Automated and Autonomous Mining Equipment Increases Mine Safety and Productivity

As one of the world’s most dangerous operations, mining poses countless risks for workers and equipment alike. Prolonged exposure to trapped gases contributes to serious health hazards, and an explosion could result should a spark meet a pocket of certain gases. Collapse is an additional hazard that could destroy both workers and equipment. Manual labour for repetitive or dangerous tasks also contributes to the risk of catastrophic injury.

Thanks to advances in technology, these challenges are met with brilliant solutions. Rather than relying solely on manual labour, mining operators are now able to employ automated or autonomous mining equipment to get the job done. Risks of sustaining injury, illness and disease, and catastrophe are dramatically reduced as workers employ automated machinery from above the earth’s surface. Equipment can be operated in close proximity to the mine site, or from a distance in a control room.

In general, the difference between autonomous and automated relates to the level of human intervention. Completely autonomous mining equipment consists of minimal human control and can be considered far more independent than an automated mining system.