The Government of Québec in Canada has agreed to support Newmont Goldcorp’s mine 4.0 plan, which aims to create an ‘interconnected mine of the future’.

The move will see the government investing C$1.75m ($1.3m) in a project at Newmont Goldcorp’s Eleonore mine, where the site facilities will be connected to the existing regional fibre optic network.

Québec Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region Jonatan Julien made the announcement during a visit to the Eleonore Mine.

The project is expected to optimise the company’s operations and enhance the working ambience of the miners at the site.

“The mining sector is entering a new era with mine 4.0,” said Julien. “Today’s funding will contribute to the Éléonore mine’s competitiveness in the future: access to a reliable and high-performance telecommunications network is fundamental for the industry to modernise.

“The realisation of this project is excellent news for the Eeyou Istchee James Bay region, but also for the Quebec economy.”

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A total of 124km of fibre-optic cable will be laid from the Eastmain 1A link to the Eleonore Mine. The high-speed connection is expected to be operational next year.

“Today’s funding will contribute to the Éléonore mine’s competitiveness in the future.”

The whole project, to be delivered by the non-profit organisation Eeyou Communications Network (ECN), is estimated to cost C$3.5m ($2.59m).

Newmont Goldcorp general manager Sophie Bergeron said: “With this technology backbone in place, new sustainable and responsible mining developments can consolidate the leadership role Québec plays in Canada’s mining sector and beyond.

“This announcement is also an opportunity to highlight the merger of Newmont and Goldcorp, whose purpose is to create value and improve lives, and with transformative investments like these, we can continue being a catalyst in this region.”