Nokia takes gold in Lapland with private 5G wireless network

Agnico Eagle Finland Oy’s Kittilä gold mine in northern Finland has engaged Nokia – together with mobile operator Telia and its partner Digita – to provide a private 5G SA wireless network to support Industry 4.0 advanced use cases to accelerate the digital transformation of the mine.

The Kittilä mine is the largest primary gold producer in Europe and is located 900 km north of Helsinki and 150 km north of the Arctic Circle in the Lapland region. The mine reached commercial production on May 1, 2009, becoming Agnico Eagle’s first mine to open outside of Canada.

Since the completion of surface mining in 2012, Kittilä has been an underground mine only. It has an expected end of operations of 2034, and in 2020 it produced 208,125 ounces of gold. It is on track to produce 250,000 ounces in 2021 and current gold reserves are calculated at 4,067,000 ounces.

The Nokia 5G SA network will support aerial and underground operations, reaching depths of up to 1 km. It will cover a tunnel system to connect people, equipment, sensors, devices and vehicles, taking advantage of the low latency capabilities of 5G. Nokia says Kittilä mine will benefit from real-time data processing at the edge of the network, supporting important Industry 4.0 use cases, such as autonomous vehicles, high-precision positioning and communications group, in order to further improve operational reliability, safety and quality.

The Nokia 5G SA private wireless network, based on the Nokia Modular Private Wireless (MPW) system, will integrate Nokia 5G RAN AirScale base station technology and advanced computing capabilities, as well as the 5G core based on the Nokia compact mobility. The network will be rolled out in phases and is expected to be completed in October 2022.

Nokia currently has more than 380 corporate industrial-grade wireless private network customers around the world, including more than 35 mining customers. The company says its industrial-grade private wireless technology is ideal for the digital transformation of mining facilities. In particular, he says, mine owners can take advantage of Industry 4.0 applications that enable new levels of automation to better manage fluctuations in demand, while improving productivity, operational efficiency and efficiency. workforce security.

Tommi Kankkunen, General Manager of the Kittilä Mine, said: “Having piloted autonomous and remote-controlled machines in recent years, we have chosen to work with Nokia, Telia and Digita to provide capabilities for the next phase of our journey. digital transformation. We want to innovate using the latest technology and will leverage the Nokia 5G SA private network to improve operational efficiency and support the highest level of safety for the teams working in the mine.

Jari Collin, CTO at Telia Finland, added: “We are delighted to be a part of this project for Agnico Eagle, delivering high performance 5G to transform Kittilä mine operations. This deployment continues our work with Nokia and Digita to deliver 5G SA private wireless networks in Finland to support the growth of the digital economy in the country. “

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