Mining has been there for thousands of years. Some of the minerals like Gold, chalk, and silver have been dependent for longer than we can commemorate. Recently, mines look nothing close to those of 50 years ago thanks to the consistent change in technology. In the past, you could see a group of miners flocking the mining sites ferrying heavy loads of mines. Currently, a lot has changed as technology in the mining sector is concerned.
The mining process has drastically improved with each advancement, and as a result, it has become safer, more efficient, and more affordable than before. In this article, we will discuss a few emerging trends to watch in the mining industry. Let us have a quick look at what might be in store. Read on!
There are a lot of changes in the mining industry, but most miners still depend on explosives. To achieve a successful blast, most companies are depending on technology. By putting projected fragmentation models and environmental data into use, companies can now provide successful blasting plans. Currently, different decisions are made for blasting including Drilling logs, visual inspection, and laser profiling data.
Most of the blast sites are not completely automated, but with the dynamic world, things are soon moving in that direction. Electronic detonators are already in use as we speak, bringing improved performance and safety of the blast annually. Since the task is so complex, wiring is still done by explosive experts with the help of an ATEX enclosure which is intended for harsh and heavy environmental conditions to protect the available electrical components on-site.
Use Of Drones
Underground drones are currently being used to scout the progress of the mines, flying all through the mines to search for caves, collect information, and help in the mapping process. They have proved to be effective at recording gas levels, identifying geological structures, and having a record of quality visuals of the caves, eliminating the cost involved in sending human surveyors.
By sending drones into unfamiliar sites first will keep workers safe from possible hazards. When it comes to underground settings after excavation, there are numerous risks that may be involved like potential collapse, areas that cannot be easily accessed, and no light. This is why drones are put into use currently due to emerging trends in the mining sectors.
Self-driving vehicles are recently on the rise and you will always spot one or two in any mining site. Every industry seems to be making steps in autonomous Vehicle direction, and the mining industry is leading the race. Autonomous trucks have recently had their recognition in the mining sites, with trucks like Cat, Komatsu, and Hitachi all offering automated systems to their clients.
The next step takes automation to an advanced level. Intelligent mines are being considered currently. These are mines that are equipped with driverless trains, trucks, and other robotic assistants. These technological advancements are lowering the number of human workers needed to complete tasks. These steps will have mining sites replace over 50% of miners in the next few years.
Advancing to an all-electric underground fleet will take quite some time, but it has already been incorporated and currently, we can see a few electric vehicles in the mining sites. The initial expense in the mining centers is high, convincing companies to think out of the box before purchasing, but electric vehicles offer a steady return on the investment. The reason being the operating expenses are low, and research has proven to be more efficient than the traditional fleets.
To make them even better, emissions are basically non-existent. Offering an added advantage and making electric vehicles a top priority choice for a world that is growing with a lot of concern about pollutants. Some of the vehicles you will find in these electric fleets are boom trucks and mobile rock breakers. It is also important to source quality autoparts for your vehicles since the working area is prone to more hazards in case there will be a need for repair.
You have been all through weeks of training, reading about steps and procedures, rules on safety, and everything about mining. You have studied everything and paid attention and you are now ready for your new job then someone hands you an explosive. Are you really ready? With the introduction of virtual reality technology in the mining sector, miners are now being trained in the delicate art of explosives without having them involved with such risk.
Trainees can now practice placing, setting, and blowing up explosives safely in the environment using a simulated mine. Any errors they make in the process are highlighted and revisited as a learning ground safely without causing any disaster to miners. The use of Virtual Reality has a big impact on the mining sector and every company is making an effort to incorporate it.
The Bottom Line
The future is automated and we are living in a dynamic world. Being in the mining sector or any other sector technology is all the talk of the town and every idea is becoming automated. From electric vehicles being used in the mining industry to the use of drones, all these are incorporated in the site to have the mining process go digital.
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