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US firm trialling 4kW IPG laser for mining operations

US firm Sidney Resources is currently testing new laser mining technology to drill blast holes in open pits and breaking rock underground.

The technology is intended to eliminate conventional methods of drilling and blasting, with preliminary tests indicating substantial savings in time, material costs, and operating costs.

According to recent data, there is an upsurge in the number of mining and construction activities in emerging nations, and as a result, growth in demand for innovative mining equipment. 

The tests are being performed in partnership with the Colorado School of Mines, a public university dedicated to addressing research challenges related to earth, energy and the environment. 

The testing of the new laser mining technology has been coordinated with the assistance of IPG Photonics, and will feature a 4KW laser housed at the university. The newly designed unit is configured so that a variety of specialty directional laser pointing devices and their inherent custom software control are interchangeable for use in various mining operations. 

Testing will evaluate the ability to cut, facture, and spall various samples of geologic materials. The patent-pending technology is designed for use in mining operations such as explosive installation preparation, rock bolting operations, drifting, expanding raises, winzes and stope mining.

According to Sidney Resources, the testing at the Colorado School is a major step forward in its pursuit of technology that will provide tremendous value for not just itself, but for the mining industry as a whole and with the ability to be deployed across multiple verticals. 

“We are exploring additional transformative and disruptive technologies to expand our impact on the mining industry while reducing the impact on the environment,” said the firm in its announcement of the tests. “We are committed to protecting the environment and reducing our impact on the Anthropocene, our human centred planet, as a shared passion for our team, and look forward to building additional partnerships with institutions like the Colorado School of Mines that shares these same values."

In addition, Sidney Resource’s leadership team has also been in contact with State and Federal contacts in leadership positions and is exploring potential partnerships on how its  new technology can be a material partner in the Energy Independence and Securities Act, whose efforts are focused on job creation and energy independence through safe, clean, technology.

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Applications, Technology, Mining, Drilling