The mine of the future has arrived

This would’ve been the stuff of wild imaginings just a few years ago: a fully automated mine with not a soul in sight, except in a control room located on the surface. Operating at more than a kilometre underground at the Syama mine in Mali, driverless laser-guided vehicles make their way from the surface along decline ramps to rendezvous with driverless loaders to collect ore and return to the surface where it is crushed, milled and processed. “This is a world first for automated mining,” says John Welborn, CEO of…

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