Zimplats to commence autonomous mining in Zimbabwe

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Zimplats to commence autonomous mining in Zimbabwe

Zimplats Holdings Limited is set to break grounds on autonomous mining this year. The Platinum giant announced they from July start trials for the highly mechanised operation of state-of-the-art machinery to extract ore, hundreds of kilometres from the surface.

Zimplats managing director Mr Stanley Segula revealed the report and said autonomous mining move is aimed aimed at increasing mine’s production.

Automation mining

“We are a highly mechanised operation and at the moment we are in the middle of a project to do what we call autonomous mining. If we go in the first world of mining, people can mine from a thousand kilometres away, controlling all underground traffic from a thousand kilometres away. That has been proven on all large ore bodies mining but nowhere in the world has successfully undertaken the narrow riff pillar which we are currently doing. From July this year, we will be taking trials on autonomous mining and, as I speak right now, two of our equipment are running autonomously controlled from the surface,” said Zimplats managing director Mr Stanley Segula.

Automation is rapidly growing in the mining industry. It is the shift from traditional, labor-intensive mining to more digitally automated processes. It can take the form of either process / software automation (IT automation) or the use of self-driving robotic technology to mining vehicles and equipment (OT automation).

Autonomous equipment, vehicles and processes have been part of the mining sector for quite some time already, but it’s becoming more prevalent now as technology has advanced. Automation isn’t isolated or exclusive to the mining sector. It’s also in construction, automotive, oil and gas, the manufacturing sectors, but fundamentally around mining in particular.”

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