By Conrad Mupesa
Platinum giant, Zimplats will from July start trials of autonomous mining aimed at increasing the mine’s production.
Autonomous mining is the highly mechanised operation of state-of-the-art machinery to extract ore, hundreds of kilometres from the surface.
Zimplats managing director Mr Stanley Segula said the platinum giant was eyeing autonomous mining this year.
“We are a highly mechanised operation and at the moment we are in the middle of a project to do what we call autonomous mining.
“If we go in the first world of mining, people can mine from a thousand kilometres away, controlling all underground traffic from a thousand kilometres away.
“That has been proven on all large ore bodies mining but nowhere in the world has successfully undertaken the narrow riff pillar which we are currently doing.
“From July this year, we will be taking trials on autonomous mining and, as I speak right now, two of our equipment are running autonomously controlled from the surface,” said Mr Segula.
He was speaking at Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) Innovation Hub this Tuesday where he commissioned various equipment donated by Zimplats to the institution.