State-of-the-art security
Diamond valuation and sorting complex a small Fort Knox

by Jeff Colbourne
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 10/98) - Mike Loper, security manager for BHP, will have a big say in the construction and design of the building sorting and valuation facility, wherever it is built.

It will have an intrusion-detection system, an access-control system and closed-circuit surveillance. "It will be something like a small Fort Knox," said Loper.

Loper figures the building will probably be a two-story high, 450-square-metre complex.

It will have no windows on the bottom floor, bullet-proof windows on the upper side and mini windows upstairs, none that can be opened.

"Then a very good intrusion-detection system all the way around the building, double fencing, double outriggers on top of the fence, razor barb on top of the fence and lots of lights," said Loper.

BHP will be using polygraph voice analysers, the latest technology that is available to keep criminals at bay.

Scannex, a new piece of technology now being used in South Africa, is also being considered. The system takes a low-intensity X-ray of an employee's entire body, defeating the need for full-body searches.

Loper said 186 exposures to the scannex would be equivalent to about one chest X-ray taken in a hospital. If a person were walking on site, before going into a high-security area, such as a processing plant or vault area, they would also have to get certain clearances.

"Background checks, criminal records checks, credit checks and reference checks," said Loper.

BHP will do this for all of their security people because in the past at other mines when a theft occurred, a security worker was often involved.

Any tradesperson working near the processing plant would also be thoroughly checked. But miners working in the pit would not be checked as thorough to cut down on costs.

Top of pageDiscussion boardSearch