Levitt-Safety Blog

Underground mines are improving productivity and safety with NLT Digital

Gary RaeMarket Segment Manager - Confined SpaceJune 7, 2022

Mines around the world choose NLT Digital to solve a variety of networking challenges, increase productivity and protect people.

There are a lot of challenges posed by working underground. Three of the most common challenges in underground mines are

  1. Communication
  2. Tracking productivity/safety, and
  3. Environmental monitoring.

Where you’ll find NLT Digital:

  • Australia
  • Chile
  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • United States
  • Peru


The network is easy to install, can pay for itself in just a few months and the changes within an underground mine can be astounding.

1. Communication

Communication has always been an issue in underground mines. Most mines have two forms of basic communication:

  1. Mine phones (only available in fixed locations and no dialing)
  2. Portable radios (limited functionality, requires leaky feeder system)

With the NLT Digital network, these options are possible:

  • Wired company phones
  • Wireless wi-fi radios
  • Mobile phones
  • Real-time documenting
  • Video monitoring
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2. Tracking Productivity and Safety

Underground mines are vast labyrinths with tunnels that stretch out for kilometers in every direction.

Lives can be saved by being able to track people underground.

Mine managers and safety teams must be able to:

  • Find people quickly during emergency or mine evacuation
  • Make sure workers are where they need to be
  • Monitor traffic in the mine to keep people moving
  • Locate vehicles, pumps, generators and other assets left underground
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3. Environmental Monitoring and Response

You can have real-time insights into what’s happening underground.

  • Gas detection
  • Atmospheric conditions
  • Geological stability

The workers monitoring conditions above ground can also use the network to respond to conditions underground by:

  • Increasing airflow
  • Issuing warnings/instructions
  • Closing areas or redirecting traffic

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These benefits only scratch the surface of how an NLT Digital network can improve your underground mining operations.

How NLT Digital software helps your whole team:

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NLT Digital has been successfully used by miners around the globe to bring out gravel, salt, potash and precious metals.

The network will benefit your whole team in different ways. For instance:

  • Mine managers will appreciate the improvements in efficiency, productivity, cost savings and employee safety.
  • Safety managers will appreciate injury prevention, employee location and evacuation extraction during emergencies.
  • Operations teams will appreciate the communication systems and ability to automate processes

NLT Digital Case Study in Canada

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An underground mine in Northern Ontario chose this underground network to improve efficiency and productivity. The mine contains over a dozen levels, a fleet of haul trucks and a team of mining staff.

Objective: Improve Vehicle Tracking

The mine management needed a real-time understanding of the efficiencies and effectiveness of the mine’s underground activities. Management particularly wanted to monitor the movement of ore and waste from the working section to the ore passes.

What had to happen to meet the objective:

  • Equip most levels with Wi-Fi access points to monitor the activity of haul trucks.
  • Install Wi-Fi tracking tags on the haul trucks.
  • Monitor trucks using the Tracking Module included with NLT Digital software.

Creating an underground network provided valuable insights into employee movements and inefficiencies in the mine’s current process.

The mine management could monitor the time it took for a haul truck to cycle between pick-up and dump. Management could also identify where and when trucks were idle.

Using the NLT Digital network, the mine management took corrective measures to improve productivity significantly.

Want to learn more about NLT Digital?

Levitt-Safety is the Canadian distributor of NLT Digital and is ready to help you improve productivity and safety in your underground operations.

Click the button below to learn more about the system and talk to a safety specialist.