Debswana & Huawei Unveil World’s First 5G-Oriented “Smart Diamond Mine”

Botswana diamond major Debswana and Chinese tech giant Huawei jointly announced the world’s first 5G-oriented smart diamond mine project at MWC Barcelona 2023 on 28th February, 2023.

Debswana’s Head of Information Management Molemisi Nelson Sechaba said that the Huawei-enabled smart mine solution has been deployed at Debswana’s Jwaneng open-pit diamond mine, and the project started operation in December 2021. Huawei’s 4G eLTE private network solution provides stable connectivity for the Jwaneng mine, connecting more than 260 pieces of equipment. This enables interconnection between the mine’s production, safety and security systems.

Sechaba said that it is important to deploy the eLTE solution to connect mining equipment more stably for the purpose of efficiency and because the ability to transfer data in real time makes equipment like mining vehicles more efficient, increasing yield and reducing long-term OPEX. Second, the solution helped improve safety. Real-time data collection, backhaul, and interaction make the system more sensitive and accurate to provide more reliable protection for staff and vehicles.

The Jwaneng mine is the world’s first 5G-oriented smart diamond mine. This means the hardware equipment such as base stations used in the mine’s digital transformation solution support network upgrades to 5G.

5G features like high bandwidth and low latency can support the application of cutting-edge technologies like autonomous driving, enabling more intelligent digital transformation of the mining industry in the future. The company plans to also deploy the smart mining solution in its Orapa, Damtshaa, and Letlhakane mines in 2023.

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