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  • Last updated

    6:59pm on Jul 03, 2020

Sibanye-Stillwater strives to be at the forefront of digitisation and innovation in the mining industry to make the future of mining safer, more efficient and more sustainable. We are focused on building an innovation culture framework, with established mechanisms for people’s ideas to be heard and enhanced through collaboration with the broader organisation.

We have identified a number of projects to advance the mine of the future including applying newly developed battery technology in mobile assets like locomotives and trackless mobile machinery and applying analytics and deep learning algorithms to improve overall equipment and processing effectiveness.

We recognise that there is significant value in leveraging external expertise to advance innovation and therefore recently established an advisory panel of globally renowned experts from various industries and institutions that is helping us fast track ideation and prioritise key strategic aspects of our digital transformation.

A CLOSER LOOK

  • Mandela Mining Precinct

    The Mandela Mining Precinct (MMP), an outcome of the government-supported Mining Phakisa process, and previously referred to as the
    Mining Precinct’s Innovation Hub, was opened in September 2018. The MMP creates a space for researchers from various institutions and organisations to collaborate and work together. The function of the precinct is to co-ordinate research activities towards the revitalisation
    of South Africa’s mining operations through the development of next-generation mining systems.

    Sibanye-Stillwater played a key role in the opening of the Mandela Mining Precinct and participates in the MMP’s six steering committees, which meet quarterly and the innovation team, which meets three times a year.

  • DigiMine laboratory

    We have partnered with the Wits Mining Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg to develop a state-of-the-art mining laboratory. The DigiMine Laboratory is a one-of-its-kind laboratory complete with a Mock Mine that simulates actual underground mining conditions and enables researchers to develop and test digital systems in a simulated environment. Through the research conducted at the DigiMine, we are investing in making mining safer and sustainable using digital technologies.

    Learn more at www.wits.ac.za/wmi/digimine/

  • 3D printing

    The Precious Metal Refinery developed the first 3D printer utilising pure platinum powder developed in-house to meet exacting specifications. The project, which started before the Lonmin operations were acquired by Sibanye-Stillwater, is a collaboration between the company and South Africa’s Central University of Technology, Northwest University of Technology and Vaal University of Technology, and aims to develop prototype facilities for budding entrepreneurs to produce products containing PGMs via additive manufacturing or 3D printing.

  • DataProphet AI-powered Plant

    To understand and demonstrate the achievable value creation through digital transformation, we have partnered with South African
    company, DataProphet, to implement an artificial intelligence (AI) powered plant optimisation system. AI is used to extract value from historical data and optimise manufacturing and mineral processing plants. On processing the data, the solution creates a learnt digital twin of the plant and can deduce the entire process from the equivalent of hundreds of years’ worth of institutional knowledge embedded in the data. Optimum operating patterns are identified from the historical data and used to prescribe actions based on the current operating characteristics of the plant. These prescriptions are provided within the context of a systemwide view which takes into consideration upstream and downstream processes. The result is a reduction in variation and improved plant metrics through optimised and unified operations.

    Preliminary indications suggest that, when applied, a potential recovery change of between 1.5% and 3% is achievable with no significant amendments to other quality parameters. This translates to a commensurate improvement of ounces produced through treatment of the same volume of mined ore.

  • Relevant media

    Please note that the link(s) above are not hosted by Sibanye-Stillwater. Sibanye-Stillwater is not responsible for the content or availability of third-party websites.

Reference

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