Brazilian mining company Vale has partnered with NORCAT to develop and deploy a “blended learning programme” for the training and education of workers in the global mining industry. The training will use virtual reality (VR) as well as augmented reality (AR) software.

In a statement, NORCAT said the aim is to create interactive and experiential technology training tools, which allow for new methods of delivering equipment operator and maintenance training. The programme will use VR technology for pre-operational circle check training, as well as virtual training exercises for mining equipment such as forklifts and utility vehicles.

NORCAT technology director Ed Wisniewski said: “Experiential learning technologies, including virtual reality, represent the future of training and engaged learning and our work with leading mining companies has demonstrated that, when applied correctly, these integrated technologies create an immersive learning experience that drives meaningful learning outcomes and enhances knowledge retention.”

NORCAT says that the technology-based approach to training could improve safety, efficiency and productivity in mine training operations.

“Safety and operational excellence is a top priority for Vale, and we are pleased to announce the partnership with NORCAT to advance and augment our virtual reality training capabilities,” said Vale’s Manager of Learning and Development North Atlantic Operations Chris Bamberger.

“We look forward to increased collaboration and innovation around this critical space to transform the future of work and learning in the global mining industry.”

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By GlobalData

NORCAT was an early adopter of VR software, previously using the technology to create an immersive mine rescue simulation, and in 2018 the company unveiled a firefighting training simulator using AR technology.