Autonomous vehicles and smart ventilation control are among the transformative applications highlighted in a new Ericsson report addressing the impact that 5G-ready private cellular networks could have on the mining industry.
DEC 10, 2020
Drone inspections, remote-controlled drilling rigs and real-time condition monitoring have also been identified as significant mining use cases enabled by the digitalization benefits of smart 5G-ready connectivity.
The comprehensive 35-page report - Connected Mining: a guide to smart mining transformation with private cellular technology - outlines the employee safety, production efficiency, cost saving, productivity and energy-efficiency benefits that private-network 5G-ready connectivity can deliver across the five use cases.
5G-ready private cellular networks provide secure high-speed connectivity, low latency and strong performance. These capabilities are essential if high device-density environments - such as surface and underground mining operations - are to be connected.
Ericsson collaborated with researchers from management consultancy Arthur D. Little and experts from mining equipment companies Komatsu and Epiroc to identify the five use cases.
- Autonomous vehicles can significantly improve mine efficiency and safety and have a positive bottom-line impact.
- Real-time condition monitoring optimizes uptime, improves mine safety and results in better running machinery.
- Remote-controlled drilling rigs make drilling more precise, accurate and cost-efficient.
- Unmanned drone inspections can monitor, inspect and map potentially dangerous underground areas.
- Smart ventilation control can boost future efficiency, create a safer environment, optimize air quality and reduce ventilation costs.
The report estimates that the return-on-investment for both surface and underground mining operations could top 200 percent within 10 years.
Some mining companies are already embracing smart mining, such as Polymetal, one of the world's largest gold producers. The company recently announced the deployment of Ericsson's 5G-ready dedicated networks at its Nezhdaninskoye gold deposit in the Republic of Sakha, in partnership with Russian communications service provider Mobile TeleSystems (MTS).
Read the gated-content report: Connected Mining: a guide to smart mining transformation with private cellular technology.