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Annual Report 2016

CORPORATE STRATEGY CMIC was created in 2009 at the request of the industry, government and academia to address large scale and common challenges of the industry and to de-fragment the industry and the network of organizations that provide support to the mining industry. CMIC’s innovation efforts are modelled after those in other industries such as software engineering, hardware engineering, aerospace and defense and even pharmaceuticals. Each of these industries, and others, have enjoyed significant success and innovation adoption by focusing on developing technology platforms versus one-off solutions. In the mining industry, our technology platforms (e.g. drill and blast, grinding) have not changed in decades. True innovation and industry transformation will happen only if we relentlessly pursue the replacement of these outdated and industry choking technology platforms. We have identified four (4) key stakeholders in the mining ecosystem namely: 1. Mining companies 2. Suppliers 3. Research and innovation centres 4. Academia Much of our activities in 2016 focussed on the mining companies and private sector suppliers to ensure that there was complete ownership of the future vision of the industry, technology roadmaps, projects and additional CMIC activities. In 2016, these two (segments) also provided greater than 90% of core funding for CMIC. Thus our focus on these two (2) segments is also meant to ensure alignment to our most important stakeholders. In late 2016, CMIC initiated a review of our vision, mission and key strategic themes. Our focus moving forward will be more aligned to our mantra of fundamentally transforming mining and the future state of the industry with respect to zero waste.


Report Against the Plan The Board of Directors approved plan for 2016 included six (6) clear action items. Each of these with the progress and plans for 2017 are described below.

1 Create consistent and compelling value proposition for potential members

2 Identify target list of new potential members

We continue to identify new corporate members and are specifically concentrating on suppliers.



Finalize technical “roadmaps� Technology roadmaps were completed for exploration, underground mining and environment. A roadmap for processing is planned for Q1 of 2017. Also in 2017, we will be reaching out to organizations that are not CMIC members to increase alignment to the roadmaps and connect more strongly to innovators. We are also pleased to report that these roadmaps are being used by other organizations to validate the direction of their projects including the $100 million projects, Metal Earth, led by Laurentian University. In late 2016 CMIC created and released an integrated technology roadmap for zero waste mining, what we believe to be the first technology roadmap for the industry. The roadmap is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: CMIC Towards Zero Waste Mining Technology Roadmap



Identify project/program models In 2015 we identified and actively used six (6) different project implementation models as described below. •

CMIC managed research consortia (Exploration)

Project integration/coordination – this clusters existing new mining projects, adds potential new project elements and accounts for multi-million investments being made by companies (Underground Mining)

Technology Demonstration (Energy/Processing)

CMIC Directed, Partner Delivered – typically initial stages of a project (Environment, Energy/Processing)

CMIC instigated with “Ecosystem” Participation – these are either very difficult technical challenges that have broad applicability and interest or where there are significant groups working on elements that yet need to be stimulated to move in the right direction (Energy/ Processing, Environment)

6 Continue outreach into innovation based federal government departments to increase recognition and funding base

We are not fixed on any specific delivery model and will modify and adapt as necessary to help transform the industry. A critical attribute of these models is the ability to create project teams that include a small number of companies as well as a mega-consortium of organizations. Projects delivered in 2016 included as few as 2 companies.


Hire 2 Technical Group Managers Mike Flynn and Sam Marcuson continued to lead the Environment and Energy/Processing groups as innovation managers in 2016. Mike MacFarlane, who was the Innovation Manager for the underground mining group, moved to an executive position at a mining company. David Sanguinetti, who was active in the CMIC Environment Group as a volunteer, was recruited to lead the underground mining group. David’s expertise in growing companies from nascent ideas in laboratories will be invaluable for CMIC. Alan Galley continued as the Project Manager for the Exploration group. Activities of the Exploration group are being led by the industry champion of that group.


2016 AT A GLANCE Governance

We continue to attract strong leadership to the CMIC Board of Directors providing necessary expertise from junior, mid-tier and senior mining companies, engineering and consulting firms as well as expertise in finance, audit, the non-profit sector, governance and non-profit growth strategies. The Board and its Committees continue to develop and review operational strategy and policies to ensure the appropriate level of management and control of the corporation while maintaining agility and flexibility of a small yet innovative corporation.

Government Outreach

In 2016 CMIC again made significant progress connecting to federal government departments and raising the profile of mining and the importance of mining innovation to Canada. Over the course of the past twelve (12) months, the CMIC Executive Director & CEO attended over 40 meetings with Ministers, Chiefs of Staff or senior staff from Minister’s offices and senior staff in many federal government departments and high profile Members of Parliament (MP’s) occupying positions on the Parliamentary Committees for Natural Resources and Finance.


In 2016 CMIC hosted a total of six workshops in the Exploration, Underground Mining, Energy/Processing and Environment Groups. Additionally, CMIC innovation portfolios presented six papers at conferences. The CMIC Executive Director & CEO: • Delivered six keynotes •

Participated on three panels

Presented two papers at conferences

Attended two other workshops across Canada

A number of presentations were also made on CMIC activities by members.



The NSERC-CMIC Footprints Project The Footprints project has now entered the fifth year of the 5-year project, and the emphasis has shifted significantly from data acquisition to analysis, knowledge generation and 3D modelling. The three ore system footprints are well defined from both empirical multi-disciplinary data analysis and continued machine learning approaches, using the one to cross-validate the other. The data collected during the Footprints project to date has been entered into the Mira Geoscience Ltd. INTEGRATOR database. This will become the long-term data repository through servers set up and managed by Mira Geoscience in Sudbury. Mira has offered to not only maintain, but upgrade the database for the foreseeable future at no cost to CMIC or Laurentian University. With the implementation of the +$100M Metal Earth project at Laurentian the INTEGRATOR system could well become an industry norm. All industry confidential data will be returned to the companies at project end, and therefore not included in the Footprints database unless specifically agreed to y the host companies. One of the principal objectives for the Footprints research teams is to now evaluate and validate the results defining each of the hydrothermal footprints for usefulness to the exploration industry. This involves taking results developed through laboratory analysis and geophysical surveys comparing it to observations that can be made by explorationists in the field. An example would be to develop mineralogical proxies to geochemical and mineral chemical data that defines the character and extent of the ore system footprints. The more expensive laboratory analysis would then be as much for validation than as a primary exploration tool, with the recognition that laboratory analyse and geophysics are still an important second stage component to discovery. The refinement of the three project Common Earth Models is being completed through the integration of rock property data, geochemistry and mineral chemical data. This is to develop better matches that will allow surface observations with regards to the character and extent of the hydrothermal footprints to be extrapolated into the third dimension using existing geophysical data. The final CEM products will not necessarily cover the entire footprint volumes defined empirically by project researchers, as the refinement of 3D visualization of the hydrothermal alteration is general restricted to areas of highest sample density.

Much of last year was spent by the Data Integration Group towards the robust interrogation of various machine learning methods through both empirically-based and geostatistical cross-validation the machine learning component of the project. This has resulted in the development of a geostatistcal/machine learning workflow based on the HypercubeŽ approach that allows the data to develop a set of robust rules regarding data clustering in 3D space. The refined set of results will be added to the CEM models in order to better visualize the extent and zonation within the hydrothermal ore system  footprints. The entire Footprints research group is now focused on tabulating project results through the project final report (due June, 2018) and through conference presentations and peer-reviewed journals publications. In an effort to highlight the integrated aspect of these results a paper has been submitted to Exploration 2017 (October, 2017). This will accompany a one day workshop on Footprints to be held at this once-every-decade conference in Toronto. Next generation project planning One of the major challenges still remaining for the mineral exploration community is the detection of hidden mineral deposits below the extension surficial cover present in many geological terranes. CMIC Exploration is therefore in the process of canvassing the mineral industry to gauge the interest in pursuing a project for a better understanding of the migration of indicator elements and minerals in secondary environments, and then to have the CMIC industry partners identify the knowledge gaps needed to be filled by such a project. If the interest is developed, the objective is to have a successor to the Footprints project ready for launch by the spring of 2018. The process has already begun for discussion with CMIC industry partners and the cadre of research experts within the various geoscience and technical fields needed to tackle such as complex problem.


Underground Mining

In 2016, Underground Mining built on the road map developed in 2015 and began delivering projects. Through a combination of workshops and technical group meetings individual projects were identified, scoped out, and launched. Perhaps the most significant individual project was the guideline for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the underground. This project was initially discussed during a BEV workshop held in May in Toronto. During the workshop, the state of the industry was discussed and it was agreed that one of the greatest needs for both operators and OEMs was a guideline of recommended best practices. It was further agreed that the best way to accomplish this would be through a partnership between CMIC and the Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group (GMSG). The project was launched in Sudbury at the end of June.

For thermal spalling, it was decided to take advantage of the fact that a member company was already planning a test of the technology, albeit in a slightly different application. Once again, it was demonstrated that the technology works, but it is not ready for immediate application. The third oversize project was an investigation of other, less well developed technologies, that may work in the future.Technologies looked at included water jets, pulsed water jets, and electric pulses. While none of the technologies is immediately ready for application, some of them do look promising and CMIC will continue to follow them. The final project was to develop a loader with an integral breaker, but the companies that started the project ended up unable to pursue it, so for the time being it has been shelved.


The CMIC Energy and Processing group continued its focus on energy efficient comminution. Highlights of 2016 initiatives included: •

In Q1, the technology appraisal study conducted by Hatch was reviewed, evaluation criteria were agreed, and teleconferences were held with inventors of promising comminution technologies.

As a result of these proceedings we decided to (a) follow developments of the IMP Tech crusher, an Australian invention and (b) institute a research project to identify and mitigate potential flaws in Conjugate Anvil Hammer Mill technology (CAHM), and invention from an entrepreneur in Washington State, USA.

In September, we reached agreement on a scope of work for a six-month laboratory study on CAHM technology with Professor Bern Klein of University of British Columbia. The objectives of this study are to prove the validity of the fundamental assumptions underlying CAHM technology and lift potential fatal flaws we identified. Five companies joined the consortium: Agnico Eagle, Barrick, Teck, Goldcorp and Newgold. The project work commenced in December.

In August, Simon Hille of Goldcorp agreed to serve as industry lead.

At the December Board of Directors meeting plans to create a technology roadmap were launched.

Over the remainder of the year, CMIC coordinated a team of over 100 professionals who worked together to write the guideline. By the end of the year the complete document was ready for its final workshop prior to being reviewed and approved. The day before the May BEV workshop, there was a workshop looking at aspects of continuous underground mining. Specifically, mechanical cutting and real-time handling of oversize in the draw point were discussed. As a result of that workshop a number of projects were launched: four looking at oversize in the draw point and one compiling rock hardness data for mechanical cutting. Two of the oversize projects were proof of concept tests: the first of propellant and the second of thermal spalling. The propellant test was done entirely with contributed labour and materials, an excellent example of collaborative innovation. The final report determined that the technique worked well to split oversize in the required time, but not necessarily to a small enough size (see graph). The conclusion was not to pursue the technology further at this time, but to stay aware of developments in propellant technology.

A further workshop was held in October. This served as a venue to present the results of the projects mentioned above, as well as explore the state of the art in mechanical cutting and ore sorting. Also in October, the need was identified for a technical committee to help set the direction for CMIC’s underground projects, and members were selected. With the help of this group, new projects were identified, including a development project for high capacity battery electric primary movers and a mechanical cutting project.



Mining Industry Knowledge Hub

In 2016, the Environment group continued to build on the success and momentum generated in 2015, while transitioning to new leadership under Dr. Michel Julien (Vice President Environment, Agnico Eagle). The group significantly advanced its project-level work, while advancing additional projects and new strategic  directions.

In Q1, the group launched its first project, the Mining Industry Knowledge Hub. The project involves compiling, curating, and distributing key water quality data collected by mining companies. The project aims to preserve key data over time, provide an accessible tool for accessing environmental data, and enhance transparency related to environmental performance.

The project is directly aligned with several potential forthcoming regulatory changes. For example, proposed changes to the federal Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER) include the provision that mining companies make all raw data related to the MMER publicly-available. Additionally, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) recently commissioned an expert panel to review the federal Environmental Assessment (EA) process. One of the panel’s key recommendations was that data collected as part of the EA process be compiled into a national, publicly-available database for use by stakeholders. The first phase of the project involves building a working prototype in partnership with Geoscience BC, an innovative not-for-profit organization specializing in generating earth science data for the natural resource sectors in British Columbia. To date, over 15 million data have been imported into the prototype. Figure 1 presents a screenshot of the prototype development.

Figure 1. Screenshot of Mining Industry Knowledge Hub prototype

The project is being overseen by a steering committee of industry, environmental, and technical experts. In 2016, several multistakeholder workshops were held to enable an iterative stakeholder feedback process. Over two dozen additional consultations took place with project stakeholders to gain additional feedback for further development. In 2017, the project team will focus on continued stakeholder consultation as well as transitioning from the working prototype to a permanent, standalone platform. Planning will be advanced for roll-out in major mining jurisdictions, including Ontario and Quebec.


Remote, Real-time Sensors In 2015, the Environment group produced a feasibility study for the development of remote, real-time sensors for water quality monitoring. A key result was that CMIC should play a coordination role among sensor development companies and other key stakeholders. However, in 2016, CMIC members expressed an interest to take a more active role in accelerating sensor development. Thus, CMIC began establishing a consortium of mining companies to invest in sensor development companies, which will help accelerate technology deployment across the sector. Current consortium members include Agnico Eagle, Barrick, and Teck. Initial partner organizations also include CanmetMINING and LOOKNorth. The project is being launched in Q2 2017 with multiple technology companies specializing in innovative approaches to remote, real-time water quality monitoring. For example, the CMIC consortium plans to invest in FREDSense, a Calgary-based start-up specializing in genomics-based, biosensor monitoring technologies. The project will help to significantly enhance the ability of stakeholders to make datadriven decisions with respect to water and environmental management. The project is also directly aligned with the ‘digital transformation’ taking place across the mining business. The project is being overseen by a steering committee comprised of consortium members as well as scientific and technical experts. This helps to ensure an inclusive, coordinated process that leverages the resources, skills, and expertise of stakeholders from across the mining innovation ecosystem.

Developing Mine Closure Initiatives In 2015, the group produced a full feasibility study for the development of a standardized framework for mine closure. The proposed project aims to harmonize mine closure requirements across jurisdictions with the ultimate aim of enabling mine closure completion and relinquishment. In 2016, subsequent stakeholder consultations took place to explore partnership and sponsorship opportunities. A key potential partner was identified and planning work will continue in 2017 to drive the initiative forward.

Defining the Future of Environmental Management in Mining In 2016, the group began planning its new strategic directions and future activities. In parallel, key group personnel participated in the planning and strategy sessions for CMIC. This will help ensure that the group’s work is optimally aligned with CMIC’s revised strategic directions, including transforming the industry towards a zero-waste future. In 2017, the group will develop a full, three-year strategic plan. Key components of the plan include establishing strategic focus areas, roadmap refinement, and the definition and development of new projects. To enable an inclusive and iterative process, the group plans to hold a multi-stakeholder road mapping workshop in Q3/Q4 2017.


CHALLENGES CMIC continues to face four core challenges as noted below: 1. Lack of adequate operating funding – slows down our progress and limits our ability to move into or take advantage of emerging opportunities. 2. Lack of pool of capital funding – forces each of our projects to raise project funding on a project-by-project basis thus delaying project launches. 3. Lack of relevant & accessible matching funding – negotiating or defining relevant matching funding from government creates delays and can create mission drift for CMIC at the organizational or project levels. 4. Perceived competition with other entities – we are struggling to acquire buy-in from the third segment of the innovation ecosystem, the Research, development, innovation centres and one entity is causing significant confusion in government circles. CMIC continues to reach out and try to create a partnership but after four years this has not yet been achieved. We have seen a significant increase in demands on our resources from other organizations looking for assistance on innovation, strategy or simply advice on mining innovation in general. This is a very positive sign that we are indeed becoming the recognized focal point for mining innovation in Canada. Of course, this places another burden on our already limited resources especially considering the intent of the organization to create a paradigm shift in the minerals industry and the tasks we must undertake to achieve that objective. Sources of funding are also limited for organizations such as ours which is structured to catalyse and coordinate research, development and commercialization. We continue to work on creating partnerships with other organizations to help deliver on our mission.


CMIC’s fiscal year ends December 31, 2016. Andrews & Company provided audit services to CMIC for the 2016 fiscal year. The 2016 fiscal year was a year of focus and delivery to industry partners for CMIC. Six (6) companies increased their contributions to CMIC to help deliver Towards Zero Waste Mining by providing $490,000 towards project development. A summary of the last three (3) years of our audited financial statements is presented below. Final audited statements are available on our web site.


Annual Report 2016 +1.613.627.0771 6 Gurdwara Road, Suite 107 Ottawa, ON K2E 8A3

Profile for Canada Mining Innovation Council

CMIC Annual Report 2016  

The Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) has been identified and is widely recognized as the umbrella organization to coordinate innovati...

CMIC Annual Report 2016  

The Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) has been identified and is widely recognized as the umbrella organization to coordinate innovati...