Underground Communications Infrastructure

Business Objective

Develop a guideline suite to be used as a reference for the frameworks, standards, processes, and procedures supporting digital communications in an underground mine environment.

Project Description

The Communications Infrastructure Sub-committee was formed in January 2015 to examine issues related to wired and wireless communications. The group identified the need to advance guideline development and implementation in underground mines.

A five document guideline is currently being developed to better enable mine operators to understand modern communications requirements. The first two parts, “Positioning and Needs Analysis” and “Scenarios and Applications” were published in February and April of 2017.

Current project objectives are:

  • Evaluate current communications systems and methodologies used in the modern mining industry.
  • Develop a reference tool for existing standards and solutions for implementation of communications in underground mining.
  • Focus on planning, development and sustainability in an underground environment.
  • Frame the language to appeal to mining personnel and vendors who may have little to no experience in digital communications technology.

A set of guidelines is in development around the use of existing industry standards, appropriate technologies, and vendor solutions.

Business Case

The global advancement of digital technology continues to accelerate. These advancements include improvements in video, voice and data communications which could provide tremendous operational efficiency and safety benefits to mining.

  • Digital communications services and systems are now capable of existing in underground environment.
  • Solutions are becoming more complex, and advancements are very different than traditional analog systems.

Most mine personnel lack the background and experience to effectively plan, develop, deploy, and maintain new digital communications solutions. The guideline documentation is a helpful tool for key personnel to understand how to approach the strategic integration of new technology into the entire mine lifecycle in order to increase profit, operational effectiveness and safety.

Project Updates

Underground Communications Infrastructure Final Review Underway


The Communications Infrastructure sub-committee are set to approve “Section 1: Positioning and Needs Analysis” and “Section 2: Solutions & Architectures” of its guideline for final review by the Underground Mining Working Group. Read more...

Communication Infrastructure Guideline


Mine Lifeycle Reference diagram and Business Requirements checklists mark progress towards a global communications infrastructure standard. Read more...