Granny Smith, 740 kilometers north-east of Perth, is a mature mining complex, with various mines having been worked there since 1989. The current Wallaby mine, which operated as an open pit from 2001 to 2006, began following its rich seam underground in 2005, and surveys indicate it still has many years of productive life, which justified the business case for modernization.
The digitalization of activities below the surface has typically been hampered by the difficulty of enabling wireless communications underground. Gold Fields invested in its own 4G network at Wallaby to Long Term Evolution (LTE) communication standard, which in turn enabled transmission of large volumes of data underground, and from deep in the mine to the surface.
Gold Fields turned to ABB to transition operation from excel spreadsheets and verbal commands to digitalized scheduling and real-time visibility of people, assets and tasks.