Northern Light Technologies (NLT) and Importaciones y Equipos Mineros worked together to provide a communications system for Minas de Bacis. The Proposal included the supply of all hardware and services to enable Wi-Fi communications throughout the underground tunneling development and the mine’s surface. The project also included the necessary hardware to enable voice communications between the existing surface VHF system and a new and modern Wi-Fi based Radio over IP system.
Minas de Bacis is a fully Mexican owned mining group. Bacis underwent rapid growth in the 80’s and 90’s, and is currently one of the most important silver producers in Mexico. The company is based in the state of Durango, in the region of Barrancas. The“El Herrero” mine is located there, and has an installed capacity of 1,500 T.M. per day.
The purpose of the project was to link communications between a new underground mine named “Zona Norte” with an existing and operating VHF communication system.
The goal was to provide extensive Wi-Fi coverage to both underground and surface areas of the mine. To achieve the required coverage, 54 high performance NLT Bolt Wi-Fi Access Points were installed along the underground tunnels.
The NLT Bolt is powered by the the N-Connex Distribution module via Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) over an IP67 Cat6 networking cable. The N-Connex Distribution Module provides connectivity to the Gigabit Fibre backbone. Any 802.11 Wi-Fi capable device can connect to the NLT Digital network via the Bolt.
NLT and Importaciones y Equipos Mineros provided a solution including the following components:
- N-Connex system – Distribution, UPS, and Battery modules.
- NLT Bolt Single radio PoE access points.
- System Engineering and Integration of third party equipment – IP radios, radio controllers, and a gateway to the VHF system, providing crystal clear voice radio communications to the underground mine.
- Network system integration, commissioning and training.
The integration between the existing VHF system and the new underground network presented a design challenge. The mine is located about 5 kilometres uphill from the nearest VHF signal receiver. To overcome this, Point to Point antennas were strategically installed to provide a connection between systems over the extended distance.