A pilot project to implement a personnel positioning system has been launched by Russia’s second largest producer of iron ore concentrate.

According to Russian steelmaker NLMK, the system at the Stoilensky open pit mine will improve the safety as it will enable a timely response to emergency situations through monitoring and analysis of personnel actions and equipment.

NLMK claims that the system locates workers in the mine in real time and automatically sets targets for the shift. It also monitors employees’ progress against set targets and warns the operator if workers stray into hazardous areas or if process parameters or operating environment are not observed.

Stoilensky’s general director, Sergey Napolskikh, said that the system had been launched at two of the mine’s administration sites, but would eventually cover all structural units of the open pit mine. “Stoilensky has become one of the pioneers in the implementation of the positioning system in open pit mining,” he said.

• International ratings agency Fitch has upgraded NLMK Group’s long-term credit rating from BBB- to BBB. NLMK claims that Fitch has positively assessed the Russian steelmaker’s financial stability. Shamil Kurmashov, NLMK’s group CFO, commented: “We welcome the agency’s decision to upgrade NLMK Group’s rating.” He said the decision acknowledges the company’s ‘high creditworthiness’ and the sustainability of its business model.