Title Underwater Explorer for Flooded Mines
Link to website UNEXMIN
Programme Horizon 2020
Project duration 02/2016 - 10/2019
GeoZS role in the project Project partner, WP leader
GeoZS contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Many of Europe’s closed underground mines are now flooded and the last piece of information on their status is decades or over a hundred years old. The complex layout, topology and geometry of most underground mines make it impossible to carry out any surveying by conventional or remotely controlled equipment. UNEXMIN develops a fully autonomous solution, that will use non-invasive methods for the re-exploration of flooded deep mines that are otherwise inaccessible.

Project objectives:

  • Design and build a Robotic Explorer (UX-1) for autonomous 3D mapping of flooded mines;
  • Develop a multi-robot platform that allows the collaboration and task distribution between several UX-1 robots;
  • Demonstrate the operation of the prototype at representative pilot sites.

UNEXMIN’s pioneering solution will generate valuable information on underground mine geometry as well as geological data for the development or update of 3D regional geological models, replacing much of the need for expensive drilling from surface.

The technology developed by UNEXMIN will increase Europe’s capacity to re-evaluate its abandoned mines for their mineral potential, with reduced exploration costs and increased investment security for any future mining operations. By retrieving data from historical sites that are currently inaccessible it will also help to document and safeguard Europe’s unique mining heritage.