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Vedanta Zinc International's digitalization initiative

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Vedanta Zinc International (VZI) is preparing to launch a digitalization initiative which will see a ‘Smart Ore Movement’ system built into its greenfield, flagship Gamsberg Project.

The $400 million Gamsberg project is under development in collaboration with GE South Africa, in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, with production scheduled to begin in mid-2018.

“VZI places great emphasis on the concept of ‘Adapt and Thrive’ across all areas of our business,” says VZI chief executive officer Deshnee Naidoo. He continues: “A core philosophy at Vedanta is to embrace new technologies and practices, and we welcome the opportunity to become part of the disruption revolution. As mining companies we need to offer our employees, our communities and our investors a different future, and people-centric technology has the potential to be part of that process.”

Talking about the collaboration, Thomas Konditi, the ceo of GE South Africa, says: “Mining in South Africa remains an important industry, and as a digital industrial company, we are focused on providing integrated solutions across all sectors and mining is no exception. We leverage solutions from one sector or industry and apply them to another.”

He also explained that the company is deploying a similar approach in digital industrial mining. “The objective is more than just efficiency, the quality of the ore produced is also important. Together we are transforming the entire industry and building sustainable mining and contributing positively to the economy of South Africa and the region. We are confident that this partnership will meet the scale, speed, complexity and other requirements of the mining industry,” Konditi added.

The concept of ‘Smart Ore Movement’ centers on the need to ensure that all available information about the state of the mine, the quality of ore, the conditions of the processing plant and the value of the output product are not only made available to the mine’s management team in real-time, but that the information is presented in such a way that it allows for minute-by-minute decision-making.

The digital transformation project will target elimination of the inefficiencies that would typically exist in mining operations through the application of new working culture combined with digital technology and a customized delivery approach. As Gamsberg is a greenfield project, Vedanta states it will begin operations with best practices already in place. These best practices can then be replicated in subsequent phases, as well as across other parts of the company.

Naidoo concluded: “Gamsberg is VZIs flagship project, and one of the largest greenfield mining projects currently underway in South Africa. The partnership that is achieving this leading practice is a global one, using local expertise. It will play a crucial part in the realization of the vision of the Black Mountain Mining Complex, which will be a game-changer for the Northern Cape, as well as the Southern African zinc industry.”

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