The Government of Canada’s Québec province announced on Wednesday that it will invest C$1.75 million (about $1.27m) to connect Newmont Goldcorp’s Eleonore mine facilities to the existing regional fibre optic network.
The project will enable Newmont Goldcorp to continue advancing its vision to create mine 4.0— an interconnected mine of the future.
The connection, which will help optimize the company’s operations, will also increase the quality of life of workers on site.
Jonatan Julien, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region, made the announcement while visiting Eleonore mine in the presence of the Grand Chief and Chairperson of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), Dr. Abel Bosum.
A total of 124 kilometers of fibre optic cable will be laid from the Eastmain 1A link to the Eleonore mine. This project, valued at C$3.5 million, will be delivered by the non-profit organization Eeyou Communications Network (ECN). The new high-speed connection is expected to be operational in 2020.
“The mining sector is entering a new era with mine 4.0. Today’s funding will contribute to the Eleonore mine’s competitiveness in the future: access to a reliable and high-performance telecommunications network is fundamental for the industry to modernize,” said Julien in the media statement.
Eeyou Communications Network (ECN) is a not-for-profit telecommunications corporation that provides broadband carrier services for the Cree communities of Eeyou Istchee and municipalities of the James Bay region.
“Newmont Goldcorp’s Eleonore mine welcomes this commitment to innovation and investment in the Eeyou Istchee territory. This joint investment from our Cree partner, ECN, and the Société du Plan Nord will connect the mine to a fibre optic network, providing far more bandwidth than we have today,” said Sophie Bergeron, general manager, Eleonore mine, Newmont Goldcorp.
Bergeron added that with this technology backbone in place, new sustainable and responsible mining developments can consolidate the leadership role the province plays in Canada’s mining sector.