Huawei private LTE network set for Hudbay’s Constancia copper mine in Peru

Hudbay, the Canadian mining company with more than 90 years in the American continent, and a presence in Peru since 2011 with the Mining Constancia Unit (with the new mine operational from 2014), is directing its efforts towards the digitisation and modernisation of its operations. For this reason, in Peru it has been implementing a LTE digital private network, in order to have a unified communications platform for voice and data that will allow it to interconnect the different information systems as part of its Digital Mining plan. This includes the Hexagon IDS GeoRadar slope stability monitoring system shown in the above image.

According to the network supplier, China’s Huawei, Constancia, where 86,000 t/d of copper ore in mined and among the lowest cost open-pit sulphide copper mines in South America, is the fourth mining company in the country to have this technology. Huawei states: “The project began in November 2019 and thanks to Huawei’s advanced tools and technology, a network coverage plan was made for the complicated relief of the Constancia Mining Unit. At least 60 km2, from the pit to the tailings dam, will have LTE coverage in a first phase, with download speeds of up to 35 Mbps and 18 Mbps upload.

“At Huawei we know that the mining industry must be at the forefront of technology, so we work hard to meet the needs of the sector. With the implementation of the LTE network, it will be possible to optimise processes, gain greater operability and therefore achieve greater performance,” said Bao Getang, CEO of Huawei of Peru.

The implementation of the LTE network includes the digitisation of the processes of the mining operation such as the optimisation and monitoring of conditions of the mine fleet, monitoring of driver conditions, anti-collision system, implementation and integration of IoT technologies, ore tracking, as well as the interoperability of its information systems in operation and production. All this will allow to achieve higher performance, minimise risks and have greater predictability in decision making.

“To achieve digital mining you need to have all your information systems connected. One of the characteristics of digital transformation is that information is power, the more information you have online the better decisions can be made; therefore, communication platforms like this (LTE) become part of the business strategy,” commented Eduardo Rojas, Manager of Information Technologies at Hudbay Peru.

It should be noted that the implementation of the network has been delayed due to the global situation with COVID-19. However, according to Eduardo Rojas, once operations at the Minencia Constancia Unit are resumed at 100% capacity, the implementation process will take around three months.