FED — an improvement in mine communications

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 86, No. 969, 1993

S.L. Gula, Cominco Fertilizers, Potash Operations Vanscoy, Saskatchewan

Effective and timely communication during routine operations, and especially during emergency situations, is no easy task in any underground mine. At Cominco Fertilizers, Potash Operations, where 150 people are employed underground to produce 3.1 million tonnes of potash per annum at a depth of 1100 m (3600ft), this is no exception. The over-all mine workings underlie an area of approximately 20 km2 with average travel time to the active mining areas being approximately 30 to 40 minutes by light vehicle, and significantly longer than this for heavy equipment. In a mine of this size, the deployment and management of personnel and materials on a day-to-day basis, and during mine emergencies, is an important exercise. The Personal Emergency Device (FED) system has provided the Potash Division a means to achieve improvements in this area and reduce the communications bottleneck.
Keywords: Underground mining systems, FED communication systems, Communications, Safety.