Hexagon’s Mining division has introduced HxGN Underground Mining, an integrated sensor-software portfolio built for the unique challenges of underground environments. Featuring robust systems for collision avoidance, drill optimisation and production planning, the new portfolio helps mines to achieve the best results while protecting drivers, pedestrians and equipment in the most demanding environments.
Today’s announcement responds to industry demand as more mines push deeper beneath the surface for deposits and face ever more complex conditions. Underground geology is complicated and communications and positioning are challenged. Amid darkness and noise distraction, additional hazards are posed by toxic gases and rockfall.
HxGN Underground Mining effectively creates a seamless technology transition from open pit to underground mining. Its safety suite, for example, leverages collision avoidance and operator alertness systems proven in more than 40,000 vehicles worldwide in open pit environments.
Similar integration is at work in the portfolio’s operations suite, which helps mine operators and supervisors to manage underground fleet equipment and to optimise production in real time via a dynamic activity scheduler and fleet management system. Engineers can avoid flawed mining processes and minimise downtime by using 3D visualisation, and CAD tools to create mine designs and activity-based schedules.
The portfolio’s optimisation software for production and development enables mines to achieve consistent blasting outcomes with high-precision drilling and optimal set-up processes. Beyond benefitting business, better drilling practices are good for the planet, reducing CO2 emissions and supporting sustainability goals, said Mateus Quintela, Hexagon’s Head of Product, Underground Mining.
“We know mines are looking for ways to mine smarter, safer and in more environmentally and socially conscious ways,” said Quintela. “HxGN Underground Mining will help our customers answer this search by increasing the efficiency of machines and miners throughout the operation. Well-choreographed scheduling will minimise the downtime of working areas, like headings and stopes, and there’s a real opportunity to reduce diesel emissions through better truck-to-loader planning.
“Perhaps most importantly, our new portfolio offers ways to ensure operators and supervisors are capturing and using safety data, so whether above ground or below it, everyone gets home safely.”