Project

The purpose of this initiative is to develop a formal documentation set to be used by the mining industry as a reference for the frameworks, standards, processes and procedures supporting digital communications in an underground mine environment.

The primary goal of the subcommittee is to perform the research and evaluation of different digital communications frameworks, methodologies, and systems currently available and supported in the market. Then, to develop a general set of guidelines around the use of existing industry standards, appropriate technologies, and vendor solutions which provide a practical digital communications

The workgroup also is responsible to communicate the status or condition of all requests to the appropriate IT teams and business departments during the process.

Case

The advancement of digital technology globally has been and continues to accelerate at an almost exponential rate. These advancements include improvements in video, voice and data communications which now provide tremendous operational efficiency and safety benefits to mining.

New standards and development in underground digital communications services and systems have accelerated recently providing solutions which are now capable of surviving in underground environments. These solutions are now becoming more complex, developed primarily as TCP/IP-based network systems, and are very different than traditional analog systems such as leaky feeder. Most mine personnel lack the background and experience to effectively plan, develop, deploy, and maintain these new solutions.

Mine profitability in today’s market depends on how well technology is integrated and used within the production environment, combining multiple services (such as dispatch, 2-way radio, vehicle monitoring, human tracking, fuel control, etc.) over a single communications infrastructure. The Guideline documentation is a helpful tool for key personnel to understand how to approach the strategic integration of new technology into the entire Life of Mine process in order to increase profit, operational effectiveness, and safety of its people – whether it is a new mine or the refresh of an existing (mature) mine.

Objective

The purpose of this initiative is to develop a formal documentation set to be used by the mining industry as a reference for the frameworks, standards, processes and procedures supporting digital communications in an underground mine environment.

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