A Robot Miner for Low Grade Narrow Tabular Ore Bodies: The Potential and the Challenge

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Executive Summary

For the past hundred years, mining methods in South African deep level gold and platinum mines have remained relatively unchanged. Recently. mechanisation has made some impact in how it is done, for example with pneumatic, hydraulic and electric rock drills mounted on mobile platforms, but not what is done. A Robot Miner has the potential to mine in a different way. This paper is an initiative to address the challenge of safely mining narrow tabular ore-bodies by targeting the ore with an autonomous mining system that is able to mine at significantly reduced stope heights and grades.

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