April 2021
Volume 73    Issue 4

Automation of ground control in underground mining

Mining Engineering , 2021, Vol. 73, No. 4, pp. 18-18
McQuerrey, Joe; Matney, Katey; Schafrik, Steven


Bolting is the most common and one of the most efficient means of secondary support used in most underground and some surface mines. This technique has been used in mining and tunneling applications since the 1940s, incorporating new technology and advancements regularly. With each development, new techniques for drilling, anchoring and installation are introduced. However, the new techniques are not universally adopted due to operational needs or regulatory requirements. Today, equipment for installing bolts is more complex to account for site-specific needs and various technologies that are deployed at each site.

In addition to the new technology and techniques for the ground control installation, there is the retirement of the existing skilled workforce. Through automation of processes, the skills of existing workers can be captured in the capabilities of the machines, as well as additional capabilities, including those that aid in training. Therefore, reducing the retraining of skilled operators as well as training time for new operators.

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