(2007), "Future mining", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 56 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijppm.2007.07956dab.008Download as .RIS
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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Mining is heading for full automation, says Atlas Copco automated systems manager Casper Swart. He reports that already four autonomous mining projects are under way in the world. Not surprisingly, significant cost savings on maintenance and fuel are emerging.
Swart says that Atlas Copco, which has been operating a virtual-reality mine in Sweden for some time, is looking to its own large project coming up soon.
This test mine is set up according to customer requirements and enables the company to undertake productivity analyses. Operations are simulated in real time involving the operation of entire vehicle fleets working simultaneously.
The automation offered means that an operator in a control room in Johannesburg can begin an operation cycle at an underground mine in Rustenburg, for instance. The operator will be able to view and control the operation continuously remotely. To demonstrate this, Swart dialled up the test centre in Sweden on the internet, using a cellphone connection.
The driverless dump truck disposed of its load at the drop point and returned to the draw point automatically for more ore.