Africa mines have had a less than impressive reputation when dealing with sites’ safety and their workforce. Changing how African mines adopt safety initiatives is a global concern, requiring time and resources to ensure their workforce’s safety.
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 the parent company, Glencore’s, philosophy of safety as the top priority.
Leading Mines Safety in Africa
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 Kitwe and Mufulira, the process 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 critical steps is to provide an ever-improving Emergency Response capability.
Training and Technology for ERT Safety
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. Also, an information video given to the company provides a brief introduction to refuge bays and its vital role in safety management and emergency planning.
Adopting New Underground Technology to Enhance Safety Procedures
Mopani is the first site to adopt MineARC’s GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring. As mentioned in Deloitte’s ‘Track the trends 2018’, the digitalisation of mines is one of the progressive steps sites should be taking to ensure efficiency. MineARC’s GuardIAN Intelligence range enables real-time monitoring and diagnostics across the full suite of refuge chambers. Through remote, online tracking, Mopani will have the confidence that their refuge bays are emergency ready at all times.
Further to this, each chamber contains both internal and external video monitoring. Live video streaming assists with evacuation planning and provides vital information on occupants’ well-being during an emergency. As part of the integrated system, motion detectors notify GuardIAN when activated; the cameras send out a live recorded stream and an email notification to designated staff.
Mopani Copper Mine’s focus on providing better ERP solutions across their sites position them as a leader in safety in Africa and at the forefront of sustainability.