Tunnel borer automation
Tunnel boring is a familiar concept to the industry of mining. Automating the process increases several beneficial verticals, such as precision, particularly in area where excavation poses stability risks, miner safety, and speed. This automation borer is going to happen soon. Global mining group Rio Tinto and the Centre of Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) have already teamed up to put this innovation to good use.
Eco-friendlier ore consumption
The two biggest demands required for ore processing are energy and water. Rio Tinto is using a new method ‘Copper NuWaveTM in Utah at its Kennecott Copper Mine that changing the demand of them. The process uses microwaves to determine the copper content of ore, and allowing them to quickly determine rich ore and discard worthless one. Then cutting back on resources wasted on fruitless searches.
Nowadays, mining simulators are invaluable for contingency and emergency training. The simulators can be easily used to determine worthwhile candidates during the firing process and judge reaction times also accuracy for existing mine employees.
Hydraulics are leading the way in excavator reinvention. Hitachi commits R&D resources into optimizing the balance between energy consumption and peak task performance. Doosan and Volvo are also continuing previous designs that used unique features like independent tracked wheel controls for unprecedented control through obstacle-littered sites and heavy site traffic.
Rail system automation
Rio Tinto is leading the charge with reinventing the mining site and offering other mining groups the ability to quickly and safely move ore from excavation to processing and beyond, automating trolleys and rail systems on-site.
The use of X-ray diffraction
Diffraction technology helps identify the amount of useful resources in a given piece of ore, cutting down on wasted hunting by targeting rich materials. ALROSA, a famous diamond mining group, has also known using diffraction in its mining sites.
3D mapping tech
3D mapping can help the mining team (administrators to miners) get on the same pages by highlighting the most promising areas for excavation to minimize issues and maximizes targeting of rich ore and lucrative veins.
Equipment powered with alternative energy
Copper NuWaveTM demonstrates that energy conservation and successful mining operations are not necessarily mutually exclusive.Harmony Gold, South African mining group, has embraced solar for direct power and is piloting program to use mining land for biocrops. This biocrops will produce natural gas to further power the machinery. The benefits are reduce operational costs and minimize environmental impact company-wide.
Improvements in miner safety gear
SmartCap is a sensor-rigged PPE helmet which continually monitors common signs of fatigue and measures alertness to cut down on distraction-related incidents. Centennial Coal has also introduced a special mining-specific boot. This boot has stable sole, ankle support, and waterproof to protect worker’s overall health while on the job.
Centralized site automation
A mining site requires intelligent movement of workers, equipment, and excavated materials to maximize efficiency while cutting down on waste. Now, full site automation is closer which heavy rail transport and tunnel boring.