Nokia announced that it has deployed an industrial-grade private wireless network with Antofagasta Minerals for Minera Centinela, to support secure and reliable operations at its copper mine in Chile. The network will allow the mining group to accelerate its digital transformation.
Nokia industrial-grade private wireless provides the high capacity and low latency required for enterprises, such as mining companies, to reliably and securely connect a variety of sensors, devices, equipment and vehicles, above and underground. The network, already in operation after being deployed in a record four months for Minera Centinela, will initially connect a fleet of autonomous trucks. Going forward it will support a wide array of operations as part of a five-year digitalisation plan which aims to transform the mining sector, while enabling safer and more efficient operations.
Nokia designed and deployed the industrial-grade private 4.9G/LTE solution, including Nokia AirScale radio equipment, mobile packet core, IP/MPLS service aggregation routers, and Wavence microwave transmission.
Gino Ivani, Technology Manager for Antofagasta Minerals, said: “We are transforming the way mining is done. We want to deliver excellence in everything we do, leveraging operational efficiencies to achieve the best results. We are committed to sustainable mining and to providing the safest and most efficient facilities. We are very pleased to leverage Nokia industrial-grade private wireless solutions and its experience in mining automation to support our efforts.”
Leonardo Serra, Corporate Head of IT Projects at Antofagasta Minerals, said: “Copper is critical for the delivery of clean energy and consequently to reduce emissions. As demand for copper increases, we are deploying technology innovations, such as Nokia private wireless connectivity, allowing us to enhance productivity in a smart and sustainable way.”
A Nokia-sponsored IDC infobrief revealed that safety is a key consideration when identifying initiatives for transformation, and that sustainability tops miners’ strategic objectives. The report quotes IDC’s 2021 Worldwide Mining Decision Maker Survey, which highlighted the increasing adoption of digital transformation strategies in mining with 86% of mining companies planning to invest in wireless infrastructure in the next 18 months.
Nokia industrial-grade private wireless networks can be deployed in the most remote locations and harshest environments, making it ideally suited for the digital transformation of mining facilities. Mine operators can take advantage of Industry 4.0 technology and applications that enable new levels of automation and autonomy to better manage fluctuations in demand, while enhancing productivity, operational efficiency, sustainability and workforce safety. Nokia currently has more than 420 private wireless enterprise customers globally, including over 35 mining customers in more than 60 mines.
Marcelo Entreconti, Head of Enterprise for Latin America at Nokia, said: “We are witnessing the first wave of Industry 4.0 projects in Latin America and it is very exciting to watch them become a reality for mining companies like Antofagasta Minerals. Nokia industrial-grade private wireless delivers the robust, secure, predictable and deep wireless coverage that mines require for large outdoor areas or underground complexes. Deploying these networks is considered the first and most important step in the digitalisation journey of mining companies, and lays the groundwork for an expansion beyond connectivity where Nokia is already proposing solutions to the global mining community.”
Antofagasta’s Centinela open pit mine is located approximately 1,350 kilometers north of Santiago at an important mining zone with sulfur and oxides. The mine produces copper concentrate and cathodes, as well as molybdenum and gold. In August 2021, Centinela obtained the Copper Mark, which certifies that the company operates under strict internationally recognised sustainable production standards.