Australia mining company chooses new communication system

Paul Boughton
Fortescue Metals Group, one of the world's leading producers of iron ore from Australia, has selected TETRA for its Pilbara mines in Western Australia. The new communication system comprises DAMM infrastructure and Sepura hand-held and mobile terminals. This win was achieved by Radlink, Sepura's valued channel partner in the region.

Fortescue was founded in 2003 and in a few short years has become one of the world's largest producers of iron ore. The construction of Fortescue’s mine, rail and port facilities commenced in February 2006 and by late 2008 operations were underway at the company’s Cloudbreak mine, with over 15 million tonnes of Fortescue iron ore exported to China.

Since then, mining and processing at Cloudbreak has increased to more than 100,000 tonnes of ore each day. Fortescue has subsequently established a second mine at Christmas Creek, located 50 kilometres east of Cloudbreak and extended its 256 kilometre rail line through to Christmas Creek and a second ore processing facility constructed at the site.

With the construction of Fortescue’s second mine, and plans for the development of further sites, Fortescue needed an advanced communication system capable of meeting the growing needs of the company; they chose TETRA after extensive evaluation of a variety of communication technologies.

Sepura terminals were selected because of their robustness and versatility. In particular, users were impressed with the radios’ emergency features and exceptional audio quality, which are vital features for operatives in the mining sectors who often need to work in isolation in very challenging environments and terrains. To date Sepura has delivered more than 800 mobiles and 500 hand-held terminals to Fortescue for use at their Christmas Creek and Solomon mines and their port facility.

“This is a significant win for TETRA and Sepura, as this unique installation – covering multiple mine sites and a port facility – will be the largest single mining TETRA network in Australia.” said Scott Manson from Radlink.
Doug Bowden, Senior Business Development Manager for Sepura, added:"This is a
tremendous success for Sepura and a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our terminals in one of the harshest environments whilst also providing us with a remarkable reference site.With the substantial and progressive growth of the mining and petrochemical industries in Australia right now, we believe this project will pave the way for many more similar opportunities for TETRA and Sepura in Australia and the rest of the world.”

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