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MICROSENS switches working underground in Chelopech Mining

The Chelopech Mine is located in central-western Bulgaria and explores the biggest and richest copper-gold-pyrites deposit in Europe. The Mining License covers an area of 266 hectares that are owned by the mine under a concession agreement that was granted by the Republic of Bulgaria in 1999 for a period of 30 years. Since 2003 Chelopech Mining is wholly-owned by Dundee Precious Metals Inc., a Canadian based, international gold mining company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development, mining and processing of precious metals. With gold production of 131,825 ounces (2013) and copper production of 45.6 million pounds (2013) the mine is one of the largest in the world.

The company goal is the constant production and earnings growth while controlling the cost level in order to create value for all the company shareholders. The yearly reports show that this is only possible with a forward-looking strategy and reasonable investments. The mine introduced modern state of art equipment and infrastructure, changed the mining method and introduced significant new industry innovations such as underground real time management system and new flotation technology.

Many changes occurred also in the IT area. The growing automation of underground mining has led to an operational fiber optic infrastructure becoming one of the most important requirements for the application of modern mining methods. Process information must be exchanged both over and underground. Mining and conveyor systems send important measuring and control data via IT control systems. The harsh environment puts extreme demands on the data transmission systems applied.

The company network was modernized and adapted to the requirements of the mine. For this special task Chelopech Mine has chosen MICROSENS Profi Line and Profi Line Modular industrial switches as well as installation switches. MICROSENS solutions are used in both wide underground optical network and in corporate network.

“The key criteria for using MICROSENS were high quality, excellent price/quality ratio and stable, error free transmission even in harsh mining environment” – says Svilen Stefanov, Manager IT Services, Chelopech. Fail-safe performance, the shortest possible recovery times, robust design, modular construction – with these features MICROSENS industrial switches designed for applications in the industrial area proved to be perfect in difficult and demanding working conditions in the mine.

With access to Wi-Fi underground and using advances like real-time monitoring and site-wide production reporting, Chelopech Mining doubled production and reduced costs by 44% per ton. With the technology the company has adopted, it is possible to continually visualize the mine in 3D. Chelopech Mining is a good example how the technology innovations can improve the company operational performance even in so difficult industry area like mining.

MICROSENS solutions were delivered and implemented by the company NewTech BT, IT distributor and system integrator. Apart from Bulgaria, MICROSENS switches are working also in Dundee Precious Metals Inc. subsidiary in Armenia.

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About MICROSENS

Transmitting information via fiber optic connections offers numerous benefits. MICROSENS GmbH & Co. KG recognised this very early on. As one of the pioneers, the company has developed and produced high-performance communications and transmission systems in Germany since 1993. Individually matched to the demands of diverse usage areas and embedded in comprehensive concepts for individual sectors. But, above all, close to the customer. Technical challenges from customer projects are incorporated directly into product development. This way, IP-based automation solutions are created for modern buildings, cost-efficient network concepts for the office and workspace, robust and fail-safe solutions for industrial environments, optical transport systems future-oriented wide area networks and efficient coupling of sites and computer centres.