Strategic Implementation of Digital Technologies to Optimize Operations in an Underground Mine
AuthorPacheco Hague, Klaus
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 06/01/2022
AbstractUnderground mining operations are entering a highly competitive stage with significant changes involving the adoption of new information technologies, such as geolocation, remotely operated equipment, tracking systems, wireless communications, workstations, and centralized supervision. Higher production rates require advanced monitoring tools for minimizing downtimes associated with unexpected events. The combination of strategic development and the implementation of digital technologies represents a significant improvement in the effort to optimize overall performance. The work cycle in an underground mine is a critical stage in the production process that must be carefully controlled. A monitoring system using digital technologies for optimizing such a cycle is proposed. The system integrates the drilling, blasting, loading, and haulage tasks, and the results are compared using key performance indicators (KPI) for determining corrective actions. The digital model of a mining stope and a computerized simulation were created to analyze different scenarios. A methodology for comparing standard mining operations and its equivalent digital model is presented as a part of the overall analysis of operations. This research work is focused on analyzing emerging digital technologies available for the mining industry and recommending which components will be in the digital transformation plan of a standard mining operation. Data from an underground mine currently in operation was used to diagnose the production process and compare it with an alternative digital scenario. Once both scenarios were established, a simulation was carried out for comparing the results and analysis of production data. The objective is to determine a controlled scenario model that helps increase productivity and reduce operational delays and risks. Keywords: digital mine, digital model, digital transformation, network, optimization, performance, productivity, simulation, teleoperation, tracking system, underground, wireless communications, workstation design.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Mining, Geological & Geophysical Engineering