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Radiocommunications bring enhanced safety and productivity to mining operations

Mining industry combines the latest technology, machinery and human skills

Extracting the metals and minerals used to produce the energy and goods we take for granted is an exacting process that combines the latest technology, machinery, and human skills to maximise efficiency, productivity and safety.

Man has been mining the earth for minerals for thousands of years with the earliest coal mine in southern Africa, dating back between 20,000 – 40,000 years. And while the adoption of technology and automation in the industry to enhance safety, productivity and reduce cost has significantly improved outcomes, mines remain an unpredictable and dangerous working environment with the ever-present risk of landslides, cave-ins, exposure to explosive gases, poor air quality, extreme temperatures and floods.

It's a physically demanding, challenging and hugely capital-intensive industry affected by demand, commodity prices, increasing costs, environmental legislation, and geopolitics, but at its heart are the men and women that work at the rock face and the teams that support the safety and efficiency of operations.


Whether working in surface, subsurface, placer or in-situ mining operations, mining workers are exposed to risks every day and the key technology employed in reducing risks and mitigating the effects of accidents and major incidents is the wireless communications and untethered devices that provide a reliable, high redundancy and resilient connection between the miner and the surface at all times and throughout the area in which a mine worker may work or travel within.

For many years this requirement for a communication lifeline has been met using two-way radio systems, initially in analogue format but increasingly with digital technologies like DMR and NEXEDGE NXDN that can not only deliver effective wireless voice and data communications above and below ground over wide coverage areas, but also incorporate advanced worker safety features and compatibility with automation and productivity applications.


Mine workers and their radios work side-by-side in the same harsh environment, so it is critical that the radio devices used and the system that supports them will function without interruption especially in last resort situations.

With all the variables in play, there are several key factors to consider when selecting the technology, system architecture and devices to be employed in mining operations, including:


The coldest mines on earth can reach temperatures of -46°C while some deep mines can be surrounded by magma and the ambient rock temperature soar up to 55°C. Since mines are typically located in remote areas subject to extreme temperatures, this can pose a problem for effective, uninterrupted communication. This is because a radio receiver is rated for a certain sensitivity, and if thermal noise is exceeded the result is a reduction in signal to noise ratio. It is therefore important that equipment is suitable for the conditions. KENWOOD portable radio devices are designed and tested to operate in a temperature range between -30°C and +60°C.

Dust, moisture, vibration and shock:

Mining, tunnelling and quarrying environments require equipment that can withstand dust, moisture and toxic exposure.
KENWOOD portable radio devices are rated to IP54/55/67 and 68 and MIL-STD 810 C/D/E/F/G to provide protection against the ingress of dust, salt, grit and moisture and resistance to vibration and shock.

Fit for purpose:

It is a requirement for mine management to ensure that uninterrupted communication with on-site workers is maintained at all times and for the radio devices to be fit for purpose beyond IP and MIL-STD ratings, for example:
- Ease of use even when wearing gloves and safety equipment
- Providing audio clarity in noisy environments
- Incorporate built-in and optional advanced worker safety features
- Compatibility with accessories to enable hands-free operation and hearing protection
- Long battery life between charges
- Durability of mechanical buttons and switches. The Push-to-talk (PTT) button for example is the most used component of a portable two-way radio and needs to work flawlessly in extreme conditions. The PTT buttons on KENWOOD radios deployed in the field in a number of mines in Southern Africa were exposed to repeated and ongoing tests and measured a PTT reliability in excess of 100 000 activations

Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF):

MTBF measures the average time it takes for a component failure. It is an effective indicator of how reliable and safe a product is and is typically measured in units of hours: the higher the MTBF value, the more reliable the product is. In tests, KENWOOD radios have achieved MTBF values of up to 40,000 hours making them ideal for use in mines, where radios are essential to supporting safe, efficient operations.

Explosive atmospheres:

KENWOOD NEXEDGE NXDN digital ATEX / IECEx hand portable radios are available in VHF and UHF versions and certified for use in environments where hazardous, combustible gases and airborne particles are present. They incorporate a host of lone worker and advanced safety features. Meet with the following standards:

ATEX Directive 94/9/EC:

  • II 2G Ex ib IIC T4 Gb - Gas Protection
  • II 2D Ex ib IIIc T110°C Db - Dust Protection
  • I M2 Ex ib I Mb - Mining Protection

IECEx Scheme:

  • Ex ib IIC T4 Gb - Gas Protection
  • Ex ib IIIC T110°C Db - Dust Protection
  • Ex ib I Mb - Mining Protection
Location services:

KENWOOD DMR and NEXEDGE NXDN radiocommunication systems managed with KAS-10 and KAS-20 AVL & Dispatch Software suites or the Trackuracy asset monitoring and tracking platform help operators to implement robust safety protocols and achieve greater efficiencies by pinpointing the location of staff and vehicles below and above ground in real time.

Mixed Digital-Analogue Operation:

KENWOOD DMR and NEXEDGE NXDN digital two-way radio devices are ideally suited to those mining operations upgrading from analogue to digital communications as all devices feature native and automatic analogue/digital mixed operation. This allows them to communicate automatically with existing analogue radios to provide a predictable and cost-efficient path to full digital implementation.

System flexibility:

KENWOOD DMR and NEXEDGE NXDN radiocommunication systems can be configured in conventional, IP, trunked, simulcast and multi-frequency formats and are compatible with DAS and Leaky Feeder System infrastructures typically used in mining operations.


Mining sector KENWOOD Communication applications

KENWOOD DMR and NEXEDGE NXDN technologies offer highly flexible, voice and data enabled digital conventional, IP, trunked, simulcast and multi-frequency communications systems – the utility of which can be greatly extended with the addition of applications and software suites that allow you to pinpoint and assign resources as required. Naturally, KENWOOD systems can be integrated with other applications including telephone, maintenance, fire, security, access control, telemetering etc., so offer a failsafe and future-proofed communication solution.

For single and multiple sites, wider coverage areas and a host of built-in and programmable functions and advanced worker safety features, KENWOOD NEXEDGE NXDN and DMR digital systems offer much more than the ability to simply transmit voice and data instantly, including:


- Individual, group and all radios calls
- Advanced built-in and programmable user safety functions including ‘man-down’ and emergency call
- Over the air programming
- Emergency / Evacuation / Security alert functions
- Voice and data messages
- Optional and built-in GPS
- Native analogue/digital mixed operation
- Longer range/improved coverage
- Programmable automated alerts
- Encryption against interception and eavesdropping
- Coverage indoors and out, above and below ground
- Audit trails/monitoring/logging workforce activities

- Integration with existing telecoms, dispatch and monitoring systems, AI implementation and IT
- Stun and Revive feature when radios are lost
- Flexibility to link multiple locations
- Scalable digital conventional, IP conventional and trunked operation
- Simulcast and multi-frequency operation
- Suite of application solutions to tailor a system to meet specific operational requirements
- Exceptional audio quality
- Simple to programme and use
- Long battery life between charges
- Rugged and durable radio devices
- Reliable and resilient RF coverage

Health & Safety

In addition to the efficiency that radio communication brings to managing and coordinating daily operations, it also serves to help you comply with health and safety requirements and regulations, for example, alerting staff to the presence of threats, calling for medical assistance, reporting incidents and accidents.

However, where radio communication really excels is in the event of a major incident where it maintains a critical communication link in support of emergency operations.

Advanced Worker Protection Safety First LogoAll NEXEDGE NXDN and DMR digital two-way radio devices feature an Emergency Key and Emergency Call features as standard, while more advanced models additionally offer built-in or optional GPS modules, Lone Worker, Motion Detection and compatibility with Location services, which can be programmed to deliver automated proximity triggered prompts – for example when a worker enters a hazardous area, or requires special safety clothing – making them essential in a robust health and safety policy.


These advanced safety features offer an added layer of protection in support of first aid and emergency protocols with the ability to automatically send alerts and alarms to the control centre and/or other radio users, for example:

Priority Call:

The Priority Call feature ensures the availability of a radio channel in the event of an emergency and allows a dispatcher to interrupt all existing calls on a channel.

Emergency Key:

An alarm is triggered along with the user ID of the sender and when the Emergency Key button is pressed. GPS equipped radios, can additionally send the location (GPS coordinates) of the user.

Lone Worker:

An alarm is triggered along with the user ID of the sender if a user does not respond to a status prompt within a specified time.

Man Down:

An alarm is triggered along with the user ID of the sender if the radio is tilted beyond a pre-determined angle indicating that the user may have fallen or become incapacitated. Other programmable features include:

- Stationary Detection: Emergency mode is triggered along with the user ID of the sender when the radio remains in a stationary position for a period exceeding a pre-set time, indicating that the user is unable to operate the transceiver, or it’s has been lost, mislaid etc. GPS equipped radios can additionally send the location (GPS coordinates) of the user to a control centre using software such as KAS-10 and KAS-20 AVL and Dispatch suites.

- Motion Detection: Emergency mode is triggered along with the user ID of the sender when the radio is vigorously shaken or swung for a period exceeding a pre-set time, indicating that the user is running to or from an incident. GPS equipped radios can additionally send the location (GPS coordinates) of the user to a control centre using software such as KAS-10 and KAS-20 AVL and Dispatch suites.

Location Services:

NEXEDGE NXDN and DMR radios equipped with GPS can additionally be programmed to send location information to the control centre using software such as KAS-10 or KAS-20 AVL and Dispatch suites so that the user at risk can be located quickly and response times reduced.

Asset Tracking and Monitoring:

With Trackuracy, KENWOOD DMR and NEXEDGE NXDN systems can be equipped with low-energy, real-time asset monitoring and tracking across single and multiple sites, indoors and out. Alerts and alarms delivered as audible tones, voice or data messages can be programmed to trigger automatically should the user stray off course or enter restricted areas.

Remote Monitor:

Remote Monitor allows control centre staff to listen in to a radio through its microphone in situations where an alarm is activated, and the radio user is unable to respond. This provides the Safety Officer with the intelligence to assess a situation in real time and to quickly initiate an appropriate response.

Intrinsically Safe Radios:

NEXEDGE NXDN ATEX/IECEx certified radios provide the solution for lone workers operating in explosive atmospheres such as mines, oil and gas processing, chemicals production and distilleries or situations where hazardous airborne particles are present.


KENWOOD radiocommunication devices benefit from JVCKENWOOD Group’s 60-years’ experience in producing consumer audio and visual equipment (Trio, JVC and KENWOOD), renowned for exceptional sound quality.

This transfer of knowledge and experience has led to the development of a number of novel and innovative solutions which overcome the problem of cancelling ambient noise while improving the audio clarity of the transmitted voice - in any operating environment.

Ultimate noise cancellation:

NX-5000 Series hand-portable radios achieve optimum noise cancellation with the use of two integrated microphones. The main microphone is situated closer to the desired source (front of the radio), while a second microphone in the rear of the radio receives the ambient noise. In a noisy environment, both microphones receive noise at a similar level, however, the main microphone receives the user’s voice more strongly. The processor in the radio subtracts one noise source from the other so that most of the ambient noise is cancelled which effectively enhances the quality of the transmitted audio of the user’s voice.

Active Noise Reduction:

Both NX-5000 and NX-3000 Series radios feature Active Noise Reduction (ANR).  ANR serves to cancel the noise component of the collected audio to improve the transmitted audio quality.

Noise cancellation functions can be ‘Custom’ configured to adjust the vocoder, DSP, filters, specific noises etc. to suit the operating environment.

Selectable Audio profiles:

The received audio will sound different depending on the usage environment of the radio, characteristics of the device (such as the microphone to be combined with the radio and external devices), and the tone of voice and manner of speaking of the speaker. The received audio will also sound different depending on the output method, such as using the speaker of the radio or via an earphone, to hear the received audio. KENWOOD radios feature 6 customisable audio profiles which can be configured for specific scenarios and selected by the user to suit the operating environment.



In the drive to reduce costs, improve productivity and ensure worker safety, mine operators look to their radiocommunications systems to not only provide failsafe voice and data capability, but also to support the implementation of automation, provide all-site mobility and traceability, and the data and metrics to analyse workplace productivity.

Trackuracy Platform

KENWOOD DMR and NEXEDGE NXDN systems integrated with the Trackuracy asset tracking and monitoring platform enables you to monitor people and assets inside buildings, below ground and throughout the full extent of a site in real-time.

Its rich feature set include the ability to automatically switch views seamlessly between indoor and outdoor tracking when users are in vehicles and allows you to receive location information on multiple devices including Dispatch Positions (PC), iOS and Android Tablets and Smartphones.

Trackuracy provides Real-time Location Services (RTLS) that help you get the right resources to the right place at the right time – with information visible to you as it happens, including live-action views, reporting and analytics. Data accuracy, low-energy Bluetooth and reduced radio bandwidth consumption, coupled with the ability to automate actions and notifications form the backbone of a Trackuracy system.

Trackuracy employs simple, reliable I-beacons and smart sensors, combined with GPS and both DMR or NEXEDGE NXDN radio systems to deliver a simple, scalable and cost-effective solution to real-time tracking, reporting and recording of each person’s location and status.

KAS-10 & KAS-20 AVL/Dispatch Suites

For applications requiring lower levels of automation, the basic KAS-10 or more advanced KAS-20 software suites empower KENWOOD DMR and NEXEDGE NXDN systems with AVL and Dispatch capabilities including dispatch and voice recording, fleet management, call logging and event sharing features.



Seamless Operation with existing analogue radio devicesThe beauty of a KENWOOD digital two-way radio solution is that your investment in new equipment when upgrading from analogue can be phased over time as all KENWOOD digital radio devices feature native automatic analogue/digital mixed operation (which allows them to communicate automatically and virtually instantly with any existing analogue radios whatever the make without the need for scanning to establish a connection with an incoming analogue call) providing a predictable and cost-effective path to full digital implementation.



As more products are connected by IP and to networked information and automation systems, there is a growing risk of leakage and theft of personal and other information, fabrication or destruction of data, and hijacking of products.

As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of radiocommunication products and solutions, we take our responsibility for ensuring the security integrity of our products and the data we hold on systems developed on behalf of our customers. Click for more information on JVCKENWOOD’s Group Privacy Policy.

Product Security

Secure encryption in radiocommunications

Secure encryption is an essential requirement in radiocommunications to provide security against eavesdropping, jamming and other malicious attacks on a radio system.

All KENWOOD digital radio devices are equipped with a voice scrambler as standard, while licenced NEXEDGE NXDN and DMR radios are further protected with more advanced encryption:


Voice inversion scrambler

NX-1000 Series:

Built-in digital scrambler as standard, optional upgrade to ARC4 Encryption for DMR

NX-3000 Series:

Built-in digital scrambler as standard, optional 56-bit DES encryption and upgrade to 256-bit AES (NEXEDGE NXDN and DMR) and 40-bit ARC4 encryption for DMR

NX-5000 Series:

Built-in digital scrambler and DES-56 bit (4 keys) as standard, optional hardware upgrade to 56-bit DES and support to 256-bit AES

Information Security

The Communications Systems Business, Professional Systems Business and the Healthcare Business units of JVCKENWOOD Corporation are certified to ISO/IEC 27001:2013 international standards for information security management system and JIS Q 27001:2014 Japanese industrial standards, both of which specify standards for information security management systems and establish requirements and implementation of the framework to protect information assets.


Built Tough to withstand rain, dirt and rough and tumble logoAs you would expect, all KENWOOD professional hand portable walkie talkies and mobile radios conform to MIL-STD-810 C/D/E/F/G for ruggedness and durability and are IP54/55/67 Water & Dust Intrusion rated, making them suited for use in any environment.

In addition, KENWOOD can offer ATEX IECEx devices for use in hazardous, explosive atmospheres.


KENWOOD offers a comprehensive range of accessories for its professional two-way radio systems and devices including covert earpieces, remote mics, headsets, cables, connectors and software packages allowing you to tailor your equipment or system to precisely meet your operational requirements.



Instant communication between individuals and groups in voice and data, across single or multiple sites.

  The use of KENWOOD two-way radio communication to coordinate workflow and safety in mining operations is widespread, providing the ability to deliver clear voice and data transmissions to different teams located within a single site or across multiple sites to streamline work, respond to situations, manage emergency procedures and ultimately, to maximise efficiency, improve safety, security and productivity, and reduce downtime.

Learn more about how KENWOOD equipment has been put to work in the mining industry including iron ore mines in Sierra Leone and Kazakhstan, coal and platinum mines in Southern Africa and a coal mine in Mongolia:

World-Class Coal Mine in Mongolia Case Study

World-Class Coal Mine in Mongolia

ETT Mining implements a NEXEDGE NXDN multi-site, digital trunking system for its vast and sprawling operations at Tavan Tolgoi that offers coverage and clarity that far surpass the old analogue communications system while serving as the basis for future expansion.

Find out more ►


To discover more about the millions of KENWOOD devices in use by countless customers in hundreds of applications around the world, including the innovative, multi-protocol NX-5000 Series (NXDN, DMR, P25 and FM Analogue), NX-3000 Series (NXDN, DMR and FM Analogue) and exceptional value offered by the entry-level NX-1000 Series hand portable walkie talkies and mobiles, please click on the banners below.

For more information on KENWOOD digital system solutions including DMR Tier 3 trunking and Simulcast, NXDN Type-C, Type-D and Gen2 trunking click here.

Trackuracy logoIf you’d like to learn more about our TRACKURACY, our real-time Bluetooth Low Energy asset tracking and monitoring solution, click here.

Alternatively, please post an enquiry to us or contact an authorised KENWOOD Communications reseller.


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