Mining safety and automation

We are developing a range of automated and smart technologies to improve the safety of mine workers and improve productivity.

The Challenge

Improving safety and productivity

The demand for Australia’s natural resources continues to grow. Coal mining comprises approximately 24 per cent of employment and 27 per cent of total revenue for the mining industry. While it is an important industry for Australia’s gross domestic product, it can also be a hazardous workplace. The mining industry continues to improve conditions for mine workers, striving for zero harm, however innovation in processes and technologies are still needed.

Our Response

Smarter, safer systems

We are developing a host of solutions which utilise automated systems and advanced processes to reduce the exposure of mine workers to hazardous processes, environments and materials. Additionally, we are finding new ways to reuse waste products.

Our innovative underground longwall automation technology is increasing efficiency and protecting lives. The system uses specialised remote guidance technology to continuously steer the longwall equipment by plotting its position in three dimensions, removing personnel directly from hazards and thereby increasing the safety of the process.

Our Ventilation Air Methane Catalytic Turbine (VAMCAT) technology turns hazardous waste into power that can be used to power operations at the mine. VAMCAT has the potential to significantly reduce global methane emissions by using low methane concentration drainage gas from underground coal mines for energy production.

Case studies

  • FRACOD - Simulating fracture behaviour

    International collaboration on a unique tool to predict rock fracturing behaviour under various mechanical, thermal and hydraulic forces.

  • Longwall automation

    Our longwall automation technology saw a 50 per cent uptake by the industry in just two years.

  • Intelligent mining

    Application of new technologies, resource strategies, sensor systems and automation is improving efficiency and driving productivity gains across the minerals value chain.

  • Tracking in underground mines

    Our wireless tracking technology can hone in on mine workers deep underground, helping to boost productivity and more importantly save lives.

  • ReMoTe: wearable technology

    Part of our Guardian Mentor suite of technologies, ReMoTe gives maintenance workers in remote locations access to a virtual pair of expert eyes and hands to guide them through difficult tasks.

  • VAMCAT: Ventilation Air Methane Catalytic Turbine

    Generating electricity from hazardous mine waste gases.

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