Suriname gold mine officially commences commercial production
This week the Merian gold mine in Suriname, South America, was opened and is expected to significantly boost the economically struggling country.
Suriname President Desi Bouterse and Newmont Mining Corp Chief Executive Gary Goldberg officially inaugurated the gold mine on Thursday 17 November, citing it as a “significant contribution” to the economy.
"This significant investment of a multinational of a magnitude and capacity like Newmont, proves that our small economy is able in bearing huge foreign direct investments which are indispensable to meet with the challenges and requirements of our economy in these days,” Bouterse said.
The Merian gold mine
Located 66 kilometres south of Moeng in Suriname, the Merian gold mine is an open-pit mine.
It has an estimated gold production of around 400,000 – 500,000 ounces of gold per year over the first five years of its mine life.
That mine life, is for 11-13 years.
Newmont began operating the project in 2004 and began construction in August 2014.
The mine consists of two open pits, a gold ore processing plant, camp accommodations, a power generating facility and related site infrastructure.
Newmont signed “The Cooperation Agreement” in June 2016, an agreement which will see Newmont promote preferential employment for the Pamakan Community as well as procurement opportunities for local businesses.
There is also the Community Development Fund, which is a fund dedicated to the sustainable development of the local Pamakan Community.
During construction, around 2,900 jobs were created and with commercial production now beginning there are around 1,100 people in employment – 20 percent of whom are Pamakans.
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Ericsson Private 5G to transform secure on-site connectivity
Ericsson has launched Ericsson Private 5G. It offers secure and simple 4G LTE and 5G Standalone (SA) connectivity primarily targeting manufacturing, mining and process industries, offshore and power utilities, as well as ports and airports.
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It is easily installed within hours at any facility and can be scaled to support larger coverage areas, more devices and higher capacity when needed. The product is designed to be flexible and will support a range of deployment sizes, depending on requirements, to suit varied needs. Businesses can manage their networks and integrate with IT/OT systems via an open API.
Ericsson Private 5G builds upon Ericsson’s 4G/5G radio and dual mode core technology, enabling a wide variety of use cases for both indoor and outdoor environments while integrating well with business operations, devices and applications. As a result, companies can improve productivity, give their customers more value and provide better working environments for employees.
Innovative use cases include tracking assets and real-time automation to improve productivity in warehouses, and a digital twin that can help to optimize manufacturing operations. Efficient quality inspections can also be performed via augmented reality or smart surveillance drones to increase worker safety, particularly in potentially hazardous environments such as ports and mines.
Ericsson already has a significant track record of operational 4G and 5G private network deployments with customers worldwide. Ericsson Private 5G builds on the success of that solution portfolio and deployment insights, as well as insights from projects such as 5G-Industry Campus Europe.
Peter Burman, Program Manager Mine Automation, at Swedish mining company Boliden, commented: “Automation, and safety through automation in our mining operations is an absolute must for us. Ericsson Private 5G is exactly what Boliden needs to bring high quality, fast and secure connectivity into potentially hazardous environments allowing us to mobilize efficiency and safety improving use cases.
Niels König, Coordinator 5G-Industry Campus Europe, Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT added: “Private 5G networks are highly attractive for producing companies because of the uncompromised performance that 5G can bring, allowing them to tackle the challenges of production. Efficiently deploying and using network solutions in enterprises requires simplicity in installation, flexibility in connecting to existing production IT and lean operations while at the same time being able to scale the network to meet future challenges. Ericsson Private 5G delivers exactly these capabilities.”
Leo Gergs, Senior Analyst, ABI Research, noted: “With this new offering, Ericsson will be able to address key trends in the enterprise cellular market. The value proposition will appeal to operators and service providers as the solution hides technology complexity and therefore reduces the barrier of entry to deployment for many different flavors of enterprise networks.”
Thomas Noren, Head of Dedicated Networks, Business Area Technologies and New Businesses, Ericsson, revealed: “With Ericsson Private 5G, we take the best of Ericsson’s current portfolio and top it up with the best of our new technology. We do this to give businesses what they need to improve productivity, enable new offerings and give employees a better working environment. With Ericsson Private 5G, we also give operators a better way to serve business customers and leverage their assets - in short, to grow beyond mobile broadband.”
Ericsson recently joined a three-year initiative to develop autonomous, carbon-neutral mining processes supported by 5G connectivity. Funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, the $16mn Next-Generation Carbon-Neutral Pilots for Smart Intelligent Mining Systems (NEXGEN SIMS) project is being coordinated by Swedish mining and infrastructure equipment manufacturer, Epiroc, in cooperation with a range of industry-diverse partners, including: Ericsson, K+S, Boliden, Agnico Eagle Finland, KGHM Polska and Luleå University of Technology.