VIRTUAL REALITY IN MINING INDUSTRY
With virtual reality, people can completely immerse themselves in a mining environment that is modelled after reality. Right at the comfort of your workplace, virtual reality recreates an actual mine experience. Virtual reality (VR) can aid in locating the precise blasting targets, improving new hire training, and simulating the real world. VR will improve safety and accuracy in mining. Ultimately, it would make mining smarter than it is now, which would result in a noticeable change in production. The mining sector has good strategies for exploration that involve discovering minerals, choosing a location, determining the drilling depth, handling sand and clay, and transporting the materials that have been extracted and many more.
It has always been risky to work in the mining business. This profession is very dangerous due to the usage of explosives on-site, going down into the mines, and the possibility of cave-ins and other problems. This makes it a good thing to be aware of an emerging technology that could contribute to making the workplace safer for those who work in the mining sector. By providing miners with rigorous training and a working environment that is both safer and more productive, virtual and augmented reality can be used to create a workplace that is safer.
- Improved Surveying & Planning
Considering mining places are spread out, getting there takes a lot of effort and time. For top executives and decision-makers in particular, the use of virtual reality technology to complete the deliverables from such site visits becomes vital in light of such challenges. Virtual reality in mining enables users to fully immerse themselves in a world that exactly replicates the actual mining environment. Drawings of the topography on the ground can be read without any special training. Virtual reality in mining makes it possible for you to work comfortably from home. In the mining sector, location knowledge is essential for exploration, building, operations, and ultimately mine rehabilitation. The effectiveness of analysis, collaboration, and conversations on important issues are increased by the visualisation achieved, which ultimately results in well-informed conclusions. For everyone concerned, having access to such tools and technology across the full life cycle of a mining project effort is both exciting and gratifying.
- Better Design and Construction with VR
Some businesses are working on developing an “intelligent mine” in the near future. There are currently a number of options that, by making only a few little adjustments, can quickly turn this goal into reality. With VR, dynamic, high-fidelity worlds may be created to test conditions, mimic hazardous scenarios, and illustrate ideas. With the help of virtual reality (VR) technology, mining design teams from diverse places can collaborate, review, and approve design packages. This procedure, made possible by 3D virtual models, decreases the time needed for reviews and enables the issuance of building package.
Virtual Reality is one such innovation that offers a wide range of data sets and design iterations for mine planning. It enables resource allocation and management, enabling mining corporations to maximise their services. It also allows investors and community relations by offering users an opportunity to view a virtual tour of the mine site in real-time 3D which before has never been provided.
- Advanced Employee Training
Virtual reality have the potential to fundamentally alter the way that training is delivered, particularly for hazardous occupations like mining. It is crucial to use controlled explosives in mines. However, if they are not managed properly, this can be extremely harmful and even fatal.
The rocks may fracture in unexpected ways if the explosives are not put in the proper spots and precise measurements are not taken. This could lead to dangerous circumstances both above and below the surface. By using a simulated VR mine, explosive placement can be practised without any risk in virtual reality.
VR can provide effective training while ensuring that students practise their abilities. A rock is displayed on a big interactive canvas, and one is asked to sit in a dark training room. The trainees would have to practise igniting the explosives in the proper order and in a default sequence that is almost real. An electronic spray would be used to generate a measurable mark on the blast spots. As they go through this, they can see how the rocks respond and crack as they move. Markings can be used to detect errors if they do occur.
Since VR training completely immerses the student or new employee in the mining or facility environment and has them perform the same tasks as they would in the real facility, it is effective. The retention of the most crucial skills required to perform in risky facilities and demanding conditions is significantly impacted by learning and by doing. The beauty of VR training is that it is gamified and can be repeated endlessly until the necessary levels of skill and productivity are reached. Additionally, this is done in the comfort of an office and prepares staff for the industry even before stepping inside the unit. The two main virtual reality training programmes for the mining sector, Virtual Reality Operator Training Simulators (VR-OTS) and Maintenance Training Simulators (VR-MTS), are used to carry out this training. These systems make it possible for training coaches and supervisors to track learner progress and performance and give them precise feedback. Such concentrated and narrowly focused input is quick and efficient.
The formation of VR courses, training laboratories, student design centres, etc., as well as the creation of a virtual reality environment for mining research, are examples of how virtual reality education is expanding in universities and colleges. Such training also assists in preparing future students for the workforce and helps businesses avoid expensive training expenses.
- Achieving Safety
To maintain the safety and well-being of workers and contractors, numerous life-critical procedures must be properly adhered to in the mining environment. However, such instruction is given in a classroom setting without hands-on experience with safety equipment. Delivering real training in a building that is already in use can be quite difficult, especially when it involves emergency situations. The organization’s important learning objectives will be met by using VR training to give confined space entrance training, site familiarisation training, firefighting training, and other emergency response and incident handling training modules.
In addition to tackling concerns with safety and productivity in the mining sector, new technology is also providing a means of addressing some of the environmental and social problems the sector faces.
The majority of smartphone batteries and the ones used in some auto mobiles are made of the metal cobalt, which is mined. Many of the youngsters employed in these cobalt mines are from the Dominican Republic, which supplies more than half of the world’s cobalt. Over 40,000 kids are reportedly employed in the mining sector, according to estimates. With these emerging new technologies, it is hoped that training with virtual reality as well as autonomous trucks and drills can aid in removing some of these kids from the mines.
Ultimately, the outdated mining techniques that are still being used today must be eliminated. The global economy is always changing as new technologies are discovered. The mining business ought to follow the same rule. We might be able to avoid injury and preserve effectiveness with the aid of virtual reality.