The I2Mine (Innovative Technologies and Concepts for the Intelligent Deep Mine of the Future) project marks the start of a series of activities designed to realise the concept of an invisible, zero-impact mine. It will concentrate on the development of technologies suitable for deep mining activities.
The project will also encompass the development of new techniques for geological engineering methods and rock mechanics that will be demanded by deeper mines and the new technology. The focus will be on selective exploitation by new sensor based systems for material recognition, boundary layer detection and sorting operations. Although the overall aim is to develop machinery as autonomous as possible, 100% remote operations will not be feasible. This means that health and safety issues and questions related to the working environment will also be addressed. In addition, the environmental implications and impacts will be taken into account.
The challenges for the minerals extractive industry are so large and numerous that comprehensive international cooperation is needed, both by the industry and wider society, in order to succeed. This is true not just for the technical challenges, but also for socio-economic and environmental ones. Working separately would lead to a slow development, something that is undesirable for both the mining industry and for the community. There is need for a new and modern vision for the whole industry based on a modern technical approach that encompasses all aspects of mining. The Project is, in part, complimentary to the Smart Mine of the Future (SMIFU) initiative. This is a joint Swedish/Polish conceptual study aimed at developing a common vision for future mining. The I2Mine Project will develop some of the technical solutions to the issues identified during SMIFU I. Further information can be found at the Rock Tech Centre (Smart Mine of the Future) The I2Mine project will mark the start of such an initiative: the invisible, intelligent and zero-impact mine of the future.
The project is funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme.