GMG completes infrastructure guideline for underground comms

The Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) has extended its guideline for underground mine communications to include best practices within mining environments.

The guideline includes planning and design recommendations for underground communications development, and where to find more information on digital communications, standards and frameworks.

The new guideline, named Part III, is preceded by Part I, which presents a mine communications maturity lifecycle diagram, and Part II, which includes scenarios of practical applications in underground mining today and in the near future. Both Parts I and II were published in 2017.

Part III “can be used more directly”, according to GMG vice-chair, working groups, Andrew Scott, as it assists with the decision-making process involved in selecting the appropriate communications infrastructure.

“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,” GMG chair Michelle Ash said.

“Anything we can do to speed up the rate of adoption in our members’ operations will make a positive impact on the industry.”

The guideline suite was developed in response to the rapid development of industrial and communications technology in recent years.

It has also been well-received by the industry, including Newmont’s chief engineer of Leeville operations Cailli Knievel, who said what she learned while working on this guideline was “extremely relevant as Newmont moves toward increased automation”.

The mining companies can get relevant information that allows them to upgrade their networks and meet requirements required by new applications such as remote operation, ventilation on demand and tracking, according to president of Ambra Solutions Eric L’Heureux.

Member companies of GMG include BHP, Glencore, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Caterpillar, Barrick Gold, Vale, Komatsu, Liebherr, Rockwell Automation and Schneider Electric.