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IT technologies behind Nornickel's growing effectiveness — company's head

In 2016-2017, at all the Polar mines the company implemented a project on radio communication and positioning

NORILSK, February 12. /TASS/. By using IT technologies Nornickel's enterprises raised effectiveness, the company's President Vladimir Potanin told reporters.

"The example of the Skalistaya Mine shows that use of digital technologies, modern communications allow solving very many problems. Beginning with higher effectiveness of all the processes, equipment, working plans, online task processing and to improvement of operational safety and general management," he said, adding it was a correct decision to invest in that sector and the company would multiply this experience.

In 2016-2017, at all the Polar mines the company implemented a project on radio communication and positioning. A communication network was applied also inside the mines, mobile registrars were installed on the self-propelled equipment to raise the labor safety. The project's cost was 1.2 billion rubles ($20.6 million).

"In five-seven years, global leaders in the metals and mining sector will compete in how they can build up effectiveness by use of digital technologies," Potanin said.

According to him, the information technologies' implementation was not doable without the broadband Internet in Norilsk. "The quick access to the Internet in Norilsk is an opportunity to use new information technologies and data analysis," he said. "Norilsk is no longer a closed system."

Development of the Internet in Norilsk

In 2014, the Norilsk Nickel Company undertook the obligation to provide fiber optic line to Norilsk's industrial district. Later on, the company organized a special branch for that purpose - the Unity LLC.

The project was to lay the communication line of about 965km. The line crosses Yamal and the Krasnoyarsk territory and it is divided into seven passages with different implementation technologies. The projected speed is 40 Gb a second, the equipment leaves an option for expanding the speed to 80Gb a second without additional investments, the company's head said. About 90% of the channel's capacity would be used by Norilsk's residents. 

Investments in the project were at 2.5 billion rubles ($43 million).

The network's tests began in autumn, 2017. The optic channel will be put operational in the second quarter of 2018. prior to this project, Norilsk users had to access the Internet via satellite channels, which had low speed (only 2-2.5GB/sec) and limited traffic, though much higher costs.

Norilsk Nickel is a Russian diversified mining and metals company, the globally largest producer of nickel and palladium and the major producer of platinum, cobalt, copper, and rhodium. The company produces also gold, silver, iridium, osmium, selenium, ruthenium, and tellurium.