Virtual reality (VR) training technology designed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to enhance the safety of mineworkers through knowledge training on hazardous underground incidents, will be showcased at the Investing in African Mining Indaba taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from February 6 to 9.
The VR training technology provides mining trainees with simulated, immersive and experiential training on how to adequately respond to near-real emergency situations, such as underground fires and explosions.
“At the forefront of our mission is the prioritisation of zero-harm technologies. Partnering with the mining industry, we aim to deliver people-centred solutions that prioritise the safety of workers in mining environments,” says CSIR future production: mining executive manager Sibongile Ntsoelengoe.
The industry and government officials attending the Mining Indaba this year can expect to see several solutions at the CSIR’s exhibition stand design specifically for the mining industry, such as the near real-time digital risk prediction tool that prevents the collision of trackless mobile machines.
Developed in partnership with the mining industry, this solution uses artificial intelligence and data analytics to improve safety underground and in openpit mines.
Additionally, with the CSIR being the only approved testing authority mandated by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to monitor the functional performance of self-contained self-rescuers (SCSRs) in South Africa, the organisation’s capability to ensure compliance testing for SCSR equipment in mines will also be showcased along with ground-penetrating radar (GPR).
According to Ntsoelengoe, GPR technology forms part of the CSIR’s Integrated Geophysical Toolbox, which enables the near real-time three-dimensional mine planning modelling capability for data analysis and risk mapping, to make decision support for mining operations possible.
“The investment in and adoption of fit-for-purpose, modernised solutions has been a priority point in unlocking the potential of the mining sector, particularly in improving safety and productivity. With our locally honed and diverse capabilities at the CSIR, we are more than ready to partner with captains of industry and government officials in providing bespoke solutions that have the potential to revitalise the mining sector,” Ntsoelengoe says.