Mining technology is experiencing an innovation boom as the industry is eager to address modern challenges surrounding sustainability, economic stability and operational efficiency. With the lucrative nature of the mining industry, the premium technology coming out of this period will certainly be the catalyst in modernising safety and operational improvements across many similar fields. This article will explore the fascinating technology of tomorrow and how it will improve the industry.
Australia’s economy relies heavily on exporting our natural resources as our vast country is bountiful with precious minerals such as iron ore, coal and gold. Mining makes up around 70% of our national exports and is something we rely on heavily. This technology boom will therefore benefit our country immensely, not just in an economic sense but also in terms of our workers’ safety.
While the industry's safety standards have evolved over the years, the sector still has the third most mortality rates. Between operating heavy machinery, risks of earth movement and difficult labour intensive work underground, mining is a risky profession for those on the ground.
Recent Innovations in the Mining Industry
Since the Australian Government announced its goals to reach net zero by 2050 many industries have looked to the mining industry to see how they plan to change as one of the biggest emission contributors.
To address these concerns we’ve seen rapid developments around technologies which will assist to reduce emissions, including the introduction of renewable power sources on mine sites. The sector has also embraced the Internet of Things (IoT), this refers to the network of sensors and actuators used to collect data from various devices to provide a more informed overview of on site monitoring and maintenance, allowing sites to more accurately report their emissions and erosion.
We are also seeing an increase in automated equipment and processes, helping to create a safer and more efficient environment on dangerous, underground digs. These intelligent suites of tools will help to save labour costs, time on projects and most importantly, miners. Improving sites IoT with monitoring sensors and systems will also help to improve safety. Using Kurloo monitors will not only help to immediately sense any shift in dangerous earth movement but will allow you to closely monitor small shifts over time, helping to prevent major surface movement or collapses and ensuring continuity of mining operations.
Most interestingly AI and machine learning are helping to rapidly improve exploration, data collection and maintenance. The advancement of communications technology enables mining technology to more easily and effectively connect to each other, building a powerful network which will help to advance innovations and pave the way for a future of unmanned mining.
Is Unmanned Mining the Future of the Industry?
Between explosions, mine collapses and machine related accidents, the dangers of mining have claimed many lives. Innovations in technology and governmental standards have helped dramatically to improve the health and safety of workers, make mining a safer industry and supporting miners exposure to dangerous environments.
As discussed previously, flagship technology is currently out there being tested as automated unmanned robots to support miners in dangerous underground mines. The combination of AI , unmanned vehicles and robotics are also helping to rapidly improve the scalability of unmanned technological operations.
It seems that as more technologies become available the ability to further develop unmanned technologies to use safely on site will become the future reality of mining. The principles of such developments include automation, mechanisation, visualisation and systemisation. Data will also play a key role in informing developments and maintaining technologies.
In a recent research paper, a team of scientists reviewed the challenges which researchers and engineers will need to overcome when creating these mining innovations. Their findings were mostly tech based and cited poor reliability of equipment, poor coordination between technologies, and low accuracy of AI as being innovation’s main threats.
The Future of Intelligent Unmanned Mining
The future of intelligent unmanned mining is an exciting one, but also one which relies on extensive technological breakthroughs before it becomes universally viable. With sustained economic backing such breakthroughs are likely not far away. Using the data and insights gathered from intelligent machines the Internet of Things (IoT), sites can improve their ability to track shifts in the earth and gather deeper insights on their environmental impact.
Kurloo is built for safety. Our devices detect movement in buildings, built structures and ground surfaces with millimetre precision. Combining state-of-the-art technology, Kurloo helps you manage risk more easily and economically than ever before.
To learn more about how Kurloo can do all this for your mine site and more, click here.
To speak to one of our experts on how you can use Kurloo on your site, click here.