MineSense interview: “Our market-leading technology enables miners to mine ore more efficiently or, reduce waste and improve downstream processing

Exclusive interview with Chilala Billy Hantumba, Account Manager for Africa with MineSense, a gold sponsor at the upcoming DRC Mining Week expo and conference in the heart of the Copperbelt in Lubumbashi.


Let’s start with some background on MineSense and the company’s proud history.

MineSense is a pioneer in data-driven solutions that improve ore grade control, operational profitability and carbon intensity across the metals mining industry.


We have a unique product, the world’s only “smart shovel” technology. Our flagship product ShovelSense® is an X-ray fluorescence-based system that allows you to characterize and grade each bucket—for the first time ever.


This is game-changing. Coupled with our digital platform, ShovelSense empowers mines with the data needed to make real-time decisions. Digital ore sorting at extraction can help your recover more ore from waste and separate waste from ore.


Our system can be integrated with the existing fleet management systems on to allow for truck diversions or routing decisions based on the grade of each truck.


Our technology is particularly effective in detecting a range of base metals: These are copper, cobalt, nickel, iron, zinc and many more.


We currently work with active open pit mines but are aiming at underground opportunities. ShovelSense can be retrofitted onto buckets of existing shovels and loaders.


Any specific projects or success stories that you are particularly proud of and want to share?

Since our initial commercial deployment in 2019, we have fully established operations in North and South America.


Our technology was first proven at Copper Mountain Mine in Canada. We have deployed our system in several reference mines in South America, where we have built our regional headquarters. At the mines that are using ShovelSense, we have achieved improved recovery of 5% and upwards, in some cases up to 25%.


This translates into millions of dollars of additional revenue. We work with many global mining companies that refer us to their other mining operations.


We were recently recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in North America by the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 programme; we are actually in the top 3. We are accelerating the commercial deployment of our solutions to drive further growth and profitability.


Mining companies are increasingly choosing MineSense’s technologies to maximize ore recovery, minimize dilution and enhance operational sustainability.

Where in Africa are you focusing for future growth and how important is the DRC for MineSense?

In Central Africa, we feel there are several operations we can potentially partner with. The transition to a low-carbon economy will require greater access to sustainably mined minerals critical for electrification.


The DRC and the Central African Copperbelt, part of which is in Zambia, is a major source of these minerals. We would like to focus most of our efforts on establishing our presence in the Greater Copperbelt region of DRC and Zambia with a view to expand further into the rest of Africa.

What is your vision for your operations in the DRC and the region?
The DRC is the leading producer of copper in Africa with mine production increasing three-fold in the last 10 years. We would like to add more efficiency and profitability to those increased production figures and create more value for the expanding mines.

Since we started in Canada, the majority of copper mines are using ShovelSense and they have reaped huge benefits in terms of profitability. We would like to do the same for mines in the DRC, Zambia and the rest of the continent.

In your view, what are the challenges in the mining industry and DRC in particular?

The global mining industry is faced with the challenge of meeting increasing demand while shifting towards more sustainable business practices.

MineSense addresses both needs with its market-leading technology that enables miners to more efficiently mine valuable ore, reduce waste and improve downstream processing.

ShovelSense provides precise ore-waste definition and unlocks unique, previously inaccessible data sets at the mine’s extraction face. It reduces consumption of power and water as well as reagents used for processing.

What will be your message at the upcoming DRC Mining Week in Lubumbashi?

I would like to conclude by saying that our technology is proven. We work many of the world’s largest mining operations and global customers. We are MineSense. We deliver profitability and sustainability around the world and can do the same for your mining

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