Public Joint Stock Mining and Metallurgical Norilsk Nickel: Nornickel develops precise positioning system in its mines

Zapolyarny MineA mining site for the extraction of minerals.Access the glossaryof Medvezhy Ruchey LLC (subsidiary of nornickelPublic Joint-Stock Company “Mining and Metallurgical Company “Norilsk Nickel” and its subsidiariesAccess the glossary) completed the implementation of an IT project aimed at creating a system for determining the positions of personnel and machinery. The project is designed to ensure the safety of miners.

The operator monitors the operation of the personnel positioning system and machinery

The new positioning system will improve the safety of mining operations, allow better coordination of rescue teams in the event of an emergency and improve the management of production processes. A similar program is already in place at major mining facilities in the Norilsk division.

It took Zapolyarny Mine 12 months to introduce the innovative solution, which covers 1,500 mine beacons and more than 80 units of rail transport systems and self-propelled underground machinery. UralTexIs, a company that develops and manufactures electrical equipment for mining companies, provided miners at the Zapolyarny mine with multifunctional lamps containing integrated precise positioning sensors. Similar devices are also installed on vehicles.

The system works by continuously sending location coordinates to the control unit, where a 3D model of the mine is used to control the routes of personnel and machinery in real time. The system also gives miners timely warnings of collision threats, potential vehicle/pedestrian accidents, and proximity to dangerous areas.

The implementation of the project was supported by Micromine, a system that was already in place at the mine, and built on the efforts of the Shared Services Center and the Mine Dispatcher software developers.

” Safety is our top priority. The new system aims to keep our employees safe by helping to determine their positions. This is in line with our overall goal of zero injuries,” said Vadim Makarov, Zapolyarny mine manager.

In addition, the precise positioning system automates a number of production management processes, such as recording working time, monitoring shift rock transport targets, and more. The system is currently in the warm-to-live phase, with a full launch scheduled for June 2022. Plans through the end of the year include 100% coverage with Wi-Fi hotspots to enable microcellular communications for all mine workers, which will increase efficiency.

“We are also deploying a precise positioning system at the Medvezhy Ruchey pit. The process started this year and we are currently installing radio equipment, mesh systems (advanced high-speed Wi-Fi) and Wi-Fi spots to ensure 100 % coverage for efficient positioning of employees in the open pit Next, we plan to deploy a dispatch system to automate the control of mine vehicles and equipment throughout the open pit of Zapolyarny. This includes more than 100 units of drilling rigs, excavators, trucks and auxiliary bulldozers,” says Nikolay Sarayev, Head of Automation at Medvezhy Ruchey LLC.

The hot commissioning of the overall open pit mine system is scheduled for the first quarter of 2023.

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