What is described as a “landmark agreement” will lay the foundation for South Africa’s Gugulethu Colliery, a newly developed mine in Mpumalanga, to integrate 5G technology in its operations.
Mpumalanga is a province in eastern South Africa, bordering Swaziland and Mozambique.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in Cape Town between Menar, a private investment company with an actively managed and growing portfolio of diversified minerals, mobile network operator MTN, and technology firm Huawei, will enable implementation of 5G technology at the Gugulethu mine, which is to start producing in early 2024.
Plans under discussion include the possibility of rolling out a three-phased project to install 5G connectivity on the mine campus and shafts among other elements.
Supported by MTN's telecommunications expertise and Huawei's technological infrastructure, the aim is to enhance communication onsite, ensuring people’s safety and well-being, as well as operational efficiency.
As we reported at the time, in December 2022 Canyon Coal’s Phalanndwa Colliery also based in Mpumalanga, signed an agreement that ultimately saw the mine adopting 5G technology. The team at Phalanndwa reportedly registered improvements when it comes to enhanced communication, safety, and real-time monitoring.
The role of 5G in this sector is likely to go on expanding, if comments from Menar's chief innovation officer Cleavon Moothoosamy are any indication. He says: "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.”