The existing OT Server infrastructure was also housed in a non-server friendly environment with no proper access control and protections. By implementing a virtualised environment, the server cluster would be housed within the IT infrastructure resolving this issue. Virtualisation also offered better disaster recovery and backups due to OS Systems, Base Software from System Platform and Galaxy application being maintained on Virtual Servers with redundancies build in.
Access to the Historian Database was not possible via IT Infrastructure to Barrick Management for reporting and analysis’s function. This was due to the OT networks being completely isolated and no access was available from IT systems.
A System Integrator Partner was required to co-ordinate, implement, and support a solution where the IT Department could maintain the Server and View Client infrastructure while access to the Historian Database was possible to management and the OT department-maintained control of all OT systems. All of this had to be done in a safe, maintainable/supported and Security conscious manner. This would also be the first time that IT and OT systems would be integrated to this extend at Bulyanhulu Gold Mine and reaping the benefits from the various departments and System Integrator Partner joining their skills to provide a technical stable and future life of mine reliable SCADA System for the underground department.
The decision was made to Implement AVEVA System Platform on a virtualised environment and replace all view client PCs with Industrial Thin Clients and Thin manager Software. The InTouch HMI Application for System Platform will be redone where all smart symbols and InTouch graphics are converted to Industrial Graphics within the Galaxy. The legacy DAS Communication Drivers should be converted to currently supported OI communication drivers. Upon completion of the project the System Integrator partner should then maintain the System Platform application via a Service Level agreement.
The system design and proposal were finalised and approved during 2021 with implementation started early 2022 and going live in April 2022.