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Botswana Jwaneng Mine team up with Huawei on 5G project

Botswana’s Jwaneng Mine, a subsidiary of Debswana, a joint venture of De Beers and the government, has partnered with Huawei to launch smart mining project, using 5G technology for real-time collection of data used to protect staff and vehicles.

The project comes as Jwaneng Mine seeks to bridge the gap of limited coverage, allowing the mine's different types of data to be transferred in real time backed by Huawei, which says digitalisation of mines through 5G will give Botswana a competitive edge and allow the country to join the league of modern age mining.

Jwaneng open-pit diamond mine has been piloting the smart mine solutions since 2021 with Huawei's 4G LTE private network solution providing stable connectivity for the mine, connecting more than 260 pieces of equipment, including drilling rigs, excavators, heavy trucks, and pickup trucks.

“Digitalisation of mining beckons a brighter mining future ahead because we know that besides agriculture, mining equally remains Botswana’s economic back-bone and more than any other economic activity, it arguably employs a majority of our citizens. There is a broader push to have more mines supported by technology that enables the execution of the most complex mining tasks with ease,” says Zhang Wei, managing director Huawei Botswana.

Further, Wei says: “So basically, this is mining made easy for Botswana and we anticipate that productivity will also increase. With smart mining Huawei says the solution is a demonstration that tech goes beyond mobile internet and cell phones and that tech can leapfrog industrialization of any other sector besides mining. This project gives an opportunity to many citizens to appreciate the burgeoning effect of technology, perhaps it will inspire many more future leaders and upcoming talents to think the way around harnessing technology through developing novel solutions. Innovation can potentially lead to higher productivity and generate more output. As production increases, so do the number of goods and services produced. The introduction of the smart diamond mine positions Botswana to participate in the high-tech marketplace.”

Debswana's head of information management, Molemisi Nelson Sechaba says with the new 5G-oriented solution real-time data collection, backhaul, and interaction, make the system more sensitive and accurate to provide more reliable protection for staff and vehicles.

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