Minetec has introduced Ethernet-over-leaky feeder, known as ELF™ II, a software-defined communications infrastructure providing high-speed data throughput and capacity for underground mining communications management and operations. Data throughput has been increased from 20MB a second to more than 60MB a second in ELF™ II, surpassing conventional systems by more than three times the speed.

Minetec executive general manager Andy Sheppard said: "The increased data throughput in ELF™ II has been introduced to address the needs of complex mining operations to support high data rate applications from the working face to the rest of the mine, including but not limited to video, SCADA, telemetry and mine management applications.

"The ELF™ II infrastructure has been operating successfully in commissioned systems and is now available to the broader mining community."

A number of mines worldwide have commissioned ELF™ II in South America, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Australia.

"All new Minetec customers will receive the ELF™ II infrastructure moving forward, and existing Minetec customers can upgrade to the new software-defined architecture," Sheppard added.

The Minetec ELF™ II supports full voice, Ethernet and IP-based connectivity over previously installed leaky feeder-based, voice communication systems. ELF™ II is able to provide seamless upgrade over these systems through ‘swap and drop’, power-on-equipment (POE) and advanced diagnostics capabilities.

ELF™ II can also interface to fiber-optic and RF-based technologies through its access point (AP) capabilities. In addition to integration with third-party technologies, ELF™ II coupled with powerful mining applications developed by Minetec is rapidly becoming a standard in mining operation including SMARTS™, SafeDetect ™ and the Trax+Tags™ II tracking system.

Together, these Minetec solutions provide a comprehensive, enterprise-wide solution for underground mining operations.