The Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) has published the third part of the underground communications infrastructure guideline suite.


Bridging technology with mine safety

The document provides 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 the guidelines 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, which include part I and part II, which were published in 2017.

“This third part”, Mr 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,” Mr Scott says.

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.”