Canadian-listed diamond mining company Rockwell Diamonds Inc. has signed a major new deal with Cape Town-based security solutions company i to i technologies to establish the world’s first turnkey security initiative for its South African mining operations.

Roll-out of the state-of-the-art system is underway, with teams actively working at Rockwell’s Northern Cape mines, which include the Holpan Klipdam property, located 45 km from Kimberley.

“This deal is significant for the future of security globally, because to date no other company has taken a holistic view of their physical risk and used one partner to drive all the desired results in the manner that i to i and Rockwell are doing,” comments Ian Downie, Key Account and Mining expert at i to i. Rockwell – a mid-tier diamond mining and exploration company – is a relatively new player on the South Africa mining scene with four key alluvial diamond mines in the country. The company has invested in a security solution encompassing CCTV, access control, biometrics, and specially trained managers, control room operators, protection personnel and maintenance teams. Many process components will be integrated in a control room environment with multiple tiers, as well as remote view control rooms that will allow the company to monitor all operations and drive a holistic security process on its mines from anywhere in the world.

Downie says the new system will allow Rockwell to improve yield, processes and mine management. Deterrence and risk reduction will also be key factors. “I believe we will save Rockwell money, make their environment safer and drive good processes allowing enhanced return on their investment,” he claims.

Rockwell minerals resource manager Glenn Norton says that the investment made sound business sense, and was driven on the one hand by the need to improve security processes on its mines, and on the other by a lack of skilled people to fill this role.

“There is a skills shortage in South Africa, so we decided to move away from the human element as much as possible and to manage the company with few, highly trained and motivated managers and employees working in combination with technology that provides a complete security efficiency solution,” Norton explains.

In conjunction with i to i, Rockwell will set up a training centre at its Holpan mine near Kimberley to ensure that employees receive continuous, relevant and accredited training.