Underground Communications Infrastructure

This guideline suite is to be used as a reference for the frameworks, standards, processes, and procedures supporting digital communications in an underground mine environment. The first two parts, Positioning and Needs Analysis and Scenarios and Applications were published in 2017. The third instalment, General Guidelines was published in March 2019.


This project is a guideline suite designed to assist improved communication and network infrastructure underground. It focuses on planning, development, and sustainability in an underground environment.

It aims to provide a high-level view of processes and is intended to be a reference tool that:

  • Steps the user through the tasks and components needed to define the technical requirements for a sustainable underground communications infrastructure.
  • Empowers all personnel to make better decisions based on modern communications and IT requirements, options, and limitations.
  • Enables system providers to communicate requirements and to implement their solutions underground.


Business Case

The recent rapid development of industrial and communications technology increasingly benefits mining activities around the globe.

Companies need to implement this new communications infrastructure to support new technologies such as teleremote operation and short interval control. This process is especially challenging for underground mines because:

  • They require more complex and costly communications infrastructure to accommodate remote technologies’ limited range in underground settings.
  • Their environments are continually changing, necessitating careful planning.
  • Many mine personnel lack the necessary background and experience.

The guideline suite, as a consistent and clear reference, is a helpful tool for key personnel to understand how to approach the strategic integration of new technology into the entire mine lifecycle to increase profit, operational effectiveness, and safety.

Participating Companies

ABB, Accenture, Agnico Eagle Mines, Alexander Proudfoot Africa, Alternate Futures PTY Ltd, Ambra Solutions, Anglo American Ltd, Aveva Group PLC, Barrick Gold, BBA, Bestech, BHP, Caterpillar, CBS Australia, CEMI, Cisco, CommitWorks, CSIR, Dassault Systemes GEOVIA, Datamine, De Beers Group Services, Deloitte, DesSoft, Deswik, DetNet, Dexcent, Dwyka Mining Services, E.C. MacDonald Inc., Echo Engineering Ltd, Epiroc, Excel Project Management, Glencore, Global IO, Gription, Hatch, Hexagon Mining, iMining, Inisys Africa BIM Solutions, Innovative Wireless Technologies, Ivy Tech Trading, JG & Co Management Consulting, JV Associates, KNS Communications, Komatsu, KPMG, Laird, Leoka Engineering, Maclean Engineering (Africa), Maestro Digital Mine, MetsTech, Micromine, MineRP, Minetec, Motorola, MST, Newmont, Newtrax Technologies, NL Technologies, North American Palladium, Northern Lights Technology, ORBCOMM, PA Spatial, PACE, Purple Group, Rio Tinto, Rockwell Automation, RPMGlobal, Sandvik Mining, Schneider Electric, SDMT, Sibanye-Stillwater, SITECH WA, Stantec, Technical University of Madrid, Telstra, Terrative Digital Solutions, Tetherco, University of Queensland, Thiess PTY Ltd, Thyssenkrupp, Torex, Transrupt, Tunnel Radio, University of Johannesburg, University of Pretoria, Vale, West Arm Consulting Group, Wipro, Worley Parsons, Yamana Gold

Project Updates

Publication: Underground Communications Infrastructure Part III: General Guidelines


Part III: General guidelines is now available in our guideline library. Read it here

Publication: Underground Communications Infrastructure Part II: Scenarios and Applications


Part II: Scenarios and Applications is available in our guideline library. Read it here

Publication: Underground Communications Infrastructure Part I: Positioning and Needs Analysis


Part I: Positioning and Needs analysis is available in our guideline library. Read it here