Publication: Underground Mine Communications Infrastructure Guidelines, Part III: General Guidelines

GMG has published the third part of the Underground Mine Communications Infrastructure guideline suite: Underground Mine Communications Infrastructure Guidelines, Part III: General Guidelines. This document provides the reader with an overview of the planning and design recommendations for underground communications development, some best practices used within mining environments, and where to find more information on digital communications, standards, and frameworks.

Andrew Scott, Principal Innovator, Symbiotic Innovations and GMG Vice-Chair Working Groups describes this document as “a key general reference for any company looking to implement communications infrastructure at any of their operations or new projects.”

This guideline suite was developed in response to the rapid development of industrial and communications technology in recent years. It provides a high-level view of the processes needed by mine personnel to meet planning and design requirements when creating or replacing underground mine communications infrastructure. It steps the user through the general tasks and components to define the technical requirements for an underground communications infrastructure that sup­ports mine services now and into the future.

Speaking to the importance of this guideline, GMG Chair Michelle Ash says, “these technologies are now at the heart of mining safety and productivity and are becoming essential for running safe, productive and efficient underground mining operations. Anything we can do to speed up the rate of adoption in our members’ operations will make a positive impact on the industry.”

These general guidelines form the core content of the guideline suite. Part I: Positioning and Needs Analysis provides a general overview of the guideline objec­tives and audience and presents a mine communications maturity lifecycle diagram.  Part II: Scenarios and Applications outlines scenarios of practical applications in underground mining today and in the near future.  Both were published in 2017. This third part, Scott explains, can be used more directly. “[It] provides a sound foundation for selecting the appropriate communications infrastructure, assisting with the decision-making process.”

This project has been ongoing since the Underground Mining Working Group formed in 2015. “The underground communications project group has been a very active and motivated group of mine operators and technology suppliers,” Scott says.

Eric L’Heureux, President, Solutions Ambra Inc., explains that from a technology provider’s perspective, “This guideline is very important as it allows the mining industry to stay on the leading edge of the technology. The mining companies can get relevant information allowing them to upgrade their networks and meet requirements required by new applications such as remote operation, ventilation on demand and tracking.”

Cailli Knievel, Chief Engineer, Newmont Leeville Operations, explains that what she learned while working on this guideline was “extremely relevant as Newmont moves toward increased automation.” It is great “to get an outside perspective on items that have the potential to disrupt the industry in the future.”

“We look forward to seeing the comments and case studies from companies leveraging these documents,” Scott says.

Read the guideline here

About GMG

The Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) is a network of like-minded companies driving change in the mining industry. Together, we monitor the pulse of the industry and develop multi-disciplinary guidelines to manage risk, enhance performance, design solutions, inform planning and decision making, and save time and money. Our members are mining companies, OEMs, OTMs, research organizations and consultants from around the world who recognize that innovation does not happen in silos. GMG improves communication and facilitates collaboration to foster a more sustainable and efficient future for mining. Through multi-stakeholder working groups, we are systematically removing the impediments to create the safe and sustainable mines of the future.