The mine of the future will exploit mineral raw materials at greater depths than today, requiring completely different approaches compared to today’s deep mines, in order to get mineral rights. Only these eco-efficient mines will contribute to improved access to domestic mineral resources, secure the supply of mineral raw materials for Europe and reduce the import dependency.
IntelliMine will contribute to realise these concepts of invisible, zero-impact and safe mines. The mine of tomorrow will run an integrated concept. All operations necessary for the eco-efficient provision of the minerals including waste management will be carried out underground. This will drastically reduce the volumes being transported, minimising above ground installations and thus the environmental impact.
IntelliMine will develop innovative methods, technologies, machines and equipment for the safe, eco-innovative, intelligent and economical exploitation of mineral raw materials in the EU, including maintenance issues, especially at greater depths. It will investigate autonomous, highly selective mineral extraction processes and machinery based on new sensor technologies as well as innovative concepts for mass flow management and transportation. Such investigations have to be accompanied by rock mechanics and ground control issues as well as health, safety and environmental issues.
The concept of an invisible, zero-impact mine requires a refined process underground that selectively extracts the minerals and therefore reduces waste production closer to the mineralisation. Therefore improved near to face processing methods including backfill procedures need to be developed. The necessary level of automation in mining operations can only be achieved by reaching a higher level of integration in all parts of a mine. Fully integrated underground technologies and processes for diagnosis and extraction as well as communication, health and safety issues are the key for the success of the concept.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCP-IP - Large-scale integrating project