The world’s first fully automated underground mine has opened in southern Mali and will begin block caving in a few weeks. This massive 200m thick 1 km long steeply dipping gold deposit has been specifically designed by Resolute Mining to cater to the machines that now operate there.
The simple reason is all in cost for a manual process per tone was more than the automated method. This means the drilling, haulage and loading will be done by a machine program and humans will sit back and observe. The machines being employed are already in use in other deposits in the world but not on this scale and once this mine is fully operational it will likely be copied. Not only does it make economical scenes but that area of the word is prone to violence having no humans to be targeted takes the bullseye off your back. Another technological wonder being implemented Is the opening of the 40MW solar farm which will replace the ageing diesel power plant. This is predicted to provide 40% savings in the electrical bill.
Another added benefit is that the local population can be trained up on these user friends technologies to a very high level of professional skill. Whereas before they would watch the perimeter or haul sacks of material around the site. This mine aims to be the first to be total local run.
So there are four points that this company is trying to prove. 1) safety improves, no humans no accidents. 2) productively increase as there is no downtime. 3) Economics, with a lower salary cost and lower fuel consumption the numbers are very favourable. 4) People, local will not only get better jobs but stockholders will earn more. The future of mining is automation and this is only the start