Wits, China boost mining research collaboration
Wits and CUMT have established the Joint International Research Laboratory of China-Africa Mining Geospatial Informatics at a ceremony in Xuzhou, China.
Taking their mining research partnership to the next level, the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and the China University of Mining and Technology (CUMT) have established the Joint International Research Laboratory of China-Africa Mining Geospatial Informatics at a ceremony in Xuzhou, China recently.
The collaboration, underway since January 2013, researches underground communication systems, risk measurement through sensors, risk modelling and prediction of harm – while the new initiative will focus on accurately locating workers relative to mine risks, using GPS-like underground positioning.
“Every day, thousands of mineworkers report for duty and shortly afterwards disappear into the underground workings,” said Professor Fred Cawood of the Wits Mining Institute. “Once underground, it is hard to protect them from harm because we don’t know what risks they are exposed to – or where and when those risks occur. At the end of the shift, they return – and this is the first time we can check that they are all back safely.”
Professor Cawood said this situation was not good enough to pursue a zero harm objective.
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