Faster and safer mining in hard rock ground conditions is promised through a joint venture between equipment manufacturer Atlas Copco and mining business Anglo American.
Atlas Copco has said that the companies are working on plans to test a new type of mining machine that is expected to transform the extraction process of ore from underground hard rock mines.
The two companies have been working on the project since 2012 and it is expected that full scale testing will start in autumn this year.
“The mining industry needs to be more cost efficient and predictable in its ore production systems,” said Atlas Copco manager of global strategic projects and alliances Mikael Ramstrom. “One way to achieve this is to move towards continuous mining systems based on mechanical rock cutting. If Atlas Copco and Anglo American together prove that this is possible – and we are confident that we will – we can expect it to be a game-changer for the industry.”