Automated mining is robotic technology that is applied to the mining process. The technology, which is being more widely adapted in the mining sector, helps mines to function more efficiently.
Here’s what you need to know about automated mining:
Automated mining has two main components: the robotic technology, as well as custom software. The custom software functions to give reports regarding the automated technology that identify productivity and increase accountability.
Remote Control Mining
Remote control mining is when an operator remotely operates equipment in a mine. Generally, this is the least expensive automated mining technology, however, because the operator is far removed from the situation, he/she usually must operate slowly, which results in lowered productivity.
A recent study showed that autonomous vehicle operations increased productivity by 15-20%.
Automated mining often results replacing workers, from typically dangerous roles, with robotic technology. Because the hazard of human injury or illness is removed, this results in increased safety.
Although much of automated mining technology is relatively new (such as autonomous vehicle operations), some has been around for quite some time. Automated production drills have been available since the mid 1980s.
Worries of Job Loss
Many are concerned that implementing automated mining will result in job loss, especially following a report that stated that 96% of some mining jobs can be automated. However, experts suggest that the number of jobs lost due to the implementation of robotic mining will be near equivalent to the number of jobs created to properly operate and maintain robotic mining equipment.
Many large corporations have implemented automated mining technology, such as autonomous operating vehicles, including Caterpillar, Komatsu, Atlas Copco, Sandvik, and Transmin.