Xstrata readies Bulga coal mine for digital radio

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Xstrata readies Bulga coal mine for digital radio

Implementation to begin at the end of the year.

Xstrata will begin implementing a $1.5 million digital radio system at its Bulga coal mining complex in the NSW Hunter region by the end of the year.

The miner revealed the project to contractors in a presentation earlier this year (pdf). An Xstrata spokesman did not respond to iTnews' requests for comment.

According to the presentation, Xstrata will replace its analogue two-way radio system at the site with a digital system based on the terrestrial trunked radio (TETRA) standard.

TETRA digital radio is also used at other Xstrata Coal sites in NSW, including Mangoola and Ravensworth. This was a factor that influenced the technology direction for Bulga.

The miner is currently in hardware procurement for the Bulga complex. The presentation named two prospective suppliers - DAMM/Sepura and Motorola Solutions.

Xstrata's Ravensworth uses Sepura radio terminals and DAMM network infrastructure, while Mangoola uses Motorola Solutions radios.

Implementation of the new digital radio system is due to begin in December.

"There will be a selected period of migration where both analogue and digital system[s] will run in parallel and be integrated together," Xstrata said.

"After a communicated date the analogue system will be decommissioned."

The new system will link all parts of the Bulga complex, which includes surface and underground operations, and a coal handling and preparation plant.

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