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Telematics Improves Safety in Underground Mining

As one of the leading mining groups in South Africa, Sibanye Stillwater implements international safety standard and prevention measures described in ISO21815 that are imposed by the Division of Mine Reclamation (DMR), the mining council of South Africa.  ISO21815 requires earth moving underground /surface machines to comply with what is known as a Level 9, slow down and stop intervention system. More specifically, a collision warning and avoidance system.

The mines in South Africa can be over 3km (1.86 miles) underground and have vast webs of over 800,00km (497,000 miles) of tunnels. The challenge was for Sibanye Stillwater to find a telematics system that will communicate, log and transmit data with no cellular services deep into the earth.

Engine Control System (ECS) is one of the leading suppliers of slow down and stop systems for earth moving equipment. Sibanye Stillwater partnered with ECS for the solution. To overcome the challenge, ECS chose HED, Inc. for the capabilities of their CANect Telematics portfolio. Upon initial setup, the CANect system was implemented quickly and within a matter of hours the basic functionality was completed and offered the following capabilities:

  • Local data logging and cache of log files
  • File storage transport to an FTP server
  • Local file downloads from machines through a local web interface


With the right solution, Sibanye Stillwater had a telematics system that was deployed quickly and streamlined the path to the cloud with fast connectivity. In addition, the system lowers the cost of ownership by providing fleet owners visibility through remote monitoring, reduces downtime by ensuring proper maintenance and improves safety with data logging capability for a crash avoidance alert system.

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