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'Smart Mines' Drive China's Coal Build-Out

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A shearing robot working in a Chinese mine

China invested $79 billion in coal production last year, according to the International Energy Agency, while the rest of the world combined spent $37 billion.

Credit: Bloomberg

China's mining operators are deploying robots and other technologies to expand its coal industry, with Shaanxi Coal & Chemical Industry Group's Xiaobaodang mine using remote-controlled robots that shear boreholes with six-foot-diameter discs.

The shearers are monitored by workers on the surface using closed circuit cameras positioned along the coal face and connected to 5G base stations from Huawei Technologies.

The Hongliulin mine features more than 2,700 pieces of subterranean equipment linked to networks to instantly send photos, videos, and operational data to the surface.

China Coal News estimates China has roughly 570 "smart mines" that use technology to optimize about 42% of the nation's total output, or about 1.9 billion tons of coal annually.

From Bloomberg
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, D.C., USA


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