The Asia Miner

SEP-OCT 2014

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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62 | ASIA Miner | September/October 2014 CONDITIONS in mines are exceptionally harsh, both for humans and the equipment they use. Safety is paramount, as lighting manufacturer Hella Australia discov- ered when they es- tablished their Mining Centre of Excellence in Melbourne in 2001. The German-based company, best known for its automotive lights, wanted to fnd out how well its products per- formed in the mining industry. They chose to base their research centre in Melbourne due to its fourishing mining services industry and strin- gent safety requirements. Hella soon found that extremes of shock, vibration and temperature were major factors in the mining environment, often exceeding the range of their custom-built sensors. They also encountered surprisingly high levels of humidity and corrosion, with groundwater having 10 times the salinity of seawater. These fndings fed into greater longevity and more reliable designs for LED and gas work lights, emergency beacons and signal lamps. An example of Hella Australia's success is found at the Rosebel gold mine in Suriname, South America, where a safety inspection revealed that the area around the drills was dangerously dusty. The solution was to mount two high-intensity xenon lights on the drill, improving visibility and reducing the risk of accidents. In 2013, Hella Australia's released the Victorian designed and man- ufactured HypaLUME, the frst, high output, LED foodlight designed specifcally for mining. Hella Mining Target Group's manager Lachlan Scott says, "The re- search is still ongoing and Hella strives to ensure it keeps the business, and its clients, ahead of any changes discovered to ensure our prod- ucts hold up in the worst circumstances." RUNNING an effcient mining operation is comparable to a military cam- paign, so it makes sense to use similar methods of coordination. In military parlance, C4I stands for command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, and that's a good summary of what Mel- bourne company Exelis-C4i has been providing since 1989 to clients like the US Army, Navy and Air Force. At the heart of their technology is internet protocol, or IP, where voice or data are sent over a network in digital packets – similar to the way an online computer can serve up applications like web pages, YouTube videos, Twitter feeds and Skype phone calls. This does away with the need for dedicated phone lines, allowing real-time updates between all remote sites and head offce, as well as integration of radio, closed circuit television, public address and other communication systems. "In essence, it's not that dissimilar to what defence or public safety re- quires - the business practices are different but the underlying require- ments and technology are quite similar," says Exelis-C4i's managing director Peter Harrison. The technology has multi-industry applications, and allows orga- nizations in the mining and the oil & gas sectors to greatly improve productivity. Exelis C4i has systems in operation in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Americas and Australia. Their resources sector applications are currently limited to Australia, with systems used in an operation centre in Queensland and in ports and harbour control sites which have been revamped to support the increased shipping traffc as a direct result of the mining boom. Military drills in mine communication Exelis C4i technology can help improve productivity in the mining industry. Light at both ends of the tunnel Hella Australia has designed lighting products specifcally for the mining industry.

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