Mining is a hazardous occupation. Mining at sea, in cramped conditions, multiplies that.
All at sea: The MV Mafuta is the world’s largest offshore diamond mining vessel. (Source: Orange)
To that end, Orange Business Services, network-native digital services subsidiary of telecoms giant Orange Group, has helped De Beers Marine South Africa build an Internet of things (IoT) platform to make sure crew maintain a safe distance from heavy machinery.
A pilot has run successfully on board the MV Mafuta, currently the world's largest offshore diamond mining vessel, owned and operated by Debmarine Namibia, around 150km off the coast of Namibia. The Orange IoT platform uses geofencing technology, bluetooth low-energy locators and wearable sensors – all of which work with onboard antennas.
In the pilot, Orange Business Services imported the Mafuta's AutoCAD files and undertook an onboard site survey to map antenna locations to geofence a predetermined area on the vessel.
Ten crew members were equipped with wrist sensors. If one of the crew breached the geofenced area onboard the vessel, the ship's bridge was alerted immediately.
Marine diamond mining means miners are working in close proximity to heavy machinery. (Source: Orange)
De Beers Group Technology SA, an R&D arm of De Beers Group, is now looking at other potential applications for the technology. One possibility is a breach alert function to link the sensors directly to the mining machinery to create a failsafe cut-off in the event of a breach in the geofence.
"The geofencing pilot has already proved successful in one of the most challenging heavy industrial environments – a floating diamond mine at sea, with prolonged exposure to strong vibration and corrosive saltwater," said Gerhardus Theron, vessel manager of the MV Mafuta.
The next phase of development will focus on interface and data collection capabilities, and include testing a trigger function to deactivate machinery in the event of a breach of the geofence by a crew member.
Safaricom is launching an M-Pesa 'super-app' which will let SMEs create their own business apps within the mobile money ecosystem, according to CIO, George Njuguna, who was speaking at East Africa Com.
Africa was the birthplace of Mobile Money and while it continues to rise in popularity, the industry is quickly evolving and launching more mobile-based financial services every day. In this Connecting Africa online event, local analysts and industry stakeholders will discuss how telcos are disrupting the financial services space and what the rise of Mobile Money 2.0 will look like for Africa.
From cash to mobile: heading towards a cashless society
Expanding MFS offerings beyond mobile money transfers
MNOs vs banks vs fintechs: an evolving competitive landscape
Unconnected and unbanked: fintech to improve financial inclusion
The rise of micro-loans and insurance through mobile platforms
Africa has the fastest growing population in the world and also the youngest, with 60% of Africans under the age of 25. It is clear that the next billion connected are going to be the mobile-only generation. This digital symposium will bring industry experts together to discuss Africa’s digital divide and how to get devices into the hands of young Africans and empower them to join the digital revolution.
Who’s Driving? The role of government & regulator, private tech companies, and public-private partnerships
Device affordability: are we reaching a tipping point?
Status check: Satellite vs Fiber and the enduring infrastructure gap
Exploring the wider societal and economic benefits of a connected, digitally literate continent