Africa Surveyors January-February issue 2023 digital

Africa Surveyors is Africa’s premier source of Surveying, Mapping and Geospatial news and an envoy of surveying products/service for the Construction, Maritime, Onshore & Offshore energy and exploration, Engineering, Oil and Gas, Agricultural and Mining sectors on new solution based trends and technology for the African market.

Africa Surveyors is Africa’s premier source of Surveying, Mapping and Geospatial news and an envoy of surveying products/service for the Construction, Maritime, Onshore & Offshore energy and exploration, Engineering, Oil and Gas, Agricultural and Mining sectors on new solution based trends and technology for the African market.


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January-February 2023 Volume 5 issue no. 25

Africa Surveyors

Underwater Electronics

Necessary protection for underwater electronic device

Ground Penetrating Radar

Archeology Survey

Aerial Surveying

In this issue......

Autonomous Marine

Vehicles Global Market

Report 2023....


Get more accurate and

detailed data with less


Unmanned Underwater

Vehicle & Unmanned Surface

Vehicle Market....

Pg 24 Pg 20 Pg 34

January-February issue l 2023 1

2 January-February issue l 2023 www.africasurveyorsonline.com



Current Issue

In this issue we look at

Underwater electronics and

the necessary protection

for the devices and many

more....enjoy the issue!


18 30

News Briefs 4

Events 8

Innovation 10

Opinion 14

Project review 36


Augustine M. Rang'ondi

Managing Editor

Monica Robina

Senior Editor &

Marketing Lead

Dorcas Kang’ereha


Violet Ambale

Harriet Mkhaye

Irene Joseph

Innocent Momanyi

Sales Executives

East Africa

Jimmy Mudasia

Lydia Kamonya

Caiser Momanyi

Vincent Murono

Sheila Ing’ayitsa


Underwater electronics: Necessary protection for

underwater electronic device


Archaeology survey: The benefits of conducting

archaeological surveys

Aerial Surveying: Get more accurate and detailed data

with less spending

Ground Penetrating Radar: Most effective in

favorable conditions

Autonomous Marine Vehicles: Global Market Report





South Africa

Paul Nyakeri

Sean Masangwanyi

Lisa Brown

Thembisa Ndlovu


Emelda Njomboro

Uche Maxwel

Designed and

Published by:

P.O. Box 52248-00100,

Nairobi, Kenya.

Africa needs improved governance: To reap the

full benefits of new mining projects





Resources4africa...................................................................pg 8

Applanix...................................................................................pg 29

Endeavor Media.....................................................................pg 25

MacArtney...............................................................................pg 38


Contact us

Tel: 0774288100

Emaii: info@africasurveyorsonline.com

Web: https://africasurveyorsonline.com

The Editor accepts letter and manuscripts for publication from readers all over the world. Include your name and address as a sign of good faith although you may

request your name to be withheld from publication. We can reserve the right to edit any material submitted. Send your letters to: info@africasurveyorsonline.com


Nailex Africa Publishing makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the contents of its publications, but no warranty is made to such accuracy and

no responsibility will be borne by the publisher for the consequences of actions based on information so published. Further, opinions expressed on

interviews are not necessarily shared by Nailex Africa Publisher.


January-February issue l 2023 3


RCMRD Seeks to Improve the Wetlands Vulnerability

Assessment Tool

Chariot Completes Engineering,

Design for Morocco’s Offshore

Gas Project

end-users knowledge about the essential

details regarding the wetlands ecosystem.

Source: RCMRD

The Regional Centre For Mapping Of

Resources For Development (RCMRD),

under the Global Monitoring for

Environmental and Security (GMES) and Africa

Programme, is partnering with Environmental

Surveys, Information, Planning and Policy

Systems (ESIPPS) to augment the wetlands

vulnerability tool to generate services that

foster relevant policy response frameworks in

wetlands. The environmental monitoring tool

assessing wetland vulnerability will be hinged

on Earth Observation (EO) data and increase

The tool is an upgrade to the previous

tool dedicated to responding to various

wetland systems. Furthermore, ESIPPS will

upgrade the tool data and functionality,

establish a wetland conservation framework,

build a dashboard and mapographics

showing available products and tools and

conduct virtual training for GMES and

Africa staff, partners and end-users. RCMRD

is also partnering with GeomikAfrica to

develop environmental monitoring tools

for Land Degradation Services using EO

data, Innovative Techniques and End-User

Knowledge in the East Africa Region.

TGS announces multi-client 3D seismic survey in West Africa

Chariot Completes Engineering, Design for

Morocco’s Offshore Gas Project |Image:


Africa-focused energy exploration

company Chariot announced on

Wednesday that it has completed the

“Front-End Engineering Design” (FEED) for

its flagship Anchois offshore gas project in

Morocco. This process aims to assess the

project’s expenses and extensively plan

before placing a bid submission.

The project, which covers an area of more

than 2,300 kilometers squared in a water

depth that ranges from coastline to 850

meters, falls under the Lixus Offshore drilling

license. Chariot holds 75% of the project’s

interest and operatorship while Morocco’s

Hydrocarbons and Mines Office (ONHYM)

holds 25% of the interest.

The energy group began the FEED for the

Anchois development in June 2022, after

the company raised $25.5 million (MAD 257

million) to advance this phase of the project.

TGS announces Multi-Client 3D Seismic Survey in West Africa| image: TGS

TGS, a leading global energy data and

intelligence provider, are proud to

announce that it has secured prefunding

for a new multi-client 3D seismic

survey in West Africa. This project will

commence in Q2 2023 and will be the

first 3D project to be performed under

the recently announced multi-year vessel

agreement with COSL.

This project will expand TGS’ 3D seismic

data coverage, providing high-quality data in

a key emerging basin in one of West Africa’s

prolific hydrocarbon provinces. The survey

will be conducted with long offsets. It will

be processed using Pre-stack Time (PSTM)

and Pre-Stack Depth (PSDM) workflow with

Full Waveform Inversion (FWI), enabling

improved imaging of the subsurface for

acreage evaluation, supporting license

rounds within the region and providing

excellent growth opportunities for energy


The survey will be acquired by COSL’s HAI

YANG SHI YOU 721 (HYSY721) state-ofthe-art

vessel, scheduled to mobilize in

Q2-2023, with final processed deliverables

to be completed by Q3-2024.

In parallel with the FEED, other technical

work has been in progress, including

conducting onshore and offshore

environmental baseline surveys as part of

the Environmental, Social Impact Assessment

(ESIA), and developing the project’s drilling


Chariot’s Chief Executive Officer Adonis

Pouroulis celebrated the “excellent progress”

the company has made across “all aspects”

of the Anchois development project, noting

that “detailed discussions” on partnering, gas

sales agreements, and project finance are


The conclusion of the FEED phase is an

“important step in defining the initial

development plan to deliver gas to our

anchor customers,” Pouroulis said.

4 January-February issue l 2023 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


Microsoft, JKUAT partner

in developing engineering


Microsoft, JKUAT partner in developing

engineering curriculum|image:courtesy

The Africa Development Center which

is Microsoft’s engineering arm has

partnered with Jomo Kenyatta

University of Agriculture and Technology to

roll out a new curriculum for engineering

students. The partnership is aimed at

expanding access to digital skills training to

harness opportunities in the digital space.

Microsoft’s premier engineering arm, has

rolled out a new curriculum for engineering

students at the Jomo Kenyatta University

of Agriculture and Technology, in a bid to

improve the tech talent pipeline and reduce

the skills gap between classrooms and the


Uganda approves construction of $3.5bn crude oil export

pipeline project

Uganda has approved a licence for

the construction of the proposed

$3.5bn pipeline that will be used to

export crude oil to international markets,

reported Reuters. The news agency cited

Uganda Information State Minister Godfrey

Kabbyanga as saying in an emailed statement

that the application to construct the pipeline

has been approved by the cabinet.

Being developed by East African Crude

Oil Pipeline Company (EACOP), a company

controlled by France’s TotalEnergies, the

1,44km-long pipeline is planned to have a

peak capacity of 246,000 barrels per day.

It will transport crude oil from Kabaale-

Hoima in Uganda to the Chongoleani

peninsula near the Tanga port in Tanzania.

The project also includes the construction of

a storage terminal and loading jetty in Tanga.

The pipeline will comprise six solar-powered

pumping stations in Tanzania, and a heat

tracing system.

TotalEnergies owns a 62% stake in EACOP

while state-run Uganda National Oil Company

and Tanzania Petroleum Development

Corporation hold 15% stakes each. China’s

CNOOC owns the remaining 8% interest. As

per the government geologists estimates,

the country holds gross reserves of six billion

barrels and 1.4 billion barrels of recoverable


Eni announces ‘Significant’ Offshore Gas discovery in Egypt

“The ADC is running multiple initiatives

to improve the tech talent pipeline

starting from primary school all the way to

working to improve the skills of practicing

professionals. As part of the skilling drive,

the ADC is looking to improve tech-based

curricular within local institutions of higher

learning so as to reduce the skills gap

between classrooms and the workplace,”

said Irene Githinji, the ADC Student and

Education Engagement Program Manager.

The initiatives range from coding classes

for children, teaching basic computer skills

to underprivileged individuals to highly

technical learning opportunities such as the

Game of Learners hackathon, which helps

university students fine-tune their skills

by building real-world solutions under the

supervision of industry professionals.

The partnership between the Africa

Development Center and Jomo Kenyatta

University of Agriculture and Technology, is

part of the digital Transformation Strategy

for Africa which aims at providing a massive

online e-skills development program to 300

million annually by the year 2025, to provide

basic knowledge and skills in digital security

and privacy.


Eni announces ‘significant’ discovery offshore Egypt |Image: courtesy

Eni announces a significant new gas

discovery at the Nargis-1 exploration

well located in Nargis Offshore Area

Concession, in the Eastern Mediterranean

Sea, offshore Egypt. The Nargis-1 well has

encountered approximately 200 net feet (61

m) of Miocene and Oligocene gas bearing

sandstones and was drilled in 1,014 feet

(309 m) of water by the Stena Forth drillship.

The discovery can be developed leveraging

the proximity to Eni’s existing facilities.

Nargis-1 confirms the validity of Eni’s focus

on Egypt Offshore, which the company will

further develop thanks to the recent award

of exploration blocks North Rafah, North

El Fayrouz, North East El Arish, Tiba and

Bellatrix-Seti East.

Egypt’s Nargis Offshore Area concession is

~445,000 acres (1,800 square kilometers).

Chevron Holdings C Pte. Ltd. is the operator

with a 45% interest, while Eni’s wholly

owned Affiliate IEOC Production BV holds a

45% and Tharwa Petroleum Company SAE

holds a 10% interest.

Eni has been present in Egypt since 1954,

where it operates through the subsidiary

IEOC. The company is currently the country’s

leading producer with an equity production

of hydrocarbons of approximately 350,000

barrels of oil equivalent per day. In line

with the net-zero strategy by 2050, Eni is

engaged in a series of initiatives aimed at

decarbonizing the Egyptian energy sector,

including the development of CCS plants,

renewable energy plants, agro feedstock for

bio refining and others.

January-February issue l 2023 5


World Economic Forum

Selects Terradepth for

Ocean Data Challenge

World Economic Forum Selects Terradepth

for Ocean Data Challenge|image:courtesy

Terradepth, a leading provider of ocean

data solutions, has been selected to

participate in the World Economic

Forum’s (WEF) prestigious Ocean Data

Challenge, a program aimed at enhancing

sustainable ocean management and building

the blue economy. One of only 11 Challenge

winners, Terradepth will become part of the

WEF UpLink Innovation Network, including

a mentoring program and partnering


WEF announced the Ocean Data Challenge

winners at its 2023 Annual Meeting in Davos,

Switzerland. The Challenge was created

by WEF in response to the United Nations’

proclamation that 2021–2030 be a Decade of

Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

and has called for creation of a global ocean

data ecosystem to connect businesses,

organizations, and government data providers.

“Terradepth is proud to be recognized by

the World Economic Forum as an innovator

in creating technologies that play critical

roles in deepening our understanding of

ocean environments,” said Joe Wolfel, CEO

of Terradepth. “We look forward to working

alongside some of the most influential

players in the ocean science community.”

The Ocean Data Challenge selected

Terradepth for its innovation in scaling ocean

data collection and ocean data dissemination.

Terradepth is accomplishing this by

developing long endurance autonomous

underwater vehicles (AUVs) that revolutionize

the economics of ocean data collection and

reduce its environmental impact. Additionally,

as an ocean data-as-a-service (ODaaS)

provider, Terradepth has spearheaded efforts

to deploy low-logistics AUVs configured

with multiple sensors to conduct seafloor

hydrographic and geophysical surveys for a

fraction of the cost of traditional surveys.

Skydel Becomes First GNSS Simulator to Break

High-Capacity Barrier

Orolia, a Safran Electronics & Defense

company, has announced that Skydel,

its flagship GNSS simulation engine

software, can generate more than 500

signals from a single platform. By leveraging

its software-defined architecture, Skydel’s

potential can be massively scaled upwards

when employing a robust set of hardware

components. GNSS users, experts, and

manufacturers, as well as those looking

for an LEO-capable simulation system, can

greatly benefit from this unmatched number

of signals.

“GNSS chipset, cellular handset, and GNSS

receiver manufacturers have been looking

for a robust solution that can generate a

very high capacity of signals — with all the

constellations and multiple frequencies –

from a single workstation. Skydel gives them

that capability,” explained Pierre-Marie Le

Veel, Orolia’s Simulation Product Director.

“With the right hardware, Skydel is the first

high-capacity GNSS simulator on the market

that can also accurately generate advanced

multi-path, jamming, spoofing, or the high

number of signals and frequencies needed

for a true LEO constellation simulation.”

Sercel and AP Sensing are pleased

to announce the launch of a joint

innovative solution for comprehensive

railway infrastructure monitoring.The world’s

first Below Ballast Scan (BBS) solution is

the result of joint technical work combining

AP Sensing’s unique Distributed Acoustic

Sensing (DAS) technology and Sercel’s

comprehensive geophysical solution for nearsurface

evaluation using DAS data. The joint

solution provides insights to help customers

understand the roadbed and underlying

geology to better manage their geotechnical


The BBS monitoring solution provides critical

data needed for safe railway operations and is

an important complement to existing shallow

near-surface inspection techniques and rail

Orolia’s Skydel Simulation Engine offers the

best of both worlds|image: Orolia

Skydel contains a rich feature set that

includes multi-constellation/multi-frequency

signal generation, remote control from userdefined

scripts, and integrated interference

generation. However, one of Skydel’s

greatest assets is its open, software-defined


“Skydel’s software-defined GNSS simulation

approach is just the tip of the iceberg,” added

Le Veel. “With more and more customers

simulating multi-path and jamming scenarios,

and the need for more signals in more

applications –even beyond traditional

simulators – the need for high-capacity has

never been greater. The Skydel engine opens

the possibility for users to escalate to over

1000 signals and not be limited by hardware


Sercel & AP Sensing launch innovative railway

monitoring solution

Sercel & AP Sensing launch innovative

railway monitoring solution|image: Sercel

monitoring. The use of already-existing fiber

optic infrastructure, together with extremely

long-range evaluation capability, makes the

joint Sercel and AP Sensing solution very costeffective

and non-intrusive. Assessment of rail

track subsurface using DAS does not interfere

with traffic and allows monitoring changes

in real time for more predictive planning of

maintenance operations, especially in areas

with complex geological conditions or high

geotechnical risks.

6 January-February issue l 2023 www.africasurveyorsonline.com

DriX Unmanned Surface Vehicle takes part in Middle East region’s largest

naval exercise

Following the success of the Digital

Horizon 22 Unmanned & Artificial

Intelligence Exercise organized by the

U.S. Navy in Bahrain, Exail Unmanned Surface

Vehicle (USV), DriX, was selected by the 5th

fleet’s task force 59 to take part in the twoweek

2023 International Maritime Exercise

(IMX 23), that was held in Bahrain and Jordan

from March 5th to 16th.

Middle East region’s largest naval exercise,

IMX23 is a multinational event involving

more than 50 partner-nations and

international organizations operating in

the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman,

Red Sea, Indian Ocean and East African

coastal regions. The exercise will include

7,000 personnel, 35 ships and more than 30

unmanned and artificial intelligence systems,

including Exail DriX USV.

As part of this exercise, the DriX USV – along

with the industrial partners brought together

DriX Unmanned Surface Vehicle takes part in Middle East region’s largest naval


by the unmanned task force TF59 – will

operate in Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA)

and Mine Countermeasures Missions (MCM)

tactical environments. This exercise aims at

evaluating the use of combined unmanned

technologies for deployment by the interallied

forces in the Gulf region.

“To be able to take part in such a major naval

exercise , along with some of the industry’s

best, is both a great honor and a recognition


of the hard work the Exail teams put in the

development of autonomous solutions, from

the design of the platforms and their artificial

intelligence, to the services we offer around

their deployment.” Guillaume Eudeline, Exail’s

Naval Autonomy Market Director said. “We are

now looking forward to the start of IMX23

this Sunday, and are confident that, together

with all other partners, we will demonstrate

the high potential that deploying unmanned

solutions in the naval domain represents.”

TCarta Expands Role in Seabed 2030 Ocean Survey Project

TCarta Marine, a global provider of

hydrospatial products and services,

has expanded its role in the Seabed

2030 project that seeks to map the entire

ocean floor by 2030. Having already directly

contributed extensive satellite-derived

bathymetry (SDB) to the endeavor, TCarta

has developed capacity building initiatives

to train international hydrographic offices in

creating their own SDB data sets for Seabed

2030 and other applications.

Seabed 2030 was launched by The Nippon

Foundation of Japan and the General

Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans program

(GEBCO) to produce a publicly accessible

bathymetric data set of the seafloor. The

project is officially endorsed by the UN

Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable


As a Seabed 2030 partner, TCarta has

contributed 150,000 square kilometers

of 10-meter resolution seafloor depth

measurements from its Global Satellite

Derived Bathymetry (G-SDB) product line. The

contributed data sets include the Red Sea in


iNESS Data Twins of Commercial Spaces Powered by Bentley iTwin | Image courtesy

the Middle East and Caribbean coastal zones

of Belize and Turks and Caicos.

“Seabed 2030 is making these bathymetric

data sets available for coastal resilience,

environmental protection, and other

important applications outside of traditional

nautical charting,” said TCarta president Kyle

Goodrich. TCarta has taken its Seabed 2030

participation a step further by developing

capacity building training programs to

instruct international hydrographic offices

in the production of SDB data for their

coastlines. TCarta personnel completed

training with the Mexican Hydrographic

Office in 2022. The firm will begin a similar

instructional program in Jamaica this year

with an export grant from the State of


January-February issue l 2023 7


Lead Sponsor


PGMs Industry Day | 28 March 2023

Country Club Johannesburg, Auckland Park & online

Resources for Africa is pleased to announce its sixth annual PGMs Industry Day taking place on Tuesday 28 March 2023 in

Johannesburg. Key stakeholders including PGMs producers, users and investors will take an open, honest and frank approach

to tackling the key issues facing the PGMs sector in the coming years. Early confirmed speakers include:

Nico Muller, CEO, Impala Platinum

Natascha Viljoen, CEO, Anglo American Platinum

Phoevos Pouroulis, CEO, Tharisa Minerals

Bernhard Fuchs, Senior Vice President Precious Metals Management, Umicore AG

Timothy Ingle, Senior Vice President, Precious Metal Services & Recycling, BASF

Henk de Hoop, CEO, SFA Oxford

Roger Baxter, CEO, Minerals Council South Africa

And many more…

Key topics to be discussed include:

• Trends in the PGMs sector and strategies of producers

• Current geo-political and economic realities and impacts

• The role of PGMs in the energy transition and the road to net zero carbon emissions

• PGMs and the transformation of the automotive industry - combustion engines vs fuel cell EVs vs battery EVs

• Supply, demand and future projections

• Market development and applications for the future

• Investors and funders – the latest views

• Recycling, recovery and reprocessing

• Beneficiation opportunities

• The role of PGMs in the hydrogen economy

• And much more…

The PGMs Industry Day is sponsored by:

Lead Sponsor

Mining Industry Partners


Contact us about sponsorship opportunities: sponsorship@resources4africa.com


+27 (0) 11 463 7799 // +27 (0) 61 421 9492

registrations@resources4africa.com // www.pgmsindaba.com

The 8 organisers January-February retain the right to issue amend l 2023 the programme, content, timings and speakers. © Resources For Africa www.africasurveyorsonline.com

Investment Conferences (PTY) Limited


Subsea Technology Eastern

Mediterranean conference and Expo 2023

In partnership with the Cyprus Hydrocarbons Company

(CHC), Offshore magazine introduces Subsea Technology

Eastern Mediterranean, a new conference and tabletop

exhibition dedicated to facilitating the transfer of

technology, best practices, and regional cross-border

collaboration for sustainable offshore energy development

in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Curated by top subject matter experts, the conference

program will focus on subsea tieback technology and new

concepts for sustainable development and operations,

attracting senior technology and business management from

the global offshore international operators, engineering

firms, contractors, technology suppliers, service companies,

and regulators.

Geo Connect Asia 2023

The third edition of Geo Connect Asia on the 15th & 16th of

March in Singapore provides the opportunity to focus on how

digital construction and geospatial-based solutions can drive

productivity across the building and construction industries.

Geo Connect Asia celebrates the return to a normal meeting

environment, in March in Singapore, combining an exhibition of more

than 100 companies and a series of conferences. The Main Stage

Conference theme, Advancing sustainable & resilient geospatial

solutions for an interconnected world, reflects the need to respond

to sustainability goals with the pressing challenges associated with


climate change, urban growth and a digitalised world, amongst many


In addition to the main conference the Digital Underground Connect

Expert Stage returns with the title of Advancing Subsurface Utility

Mapping for Construction and Asset Management.

Geo Connect Asia incorporates Digital Construction Asia and is colocated

with the inaugural Drones Asia Show. The combined event

is expected to attract more than 3,000 delegates and visitors from

Singapore and the Asian region.

January-February issue l 2023 9


HevenDrones launches hydrogen-powered

drone for commercial and defence use

HevenDrones, a leader in the development

and commercialization of actionable

drones, launched today its first

hydrogen-powered drone for commercial

use, the H2D55. With 5 times greater energy

efficiency than traditional lithium batterypowered

drones, the H2D55 is capable

of flying for 100 minutes with a payload

capacity of 7kg.

The launch of HevenDrones’ hydrogen

product line addresses the challenge of flight

endurance and payload capacity associated

with battery-powered lithium drones as

well as the long-term environmental impact

linked to lithium mining. Without the need

to frequently replace batteries, hydrogen fuel

cells will also lower long term ownership

costs for organizations implementing drone

technology at scale.

The H2D55 is the first in a planned lineup

of 3 Hydrogen fueled drones that will be

released over the next 9

months. The additional

models will have

increased payload

capacity while

preserving the longer

flight endurance.

HevenDrones has designed its

carbon-neutral H2D product

line to be fully customizable

to the unique goals of its

commercial and defence

clients. Commercial use

case examples range from

last-mile and just-in-time (JIT)

delivery, measuring the nutrient

levels of soil and precision crop

spraying to collecting risk-assessment

data for construction companies, surveying

real estate for reforestation projects

and aiding emergency responders in risk

assessment and delivery of life-saving


Defence use

cases include

more extensive surveillance missions and

supplying larger quantities of medical aid,

food and ammunition to soldiers.

Mosaic X camera

systems added

to greehill’s

RIEGL mobile

LiDAR system

Greehill announces the successful

integration between their RIEGL mobile

laser scanners and the recently-launched

Mosaic X mobile mapping camera systems.

This marks a new milestone for all companies

involved, as the first successful customer

integration of the Mosaic X camera system

with a RIEGL VMX-2HA scanner.

This integration comes following the work

done in late 2022 between RIEGL and Mosaic

to fully integrate the Mosaic X camera

systems with RIEGL’s V-Line Scanners which

are some of the highest-performing and

Mosaic X camera system. Image Mosaic

widely-recognized mobile laser scan systems

in the world. The Mosaic X 360º camera

system becomes the highest resolution 360º

camera to become fully compatible with the


1HA, and RIEGL VMX-2HA, enabling more

photorealistic accuracy while recording 3D

data of object surfaces in a time-efficient and

highly-accurate manner.

Gyula Szabolcs Fekete, CTO & Co-Founder

explains what the acquisition of 3 Mosaic X

cameras brings to greehill:

“Integrating the Mosaic camera into our urban

forest scanning system enables us to deliver

accurate insights to our clients so they can

make better decisions about how to manage

their green assets. The addition of the Mosaic

X cameras allows us to capture the urban

environment with greater resolution and

speed, which saves time, expense, and postprocessing


The greehill platform uses 360-degree

imagery and LiDAR technology to accurately

visualize and analyze urban environments

to drive better management decisions.

Resolution is crucial for their clients, and it is

a priority to have a seamless integration with

their RIEGL VMX-2HA mobile laser scanner for

mass data production.

Fekete comments, “The Mosaic X camera

system provides the resolution and reliability

we need to deliver the most accurate insights

to our clients. The Mosaic camera and

integration are very reliable, and the outputs

meet our expectations and requirements.

Feedback from the users will be delivered

in the coming months, after they have the

chance to test the platform in the field.”

10 January-February issue l 2023 www.africasurveyorsonline.com

Trimble launches Tekla 2023 structural BIM solutions


Trimble has launched 2023 versions of its

‘constructible BIM’, structural engineering

and steel fabrication management

solutions, Tekla Structures, Tekla Structural

Designer, Tekla Tedds and Tekla PowerFab. The

new releases are also said to raise the bar for

automated and connected workflows, with

tighter integration between Tekla products

and third party tools.

Structural BIM tool Tekla Structures 2023

features several improvements in software

performance, and an upgraded drawing

editing user experience that is said to make

the software easier to learn and use.

Software said to raise the bar for automated and connected workflows. | Image Trimble

There are also improvements in detailing

for fabrication workflows and project

communication. In rebar detailing, complex

bar shape designs are now said to be easier to

share with procurement, manufacturing and

the construction site.

Customers in steel fabrication are given

‘greater flexibility’ by being able to cover more

detailing options related to bolts and holes

for specialised industries. The software also

features updated outputs and exports in the

field of detailing for fabrication of multiple

types of projects and materials.

3D design and analysis software Tekla

Structural Designer 2023 introduces a

‘rigorous analytical approach’ to footfall

assessment that, according to Trimble, can

bring substantial cost savings benefits as

well as a reduction in risk through accurate

quantification of performance. The engineer

can run multiple footfall scenarios in a

single model. The software also features a

strengthened design-to-detail workflow with

Tekla Structures and a new integrator for

Autodesk Revit 2023.

Esri launches new ArcGIS Reality digital twin software

Esri has long been among the global

leaders in GIS software, location

intelligence, and mapping, with their

ArcGIS software serving as the leading GIS

software globally. Realizing the direction of

the industry towards smarter digital twins

utilizing imagery from UAVs, crewed aircraft,

and satellites, the Redlands, California-based

company has added new software to the

ArcGIS platform, announcing the release

of their ArcGIS Reality software earlier this


This new release enables accurate 3D

mapping to form the basis of digital twins

for whatever size project a professional

may need, looking at something as small

as a single job site to potentially as large

as an entire nation. As Esri points out in

their announcement, the digital twin space

is rapidly expanding the market for aerial

imaging, which is expected to reach $4

billion in value by 2025, nearly quadrupling

where it stood back in 2017, an 14.2 percent

compound annual growth rate.

Image Esri

This new ArcGIS Reality software will

comprise a family of four products all running

on the ArcGIS Reality engine. Those four are,

from the Esri announcement:

• ArcGIS Reality for ArcGIS Pro—a new

extension of Esri’s flagship desktop

GIS software, allowing users to input

images from drones or crewed aircraft to

generate 3D outputs for reality mapping.

• ArcGIS Reality Studio—a new focused

application for reality mapping from

aerial images for entire cities and

countries. A map-centric intuitive

interface enables high production

efficiency to deliver survey-grade

representations of reality.

• Site Scan for ArcGIS—Esri’s cloud-based

end-to-end reality mapping software

for drone imagery, designed to simplify

drone program management, imagery

data collection, processing, and analysis.

• ArcGIS Drone2Map—an intuitive

desktop application focused on reality

mapping from drone imagery, enabling

offline processing and in-the-field rapid


With the new software now available, a

variety of industries will be able to benefit

from Esri’s expertise in locational intelligence

in creating their digital twins. The data

captured by the various tools – whether they

be aerial-, drone-, or terrestrial-based – are

used by many different industries, and it’s a

group that is only going to continue to grow

as the value of having these accurate models

becomes more readily apparent. This new

offering allows that reality capture data to be

added into a model and layered with GIS and

BIM data to create a truly useful and valuable

model for professionals.


January-February issue l 2023 11


Chinese JV awarded final section of

$2.2B Tanzania Rail Project

By Shem Oirere


Chinese joint venture has won a

second contract in under three years

to construct the sixth phase and final

portion of a 2,561-km standard gauge railway

(SGR) line in East Africa over the next four


China Civil Engineering Construction

Corporation and China Railway Construction

Corporation will build the 506 km line

connecting the towns of Tabora and Kigoma.

The $2.2 billion project is comprised of 411

km of main line, 95 km of branch lines, 10

railway stations and two large freight yards.

Denmark-based engineer COWI A/S was

previously picked as preferred designer of the

Tabora-Kigoma phase of the SGR line project.

As in the previous five phases, the Tabora-

Kigoma phase is being constructed alongside

Tanzania’s existing 2,725.5-km meter-gauge

railway track, reducing the need to establish


Contracts for five earlier phases of the SGR

line have been awarded to Turkish and

Portuguese contractors. The Tanzanian SGR

line will link landlocked countries of Rwanda,

Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo

(DRC) to the Indian Ocean port city of Dar es

Salaam. The SGR line, once fully operational,

would reduce cargo transportation costs

between Dar es Salaam and the landlocked

countries from $6,000 per metric ton to

$4,000 per metric ton. Transportation time is

also expected to drop drastically from 30 days

to 30 hours by 2027.

In January 2021 China Civil Engineering

Photo Courtesy

The agreement for construction of the latest segment of the railway was signed in late

December between representatives of the Tanzanian government and China Civil Engineering

Construction Corp. Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan witnessed the signing (seated,

center). Photo Courtesy CCECC

Construction Corporation and China Railway

Construction Corporation signed another

contract for the construction of the fifth phase

of the SGR line, approximately 249-km long,

connecting the town of Isaka to Mwanza, the

second-largest city in Tanzania. The contract

award coincided with Tanzania’s securing a

$1.32 billion loan to finance this phase of the

SGR line.

The SGR line is designed with a lifespan of

100 years, and can handle axle loads of 35

metric tons and a design speed of 160 KPH

(99 MPH) for passenger trains and 120 KPH

(74 MPH) for freight trains. Initially, 24 trains,

with maximum length of 2 km, will travel the

2,561-km electrified SGR line.

The SGR will use UIC 60-type rail on prestressed,

mono-block concrete. According to

the Tanzania Railway Corporation, the SGR

line’s “horizontal curves will be designed to

account for the relatively higher speed of the

new train.”

The SGR line is being laid with 2.6-m-long

sleepers that are spaced 600-mm apart.

The is also utilizing 2.5 cu meters of ballast

for every meter laid. The ballast’s thickness

and shoulder width has been designed

at maximum of 300 mm and 400 mm


The rails will be fastened using the elastic rail

fastening-anti vandal system while the track

will have continuously welded joined using

the flush-butt method.

“This Tabora-Kigoma railway will open up

Tanzania and connect it with Democratic

Republic of Congo where there is a lot of

cargo that needs to be transported through

our [Dar es Salaam] port,” said Tanzania’s

President Samia Suluhu Hassan during the

signing of the contract in December 2022.

Tanzania is expected to finance the project

through equity and commercial loans. With

the contract award for the Tabora-Kigoma

section, the total investment in the entire

SGR line project in Tanzania has now risen to

$10.4 billion.

“I know our critics blame us for taking up

these loans, but they must understand that

a better infrastructure is key to driving

growth in our country and making Tanzania

competitive at the regional level,” said

President Samia Suluhu Hassan in December


12 January-February issue l 2023 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


Nigeria and Senegal sign

MoU on local content in

Senegal's oil and gas


By Chinedu Okafor

The Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board, a federal

government body, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding

(MoU) with Senegal's National Local Content Monitoring Agency

to strengthen local content in Senegal's oil and gas industry.

The signing, which took place on Tuesday at the 7th Sub-Saharan

Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference in Lagos,

followed Senegal's preparations for its first oil and gas production

before the end of the year.

This report is courtesy of the Punch NG, a Nigerian news agency.

Senegal's envoy, Deputy Permanent Secretary, COS Petrogaz,

Republic of Senegal, Mamadou Fall Kane, said that Senegal had

much to learn from Nigeria, which had achieved 54% local content

of a 70% target by 2027.

“I conceived this partnership framework with the NCDMB for the

past year, and it is very fulfilling that this event is holding today.

With the signing of this collaboration, Senegal has a lot to learn

from Nigeria on how to deepen its local content target. This would

go a long way to benefit all Senegalese as the country moves

towards developing our natural resources”, he stated.

Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, emphasized

that the cooperation was not just to enhance local content

in Senegal, but also a business-to-business partnership and

capacity building in Senegal.

Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian National

Petroleum Company Limited, urged collaboration among African

countries to make additional hydrocarbon discoveries on the

continent in his Keynote presentation.

“In the next twenty years, energy demand in Africa is expected

to increase in the order of 30-35% to support the projected

increase in population and industrialization. This presents an

enormous opportunity for us to form partnerships across the

continent and build a sustainable future,” Mele Kyari said.

“The need for partnership is reinforced as more African

countries continue to make hydrocarbon discoveries. We

should collaborate and share knowledge and help each

other in critical areas including technology, exploration and

production, research and development, technical expertise, and

human capacity development to spread the wealth within the

continent,” he added.

Image: courtesy


January-February issue l 2023 13


Geological Survey Authority

requires $200m investment to

transmit real-time seismic data on

The Ghana Geolog ical Survey Authority

(GGSA) requires a US$200 million

invest ment to establish a national

seismic network for enhanced earthquake


According to Isaac Kuuwan Mwimbelle, Acting

Director-Gen eral of GGSA, the network would

enable the provision of real-time seismic data

to ensure the safety of the citizenry.

Speaking at a workshop in Ac cra, he said the

network would allow the Authority to transmit

real-time information on earthquake and

other happenings to inform the development

of earthquake-resilient structures.

observatory network, make it fully functional

and resource it to be able to transmit realtime


In the meantime, the Direc tor-General said

the GGSA had intensified discussions with

man agers of high-rise buildings and other

state agencies including the Bank of Ghana

(BoG) and Elec tricity Company of Ghana

(ECG) to sensitise them to earthquake safety


He said the Authority was formulating

legislations to enforce adherence to safety

The absence of

seismic network

is a challenge to

the operations

of GGSA in terms

of monitoring


mechanisms in the development of buildings

in the country.

The Director-General rejected claims about

the lack of earth quake prediction by the GGSA

saying that “earthquakes cannot be predicted

but rather we fore cast by looking at current

happen ings to keep citizens on alert so that

the impact will be minimal.”

He said the GGSA currently de pends on data

from the Weija and Achimota observatory

stations as well as other stations dotted

across the country.

He noted that, assessment of earthquake

was carried-out manu ally by field officers for

data which was then transmitted through

a satellite, which Mr Mwimbelle said, was

not effective and brings about de lay in data

transmission, hence the need to switch to a

SIM modem platform for effective transmission.

“The absence of seismic network is a

challenge to the operations of GGSA in terms

of monitoring earthquake.

What we do now is go to the field to gather

data before we are able to respond to queries

on earthquake. That means we delay in

communicating information that borders on

the safety of citizens. We need an investment

in the network to enable the GGSA transmit

real-time data on earth quake,” he added.

Mr Mwimbelle said the network would

enable the authority to disseminate safety

information to the public through their

personal devices.

He stated that, the authority had engaged the

government on the need to set up the seismic

Map of Ghana showing the study area. Source: Ghana Geological Survey Department.

14 January-February issue l 2023 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


Super ESCOs are vehicles for channelling funds into public sector energy efficiency investments. |Image: AfDB

African Development Bank’s SEFA

approves $5 million in grants

to set up super energy service

companies in three countries

The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) of the

African Development Bank has approved a technical

assistance grant of $5.03 million to implement the Africa

Super Energy Service Companies (ESCO) acceleration program

in Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa.

SEFA is a bank-managed multi-donor special fund that works

to unlock private sector investments in renewable energy and

energy efficiency.

Super ESCOs are vehicles that channel funds into public sector

energy efficiency investments such as hospitals, schools, and

street lighting, paving the way for private investment. The

acceleration program catalyzes private sector investments

in energy efficiency by operationalizing Super ESCOs, thus

stimulating the transition toward more sustainable and greener


The grant will support the training of a team to operate

Super ESCOs and support private ESCOs in the three countries

to develop their Energy Performance Contract services.

Private ESCOs provide services to energy users to design

and implement energy efficiency options. The funding will

also underwrite the development of harmonized regional certification

schemes for ESCOs and energy service professionals, including energy

auditors, managers, and energy savings measurement and verification


“This innovative program will enable Senegal to establish its Super

ESCO and boost the energy efficiency market for increased energy

performance in the public and private sectors,” said Mr. Saer Diop,

Director-General of Senegal’s Agence pour l’Economie et la Maîtrise de

l4Energie (AEME), which promotes energy efficiency.

Mohamed Chérif, African Development Bank Senegal Country Manager,

said: “Super ESCOs are an efficient tool that governments can draw on

to leverage private sector resources to improve the energy efficiency of

public facilities and other key energy-consuming sectors. I am pleased

that Senegal will be one of the first countries to benefit from the Africa

Super Energy Service Companies Acceleration Program.”

The acceleration program is paving the way for a successful

implementation of downstream energy efficiency investment programs

in which the African Development Bank, the Sustainable Energy Fund for

Africa, and other stakeholders will invest.


January-February issue l 2023 15

The lost town of Beta Samati

Ruzawi Plantation: Credit-SAAS

Koobi Fora Museum , Kenya

16 January-February issue l 2023 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


Surveying in Africa is critical, but unless you have the

correct equipment and trained archaeologists, the field

will be a difficult and time-consuming process.

Archaeology surveying is the process

of gathering information about

the past through excavation and

surveying. It can take a variety of forms and

can be either intensive or non-intrusive.

Archaeology surveying can provide important

information about human activities during

the past. It can be an important step before

archaeological excavations take place.

During archaeological field work in Africa,

geophysical methods are increasingly used.

Until recently, magnetic surveying was not

widely used in sub-Saharan regions. This new

technique is now widely used in sub-Saharan

archaeology. In the Chad Basin, the Zilum site

is part of the Gajiganna Culture and dates

back to 600-400 BC.

Archaeology surveying is an important part

of conservation efforts and can help preserve

and protect African cultural heritage. Through

this project, researchers will document

previously unknown archaeological and

cultural heritage sites. They will focus on

sites that are under threat from urban growth,

conflicts, and infrastructural development.

Researchers will receive in-country training

to identify archaeological sites and maintain

database records.

Surveys are important reconnaissance tools

in African archaeology, but the amount of

surface research is still limited. This article

reviews the state of surface archaeology

in Southern Africa, reviews its role in

landscape archaeology, and considers Bower's

methodological concerns. It also presents a

case study from the Tankwa Karoo region of

South Africa.

Surveying in Africa is critical, but unless you

have the correct equipment and trained

archaeologists, the field will be a difficult

and time-consuming process. But if you have

the proper training and a keen eye, it will

yield rewards. The benefits of conducting

archaeological surveys are significant and

well worth the effort. If you are interested in

learning more about archaeological surveys

in Africa, here are some tips:

The 2004 survey season established an

extensive and diverse archaeological record.

It identified previously undocumented

tell sites on floodplains. The data indicate

three distinct stages in the history of the

region's human settlement: the foraging

phase, a lengthy period of cultivator-forager

economies, and the second phase of smallscale


An important consideration in archaeological

surveying is visibility. If visibility is good,

researchers will use fieldwalking to

systematically walk through an area looking

for artifacts and archaeological indicators.

They will also take notes about the

surrounding environment at the time. This

method is most effective when the area is flat

and has little vegetation. Because artifacts

But if you have the

proper training and

a keen eye, it will

yield rewards. The

benefits of conducting

archaeological surveys

are significant and

well worth the effort

tend to move to the surface of the soil,

fieldwalking does not always detect them.

Archaeology surveying methods vary

considerably, but the basic principles of

all methods are the same. The method

of surveying must be appropriate for the

archaeological site and the site's location.

Before deciding on the surveying method,

archaeologists must first define the

study area and become familiar with its

natural characteristics. Another method of

archaeological surveying is by using remote

sensing techniques. These techniques allow

archaeologists to conduct subsurface testing

without disturbing the surface. One technique

uses a proton magnetometer to measure

the strength of the earth's magnetic field.

Unscathed dirt registers a smooth plane when

the device is placed on it. Disturbed dirt, such

as ditches, will alter the magnetic reading.

The method is effective in detecting middens,

ditches, and burned structures.

Gedi Ruins, Kenya


The Challenges

of Underwater


Water or corrosion-resistance is a

necessary application feature for an

underwater electronic device. These

include marine sensors and acoustic

devices that can be used in deep sea

environments or to monitor structures

or other underwater elements.

By Dorcas Kang'ereha

Underwater electronics are

electronic devices that can operate

in the ocean and resist water

penetration or tampering. These devices

are often used in underwater navigation,

positioning and communication systems

for recreational or professional use.

Despite the obvious advantages of this

technology, there are many challenges

to overcome before it is practical to

commercialize such devices. Among

these, a major concern is the resistance

to saltwater and other environmental


A common method of achieving waterresistance

is by sealing the device or

circuitry within an outer protective

layer. However, this is not always the

best option since it cannot guarantee

protection from all external forces.

In fact, in order to make a product

completely waterproof it is often

necessary to use a complex sealing

technology involving multiple layers and

various types of sealants.

Another approach to ensuring waterresistance

is by making the device

waterproof in the sense of allowing it to be

immersed in water without damaging the

electronics inside. This is a more advanced

approach and requires specific sealing

techniques to prevent the device from

being penetrated by water.

An example of this is the new generation

of water meters for residential and

commercial usage which have a waterproof

housing which is sealed to ensure that

water can't get in. The system also has a

sensor that monitors the level of water in

the house or commercial building.

There are also many other applications

where water-resistance is a necessary

feature of an electronic device. These

include marine sensors and acoustic

devices that can be used in deep sea

environments or to monitor structures or

other underwater elements.

The development of a waterproof

packaging system is required in these types

of applications because the environment

18 January-February issue l 2023 www.africasurveyorsonline.com



and operational load are not only from water

but also influenced by other factors like

temperature changes, pressure differences

and other stresses such as mineral aging

effects or microorganisms that can attack the

device in the long term.

To address these issues, a series of new

packaging technologies and materials have

been developed. These technologies are

based on organic potting compounds and

are designed to withstand permanent media

exposure in seawater at a depth of up to 50


This research is part of the National Science

Foundation-funded project 'The Internet of

Underwater Things' (IoUT) to develop smart

interconnected devices and networks that can

connect underwater vehicles.

Optical Wireless Communication: A New Way

to Communicate Underwater

Underwater optical wireless communication

is a relatively new technology that enables

high data rates and moderate distances

communication in undersea environments

using laser beams of light. This type of

communication could be ideal for a variety

of application such as real-time video

transmission or control of remotely operated


In contrast to acoustic and RF

communications, optical wireless

communication can be a great advantage

due to its higher bandwidth. Moreover, it can

provide more information to the receiver with

low latency.

As the amount of data increases, more and

more applications will be developed for

underwater optical wireless communication.

Consequently, more and more research is

necessary on UOWC technologies in order to

improve the quality of these systems.


January-February issue l 2023 19


Aerial Surveying

One of the major technological breakthroughs that has been made in the field of aerial

surveying is the use of LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) sensors. This helps to see

through trees and ground cover, which can make it harder for an aerial vehicle to capture

detailed and accurate imagery

20 January-February issue l 2023 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


Drone is an important tool for the world to have when it

comes to aerial surveys, as it allows us to get more accurate

and detailed data without spending as much money on it.

In Africa, a vast amount of land is still

unmapped. Using drones, this can

be easily achieved at a fraction of

the cost. This allows for fast and accurate

mapping in both 2D and 3D. This technology

can be used by a number of industries,

including construction, land surveying,

mining, inspection, agriculture and forestry,

emergency management and humanitarian


Aerial Surveying in Africa

The use of drones for aerial surveying in

Africa has been increasing significantly. It has

become a more environmentally friendly form

of surveying, which is ideal for remote and

difficult-to-reach areas. UAVs are also more

flexible, allowing them to access areas that

would otherwise be difficult or impossible for

manned aircraft.

One of the major technological breakthroughs

that has been made in the field of aerial

surveying is the use of LiDAR (Light Detection

And Ranging) sensors. This helps to see

through trees and ground cover, which can

make it harder for an aerial vehicle to capture

detailed and accurate imagery.

This type of sensor is essential for highly

accurate surveys like mineral exploration,

geophysical surveying and environment

monitoring. It has also made it possible to

collect high-density point cloud data for use

in Geographic Information Systems.

Aerial Digital Imagery

The use of aerial digital imagery has been

increasing in Africa over the years. This is

mainly because it is faster and easier to

collect than traditional analogue techniques,

as well as providing excellent spatial and

spectral resolutions.

During the past decade, Africa has witnessed

a significant change in the aerial digital

imagery sector. This was primarily because

of the development of a number of different

specialized sensor technologies which allow

for a range of different applications.

Another key change in the aerial digital

imagery sector has been the emergence of

new software and algorithms that allow for

greater accuracy and efficiency. Moreover, this

has enabled users to have more flexibility

when it comes to the way they use this data.

Aerial digital imagery can also be used for

more precise crop surveys, such as when

determining the crop yield in a given area or

analyzing the effects of different soil types.

This can help farmers to better manage their

crops in order to maximize their yield.

It can also be used for assessing the condition

of a site and identifying potential hazards.

This helps to protect the environment and

improve the safety of both people and


The development of drones with advanced

imaging technologies is changing the way

we do surveys in Africa and globally. This

has created a market that is growing rapidly

and is expected to continue doing so in the

coming decades.

This is an important tool for the world to

have when it comes to aerial surveys, as it

allows us to get more accurate and detailed

data without spending as much money on it.

It has also been proven to be safer and more

efficient than traditional methods.



January-February issue l 2023 21


Autonomous Marine Vehicles

Global Market Report 2023

By Reportlinker

The global autonomous marine

vehicles market is expected to grow

from $1,994.26 million in 2021 to

$2,298.08 million in 2022 at a compound

annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.2%. The

Russia-Ukraine war disrupted the chances of

global economic recovery from the COVID-19

pandemic, at least in the short term. The

war between these two countries has led to

economic sanctions on multiple countries,

surge in commodity prices, and supply chain

disruptions, causing inflation across goods

and services effecting many markets across

the globe. The autonomous marine vehicles

market is expected to grow to $4,147.97

million in 2026 at a CAGR of 15.9%.

The autonomous marine vehicles market

consists of sales of submarine gliders and

autonomous underwater vehicles.Values in

this market are ‘factory gate’ values, that is

the value of goods sold by the manufacturers

or creators of the goods, whether to

other entities (including downstream

manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and

retailers) or directly to end customers.

The value of goods in this market includes

related services sold by the creators of the


Autonomous marine vehicles are robotic

equipment that travels below or on the

surface of the water without requiring input

from a human operator.

North America was the largest region in the

autonomous marine vehicles market in 2022.

Middle East was the second largest region in

the autonomous marine vehicles market.

The regions covered in the autonomous

marine vehicles market report are Asia-

Pacific, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North

America, South America, the Middle East, and


The main types of autonomous marine

vehicles are surface vehicles and underwater

Unmanned Marine Vehicles |Image: Courtessy of openpPR for illustration purposes

vehicles.A surface vehicle is a car for

transportation on land, as opposed to a

subway car or any other elevated car.

The different applications involved

are military & defence, archaeological,

exploration, oil & gas, environmental

protection and monitoring, search and

salvage operations, and oceanography.

The technologies involved are imaging,

navigation, communication, collision

avoidance, and propulsion.

The autonomous marine vehicle market

is being driven by a rise in hydrographic,

oceanographic, and environmental surveys

conducted globally.A hydrographic survey

measure describes and maps features that

can be found underwater.

The main purpose of conducting these

surveys is to produce navigational charts

essential for the safe transit of vessels.

An oceanographic survey helps with the

accurate understanding of marine and

freshwater environments for port and harbour

development, wastewater and industrial

outfalls, power plant intakes and outfalls, and

offshore disposals.

An autonomous surface vehicle (ASV)

provides an efficient method of undertaking a

hydrographic survey, as it saves both cost and

time.It is also flexible and convenient, which

allows for faster deployment for several

survey requirements, from event surveys to

large coastal surveys.

For instance, according to the world’s first

autonomous hydrographic survey, by 4D

Ocean, after the channel Coastal Observatory

(CCO) commissioned it to carry out a

hydrographic survey of the seabed that is

offshore of Hurst Spit, Western Solent, with

the help of a SeaRobotics ASV 2.5.

The vulnerability of ships to cyber threats

due to automation is a major restraint for the

autonomous marine vehicle market.This is

mainly because cyberspace and its associated

infrastructure are vulnerable to a versatile

range of risks coming from cyber threats and


The use of automation, which negates the

need for human intervention on ships and

in ports, increases the chances of security

breaches.A cyber-attack can misguide an

autonomous ship to move in a different

direction or move to a separate port, which

22 January-February issue l 2023 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


can lead to misplacement and delay of goods

and services.

For example, container ship and supply vessel

operator A.P. Moller-Maersk became a victim

of a cyber-attack that resulted in a loss of

around $250–300 million for the company.

According to a survey by law firm Clyde &

Co and the Institute of Marine Engineering,

Science & Technology (IMarEST), over twothirds

of marine industry executives surveyed

from across the world fear that unmanned/

autonomous ships present a greater cybersecurity

risk than traditional ships.

Maritime drone swarming for better

surveillance and investigation capabilities is

an emerging trend in the autonomous marine

vehicle market.Maritime drone swarms are a

large group of underwater vehicles moving

together for a particular purpose.

The drone swarm has a wide range of

capabilities in defence applications since it

is capable of performing surveillance and

investigation tasks followed by defensive

or offensive countermeasures.As the swarm

works collectively to navigate through

the underwater environment, it senses a

wider area in a shorter time by making use

of several sensing techniques to build a

comprehensive map of the environment.

For instance, the European Union (EU)

is currently funding a research project

called Ocean2020, which will facilitate

a combination of drones and unmanned

submarines into swarms or fleet units. In

another example, the US Navy’s Undersea

Warfare Center approved a grant of $78,000

for Aquabotix’s SwarmDiver technology to

support the US Navy and allied vessels.

The International Maritime Organization

(IMO) has regulations related to ballast water

management in marine vehicles.Ballast water

is defined as water that is pumped inside a

marine vehicle to maintain safe operating

conditions and operations.

Regulation D-3 by the IMO requires that

ballast water management systems that use

active substances be approved following

the specifications defined by the IMO.As per

the International Convention for the Control

and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and

Sediments, active substances are those which

include a virus or a fungus, having a general

or specific action on or against harmful

aquatic organisms or pathogens.

Hence, regulations such as these would

keep a check on manufacturers of ballast

water management systems as well as the

companies in the autonomous marine vehicle


The countries covered in the autonomous

marine vehicles market report are Australia,

Brazil, China, France, Germany, India,

Indonesia, Japan, Russia, South Korea, the UK,


The market value is defined as the revenues

that enterprises gain from goods and/or


research areas

(from the left):

Mapping and



ships and




structures and


and robotic


Source: NTNU

AMOS |image:

credit Annika


services sold within the specified market and

geography through sales, grants, or donations

in terms of currency (in USD ($) unless

otherwise specified).

The revenues for a specified geography

are consumption values – that is, they are

revenues generated by organizations in the

specified geography within the specified

market, irrespective of where they are

produced. It does not include revenues from

resales either further along the supply chain

or as part of other products.

The autonomous marine vehicles market

research report is one of a series of new

reports that provides autonomous marine

vehicle market statistics, including global

market size, regional shares, competitors with

an autonomous marine vehicle market share,

detailed autonomous marine vehicle market

segments, market trends and opportunities,

and any further data you may need to

thrive in the autonomous marine vehicle

industry. This autonomous marine vehicles

market research report delivers a complete

perspective of everything you need, with an

in-depth analysis of the current and future

scenario of the industry.


January-February issue l 2023 23


Google company unveils drone

delivery-network ambition

By Chris Vallance


subsidiary of Alphabet, which owns

Google, hopes to develop drone

delivery-network technology able to

handle millions of orders, within 12 months.

Operating drones as a network, Wing says,

will improve efficiency.

The technology is being tested "at scale" in

Logan, Australia, where Wing delivers up to

1,000 packages a day. The company has also

started trial drone deliveries in the Dublin

suburb of Lusk.

And it says it and other companies are in

talks with the Department for Transport and

the Civil Aviation Authority about agreeing

regulations to allow drone deliveries in the


'Coffee delivery'

Chief executive Adam Woodworth says

the delivery system will look "more like an

efficient data network than a traditional

transportation system".

In the trial, "we do a lot of grocery delivery, we

do a lot of prepared food delivery, we do a lot

of coffee delivery", he says.

At present, consumers are not charged extra

for drone deliveries. The company is not

disclosing what they may ultimately cost.

But to be financially viable, drone companies

will have to make a large number of

deliveries, experts say.

'Big data'

Dr Steve Wright, of the University of West of

England, said it was unsurprising Wing was

one of the companies trying to do so.

"Everybody is still working on the drones

themselves - these things are going to

operate night and day, far longer than we've

done before - but thoughts are already

turning to the bigger picture," he said.

"The first question that is being grappled

with right now with is regulation. However,

the next question is looming large - how to

manage and direct this vast number of robots.

I don't think that it's any coincidence that

Wing and Amazon share one clear heritage -

big data."

A wing delivery drone Image: WING

24 January-February issue l 2023 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


A Wing drone flying in Lusk Image: WING

The Wing Delivery Network comprises three

basic hardware elements.

• the delivery drones

• pads where drones take off, land and

recharge their batteries

• autoloaders that allow companies to

leave packages for collection

Using these elements, the company says,

drones can pick up, drop off, travel, and

charge in whatever pattern makes the most

sense for the entire system - rather than just

flying from one base to a customer and back.

"A tangible example of that would be: the

aircraft takes off at one location, it might

fly to another business to go pick up a box,

and then it might fly to the delivery location

and then, rather than returning to the pad

it took off from, fly to another adjacent one,"

Mr Woodworth told the BBC's Tech Tent


An advantage of the system working as a

network is it is able to quickly adapt to peaks

in demand in particular areas. Charging-pad

locations can also be added rapidly.

The autoloader resembles a pair of fishing

rods, angled in a V shape. Shop staff hang

small packages from a hook and the drones

hover above to winch them up.

A Wing drone flying on a delivery taskImage: WING

The system also involves a high level of

automation - when an aircraft is turned on,

the company says, it checks it:

• is in the right place

• has the right software

• is approved to fly

And ground-based pilots can supervise

fleets of delivery drones to ensure they are

operating safely and efficiently - rather than

just monitoring a single aircraft.

Mr Woodworth said more civil-aviation

regulators around the globe were adopting

rules that would allow these sorts of


But there are challenges to be overcome.

Wing has faced complaints about noise from

some Logan residents.

The company has invested "a lot of work into

making the aircraft as quiet as they can be",

Mr Woodworth says. And planning software

has been designed to avoid creating "drone

highways", where every flight passes over the

same houses.


January-February issue l 2023 25


Drilling of Venus -1A, the first appraisal

well on the Venus discovery, will be located

approximately 13 kilometres to the north of

the Venus -1X discovery well and drilled using

the Tungsten Explorer drillship. The Deepsea

Mira will then be used to conduct a drill stem

test at this location.

The Deepsea Mira will then re-enter and

side-track the Venus -1X well and conduct a

flow test. The objective of this programme is

to further evaluate the Venus reservoir and

deliver dynamic data.

Impact (through its wholly owned subsidiary,

Impact Oil and Gas Namibia (Pty) Ltd) holds

a 20% working interest in Block 2913B (PEL

56). PEL 56 is operated by TotalEnergies EP

Namibia B.V (“TotalEnergies”) who holds, a

40% working interest, and QatarEnergy and

NAMCOR respectively hold a 30% and 10%

working interest in PEL 56.

Map of Block 2913B and Block 2912, offshore Namibia |image Impact Oil & Gas

Impact Oil & Gas launches

exploration campaign

offshore Namibia

amidst African energy crisis

Block 2912 may contain a highly material westerly extension

of the Venus field, if successful test, this potential extension

of the Venus accumulation into Block 2912 and provide an

understanding of the structure and reservoir quality.

Exploration and potential Appraisal of Block

2912 (PEL 91)

Block 2912 may contain a highly material

westerly extension of the Venus field.

Operations by TotalEnergies during 2023, on

behalf of the Joint Venture, are designed to

explore and, if successful test, this potential

extension of the Venus accumulation into

Block 2912 and provide an understanding of

the structure and reservoir quality.

TotalEnergies will commence drilling

operations in Block 2912 during mid-2023.

Exploration well Nara -1X will be drilled and

flow tested by the Tungsten Explorer and, if

successful, an appraisal well, Nara -1A, will

then be drilled and flow tested.

Africa-focused, exploration company

is pleased to announce the imminent

commencement of a multi-well

drilling programme in Namibia, following the

Venus light oil discovery in Block 2913B (PEL


Siraj Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer of Impact,

commented: “Following a transformational

2022 for Impact, we are excited to see both

the Tungsten Explorer and the Deepsea Mira

embark on this extensive drilling programme,

designed to accelerate the appraisal of the

Venus field and drill the first exploration well

in our neighbouring licence, Block 2912. This

programme will provide vital information

that will hopefully enable the joint venture to

press ahead with development”.

Appraisal of Venus discovery in Block 2913B

(PEL 56)

The Venus discovery is a world class light

oil and associated gas field, located in the

Orange Basin, approximately 290 kilometres

off the coast of southern Namibia, and in

water depth of approximately 3,000 metres.

The well was drilled to a total depth of 6,296

metres, by the Maersk Voyager drillship, and

encountered a high quality light oil-bearing

sandstone reservoir of Lower Cretaceous age.

Impact (through its wholly owned subsidiary,

Impact Oil and Gas Namibia (Pty) Ltd) also

holds an 18.89% working interest in the

adjacent Block 2912 (PEL 91), where it is also

partnered with TotalEnergies (Operator, with

37.78%), QatarEnergy (28.33%) and NAMCOR


Phil Birch, Exploration Director of Impact,

commented: “This exciting and active 2023

work programme is aimed at proving the

flow potential of the Venus reservoir, and

investigate a potentially material extension

into the adjacent licence. If successful, it will

result in two potentially fully appraised early

production centres, one on Block 2913B and

the second on Block 2912”.

26 January-February issue l 2023 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


Ocean Infinity Expands Robotic

Fleet with Six Additional AUVs

Kongsberg Maritime has

announced that Ocean

Infinity has signed an order

for six HUGIN Autonomous

Underwater Vehicles (AUVs)

rated to 3,000 metres depth.

The vehicles are equipped with

This latest order from Ocean Infinity takes a geophysical sensor suite and

their fleet of HUGIN AUVs to more than 20. the latest-generation Kongsberg

batteries. The new vehicles will

be mobilized for global operations, enabled by Ocean Infinity’s remote operations

infrastructure. The vehicles will integrate as part of the Armada fleet of uncrewed

and optionally-crewed vessels and will augment the company’s existing AUVs, rated

to 6,000 metres depth.

Saipem awarded $400

million drilling contract

offshore West Africa

Dan Hook, CTO of Ocean Infinity, said: “Lessening the environmental impact of

operations at sea is core to our business, and with an expanded

fleet of robotics we’ll have greater capacity to offer sustainable

offshore data acquisition services. Using these AUVs as part of

our robotic fleet, we’ll be supporting the growing renewables

sector with remote data and inspection services.”


Saipem has been awarded a drilling

contract offshore the Ivory Coast worth

$400 million by the Joint Venture Eni

Côte d'Ivoire Ltd. and Petroci. This value is

to be considered gross of the leasing costs

of the Deep Value Driller vessel that will be

used for the operations.

NOAA Unveils 2022 Hydrographic

Survey Season Plans

The contract includes the seventh-generation

drillship named Deep Value Driller, one of the

most modern in the world, for which Saipem

has entered into a charter agreement with

the company Deep Value Driller.

NOAA hydrographic survey ships and contractors are preparing for the 2022

hydrographic survey season in U.S. coastal waters and beyond. The ships

collect bathymetric data (i.e. map the seafloor) to support nautical charting,

modelling and research, but also collect other environmental data to support

a variety of ecosystem sciences.

The award of this contract represents an

important consolidation of Saipem's presence

in the Ivory Coast, a strategic area where the

company is currently executing the project for

the development of the Baleine oil and gas

field. The field was discovered thanks to the

drilling activities of the Saipem 10000 and

Saipem 12000 vessels.

NOAA considers hydrographic survey requests from

stakeholders such as marine pilots, local port authorities,

the U.S. Coast Guard and the boating community, and

also considers other hydrographic and NOAA science

priorities in determining where to survey and when. It is

worth visiting

NOAA’s ‘living’

story map to find

out more about the

mapping projects

and whether a


vessel will be in

your area this year.

Saipem 12000; Source: Saipem

Saipem is strengthening the competitiveness

of its fleet by leveraging its consolidated

expertise in the selection and management of

technologically advanced vessels.



Coastline Mapping Above

and Below the Waterline

Harbour Mapping


solutions for hydrographic surveying


January-February issue l 2023 27





Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is an electromagnetic

technique that can detect changes in the subsurface

without disturbing the surface. It works at a low

frequency and can reach depths of 30 to 40 meters. The process

is non-destructive, safe, and accurate. It can identify metallic and

non-metallic objects, voids, and other structures. It can also be

used to detect excavations, back-filled areas, and other ground


GPR is most effective in favorable conditions, such as sandy soils,

which allow the transmission of the radar pulse. It is unique in

its ability to detect small objects and determine their depths.

However, it has limitations when used in less-than-ideal conditions.

In particular, fine-grained sediments can scatter the radar signal,

which limits its depth penetration.

The total round-trip time between the antenna and the subsurface

feature is important for determining how far the radar can

penetrate. This time is dependent on the amount of scattering

and EM energy that is released from the target. The amount of

scattering depends on the water content of the subsurface and the

concentration of free ions in the soil. Additionally, heavy vegetation,

water on the surface of the ground, and other factors can affect the

EM wave.

GPR works by sending high-frequency electromagnetic waves through

the subsurface. These waves then reflect back to the receiving antenna.

This process allows GPR to detect changes in the EM properties of

the materials. EM properties vary according to the type of soil or rock

material, bulk density, and water content. An antenna is placed on the

ground surface, and the signals are reflected off the boundary where

there is a difference in EM property.

GPR can penetrate up to 100 feet in some cases. However, its depth is

limited by the conductivity of the material. High-conductivity materials

such as granite and limestone will not absorb the waves as quickly as

lower-conductivity materials do. However, the depth of GPR penetration

can be determined using the information gathered by GPR.

GPR is an effective tool for mapping underground utilities and locating

materials inside concrete. The technology has many applications

in engineering and construction. It can also be used for structural

assessment. For example, it can determine the level of degradation of

concrete in a structure, enabling remediation efforts.

GPR equipment consists of a transmitter and receiver antenna

and a radar control unit. The control unit synchronizes the signals,

controls the transmitter and samples the receiver, and transmits

the signals to a recording or display device. The resulting images

are then processed and interpreted.

Ground Penetrating Radar is an effective and versatile tool for

detecting metallic objects. It works best when targets are made

of high contrast, such as metallic materials. The versatility of

this technique makes it an invaluable tool for a wide variety of

practices. In addition to its effectiveness for detecting underground

structures, it can also be used for archeological research.

A ground-penetrating radar (GPR) mounted to a scanning cart.|image:


28 January-February issue l 2023 www.africasurveyorsonline.com

A ground-penetrating radar (GPR).|image: CPA

A ground-penetrating radar (GPR).|image: Courtesy


January-February issue l 2023 29


30 January-February issue l 2023 www.africasurveyorsonline.com



January-February issue l 2023 31


Terawulf Energizes First Nuclear-

Powered Bitcoin Mining Facility in

the US, Plans to Expand Operations

Nuclear-Power plant |image: MDPI

By Jamie Redman

Terawulf, a bitcoin mining operation, has

announced that it has energized the

first nuclear-powered bitcoin mining

facility in the United States at the company’s

Nautilus Facility in Pennsylvania. According

to the company, approximately 1 exahash per

second (EH/s) or close to 8,000 applicationspecific

integrated circuit (ASIC) bitcoin

miners are now online, and another 8,000

mining rigs will be delivered shortly.

Nuclear-Powered Bitcoin Mining — A

Milestone for Carbon-Free Bitcoin Mining

Terawulf announced that the first behindthe-meter

bitcoin mining facility powered

by nuclear energy has been energized,

with nearly 8,000 ASIC mining rigs now

operational. The current 8,000 account for

1 EH/s of SHA256 hashpower, but Terawulf

expects to deploy another 8,000 miners in

the coming weeks to reach 1.9 EH/s by May.

According to the company’s press release

about the Nautilus energization, Terawulf

will receive a fixed electricity rate of around

$0.02 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the next

five years.

The Nautilus facility is considered a milestone

as it is the first bitcoin mining facility of its

kind to receive carbon-free energy 24/7 from

the 2.5 GW Susquehanna nuclear plant in

Pennsylvania. “With the recent energization

of the Nautilus facility earlier this month,

approximately 16,000 of Terawulf’s owned

miners, representing 1.9 EH/s of self-mining

capacity, are on-site and being brought online

daily,” said Paul Prager, the chairman and CEO

of Terawulf, in a statement. “The Nautilus

nuclear-powered mining facility benefits from

what is arguably the lowest cost power in the

sector, just $0.02/kWh for a term of five years.”

While 2022 was rough on bitcoin mining

operations, 2023 has been easier on bitcoin

miners due to a significant rise in the price

of bitcoin (BTC) since the end of last year.

Additionally, several firms are expanding

mining operations, with some locating to

Pennsylvania. Seven days ago, Mawson

Infrastructure Group launched a mining

operation based in Pennsylvania after

exiting Australia. In addition to the 50-MW

Nautilus facility, Terawulf announced that it

is expanding operations at its Lake Mariner

facility in New York. This move will increase

the Lake Mariner operation from 60 MW to

110 MW.

32 January-February issue l 2023 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


Reviving Nigeria’s neglected

$700bn mining sector

By Natasha Teja

Amid the global push for green

energy solutions, Nigeria’s reserves

of critical minerals such as lithium,

manganese and nickel are in high demand,

prompting the government to release a series

of initiatives that will fast-track foreign direct

investment into the sector.

On February 8, the Africa Finance Corporation

(AFC), a pan-African multilateral development

financial institution, established a partnership

with the Nigerian mining sovereign wealth

fund, Solid Minerals Development Fund

(SMDF). The partnership aims to accelerate

commercial scale, private sector-led mining

projects by providing much-needed funding

and technical advisory.

Nigeria’s mining sector boasts 44 different

types of commercially viable minerals

worth an estimated $700bn, according

to SMDF estimates; but limited capital

injections, inadequate geo-mapping tools and

widespread illegal mining have left the west

African nation struggling to capitalise on its


Hajiya Shinkafi, CEO of SMDF tells fDi: “We

will target all these minerals and more.

Ongoing exploration efforts in Nigeria have

identified excellent lithium prospects that we

will look to support.”

Ongoing exploration efforts in Nigeria have

identified excellent lithium prospects that we

will look to support.

Hajiya Shinkafi, CEO at SMDF: "One of the key

issues stalling the sector’s growth is the lack

of sophisticated geo-scientific data gathering

tools. For decades, corporations have largely

relied on illegal mining activities to gather

information on the types, quantities and

locations of minerals available."

“Historically, it’s actually been one of the

main pathfinders for a lot of junior mining

companies to make these discoveries,” says

Hard work:



regions have

long been


by illegal



Image via



Segun Lawson, CEO at Thor Explorations — a

Canada-listed mining firm that heads AFC’s

flagship gold mine project in Nigeria.

“These illegal miners are mining at a much

smaller scale with rudimentary methods,

and then larger corporations are following

off the backs of these small discoveries,” he

adds. Illegal mining caused an outbreak of

lead poisoning in 2010 that affected 18,000

people and killed at least 200 children,

according to a report by the UN. Unfazed

by its risks, artisanal miners continue to

dominate mining activities in Nigeria’s northwestern

regions. “However, if you look across

west Africa there are a lot of artisanal and

illegal mining, it’s not just unique to Nigeria,”

Mr Lawson says.

Reports of banditry and insurgencies across

several mining areas, including Nigeria’s

states of Zamfara and Kaduna, have also

discouraged foreign investors. In November

2022, a local terror group threatened to

attack a gold mine in the Bukuyum local

government area of Zamfara after miners

refused to pay a 10% levy.

During a local interview conducted last

month, Nigeria’s minister of mines and steel

development admitted that “we do not have

the resources to pre-empt all these illegal

activities because Nigeria is vast”.

Instead, the government has turned its focus

on data gathering projects to add legitimacy

to the sector. Osam Iyahen, senior director and

head of natural resources at AFC, tells fDi that

“the Nigerian government has taken steps

to enable a more accurate delineation of the

types and quantities of minerals available by

tapping into a funding programme with the

World Bank to advance airborne geo-mapping


The Nigerian government is also supporting

a large number of infrastructure initiatives to

build transportation links for the movement

of equipment to mining sites and the

evacuation of minerals for sale and export.

Prior to AFC’s partnership with SMDF, the

development institution collaborated with

Thor Explorations to finance the Segilola

Gold Mine. The mine is currently Nigeria’s

most advanced gold project after achieving

commercial production in 2021.

The company’s CEO hopes that its success will

catalyse foreign investments into the country,

but acknowledges the challenges that mining

projects face.

“Statistically speaking, the number of

conversions from an exploration license

to a discovery is very low. Then from an

exploration to an operation license, that

number is even lower,” says Mr Lawson.

However, he adds: “Consistent exploration and

more success stories will only lead to further

growth in the sector.”


January-February issue l 2023 33


Unmanned Underwater Vehicle & Unmanned Surface Vehicle Market

Upcoming Trends,

Opportunities and

Forecast to 2025

By Sameer Joshi

The Latest research report study on

“Unmanned Underwater Vehicle &

Unmanned Surface Vehicle Market

Size, Global Analysis and Forecast to 2025”

the market is expected to grow from US$

991.2 Million in 2017 and is anticipated to

escalate at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2018 to

2025 to account for US$ 1,482.6 Million by

2025. The report include key understanding

on the driving factors of this growth and

also highlights the prominent players in the

market and their developments.

In 2017, North America accounted for the

largest revenue share of little more than

one-third of the total market share, followed

by Europe. The global unmanned underwater

vehicle and unmanned surface vehicle

market is experiencing a steady growth in the

current scenario and is anticipated to rise in

the coming years. The market for unmanned

underwater vehicle and unmanned surface

vehicle consists of well-established players

across the globe, which invests huge amounts

in order to deliver the most advanced

technology to the naval forces, commercial

sectors, and scientific research institutions

and organizations.

Key findings of the study:

From a growth perspective, the Asia-Pacific

region is anticipated to witness a lucrative

CAGR growth rate of 8.6% during the forecast


Based on application, the defense segment

is projected to witness significant lucrative

profitable opportunities with projected CAGR

growth rate of 6.8%

Based on payload, the camera segment is

projected to grow with a CAGR of 7.2%

Cameras play an important role in underwater

imaging of paths, various threats such as

underwater mines, and enemy submarines

among others. The cameras after capturing

the images, sends them to the processing

units to furnish the information related

to it. The cameras are being installed on

autonomous surface vessel and underwater

image source: Naval Technology

34 January-February issue l 2023 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


image source: Naval Technology

vessel for detecting and monitoring near-by

and distant obstacles on the way. Camera

capture short range video images, acoustic

sonar which has become the most important

tool for underwater sensing. The imaging

companies are constantly focusing on

increasing the capabilities of cameras as the

demand for high end and high megapixel

cameras are increasing among the unmanned

marine drone manufacturers. The high-end

cameras are highly efficient in providing

better output and high quality facilitating the

end users to gather a clear understanding of

underwater world.

Asia Pacific is a world’s fastest developing

region and accommodates majority of the

global economy, therefore it is gaining

critical attention from the economically

strong provinces including U.S for growth

opportunities in terms of business and

employment. Further, the region also accredits

most of the world’s nuclear power and in

coming years it is anticipated to be among

the strongest region in terms of Defense

and security forces. Furthermore, it has also

been projected that approximately 60% of

the increase in global defense acquisition

and R&D will be driven by APAC countries.


APAC have been an active participant in

the UUV/USV market for over a decade now

and have made significant development

since then. China, Japan and South Korea are

the pioneers in UUV development in APAC,

whereas India is rapidly emerging economy

in UUV market. Singapore initiated two

programs that included Starfish and Meredith.

Starfish was developed by National University

of Singapore and ST Electronics, whereas

Meredith was found by DSO National Labs.

Some of the major software companies are

also strengthening unmanned underwater

vehicle and unmanned surface vehicle market

grip by installing advanced software which

enhance the capabilities of the respective

vehicles.The manufacturers of unmanned

underwater vehicles and unmanned surface

vehicles are partnering with various other

manufacturers or software companies in

order to design, develop advanced technology

products. Sometimes partnerships also

include modification and improvement of

capabilities, which increase the adoption

rate of unmanned underwater vehicles and

unmanned surface vehicles. Companies

such as ASV Global partnered with UK’s

National Oceanographic Center in 2018,

for the development of Containerized

Autonomous Marine Laboratory to serve the

Commonwealth Marine Economies to support

Commonwealth Small Island Developing


Geographically, the market for unmanned

underwater vehicle and unmanned surface

vehicles is segmented as North America,

Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and

Africa, South America. The most prominent

region in the market accounted for North

America, pertaining to large number of

manufacturers, and suppliers in the region.

Moreover, software companies are also

enhancing the capabilities of the vehicles by

introducing advanced software. In addition,

the US Defense authority is continuously

investing significant amounts in research

and developments, resulting in advanced

technology, which in turn is increasing the

demand for such unmanned marine systems

among US Navy as well as international

naval forces. The manufacturers are also

acquiring contracts from various commercial

sectors across the globe to deploy unmanned

marine systems in applications such as oil &

gas exploration, environmental monitoring,

hydrographic and oceanographic among


January-February issue l 2023 35



Africa needs



to reap the full

benefits of new mining


Jason Mitchell

Jason Mitchell is a senior editor

at Investment Monitor, with a

specialisation in emerging markets.

He covered foreign investment in

Latin America for 13 years and for the

past three years has lived in sub-

Saharan Africa and written widely

about the subject from that continent's

perspective. Previously, in London, he

was editor of Investment Adviser and

news editor of Financial Adviser, both

of which belong to the Financial Times


By Jason Mitchell

African countries must allow the

mining of minerals to happen if

they are to experience significant

economic growth, but they have to find a

way of minimising the damage to the natural

environment and to ensure that profits help

local communities.

Africa is a massive region, covering three

times as much ground as Europe, across 54

countries, and with a total population of 1.4

billion, which is expected to reach 2.5 billion

by the end of 2050. However, it is also the

world’s poorest region; in 2021, sub-Saharan

Africa had an annual income of $1,600 per

head compared with $8,300 in Latin America

and the Caribbean and $13,000 in East Asia

and the Pacific. In 2022, the UK had a bigger

economy than the whole of Africa combined;

$3.48tn versus $2.96tn.

In 2021, it is estimated that 490 million

Africans lived under the poverty line of $1.90

purchasing power parity equivalent per

day, 37 million people more than what was

projected without the Covid-19 pandemic.

Africa requires economic growth and lots

of it if its to lift its people out of poverty.

Economists estimate that a low-income

country must grow at more than 6% a year

over many years to start to see significant

poverty reduction. The International Monetary

Fund estimates that the sub-Saharan

economy expanded by only 3.6% in 2022 and

forecasts that it will grow by only 3.7% in

2023. That is just not good enough.

Following China’s example

The mining industry provides an obvious

source of wealth for Africa, and recent

developments in China could prove to be

something of a blueprint for African countries.

Since China began to open up and reform its

economy in 1978, GDP growth has averaged

over 9% a year and more than 800 million

people been lifted out of poverty, exactly the

kind of change that Africa needs.

Africa has some of the world’s biggest

deposits of minerals, which are not only

valuable in their own right, but could prove

essential to the energy transition. Nickel,

cobalt, graphite, lithium, and rare earth

elements are all in high supply; for instance,

Africa accounts for around 80% of the world’s

total supply of platinum, 50% of manganese

and two-thirds of cobalt. The continent also

holds 40% of the world’s gold reserves and up

to 90% of its chromium.

Countries like South Africa, Madagascar,

Malawi, Kenya, Namibia, Mozambique,

Tanzania, Zambia and Burundi enjoy

significant quantities of important rare earths,

including neodymium, praseodymium and

dysprosium. Ghana is the continent’s largest

producer of gold, followed by South Africa and

Mali. The Democratic Republic of the Congo

(DRC) is Africa’s largest industrial diamond

producer, followed by Botswana and South


Yet there is a disparity in the continent’s

mining industries. Africa is endowed with

about 30% of the planet’s mineral reserves,

but in 2019, it only produced around 5.5% of

the world’s minerals and its global share was

valued at $406bn that year, according to the

World Mining Congress.

African countries must exploit their mineral

wealth. The DRC, for example, has a total

36 January-February issue l 2023 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


If African countries

had better


increased mining

would not be such

a controversial


mineral wealth estimated in the tens of

trillions of dollars but the average Congolese

person only earns $700 a year. Guinea — a

small West African country with only 13.5

million inhabitants — enjoys massive and

high-quality bauxite reserves: some 7.4bn

metric tons, 23% of the world’s total. Its

supply is vital to global aluminium production

and for the energy transition to go ahead

but the average Guinean only earns $1,440

a year.

By 2040, at least 30 times as much lithium,

nickel and other key minerals may be

required by the electric car and battery

storage industries to meet global climate

targets, according to the International Energy

Agency (IEA). Similarly, the rise of low-carbon

power generation to meet climate goals

means a tripling of mineral demand from this

sector by 2040. In May 2021, the IEA declared

that the world is undergoing a massive

industrial conversion that marks a “shift

from a fuel-intensive to a material-intensive

energy system”.

Minimising environmental impacts

The potential for mineral transformation

creates an enormous economic opportunity

for Africa. However, increased mining in the

region throws up two major issues that do

need addressing — natural habitat loss and

inequality. In the end, both these problems

are a question of governance.

Further mining will inevitably result in

greater deforestation. It is not only the new

mining sites that will destroy forests but also

all the associated roads and new settlements.

The region is already seeing massive

destruction of its natural habitat. In 2020, the

continent had 636.64m hectares of forest,

16% of the world’s total. But it witnessed the

greatest annual rate of net forest loss of any

region in the world — at 3.94m ha — between

2010 and 2020.


A gold mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Image by: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg/Getty


There is also a big question mark around

whether the local communities really gain

much economically from all the new mining

activity. This is not a challenge unique to

Africa; in many cases, it is the elites in

wealthy capital cities that enjoy most of the

financial rewards from mining.

In Africa specifically, foreign miners

headquartered in Europe, North America and

China eager to expand their portfolios adds

another dimension to this issue, and another

type of actor who could take revenue away

from local workers.

The need for better governance in Africa

If African countries had better governance,

increased mining would not be such a

controversial issue. Africa requires ‘responsible

mining’, defined as mining that involves and

respects all stakeholders, minimises and

takes account of its environmental impact

and prioritises a fair division of economic and

financial benefits. But the crux of the problem

is that for responsible mining to really work,

a country needs good governance in the first

place and most African countries just do not

have it.

Transparency International’s Corruption

Perceptions Index ranks 180 countries

by their perceived levels of public sector

corruption on a scale of zero (highly corrupt)

to 100 (very clean). In 2021, the sub-Saharan

Africa average was 33 — the lowest in the

world — and 44 African countries ranked

below 50.

Improving governance in Africa is not an easy

thing to do. Many African countries are fragile

democracies at best, and in a number of cases

they are outright dictatorships. Whenever

possible Western governments need to bear

pressure on African governments to take

steps to become better, more sophisticated

democracies, or at least implement aspects

of governance such as labour rights and

environmental protection.

That in itself is not a straightforward task for

many Western governments to do without

being accused of colonial-style interference,

and reflects a paradox at the heart of much of

African mining: more effective mining could

deliver great economic benefits and a sense

of autonomy for local groups, but should this

mining come from foreign companies and

over-reaching Western powers, there is a risk

of it all being for nought.

Africa stands at an economic threshold.

The energy transition – through increased

mining – could improve the region’s wealth

immeasurably. It is an economic opportunity

that must be seized. However, it falls on the

continent’s next generation to ensure that

their governments are more accountable and

that a lot more mining can be balanced at

least to some extent with conservation of the

natural environment. They must also ensure

that the economic benefits of more mining

are more evenly spread.

January-February issue l 2023 37


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