About the project

A Holistic Digital Mine 4.0 Ecosystem is a project focused on industrialization, informatization and sustainable development of the mining sector. We aim to provide solutions that will build a novel mining digital ecosystem and a systemic structure for the implementation of Industry 4.0 in mining industrial environments. Mine.io solution will embrace the whole mining system value chain from resources’ exploration, extraction, and processing to waste management and post mining activity.  

Partners

25

Demonstrations

7 Pilot Use Cases

Budget

€ 14M

Duration

42 months

Objectives

The objectives of the project are designed to address key challenges and drive innovation in the mining industry.

9 objectives of the Mine.io project:

  • Build an open, digital and sophisticated digital infrastructure and the foundation of the “hyperconnected business” in the Mining Industry 4.0 production.
  • Develop advanced, low-impact, smart integrated solutions to boost the sustainable discovery of strategic raw materials in Europe.
  • Advance mobility, Logistics and Supply Chain Operations.
  • Digitalization of assets and process equipment.
  • Advance sustainable mining
  • Demonstrate and evaluate all Mine.io concepts and solution in real-scale regional-scope pilots (implemented in WP6) – demonstrate the feasibility (evidence-supported) of innovative technological solution supporting the I4.0 transition in mining sector.
  • Organize and facilitate the uptake, replication and upscaling of the technological solutions developed by Mine.io.
  • Plan and facilitate the exploitation of project results.
  • Communicate and disseminate the project’s scientific and technical results – outreach to other R&D initiatives, end users’ communities and the global mining environment ‘for knowledge transfer and market development through liaison and training activities.
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Expected Impact

Economic

Mine.io will lead the development of key digital, enabling and emerging technologies, as well as environmentally and sustainable compliant and economic alternatives to conventional mining, to accelerate and steer the smart digital transition towards the full exploitation of EU mineral resources.

Technological

The Mine.io framework will deploy and implement a series of digital, robotic and smart sustainable technologies in all four levels of mineral exploitation (exploration, extraction, processing and waste management). This way the project will deliver a holistic solution for the whole value chain of mineral resources exploitation.

Mine.io will follow a combined approach for exploring, extracting, processing and waste management of valuable metals in a more safe and environmentally friendly approach.

Societal

Mine.io is expected to contribute to making Europe the first smart and digitally led circular, climate neutral and sustainable economy through improved eco-friendly systems such as the vehicle electrification in mining to support sustainable development, meeting environmental objectives (minimizing the CO2 footprint by eliminating the use of fossil fuels through the electrification of the underground mobility means), alongside with worker safety.

On the same time, Mine.io digital simulations and data driven technologies will help meet the mining operators’ major challenges by improving operational performance, lowering the CO2 footprint, and reducing operational costs

Economic

Mine.io project will Energy saving and production improvement, through electrification and proces automation.

Technological/Scientific

Mine.io project will develop a holistic solution covering the whole life cycle of mine’s operations, and involves digitalised solutions for the digitalization of assets and process equipment and technologies, sustainable mining through resources exploitation technologies and waste management, technologies for GHG footprint reduction

Societal

The technologies will be embraced by a novel digital infrastructure that will facilitate the openness, sharing and collaboration.

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Value Chain

MINE.IO system architecture and use case

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mining industry value chain


Sustainable Underground

Mining

Need

The primary challenge involves mining at substantial depths, which necessitates extensive ventilation to cool mine entrances, remove harmful gases, and ensure adequate oxygen for workers. Diesel-driven machinery worsens these conditions with its exhaust and heat, adding to CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.

Solution

Mine.io introduces innovative mobility solutions, such as autonomous and electric vehicles, to diminish the environmental impact and enhance operational efficiency. This strategy focuses on reducing exhaust and heat emissions by phasing out diesel-powered machinery, thus lessening the need for comprehensive ventilation.

Pilot Impact

The objective of this initiative is to markedly decrease greenhouse gas emissions and boost the energy efficiency and safety of underground mining operations. While specific figures are not available, the anticipated outcomes include a significant drop in CO2 emissions and operational costs, along with improved safety for mine workers.


Digitalization of Mining Assets and Equipment

Need

The mining sector currently struggles with inefficient maintenance process, ore sorting and processing, primarily due to the absence of cutting-edge digital technology.

Solution

Real-time digital monitoring and cloud-based control of drilling operations including intelligent smart predictive maintenance provides the ability to more accurately estimate process performance, predict impending faults and possible failures, and estimate the remaining trouble-free life of assets.
While the adoption of advanced deep learning techniques for image analysis using x-ray data facilitates more efficient sorting, while AI-driven control enhances the optimization of ore flotation processes. Additionally, the development of sensor-equipped digital twins for smelting operations allows for real-time optimization of processes.

Pilot Impact

Anticipated results include an increase in production rates, an enhancement in energy efficiency, and substantial decreases in operational costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
Digital innovations will also contribute to more accurate predictions of the possibility of failure, reducing the number and frequency of failures, cost of maintenance and service, amount of slag produced and reduced workplace accidents and environment Risk of incidents.


Innovative Digital Techniques for In-Situ Mining Exploration

Need

Conventional exploration techniques in mining are hazardous, costly, and cause significant environmental disruption.

Solution

Mine.io presents groundbreaking sensing and robotic systems for in-situ exploration, featuring muon-based imaging and surveillance, autonomous submersible exploration robots, and sophisticated drones for surface surveys.

Pilot Impact

These technological advancements are designed to revolutionize the field of exploration by enhancing efficiency and minimizing environmental impact. The method provides precise three-dimensional imaging and analysis of geological formations without the need for water pumping, extensive drilling or disruption of the terrain.


Digital Strategies for Waste Management and Environmental Recovery Post-Mining

Need

Historical mining and metallurgical operations have resulted in substantial environmental damage, with considerable waste and tailings creating significant risks.

Solution

Mine.io’s strategy incorporates geochemical mapping of soils and mining wastes to evaluate and control environmental contamination and investigates the potential for waste reprocessing to extract valuable resources.

Pilot Impact

The initiative aims for a 10-15% improvement in process efficiency and a 5-7% increase in the recycling of waste back into production, with the goals of dramatically reducing hazardous waste emissions and enhancing environmental stewardship practices.

Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion. It tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boosts the EU’s competitiveness and growth. The programme facilitates collaboration and strengthens the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting and implementing EU policies while tackling global challenges. It supports creating and better dispersing of excellent knowledge and technologies.

It creates jobs, fully engages the EU’s talent pool, boosts economic growth, promotes industrial competitiveness and optimises investment impact within a strengthened European Research Area.

Legal entities from the EU and associated countries can participate.