Underground mines are some of the world’s most hostile environments. In order to make mining possible in these conditions, a variety of specialized equipment is necessary. Here are some of the ways that underground mining is made possible:
Underground mines are often very deep, making access difficult. In order to reach the minerals, miners must first travel down shafts that can be over a mile deep. These shafts are used to transport people and equipment into the mine.
The next challenge is getting to the minerals themselves. This is typically done by digging a network of tunnels. These tunnels are often only large enough for a single person or small group to fit through.
Once the tunnels have been dug, miners must blast their way through the rock using explosives. This can be extremely dangerous, as there is always the risk of a collapse.
After the minerals have been extracted, they must be transported out of the mine. This is typically done via a system of conveyor belts or railcars. These belts are monitored for uptime, and the conveyors can even come with sensors to determine if a break occurs and where the break may be.
Underground respirators, heavy equipment, automated transportation, and other systems like big data for predictive maintenance all play a role in making mining possible underground. Ventilation, gas monitors, dust monitors, and various alarms also offer miners more warning than ever for potential dangers.
Even with all of these safety measures, underground mining is still a very dangerous job. Miners must be constantly aware of the risks and take steps to avoid them. With the right precautions, however, underground mining can be made safe for both miners and equipment.
Thanks to these advances, we are able to extract the minerals we need without putting miners at undue risk. Consistent innovation will be required to keep people working in these hostile environments. Be sure to follow us for all the latest innovations in mining equipment and safety.
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at https://beckersmcusa.com/. For nearly a half a century, Becker Mining has been at the forefront of industry safety. Becker/SMC is the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical control systems. Most of the major innovations, design features and specialized electrical components have been developed by Becker/SMC.