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It’s no secret that the mining industry has been facing challenges and difficulties in recent years. These challenges show that the mining industry must adapt and change to keep up with the modern world. There are a number of benefits to having effective mine site communications systems that allow an open connection from voice communication, handling of data and asset monitoring. Open mine site communications are key in pushing the industry forward in a sustainable and manageable way that keeps everyone on the same page, especially with Australia’s remote locations.
From the impact of COVID, rising commodity costs, and the pressure to be more environmentally sustainable, the industry is facing a number of key challenges. This doesn’t mean that it’s all doom and gloom for mining companies; they’re a resourceful and innovative bunch, that constantly push for better solutions. We’ll list some of the challenges the mining sector faces below and how an effective mine site communications system is key for the industry’s future.
Implementing new technologies
Technological innovations over the last few years have allowed mining companies to access natural resources that were previously unattainable. As resources deplete these hard-to-get locations are becoming more and more prevalent.
For example, great new technology is 3D imaging and surface mapping software. Equipment is attached to remote-controlled drones that can quickly map a large area and provide detailed and accurate information for the area. Technology such as this allows companies to save money, where they would otherwise spend millions more on gathering this data.
Across the world, we have seen the environmental impact mining has. From the contamination of local water sources, soil erosion and the carbon footprint left behind. This is a major, consistent challenge to the mining industry that businesses must adjust to. More environmentally friendly solutions are being implemented throughout mine sites across Australia, from sustainable solar power solutions to a net-zero carbon emission target by 2050.
Diversity and talent
Hiring skilled workers is a hurdle that Australia’s mining sector is facing due to a rise in unemployment rates, and the industry must adapt in a number of ways to adjust. This includes hiring from a more diverse group of people. Reports show that the majority of people working in the mining industry are male Australians. So, to increase productivity the mining industry must encourage a diverse group of workers, but it must also keep a clear line of communication.
Due to Australia’s remote locations, mining companies must incorporate communication solutions to sustain an ever-expanding surface area between sites. Communication networks can incorporate more than just a singular mine site and offer a line of communication to even offices in distant cities.
Technologies available allow for critical communications that allow for voice communication, asset monitoring, data collection, and a live feed of equipment and worker status. This open level of communication means workers in all departments can work efficiently and effectively with one another, even in the most remote sites.
Improve site health and safety
Worker safety is critical to any company, and the mining industry is no different. Working in the industry can be dangerous, especially the more remote mining sites. Help may be a long way off, or never come if no one knows if there is a safety hazard, if there isn’t a network that monitors the safety of its workers. WiFi hotspots and monitors go a long way in providing workers with an extra blanket of security.
There are a number of safety solutions including:
- Collision avoidance systems that provide a live feed of site traffic, and alerts for any vehicles or plants that may be out of view.
- Fatigue management systems for workers’ physical and mental health on site
- GPS tracking for vehicles and workers, so they are able to be monitored and kept track of on-site, no matter how remote.
- Autonomous equipment with machine learning technologies to make the extraction of materials safer for workers.
- Open voice connection to allow for a direct feed of communication between workers, safety officers and site managers.
- Live visual feed from security cameras that are able to both monitor worker safety and help prevent any break-ins.
Mine site communication solutions with MTGA
Australia’s mining industry is essential to the country, and there is no doubt it has some challenges ahead. Despite this, we feel confident in its future. None of these challenges are unachievable with proactive company management and solutions. Mine site communications are a great way to ensure mining operations continue into the future.
Are you in the industry and want to push for higher efficiency, productivity and health and safety? Get in touch with us at Mining Technicians Group Australia for a range of smart mining equipment, communication equipment, and engineering solutions for your mine’s specific needs. Our products are future-proof and sustainable. Providing solar power and communications to remote sites and locations. No matter how difficult you think it is, our skilled technicians will have a solution.