Telstra is looking to acquire the minesite network firm CBO Telecommunications.

Telstra – one of Australia's largest companies – wants to buy into the growing push for automation to boost production in the resources sector.

Mine companies have been looking to trim every part of their operations in response to dwindling commodity prices.

“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's global industries chief David Keenan said in a statement.

“This investment means we can confidently meet the industry's communication needs at Australian mine sites.”

Telstra will use the acquisition to build a dedicated mining technology unit.

The company is bringing in Rio Tinto's former head of automation technology Eric Nettleton and AgloAmerican technology and innovation leader Jeannette McGill to help.

“These investments are part of our strategy to create a significant global mining technology product and services business,” said Martijn Blanken, group managing director for global enterprise and services.