Almonty Industries, through its wholly-owned South Korean subsidiary, Almonty Korea Tungsten Corporation (AKTC), has announced a collaboration with Korea Telecom (KT) to introduce cutting-edge Mine Safety DX technology.
Developed in partnership with KT, this solution aims to enhance worker safety and promote efficient mining practices which is indicative of AKTC’s strong commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) compliance, Almonty says.
The partnership between AKTC and KT is the result of the continuing challenges the mining industry has faced in ensuring immediate response to unforeseen events and instantaneous sharing of critical information in emergency situations. The Mine Safety DX technology, which is being implemented at the Sangdong mine in South Korea, addresses these concerns by using advanced information and communication technology to establish a new safety framework for mining operations.
“We are fully committed to implementing responsible and sustainable mining practices as we reopen the Sangdong Mine while also providing the safest environment possible for our mine workers,” Lewis Black, President and CEO of Almonty, said. “Mine Safety DX technology, developed with Korean Telecom, gives us a previously unheard of level of workplace environment monitoring that ensures the detection of hazardous factors and timely notifications to protect worker well-being. We look forward to sharing this advancement with the rest of the mining community.”
In addition, AKTC will be making this technology, which is a key component of our ESG program, available via open source to allow all South Korean mines access to this important new system.
The communication infrastructure established by KT and AKTC at the Sangdong mine is based on LTE technology. This infrastructure offers superior coverage and simultaneous access, surpassing the capabilities of Wi-Fi and radios traditionally used in mine communication, accoring to Almonty. By utilising “leaky coaxial cables” and “mining designated line amplifiers”, seamless communication is possible even in deep underground sections of the mine, ensuring communication and monitoring capabilities, it says.
The Mine Safety DX solution incorporates various components, including smart devices, access/location management, an AI-based mine safety system and workplace environment monitoring. Smart devices, such as smart bands and helmets with smart tags, provide real-time location information and biometric data, enabling immediate response to underground emergencies and ensuring worker safety. The access/location management component uses Bluetooth Low Energy beacons for precise positioning and notification of workers entering dangerous areas. This AI-based mine safety system enables real-time monitoring of worker safety, emergency messaging and data analysis allowing mine operators to take proactive safety measures, according to Almonty. Workplace environment monitoring ensures the detection of hazardous factors and timely notifications to protect worker well-being.
In addition to improving safety standards, the Mine Safety DX technology also contributes to the efficient functioning of mining operations, according to Almonty. By establishing a robust communication infrastructure, AKTC aims to enhance mining efficiency and productivity.
The collaboration between AKTC and KT aligns with the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s Comprehensive Mine Safety Plan and supports the government’s goal of providing long-distance wide-area communication capabilities by 2027.
“We are proud to partner with KT in developing the Mine Safety DX solution,” Donghoon Kang, Sangdong Mine’s Planning Director at AKTC, said. “This collaboration allows us to prioritise worker safety while also promoting efficient mining practices. We believe that the implementation of this technology will establish Yeongwol-Gun, Gangwon-do, as a mining city at the forefront of technological advancement, contributing to the revitalization of the domestic mining industry.”
AKTC and KT plan to continue their collaboration in developing innovative solutions that not only prioritise safety but also align with ESG principles, Almonty says.