Austrade Africa would like to thank you for your participation in the “What is driving next generation mining in Africa Webinar 2021” a few weeks ago. A recording of the webinar can be found by clicking here;

Also, please also find a link to the presentation slides.

There were 58 attendees which included Government officials, METS companies doing business on the African continent as well as those who are looking to enter different markets in Africa.

There were a few questions which were asked during the webinar and speakers have combined to provide the answers below – please see below.

Question: What cloud provider options are available in Africa?

Answer:  The African connectivity and cloud computing market is generating a lot of interest as players position themselves for the boom in data services on the African continent.

Over the last four years, international cloud companies have rushed to develop data centres on the African continent. IBM announced its first Africa data centre in 2016.

In the first half of 2019, Huawei started construction on two data centres in South Africa with further plans to expand to Nigeria and Kenya. A month later, Microsoft launched its first Azure data centres in Cape Town and Johannesburg, both in South Africa. In February 2019, the US company also signed an agreement with Telecom Egypt to develop and expand Microsoft cloud facilities to the region.

In April 2019, Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched three data centre operations in Cape Town, its first ever African region. 

Question: In what way is autonomous haulage linked to satellite network technology?

Answer: With the need for automation now well documented, the challenge of remote location and need for ultra-low latency for a range of applications to manage autonomous vehicles , operational workflow controls systems and imagery for safety or surveillance all require connectivity.

With the availability of fibre like Satellite down to 150 millisecond round trip latency , throughput to 10Gbps coupled with economics that provide a viable ROI – next generation Satellite expansion for mining applications is a market forecasted for significant double digit growth by most analysts.

Web scale companies such as Amazon and Microsoft are also entering the new space race, with organic projects and partnerships announced such as the Azure Orbital program where SES is the founding member. This program supports a range of remote applications including ruggedized mobile datacentres , mobile edge compute and easy spin up of other applications where the Cloud can now be securely extended to the wildest of locations. Users can now work/operate  in these locations as if they were connected to a terrestrial network back in their HQ with a full suite of corporate applications available to the distant worker.

Back to autonomous haulage where SES and its partners such as Telstra/Microsoft are working to connect Plant on site where HD image is required for navigation , safety and operation over 5G as an access medium, SES and other Satellite providers are also engaging in a number of projects testing ubiquitous connectivity for  Industrial transportation such as driverless trains again where Satellite is integrated with 5G and MEC.

Please see one of the best examples of case studies in the Public Domain that take you through the underlying need for high throughput low latency connectivity – anytime – anyplace – anywhere.

Question: Where do SES deploy services in Africa to date?

Answer: SES and its partner Telstra covers all countries through Africa with a mix of both GEO and MEO Satellites. To date our largest installations are in the land locked countries most challenged by unreliable fibre , CAR, DRC , Chad , Ivory Coast , Senegal , South Sudan and Mali.

If you require coverage in a specific country please contact me on [email protected] and I would be happy to assist.

Question: Can junior minors and countries without much infrastructure still access transformational technologies without huge deployments of capital? 

Answer: Our JMS app is very affordable and works perfectly even if the user travels through patchy cell coverage. As long as their start location and final destination are in cell coverage ie. small town, mine site etc it will operate as normal. I appreciate some African nations have limited cell coverage so we can assess that case by case. We can always provide an integrated handheld satellite device which works on the iridium network giving the user coverage 100% of the time. Garmin and Spot trackers are integrated into JMS. POA in these scenarios. As for investment, JMS is modestly priced at USD $15/month per user subscription. No contracts. A team of 50 staff = $9000.00 per year as an example. Happy to discuss with any interested parties and thank you again for your partnership.

The following were closing Remarks from Duncan Harris, President of the Australia Africa Chamber of Commerce:

On behalf of all talking part in this webinar today I congratulate each of our Speakers for their excellent presentations.

The application of Supply Chain expertise through the Mining Equipment , Technology and Services Sector known as METS is clearly bringing about major changes to the way we work in the Mining Industry. Today’s presentations illustrated that the Mine of the Future will incorporate such technologies as Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics, Remote Sensoring, Automation., Telematics and Wearables. As such it can and does deliver massive Value creation to the Mining Industry.

I am sure that our Presenters will welcome your direct follow up with them to have you better understand how they can assist with your businesses.

We at the Australia Africa Chamber of Commerce are delighted to partner with Austrade and Telstra in bring you this webinar.

I would on your behalf like to thank Scott and his team at Austrade for their organisation of the event.

We look forward to bringing you more such events to help you make those all-important contacts and connections.

Finally,  Mark Cutifani, the CEO of Anglo American is quoted as saying ‘ If you’re not in Africa , you’re not in mining”.

Thank you all for attending.

The Austrade team in Africa would be more than happy to assist you with your future ventures in Africa.

If you have any questions or request further information on the African market, please contact: