Luxembourg-based satellite communications company SES has extended a five-year alliance with Ivanhoe Mines at its Kamoa-Kakula copper mine, established when the US$2 billion project was in development.
Paris-listed SES said the “enhanced partnership” with Ivanhoe at the Democratic Republic of Congo site built on their established relationship at a time of “significant investment in low-latency, high-capacity solutions in the region following the boom in the African mining industry”.
The company’s O3b satellite constellation was “powering connectivity for leading mining operators, driving a digitalisation revolution for the sector that is helping to increase profitability while improving worker safety and accountability”.
“This model enables operators to cost-effectively scale connectivity as needed throughout the lifecycle of a mine, ensuring assets have the right amount of bandwidth at any given time to meet digitalisation requirements.”
Head of technology at Kamoa Copper, Anil Udayabhanu, said satellite communication was helping the mine leverage new technologies, communicate in real time and maximise productivity.
Kamoa-Kakula started producing copper concentrates in May 2021 and began commercial production in July that year.
Phased expansion is projected to make Kamoa-Kakula the second largest copper producer globally.