Vedanta Zinc International (VZI) is set to adopt Sandvik’s OptiMine platform at its Black Mountain Mining (BMM) operations in the Northern Cape Province in South Africa.

The implementation of the OptiMine platform next year is aimed at accelerating the site’s data-driven operation for improved mining safety, efficiency and productivity.

OptiMine is Sandvik’s digital offering for underground mining and comprises equipment and asset location tracking, planning and task management, scheduling, monitoring equipment and operations, and OptiMine Analytics with IBM Watson IoT.

Beginning next year, VZI will implement the platform for trucks, loaders and drills.

Black Mountain Mining general manager Andre Trytsman said: “OptiMine gives us end-to-end visibility and control over our underground mining operations.

“It was important to us to have the full scope, from scheduling to analytics, to ensure we’re optimised for the safest and most productive operation possible. The OptiMine platform is the next step in Black Mountain’s digital journey, delivering efficiency and increasing operational performance allowing us to unlock more value.”

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“The process will become fully transparent and predictable based on the advanced OptiMine data management and analytics capabilities.”

The OptiMine suite comprises digital tools that will help miners to analyse and optimise mining production and processes.

Using the platform, BMM will be able to have an integrated view of all relevant data and have access to real-time and predictive insights to improve operations.

BMM’s copper-lead-zinc operations include two underground operations, Deeps and Swartberg. The mines produce silver as a by-product.

It also operates a processing plant and is developing the Gamsberg zinc mine in the Northern Cape district. BMM owns a 69.6% in the Gamsberg project, which is regarded as one of the largest known, undeveloped zinc orebodies in the world.

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology rock drills and technologies president Patrick Murphy said: “The process will become fully transparent and predictable based on the advanced OptiMine data management and analytics capabilities.

“This means Black Mountain Mines will leverage the full value of digitalisation, and we’re really pleased to partner with them to achieve their goals.”

Vedanta Zinc International is a subsidiary of UK-based diversified metals and mining company Vedanta Resources.