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[VIDEO] 4 ways mining simulators enhance preparation of miners

There are massive benefits to utilizing mining simulators for personnel training. This approach holds immense value for mining companies looking to enha...

|May 2|magazine8 min read

There are massive benefits to utilizing mining simulators for personnel training. This approach holds immense value for mining companies looking to enhance preparation of miners because it offers a quick and cost-effective way to significantly improve the skills and productivity of equipment operators.

Safety, productivity, cost-savings, and recruitment and skill development are just a few benefits these virtual reality devices offer.


Nestled into the chair of the simulator, operators can be trained on emergency situations from brake failure to engine fire without risk to person or property.

According to surface and underground mining simulator developer ThoroughTech, operators are placed in situational scenarios to gain not only the experience, but the knowledge to respond correctly and in a timely manner.

“Further, trainees are able to operate in all weather conditions and all times of day. The training develops an operator that is more aware of surrounding and possible dangerous situations, which, in return, ensures lower accident rates and accidents severity.”

In the end, simulators promote safety among operators. They allow trainees to see the consequences of their actions without posing any physical harm to the personnel, machinery or environment.


The obvious reason simulators improve cost-savings is that actual mining equipment remains unused during training. Instead of being taken out of the production cycle for training, and incurring more costs such as fuel, simulators provide an equally comparable training opportunity for operators—for less cost. Not to mention, the wear and tear on the machinery is greatly reduced.


The core function that mining simulators accomplish is increasing productivity.  They do so by assisting operators in effectively improving their skill sets, which therefore allows trainees to operate actual machinery with better skill, knowledge and attitude.

“We know that equipment performance is heavily dependent on operator skill, knowledge and attitude. Our unique approach ensures our customers focus on the right issues that will deliver the highest returns. We work closely with mining customers and OEM’s to ensure the technology is properly integrated and quantified results are achieved,” says Bryant Mullaney, Global Professional Services Manager, Immersive Technologies.

Recruitment and skill development

From situational settings to continuous practice, mining simulators provide a wealth of advantages in developing, improving and refining skill sets in trainees. The machines also have potential to assist in recruitment.

According to Mining Weekly, Barrick Gold – the world’s largest gold producer – used a mining simulator to appraise prospective employees to substantiate their qualifications as stated on their job applications. Barrick was able to distinguish the top talent employees from the inexperienced ones, eliminating the risk of employing sub-standard machine operators.