Still considered a critical contributor to the local economy, the South African mining sector boasts a total annual income of R550 billion and is one of the country’s biggest employers. With South Africa’s economy built on gold and diamond mining, the sector is an important foreign exchange earner, with gold accounting for more than one-third of exports. Still considered a critical contributor to the local economy, the South African mining sector boasts a total annual income of R550 billion and is one of the country’s biggest employers. With South Africa’s economy built on gold and diamond mining, the sector is an important foreign exchange earner, with gold accounting for more than one-third of exports. Gold Mining in South Africa also accounts for over 10% of the world's gold production.
Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, AngloGold Ashanti is the second largest global mining company with 19 gold mining operations based in nine countries, as well as several exploration programs in both the established and new gold producing regions of the world.
Developing a security management system for the mining sector is not a simple task. Mining operations are typically characterized by multiple sites in several remote locations, often based in hostile environments with extremely limited infrastructure. In addition to preventing incidents that involve security breaches and theft, the security or risk management plan must take a number of other factors into consideration, including occupational health and safety and the threat of labor unrest by hundreds of workers on site.
A typical mining security management system would combine various aspects of security features, including: Manned Guarding, video surveillance, Access Control, Perimeter Security, Fire Protection, Alarms, X-Ray Systems and Plant Management Systems to mention a few. AngloGold Ashanti with its operations based throughout various countries in Africa, is no exception.
AngloGold Ashanti’s African video surveillance solution includes some 2 500 cameras distributed across about 12 geographical locations, including mines and plants in South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania and Guinea. Cathexis Technologies has provided AngloGold Ashanti with its flagship video management surveillance system, CathexisVision for the past 15 years, making all of these sites are accessible remotely for support and centralized monitoring capability using the CathexisVision software.
Exceptional integration capability, real-time monitoring, and the ability to operate reliably in hostile environments, have made Cathexis the ideal surveillance solutions provider for a mining conglomerate that requires 24/7 surveillance, monitoring and management.
While security is certainly a high priority for the mining sector, risk management has to work closely with other departments to streamline operational costs effectively and increase return on investment. Therefore, AngloGold Ashanti was recommended a solution, which through its integration capabilities with 3rd party systems and powerful analytics functionality, could generate actionable information, not only for security management but all mining operations.
CathexisVision provides a sophisticated management tool that enables operators and managers to function in a multi-tiered control environment with multiple video surveillance cameras installed on various different sites and locations. The system manages these multiple sites form a central command center.
Video management software features:
- Video analytics provides triggers based on certain events or actions to the system and enable user-defined action.
- Integration enhances the effectiveness of the system by enabling predetermined actions based on information received from integrated third party systems, including: access control, fire panels, alarm panels, x-ray systems and plant management Systems.
- The interactive graphical interface provide a visual representation of one mining site or multiple sites. Users can also navigate multiple sites throughout the enterprise with the map facility.
- Health monitoring provides continuous monitoring of all the components, including hardware and software integrity, and provides automated warnings of any possible impending failure. This allows maintenance engineers to perform corrective maintenance before the system fails.
One of the major requirements of the CathexisVision installation at the AngloGold Ashanti mining sites has been the need to upgrade the CathexisVision software on an annual basis to ensure that the installation is always kept up-to-date with the latest international trends and developments and that the surveillance system is reaping the full benefits of the very latest CathexisVision features.
Analog to digital migration
Given that Cathexis has worked with AngloGold Ashanti for just over 15 years, this has necessitated the need to migrate an analog video surveillance system into a digital, networked solution, as per global market trends.
However, given the significant investment in surveillance systems, Cathexis is able to apply its technology and integrate with existing analog systems, bringing them up to speed with the latest IP technology. In addition, CathexisVision supports most popular brands of IP cameras, using both ONVIF or proprietary protocols.