This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy

Boosting mining safety

(June 2022) Dusty, hazardous, and yet essential. Mining is an indispensable industry that has been chronically unpleasant. Until now.

In China, Huawei has been working with partners to create integrated smart mining solutions at both open-pit and underground mines.

The results are dramatic. At open-pit mines, remotely-located operators can man up to four driverless trucks to ferry the ore from the excavator to the processing facility for crushing and processing. As for the excavators, they are also remote-controlled. Fewer miners in the pit means fewer chances of mining deaths or injuries.

William Xu

At this smart coal mine in Shanxi, China, a miner remotely mans a boring machine.  He’s underground but about 100m away from the dust and danger of the rock face.

Huawei opened an Intelligent Mining Innovation Lab in Taiyuan, Shanxi, with the People's Government of Shanxi Province, Jinneng Holding Group, and Shanxi Cloud Era Technology. The lab helps coal mines in Shanxi reduce staffing for high-risk positions, increase efficiency, and improve safety by exploring new uses of ICT technologies including wireless industrial control networks, industrial optical ring networks, and cloud computing.

The lab is staffed with 220 ICT and coal mining experts seeking to make breakthroughs in areas such as information networks, automation enablement, intelligent sensing technologies, and big data generated by coal mines, as well as related ecosystem collaboration opportunities.

A Shanxi miner

Shanxi is one of China's largest energy-producing provinces, and has extensive experience in coal production. The coal industry's main goal for digital transformation is to improve safety and efficiency. Work conditions in mining pits can be extreme and monitoring produces massive amounts of data that needs to reach the surface in real time. This results in very high uplink traffic, but very low downlink traffic.

Huawei plans to use the Intelligent Mining Innovation Lab as a place to continue innovating with partners and making breakthroughs in technologies that can be used in mining pits, including self-cleaning cameras, low-frequency wireless transmission, and risk prediction technologies. These will support robot utilization in key scenarios and unmanned operations in select areas. This lab ultimately aims to help Shanxi's mines reduce staffing in fully mechanized and intelligent mining scenarios by 60% and the number of workers going down to mining pits each shift by 10% to 20%.

Huawei's 5G smart mining solutions can be deployed deep under the ground as well as in open pit mines. 

Watch: How a 5G intelligent mine works (2022)

Watch:  how 5G enables remote-operation of excavators at an open pit mine (2019)

Find out more: