autonomous.  Preferable that the solution allows for quick and easy dissemination of information remotely. “Given that industry-support to drive the uptake of the identified solution is imperative, Sibanye Stillwater was identified as the ideal champion for the Rock Hazard Identification programme and plati num miner, Impala Platinum, as the champion on the Rock Removal programme.” A winning solution Seven applicants were chosen for the pitching den, including the winner, Reutech Mining and the run ners up, the CSIR’s Advanced Internet of Things Group, TCS Research and Flyability as well as entrants Stratafy, Ramjack Technology Solutions and RockMass Technologies. The winner, Reutech Mining’s Sub Surface Profiler (SSP), consists of a ground penetrating radar (GPR) system that investigates and identifies rock mass hazards at the rock face and at entry of work ing areas. According to Pienaar, although Reutech Mining’s SSP is currently in use at a few local mining opera tions, additional research is needed to enhance the inclusion of geo-referenced scan data and topo graphical correction features. “Strong pitches were delivered by all seven final ists; however, Reutech was pronounced the winner based on its level of technical readiness, operational success, reputation, focus on worker safety, effec tiveness at identifying hazards and user-friendly solution. As the winner, Reutech Mining will have access to seed funding of R1m from the FOGAP R&D fund, which will enable the company to enhance its solution to meet industry needs.” Given the innovative solutions provided by the finalists, the industry bodies are keen to partner with the finalists to refine and further develop their innovations. “A test piloting site will be identified (either at one of Sibanye-Stillwater’s underground operations or at the MMP’s Test Mine) to allow participants to test their solutions. The MMP and the Minerals Council South Africa are hopeful that a commercially viable, innovative solution for FOG will be ready before year-end. Pienaar notes that taking the route of a ‘chal lenge’ to the global community offers a number of benefits, including:  A platform for industry bodies to come together with a common goal and objective in mind.  Combining efforts, skills and knowledge.  Sharing information and learning.  Supporting technology innovators.  Recognising innovators.  Directing innovators on the needs of the industry. 

rugged, easy-to-use and efficient. Importantly, it should require little start up time. Additional features needed to include:  The ability to provide real-time information on the conditions of the rock face and hanging wall.  Able to identify and delineate areas that are prob lematic or can do so automatically.  Provide a warning (audible and/or visual) to flag an area in danger of an imminent failure.  Remove the user’s need to touch the rock during examination.  Is quick and easy to use and interpret, provides 2D or 3D visualisations of the rock features, and potentially incorporates AI analysis to auto-analyse

Sibanye-Stillwater was identified as the ideal champion for the Rock Hazard Identification programme.

Reutech Mining’s Sub Surface Profiler.

MMP The Mandela Mining Precinct is a public private partnership between the Department of Science and Innovation and the Minerals Council South Africa (hosted by the CSIR). It is an initiative aimed at revitalising mining research, development and innovation in South Africa to ensure the sustainability of the mining industry. The Mandela Mining Precinct implements the South African Mineral Extraction, Research, Development and Innovation strategy (SAMERDI), which includes the Advanced Orebody knowledge programme as it is concerned with the identification of hazardous rock.

24  MODERN MINING  February 2023

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