Keeping comms open in one of the world’s deepest mines: Kidd Mine gives iPhones to everyone in the mine – by Len Gillis (Northern Ontario Business – February 10, 2020)

With the Kidd Mine in Timmins being the deepest base metal mine in the world, Kidd Operations has made improved communications one of its key priorities. That was brought forward by operations engineer Patrick Desmarais during the recent Beyond Digital Transformation mining conference held in Sudbury.

He outlined how the company had installed a fibre-optic network through the mine. That resulted in a complete underground Wi-Fi system, and in the past year it was followed up by giving every worker an iPhone for instant communication, from level to level and from surface to the bottom of the mine.

Kidd is a blasthole mine that is 9,889 feet deep, operating on 32 active levels and is mining at the rate of 1.9 million tonnes per year.

“When you’re mining at that depth, communications gets a lot harder. It’s something we see in all underground mines. We’re pretty deep down there and we want to keep communication up,” Desmarais told the audience.

Desmarais revealed the decision to install a fibre-optic network in the mine was made back in the 2000s. “We proactively put in our fibre backbone in 2006 when we had our D-Mine project. “We were sinking four-shaft when we put our fibre backbone in. That put fibre into the shaft and into our refuge stations,” he explained.

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