Real-Time Mining

The European Union supported the Real Time Mining project under Horizont 2020, in which the Institute for Advanced Mining Technologies (AMT) together with 13 other participants conducted research on the sustainable use of European resources. The project, coordinated by TU Delft, developed a real-time system that allows the mining process to be continuous rather than sequential from the exploration phase onwards.

While it has been common practice up to now to consider the individual steps of the extraction process intermittently and in isolation, starting with exploration, the aim of this project was to develop a system that allows almost continuous control of the individual steps. The aim is to improve the possibility of economic extraction of hard-to-reach or low-value deposits on European soil. The interdisciplinary R&D activities carried out within the framework of the project included the following areas:

  • Sensor-based material recognition
  • Sensor-based diagnosis of performance parameters
  • Navigation and positioning in underground areas
  • Underground mine simulations and planning simulations
  • Optimization of planning decisions
  • Modern techniques for updating deposit models

Within the scope of the project, a real-time system was developed that enables process control of the entire extraction process. The focus was on the collection of material, location and machine information during the extraction process in order to successively optimize the deposit model developed from the exploration. With the help of this information, it is possible to adjust the long-term and short-term planning of the extraction in real time.