Rogers Business deploying 5G Wireless Private Network at Kirkland Lake Gold’s Detour Lake Mine in Ontario

By Umair Khan - January 31, 2022
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Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd and Rogers Business have announced the launch of a 5G Wireless Private Network (WPN) at Kirkland Lake Gold’s Detour Lake Mine, the second-largest gold producing mine in Canada. Detour Lake is the first of its kind in Canada to be fully connected over a 5G Wireless Private Network, providing enhanced coverage, end-to-end reliability, full redundancy, and a low latency network across its 80-square-kilometre operation.

Also announced, in collaboration with Rogers, the company is building eight new wireless cell towers to cover more than 180 km along Highway 652 between Cochrane, Ontario and Detour Lake. Providing reliable and critical connectivity will provide the local communities with improved service reliability and close connectivity gaps. This public network is almost all off-grid, with seven of the eight towers primarily powered by wind and solar energy. The network is planned to be completed and fully-accessible by summer of 2022.

Tony Makuch, President and CEO of Kirkland Lake Gold, commented: “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. 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. Most importantly, having a 5G network available across Detour Lake Mine’s remote operations will help create a safer work environment for our employees and contractors. Beyond our operations, we are building a new public 5G LTE Network along Highway 652 from Cochrane to our Detour Lake Mine. Adding reliable connectivity will make travel safer for everyone using the highway and also provide peace of mind for community members who have camps and enjoy the outdoors along the highway corridor.

“We’re thrilled to deliver a first of its kind to Kirkland Lake Gold and the mining industry in Canada by providing a 5G Wireless Private Network to improve productivity and worker safety at its site, while building critical wireless connectivity along Highway 652 to improve safety, close connectivity gaps, and support local communities surrounding Detour Lake Mine,” said Ron McKenzie, President, Rogers Business. “The wireless private network at Detour Lake Mine will enable mission-critical industrial applications to power the digital mine of the future and we’re proud to be at the forefront, helping to deliver new innovations to Canadian businesses first.”To enable a fully operational 5G Wireless Private Network at the mine, Rogers has deployed five cellular network towers with its full range of spectrum frequency bands to support a diverse set of use cases and applications throughout the mine site. The network has been built with a full failover backup system across the site. This provides always-on, private access to Canada’s most reliable 5G network 1 across Kirkland Lake Gold’s 80 square kilometres of mining operations at Detour Lake Mine. 

The 5G WPN at Detour Lake Mine provides workers with better connectivity, communication, and safety today while enabling a truly scalable network that will power thousands of new solutions. These include tele-remote operations, industrial IoT sensors to provide real-time insight into operations, drones that can deliver supplies to the bottom of the mine, future autonomous haulage vehicles, and exploration work. All of these applications will be monitored and managed through a digital dashboard to improve efficiencies and productivity at the site.

Rogers Business is working with key infrastructure and technology partners to deliver its 5G WPN solution to Kirkland Lake Gold, including Cradlepoint, Dell Technologies, Ericsson and Expeto. It stated: “Wireless Private Networks are the only solution in Canada to bridge Public and Private cellular networks and truly enable the Telepresence, Teleoperations and Telerobotics markets technologies for Enterprise and Industrial Automation use cases.”

This article was originally posted on the international mining website.