Investment Portal of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation

Tested by Cold

A test site for unmanned technologies will be created in the Arctic

3 june 2022

03.06.2022 // Novaya Zemlya will be the first Arctic test site for testing autonomous vehicles developed for mining operations above the Arctic Circle in extreme conditions. ARMZ Mining Machinery LLC, part of the mining division of Rosatom, and Zyfra Robotics company signed an agreement to establish the site.

The parties will jointly develop unmanned mining vehicles and test them at a specialised test site. It will be created on Yuzhny Island of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, where the Pavlovskoye lead-zinc ore deposit is being developed.

‘The introduction of unmanned systems is one of the crucial areas of automation processes associated with both mining and industrial growth in general, the experience obtained during the practical testing of new domestic developments in high latitudes is especially valuable,’ says Alexander Stotsky, General Director of the Arctic Development Project Office (ADPO).

On Novaya Zemlya, the equipment will be tested in conditions of extremely low temperatures, thick fog and heavy snowfalls.

‘If the equipment works in the Arctic, then it can be used everywhere, on any project. That’s the point of testing in the toughest Arctic conditions, where you have to work with very high loads. The ability of equipment to properly function at high latitudes equals incredible reliability,’ says Vladimir Masloboev, Advisor to the General Director of the Kola Scientific Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences and ADPO expert.

Unmanned technologies will enable controlling remote equipment control, making it operate completely autonomously.

‘In my opinion, it would be accurate to call such technologies unmanned rather than self-driving because it is usually associated with the piloting of drones. And it’s not about drones in our case. The main goal here is to replace people whose living and working conditions are extremely difficult. Reducing the number of people working in these mines is the main challenge in developing and testing unmanned technologies. In addition, it is also profitable. It is planned to employ about 2,000 people in the deposit. It is necessary to build a village for them with the appropriate infrastructure, which is rather costly. Therefore, reducing the number of employees helps increase the production economic efficiency,’ explains Vladimir Masloboev.

Rosatom will build a mining and processing plant to develop the Pavlovskoye deposit. According to the expert, unmanned vehicles can be used at many stages of work. Technically, all of this is undoubtedly realistic.

Photo from Read more Continental shelf of the Russian Arctic How it is formed and what it gives


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