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Clen Cook, RIIS Managing Partner

The next wave of growth within the mining sector will be enabled by technology.  

This is according to newly appointed Tshimologong Precinct CEO, Lesley Donna Williams, who says that while digital disruption has largely been consumer-facing, manufacturing industries and natural resource sectors are starting to take both a human-centered approach, as well as looking to technology to assist with improvements and innovative ways to move these industries forward.

In response to this need, the Tshimologong Precinct in collaboration with RIIS, will host Mine.D: Zero Harm – a digitally-inspired hackathon from 3 to 5 November 2017.

The hackathon will be focused on Mixed Reality (MR) and Internet of Things (IoT) within the health and safety space of the mining sector.

“There is a significant role for technology to play within the mining sector. Looking at aspects of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and IoT alone can bring massive benefit to mines by eliminating time wasted, improving decision making, and automating approaches and procedures.  This in turn, improves the quality of the work that people do,” says Williams.

She says that the Mine.D Hackathon was initiated to bring digital technology closer to age-old mining processes and to identify ways in which technology can assist, grow and improve not only approaches, but specifically the concept of zero harm.

Clen Cook, RIIS Managing Partner says that Mine.D was not born to reinvent mining, but to look at how digital technology can be embedded into current processes to affect a better outcome for all involved.

“We are aware of the sensitivities associated with the mining industry and as a result want to look for ways that technologies such as Mixed Reality can assist in improving the health and safety for all involved.”

He says with the help of digital technologies, the opportunities to extend the lifespan of mines is also much greater.

“Developing technologies for extreme environments is often tricky, so we are hoping to collaborate and develop digital approaches that will address health and safety issues.

Mine.D is open to anyone who has an interest in developing technology approaches for the mining sector focused on Mixed Reality and IoT in the health and safety space. Between 50 – 70 participants will be selected, after which the top three will be chosen to move forward.

“This is a very exciting hackathon and we invite anyone with an idea or interest in developing these technologies to participate,” says Williams. She stresses that Mine.D is open to strategists, technology entrepreneurs, innovators, developers and software engineers: “We recognise that Mine.D needs a collaborative approach and thus will not restrict those who want to participate.”

South Africa is a global leader in the mining sector. Cook says that the opportunities are significant for the country to research and implement digitally-inspired approaches and continue to lead as an innovative and forward-thinking mining front-runner.

To enter Mine.D please visit www.tshimologong.joburg/mine-d-hackathon

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