Mutare Poly lecturer ‘invents’ mining tracking system

A MUTARE Polytechnic College lecturer has initiated an automated system meant to help government to electronically monitor mining operations and plug mineral resource leakages.

BY STAFF REPORTER

The programme, which is still at its infancy, is the brainchild of Lawrence Jongi, a holder of Bachelor of Technology Honours Degree in production engineering.
Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, who is privy to the project’s progress, said the initiative would bring sanity to the mining sector, currently experiencing massive leakages.

“If that technology is developed and installed at every mining operation and linked up with the RBZ (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe) and Mines ministry, it would be easy to see what is coming out from that pit of gold, from that point. And the machine will be flicking, indicating production levels, so that you limit leakages in the mining sector,” he said in an interview recently.

Jongi said the system, which is computerised uses smart sensors attached to various components of a mining plant and observes acoustics, lubrication and vibration, temperature among others.

This will be used to measure and track production trends in real-time, as well as warn of system failures in advance.

He said stakeholders such as the management in mining companies and government would be able to tap into the system and monitor trends at any given location.

“If the system is fully developed, it will also link with stakeholders, engineers will no longer need to visit the plant they just monitor via their laptop or smartphone,” he said.

Jongi added: “General managers can also see that the plant is producing this way or this much from home. The government can also tap in through the Mines ministry which can also monitor production of mining companies. For example if its Mazowe Gold Mine, they can verify and monitor whether the mine is really producing at such a throughput and break down the number of grammes per hour or per day.

“Also you don’t need workers on stand-by at the plant, it cuts overtime costs. The system can be linked to buyers as well and it can place an order to suppliers for a misfiring component.”

Jongi started working on the system in October 2016 when he was a Unesco research fellow in Poland, where he was carrying out a project titled Manufacturing Transportation System Technologies and Devices: A Case Study of Zimbabwe.

The programme can also be used in the transport sector, Registrar-General’s Office and other arms of government such as the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

Jongi said he required funding of at least $50 000 to complete the project.

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