Southern Palace Group of Companies has, through its subsidiary Genrec Engineering, put ambitious plans in motion to position South Africa as a leading hub for mining solutions research and development, as well as manufacturing.
Genrec’s factory, in Wadeville, is undergoing significant upgrades to manufacture sophisticated mechanised mining technologies for the local and export markets.
Among the suite of technologies that will be manufactured in Wadeville are a number of variants of ultralow-profile modular mobile platforms and a hybrid locomotive, which were co-developed by local technology specialist CMTI Group.
These, together with integrated brake-testing technologies, were developed in partnership with precious metals miner Sibanye-Stillwater, and were designed according to international standards to serve the greater local and international mining industry.
Southern Palace owns a majority stake in CMTI Shared Services, which was established to assist South African gold and platinum group metals underground mines launch into a new mechanised era that replaces outdated drill-and-blast methods.
CMTI’s technology has undergone extensive testing in some of South Africa’s most challenging underground environments for many years, while also receiving support from the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Science and Technology’s Technology Innovation Agency during the development cycle.
“The outcome is home-grown innovation that has overcome all of the limitations of imported off-the-shelf machines that have long hindered the successful implementation of continuous mining operations in the country,” said Southern Palace.
Additionally, the solutions are facilitating mining at lower operating heights and at greater depths, as well as in previously inaccessible areas, such as remnant pillars and barred panels.
CMTI’s machines are operated remotely by trained operators, while additional skilled employment prospects will be created in a controlled factory setting, where these solutions are now being manufactured.
These will also be complemented by the many specialist technical training and apprenticeship opportunities that will also be required to support Genrec’s growing equipment population in South Africa and other prominent mining regions on the continent.
CMTI Holdings founder Dr Danie Burger commented that the new manufacturing line at Genrec’s factory will aim to establish the benchmark in terms of various Fourth Industrial Revolution themes in the country, which could, ultimately, aid in resuscitating the country’s manufacturing sector.
“Smart manufacturing, robotics and artificial intelligence are just some of the digital technologies that will be harnessed by Genrec to manufacture solutions faster and at a consistently high level of quality.
“This large investment by Southern Palace will also greatly assist CMTI Group’s ability to proactively design increasingly complex solutions to provide more value to our many existing and future clients as they also transition into this digital era. This is in line with our mantra of ‘engineering the future’ as a leading innovator in this sector,” he explained.