Top 3 benefits of private network deployment for the Mining Industry

Private cellular networks provide next-level coverage, low latency, device density, consistent reliability, mobility, and security that enterprises and industry verticals are seeking to successfully achieve their automation and digitalization goals. In this blog, we explore the top three benefits private cellular networks offer for mining operations.

Communication challenges on mining sites with automated equipment are multifaceted. One major hurdle is the vast and often remote nature of mining operations, where equipment may be scattered across expansive areas – including underground tunnels – making it difficult for team members and equipment to maintain consistent connectivity. Physical obstacles, such as rock formations and tunnels, can hinder signal propagation, leading to signal dropouts and serious latency issues. Additionally, the noisy and dynamic environment with heavy machinery operation and explosive blasts can disrupt wireless communication systems, affecting the reliability of data transmission. Overcoming these challenges requires the deployment of robust and resilient communication networks able to adapt to the harsh conditions, ensuring seamless connectivity for the efficient operation of automated equipment and, more importantly, the safety of personnel.

  1. Reliability and coverage in extreme conditions
    Remote environmental monitoring is the number one driving use case for Industry of Things (IoT) adoption by mines. Private networks are able to endure the extreme weather and environmental conditions of mining operations. Compared to other options, private networks cover a larger area, requiring fewer access points for the pit, and are not sensitive to explosive blasts. In other words, private networks maintain consistent coverage – even in extreme weather conditions and remote locations.
  2. Automation and device monitoring

    Automation and electrification in mines require dependable networks that can withstand extreme environments. Private networks enable automation in the pits, supporting tasks such as tele-remote and autonomous drilling. Automation also helps prevent potential failure by sharing vehicle information indicating upcoming service requirements and preventing potential failures and other issues. Additionally, connected systems can follow a vehicle, flag the type of material that is loaded, and alert the driver if they are going to the wrong place to dump their haul, ensuring quality performance and avoiding wasted time. Using a private cellular network to help automate these heavy-moving vehicles, massive drills, complex machinery and equipment provides the reliable, low-latency connectivity in both indoor and outdoor environments – ensuring full control without any blind spots.
  3. Data and worker safety
    Private networks help keep sensitive data safe from cyber-attacks. Additionally, they enhance worker safety by providing reliable connectivity and help improve productivity and decision-making thanks to efficient processing of sensor data that can be rapidly collected throughout the mine.

By ensuring uninterrupted communication even in the harshest environments, enabling seamless data exchange, and enhancing safety measures, private wireless networks can be an ideal solution for mining sites. The integration of automation and device monitoring not only boosts operational efficiency but also provides real-time insights into equipment health and performance. These advancements are pivotal in ushering mining operations into a safer and more cost-effective future.

Learn more about the tools and resources the Alliance has available to assist in the launching of a private network for your mining business here.