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Agnico Eagle and Ericsson

Agnico Eagle and Ericsson

Making underground mining safer and more efficient

World’s deepest underground private LTE network

Learn how Agnico Eagle partnered with Ambra Solutions and Ericsson to design and deploy a private 4G LTE network 3.2 kilometers underground, enabling remote operation and continuous asset location monitoring that helps improve worker safety and operating efficiency.



Known for its highly productive, environmentally responsible gold mining operations, Agnico Eagle needed to improve voice and data communications between workers and equipment deep underground, and operations staff on the surface. Working with its partner, Ambra Solutions, and leveraging radio technology from Ericsson, Agnico Eagle deployed a first-of-its-kind private LTE network through hundreds of kilometers of tunnels deep beneath the earth’s surface. As a result, the company improved safety and work experience for miners, enabling them to stay connected with colleagues and family above ground. Agnico Eagle can also continuously track the precise location of people, vehicles, and machinery to prevent dangerous situations. And the company gained remote operating capabilities and intelligent environmental monitoring, improving mine efficiency and productivity, advancing its sustainability objectives, and helping to lower costs.

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“We know Ericsson technology is highly reliable and will perform even in the harsh conditions of an underground mine.”
— Eric L’Heureux, President and CEO, Ambra Solutions

The challenge

Agnico Eagle faced growing demand for data communications, but deploying a high-capacity wireless network deep underground presented major challenges:

  • Limited communication options
    Operations staff above ground had little visibility into work underground, relying on a traditional telephone line.
  • Wi-Fi proved unfeasible
    With a growing need for data, the company attempted to deploy Wi-Fi underground but it was too costly and provided poor coverage.
  • Radio transmission was difficult
    Resonance in deep tunnels and propagating radio signals reliably required specialized expertise outside of Agnico Eagle’s inhouse capabilities.
Worker oparerating mining equipment

The solution

Agnico Eagle engaged Ambra Solutions, an Ericsson partner, to design and deploy an underground wireless network—the deepest in the world—comprised of:

Ericsson hardware

Ericsson software

  • LTE Radio Access Network
  • Massive IoT (LTE-M/NB IoT)
  • Upgradable to 5G NR

Ambra software

  • Ambra Intelligent Tracking System (IPS)
  • Ambra monitoring system

Ambra services

  • Engineering
  • 24/7 support
  • Licensed Spectrum
  • SIM cards
Workers in mine using cell phone

Solution advantages

  • High bandwidth, low latency
  • Supports voice, mission-critical push-to-talk (MC-PTT), autonomous machines, remote control, predictive maintenance, environmental sensing
  • Open ecosystem avoids vendor-lock
  • Reliable and predictable performance
  • Cost-efficient, requiring a factor of 10 fewer communication nodes to cover the same area compared to Wi-Fi
  • Rich device ecosystem provides more choices for communications
  • End-to-end security, using SIMs, on both network and device levels (Wi-Fi standard only covers L1-L2 security)
“We have waited several years for a solution that would allow us to take a leap forward in terms of underground operations. And we finally have it. Therefore, now we look to the future in a very positive manner.”
— Christian Goulet, General Manager, LaRonde Complex, Agnico Eagle

The result

Agnico Eagle is transforming underground mining, enabling remote operations and continuous asset location monitoring using real-time data transmitted across the underground private 4G LTE network, helping keep miners safe while improving operational efficiency and productivity.

Transforms the work experience for miners 3.2 km underground

Broad coverage throughout the mine allows miners to stay connected with life on the surface including both above-ground operations and personal connections, creating a more positive human experience and increasing job satisfaction.

Keeps miners safer with real-time communication

With hundreds of kilometers of underground tunnels now covered by high-speed data and voice, Agnico Eagle has real-time awareness of where people and machines are located at all times so operators can avoid hazardous situations and keep miners safe.

Improves sustainability with real-time environmental data

Using data from environmental sensors throughout the tunnels, Agnico Eagle is now able to adopt automated ventilation, a major step toward reducing energy consumption, emissions, and costs.

Boosts mining efficiency through remote operation

With location information and high-speed data transmission across the LTE network, operators in a climate-controlled room above ground can control the movement of machines deep in the mine, enabling them to stay productive 24/7.

Streamlines network deployment with preconfigured kits

Ambra designed a standardized kit that contains everything needed to deploy the LTE network, enabling Agnico Eagle’s staff electricians to deploy 1.5 kilometers of network per day while reducing the chance for errors.

Workers in mine reviewing documents
“The LTE network allows us to do things that were impossible to do before we had connectivity everywhere in the mine. So the possibilities are endless.”
— Bruno Villeneuve, General Supervisor IT Networks and Operations, LaRonde Complex, Agnico Eagle