What is Virtual Reality? How to use it in Mining?

Mar 16, 2022

When someone puts on Virtual Reality headsets, a new world appears before their eyes. Virtual Reality is the result of the combination of technologies in terms of hardware and software. This allows the user to live the experience of a simulated reality, isolating themselves for a moment from their daily environment.

Virtual Reality in Mining is reforming training processes for workers of the mining industry. Mining companies that have invested in Virtual Reality training for their employees are getting positive results, improving their quality standards and production.

Success comes naturally from the way the simulation allows an employee to anticipate the real experience. When a miner arrives at his work environment, he has already experienced virtually the conditions and challenges that a mine proposes.

In general terms, the advantages offered by Virtual Reality in Mining are:

  • Allows the employee to experience a mine-like environment.
  • Staff in training will be able to notice their fears and apprehensions.
  • This way, every employee and work team member will be able to analyze and clear those obstacles as long as gets involved in the virtual environment.
  • The learning of tasks and problem resolution takes place interactively. This type of learning, being entertaining, facilitates the assimilation of knowledge.

The percentage of accidents and operational costs is greatly reduced when employees have been trained with Virtual Reality. Statistics show that 54% of miners accidents and fatalities happen throughout the first year of work [1].

A virtual technology that allows the staff get into a mine’s environment, facilitates the development of a clear vision of the upcoming challenges, in the same way as the use of information tools and systems.

Some applications of Virtual Reality in Mining

In 2016, the Chilean company CODELCO asked Microsoft for help to make an exact simulation of the Chuquicamata mine. To achieve this goal, they used the popular video game Minecraft as a reference. As a result, CODELCO was able to offer its employees a virtual model.

In Peru, another company from the same sector contacted V-There Agency to create a training environment for the work teams. The result was a higher staff performance, as well as significant savings in operational costs.

[1] Virtual Reality is already a trend in the mining industry. ReporteMinero. Available on: https://www.reporteminero.cl/noticia/noticias/2019/07/la-realidad-virtual-ya-es-una-tendencia-en-la-industria-minera

Realidad Virtual en Minería

Virtual Reality in Mining offers:

  • An environment that simulates the actual mine conditions.
  • Allows to create a cooperative environment where multiple persons can participate.
  • A set of tools to interact with the mine conditions.
  • Facilitates the operational communication between miners, and the different available technologies.
  • Enhances the remote monitoring of mining truck fleet.
  • Allows using and experimenting the data systems, and other technologies, improving the experience of trial and error.
  • If the user makes a mistake when manipulating a tool or technology, the failure takes place in the simulation, not in the real life. This results into savings in operational costs.

Training through Virtual Reality in Mining has become a very familiar reality to work teams. Anglo American, Antofagasta Minerals and CODELCO are some of the companies that decided to invest in Virtual Reality in Mining.

According to analysis[2] offered by companies that provide services of Virtual Reality in Mining, productive benefits are reflected in:

  • Operational cost savings.
  • Reduction of staff training time.
  • Percentage of accidents and fatalities decreases.
  • Optimization of the operation and working hours in mining activities.
  • Staff performance increases.
  • Staff commitment to compliance with safety standards and regulations is increased.
  • Full use of tools and data systems.
  • A better focus on remote monitoring of technologies, such as with mining trucks.

Of course, all this is reflected in higher income for the company. Then, investing in Virtual Reality in Mining represents a long-term rate of return.

Key Word: Virtual Reality in Mining

[2] Benefits of assisted reality in mining. Cardoceylindo.com. Available on: https://cardozeylindo.com/beneficios-de-la-realidad-asistida-en-mineria/


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Virtualmerse designs cross-platform Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality experiences for brands within virtual environments.