Motorola Solutions says it is helping Rio Tinto’s aluminium business continue supplying its customers while protecting people and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two companies partnered to design and roll out a back-up communications solution for Rio Tinto Aluminium’s Integrated Operations Centre (IOC), in Brisbane, Queensland. The system enables continued critical communications between mines during an emergency and was developed and deployed in just five days, according to Motorola.
The existing IOC provides 24/7 monitoring of all safety, production and quality aspects at bauxite mines in Weipa, Queensland, and Gove, Northern Territory, and is essential to coordinating Rio Tinto’s bauxite supply to Australia alumina plants and export markets, the company said. Rio’s Weipa operations include three bauxite mines, processing facilities, shiploaders, an export wharf, two ports, power stations, a rail network and ferry terminals; while Gove produced 12.2 Mt of bauxite last year.
“If the IOC becomes inaccessible for any reason, Rio Tinto can continue tracking mine production movements via its mission-critical TETRA digital two-way radio communications system, which feeds directly into the mining organisation’s Disaster Recovery Centre,” Motorola said.
Rio Tinto uses a combination of TETRA DIMETRA™ and MOTOTRBO™ radio handsets and dispatch consoles across the mine sites to monitor and manage field operations safely and efficiently, it added.
“The solution forms an important part of Rio Tinto’s business continuity plans to keep operations running safely throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling commercial supply chain continuity and planning for future eventualities,” Motorola said.
Martin Chappell, General Manager of Energy and Natural Resources for Motorola Solutions Australia & New Zealand, said: “Any communications equipment used in mining must adhere to the highest standards to keep workers safe and maintain security and reliability across the entire operation.
“Through a combination of rugged radios, purpose-built dispatch consoles and essential back-up links, we are providing Rio Tinto Aluminium with effective protection for its people and assets to ensure business continuity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”