THORNHILL, ON, March 6, 2012 /CNW/ – Communication system developer VITAL ALERT COMMUNICATION INC. has successfully demonstrated its CanaryLink Through-The-Earth Communication™ system (formerly known as the C1000) in an active mining operation in Chile, its first field testing of the device outside of North America.
The testing was completed in January 2012 at the underground Mandalay Resources Cerro Bayo Mine, a silver and gold operation outside of Chile Chico in southern Chile.
CanaryLink interconnected easily with the mine’s existing Becker Varis leaky feeder system and standard VHF handheld radios. Voice communication was successful between underground and the surface at a range of approximately 450 feet of solid mountain rock.
Vital Alert performed this demonstration with collaboration and support from two of its partners, Becker Wholesale Mine Supply and NLT Chile.
“Vital Alert is thrilled to bring this solution to customers and contributing to the safety of mine workers around the world,” according to Heather Simmons, Vital Alert CEO. “We are grateful for partners like Becker Wholesale Mine Supply and NLT Chile whose mining expertise and integration skills are an essential element of Vital Alert’s success in this project and beyond.”
The CanaryLink system is an easy-to-use, effective Through-The-Earth (TTE) device that links to existing communication infrastructure and can be used for everyday as well as emergency communication needs. Unlike other systems which prescribe end-to-end solutions, CanaryLink integrates with standard, existing mine communication systems and allows even remote or temporary areas of an operation to be connected with surface personnel cost effectively.
Also, when traditional wired communication methods are severed and not easily repaired, CanaryLink permits a successful back-up link between underground and surface crews. These factors and others make CanaryLink the smart choice for any type of mining operation.
“The safety of our workers is critical for Cerro Bayo and Mandalay Resources overall. This solution has the potential to increase worker safety and improve operational efficiency because of its wireless connection and ability to penetrate through the rock,” says Jose Guerrero, Superintendent Maintenance and Services or the mine.
This demonstration conducted in Chile is particularly significant because of the 2010 disaster that trapped 33 workers underground for more than two months. With CanaryLink installed in shelters and key work areas prior, crews can quickly identify the specific location of trapped workers, leading to a rapid rescue.
CanaryLink is commercially available, and the Intrinsically Safe version of the system was recently assigned a PAR number by the US Mine Safety and Health Administration (“MSHA”) and is currently under MSHA review. Approval of the IS version is expected in the Fall of 2012.
Once approved, CanaryLink IS will be immediately available for coal mines and any other applications requiring Intrinsically Safe certification.
“Our customers look to us for reliable innovative communication solutions and this successful demonstration has only increased our confidence that Vital Alert’s CanaryLink is the right Through-The-Earth system to complement our product line,” says Jose Ojados, Director, NLT Chile LTDA.
“Vital Alert’s CanaryLink is the perfect complement to our broad, proven portfolio of mine communications systems, including leaky feeder, Wi-Fi, and now VLF. And VLF demand is growing – we have several demos planned at North American customer sites this spring,” said Bill Hensler, President of Becker Wholesale Mine Supply.
NLT Chile is a CanaryLink reseller for Chile and Argentina. Becker Wholesale Mine Supply is the exclusive reseller for the CanaryLink system for mining in North America. For more information on system specifications, North American customers please contact Bill Hensler at (724) 515-4993 and South American customers please call Jose Ojados at (56-2) 571 2885 Anexo 801.