Hytera provides DMR system to zinc mine in Burkina Faso

Perkoa Zinc Mine upgrades analogue radio to digital mobile radio system connecting underground, surface and operations centre staff throughout the project

Hytera provides DMR system to zinc mine in Burkina Faso

Hytera has installed a DMR two-way radio system for Nantou Mining at the Perkoa Zinc Mine project in Burkina Faso, West Africa. The Perkoa Zinc Mine project is a joint venture between Australia’s Blackthorn Resources and Glencore International, headquartered in Switzerland.

The Perkoa zinc deposits lie 140km from Ouagadougou, in Sanguié province in the north of the country. The challenges of the site include the desert environment of the Sahara where is very dry and the mines are underground. Several geological studies were required as part of the process to ensure a good communications solution.

In addition, the insecure social situation meant that the mining company needed an effective communication system they could rely on to protect the international travellers visiting or working on the mine sites.

In order to provide two-way radio coverage between the surface (approximately 15km radius) and the underground mining facility, the zinc mine owners wanted to establish a 4-channel radio communication system, so that their operators, engineers and mining experts could communicate with the various services on the ground.

Hytera and its local partner in Burkina Faso, International Wireless Ameritel, were directly involved in helping to solve some of these challenges.

The mine was built in a curved line, much like a ‘S’, and at each bend, an enclave was built using gigantic caverns. These bends created blind spots and, consequently, further difficulties in terms of radio communications. In order to avoid signal loss, Ameritel installed switches every 100 meters for signal regeneration, assuring uninterrupted communications between the site surface and all along the underground tunnel.

In phase one, Ameritel International Wireless recommended and installed a 4-channel Hytera DMR system, linking two RD98X repeaters from the surface via a wireless data system to six other RD98X repeaters inside the tunnel. This allowed them to obtain very clear, seamless communications up to 300 meters inside the tunnel. Finally, 32 RD98X repeaters and 20 PD70X DMR portable radios were deployed when the project was completed.

Nantou Mining chose Hytera’s DMR system as they wanted to build a more secure and reliable communication network and believed that the products offered by Hytera guaranteed the smooth running of the system. During the process, Nantou Mining could still use the existing analogue equipments supplied by other manufacturers, which they already owned.

Mine workers in the tunnel, cranes, bulldozers, dumpers and in the field are now using the Hytera DMR system. Hytera noted that there are now seven mines operating in Burkina Faso using its radio equipment.

Rob Smith, project manager of the Perkoa Zinc Mine at Nantou Mining Burkina Faso, said: ‘This system is being used with twenty PD70X portable digital radios and the end users are very happy with the overall performance of the system. Further expansion of the system is planned in the future.’


Written by Wireless magazine
Wireless magazine

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