The last couple of decades have been incredible in the field of technology. All of these technological advancements have helped certain industries improve their procedures and make the lives of many easier, safer, and improved their working conditions.
One of those industries is the mining industry. There are a ton of reasons why advancements in underground mining technology are so excellent, and why investing in these new technologies is important.
1. What is it?
Underground mining technology is a bit of a broad term. It can reference in-depth software to track the mine’s processes, data, and information. It can mean the big trucks and machinery that is used to accomplish specific tasks in the mine. It can also refer to accessories and smaller devices that improve on processes. These can even be things like stronger headlamps, longer lasting batteries, or improved ways of communicating information with the workers.
2. Why is it important?
There is no perfect industry, but mining especially has had a rough go through the years. It is a dangerous industry, and one that has had a lot of trouble not only with the high death and injury rate of its workers, but also the high amounts of damage its processes do to the earth. New underground mining technologies help improve upon those issues.
There is also the matter of productivity for the company itself. Any company would be happy to find a way to make more money. Well this is one. New technologies can increase productivity and lower costs. Making more money and spending less means big profits.
3. Improving safety
Worker safety is always of top importance in mining, and underground mining technology automates many safety measures. With these technologies, workers can be tracked so that a dispatcher knows their exact location at all times.
There are also sensors and machines that can detect dangerous environments like gas in the air, and that can help avoid mistakes and accidents. One interesting technology that can help workers is wearable equipment that can sense if the worker has fallen unconscious. The sensor can also be triggered manually if the worker is injured.
4. More eco-friendly
It is no secret that the mining industry isn’t necessarily the most earth-friendly industry out there. But new technologies can help cut CO2 emissions significantly. They can also cut down on waste created by mining projects. Other technologies can reduce the amount of resources used in the mining process.
Mining companies know that their processes are not earth-friendly too. So creating new technologies and methods of doing things which improve on these is a top focus for them.
5. Increased productivity
Of course, technology usually makes things faster and better, and it is no different in the case of underground mining technologies. One example of how it does this is that these technologies can actually track the productivity of the work done in real time. This means important decisions can be made immediately, and they are more accurate because of the additional knowledge provided by the technology.
6. More to come in the future
The mining technologies that currently exist have already made a huge difference to the underground mining industry, however it doesn’t stop there. The industry has already begun researching ways to use artificial intelligence to improve processes.
As long as there are flaws in the industry – like significant emissions and waste, and the injuries and deaths of workers – researchers and companies of the underground mining industry will continue to search for ways to improve upon the way the industry works.
Underground mining technology addresses the needs and wants of the industry and of the people, and makes them a reality.