Tag Archives: Sustainable Intelligent Mining Systems

Boliden, Ericsson and Telia celebrate world first 5G underground mine network deployment

SIMS project partners Boliden and Ericsson, together with Telia, say they have deployed the world’s first 5G network using New Radio in an operational underground mine, the Boliden Kankberg mine in Sweden.

The deployment comes less than a month since Telia and Luleå University of Technology, in Sweden, inaugurated a 5G-testbed as part of its Wireless Innovation Arena project.

The Kankberg mine is located around 10 km west of the Boliden Area Operations process plant in Boliden, and produces gold and tellurium. The mine has been in production since 2012 and has since then increased the annual production capacity to around 450,000 t. In 2018, the mine produced 456,979 t grading 4.4 g/t Au, 10.7 g/t Ag and 188.3 g/t Te.

SIMS, or Sustainable Intelligent Mining Systems, is part of the Horizon 2020 program, the biggest EU-backed research and innovation program ever with nearly €80 billion ($90.1 billion) of funding available over seven years (2014 to 2020).

“Productivity and safety requirements are very high in the mining industry. This customer configured network can function standalone, allowing mining operations to continue even if communication is disrupted to the mine,” SIMS said.

The 5G technology is superior to other communication solutions for connectivity in demanding environments like mining and manufacturing where continuous operations and close monitoring of processes are required, according to SIMS. With characteristics like very low response times and the option for local data handling, 5G is the best suited technology to meet the safety and efficiency requirements of the mine, it added.

Magnus Frodigh, Head of Ericsson Research, said: “5G is designed to support industry automation and industrial IoT and will be a platform for innovation in industries. The Boliden underground mine is a great example of a sector with tough requirements that will benefit immediately. [This technology]…will ensure connectivity for applications with high performance requirements.”

Magnus Leonhardt, Head of Strategy and Innovation at Telia, said: “Industry 4.0 is becoming a reality. This is another good example of how 5G can be used to build networks adapted to the customer’s operations. To guarantee safety in the mine, for example, the network must function even if communications to the outside world is disrupted. Reliable communications can now be secured with the network we have built.”

Peter Burman, Program Manager at Boliden, said: “We work actively with robotisation to improve productivity and safety in the mine which requires future proof communication solutions. 5G is an important component enabling advanced automation and by that, a safer and more sustainable mine.”

Agnico Eagle’s Kittilä readies for Epiroc second-gen battery-electric machines

One of Epiroc’s second-generation battery-electric drill rigs is set to arrive at Agnico Eagle’s Kittilä gold mine in Finland in a matter of weeks, attendees at The Electric Mine conference in Toronto, Canada, heard on Friday.

According to Morgan Rody, Senior Project Manager: Sustainable Intelligent Mining Systems (SIMS), Global Strategic Projects and Alliances, Epiroc, the mine is due to receive the rig as part of the EU-backed SIMS research initiative.

SIMS is a three-year Horizon 2020-funded European-wide project aimed at demonstrating that the European mining industry and technology providers are global leaders with such sustainable and intelligent mining systems. Horizon 2020, meanwhile, is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever.

The Epiroc battery-electric drill rig is scheduled to be followed over the next few months by the arrival of a second-generation Epiroc MT42 haul truck and a second generation LHD, he added.

Epiroc officially launched the second generation of its battery-electric vehicles at an event in Örebro, Sweden, last year. This came after its first-generation machines had clocked up over 60,000 hours of operations.