Next-Generation Technology for Underground Mines of the Future
Many underground hard rock mines have progressed deeper to access ore reserves, resulting in more complex extraction, higher costs and declines in labour productivity. Additionally, with decreased head grades, the energy required to extract minerals has increased.
Continuous and automated underground mining, powered by electric and low emission technologies, will transform how ore is extracted and transported, reducing the industry’s overall environmental and energy footprint.
Specific technical challenges include identifying, developing and implementing new electric-based technology and heavy equipment to:
- Mechanically cut rock underground, replacing explosives
- Remove oversize ore in near real time, replacing the current batch process with a true continuous process
- Sort ore from waste continuously underground
- Transport ore to the surface
- Develop standards for the adoption of electrical equipment in Canadian underground mines.
- Develop a technology platform that allows for rapid implementation of real-time management and control of underground operations, complete with analytics capability to allow for rapid decision making
Progress to Date
- 5 projects are in progress or the design stage focusing on thermal fragmentation, propellant testing, continuous mucking, continuous development and oversize handling.
- A technology roadmap is complete. Read more >
David Sanguinetti became the portfolio project manager of CMIC’s Underground Mining group in March 2016.
If you are interested in joining our Mining Portfolio working group, or if you would like to learn more, please contact us.