First Quantum Minerals Improves Operational Compliance with Clarity

In this case study, you’ll learn how Kansanshi Mine improved its compliance monitoring, reduced operational overhead and increased reliability by deploying its first network of Clarity Node-S devices.

The Kansanshi copper-gold mine near Solwezi, in the North Western Province of Zambia.
6 Node-S air sensors

Now operating continually around the Kansanshi mine

24/7 monitoring

Previous collection was once every 24 hours

80% maintenance time saved

Clarity reduces the need for maintenance-intensive fallout dust buckets

Elisha Mulilo

Elisha Mulilo

Air Quality & Emissions Specialist, Kansanshi Mine
“There's less maintenance with Clarity’s compact Node-S device — that means less cost to actually go to that particular site. That time and cost-saving measure is critical for our business.”

First Quantum Minerals is a global copper company operating long-life mines in several countries, employing approximately 20,000 people worldwide. As a company focused on continuous improvement, First Quantum’s subsidiary, Kansanshi Mining PLC, Kansanshi Mine, in Zambia has a robust air quality management plan and further sought to enhance its air quality monitoring system. In this case study, you’ll learn how Kansanshi Mine improved its compliance monitoring, reduced operational overhead and increased reliability by deploying its first network of Clarity Node-S devices. 

The Situation

The Kansanshi mine is one of First Quantum's flagship operations, and one of the top copper producers in Africa. Elisha Mulilo, an Environmental Specialist at the mine, is responsible for monitoring air quality, particularly at the smelter. The mine is located in Solwezi District, which experiences a humid subtropical and dry winter climate. Solwezi is generally a dusty area. With the expansion of operations and the proximity of some mine facilities to nearby communities, Kansanshi wanted to proactively monitor and mitigate impacts of potential air pollution.

The Kansanshi copper-gold mine in Solwezi, North Western Province of Zambia, has been First Quantum Minerals' flagship operation since 2005.

The Challenge

Before implementing Clarity's Sensing-as-a-Service solution, Kansanshi was using tactical air samplers (Minivols), which only provided 24-hour samples for respirable dust, including PM2.5, PM10 and TSP. This method was not only time-consuming but also unable to provide a comprehensive picture of air quality at the mine. The data that the team collected was not representative of the entire month, making it difficult to analyze and track changes in air quality over time.

Elisha realized that the business needed a compact, low-maintenance, and real-time air quality monitoring solution that would enable Kansanshi to proactively address air quality concerns and improve reporting accuracy.

The Solution

After extensive research, Mulilo selected Clarity's air quality monitoring solution due to its compact design, low maintenance requirements, and real-time monitoring capabilities. Kansanshi initially deployed six Clarity Node-S devices and wind modules at key compliance points around the mine, with plans to expand the network in the future.

The Clarity Node-S devices are solar-powered, cellular-connected, and easy to deploy, making them an ideal solution for Kansanshi's air quality monitoring needs. In addition to monitoring particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), the Node-S devices also capture temperature and humidity out of the box, and wind direction data through an additional module, providing a comprehensive view of local air quality conditions.

Powered by the built-in solar panel of its companion Node-S device, the Clarity Wind Module is a truly plug-and-play solution for better source attribution and improved air quality modeling.

The Clarity Dashboard provides an intuitive interface for accessing and analyzing air quality data, allowing Kansanshi to quickly identify trends and potential issues related to their operations.

The Outcome

With Clarity's Node-S system in place, Kansanshi has experienced several benefits, including:

Improved data accuracy:
The real-time monitoring provided by Clarity's Node-S devices offers more accurate and representative data on respirable dust levels at the mine, allowing the company to better understand and mitigate its impact on air quality.

Cost savings: The low-maintenance nature of Clarity's devices reduces the need for frequent site visits and maintenance, resulting in cost savings for Kansanshi.

Proactive community relations: By proactively monitoring air quality, Kansanshi can address potential concerns from local communities and demonstrate its commitment to environmental responsibility.

Positive feedback from external auditors: Kansanshi's adoption of Clarity's Node-S system has been praised by third party auditors and Authorities as a step forward in air quality monitoring. 

Ease of use and customer engagement: Clarity's user-friendly Dashboard and responsive customer support have made it easy for Kansanshi to manage their air quality monitoring network and analyze the data collected.

“The feedback from management to the new Clarity network has been amazing. Now they're able to identify a day with a higher reading and say, "What was happening on this date?" and we can follow up immediately.” — Elisha Mulilo, Kansanshi Mining PLC.

Kansanshi is now planning to expand their Clarity air quality monitoring network, with the goal of deploying additional devices at new projects and relocating existing devices to monitor air quality at different locations. This expansion will provide Kansanshi with even greater insights into the impact of their operations on air quality, helping them to further enhance their environmental management efforts.

Kansanshi's investment in Clarity's air quality monitoring solution has provided significant benefits, including improved data accuracy, real-time monitoring capabilities, and reduced maintenance costs. As Kansanshi continues to expand and refine their air quality monitoring efforts, they can rely on Clarity's innovative technology and responsive customer support to help them achieve their environmental management and compliance goals.

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