Surprising Ways the Mining Industry is Using Technology

By Sam Casteris on July 19, 2019

With modern technology advancing exponentially, there is enormous room for growth in many other industries, especially mining. These days, many large mining companies are improving their business by utilizing the best the tech world has to offer, creating a safer, more effective and eco-friendly industry. As a result, minefields and rigs have never been more modern, efficient, and progressive.

Has your favorite kind of technology made its way into the mines yet? You may be surprised to find out just how much it’s used every day— and how much

via Unsplash

A Safer Industry: Underground WiFi

Yes, you read that right! Though your local subway line might not have caught onto this innovation yet, the mining industry is ten steps ahead of the game.

By fixing underground-friendly WiFi networks to rigs, mining has never been safer, and Anglo American is paving the way for new mining tech. Gone are the days of workers getting lost or injured underground without a way of contacting help: with these underground WiFi networks, mining companies are able to make use of a Lost Person Detection service.

Saving Costs and Energy: Floating Solar Farms

As ecotechnology continues to improve, the mining industry exciting new opportunities to make major strides in greenifying their field. One shining example is Anglo American, who recently installed an 86KW-capacity floating solar field at their Chilean copper mine, Los Bronces. The 256-panel solar field will generate 150,000 kWh yearly and will be responsible for powering the mine itself.

Mining doesn’t always get the best reputation in ecological circles, and it’s crucial for our industry to work hard to keep our carbon footprint as low as possible. Utilizing innovations like solar energy are a brilliant way to do that!

Going Green: Low-Emission Vehicles

Impressed by what you just read? Hold onto your socks— solar panels aren’t the only ecologically-minded innovation to hit the mining industry lately. These days, many mining companies are swapping their old school diesel-fueled machinery for electric vehicles, which plays a major role in reducing carbon emissions.  It’s an important way to keep the industry aligned with modern society.

Increased Organization: Advanced Data Collection Services 

Data collection has never been easier for the modern miner. These days, most mines have been fitted out with the latest “smart” innovations in order to make collecting, recording, and streamlining data simpler than ever. This has been helpful in endless ways, from collating necessary technical data to analyzing things like electricity-use to cut costs and make for a more efficient operation altogether.

Communication Near and Far: Cloud Computing

The concept of cloud computing has been in effect for over a decade, but many still think of it as only a way to store photographs and back up files. However, for industries as widespread as mining, it has another, vital use: communication. Often, mining companies have multiple rigs or fields— and they aren’t always physically close to each other. Having the entire company store and share their information through a joint cloud service is a fantastic solution— it ensures that everyone is up to speed, on the same page, and organized.

Making the Impossible a Reality: Automation

Miners are a brave and impressive group, but some mine shafts are far too dangerous for any human— no matter how good they are at their job. That’s when automation comes into play. Over the past few years, mining companies have begun utilizing driverless machinery to both streamline operations and to safely reach hazardous spaces. This allows for a more cost-efficient operation, as well as a safer one.

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