Working directly with major Russian telecomms companies, Russia’s leading mining operators are some of the progressive worldwide in implementing private LTE wireless network capabilities to facilitate greater automation and production efficiency. The latest to roll out private LTE is gold mining major Polyus. The company exclusively told IM that it is in the process of implementing private LTE at its Kuranakh open pit operation in northeastern Siberia.
The company has signed a contract with Rostelecom, one of the largest telecomms operators in Russia for the project. In addition, a pilot private LTE zone will be installed at the Polyus Krasnoyarsk business unit which includes the Olimpiada and Blagodatnoye mines though the company did not specify the exact location for this. Finally, for locations away from mine sites, Polyus is now testing convergent technology on the basis of a GSM and satellite (Iridium) network.
The private LTE systems use 4G LTE technology but with a 5G ready network core. Polyus told IM: “We believe that these communication technologies will provide a basis for various systems relating to our operations, such as driver safety systems (anti fatigue, in-cabin CCTV, collision prevention), fleet-management systems, and semi- or fully automated mining equipment. At our open pit operations, we believe that pLTE network technology will provide a backbone network for all our digital solutions. The final decision will be taken after the full implementation of pLTE at Polyus Kuranakh and post-project analysis.”