Siberian gold excavators from China

Siemens has cooperated with TYHI to develop the largest gold mine in Russia.

The open-pit gold mine

The Olimpiada open-pit gold mine is hidden in the thick forests in Siberia, Russia. It is the largest mine owned by Polyus Gold, Russia's largest gold producer. Winter in Siberia is hard for all living creatures. The minimum temperature is minus 57 degrees Celsius, and even in summer, the highest temperature is only a dozen degrees. The harsh conditions affect every action in the region.

An oversized world

Since 1996, the gold mine, which has proven reserves of 26 million ounces, has steadily produced high-quality gold for the global market. A bird view of the mine pit shows a hole hundreds of meters deep, with the road for mineral transportation forming a huge spiral that extends deep into the ground. Over decades of mining and drilling, human beings have left an indelible mark on the earth.


In the world of open-pit gold mines, everything is oversized. There are not only mining trucks with tires twice the height of a man, but also rope shovels with a height of more than six floors.


Rope shovels enable amazing productivity. A rope shovel with a bucket capacity of 35 cubic meters can fill a mining truck with a load of 200 tons in two minutes, using just three buckets. As rope shovels are the most important components of mining equipment here, the reliability of rope shovels determines the productivity of the mine. Since 2017, four WK-35 and six WK-20 rope shovels produced by Taiyuan Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. (TYHI) have been operating in the mines of Polyus Gold in Russia. These behemoths carry the Siemens SIPLUS S7-1500 wide-temperature PLCs (programmable logic controller), which not only maintain high reliability in harsh environments, but can also cope with the savagely cold weather.


In recent years, TYHI has engaged in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) activities and maintained close cooperation with organizations in India, Russia, Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia and other BRI nations. As the BRI develops, more and more Chinese companies are stepping onto the global stage. With leading technologies, complete portfolio, global network, financial solutions and flexible service models, Siemens cooperates with Chinese companies in fields including infrastructure, power, oil and gas and chemicals, as well as industry.

The digging giant

How can a steelmaking enterprise be smart and agile? In the cold and seemingly endless winter in Krasnoyarsk, everything is frozen, but the 1100-ton rope shovel still works like a Trojan. The local people can acquire vitality through vodka, and how can the giant stay active and flexible?


The freezing wind is sweeping across the ground, and the ultra-low temperature is threatening many electronic components distributed inside the rope shovel, especially the PLCs. But Siemens SIPLUS S7-1500 wide-temperature PLC can adapt to this cold weather. It is like the giant’s brain, mobilizing the various parts of the rope shovel to work smoothly and flexibly in the extreme cold. The rope shovel mainly consists of a mobilizing mechanism, a rotary device, a working device, a lubrication system and a gas supply system. Through the flexible control of the motors of the major devices and systems operated by the PLCs, the various components of the rope shovel can continue to work, digging up ore and loading it into the mining trucks. The reliability of electrical equipment is essential to the productivity of the gold mine.

Cooperation of high-quality

This reliability stems from the cooperation between Siemens and TYHI. As Li Yonghong, Account Manager of Mining and Port Industry of Digital Industries, Siemens Greater China, said, what attracts customers is not only the quality of products, but also the quality of cooperation. Siemens PLCs have been the main control devices of TYHI rope shovels for many years. In a harsh environment, temperature, vibration, dust, rain and snow can affect the stable operation of the equipment. With the advantages of small size, high speed, standardization, network communication ability, functionality and higher reliability, Siemens PLCs can easily adapt to the mining environment.

March into the future

Nowadays, many Siemens digital products are playing critical roles in rope shovels. They are helping mines around the world to achieve stable productivity. Through daily contact, TYHI and Siemens have enhanced their mutual understanding and built a partnership based on trust.


Yue Haifeng, an engineer at the Technology Center of Taiyuan Heavy Industry Co., Ltd., has deep feelings about this: “Thanks to our partnership with Siemens, we have not only acquired reliable products and solutions, but are also creating a sense of trust for the future.”


Trust comes from perseverance. With this dedication, Siemens is helping Siberian gold excavators from China to explore uncharted territory with confidence.

July, 2019