Mining Weekly reports that the University of Pretoria will be opening a virtual reality (VR) centre in 2013 to offer training for students in a simulated mine. The project is supported by Anglo American's Kumba Iron Ore Limited.
The facility will provide simulated scenarios covering a range of mining functions – from accident reconstruction and risk analysis to responding to potential hazards and testing evacuation procedures – all in a low-risk, high-impact learning environment.
Consisting of floor-to-ceiling screens, the VR simulator will cast 360˚ three-dimensional (3D) images against the surrounding dark panels, with cinematic clarity and realistic sound effects.
“A VR centre for the study of mine design not only creates a safe environment for study, but also delivers mining engineers who will be better prepared for the conditions they might face when they are deployed to a mine,” says Kumba CEO Norman Mbazima.