Mining simulation centre adds value to the Mandela Mining Precinct

May 30th, 2018, Published in Articles: PositionIT

A mining simulation centre based at the Mandela Mining Precinct, at the CSIR in Johannesburg, is set to fast-track South Africa’s mining sector to adopt Industry 4.0 principles as it activates minds for mines.

SiMine is aimed at senior executives in the sector, aspiring mining engineers and the youth. It is a purpose-built mining simulation centre that provides a true-to-life experience of the financial, physical and interpersonal dynamics in a complex commercial value chain.

The CSIR campus in Johannesburg where SiMine is housed.

The CSIR campus in Johannesburg where SiMine is housed.

The SiMine team comprises mining engineers who have worked in the sector and are well-versed in the complexities of mining operations. They have developed the mining simulation game to offer collaborative experiential learning that is both interactive and immersive.

The startup will be hosting workshops with mining executives to demonstrate the complex and dynamic system of interconnected activities in mining and how the digital revolution adds to these complexities.

Their simulation game is designed to expose, demonstrate and teach a number of key principles in operating and managing a complex business. A number of stations are set up in the workshop and each station must be manned by an individual or “player”. Players are divided into departments commonly found in mining operations, namely mining engineering, screening, product loading, as well as sales and logistics.

The Mandela Mining Precinct staff and CSIR Johannesburg tenants were recently invited to the startup’s open day. The open day entailed playing the game with all stations manned. Each team member was assigned a duty in the five departments, including a management team. The game is typically 10 and 20 minutes long, with specific activities and learning sessions between each round.

In a production environment, time is key. The game captures digitised data using an app interface and every time an activity is completed by a player, a button is pressed on a digital device that assists in determining production turnaround times. The results are then reflected on a screen and become available for viewing by management in real-time.

The game creates a real-life environment in which participants explore, identify, execute and test effective applications of theories and methodologies to overcome constraints in practical ways.

SiMine also recently hosted a group of Grade 8 to 11 learners from Realogile Secondary School, in Alexandra to demonstrate that mining is not only about digging holes; but instead a career with great opportunities for digitally savvy individuals.

Contact Harry Sinko, SiMine, Tel 071 535-0757,

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