At the request of Udokan Copper, MegaFon has designed and built an industrial wireless LTE (pLTE, Private LTE) network of six base stations and set up redundant communication channels at the Udokan Mining and Metallurgical Plant (MMP).
The infrastructure provides coverage across the whole site with both 4G and Private LTE, according to the company.
The main difference between a private LTE and a public network is the presence of a pLTE core deployed in the corporate data centre and linked to the corporate network. Unlike Wi-Fi networks, the Private LTE standard has immunity to interference, meets all modern information security requirements and enables coverage to be scaled up faster and at a lower cost, Udokan Copper says. The solution creates a shared, stable, closed data environment, which is essential for mining and industrial companies.
The pLTE network will cover the entire site, from the open pit to the concentrator and smelter of the future mining and metallurgical plant, to deliver reliable communication for employees and help automate a number of processes. In particular, Private LTE will facilitate automated control of Udokan Copper’s mining machinery fleet, including the monitoring of machinery and equipment performance along with materials and fuel consumption. What’s more, the solution contributes to workplace safety, including the safety of drilling and blasting operations, Udokan Copper says.
According to Udokan Copper CEO, Alexey Yaschuk, the solution ensures highly effective soil thermometry, permafrost monitoring and control of process parameters in energy systems, while also allowing for continuous wireless video surveillance in line with top security standards.
“Going forward, we will roll out the system to the second stage of the Udokan MMP and a number of auxiliary infrastructure facilities, in particular a railroad storage facility,” he noted.
Natalya Taldykina, Head of Corporate Business Development at MegaFon, said: “This is the first private industrial network in the Trans-Baikal Territory. Large companies increasingly opt for Private LTE to set up internal processes thanks to its high reliability, security and a strong digitalisation potential. The private network for Udokan Copper relies on domestically sourced equipment which enables us to make quick adjustments to meet production needs,”
Established to develop the Udokan Copper Deposit, Udokan Copper is part of the diversified USM Group founded by Alisher Usmanov. Udokan is a large undeveloped copper deposit with JORC copper resources of 26.7 Mt at 1.05% Cu.