Fraser wrote:There are tools for this. I work in Explosive demolition, although I am not a mining specialist I have used one of these http://www.brokk.com/ for when things are risky.
I have observed cable and video linked ones being used in hostile environments such as Uranium mining. The small ones you can fit on a back of a ute.
My equipment that I wear is anti static and there are tools that we use that ensure we don't set the explosives off. I have worn those all in one suits a couple of times too so understand the uncomfort.
Need air? Take 2 tanks, take a bunch of them on a trailer you pull along.
I'm sorry if I seem crass, but I don't see this as a moon landing. You just need the right tools.
Operating something remotely 20-200m away on surface is a lot different than remotely operating something up a 2.5km tunnel which is not set up for any remote controlled operations. They already have remote things like that on the coast. Here is a video of one of the remotely controlled Komatsu D575A SuperDozers (worlds largest production series bulldozer) from the Stockton Coal mine near Westport.
However, I not think the Superdozer would not have fitted down the tunnel as it is huge (does not look it in the video but you notice it when you stand in the blade), it pushes 69 m3 of material per pass with the standard blade size which I think Kaipara are using there.