Smart mining laboratory aiming to boost industry's high-quality growth

By Yuan Shenggao (China Daily)

Updated: 2021-11-19


Executives from Huawei and Jinneng Holding announce the operation of the computing center at the Shanxi Smart Mining Innovation Laboratory on Oct 19. [Photo by Guo Yanjie for China Daily]

After more than eight months of operation, the Shanxi Smart Mining Innovation Laboratory has begun to yield results.

The lab held a conference in the southeastern Shanxi city of Jincheng on Oct 19, to announce the opening of its artificial intelligence computing center and the release of new research results.

The lab was founded on Feb 9 as a joint program among the Shanxi provincial government, Huawei Technologies, Shanxi's coal-mining giant Jinneng Holding Group and Shanxi-based Cloud Era Technology.

The lab's computing center is China's first for the coal-mining industry. It aims to boost the industry's high-quality development with cutting-edge digital technologies, according to Xuan Hongbin, deputy general manager of Jinneng Holding who is responsible for the lab's operations.

"The computing center will focus on collecting technological data and information from coal mines in Shanxi and research new solutions for digitalizing these mines after processing and analyzing such data and information," Xuan said.

He added that the center's big-data-based computing platform can help enterprises optimize their production processes, leading to substantial improvement in efficiency and conservation of resources.

The lab also released research results in the fields of information networking for coal mining, applications for automation, intelligent sensing technologies, coal mine big data and environmental protection.

One of the solutions for smart mining the lab released is an intelligent operational system for whole-process mining scenarios.

The system is on trial at Xinggao Group based in Jincheng city.

"We are digitalizing the whole production process from coal mining to coking through an operational center empowered by the system," said Wang Dong, an executive of Xinggao Group.

"Every scenario of production is shown on the displays at the center, giving us real-time information for safety monitoring and procedure optimization."

The Shanxi Smart Mining Innovation Laboratory is one of the examples of Shanxi's efforts to foster the digital economy for its high-quality development.

Statistics from the Shanxi Department of Industry and Information Technology show that the province's digital industries reached a scale of more than 100 billion yuan ($15.62 billion) last year, becoming a new engine for local growth.

Guo Yanjie contributed to this story.