Safety is imperative in one of Australia's most remote industries.

Ikonix Technology augmented the paging system at Carrapateena with the Ikonix Connect app for Emergency Response Team incident alerts and coordination.

Introducing BHP Carrapateena.

Located on the traditional lands of the Kokatha people, this mine is almost 500km north-west of Adelaide, South Australia. It’s around 250km south-east of Prominent Hill, a BHP mine, and 190km from the town of Port Augusta.

Carrapateena is an iron oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) ore deposit covering 4 exploration licences over more than 1,000km² area.

Construction was completed in 2019. As with many mine sites in Australia, remoteness and access to services and infrastructure are limited.

(Image source: Google Maps)

BHP site location from Google Maps

The Carrapateena mine operates 24-7 with a FIFO workforce. Its camp can accommodate up to 850 people. It has a dedicated 50km electricity transmission line with diesel-powered backup generator, powering a processing plant as well as the mine itself, and amenities to support the workforce.

As an underground mine and processing facility in a remote area, it’s clear there are a variety of safety considerationsat the site, including access for emergency response and distance for evacuation in critical circumstances.

(Image source: BHP)

Carrapateena plant

Prior communication solution.

Through construction and continuing after, OZ Minerals (which has since been acquired by BHP) operated a WiPath Paging System. This included an antenna system delivering a radio network covering the site and surrounds, with Emergency Response Team personnel carrying pagers. Paging messages are issued by an operations centre to trigger alerts for emergency teams, and direct their incident response.

With a FIFO workforce, it was difficult to ensure pagers were held by appropriate, on-call or available people. Paging is a one-way communication solution, so when dispatching alerts, operations centre staff were uncertain if or how many Emergency Response personnel were responding to an incident.

What did they want to achieve?

With improvements to site infrastructure, notably the installation of a Telstra mobile telephony tower, Ikonix Technology was approached about the new communication options that might be possible to:

  • use mobile devices staff were already carrying for incident alerting, and
  • provide feedback to operations centre staff about message delivery and personnel responding.

Ikonix Technology proposed the use of Ikonix Connect.

Implementing Ikonix Connect.

Ikonix Connect is a modern enterprise smartphone communication solution. The important features included:

  • Operations centre staff can initiate alerts from a web-based interface.
  • Message status is visible for each user in the alert group, including: message delivery to user’s device, user has read the message, and the user has accepted or declined the request.
  • Alerts initiated by the operations centre will send notifications that override silent and do-not-disturb settings on user devices and repeat alerts until actioned by the use.
  • Users can exchange messages amongst themselves to organise a response.
  • Role-based messaging allows roles to be added to alert groups, and only personnel currently active in those roles will be alerted.
  • User availability, so that offsite personnel do not receive incident alerts.

The Carapateena team carry smartphones. With improved mobile carrier coverage, a mobile app-based solution allows them to carry a single device that is less likely to be lost in handover between staff. The operations team utilises the browser-based solution Ikonix WebConnect to contact and direct their mobile teams.

The Carapateena teamretains the paging network for redundancy if mobile carrier networks become unavailable.

IUMS with Con WC

Ongoing support by Ikonix Technology.

As of 2023, Carapateena extended their contract for the Ikonix Connect solution for emergency response operations. The number of users was expanded by 25% to accommodate site growth.

Ikonix technology looks forward to supporting the Carapateena team into the future.

David Fairlie Jones portrait

David Fairlie-Jones
Senior Program Manager

David works with our customer organisations to understand their communication needs and deploy solutions. He has taken a leading hand in the development of Ikonix Connect.

He has been working with Oz Minerals (now-BHP) from commercial engagement through managing delivery and ongoing support and service.