How a Top 20 Mining Company Connects and Protects Mineral Exploration Teams Around the Globe
The Exploration team at one of the world’s top 10 copper producers explores a diverse portfolio of claims around the globe, often in remote areas far outside of cellular coverage. Using consumer satellite devices, they struggled with manual check-ins, siloed communications, and an overall lack of situational awareness.
With the EVERYWHERE inReach by Garmin®, smartphones and web browsers, the Exploration team was able to deploy quickly. Using the EVERYWHERE Hub, the Exploration team quickly divided their devices into regional teams, created role based messaging groups, and fine-tuned their emergency response procedures to fit the needs of each regional team.
The Data Manager for Exploration is responsible for a team of nearly a hundred staff operating on 5 continents. These far flung teams are further divided into a dozen separate regions, each with their own unique challenges around worker safety, communications, and emergency response.
These unique challenges meant that regional supervisors needed to individually check in with staff in the field and had to log individual responses in a separate database. This manual check-in process broke down when staff worked across multiple regions or multiple teams, creating ambiguity as to who was responsible for the safety of those cross-functional team members.
Using the consumer satellite solution, staff were only able to contact each other on a one-to-one basis, meaning field team members and supervisors couldn’t coordinate their field activities once they left camp.
The off-the-shelf capabilities of the consumer solution they used fell short of the team’s needs as well. With the consumer solution limited to contacting one emergency contact at a time, internal and external stakeholders were not included in their emergency response procedures.
All of these problems are connected by a common thread, an overall lack of situational awareness across the organization.
Individuals communicate independently, as a team, or as an entire organization through multiple devices
Upon connecting with EVERYWHERE on a 30-minute call, the client team moved quickly to pilot the EVERYWHERE platform to ensure the system was the best fit for them. After a concierge onboarding with the EVERYWHERE team, the client was armed with tailored accounts for regional teams, complete with emergency response plan integration, configured team messaging groups, and the Pulse safety check-in tool.
They were also able to import KML data of their project boundaries, work camps, and drill targets. These KML shapes were overlaid as reference points and configured as geofences with automatic reporting of entry and exit to relevant support personnel.
The team hierarchy feature of the EVERYWHERE Hub allowed each supervisor to visualize the staff they were responsible for. This cleared up any confusion as to which teams they were responsible for and made it easy to reassign staff when they switched regions or teams.
EVERYWHERE’s multi-channel SOS function simplified the client’s emergency response procedure. The flexibility of the solution enabled the team to simultaneously alert all internal and external stakeholders in the event of an emergency.
The client was able expand the functionality of their satellite communicators from a tool strictly used for safety into a tool that increases operational effectiveness. Leveraging EVERYWHERE, the client was able to connect all of their support and field teams on a unified communications solution. Coupled with Intelligent Routing, which automatically switches between, Wi-Fi, cellular, and satellite communications, field teams now experience seamless communications.
The team communications enable the coordination of field operations in real time. The EVERYWHERE Hub provides the additional benefit of recording the location, time, and additional observations like environmental hazards, outcroppings, and of soil samples. This enables managers to make important medium-term decisions on the direction of further exploration activities.
EVERYWHERE’s intuitive user interface was shown throughout the project. Teams were up and running after a single training session, and quickly grasped the administrative functions of provisioning teams, creating messaging groups, and running performing safety check-ins. The end-users of the EVERYWHERE App required virtually no training.
The solution also simplifies the check-in procedure for administrators, giving them a single pane of glass to reference who they are responsible for, and real-time status updates. Multi-channel SOS makes regional specific emergency response simple by alerting all relevant stakeholders, and team-based messaging groups enable more fluid and coordinated emergency responses.
Expats work at mines for 6-8 weeks at a time and their recreational activities are limited to the mine vicinity. To ensure safety, the EVERYWHERE Always Connected™ platform is used to monitor position, status, and message information within teams or with individuals.