Smart mining: Transforming Zim’s mining sector through connectivity

This in a region where the smart mining market is expected to grow to US$ 1,664.30 million by 2028; a compound annual growth rate of 14.5%.

In the heart of Zimbabwe's mineral-rich landscape, a new chapter in mining is being written. For generations, mining has been a story of sweat and toil, where hands dug deep into the earth, seeking treasures that fuel economies.

But today, a different narrative unfolds — one propelled by innovation and technology.

The shift from manual labour to smart mining marks a profound transformation, promising not just efficiency gains but a seismic leap forward in safety, productivity, and sustainability.

At the heart of this transformation lies the evolution of communication networks, which is already redefining how mines operate in Zimbabwe and beyond.

For instance, in the Middle East and Africa, although 77% of mining companies across the region are in the beginning stage of their digital transformation journey, most have already taken significant steps to introduce industrial internet of things and artificial intelligence into their operations.

This in a region where the smart mining market is expected to grow to US$ 1,664.30 million by 2028; a compound annual growth rate of 14.5%.

In recent years, Zimbabwe’s economy has witnessed a significant shift, with the mining sector emerging as a key driver of growth, accounting for 80% of the country’s exports, according to the 2024 Chamber of Mines state of mining survey report. 

With numerous major international operators and smaller artisanal miners, the sector is poised for substantial growth. But safety concerns have also emerged. By its very nature, mining poses risks. Lives have been lost, and injuries recorded, highlighting the need for technological innovation to improve safety standards at the country’s mines.

Connectivity is key

As a nation rich in mineral resources, Liquid Intelligent Technologies believes that the continued transformation of Zimbabwe’s mining sector hinges on a crucial element: connectivity.

By leveraging the cutting-edge technology that connectivity paves the way for, mines can enhance safety measures and operational efficiency, leading to substantial growth and output. In fact, the impact of connectivity extends far beyond the mines, rippling through communities and stimulating overall economic development.

Connectivity lies at the heart of Liquid’s approach, with a focus on four key areas: remote monitoring, real-time data transmission, extraction and processing, and employee safety. By introducing private networks, smart sensors, and IoT devices, mining houses in Zimbabwe can monitor operations, detect hazards, and enhance communication, thereby improving safety and operational efficiency.

The benefits of private LTE

A key initiative that has already shown a significant impact is the deployment of Liquid’s private LTE networks in mines. Across industries, these networks offer several advantages over traditional networks, but their benefits are especially evident in the mining sector:

The high-speed, reliable connectivity provided by LTE networks, even in remote areas, enables mining companies to implement advanced technologies, such as real-time monitoring and autonomous vehicles, improving efficiency and safety.

Private LTE networks offer greater security and control over data transmission. This is a game changer in the mining sector, where operations can be complex and involve hazardous conditions.

In terms of safety, private LTE networks play a crucial role in enhancing communication and monitoring capabilities in mines. In the event of an emergency, such as a collapse or gas leak, private LTE networks enable rapid communication and response, potentially saving lives.

Private LTE networks can support the use of advanced technologies, such as drones and remote-controlled machinery, improving operational efficiency and safety with minimal human intervention in hazardous areas.

By providing high-speed fibre connectivity and technologies like voice over internet protocol (VoIP), Liquid is enabling mining houses to enhance communication and streamline operations, leading to increased productivity.

Bespoke solutions for long-term

The transition from traditional mining methods to smart, technology-driven practices is a testament to the industry’s resilience and adaptability, and as the mining sector continues to expand, customised solutions tailored to the specific needs of the country’s mines are vital.

Liquid Intelligent Technologies is playing a pivotal role in transforming Zimbabwe’s mining sector through connectivity. By harnessing the power of technology, it is not only contributing to economic growth and development in Zimbabwe but also its own vision of a digitally enabled Africa that leaves no-one behind.

  • Songola is the regional chief commercial officer, Central African Region, Liquid Intelligent Technologies.




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