The digital mine laboratory at Wits is an exciting project where the Chamber of Mines building on West Campus was converted into a ‘mine’, complete with surface (using the flat roof of the building), vertical shaft (using a stairwell in the fourth quadrant of the building) and mock mine with control room in the basement. The mock mine has a life-size tunnel, stope, lamp room and other features.
The Mock Mine is equipped with the digital systems that will enable research for the mine of the future and is part of the Wits Mining Institute. Today, it is a one-of-a-kind laboratory with a significant research agenda to transfer surface digital technologies into the underground environment – the enabler for a mine that can (automatically) observe, evaluate and take action. The ultimate objective is to use technology to put distance between mine workers and the typical risks they are exposed to on a daily basis.