Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / China / Innovation

Artificial intelligence transforms coal mining in North China

China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-08 09:10
Share - WeChat
Photo shows AI-controlled mining machineries operating inside a coal mine in North China's Shanxi province. [Screengrab/CCTV News app]

TAIYUAN — As a 1.5-meter-long drill pipe moves slowly toward a coal bed in a mine in North China's Shanxi province, a screen in a control center 500 meters away displays pictures and data the drill pipe has collected.

"Drilling is automatic with artificial intelligence," said Wen Haiming, chief engineer at the Shanxi Chengfeng Coal Industry Company.

To maintain safety in underground coal mines and prevent water-related accidents, exploration and drainage are necessary steps. The construction of intelligent mining facilities using AI now allows for such steps to be completed via video monitoring and sensors.

AI improves the quality of drilling and construction, and offers firm support to underground mining operations, said Wang Yu, deputy general manager of Jingying Shuzhi Technology Co, an intelligent underground water exploration service provider.

Coal mining is considered a high-risk industry. In recent years, China has been strengthening the intelligent transformation of its coal mines and promoting the application of AI in underground mining.

By January, Shanxi had built 118 intelligent coal mines.

The Mataihao coal mine in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region installed an intelligent monitoring and management system in 2022.

The system combines AI recognition and industrial operations technology to optimize the mine's transport capacity in real-time and realize intelligent speed control.

Nie Helei, a member of the mine's electromechanical transport team, said the system has effectively reduced electricity and equipment loss, and realized balanced and flexible operations regardless of the amount of coal extracted.

"It is estimated that the system can reduce electricity consumption by 2 million kilowatt-hours each year and cut electricity bills by approximately 4 million yuan ($553,000)," Nie said.

Complex underground mining conditions and the geological structures of different coal mines mean there are high requirements for AI.

A group of coal mining enterprises in Shanxi has established an integrated industrial internet platform with a large AI model at its core.

The platform stores the data of more than 400 coal mines, said Wang Hui, general manager of Shanxi Jinyun Interconnection Technology Co.

"It can help lower the threshold of AI research and development, generate intelligent products quickly and achieve iteration and product innovation by providing massive amounts of coal mine application scenario data and large AI model training services," Wang said.


Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349