Russian gold mining company and Orange build ‘digital mine’ with video to improve safety protocols

Anne-Sophie Lotgering, senior vice president, Europe,
Russia and CIS, Orange Business Services

Digital mine technology from Orange Business Services is helping mining companies expand into remote regions, automate operations and improve safety protocols, using videoconferencing and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Orange Business Services integrated network reportedly allows Russian gold mining company, Zapadnaya to experience reliable unified communications and video conferencing services between its headquarters and hard-to-reach mining sites in Siberia and the Far East of Russia. This includes six sites that Orange engineers connected entirely via satellite because of their remote location.

With its network solution, Orange reports that Zapadnaya has improved collaboration and increased employee productivity across its eight locations. The company uses the video conferencing and unified communications solution for remote resolution of business and technical issues, as well as corporate training and business meetings. This has helped Zapadnaya reduce costs while improving safety and productivity in its gold mines.

Building the digital mine

Orange defines ‘digital mines’ as state-of-the-art mining sites that integrate network technology with smart, connected devices to provide real-time collaboration. Video surveillance, IP sensors, Wi-Fi connectivity and unified communications all contribute to increased production, reduced safety-related issues and reduced operation costs.

For example, remote video technology can explore suspect shafts that are too dangerous or unreachable by manned exploratory teams. Another example includes remote sensors embedded in mining equipment for tracking productivity and maintenance. This data can be shared over the network to better guide the deployment of people and resources and improve the effectiveness of mining operations.image011

“For many companies, unified communications improves employee collaboration and efficiency, in addition to serving as a vital substitute for expensive and lengthy business travel. Demand is growing not only in Russia, but worldwide, and we have the expertise to help empower companies with borderless collaboration solutions around the world,” said Anne-Sophie Lotgering, senior vice president, Europe, Russia and CIS, Orange Business Services.

“We use video conferencing via satellite communication as a reliable and effective alternative to business trips and in-person visits. It helps us control costs and improve safety across the organisation. Through video conferencing, our experts can take part in meetings and analyse activities at our mines across Russia – for example in the Sakha Republic and the Trans-Baikal region in the same day,” said Yuri Shabanov, IT manager at Zapadnaya.

Zapadnaya is a 35 year-old gold mining group focused on exploration, development and production of gold deposits in North-East of Russia and Eastern Siberia, Russia. Its business comprises a balanced portfolio including two high quality producing assets, Badran and Kedrovka, an open cut project, Alexandrovskoye, and five geological exploration stage projects. The group’s operational assets at Badran and Kedrovka are well developed and have a strong track record of gold production.

Orange Business Services, the Orange branch dedicated to B2B services, is not only a telecom operator, but also an IT solutions integrator and applications developer in France and around the world. Its 20,000 employees support companies in all areas of their digital transformation: mobile and collaborative workspaces; IT/cloud infrastructure; fixed and mobile connectivity; private and hybrid networks; applications for Internet of Things, 360° customer experience and Big Data analytics; and cybersecurity.

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