Why satellite broadband will boost the mining industry

Last week, SES participated to Mining Indaba, the world’s largest mining conference. There we demonstrated the power of satellite connectivity for mining.

Mining represents Africa’s largest economic export. In 2011, the African continent contributed 6.5% of the world’s mineral exports. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) produced two-thirds of those mineral exports by value, of which South Africa is the largest contributor.

Africa’s rich mineral deposits have, and will continue to be, a strong contributor to the foundations of the modern African economy.

Communications is key in the mining sphere

Scaling mining operations requires precise management and extensive planning. This is achieved through performance feedback and communication between the multiple stages during the extraction process.

As demand increases internationally and rising competitive investment shrinks the market, companies are looking to maximize their current prospects through more efficient operations. Industry investigation within the sector has identified that the simultaneous management, extraction and processing of all the scattered operations off site is key to their efficiency.

Modern mining operations rely on communications solutions for efficient production, connecting each remote site to the outside world and equipment that is part of machine-to-machine (M2M) networks. They also turn to communications for safety and site security, and for the Internet access and video content that support the morale and retention of miners.

In a nutshell, connectivity is the most powerful enabler for the mining industry.

Connecting operations via satellite – efficiently and reliably

Satellite remains one of the only methods available to mining companies to connect a remote site anywhere on the earth’s surface, and provide communication links with the administration headquarters in any territory.

Due to the scattered nature of Africa’s mining operations, satellites offer a short lead-time, removing the need for costly land based infrastructure. Thanks to satellite communications, efficient and cost effective operations can be achieved.

SES Enterprise+ Broadband is a connectivity platform geared for African data challenges. When it comes to the mining sector, SES Enterprise+ Broadband connects scattered mining operations together under a single management hub, without the pain and timeline of building infrastructure.

“Africa’s industries need to compete with international competitors now, they need to stay ahead. SES provides that capability, we’re able to invest into our clients needs today, for the competitors of tomorrow”
– Ibrahima Guimba-Saidou, Vice President of Commercial Africa

There are many factors that contribute to a successful mining business, but our most valuable contribution is connectivity. That connectivity gives decision makers the ability to make effective and timely decisions.


Learn more about satellite communications solutions in Africa