Detour Lake mine, located in northeast Ontario, is the first mining operation in the country to be connected to a private 5G wireless network, thanks to a partnership between the mine's operator Kirkland Lake Gold and Rogers.
Detour Lake is the second-largest gold-producing mine in Canada, and the partnership will offer enhanced coverage, reliability, and low latency. It will also help turn it into a "smart mine."
"Bringing a 5G wireless private network to Detour Lake provides the stable and reliable service we need as we build the digital mine of the future," Tony Makuch, president and CEO of Kirkland Lake Gold, said in a statement.
"Not only does the new network provide an extra layer of connectivity for our employees, it also enables us to drive mining innovation and technology into the future by expanding tele-remote drill operations and research into potential autonomous haul trucks."
Rogers has deployed five wireless towers at the mine with a built-in backup system, helping to provide reliable access across the mine's 80 square kilometres.
The connection will also help employees access real-time information on operations, use drones to deliver supplies at the bottom of the mine, and further explore their work.
The two companies are also collaborating on eight new cell towers along Highway 652 that will primarily be off the grid. Seven of the towers will largely be fueled by wind and solar energy. The project will cover a total stretch of 180 km between Cochrane, Ontario and Detour Lake and is set to be complete by the summer of 2022.
Image credit: Kirkland Lake Gold/ Twitter