Randgold Resources Remains Loyal to Sustainable Community Efforts in Mali
Randgold Resources (LSE:RRS) is continuing to provide life-changing benefits to local communities in which it operates.
At the company’s Loulo-Gounkoto gold mining complex, the largest of its kind in Mali and one of the largest in Africa, Randgold Resources is continuing its commitment of sharing the value it creates with its stakeholders, including the people of its host countries.
"As the two key stakeholders in this complex, the government of Mali and the management of Loulo-Gounkoto have a joint responsibility to ensure that it continues to generate substantial benefits for its communities and the country, not just for today but for future generations," said Randgold Resources CEO Mark Bristow.
"One of the issues we still have to address together is the challenge of illegal mining, which impacts on Loulo-Gounkoto's capacity to deliver these benefits and, even worse, is threatening the integrity of Mali's vitally important national assets, damaging the environment and exploiting sectors of the community."
Randgold has implemented various programs aimed at improving skills growth in Mali including scholarship programs, training and career development. The company has set up their core initiatives such as potable water provision, education, health care and food security through community-led commission, allowing these investment projects to be run by the community.
Enhancing Mali’s economy is another initiative. The company is engaged in helping finance small businesses, particularly those started by women in the community. Randgold has also implemented relevant community development committees to spark new developments in areas such as agriculture and construction.
According to Bristow, the mining industry has the potential to grow substantially if its productive partnership with the Mali government is sustained and current obstacles to development are ironed out.
"A stable fiscal regime, a supportive infrastructure and an investor-friendly mining code are obviously essential if we are to continue building on what we've achieved so far in Mali," Bristow said.
"Power provision is another key issue. Power currently accounts for about 30% of any Malian mine's operating costs and if we could access the national grid at a reasonable price it would not only extend the lives of the existing mines, increasing the industry's contribution to the Malian treasury, but would open the door to the development of new mining projects which are not viable in the current cost structure."
At the Loulo-Gounkoto complex, Randgold owns 80 percent of the project while the state of Mali owns the rest.
Ericsson Private 5G to transform secure on-site connectivity
Ericsson has launched Ericsson Private 5G. It offers secure and simple 4G LTE and 5G Standalone (SA) connectivity primarily targeting manufacturing, mining and process industries, offshore and power utilities, as well as ports and airports.
Ericsson Private 5G optimizes and simplifies business operations with cloud-based network management, keeps sensitive data on-premise, has zero downtime upgrades and guarantees high performance through Service-Level Agreements (SLAs).
It is easily installed within hours at any facility and can be scaled to support larger coverage areas, more devices and higher capacity when needed. The product is designed to be flexible and will support a range of deployment sizes, depending on requirements, to suit varied needs. Businesses can manage their networks and integrate with IT/OT systems via an open API.
Ericsson Private 5G builds upon Ericsson’s 4G/5G radio and dual mode core technology, enabling a wide variety of use cases for both indoor and outdoor environments while integrating well with business operations, devices and applications. As a result, companies can improve productivity, give their customers more value and provide better working environments for employees.
Innovative use cases include tracking assets and real-time automation to improve productivity in warehouses, and a digital twin that can help to optimize manufacturing operations. Efficient quality inspections can also be performed via augmented reality or smart surveillance drones to increase worker safety, particularly in potentially hazardous environments such as ports and mines.
Ericsson already has a significant track record of operational 4G and 5G private network deployments with customers worldwide. Ericsson Private 5G builds on the success of that solution portfolio and deployment insights, as well as insights from projects such as 5G-Industry Campus Europe.
Peter Burman, Program Manager Mine Automation, at Swedish mining company Boliden, commented: “Automation, and safety through automation in our mining operations is an absolute must for us. Ericsson Private 5G is exactly what Boliden needs to bring high quality, fast and secure connectivity into potentially hazardous environments allowing us to mobilize efficiency and safety improving use cases.
Niels König, Coordinator 5G-Industry Campus Europe, Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT added: “Private 5G networks are highly attractive for producing companies because of the uncompromised performance that 5G can bring, allowing them to tackle the challenges of production. Efficiently deploying and using network solutions in enterprises requires simplicity in installation, flexibility in connecting to existing production IT and lean operations while at the same time being able to scale the network to meet future challenges. Ericsson Private 5G delivers exactly these capabilities.”
Leo Gergs, Senior Analyst, ABI Research, noted: “With this new offering, Ericsson will be able to address key trends in the enterprise cellular market. The value proposition will appeal to operators and service providers as the solution hides technology complexity and therefore reduces the barrier of entry to deployment for many different flavors of enterprise networks.”
Thomas Noren, Head of Dedicated Networks, Business Area Technologies and New Businesses, Ericsson, revealed: “With Ericsson Private 5G, we take the best of Ericsson’s current portfolio and top it up with the best of our new technology. We do this to give businesses what they need to improve productivity, enable new offerings and give employees a better working environment. With Ericsson Private 5G, we also give operators a better way to serve business customers and leverage their assets - in short, to grow beyond mobile broadband.”
Ericsson recently joined a three-year initiative to develop autonomous, carbon-neutral mining processes supported by 5G connectivity. Funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, the $16mn Next-Generation Carbon-Neutral Pilots for Smart Intelligent Mining Systems (NEXGEN SIMS) project is being coordinated by Swedish mining and infrastructure equipment manufacturer, Epiroc, in cooperation with a range of industry-diverse partners, including: Ericsson, K+S, Boliden, Agnico Eagle Finland, KGHM Polska and Luleå University of Technology.