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By A.J. Roan
Metal Tech News 

Nokia private network for Chile copper mine

Antofagasta Centinela mine adopts industrial-grade wireless Metal Tech News – March 16, 2022


Last updated 7/12/2022 at 1:57pm

Nokia SA 5G industrial-grade wireless network mining underground remote map


Telecommunications giant Nokia 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.

"We are transforming the way mining is done," said Technology Manager for Antofagasta Minerals Gino Ivani. "We want to deliver excellence in everything we do, leveraging operational efficiencies to achieve the best results. We are committed to sustainable mining 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."

Nokia industrial-grade private wireless currently provides the necessary high capacity and low latency required for enterprises, especially mining companies, to reliably and securely connect a variety of sensors, devices, equipment, and vehicles.

The network, already in operation after being deployed in a record four months for Minera Centinela, will initially connect a fleet of autonomous trucks. However, going forward, it will also support a wide array of operations as part of a five-year digitization plan that aims to transform the mining sector, enabling safer and more efficient operations.

"Copper is critical for the delivery of clean energy and consequently to reduce emissions," said Leonardo Serra, corporate head of IT projects at Antofagasta Minerals. "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."

In a Nokia-sponsored International Data Corporation (IDC) infobrief, it was 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 that increasing adoption of digital transformation strategies in mining – 86% of mining companies – plan to invest in wireless infrastructure within the next 18 months.

"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," said Head of Enterprise for Latin America at Nokia Marcelo Entreconti. "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 digitalization journey of mining companies, and lays the groundwork for an expansion beyond the connectivity where Nokia is already proposing solutions to the global mining community."

Chile copper mine Antofagasta Centinela IDC infobrief safety sustainability mark

Antofagasta plc

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. According to Nokia, 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.

Antofagasta's Centinela open pit mine, located approximately 1,350 kilometers (839 miles) north of Santiago, 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 recognized sustainable production standards.


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