Telstra invests in Mining Technology Solutions & Services

Media Release, 23 June 2016

Telstra today announced the formation of Telstra Mining Services, a strategic investment in the mining industry, following the appointment of two global mining experts and the acquisition of mining communications technology services business from CBO Telecommunications. The move cements Telstra’s commitment to providing deeper capabilities for customers in the mining, oil and gas industry.

Subject to completion on June 30, Telstra will acquire the network design and consulting services business of CBO Telecommunications, whose capabilities include deep expertise across Wi-Fi and Mesh technologies and the design, build and maintenance of enterprise grade networks used in mine sites.

Alongside CBO’s longstanding relationships with key mining customers and solid industry reputation, it also has significant complementary capabilities to support the future growth of Telstra’s mining focused private LTE and public LTE (LANES) businesses.

Martijn Blanken, Group Managing Director, Telstra Global Enterprise and Services, said that Telstra Mining Services was a key pillar of Telstra Global Enterprise and Services’ strategy to build new growth businesses.

“These investments are part of our strategy to create a significant global mining technology product and services business,” he said.

“Telstra is committed to becoming a new driving force for mining in Australia by helping the industry transition to a digital future.”

David Keenan, Head of Telstra Global Industries, said: “The decline in global commodity prices is largely driving a downturn in the resources sector and, as a consequence, sharpening the industry’s focus on reducing costs and maximising 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.

“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 makes this possible, such as high bandwidth networks, mobility solutions and software capabilities, through our own developments, strategic partnerships and in bespoke collaboration with customers.”

To continue to build specialist mining capabilities, Telstra has also appointed Jeannette McGill and Eric Nettleton. Starting on July 1, Ms McGill, the recent Head of Technology and Innovation at AngloAmerican Platinum, will be the Head of Telstra Mining Services. From Johannesburg, McGill is well respected for translating technology insights and trends in global markets to strengthen mining business’ value chain and has a wealth of technical and operational mining experience.

Mr Nettleton has joined Telstra’s Global Products and Solutions team to work on the next generation of mining technology products. He also has extensive mining industry technical experience after leading both the Automation Technology R&D team at Rio Tinto Innovation and the Rio Tinto Centre for Mine Automation at the University of Sydney, developing new technologies for Rio Tinto’s Mine of the FutureTM program.

The acquisition of capabilities and expertise is in addition to organically growing Telstra’s mining industry capabilities, including introducing bespoke products such as the Telstra Resources Network Management solution, which provides remote management of on-site ruggedised industrial data networks.

“Building on our strong organic foundation, the acquisition of CBO’s network consulting, engineering and services business was the next step to expand our communications business beyond the mine gate,” Mr Keenan said.

“This investment means we can confidently meet the industry’s communication needs at Australian mine sites. With the addition of Jeannette McGill, Eric Nettleton and the CBO team to the existing Telstra Mining Industry team, we have significantly strengthened our mining specific domain expertise.

“This is only the beginning as we will continue to deepen our capabilities to deliver tailored technology innovation to our mining customers, both in Australia and internationally.”