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South Africa’s Booyco Electronics Leads the Way in Mine Safety Technology

South Africa's Mining Sector Leads the World in Safety Innovation, with Booyco Electronics at the Helm

by Ikeoluwa Ogungbangbe

In December 2022, South Africa introduced the Mine Health and Safety regulation specifically targeting trackless mobile machinery. This regulation aimed to curb collisions involving diesel-powered trackless mobile machinery in the mining industry, with the ultimate goal of reducing fatalities and injuries.

A decade ago, the mining sector faced a dire situation, recording 270 annual fatalities. However, concerted efforts within the industry have led to an impressive 20% annual reduction in these numbers, resulting in substantial improvements in safety records.

Although there was a slight setback in 2021 with an increase in fatalities and injuries, the progress made in recent years is undeniable, even though 49 fatalities were still recorded.

Booyco Electronics, an original equipment manufacturer specializing in mine safety equipment, has experienced a surge in demand for its Proximity Detection Systems (PDS) and Collision Prevention Systems (CPS) since the regulation’s implementation. These systems provide crucial vehicle-to-pedestrian and vehicle-to-vehicle detection capabilities.

Anton Lourens, CEO of Booyco Electronics, acknowledges the proactive stance of South Africa’s mining industry in adopting innovative technologies and products to promote safety.

With the introduction of stricter mine safety legislation, Booyco Electronics is dedicated to ensuring compliance with South African requirements for proximity detection and collision prevention systems.

Lourens highlights the pivotal role played by the Minerals Council South Africa in understanding and mediating issues related to equipment supply, installation, and maintenance in light of the regulation. Some mining companies are keen to take ownership of product maintenance, necessitating comprehensive training for their personnel. This presents further opportunities for Booyco Electronics to expand its workforce.

“Remarkably, South Africa led the way in regulating the deployment of PDS in mining, garnering attention and engagement not only domestically but also on the international stage,” says Lourens. Booyco Electronics, with a track record spanning over 17 years, has adapted its product line to cater to diverse operational needs. However, Lourens emphasizes that PDS alone cannot guarantee safety improvements, underscoring the importance of an integrated approach with buy-in from all stakeholders for the overall success of CPS.

“The mining industry’s appetite for technology adoption varies, but the majority has been quick to embrace advanced technology systems, including PDS and CPS. Enhanced connectivity and data management are also top priorities, contributing to safety, efficiency, and productivity enhancements,” he adds.

Booyco Electronics is expanding its presence across Africa and already has operations in Congo, Ghana, Namibia, and Zambia. The company is also collaborating with technology partners in regions with mining operations similar to those in South Africa.

Lourens points out the growing popularity of digital twin technology, which enables real-time scenario simulations for risk mitigation, traffic management, analysis, and movement monitoring. Booyco Electronics remains steadfast in its commitment to saving lives and reducing injuries through innovative technology.

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