Nokia and Antofagasta Minerals deploy private wireless network to accelerate digital transformation in Chile

Nokia and Antofagasta Minerals deploy private wireless network to accelerate digital transformation of Minera Centinela operations in Chile.

Nokia said it has won a contract to provide industrial-grade private wireless network capability in one of the four copper mines run by Antofagasta Minerals in Chile.

  • Nokia industrial-grade private wireless network to provide reliable, high-capacity and low latency connectivity for sensors and vehicles at the Centinela mine
  • Private 4.9G/LTE network, deployed within four months, will support operations, including an autonomous fleet of trucks, as part of a five-year digitalization plan
  • Antofagasta Minerals, one of the world’s leading copper miners, has four operations in Chile, Minera Centinela being one of them

The Minera Centinela facility mines sulphide and oxide deposits 1,350km north of Santiago in the Antofagasta region, one of Chile’s most important mining areas. Centinela produces copper concentrate (containing gold and silver) through a milling and flotation process, as well as molybdenum and gold. It also produces copper cathodes, using the solvent extraction and electrowinning (SX-EW) process.

In August 2021, Centinela obtained the Copper Mark, which certifies that the company operates under strict internationally recognised sustainable production standards.

The new 5G network is designed to not only support secure and reliable operations at the mine, but also to enable the mining group to accelerate its digital transformation.

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.

Image Credit: Minera Centinela

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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.”

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 digitalization journey of mining companies, and lays the groundwork for an expansion beyond connectivity where Nokia is already proposing solutions to the global mining community.”

Nokia designed and deployed the industrial-grade network based on a private 4.9G/LTE solution, including Nokia AirScale radio equipment, mobile packet core, IP/MPLS service aggregation routers, and Wavence microwave transmission.

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 recognized sustainable production standards.

Additional resources:

Webpage: Nokia solutions for the mining industry

Webpage: Nokia AirScale

Webpage: Nokia Wavence

White paper: Mining and mission-critical wireless connectivity

References:

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/nokia-antofagasta-minerals-deploy-private-150600139.html

https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252514632/Nokia-Antofagasta-Minerals-dig-deep-for-private-5G-wireless-network

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