South Africa is renowned for an abundance of mineral resources, accounting for a significant proportion of both world production and reserves. South African mining companies dominate many sectors in the global industry. With this wealth comes the problem inherent to any high-value market – theft of resources.
Hi-Tech Security Solutions spoke to a mining house and security solutions providers about the trends in security within the sector.
A number of risk factors impacts on the profitability of the sector, not least of which are issues with perimeter control, illegal underground mining and theft. It is alleged that (according to the ISS) up to 10% of all gold that is mined in South Africa is stolen before it can generate a profit for the mining houses.
Francois Malan, a director at Camsecure, said that his company has recently completed the technical design, installation and commissioning of a complete surveillance and detection system at a new diamond mine.
“The mine’s management realised at the outset that because of the high yield values inherent at the mine, security would be of primary importance and would remain a key focal area indefinitely for the lifespan of the mine,” said Malan. “As such, they decided that no expense was to be spared and we have secured industry-leading HDTV cameras for production areas and thermal cameras to protect the perimeter of the mine.
“We have also installed solar panels and wireless communication to ensure 100% uptime and availability. In addition, because of the satellite links, we can remotely monitor the installation from Johannesburg and make the necessary adjustments to fine focus the camera lenses.”
The project started two years ago during the worst economic instability the world has seen in many decades. “Despite this factor, the mine’s owners were optimistic that the mine would be a huge success and we pressed ahead with limited infrastructure and no power. By sourcing only the best equipment and contractors for its security requirements, the mine has already eliminated the major theft by employees and outsiders,” said Malan.
The emphasis has been primarily on quality but utilising its experience in the field, Camsecure has provided the mine with H264 video compression, which results in efficient video transmission of high quality images at low bandwidth. This HDTV surveillance system supported by Milestone Systems sends multiple streams to the control room for high quality recording, video analytics and for bandwidth efficient remote monitoring.
The system has been designed with double redundancy so even if the recording system goes offline, onboard camera recording means that footage can be downloaded directly from the cameras.
Full body X-Ray scanners, supplement the surveillance system. “These scanners form an integral part of the whole security portfolio and are the last line of defence against theft,” said Malan.
Due to its remote location, the entire project has been characterised by the need for minimum maintenance and human intervention. “The result is a satellite feed which allows any potential problems to be addressed immediately and maintenance to be facilitated for minimal downtime,” Malan concluded.
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PROTECTING PRECIOUS METALS AND MINERALS.