16/04/2008 - 22:00

Mine workers to stay in touch 24-7

16/04/2008 - 22:00

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Workers at Newcrest Mining’s Telfer gold and copper mine now have 24-hour access to the internet as part of the company’s worker retention strategy.

Workers at Newcrest Mining’s Telfer gold and copper mine now have 24-hour access to the internet as part of the company’s worker retention strategy.

The mining giant recently contracted Air Communications to install a commercial grade wireless mesh network to give employees internet access anywhere within the camp village.

The move has been welcomed by mine workers, who endure the severe climate extremes and harsh working conditions of WA’s remote north-west.

Telfer support services manager Craig Thompson said Newcrest Mining was always striving to retain and attract quality employees.

“Telfer is a remote site and we simply wanted to give workers access to modern technology,” he told WA Business News.

“We see this as just another part of our retention strategy.”

With more than 760 workers on site daily, Mr Thompson said the wireless communications network had bolstered morale and would complement the eight stand-alone internet work stations already established on site.

He said Newcrest had recently built a café at Telfer so workers could buy food outside of the dining room in a further step to keeping workers happy.

Air Communications managing director Todd Hyams said installing the mesh network presented many challenges, especially the “extremely harsh conditions” of the state’s north-west.

“We had to ensure we provided a product that would withstand very high wind conditions and extreme heat,” he said.

“We worked with Newcrest Mining to build a robust system that also includes automatic signal redirection in the event of unit loss and simple on-line billing system and security to protect users.”

Mr Hyams said the new Telfer network would ensure employees, some of whom are away from home for extended periods of time, can stay in touch with their families and friends.

Air Communications has created secure robust wireless networks for data, voice and video for mining industries and the government since 1994.

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