Evaluation of communication systems for deep level mining monitoring applications
The original publication is available at http://www.isem.org.za/index.php/isem/isem2011
Conference of the ISEM 2011 Proceedings, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 21 - 23 September 2011.
Conference theme - Innovative Systems Thinking: Unravelling Complexity for Successful Solutions
Deep level mining companies face many problems affecting their development and profitability. One of these problems affecting growth is the lack of effective, yet economically viable, communication systems. This is especially necessary in rapidly expanding and changing environment mines. Resource companies need constantly growing revenues to remain competitive in the current mining industry. This paper identifies the constraints associated with applying communication systems in deep level mines, both the constraints affecting the physical machinery as well as constraints affecting the labourers installing, operating and maintaining the system. The existing communication systems are identified and then critically evaluated. The evaluation is done by identifying the advantages and disadvantages of each system, and by comparing the costs associated. The constraints play a prominent role in the evaluation phase as certain technologies immediately are discarded as possible selections when they clash with conflicting constraints. The results of the evaluation process are used to determine possible solutions with respect to communication problems faced in mining applications. Recommendations are made on the most efficient and cost effective technologies according to the results. These recommendations are used by mining companies to improve their current communication systems.