RWTH Partners in EU Project on Sustainable Mining

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The Institute for Advanced Mining Technologies (AMT) headed by Professor Elisabeth Clausen collaborates in the EU-sponsored NEXGEN SIMS project for carbon neutral sustainable mining.

The aim of NEXGEN SIMS, which receives 16 million euros in funding from the EU over the next three years, is to develop new technologies, methods and processes that will enable a more sustainable and efficient carbon neutral mining operation. Partners in the project, which is coordinated by the company Epiroc, are various mining companies, mining equipment suppliers, service providers, and Luleå University of Technology in Sweden.

The project builds on the successful H2020 EU-sponsored SIMS project, which ran between 2017 and 2020. A key goal of NEXGEN SIMS is to develop autonomous carbon neutral mining processes. This includes the use of battery-electric mining equipment, full utilization of 5G for optimal connectivity and positioning, autonomous material handling, AI powered traffic and fleet control, and collaboration among machines. The project is also focusing on the mine worker of the future – ‘the modern miner’ – and safety, for example by developing autonomous mine inspection technology.

AMT is involved in several tasks within the NEXGEN SIMS Project. One task is to develop of a system for the short-term provision of a communication network in areas without any infrastructure. Furthermore, a sensor system is being developed to monitor air quality in mines, especially when switching to battery-powered vehicles. As a contribution to autonomous driving and to increase the safety of workers and machines, AMT is developing a sensor technology for automatic muck pile detection