Newmont Goldcorp, the world’s largest gold producer own and operate Boddington Gold Mine, a large open-pit mine located 75 miles (120km) east of Perth, Western Australia.
Boddington is a globally significant operation producing between 6 and 7 million ounces of gold annually. Running a mine this large involves more than 2,000 employees and contractors, and well-managed operations 24/7. Newmont Goldcorp has a strategy which includes managing safety risks to eliminate all workplace injuries, and continually improving operational performance to be increasingly cost-efficient and productive. It was therefore important to consider these strategic goals when choosing a new communications network.
The P25 Phase 1 FDMA trunked network previously at Boddington was approaching end of life, and growth of the mine demanded more capacity. Tait DMR Tier 3 proved to be a cost-effective platform, appropriate for the expansive size of the mine, with many functions to keep workers safe and improve operational efficiency.
Boddington now has three Tait DMR Tier 3 radio sites covering the operational part of the mine, each with nine traffic channels, and an additional five-channel site covers the accommodation area. Newmont Goldcorp now has ample capacity to accommodate for large fluctuations in radio usage, such as at the start of each shift, or when contractors come onto site.
Tait implemented a DMR transmission trunking format appropriate for the nature of operations at Boddington. To users it seems like a conventional radio network, yet it leverages powerful trunked network call processing capabilities.
Tait DMR Tier 3 carries data as well as voice simultaneously across the network. GPS location data is automatically reported to Boddington dispatch for real-time visibility of operations, allowing the delivery of rapid and sustainable improvements in the safety and efficiency of staff and assets.
As it is to any mine, downtime is a big threat to Boddington. Tait Managed Services are always ready to help Newmont Goldcorp, providing 24/7 system monitoring, support, and proactive response to minimize any interruptions to the mining operations. The Tait Managed Services team also provides monthly performance analyses and recommendations to improve system operation and proactively manage system capacity.
Newmont Goldcorp uses Tait EnableFleet to provide centralized control and visibility of radio fleet programming. Considering there are more than 1,000 terminals on the network, over-the-air software configuration and firmware updates allow Newmont Goldcorp to easily and actively manage the fleet of radios and how they operate, as well as apply new features. Minimizing the need for technicians to locate and travel to radios around the mine site for physical upgrades saves significant costs and time. It also avoids diverting mine vehicles away from the operation.
“We’re very impressed with the dedication and diligence of the Tait Engineers that came to optimize the network on site. We continue to work with Tait Managed Services who provide prompt responses and support.”
– Luke Hamson, Fleet Management Systems, Newmont Goldcorp Boddington
Tait staff’s understanding of the specific operations at Boddington greatly contributed to the delivery of a solution fit for Newmont Goldcorp’s goals of improving worker safety, and continually improving operational performance.
Greater connectivity, cost-effective and spectrally-efficient equipment, and safety-enhancing features are all key elements of the Tait solution for Boddington, as well as the opportunity and enthusiasm to integrate IoT and other automations in the future.
Read the full Newmont Goldcorp Boddington Mine case study here.
Learn more about the future of mining communications and the smart integration of multiple tools and techniques in our white paper: