VR headsets await miners at Vale's Virtual reality Room in Minas Gerais. Image: Vale
Equipment Technology

Blurred lines: mining in the virtual world

Five of the best articles on the use of virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies in the mining industry

The use of virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies in mining has been steadily increasing over the past five years.

I wrote an article after my visit to the MINExpo tradeshow in 2016 looking at potential applications for the technology within the mining sector – all of the big technology players had VR headsets at their booths during the event, and even equipment vendors had model mine sites with QR codes that could be viewed through a tablet for 3-D representations of their equipment.

However, when researching the feature, it appeared that the topic hadn’t been covered much in the context of the mining industry. Information was thin on the ground.

Fast forward three years and oh how times have changed!

Now, not only have most of the big mine software providers now incorporated elements of VR and AR into their mine modelling packages and blogged about it, there are also a plethora of specialist companies that are catering to the mine construction, safety and training markets (hello LlamaZoo!).

It all makes for good reading… and viewing.

Here’s a selection of articles, both new and old, to whet your appetite

  1. Canadian Mining Journal, Aug 2017: Are miners game for virtual reality? An interesting review of the market following the Virtual Reality Toronto conference.
  2. International Mining, Aug 2018: Newmont increasing use of VR An interview with Newmont’s principal development geologist, Richard Inglis, on the value of VR technology and how the company is applying it
  3. Australasian Mine Safety Journal, Oct 2018: Augmented reality may transform mining safety This one has a rather informal style of writing (!) but it’s still a good review of how Aussie firms are applying immersive reality technologies to boost their safety stats.
  4. Mining Magazine, Mar 2017: Immersive virtuality enters mining Not new, but has useful explanations of the technology involved
  5. Mining Technology, June 2016: Reality check- augmented and virtual technology in the mining industry I think I found this when researching the above article. I admire any writer who can weave the Wizard of Oz into a feature about mining

Have I missed any articles out? Add your own reading recommendations below

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