UNDERGROUND MINING

GMG Working Group Truck

Underground mines are going deeper to meet increased demands and innovating to improve communication, safety and productivity. This working group is an opportunity for the underground mining community to address the challenges and opportunities and drive ongoing innovation underground by sharing best practices, facilitating innovation and driving the global conversation.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE MINING INDUSTRY

Underground mines have advanced incredibly in recent years, allowing for deeper mines, better communication networks and safety and productivity improvements. These advancements are in response to the growing needs and expectations of the world population and an increased economic pressure to produce. To address these demands, underground mining operations need to redefine their current way of working to produce more while taking into consideration safety, operational costs and environmental impact.

Additionally, underground mining faces unique challenges around:

  • Communications and network infrastructure
  • Operational efficiency and processes
  • Asset visibility and management
  • Health and safety
  • Adapting to new technologies
  • Ecological footprint

ABOUT THE WORKING GROUP

The Underground Mining Working Group aims to identify and address common underground mining sector problems and opportunities while considering the adaptability of the mine infrastructure and new and legacy technologies. The group is a community of interest made up of operators, suppliers, subject-matter experts, leaders from inside and outside the industry, and others with experience and interests related to underground mining.

Objectives

  • Facilitate innovation and research in underground mining by identifying and providing guidance on key topics and challenges related to underground mining
  • Be a global community of underground mining professionals that shares lessons learned, engages in valuable conversations about solving key challenges and advances collaboration for industry advancement
  • Enable a centre of knowledge and guidance regarding best practices, models and trends for underground mining topics

ACTIVE PROJECT

Location tracking

The Location Tracking project aims to develop use cases/case studies for mine operators and explain the technical aspects and guide mine operators to implement practical solutions around location tracking. Location tracking has many applications, but solutions aren’t always designed for underground mining and there’s a challenge due to the lack of GPS in the underground environment.  Learn more.

GMG PUBLICATIONS AND RESOURCES

2019 Jun | Guideline for Implementing Short Interval Control in Underground Mining Operations

This guideline provides much-needed independent direction on the available options for SIC, allowing for greater and faster adoption of control technologies and processes. This will facilitate better planning, quicker decisions, increased production, lower costs, and safer working.

2019 Mar | Underground Mine Communications Infrastructure Guidelines Part III: General Guidelines

The guideline compiles information to help the reader better understand the general concepts, techniques, and methods used in the industry to create and maintain a communications infrastructure. The content is designed to help non-information–technology (IT) personnel identify high-level requirements, and to provide resources to learn more the technologies.

2018 Nov | Recommended Best Practices for Battery Electric Vehicles in Underground Mining 2nd Edition

The guideline outlines the recommended practice for use of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the underground mining environment. It is structured as a specification and can be included by mining companies in tender documents to mining vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). It can serve as a blueprint / path forward for OEM research and development efforts.

2017 Apr | Underground Mine Communications Infrastructure Guidelines Part II: Scenarios and Applications

The guideline provides scenarios of practical applications in underground mining today and in the near future. The scenarios relate how different communications infrastructure designs can be used and combined to achieve key technology goals.

2017 Feb | Underground Mine Communications Infrastructure Guidelines Part I: Positioning and Needs Analysis

The guideline provides a general overview of the guideline objectives, audience, and mine communications maturity lifecycle diagram. This diagram provides a high-level overview of the services and supporting technology that is generally used in each phase of the mine lifecycle.

UPDATES

On Feb 18, the Underground Mining Working Group discussed more about the upcoming projects and set tone for 2020. To watch the virtual meeting, find it in Basecamp.

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