By Staff Writer
It was while studying computer science in high school that Reshoketswe Zondi found her passion for technology.
She spent three years in a class of six, where she learned a few basic programming languages. “It was a natural move to continue to study towards my National Diploma at Wits Tech, and I majored in
Information Systems and Software Development.” Here Reshoketswe highlights the importance of technology in mining and how it helps improve the efficiency of mining operations
Digitising mining operations
Big Data, the Internet of Things and Power BI are capable of taking mining operations to the next level by ensuring that they are more efficient and leverage the power of technology. “Big Data is simply loads and lots of data from different formats securely stored in a cloud and how fast the business requires to access it,” says Reshoketswe, Technology Service
Manager at South32. She goes on to explain that Big Data can be defined based on three categories: volume, variety and velocity.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is another tool which mining operations can leverage. IoT is “a group of devices connected via a network to perform a function using applications,” explains
Reshokwetse. “IoT is employed in the mining sector to optimise costs and production, enhance safety protocols, and meet their artificial intelligence requirements.”
Reshokwetse highlights Proximity Detection Systems (PDS) and Collision Prevention Systems (CPS) as key to ensuring the safety of miners. Power BI is a powerful tool for digitising mining operations which “enables organisations to turn raw data into useful information that can be used to drive deeper business insights and inform decision making faster.”
Adapting to the new normal
The COVID-19 pandemic created the need for using technology to do things we may have done before it created a new normal. According to Reshoketswe, mining operations were no different:
“We were forced to adapt, learned to move face-to-face meetings very quick to a mixture of hybrid online virtual sessions, with video options that allowed non-essential workers to dial-in and join essential workers in a Teams, Skype, WebEx or Zoom meetings, amongst another online meeting platforms as the mining operations continued to mine and adapt to our new way of life. The world is not waiting for us to adapt to its changing every minute. If we don’t adapt and reskill, we will find ourselves out of touch with new reality.”
Reshoketswe Zondi is a Chairperson Women in Mining for South32 HMM (Hotazel Manganese Mines). She’s an experienced individual with a demonstrated history of working in the mining industry as well as the Information Technology and Services Industry with strong professional skills in Operations Management, Project Management, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Services, Service-Level Agreements (SLA) and People Management.