The rapid advancement in technological innovation has taken every industry by storm. The latest trends in the mining industry have shifted the whole paradigm towards better sustainability, which is making the mining business a lot safer, productive, and modern. These technologies include robotics, the internet of things, 3D imaging, artificial intelligence, drones, amongst other things that are changing everything about how the mining sector works and operates.
In this article, I am going to highlight some of the most influential technologies that can and are transforming underground mining. Moreover, I am going to mention how these technologies are being used to improve mining work and bring sustainability to the sector so that it can be made a lot safer.
The very first and the most influential technology in the mining industry is the introduction of robot machines. While its application may be a bit limited right now, it can greatly improve the potential of mining in the future. Different robots can be designed to perform a variety of tasks such as drilling, blasting, bolting, and hauling. Moreover, the use of robots in rescue missions also proves to be an interesting concept as robots can reach in areas where humans can’t.
Internet of Things
The Internet of things or simply IoT proves to be an interesting underground mining technology that uses a wireless system for communication. The technology makes use of radio frequencies and sensor systems to improve mining efficiency and productivity. An IoT platform can be created to enable users to view the entire operation from our computer screens. Several different aspects of the project can be automated so that everything goes smoothly without any hiccups.
3D imaging is the technique that provides an enhanced image of a certain location. It can be extremely helpful in gauging out mine sites to develop plans for mining as you can easily find out what you are dealing with. Analysis of the data gathered and compiled through 3D images can be used to explore, schedule, plan, and optimize a project so that maximum efficiency can be achieved. You can also improve your risk assessment by mapping the area and then performing ground operations.
Safety is considered to be one of the biggest concerns at a mining site. The introduction of automated drilling has greatly improved mining personnel safety and ensured that drilling is done without putting anyone’s life at risk. Automated drilling technology can be operated remotely from a safe distance. Real-time data is captured through a live camera that is used to judge equipment status. Furthermore, the camera can also be adjusted so that the person operating the drill doesn’t have any difficulty.
The use of artificial intelligence has greatly improved the decision-making process at a large organization. Artificial intelligence can be used to study a large compilation of data to enhance operational efficiency. Machine learning can be used to study old data and use it to predict the sites where minerals can be found. Further, AI can also improve the reliability of machines and drills so that miners feel safe when working in the field and have nothing to worry about.
Last but not least, in recent years, drone technology has been widely adopted in different industries. Drones can be used to do surveillance in areas that seem to be hazardous, perform asset management by figuring out the scope of the project through site mapping, do time-lapse photography to analyze the mine at different times, and do infrastructure mapping so that all the machines being used are performing at an optimal level.