By Elizabeth Fabri

TELECOMMUNICATIONS giant Telstra will dip its toes in the resources sector. Telstra Mining Services was created following acquisition of a mining communications technology service business from CBO Telecommunications and the appointment of global mining experts Jeannette McGill and Eric Nettleton. 

CBO Telecommunications expertise spanned Wi-Fi and Mesh technologies and mine site enterprise grade networks, with complementary capabilities to support the growth of Telstra’s mining focused private LTE and public LTE (LANES) businesses. Telstra Global Enterprise and Services group managing director Martijn Blanken said Telstra Mining Services would help the industry transition to a digital future.

Head of Telstra Global Industries David Keenan said the decline in global commodity prices was a significant factor that sharpened the industry’s focus on reduced costs and maximised production. “This downturn has created a once in a lifetime shift, where miners are looking to technology innovation to help them future proof their operations,” Mr Keenan said. “Telstra Mining Services will be focused on helping our mining customers drive better business outcomes by significantly improving in-shift staff and asset productivity. Telstra Mining Services will deliver the technology solutions that make this possible, such as high bandwidth networks, mobility solutions and software capabilities, through our own developments, strategic partnerships and in bespoke collaboration with customers.”

Newly appointed mining experts Jeannette McGill and Eric Nettleton would also bring their professional experience to the table. The former head of technology and innovation at AngloAmerican Platinum, Ms McGill started her new role as head of Telstra Mining Services on 1 July. Originally from Johannesburg, Ms McGill is renowned for her works that translate technology insights and trends in global markets to strengthen mining business’ value chain. Mr Nettleton was appointed a member of Telstra’s Global Products and Solutions team, and has previously led the Automation Technology R&D team at Rio Tinto Innovation and the Rio Tinto Centre for Mine Automation at the University of Sydney where he developed new technologies for Rio Tinto’s Mine of the Future program.