5G Smart Mining Project Hits Milestone, as Nation Backs Mine Automation

Huawei’s announcement comes as China sees increased coal output and mine activity

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

May 3, 2023

2 Min Read

Huawei’s smart mining project, established in collaboration with state-owned Shaanxi Coal, has reached its one-year milestone, a benchmark for China’s ongoing push to automate its mines.

The pilot is part of an initiative by China's National Energy Administration, looking to boost mining automation in the country.

The project leveraged 5G, cloud computing, AI and digital twins to boost productivity and safety at the Hongliulin and Xiaobaodang mines. The network was established to reduce the number of workers underground, replacing them with remote-operated machines that can be controlled from the safety of the surface.

According to Huawei, since its installation the system has reduced the number of miners operating underground at Hongliulin by 18%, and 42% at Xiaobaodang.

Smart mine sensors installed at the sites monitor environmental conditions, as well as factors such as temperature, gas buildup or ventilation levels, alerting workers to the danger to minimize damage. The sensors leverage Huawei’s 5G network to send real-time data to a command center. 

According to Huawei, the project marked China’s first-ever intelligent coal mine based on industrial internet architecture, with its tech used to “break down data silos, consolidate data assets, create digital twins and achieve intelligent collaboration to pave the way for intelligent mining.”

With the first year a success, the partners say they’ll continueg to ramp up mine digitization and push the number of workers underground down.

"The industrial Internet is the foundation of intelligent mines,” said Xu Jun, Huawei Cloud’s vice president. “Huawei Mine BU is committed to working with partners and mining enterprises to bring digital technology to every mine and build intelligent mines with the industrial Internet more quickly." 

Mine automation technologies are seeing a boom in China as the nation’s coal production ramps up. The industry is typically plagued by safety issues, and digitization is being pushed as a solution as the country’s mines are set to see continued high levels of production.

In April, China's National Energy Administration called on the nation’s mining operators to accelerate adoption of smart mining technology as their coal output increases, in a bid to maintain production while improving safety standards.

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About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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