Swedish scientists have developed a new wireless monitoring system for mines. It will be able to predict and save lives in the risky global mining industry making the mines become safer and more efficient. Mining accidents claims the lives of at least 12,000 people every year around the world, according to the official statistics obtained from International Trade Organisation. Most of the death occurs in coal mines and mainly in China. Although deaths in Swedish mines are rare, notwithstanding accidents do occur. For example, in January a few miners were injured when a rock mass was released from the 1358-meter level in LKAB’s Kiruna mine.
According to Jerker Delsing, a professor of industrial electronics at Luleå University, by attaching sensors in mines we should be able to predict earthquakes and landslides. These devices can predict major movements in the rock earlier and thus alert the staff, he says. They are extremely delicate wireless sensors, no bigger than a mobile phone sim card, which will be attached to the rock bolts and form a wireless network that will notice when bolts are separating and seismic movements in the rock. The new monitoring system with bolt sensors will first be tested in the LKAB mine in Kiruna at the beginning of next year and then on a larger scale in a gold mine in Kittila in Finnish Lapland. The research is a part of a larger European mining research project in which 250 million will be invested over the next four years,
Deep mining is a prerequisite for increasing European self-sufficiency of mineral that are profitable and safe, despite the depth. “We hope to consolidate Luleå University’s reputation as a competent partner with expertise in the entire chain of mining research”, says Jenny Greberg, Director Mining and Geotechnical Engineering at Luleå University.
The focus of the 26 partners from ten European countries collaborating in this challenging research for the mining industry is to reduce dependence on imports in the future. This is the most comprehensive European research project that is aimed directly at the mining industry consisting of 12 mine project and a budget of 250 million Swedish Krona with Luleå University of Technology taking the leading role.
source:University Of Luleå