Mine safety is a global concern, with organisations continually investing time and resources to ensure the safety of their workforce.
Leading Mine Safety in Africa
Africa mines have had a less than impressive reputation when dealing with the safety of sites and their workforce. However, of late, there has been a distinct movement to rise above this stereotype. Mopani Copper Mines are at the forefront of this shift, adopting parent company, Glencore’s, philosophy of safety as the top priority.
With the support of Glencore, Mopani aims to improve safety as well as enhance overall efficiency. A critical step to achieve this is improving emergency response procedures by using better technology and increasing skilled workforce. Located in Zambia, Mopani Copper Mines is an integrated copper operation on the Copperbelt. Based in the towns of Kitwe and Mufulira, the operation includes six mine shaft complexes, two concentrator plants, a smelter and a refinery.
Through enhanced safety standards and ongoing investment in the operations, Mopani is committed to transforming into a world-class mining company. One of the key steps is to provide an ever-improving Emergency Response capability.
Training and Technology
Advancing the skills of the workforce through a dedicated training centre is a distinct feature of Mopani. Operational training was delivered by MineARC Systems Africa, covering the safe use of refuge chambers in a step by step overview. In addition, an information video was given to the company as a brief introduction to refuge chambers, and the vital part they play in safety and emergency planning.
Mopani is the first site to adopt MineARC’s GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring. The digitalisation of mines, as mentioned in the Deloitte’s ‘Track the trends 2018’, is one of the progressive steps sites should be taking to ensure efficiency. Part of MineARC’s GuardIAN Intelligence range, it enables real-time monitoring and diagnostics across the full suite of refuge chambers. Through remote, online tracking, Mopani will have the confidence that their chambers are emergency ready at all times.
Further to this, each chamber is equipped with both internal and external video monitoring. Live video streaming assists with evacuation planning and provides vital information on the well-being of occupants during an emergency. As part of the integrated system, motion detectors notify GuardIAN when activated; the cameras send out a live recorded stream as well as an email notification to designated staff.
Mopani Copper Mine’s focus on providing better ERP solutions across their sites position them as a leader safety in Africa and at the forefront of sustainability.
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