China pushes to digitize mines in attempt to make them safer

By AP News


China pushes to digitize mines in attempt to make them safer

China Intelligent Mines Photo Gallery

SHENMU, China (AP) — China is using “smart” technology to try to improve its safety record in coal mines, as part of a push by the National Energy Administration to bolster output and stem frequent accidents and collapses.

Smart-mine sensors monitor aspects such as gas buildup and flooding or ventilation levels, and set off an alert if any reach a dangerous level. The sensors, located inside the mine and on carts and tools, transfer the data via 5G, allowing for real-time monitoring by a central command.

Huawei Technologies Ltd., better known for telecommunications equipment, teamed up with state-owned Shaanxi Coal Industry Co to pilot its intelligent coal mine technology in Hongliulin and Xiaobaodang. Huawei has pivoted to other industries including self-driving cars, factories and mines amid U.S. sanctions that led it to report a 70% decline in profits from last year in March.

The system has allowed Shaanxi to reduce the number of people working underground by 42% at the Xiaobaodang mine, while increasing production levels. Miners now work with the help of robots, which also monitor equipment including centrally-controlled shearers, the sharp blades used to collect coal.

In March, China said that 53 miners involved in an accident in a large mine in Inner Mongolia were either missing or dead. The mine collapsed in February after a landslide.


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Author: AP News

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