First Ore-Mining Company, which forms a part of ARMZ Uranium – the mining division of the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation – has signed a memorandum of understanding with Finnish-Russian digital solutions provider ZYFRA to deploy artificial intelligence- (AI-) based solutions in mining and enrichment operations at the Pavlovskoe deposit.
First Ore-Mining discovered the Pavlovskoe lead/zinc deposit on the south island of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic Ocean – the easternmost point of Europe – and is working toward its commercial development.
The project forms part of ARMZ’s strategy to diversify its range of commodities.
The Pavlovskoe project is expected to produce up to 3.5-million tonnes a year of lead and zinc concentrates.
“It is more difficult for companies to operate in extreme climatic conditions because of factors such as . . . special work safety regulations. The robotised systems offered by our subsidiary VIST Group, including Intelligent Mine, will reduce equipment downtime by 10% to 20% and maintenance costs by 15% to 18%, thereby cutting production costs by 2% to 3%,” ZYFRA CEO Igor Bogachev says.
Intelligent Mine is a set of digital technologies for managing opencast mining processes based on autonomous lоad-haul systems using AI and predictive analytics.
ZYFRA tells Mining Weekly Online that one of the key benefits of the autonomous technology is that, from the outset, it is designed and being tested in extreme conditions that are as varied as those found in the very north of Siberia and the African desert.
“So the system is very robust and fits any type of mining vehicle.”
ZYFRA notes that mining activity has moved toward regions that are far-flung with inherently harsh environmental conditions, as the easily mined deposits have and are being depleted.
Additionally, the company says the Pavlovskoe project is being designed as an entirely “unmanned” operation at the outset to limit the capital and operational expenditure costs that come with taking an existing mine through multiple mechanisation stages.
ZYFRA expects the partnership with First Ore-Mining will demonstrate its ability to provide solutions for mining in harsh environmental conditions, adding that “further cooperation” with First Ore-Mining, as well as other mines, globally, will ensure that its solutions become more affordable.
“We believe that autonomy is the future of mining . . . that becomes true today.”
Meanwhile, First-Ore Mining has also signed a cooperation agreement with Finnish mining technology company Outotec, with the key provisions stipulating that the companies search for “promising solutions for the design, equipment supply, installation, control and commissioning of a thickening plant at the Pavlovskoye deposit”.