OLDM ventures into smart mining
From Thursday to Sunday last week, the greens of Orapa came alive with swinging clubs, flying balls (some accurate most wayward) and business chatter taking centre stage as the mining town’s Golf Club held its annual Orapa Diamond Golf Challenge.
Although the name of the game was charity, with Debswana dedicating the proceeds to Boteti’s less privileged members of society, there was also a competitive edge to the sport, with over 120 golfers from across Southern Africa turning up to tee-off.
This year, the four-day event included a mining summit, as Debswana updated stakeholders on the company’s on-going transition to Future Smart Connected Mining (FSCM).
Orapa Letlhakane Damtsha Mines (OLDM), General Manager, Mogakolodi Maoketsane, explained this was at the heart of Debswana’s efforts to mine diamonds in a safer, more efficient manner.
“This initiative (FSCM) is going to impact the way we do business as we move forward as Debswana. All thanks to Orapa Golf Club which brings us here as golfers, business community every year with an ultimate goal of making a positive socio economic impact to our place that we love: Boteti,” Maoketsane declared.
FSCM, introduced in November last year, includes using an Autonomous Drilling System. Operated by Artificial Intelligence (AI), it spares operators from the hazards caused by a working drill and instead allows them to oversee the machine from a safe distance.
“It also results in increased accuracy and efficiency, leading to more productive operations,” added Maoketsane.
Other FSCM components include Smart Plants, high-automated processing facilities used to extract diamonds from mine ore, using smart automated equipment that is fully electrified, make minimal waste, are transportable and use renewable energy.
Digging even deeper into FSCM, Debswana Principal Engineer, Keene Nkoane, explained it also includes, “Predictive Maintenance, which is a strategy that employs data analytic tools and procedures to detect abnormalities and potential faults in equipment and processes, allowing them to be repaired before they fail.”
Giving his expert input, Debswana Head of Digital and Automation, Kabo Phetlhu said, “Data Analytics and Governance for Operations Planning, this is the introduction of a still-in-development application called DebswanaX, which will allow mine workers to work more efficiently because all day-to-day operations in the mine will be loaded and visualized into the app, making it easily accessible to all.”
This year’s Golf Challenge was sponsored to the tune of P351, 000 by Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) as diamond sponsors.