With an area of more than 100km², the Sishen mine in South Africa is one of the largest open pit mines in the world. It’s dedicated to the excavation of iron ore, a basic element in the production of steel, which is important for civil engineering applications.
The mine is operated and owned by Kumba Iron Ore, a business unit of Anglo American, one of the world’s largest suppliers of high-quality iron ore to the global steel industry. Their activities are spread over Southern Africa, South America, Australia, North America, Asia and Europe including mining operations, growth projects, exploration and marketing activities.
The size of the area is a major challenge for the operator when it comes to daily decision making - and this is where Airbus Defence and Space's Stack Insight with its rapid delivery of up-to-date, accurate and highly detailed information comes into play.
Watch the following video to get an overview on the Kumba Iron Ore Business Company:
Meeting Kumba’s Specific Needs with Stack Insight
Accurate and timely information is crucial for the Sishen’s mining and surveying team to review and plan activities - which implies decision-making on a regular basis about new blasting and excavation sites, strategic equipment placement, material movement and waste dump locations.
Furthermore, Kumba needs to keep an eye on the environmental change and compliance.
What is Stack Insight and how does it Support Your Activity?
Stack Insight is the world’s most uniquely accurate and advanced satellite-based change detection and remote volume calculation service for mining and civil engineering applications.
It offers the possibility to calculate the extracted volumes of piles and stacks of excavated material without sending staff on site. The high accuracy allows the South African company to identify and track even the smallest changes in its mines and to assess changing volumes on a regular basis.
The result of the fruitful cooperation between Airbus and Pinkmatter Solutions, a South African based specialist in geo-information software design and satellite image processing, is a service that facilitates Kumba to follow the evolution of the mine and to effectively manage their extraction.
To provide this service to the South African mining company, Pinkmatter Solutions receives very high-resolution 50cm imagery products from Pléiades optical satellites once a week which they automatically orthorectify using custom high-precision Ground Control Points. This precision ortho product is produced to fulfill all the customers’ requirements so that it can be used in their own CAD software.
So even on the same day of the acquisition of the imagery data and processing, Kumba receives a set of geographic information in form of a user friendly report to make informed decisions for optimal production and resource allocation.
- More informed decisions about the nature and location of machinery and other resource deployments on the site
- All in all, monitoring an area of 100km2 is not a challenge anymore
- Kumba benefits weekly from a set of reliable information provided by Pléiades
- Kumba benefits from an all in one solution to monitor dump sites, excavation and infrastructure, plan operations, track progress as well as from a better overall visualisation of the mine
- The identification of changes in the field has never been easier for Kumba. For example, the management team can now remotely calculate the volume of the stacks and piles with just a few mouse clicks
- The mining company gets the required data faster than ever before and through traditional methods. Now they are able to make decisions in a more timely and secured manner
- Studies at Sishen have proven that the error rate of our satellite based monitoring is fewer than 2%. By comparison, the best land surveyors have an error rate of 5%, paper maps usually a rate up to 20%
As the service proved its reliability, user-friendliness and high value, Kumba decided to integrate it in their mine in Komela, too.
Kumba Iron Ore Limited, a member of the Anglo American plc group, is a leading value-adding supplier of high quality iron ore to the global steel industry. Kumba produces iron ore in South Africa at Sishen mine and its Kolomela mine in the Northern Cape Province. Kumba exports iron ore to customers in a range of geographical locations around the globe including China, Japan, Korea and a number of countries in Europe and the Middle East.
Pinkmatter Solutions is a software company focused on design and development of tools for the automated extraction of information and intelligence from satellite imagery. They are Airbus Defence and Space privileged partner.
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