PBE solves obstacle and personnel detection challenges and provides a reliable proximity alert system

PBE Provides a Proximity Alert System to Improve Safety

The Location

The Musselwhite mine is one of the largest gold mines in Canada and in the world. The mine is located in the center of the country in Ontario. The mine has estimated reserves of 2.29 million ounces of gold. Musselwhite is a fly-in fly-out operation using the Opapimiskan Lake Airport. The rotations for production and maintenance crews are generally 12 hour days 14-in 14-out. Due to the mine being a year round operation these rotations entitle 168 working hours every 28 days, comparable to a standard 40 hour work week Unlike season positions such as logging, oil drilling and mineral exploration where the rotations have longer “in” times but only run for part of the year.

The Situation

On Nov. 26, 2015 early Wednesday morning, a scoop operator was working underground when an unexpected fall-of-rock occurred. The company immediately dispatched first responders and initiated search and rescue operations, however, the scoop was completely covered with material, which led to the fatal injury.

  • The customer wanted to find a solution to prevent future fatalities. The lack of updated proximity alert systems created several issues and safety concerns:
    The fatality was caused due to the operator not following the proper safety operation procedures. The company needed a system that would ensure safety to enter marked dangerous
    zones through remote operation
  • Due to its remote nature (approximately 197 km from the nearest town, Pickle Lake, Ontario), safety is a major priority. Musselwhite Mine has 300-500 workers within areas full of
    obstacles. The company needed a way to tag and track all of its personnel

The Solution

PBE visited Musselwhite Mine, which consists of a network of buildings and mines. PBE provided consultancy. The urgent need for a proximity alert system within the facility motivated this project to be completed. Goldcorp wanted to make sure that no personnel can operate equipment into marked dangerous zones without remote operation, so PBE installed one of its proximity alert systems, the PAS-C. The PAS-C implements the latest equipment and personnel detection technology utilizing RFID and Electromagnetic (EM) Sensors. Goldcorp’s operators could feel more secure by remotely operating machinery using the PAS-C and PBE’s personnel tracking tags. The results are enhanced safety now that Goldcorp has purchased PBE’s Proximity Alert System, 150 vehicle tags, and 600 tracking tags for personnel.


  • No proximity alert systems
  • No tagging and tracking of personnel


  • Only allows equipment to enter
    dangerous zones through remote
    operation of vehicles
  • Proximity Alert Systems (PAS) for
    vehicles and personnel