Finnish Telecommunications company Nokia and Telefónica Peru have entered into an agreement on enabling digital mining operations and automation projects at Minera Las Bambas in Apurimac, Peru.

Located at an altitude between 3,800 and 4,600 metres above sea level, between Challhuahuacho, Tambobamba and Coyllurqui districts in Cotabambas and Grau provinces, Apurímac region, at approximately 75 km southwest of the city of Cusco, Las Bambas is considered as the world’s ninth-largest copper mine.

As part of the deal, a private LTE network will be built and deployed 4,600 meters above sea level. It also includes capacity planning as well as providing technical support for the next five years.

Under the agreement, Nokia will install its LTE Radio Access Network solution as well as base stations, technical support and training services to enable more reliable communications between people and machines.

Nokia Head of Latin America Osvaldo Di Campli said: “This private LTE network will allow the Las Bambas mine to increase productivity and automation and, in doing so, embrace the Fourth Industrial revolution.

“Nokia has a wealth of experience providing such mission-critical, industry-revolutionizing networks, and we’re proud to partner with Telefónica Peru in bringing these capabilities to Peru for the first time.”

Features of the LTE network

The new network is expected to improve existing wireless service and allow Las Bambas to put in place additional safety solutions, as well as reduce the operating costs of its Tetra communication system. The Las Bambas mine will also benefit from push-to-talk and push-to-video as the network evolves further towards 5G.

The private LTE network will also help make mining safer, more efficient and productive.

Minera Las Bambas Regional Technology Manager Miguel Canz said: “This is an important milestone for Minera Las Bambas as it will enable a series of new automation technology solutions increasing productivity in our mining operation as well as supporting more advanced automation to improve worker safety.”