Changing the Way We Look at Conventional Mining

CIM Vancouver 2010
Ryan Siggelkow, Walter Siggelkow, Stephen McIntosh,
Abstract For years, mining companies have worked inefficiently at many different tasks because the correct equipment is not available. These tasks range anywhere from cleaning up draw points after the LHD’s are finished, blasting ore passes, retrieving buried machines, cleaning out sumps, effectively mining in narrow veins, as well as many others that are too numerous to mention. Each mine and each ore body have different problems that cannot be efficiently solved with current technology.

The benefits of extended line-of-sight, which leads easily into tele-operated mining (especially in narrow-vein ore bodies) are well-known: increased production hours by eliminating travel time to and from the face, continuous production at the face while crews screen and bolt behind the working equipment, less liability for workers’ safety in certain areas, production between shifts, etc…

This paper will discuss the technology that is being made available to conduct many tasks around the mine, while enabling the control of these machines from a safe location or from surface. While simplifying the machine and removing the need for an operator, these machines can now be more cost effective and dependable. Conventional mining will be augmented by a new style of mining that has previously been unavailable or not cost-effective…until now.

Keywords: Automation, semi autonomous, Safety, operator removal, hazardous environments, machine retrieval, Narrow vein mining, Efficiency, radio remote, Mine management
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