Mining’s environmental effect meets smart mining technologies

The environmental impact of mining is being reduced by making mines more environmentally friendly. Using smart mining technologies in an underground mining operation is the goal of a multi-company collaboration.

Early in the twenty-first century, the mining sector was being shaped by many key themes. It seems that the mining innovation ecosystem’s participants will increasingly rely on automation, sustainability, digital transformation, remote capabilities, and intelligent cooperation in the years to come.  Mines can boost output, eliminate equipment downtime and cut personnel expenses by introducing better automation. It’s no secret that the COVID-19 epidemic has spurred a rapid shift to remote services, just as in other sectors of business and society.

The usage of data from assets, applications, operating silos, and equipment improve mines’ connectivity via the digitization of operations. Informed judgments may be made quickly and intelligently using data that has been evaluated and transmitted to devices.  Taking care of the environment is not an optional extra. Smart mining technology, developed in response to the pressing need to lessen mines’ negative effect on the environment, has helped cut CO2 emissions. Mining companies and governments will benefit from this to reach their carbon reduction goals by 2050.

Intelligent cooperation across mining innovation ecosystem players brings together divergent skills and information throughout the sector. Mining businesses may help pave the road for the 21st century and beyond the mining sector if they work together.  Together, LKAB, ABB, Epiroc, Sandvik, and Combitech make deep mining more environmentally friendly. The research is being conducted in a one-of-a-kind testbed in the northern ore fields of Sweden. The project makes use of an effective self-production mechanism. Malmberget and Kiruna, LKAB’s underground mines, will be used as testbeds for the project. In addition to testing in the actual world, the project plans to use a simulated mine.

The Swedish Energy Agency is contributing 207 million kronor to the project. The project relies heavily on battery-powered autonomous equipment provided by Epiroc and Sandvik. ABB’s involvement in the project is to provide automation, servicing, maintenance, and electrification solutions and skills. Digital ecosystems are where Combitech has the most knowledge and skill in bridging the gap between human operators and autonomous processes.

Automated mining operations will be used to enhance output by 50% and eliminate CO2 emissions; deep mining will also be used. The demonstration of prospective future mining workplaces will occur in a decentralized setting.  The alliance delivers cutting-edge technology solutions to the market that will aid in the development of future mining production methods that are safer, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly. Collaboration across the project’s five groups will help nurture new ideas that would otherwise be difficult to come up with individually.

The initiative has already made significant strides. The LKAB Open Mine Integrator, or LOMI for short, is a platform for integrating and collaborating. In an open systems design, the parties may collaborate to build solutions along with each other.  As a result of a contract with ABB, the Ability System 800XA was supplied. This setup is a “collaboration table” and a more extensive workstation. Providing a visual representation of the mine’s core tasks and numbers improves operational efficiency, planning, and control.

An automated drill rig and loader and trained service technicians and operators have been supplied and installed by Epiroc. Test mine models include the drill rig, Easer L, and the scopeptram ST18 (the loader.) For testing automation and interoperability, Easer L has already bored 50-meter-long holes.  The project’s enterprises will be better able to compete in the future because of the pooling of collective expertise. The issues of the twenty-first century, on the other hand, offer significantly more significant challenges than can be tackled by a few mining sector participants.

Innovative solutions and smart mining technologies are being developed for the whole industry by the five firms working together on this project. This long-term underground mining project will contribute to the development of mines in the future that are more digitally and electronically linked, more automated, and safer for the employees. The project’s most fundamental goal is to identify solutions to significantly reduce mining’s CO2 emissions, resulting in a more environmentally friendly sector. Only a strong will to succeed may overcome these daunting hurdles.

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