The global mining industry faces a number of challenges today, but modern digital communications solutions can play a major role in helping to overcome some of these difficulties. Mining has become increasingly complex and although the industry does exploit new technology, including automation of machinery, haulage systems, trains and trucks, too often these technologies operate in isolation. Information technology, operational technology and other devices and systems are not integrated in a way that makes the most of them.
The use of communications technology in the mining industry can be divided into three main areas: automation; in-pit mobility; and data centric analytics. Digital communication technology is widely seen as having a major role to play here in helping to simplify processes, reduce risks, cut costs and improve margins.
The basic building block for increased mining digitization is to invest a converged communications platform capable of providing broadband speeds and supporting multiple data, voice and video applications. Analysing big data connected to this platform will help managers in decision making to maximize efficiency, productivity, safety and profitability.
Modern technologies used in the mining can actively support real-time monitoring of people, machinery, and mine conditions. Constant two-way communication systems are a necessity that allows miners, support groups and control rooms to be in continuous contact.