Black Rock Mine Operations (BRMO)

South African mining company leverages AVEVA software to centralise operations, consolidate its value chain, and increase situational awareness among three individual mine shafts.

Black Rock Mine Operations (BRMO)

Assmang Proprietary Limited is a joint venture mining company that operates in South Africa. In total, it excavates and produces 3.6 metric tons of iron and manganese ore per year across its three separate mine shafts.


  • To migrate a highly fragmented environment to a Central Control Room environment that facilitates collaboration across operations. 
  • To integrate various sources of information ranging from Automation to Asset Management systems to provide a holistic view of the entire value chain of the mine operation.


  • Three separate mine locations complicate cross-site collaboration. 
  • Integration between business systems such as MES and operational systems were unaligned and complex.


  • Nearly double-digit growth in productivity.
  • The CCR environment has improved BRMO’s data quality significantly, with some sources improving more than five-fold.
  • The establishment of the CCR and supporting services was instrumental in the change process by improving in-shift reporting, from less than 50 percent to a sustained 90 percent.


BRMO Centralises Mining Operations with AVEVA

Northern Cape, South Africa – Assmang Proprietary Limited is a joint venture mining company that operates in South Africa. In total, it excavates and produces 3.6 metric tons of iron and manganese ore per year across its three separate mine shafts.

The Khumani and Beeshoek Mines are located in the Northern Cape province and excavate primarily iron ore, while the Black Rock Mining complex (BRMO), situated 80 km northwest of the town of Kuruman in the Kalahari, focuses its efforts toward highly sought manganese ore.

As much as 90 percent of manganese consumption is accounted for by the steel industry. The ore is blended with steel to fortify its strength and durability, which is essential in the manufacturing of construction materials. Manganese is also used with aluminum alloys, helping to reduce corrosion in common items, such as beverage cans.

“The Black Rock Project was mainly aimed around two objectives. One was to replace and to upgrade the existing infrastructure, and the second phase was to install additional capacity for us to be able to expand our production from just about 3 million to 4.6 million tons in three years’ time”

– Pierre Bekker, Senior General Manager, BRMO Operations

Fixing a Fragmented Approach

Before partnering with AVEVA, each of Assmang Limited’s three shafts managed its own operations independently from one another. Its control philosophy was largely decentralised, which worked adequately for monitoring and controlling each plant, but ultimately, the system had little regard for holistic business objectives.

Additionally, its process control environment consisted of legacy systems and infrastructure with multiple data sources, resulting in a complex integration process. To remain competitive, its system had to change.

“The road to modernisation and technologies that we’ve applied at BRMO had a number of enablers, and one of them was the visualisation, the video wall and the OMI. A place that’s easily accessible and speaks one version of the truth.”

– Jaco van Heerden, C&I Project Engineer, African Rainbow Minerals

Creating a Central Control Room

Driven by a 10-meter video wall in a centrally controlled environment, BRMO’s stride toward digital transformation provides both mine management and the operational team with an integrated and situationally aware dashboard.

The Central Control Room ultimately enables enhanced decision-making, affording operators the opportunity to address challenges proactively rather than reactively, as had been done in the past.

“What we ended up needing was a total view of our value chain, from the face through to our train loading. As a result of that, we needed everything to be brought under one umbrella that would allow us then to get the full view of all of our infrastructure, all our different plants and mining operations, to enable us to manage the entire process far more efficiently.”

– Yogesh Ramjattan, Business Improvement Manager, BRMO Operations

The Power of AVEVA

BRMO’s new system is powered by a suite of AVEVA solutions, including System Platform with Historian and OMI visualisation for the video wall.

With its current AVEVA solution in place, BRMO has improved data quality significantly, with some sources improving more than five-fold. Establishing the Central Control Room was also instrumental in BRMO’s change process by improving in-shift reporting from less than 50 percent to a sustained 90 percent.

Additionally, BRMO has seen a significant increase in uptime, improvement in safety, and nearly double-digit growth in overall productivity – but it appears to have only scratched the surface of its digital transformation.

As new challenges arise, BRMO won’t hesitate to address them with AVEVA. Because of the visualisation technology and the software its deployed thus far, BRMO’s cost for expansion moving forward will be low and implementation will be hassle-free.

“At Black Rock Mine Operations, we’re excited by what we have achieved up to now, and we’re equally optimisted about the future to deliver on our vision as a team to become the best underground mine in the world.”

– Pierre Baker, Senior General Manager, BRMO Operations

Related Success Stories

Stay in the know: Keep up to date on the latest happenings around the industry.

Oil and Gas

With Cloud OTS from AVEVA and two full scale training centers, Total OLEUM can expand its ability to train operators across the corporation without investing ...

Oil and Gas

Serbian energy company must centralise system and automate operations to gain improved control of ever-expanding operational territory. AVEVA is the answer.

Oil and Gas
PML Exploration Services

Real-time information ensures the most affordable, efficient and safe drilling of oil wells, which is why PML Exploration Service relies on the built in ...

Oil and Gas

Leading oil & gas service company delivers Johan Sverdrup drilling platform on time and under budget by leveraging AVEVA’s powerful engineering and design ...

Oil and Gas
Apply Sørco

Apply Sørco, a Norwegian engineering company based in Starvanger, embraced new technologies to win contracts with big clients demanding lower costs.

Oil and Gas
Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd.

Sakhalin Energy operates the world’s largest oil and gas development and used AVEVA to streamline its contract management process.

Oil and Gas
Yamal LNG

Yamal LNG is the most northern liquefied natural gas project in the world, and used AVEVA to enhance collaborations in this joint venture.

Oil and Gas

With AVEVA, TekSolv improves oil/gas and water/wastewater site management processes, and reduces project deployment time to only minutes or hours instead of ...

Oil and Gas

The largest AVEVA VAR/OEM customer depends on the software to provide powerful capabilities and versatility to support worldwide growth

Oil and Gas

Using IntelaTrac Mobile Operator Rounds to accelerate and sustain process improvements, Chevron has reduced maintenance costs, improved availability and ...

Oil and Gas
Kuwait Oil Company

Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) captures the inherent value in the knowledge base of its workforce, and integrates it into a comprehensive training program through ...

Oil and Gas
Western Refining

AVEVA Enterprise Asset Management software helps Western Refining manage maintenance activities, track materials, maintenance employees, contract labor, and ...

Oil and Gas

The AVEVA Mobile Operator Rounds solution at Infineum has allowed the operational procedures for visual inspections of equipment to be optimized and ...

Oil and Gas
Chevron Oronite Company LLC

System Platform and MES/Equipment Operations Module at Chevron Oronite makes it easy to connect to the ERP application while monitoring the production of ...

Oil and Gas

Bluewater and its customer can now monitor the control and safety systems, both on and offshore, in real time with AVEVA software automation.

previous next

Sign up for our newsletter and get all the latest information straight from the source.