Ontario Invests in Groundbreaking Technologies for the Mining Industry

These Initiatives will Bring Mining into the Digital Age

SUDBURY - Ontario is helping companies develop world-leading technologies to make mining safer, smarter and more productive.

Today, Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, announced the launch of the CENGN Smart Mining Testbed at NORCAT in Greater Sudbury. Part of the Next Generation Network Program, the Smart Mining Testbed will provide access to state-of-the-art wireless communications within a working mine. This will help companies develop and commercialize new technologies for the mining industry, such as wearable sensors for detecting poisonous gases, drone mine mapping and automated ore sorting.

"Ontario is home to some of the most innovative mining companies in the world," said Minister Rickford. "The Smart Mining Testbed will play a key role in developing technologies that push the boundaries of traditional mining practices and create good jobs and opportunities in Ontario."

"This initiative gives innovators the tools they need to position Ontario as a global leader in smart mining," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "We look forward to the new technologies that will emerge and the opportunities they will provide for job creators and workers."

The government's Next Generation Network Program is delivered through a partnership between the Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN) and the Ontario Centres of Excellence. The program helps Ontario companies develop and commercialize innovative wired and wireless technology, products and services. Other projects in the program are focused on broadband, smart agriculture and autonomous vehicles.

Quick Facts

Ontario has committed $63.3 million over five years to the Next Generation Networks Program.

Over the coming months, the government will be consulting on ways to encourage investment into rural and undercapitalized areas of the province with the goal of restoring Ontario’s competitiveness and allowing the private sector to create jobs and growth.

With the launch of the CENGN Smart Mining Testbed, CENGN is now accepting project proposals for Ontario companies looking to test and validate innovative smart mining solutions in a working connected mine.


"We are extremely happy to be working with NORCAT, and our technology partners Nokia and Northern Light Technologies, to drive innovation through the CENGN Smart Mining Testbed. The testbed’s wireless infrastructure will allow Ontario tech businesses to test, validate, and commercialize smart mining products. This will be a world-leading facility that will help the Ontario mining industry grow and prosper, boosting economic growth and creating more well-paying jobs in this crucial sector." JC Fahmy , President and CEO, CENGN

"NORCAT is the only regional innovation centre in the world that has an operating mine designed to enable start-ups, small- and medium-enterprises, and international companies to develop, test, and demonstrate innovative and emerging technologies in an operating mine environment. Using our active laboratory, we help to connect and broker relationships between mining technology companies and global mining companies, creating a vibrant tech ecosystem like no other in the world." Don Duval CEO, NORCAT

"Nokia is proud to support the creation of new jobs and economic growth for the mining industry in Canada through our collaboration with CENGN and the Province of Ontario. We are providing private LTE cellular technology that will bring the mining industry into the digital age, creating the digital mine of the future with sensors and devices that will modernize safety and efficiency in the Canadian and global mining industry." Shawn Sparling Vice-President, Enterprise and Public Sector, Nokia Canada

"NLT Digital Solutions is pleased to partner with CENGN and provide our state-of the-art N-Connex network hardware and Digital Mine software solution. N-Connex’s easy-to-install components and cabling system give underground operators the reliable fibre, ethernet and wi-fi network needed to support current and future technologies that will ensure a safe, secure and productive underground environment. With our solution, the mine can enable applications including advanced teleoperations and remote monitoring of underground conditions from the surface." Tony Napier General Manager, NLT Digital

Media Release Published by Government of Ontario