On November 25, the Connected Concession program was selected as one of the four winners of the 2022 Change Netexplo award, which recognizes the best projects combining sustainable change and technological innovation out of 70 applications.

This is a source of great pride for the teams involved in this pioneering project in Eramet’s digital transformation, which demonstrates the commitment of the GCO mine in Senegal to the Group’s social and environmental responsibility (CSR).

By collecting and processing data, Connected Concessions provides a near-real-time view of the territories over which the GCO mobile mine travels. Two drones deployed 2-3 times a week automatically detect buildings, trees, shafts and fields upstream and downstream of the mine. Previously, these counting and classification operations were carried out manually by teams who walked or drove around the concession every day. Now the data travels for them in 3 steps:

  1. The acquisition, i.e. the collection by the drones of more than 5,000 images per day;
  2. Processing, when the images are automatically annotated by two artificial intelligence models, created by the Group’s data scientists, which geolocate the various objects of interest, before cross-referencing this data with the mine’s geographical reference system. The objective is to calculate key indicators, such as the rehabilitation rate or the vegetation survival rate.
  3. The integration of these indicators, along with annotated maps, into Eramet’s Geographic Information System (GIS), a digital platform for managing geospatial data related to the mine.

The Connected Concession project thus meets three CSR objectives set by Eramet:

  • Reduce safety risks for employees
  • Promote social dialogue with local communities
  • Supporting the revegetation of sites

Beyond the social and environmental impact of the project, which is real and measurable, the Connected Concession initiative, by connecting the mine to its ecosystem, is transforming our ways of working in a sustainable way. This transformation is human, operational and technological,” says Papa Mamadou Diouf, Head of Digital Transformation at GCO.

Looking ahead, the application’s prospects are promising. According to a carbon impact simulator, it should allow GCO to save 16 tons of CO2 equivalent over 5 years, mainly thanks to fuel savings from field trips. New functionalities are also being studied, to extend the tool to the monitoring of water resources for example. There are also plans to deploy this solution in the Group’s other mines, especially in Gabon.

The first results of Connected Concession at GCO:

162 previously unrecorded buildings detected along the mine’s route. In addition to the strong social impact, the avoided costs allowed the project to pay for itself in the first year.

930 hectares: inventory capacity per person on the territory (v. 80 hectares without the application).

ERAMET'S CONNECTED CONCESSION APPLICATION WINS 2022 CHANGE NETEXPLO AWARDPhotography : From left to right in the photo: Ludovic Donati – Director of Digital Transformation and Performance / Claire Bonnefon – Data Governance Manager / Benoit Robitaille – Assistant to the Director of the Mineral Sands BU (former GCO Director and sponsor of the project at the time) / Maxime Réquillart – Group Data Projects Manager / Jean-Loup Loyer – Director of Analysis and Data Governance.