October 20, 2021
When it comes to safety, technological innovations can help improve miner safety. Some seek to address more specific problems, while others focus upon broader widespread challenges. In the first category, 2021 saw the introduction of an integrated array of technologies to improve proximity detection for battery scoops in underground mines. Developed by Matrix Design Group, the IntelliZone proximity detection system, with latest software, utilizes custom proximity zone integration and additional controls, lighting, and alarms to cut down on nuisance alerts while still maintaining effectiveness in tight, underground spaces.
Still, more widespread problems also require safety solutions, and Coeur Mining also went above and beyond previous standards to increase safety in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Coeur Mining developed a COVID-19 technology-based response plan to mitigate exposure and risk scenarios associated with COVID-19 by following its “4-Ts”: Testing, Travel, Technology and Talking. Notably, the implementation of contact tracing badges provided visual and audible feedback alerting miners when they were not socially distanced from other miners. This data proved effective in providing insight into all employee interactions identifying and avoiding the further spread of the virus. Contract tracing technology was implemented across all Coeur mine sites and is still in place today.
Whether specific or broad issues, the mining industry is using technology to increase safety for its workers.