Agnico Eagle Finland Oy says it will implement a new private 5G network at the Kittilä mine in collaboration with Telia and its partners Digita and Nokia. The company said “it is believed to be the first 5G network built in an underground mine, becoming one of the first examples of the novel 5G technology implemented in production use.”
The 5G network is being built to work both above and underground at the largest gold mine in Europe. “This is a significant investment in our future. At the Kittilä mine, we want to be leaders in adopting new technologies. This development step will bring tremendous possibilities for many years to come,” says Tommi Kankkunen, General Manager of the Kittilä mine.
The Kittilä mine has piloted autonomous and remotely controlled machinery over several years. By building a private 5G network, the Kittilä mine can take new development steps into the future. ”An independently operating 5G network enables utilising new types of mining technologies. Providing us with a private, internal network at the mine, it simultaneously improves occupational safety and operational reliability,” says Kankkunen.
The mine’s network will be implemented using the latest 5G standalone technology that is being introduced more extensively during this and next year. The new technology is expected to provide a long service life and optimal performance for the network that will need to operate at depths of up to one kilometre and in the mine’s extensive tunnel system.
“This significant project makes us proud and excited. The mine project has high demands, and the network will bear a considerable responsibility of enabling mine operations and safe conditions,” says Kaisa Pajari, Head of Networking and Communications Services at Telia.
“Pioneers change the world. Led by Agnico Eagle Finland, and along with our partners Digita and Nokia, we will have the chance to deliver on our promises regarding the possibilities offered by 5G,” Pajari continues.
We are very pleased to be able to participate in implementing this unique and extensive project. We are in charge of building the private network and ensure that the 5G network will enable the customer to digitize its mining operations in the future,” says Digita’s COO Markus Ala-Hautala.
Agnico Eagle Finland will implement the 5G network in collaboration with Telia and its partners Digita and Nokia. Veljekset Toivanen Oy will be the local cooperation partner in the project. The infrastructure of the 5G standalone network being built is unique, and as far as is known, similar systems have not been implemented in a mine environment before. The 5G network will be deployed in phases starting from early 2022, and it is expected to be completed by the end of October of the same year.