September 23, 2023

China is using “smart” technology to raise the safety standards in its coal mines. The National Energy Administration of China is attempting to safeguard its output while averting frequent mishaps and collapses through this. China’s Shaanxi Coal Industry Co. and Huawei Technologies Ltd. have joined forces to test the intelligent coal mine technologies in Xiaobaodang and Hongliulin.

How does this brand-new technology function?

Smart mine sensors keep an eye on things like floods, methane buildup, and ventilation levels and transmit an alarm if any of these things are dangerously high. In the coal mines, there are carts and tools in addition to the sensors. They use 5G data transport, allowing for real-time monitoring by a central command.

The technique has allowed Shaanxi to increase output levels while reducing the number of employees working underground at the Xiaobaodang mine by 42%. Robots that can also monitor equipment, such as shearers that are centrally controlled and sharp blades used to harvest coal, allow miners to do their jobs more efficiently.

India Plans to digitize mines

State-owned Coal India said last month that it had developed a digital transformation plan that will “reimagine” its mining operations.

It claimed that by taking this action, it will be able to produce one billion tonnes of coal by FY26.

At its Kolkata headquarters, it established “Project Digicoal” and a “digital war room” to oversee and support the project. With this, the project was activated at seven mines owned by Coal India. The initiative will use digital tools to assist Coal India’s mining operations in becoming future-ready.

Accenture has been hired by the business as a consultant to plan and carry out the project.

According to the corporation, the project will increase efficiency through a portfolio of Industry 4.0 digital solutions, such as the digitization of land records and the use of drones for thorough planning and surveying.

More than 80% of the domestic coal production is produced by the state-owned business.

In addition to safety and digitalization, how can miners consider sustainability?

In order to achieve the 1.5-degree warming route, every sector of the economy must decarbonize, according to a McKinsey analysis. Additionally, according to a recent sustainability blog post by McKinsey, forecasts show that climate hazards like drought, heat, and heavy precipitation will become more intense and frequent, making mining operations physically more difficult.

The blog offered mining executives five key steps for responding to the consequences of climate change:

‘Climate intelligence’ should be included in decision-making processes like capital allocation.

Get a clear understanding of which assets need to be protected from physical climate change and which stand to lose or gain from decarbonization by conducting end-to-end diagnostics of the effects of climate change on the business.

The blog advised “mobilizing the board and C-suite to set ambitious climate targets that come from the top.”

Change to renewable energy sources to bring down the mines’ electricity prices and stabilize their instability.

Engage via collaborations, reporting, and other proactive actions including disclosures of climate risk, which will become increasingly significant as climate expectations develop, the blog noted.

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