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Publications Mail No. 40062547

February/février June/July • juin/juillet 2006 2008

Editor-in-chief Heather Ednie Section Editors Columns, CIM News, Histories, Technical Section: Andrea Nichiporuk News and Features: Angie Gordon Technical Editor Joan Tomiuk Publisher CIM

Moving costs oday, gas was selling at $1.53 per litre in Montreal, a price that was unfathomable only a few months ago. These rocketing fuel costs have certainly led many of us to reevaluate how we travel — our speed, our vehicles and our access to public transportation. I’m glad to have a seat in a car pool with some of my coworkers, and I know many others are parking their vehicles and opting for a bus pass. Transportation accounts for a growing portion of our monthly household expenses, and we’re seeking ways to keep those costs down. The same rings true for our operations, where transportation costs can be formidable challenges to a healthy balance sheet. The remote locations of many sites, combined with infrastructure needs, the bulk size of our supplies and commodities to be moved, and never forgetting the mounting fuel costs, result in transportation amounting to a major part of any business plan. Companies are continuously working with suppliers to find ways to ease the transportation of their supplies, people and products, while keeping an eye on the bottom line. This issue of CIM Magazine includes a feature section focused on transportation in our industry. This series of articles highlights the challenges faced and some of the insightful solutions at operations in Canada and around the globe. It’s an engineering and planning conundrum that will remain a key focus for our industry and is sure to drive innovation well into the future. In the meantime, I think I’ll go shopping for a bicycle, while awaiting the day that getting from A to B is as easy as saying “Beam me up, Scotty!”


Contributors Jon Baird, R.J. Cathro, Marlene Eisner, Vern Evans, Marie Fortin, Charles Graham, Fathi Habashi, Chuck Higgins, Carolyn Hersey, Barbara Kirby, Pierre Laroche, Annie Lévesque, Deborah McCombe, John Postle, Tom Rannelli, Juan Carlos Reyes, Émilie Roulleau, Michelle Sabourin, Paul Stothart, James Verraster, Nicolas Vinet, Haidee Weldon, Mike Westerlund, Gord Winkel, Dan Zlotnikov Published 8 times a year by CIM 855 - 3400 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West Montreal, QC, H3Z 3B8 Tel.: 514.939.2710; Fax: 514.939.2714; Email: Subscriptions Included in CIM membership ($140.00); Non-members (Canada), $168.00/yr (GST included; Quebec residents add $12.60 PST; NB, NF and NS residents add $20.80 HST); U.S. and other countries, US$180.00/yr; Single copies, $25.00. Advertising Sales Dovetail Communications Inc. 30 East Beaver Creek Rd., Ste. 202 Richmond Hill, Ontario L4B 1J2 Tel.: 905.886.6640; Fax: 905.886.6615 National Account Executives 905.886.6641 Joe Crofts ext. 310 Janet Jeffery ext. 329

Heather Ednie Editor-in-chief This month’s cover Xstrata Nickel’s Boeing 737, which services its Raglan operation, takes off from the Donaldson airstrip near Salluit, Quebec. Photo courtesy of Xstrata Nickel. Layout and design by Clò Communications. Copyright©2008. All rights reserved. ISSN 1718-4177. Publications Mail No. 09786. Postage paid at CPA Saint-Laurent, QC. Dépôt légal: Bibliothèque nationale du Québec. The Institute, as a body, is not responsible for statements made or opinions advanced either in articles or in any discussion appearing in its publications.

Printed in Canada 4 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4



Superheros for a super cause Teck


Cominco Limited donates $25 million to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation 10

Research project to capture valuable minerals from oil sands tailings and reduce emissions intensity Titanium


Corporation Inc. receives a two-year funding grant


Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation scholarship winners Scholarships seek to encourage more Canadian women to pursue a career in mining by A. Gordon Paving the way Suncor Energy to construct and maintain $55 million highway interchange

by M. Eisner

Improving haulage performance while lowering environmental impact


Potential new technology for Canadian lake-based mining South African firm explores

Stillwater mine implements fleet of Kiruna electric trucks


Michelin essay contest winners Two

Canadian Mining Hall of Fame call for nominations Celebrating outstanding lifetime

mining engineering students awarded scholarships


adapting existing underwater crawler technology



35 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 46 47 48 90

Student Life by N. Vinet and É. Roulleau First Nations by J.C Reyes The Supply Side by J. Baird Parlons-en par A. Lévesque MAC Economic Commentary by P. Stothart Innovation Page by G. Winkel HR Outlook by B. Kirby Engineering Exchange by H. Weldon Eye on Business by C. Higgins and J. Verraster Canadians Abroad by C. Hersey Standards by J. Postle and D. McCombe Mining Lore by M. Sabourin Voices from Industry by T. Rannelli

CIM NEWS 59 60





Remote Control The logistical challenges


A walk to remember Genesee mine’s


of remote mining operations by A. Gordon dragline relocation project by D. Zlotnikov 27

Rockin’ and rollin’ on the West Coast Polaris Minerals Corporation delivering


construction aggregates to western seaboard


by M. Westerlund

Les défi logistiques des exploitations éloignées La route d’hiver Tibbitt à Contwoy et la mine Rosebel dans la République du Suriname Une traversée historique Réinstallation de la pelle à benne traînante de la mine Genesee Ça bouge sur la Côte Ouest Livraison d’agrégats le long de la Côte Ouest

The Comstock Lode, Nevada (Part 3) by R.J. Cathro

77 19

Une activité pour les étudiants par M. Fortin It’s all about the students L’ICM reçoit le professeur JeanFrançois Dorion du Cégep de Thetford Mines par P. Laroche CIM branch hosts Jean-François Dorion CIM Conference and Exhibition 2008 wrap-up Compte-rendu du Congrès et Salon commercial de l’ICM Conference of Metallurgists 2008 — preliminary program


The evolution of shaft sinking systems (Part 7) by C. Graham and V. Evans Migration and movement of scholars (Part 4) by F. Habashi


This month’s contents



It takes a village Osisko Exploration Ltée’s Malartic project by M. Eisner Ça prend un village Le projet Malartic d’Osisko Exploration Ltée

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Editor’s Message President’s Notes/Mot du président Letters Welcoming new members Calendar Professional Directory

president’s notes Innovation for a sustainable future The mining industry is in a phase of unprecedented growth, and nowhere is that more evident than in our own country. The products from Canada’s mining activities are in high demand around the globe and exploration has reached record levels across the country. Statistics Canada recently reported that Newfoundland and Labrador had “China-like” economic growth of 9.1 per cent based on increases in oil development and mining, thereby unseating Alberta as having the fastest growing provincial economy. Despite these advances, energy remains in great demand. We also face challenges as a result of the Canadian dollar’s show of strength against its U.S. counterpart, causing costs to increase and affecting productivity. It is in this context that CIM held its CIM Conference and Exhibition 2008 in Edmonton this past May, the theme of which was Moving Beyond: Innovation for a Sustainable Future. The conference provided an important venue for members of the Canadian mining industry to get together to network and learn from one another. It was widely acknowledged that our industry has to provide the necessary leadership and innovation to secure its place in society today. Students attending this year’s conference are the innovators of tomorrow. They carry with them the challenge of demonstrating that we have a social license to operate under increasing pressure to minimize humanity’s collective environmental impact, while still maximizing productivity.

The communities in which we operate are looking to our industry to provide greater returns, and not solely economic ones, but also social, cultural and technological. We can create positive social change with willing partners. I am glad to see the growing success that the industry is achieving with First Nations communities in Canada. Through collective effort and innovation in training, economic development and leadership opportunities, this industry can positively impact a community that has long been Jim Gowans, CIM President neglected. This is innovation for a susPrésident de l’ICM tainable future in action. The Canadian minerals industry has become one of the most technologically advanced in the world.The focus is on minimally invasive practices to extract more value out of our resources and to lessen the impact on our environment. Creating a smaller individual footprint and a more positive social impact are integral to this innovation. As I begin my tenure as CIM president, I look forward to taking the steps necessary to move beyond the current challenges faced by our industry, alongside the more than 12,000 CIM members who are working to create an innovative and sustainable future. This is the essence of CIM.

Innovations pour un avenir durable L’industrie minière vit actuellement une période de croissance sans précédent et nulle part est-ce plus évident que dans notre propre pays. Les produits découlant des activités minières canadiennes sont grandement en demande autour du globe et l’exploration a atteint des niveaux inégalés partout à travers le pays. Statistique Canada a récemment rapporté que la province de Terre-Neuve et Labrador avait eu une croissance économique de type « Chine » de 9,1 %, basée sur les augmentations en développement pétrolier et en exploitation minière, prenant donc la place de l’Alberta en tant que province ayant la plus rapide croissance économique. Malgré ces avancées, l’énergie est toujours en grande demande. Nous devons aussi faire face à des défis en raison de la force du dollar canadien par rapport à la devise américaine, entraînant des augmentations de coûts et nuisant à la productivité. C’est dans ce contexte que l’ICM a tenu son Congrès et Salon commercial 2008 à Edmonton en mai dernier; le thème était : Viser plus haut : l’innovation pour un avenir durable. Le congrès a été un lieu de rencontres importantes; les membres de l’industrie minière canadienne ont pu établir des contacts et apprendre les uns des autres. Il est grandement reconnu que notre industrie doit fournir le leadership et l’innovation nécessaires pour fixer solidement sa place dans la société actuelle. Les étudiants qui participaient au congrès cette année sont les innovateurs de demain. Ils ont le fardeau de démontrer que nous avons un permis social d’exploiter sous des pressions de plus en plus grandes 6 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

de minimiser l’impact collectif des humains, tout en maximisant la productivité. Les communautés dans lesquelles nous avons des exploitations se tournent vers notre industrie pour de meilleurs rendements, non pas seulement des rendements économiques mais aussi de rendements sociaux, culturels et technologiques. Nous pouvons générer des changements positifs avec des partenaires qui le désirent vraiment. Je me réjouis des réussites croissantes que l’industrie atteint avec les communautés des Premières Nations canadiennes. Par des efforts collectifs et de l’innovation en formation, en développement économique et en possibilités de leadership, cette industrie pourra avoir un impact positif sur une communauté qui a été longuement négligée. C’est véritablement de l’innovation en action pour un avenir durable. L’industrie minérale canadienne est devenue l’une des plus avancées au monde du point de vue technologie. L’accent porte sur les pratiques les moins invasives possibles pour extraire plus de valeur de nos ressources et diminuer l’impact sur notre environnement. Le fait d’avoir une plus petite empreinte individuelle et un impact social plus positif fait partie intégrante de cette innovation. Alors que je commence mon mandat de président de l’ICM, j’ai hâte d’entreprendre les démarches nécessaires pour aller au-delà des défis actuels confrontant notre industrie et je serai épaulé par plus de 12 000 membres de l’ICM qui travaillent à établir un avenir innovateur et durable. C’est l’essence même de l’ICM.

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Mining & Mineral Extraction

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letters History interpreted It was with some dismay that I read the introductory paragraph of the article “Migration and the Movement of Scholars” by Fathi Habashi in the March/April 2008 issue. There are six sentences in that paragraph, and nearly all contain outright errors of fact or contradictions with previous statements. Habashi claims that Jews and Christians were persecuted because they worshipped their own gods. This statement is contradicted by the fact that by the First Century Rome was a polyglot city of hundreds of different peoples representing essentially all of the ethnic groups around the Mediterranean. All brought their own religions with them and none of them were persecuted. In ancient history, Rome is unprecedented in this regard. The Jews and Christians were singled out, not because of their deity, but because alone among the various religious minorities they refused to acknowledge the secular authority and religious aspects of the emperor of Rome. Habashi claims in his fourth sentence that religious freedom was achieved in 313 AD with the Edict of

Milan. This is wrong. It established for the first time a state religion within the Roman Empire that required the suppression and destruction of all other forms of religion. Habashi makes no mention of the fact that Constantine authored the edict as a political and military tactic against a rival during a civil war. This is not religious freedom; it is religious dictatorship. Habashi claims that the division of the Empire came about as a result of Constantine’s moving of the capital from Rome to Constantinople. This is wrong. The division of the Empire came about 20 years previously during the reign of Diocletian with the reorganization of the Empire into four military districts, two in the east and two in the west. Rome itself had previously ceased to be of political significance given its great distance from the armies on the frontiers. These examples from just the first paragraph should be sufficient to show that Habashi’s article is riddled with misinterpretation or misstatement of fact about early religious and mediaeval history. In the future, if CIM is

“I said you’ve won that tire draw you entered at the CIM Conference and Exhibition… but did you realize it was for a pair of off-the-road tires?” 8 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

going to publish articles outside its sphere of specialization, please try to make at least some effort to get the scholarship right instead of just hoping the author hasn’t made any egregious errors such as those noted above. Yours truly, Colin Hunt Ottawa, Ontario The comments of the specialist reader are highly appreciated. However, although the phrasing may be different, the contents are nearly the same. Please be assured that CIM is not publishing articles without intensive research. Fathi Habashi

Hats off to Roy Slack on his article “Getting the word out there” (CIM Magazine, March/April, p. 82) about our industry. As Canadians, we owe much to the contribution of the mining industry and its affiliated businesses. Mining in Canada has an excellent safety record, exceptional remuneration and opportunities for its employees, and provides comprehensive benefits to society as a whole. The products of mining are in everything we touch from the most basic tools of our ancestors, to the most sophisticated space age equipment orbiting our planet today. Mining today is a very “high-tech” undertaking and we need to educate the general public to its benefits and motivate our promising young students to consider a career in the many disciplines required to harvest the benefits while minimizing the environmental impact of this crucial industry. Roy Slack and CIM are on the right track. Tom Palangio President WipWare Inc.

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news Superheros for a super cause Teck Cominco Limited recently announced that it will make a $25 million donation to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation to support the planned construction of a new children’s hospital in Vancouver. This is the largest gift in the history of the hospital and is the first major contribution since the $200 million Campaign for BC Children was announced on April 14. “Giving back to the community has always been a priority for Teck Cominco,” said the company’s president and CEO Don Lindsay. “BC Children’s Hospital has touched the lives of many Teck Cominco employees over the years as well as those of families in communities across BC. This gift to the Campaign for BC Children is a natural step in our 21-year history of supporting the hospital.” Since 1986, Teck Cominco and its employees have been active fundraisers for BC Children’s Hospital. Through popular events such as the Teck Cominco Celebrity Pie Throw, the company has donated over $3.5 million. They have also brought many others to this worthy cause via their annual Mining for Miracles campaign, co-founded in 1986, which to date has donated over $10 million to BC Children’s Hospital. “Teck Cominco is one of our greatest friends,” said Sue Carruthers, president and CEO of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Every year Teck Cominco and its employees have raised the bar in terms of their support for BC’s kids.”

Teck Cominco “superheros” man the phones during Campaign for BC Children’s launch. From left: Mike Agg, Gaynor Downie, Doug Horswill, Don Lindsay (campaign chair) and Kimberly Hoy.

Priorities of the Campaign for BC Children include a new Acute Care Centre (that will be named in honour of Teck Cominco), the relocation of the childhood development and rehabilitation services, and support of Child Health BC, an initiative

We’re committed to you and your business. We have the skills and experience to support every aspect of your operation. Whether you are concerned about reducing risk, managing repair costs, securing financing, coping with environmental pressures, improving safety, or any other issue let us work together to develop a solution.

MAC 24-08

mac facts

In 2006, shipment of minerals and mineral products represented around 60 per cent of total revenue freight of Canadian railways.

that is building pediatric care capacity throughout the province. Construction of the new Children’s Hospital will provide urgently needed space for critical care, including new operating rooms and diagnostic facilities. CIM 1 866 444-9944 Baie-Comeau 418 296-3003

Eastmain 819 865-2404

Pointe-Claire 514 630-3100

Saint-Hubert 450 678-6888

Sept-Îles 418 962-7791

Val-d’Or 819 825-5494

Chicoutimi 418 545-1560

Hull 819 770-1601

Québec 418 878-3000

Saint-Laurent 514 334-7004

Trois-Rivières 819 371-1005

Wabush 709 282-3386

June/July 2008 | 9

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news Research project to capture valuable minerals from oil sands tailings and reduce emissions intensity Titanium Corporation Inc., a Canadian company developing a commercial process to maximize the value existing in waste material deposited in Alberta’s oil sands tailings, has received a two-year funding grant of $3.5 million from Alberta’s Energy Innovation Fund. The money will enable Titanium Corporation to continue its research and development into extracting heavy minerals and lost bitumen from oil sands tailings streams. “About three per cent of the bitumen is lost in the tailings stream and currently it’s going into the tailings ponds,” said Scott Nelson, president and CEO of Titanium Corporation. “The grant we received, which we’re matching, is really part of a $7 million proby Marlene Eisner gram directed mainly at recovering a portion of that lost bitumen. That’s a really good thing because there are environmental consequences of the bitumen going into the tailings. So in a nutshell, our project is aimed at recovering two things: the valuable heavy minerals and a portion of that lost bitumen.”

10 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

Although still in the research stage, the implications of the project are far-reaching for Nelson’s company, the mining industry as well as for the environment. Titanium and zircon are two harmless, inert heavy minerals that are used in a variety of industries. Most of the world’s titanium is used to create the pigment in paint, but it is also used in metals in aviation, golf clubs and can even be found in toothpaste. Zircon, which is another type of sand, is a very hard substance. Sixty per cent of the world’s zircon is used to make ceramic tiles and porcelain fixtures, but can also be found used in nuclear plants, TV and computer screens, and dental appliances. For Nelson, the project is about creating new sources of valuable resources from already mined sites and gaining environmentally as well as economically. “This means there is potential for a new source of heavy minerals up in northern Canada that you don’t have to mine,” he said. “Development of new technology will reprocess an otherwise discounted waste product, adding value to the bitumen resource and providing a number of environmental benefits such as reduced carbon dioxide emissions and smaller disposal areas.” A long-term project, Nelson said the goal is for the piloting projects, along with the research and testing, to provide positive results so that eventually, larger facilities can be built. “We are at an R&D stage and we have been doing this for three or four years. Step one was building a pilot research facility in Regina to develop technology. Step two was putting a pilot facility right on the site to hook onto the tailings line to start to process tailings and further develop technology, and now step three is to do more research into recovering the bitumen. Once you’ve done your research and enough testing at lab scale and identified something you can pilot onsite, you hope you’re then in a position to say ‘okay we have this all figured out.’ Then, you can move ahead to build a larger facility.” Nelson said government interest and funding into research and development is integral to the industry discovering new technologies to recover resources. “I am very pleased that the government of Alberta has agreed to provide such significant support for this project. Development of new technology that will reprocess an otherwise discounted waste product will add value to the bitumen resource and provide a number of environmental benefits such as reduced carbon dioxide emissions and smaller disposal areas.” The $200 million Energy Innovation Fund is a cross-ministry initiative that supports Alberta’s Integrated Energy Vision to build on world-class knowledge, expertise and leadership and responsibly develop our vast energy resources for the benefit of current and future generations. CIM

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Working on a Grand Scale At Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, we’re seeking individuals who crave new challenges. FreeportMcMoRan (FCX) is a leading international mining company with headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. FCX operates large, long-lived, geographically diverse assets with significant proven and probable reserves. However, our employees know they are our most valued resource. Our best people can imagine their next career moves in terms of a world view instead of an office upstairs. Because of them, we continue to grow and move forward in the industry. As a Fortune 500 leader in the mineral resources industry, we are committed to working safely, contributing to our communities and respecting the global environment.


To apply for the above positions or for additional company information, please visit our website at:

(For assistance applying online, call 602-366-7710)

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold is committed to diversity and an equal opportunity employer

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news Potential new technology for Canadian lake-based mining A South African-based firm of marine engineers, Marine and Mineral Projects (MMP), is currently researching the possibility of adapting their existing underwater crawler technology — currently being used by De Beers for marine diamond mining — for lakebased mining applications in Canada. According to Rodney Norman, the managing director of MMP, the idea is still very much in its infancy and the company still needs to research MMP launching crawler in Africa it in depth, looking at various aspects such as the environment, in northwestern Ontario, which geology, climate, position of each required the dewatering of the lake mine, viability and so forth. (which had a surface area of over 13 “We believe that it may be fairly square kilometres), the diversion of a simple to develop and enhance our major river system, the lowering of current marine diamond mining technearby Finlayson Lake by 12 metres, nology to mine the bottom of a lake and the largest dredging project ever to without having to drain the water,” be undertaken in Canada. said Norman. “This would mean no “Understandably,” said Norman, longer having to build huge dykes at “the process of building these huge vast expense or having to disrupt a dykes and/or draining the lake is lake’s ecosystem. Currently, as we vastly expensive and time-consumunderstand it, the mining of lakeing, plus this method of mining has a based deposits involves the construcfairly large environmental impact on tion of massive concrete and stone the area while the mine is in operadykes around the site. The area of lake tion, with additional expense to rehawithin the dykes is then pumped dry bilitate an area once mining activities to allow access to the lakebed.” have ceased.” In other instances, entire lakes are MMP’s current marine technology drained to access the mineral-rich consists of a 240-tonne, remote-operdeposits hidden beneath their depths. ated underwater crawler that is An example of this is Steep Rock Lake equipped to cut into the ocean bed

Moving on up Peter Edmunds has been appointed to the post of vice president, global strategic customers for Atlas Copco. “Peter has a background ideally suited to this role,” said Bjorn Rosengren, business area president of Atlas Copco CMT in Sweden, in the official appointment notice, adding, “He has more than 36 years of Atlas Copco experience, having had various marketing and management positions across Canada and around the world.” In 2006 Edmunds was awarded the CIM Distinguished Service Medal, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the organization and the mining industry as a whole. 12 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

and vacuum up the diamondiferous material, which is then pumped to the plant through a 650 millimetre internal diameter rubber hose using a 2.4 MW pumping system. A 500 KW hydraulic power pack powers the systems on the crawler. “The crawler is controlled by a pilot and a co-pilot who scrutinize its progress through a system of 12 computer monitors that provide readings on oil and water levels, pressures and temperatures,” explained Norman. “Plus, the pilots see a virtual animation of the movements of the crawler, the seabed and the mining process.” According to Norman, one crawler unit is capable of extracting approximately four million tonnes of product a year. “We asked ourselves if it is possible to mine the bottom of the ocean with this technology, then why not the bottom of a lake,” said Norman. “Any lake-based deposits can potentially be mined using the crawler technology, so this adaptation possibly applies to uranium, zinc, gold, copper, nickel and so on.” Although Norman reiterated that this project is still very much just an idea at this stage and requires more research to take it further, he said that MMP is very excited by the prospect, as it has the potential to greatly assist and enhance the industry. CIM

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news Michelin essay contest winners Two mining engineering students were recently awarded scholarships as part of Michelin’s 2007 Mining Essay Contest. The first-place honours and $5,000 scholarship went to Jon Warner, a junior in the mining engineering program at the University of Utah. The first runner-up was Daniel Marsh, a junior studying mining engineering at the University of Arizona, who was awarded a $3,000 scholarship. Both students recently received their honours, which included an engraved plaque, on their respective college campuses. Experts from the mining industry selected the winners from among dozens of applicants. Judging was based on how well each essay addressed the topic: “Discuss the requirements and importance of reclamation, as well as establishing and maintaining environmentally friendly processes throughout the life of a mining operation without diminishing productivity. What steps can be taken in different geographic regions to return land to usefulness?” Essays were also judged on creativity, originality and how well the essay communicated the student’s thoughts. The contest, which is in its third year, received entries from students at 13 colleges and universities throughout North America. “The Michelin Mining Essay Contest is designed to give engineering students throughout the United States and Canada the opportunity to address real-world challenges facing the modern mining industry,” said Bill

VanSomeren, director of marketing and sales, surface mining, Michelin Earthmover Tires. “We are very encouraged by the entries that we received. The mining industry cer-

tainly has a bright future because of students like these, and Michelin is committed to supporting the education of the next generation of mining engineers and professionals.” CIM

North American Construction Group is the premier provider of mining, heavy construction, piling and pipeline services in Western Canada. WE’RE MORE THAN JUST BIG EQUIPMENT. Our difference is in our unique talent and knowledge, combined with an unmatched history of over 50 years as an industry leader.

Jon Warner and Clyde Sitterud from Michelin. June/July 2008 | 13

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news Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation scholarship winners

Joanne Bailey

Deanna Burgart

The Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation (CEMF) recently announced the winners of its national “Dream to be an Engineer” scholarships honouring the memory of the 14 women who were killed in the École Polytechnique massacre in 1989. The scholarship, offered in partby Angie Gordon nership with AMEC, seeks to encourage more Canadian women to pursue a career in engineering. Joanne Bailey of Arnprior, Ontario, was the winner of the 2008 AMEC Masters Scholarship in Engineering worth $10,000, which also includes summer employment at an AMEC office in Canada. Bailey is a mechanical engineering student at McMaster University, where she is specializing in thermafluid sciences.

mac facts

Trucks carried $186 billion worth of exports in 2006, of which $20 billion (or 10.7 per cent) was base metals and articles of base metals. 14 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

“Through Ms. Bailey’s involvement with the FIRST Robotics program at local high schools, she sets an example for young women,” said Michael Jolliffe, a senior vice president with AMEC. The winner of the 2008 AMEC Aboriginal Undergraduate Scholarship was Deanna Burgart of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Burgart is a third-year engineering student at Lakehead University, where she is studying chemical engineering. “With her energy and motivation, Ms. Burgart went from being a single mother with no high school diploma to a university student who helps others through volunteering,” said Jolliffe. “Her commitment to stressing the importance engineers have on society brings forth a change in the way young women perceive engineering.” CIM

Paving the way Suncor Energy and the province of Alberta recently signed an agreement for the construction and maintenance of a $55 million highway interchange 25 kilometres north of Fort McMurray. Under the agreement, ownership will be transferred to the province after construction has been completed and all quality assurance inspections are passed. The new Highway 63 infrastructure is expected to benefit employees and trades people working at Suncor’s existing and planned operations, as well as other residents and industry workers in the region. “The new interchange will improve safety for motorists and reduce congestion on Highway 63,” said Kirk Bailey, Suncor’s executive vice president. “But we’re not in the infrastructure business, so it makes sense to have the province own and maintain the interchange.” Suncor initiated plans for the interchange as a means to improve highway safety during the construction and operation of the company’s new upgrader, which is part of a planned $20.6 billion oil sands expansion. When complete, the interchange will also link Suncor’s base plant on the east side of Highway 63 to the new upgrader, as well as other planned developments on the west side that may occur in the future. Construction on the project is underway and is expected to be completed by December 2008. CIM

Achievements AMEC, an international engineering and project management company, was awarded a platinum ranking in the “workplace” category and a gold ranking in the “environment” category of the Business in the Community (BiTC) Corporate Responsibility index. This index provides a benchmark for companies to evaluate their management practices in corporate responsibility with respect to community, environment, marketplace and workplace, as well as their performance across a range of other environmental and social impact areas.

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news Improving haulage performance while lowering environmental impact How does an operation simultaneously address lower limits on underground airborne diesel particulate and rising production, without increasing ventilation? This was the challenge faced by Stillwater Mining Company — the only U.S. producer of palladium and platinum and the largest primary producer of platinum group metals outside of South Africa and the Russian Federation — at their Stillwater mine located in Nye, Montana. In their quest for cleaner air, Stillwater evaluated different technology and ore transport mechanisms, considering factors such as: • new lower MSHA underground limits on airborne diesel particulate; • the difference in cost between diesel fuel and electrical power; • speed of ore transport; • effects on ventilation demand; and • the total cost of shaft deepening. When all factors were considered, their evaluation led them to select the Kiruna electric truck system for underground ore haulage. Part of Stillwater’s evaluation included a reference site visit to Canada, where the trucks have been running very successfully for several years in similar underground mines. The company subsequently purchased a fleet of 35tonne K635ED electric trucks and power system infrastructure from ABB Inc. (Canada). The Kiruna truck system was developed in Sweden in 1958 by the Kiruna Truck Company, with the electrical design and system supplied by ABB. In 1998, the mechanical design was acquired by GIA Industries located in Grängesberg, Sweden. Since that time, ABB and GIA have continued research and development on the Kiruna truck products. The original models sup16 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

Kiruna K635ED electric truck

plied in Canada were DC (direct current), many of which are still in operation. However, the current models are all AC (alternating current), and are available in 35-tonne or 50-tonne ore haulage capacity. With extensive production and development areas below the existing production shaft of the Stillwater mine, the fleet of 35tonne AC electric trucks will serve as primary movers to transport material from the deeper mine workings to the shaft loading facility. Development and construction is underway on a dedicated ramp haulage system and underground maintenance facilities, designed specifically for the AC Kiruna elec-

tric truck and its special attributes. For example, these trucks regenerate power back to the overhead electrical power trolley line while travelling down the ramp. This dynamic braking feature provides an additional energy efficiency benefit. The first 5,300 foot ramp segment will be commissioned for use in mid2009. Subsequent ramp segments will be completed in future years. Stanford T. Foy, Stillwater’s technical services manager, said, “Implementation of the Kiruna system at Stillwater will allow us to reach our long-term production goals and provide a flexible operating system that is within our current operating and capital constraints.” CIM

Achievements Kirkland Lake Gold recently won two safety awards. The first, the Angus D. Campbell Award, is presented annually to the company operating in northeast Ontario with the lowest frequency of accidents. The Robert E. Dye trophy is awarded to the company with the lowest medical aid injury frequency. This is the first year this trophy has been presented.

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news Canadian Mining Hall of Fame call for nominations The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame (CMHF) recently issued its annual call for nomination of inductees. A dinner and ceremony celebrating the inductees’ outstanding lifetime achievements to the benefit of the Canadian minerals industry will take place on January 15, 2009, in what has become one of the most anticipated annual social highlights of the mining industry. They will join the 135 remarkable achievers who have been inducted since the CMHF’s inception in 1989. Nominations can be made by individuals, firms and organizations, however must be channeled through sponsors or associate sponsors of the CMHF. Sponsors include: the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, the Mining Association of Canada, The Northern Miner and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. Associate sponsors include the British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan mining associations and the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia. The deadline for the sponsoring organization to submit a nomination is July 18, 2008. Nominations must include specific information described in the CMHF’s criteria and nomination guidelines, available at The CMHF currently features its inductees at two locations:

Moving on up Anglo American plc recently announced a number of senior management appointments. Ian Cockerill was appointed CEO of Anglo Coal, Norman Mbazima as CEO of Scaw Metals, and Duncan Wanblad has been appointed CEO of copper in the Base Metals division of Anglo American.

University of Toronto’s Mining Building and the Mining Museum in the Lester B. Pearson Civic Centre in Elliot Lake in northern Ontario. In

December 2008, the CMHF will be opening a new multimedia exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. CIM

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moving in mines Tibbitt to Contwoy Winter Road

The logistical challenges of remote mining operations by Angie Gordon any of the world’s raw material deposits are located in remote and very often inhospitable locations, presenting complex logistical challenges for mining operations. Devising an economically viable way to get the necessary people and equipment in and the resulting product out is crucial to achieving operational profitability. Such was the challenge for the individuals charged with finding a way to access the diamond deposits in the farthest reaches of Canada’s Northwest Territories and riches in gold buried deep in the jungles of the Republic of Suriname. Although the logistical, engineering and climatic environments couldn’t be more dissimilar, they both called for ingenuity, forbearance and a very healthy respect for the power of Mother Nature.


Tibbitt to Contwoy Winter Road Diamonds in the rough The discovery of diamonds in Canada’s Northwest Territories in the early 1990s sparked a modern-day gold rush. However, it quickly became apparent that these diamonds were certainly no “easy pickings.” It would necessitate creating all the facilities and infrastructure required to excavate and process these valuable deposits from open pit and underground mines — not exactly an easy task when situated more than 100 kilometres north of the tree line.

One of the key factors to the viability of the northern mining industry has been the creation of what is reputed to be the world’s longest heavy haul ice road. Built over frozen lakes connected by 64 portages, the 600-kilometre Tibbitt to Contwoy Winter Road (TCWR) traverses some of the most forbidding landscape imaginable, to serve as the main supply road for four diamond mines and numerous mineral exploration projects. A record 11,000 truckloads or 330,002 tonnes of fuel, ammonium nitrate (prill), equipment, cement and other supplies were delivered via the ice road in 2007, while in this past road season (2008), 7,484 loads or 245,585 tonnes were hauled north. A joint venture between BHP Billiton Diamonds Inc. and Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. holds the license to build the TCWR each year. Since 1998, the joint venture has contracted Nuna Logistics Limited (Nuna) to construct and maintain the road. The individual mines — including EKATI, Diavik, Jericho and Snap Lake — then contract various trucking companies to haul freight up this road. According to John Zigarlick, chairman of Nuna, using an outside contractor was essential to the project. Zigarlick, who was the president of Echo Bay Mines for 16 years, was the visionary behind the winter road and has been involved with its evolution for the past 26 years. “The joint venture didn’t want hauling companies building the road because they have an incentive to haul as much as they can, whereas our top priority is safety,” he explained.“We don’t have that interJune/July 2008 | 19

moving in mines nal pressure to get more volume across.” Zigarlick said that they employ three crews to perform thousands of ground penetration radar tests to determine ice thickness.

ness of 28 inches is generally attained around the beginning of February, at which point hauling activity can safely begin.

“Crews” control Safety first The importance of ice profiling to ensure road safety is key, reiterated Erik Madsen, the director of winter road operations for the joint venture. Integral to this objective is the use of ex-military vehicles called Focused flooding Hagglunds, the first pieces of equipment put on the southern portion of the ice, which is the last to freeze over. “The Hagglunds require 12 inches of ice to sustain their weight, but they’re amphibious, so if they happen to break through the ice they will float, allowing the operators to get out,” explained Madsen. They travel along the historical route of the road clearing or pushing the snow down while using ground-penetrating radar to continuously measure ice thickness. “That way, we can get flood crews out to the areas where the ice is thinner, drill holes and conduct focused flooding to build up the ice,” he explained. Once the profiles indicate that the ice reaches a thickness of 16 inches, snow cats are able to get out and clear the snow faster along the route. Surprisingly, Madsen said that one of the biggest challenges is not actually building the road, but keeping the snow off of it.“Snow acts as an insulator and doesn’t allow the air to get at the ice to build it,” he explained. As the ice becomes thicker, progressively heavier equipment is allowed on the road. All of this equipment necessary to build the road is land-locked year-round at three camps strategically located along the route. A thick-

Crews at these camps work 12-hour shifts, 24 hours a day, from the middle of December until the end of March. Approximately 160 people are employed to work on the road, including security personnel. Another logistical challenge arises from the fact that these jobs are essentially seasonal. Zigarlick said that one of the ways they’ve addressed this issue is by targeting workers in fields such as farming and construction, which enjoy their peak season in the summer. “We’ve got lots of guys who’ve been coming back year after year for 15 or 20 years,” he said.“This significantly cuts down on training costs.” However, Zigarlick pointed out that something as basic as crew rotations on the winter road can pose operational challenges with significant financial implications. “When you have a shift change, typically the outbound crew is getting ready in the morning to take the plane that arrives at about 11:00 a.m.,” he explained. “Then, by the time the inbound crew gets settled and out to the vehicles, it could be 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. Meanwhile, you’ve got a massive fleet of equipment that’s just sitting there idling in 30 to 40 degree below zero temperatures, burning fuel for up to eight or nine hours.” One way that Nuna addressed this issue was by alternating schedules of “three weeks in/one week out” and “three weeks in/two weeks out,” instead of the more typical two in/two out, Zigarlick added. This means fewer shifts and easier schedulling, as well as having

Hagglunds are integral to profiling the ice.

A thickness of 71 centimetres is required for heavy loads.

20 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

moving in mines the added bonus of spreading out the inflow of income for the worker.

The road less travelled Although the ice road has been reconstructed for the last 26 years, Madsen explained that every year they must basically build a new road, and even design some new routes. In addition to the 600 kilometres of main road, Nuna also constructs alternate lanes over especially problematic routes and approximately 250 kilometres of express lanes.These are used primarily for south-bound empty truck trips when the loads are significantly lighter and trucks are allowed to travel 60 kilometres per hour. This can be an important time-saver when one considers that the maximum speed permitted on the main road northbound is just 25 kilometres per hour (less then a school zone speed) — a limit that is strictly enforced by security hired by the joint venture. “When these trucks are hauling they bend the ice and cause waves underneath,” said Madsen. “The faster they go, the larger the waves until you hit a critical point where you can blow out the ice.” Zigarlick said that many of the ice road truckers refer to McKay Lake — a particularly long and desolate expanse — as a “two-movie lake,” because that’s how many films they’re able to watch during the slow drive across it.“It’s certainly not like the History Channel portrays it,”he continued, making reference to the sensational Ice Road Truckers television series that often portrays these truckers as modern-day daredevils and frequently features shocking ice breakthroughs.“They’re trying to make something seem sensational that really isn’t; it’s tough, lonely, hard work.” He also pointed out that it’s expensive.“The cost of moving things on an ice road is about three times more than on a conventional highway, and this is primarily because of the speed allowance.” The creation of the express lanes is just one of the innovations introduced over time to make the ice road more efficient, without compromising safety.“Every year we learn from the road,”said Madsen.“For example, through aerial helicopter surveys in the summer we’ve identified shallow spots in some lakes where reefs were located, which has resulted in changes to route alignments and created two, and in some instances three, alternate routes that can be used when the primary route is compromised. “This road is only as good as its weakest link,” he said. “So, when you’re talking about a 600 kilometre road, if you have one segment that’s weak, it can shut down the whole thing.”

Global “warning” Another change in operating procedure came compliments of the winter of 2005-06 — one of the warmest on record and one of the shortest operating seasons ever for the TCWR.“While it was an anomaly, it forced us to look at how we could do things differently in the future to minimize the impacts,”said Madsen.“We determined that we had to get the snow off the ice earlier. Prior to that winter, initial crews went

on the ice at the end of December. For the past two years we’ve started almost two weeks earlier.” The ability to get heavier loads on the ice earlier can represent millions of dollars to the mining companies. Still, both Zigarlick and Madsen reiterated that compromising safety is never an option.“The management group has a saying,” said Zigarlick.“Don’t send anybody to any place that you wouldn’t be willing to go yourself.”

Rosebel mine’s cyanide convoys are handled by personnel trained in emergency response and accompanied by the Surinamese police.

Rosebel Mine Going to extremes The Rosebel mine is located in the Republic of Suriname (formerly Dutch Guyana), which is sandwiched between British Guyana and French Guyana. IAMGOLD owns a 95 per cent interest in the mine, with the remaining five per cent owned by the Republic of Suriname. Located deep in a jungle, 105 kilometres away from the nearest city of Paramaribo, it produced 276,740 ounces of gold in 2007.

Cutting through the red tape Despite the rather obvious challenges that this remote jungle location would pose, the mine’s procurement and logistics superintendent Ravi Samaroo said that red tape, rather than lack of roadways and infrastructure, posed the greatest logistical obstacles.“From the very beginning it was very complicated,” he said.“The mineral agreement had to be passed in the National Assembly. Not only did the ruling party and their experts have to look at it, but the opposition also had the right to bring in their experts to scrutinize the agreement as well.” Samaroo observed that such proceedings are typically much easier in developed countries that historically have experience with mining. “We were basically the first large gold mining operation in the country,” he recalled. “There were absolutely no mining laws in place and people really had no idea of what the mining would involve. Also, because we were located close to several villages, they were very nervous about what it would mean to their way of life.” June/July 2008 | 21

moving in mines Samaroo said that community outreach and education were, and remain, key.

Build it and they will come In the 105 kilometre stretch between the city of Paramaribo and the Rosebel mine there are 25 kilometres of paved roads. The remainder is comprised of a laterite allweather roadway. Samaroo admitted that the roadway poses a very big challenge, as the company is solely responsible for its construction and maintenance and yet there are no controls in place. “Anybody can use those roads,” he explained. ”There are no weight restrictions in place so you regularly have overloaded logging trucks traversing the roads and destroying them.” On top of which, heavy rains and flash floods might mean that one day you suddenly have to contend with a river where a roadway used to be. Samaroo said that the company spends approximately US$30,000 per month just on road maintenance.

Material world Additional red tape was encountered as a result of the nature of some of the materials that were necessary for the mining and processing of the gold deposits. “The authorities never had to deal with some of the cargo and materials that we were bringing in,” recalled Samaroo. Especially problematic were the chemicals. “They had no real understanding of things like cyanide, quick lime and nitric acid. If you bring a truck or a loading shovel into the country it’s one thing, but it’s quite another to bring in 200 tonnes of cyanide. They get pretty nervous about that, especially in light of Guyana’s experience with the Jonestown massacre,”

he said, referring to the 1978 incident in which a cyanidelaced concoction played a role in the deaths of more than 900 individuals. Because there were absolutely no regulations in place, it required starting at square one, working with the customs department to develop rules and procedures, including training local authorities in emergency response.“I think that the procedures we’ve implemented will probably be the basis for any mining company coming into this country,” observed Samaroo. “They’re in place, they’re working and the authorities like them.”

Shipping news IAMGOLD creatively addressed the authorities’ concerns about chemicals being transported through the city by obtaining permission to have one of the local companies build a wharf outside it, about 25 kilometres up the Suriname River. “Now we have a facility with our own dock where we can offload our cargo,” Samaroo explained. Still, because the Rosebel operation buys its chemicals from the United States, accessing them proved another logistical obstacle, as Suriname maintains a strong allegiance to Holland.The company solved the problem by chartering their own ocean carrier — one of only three that travel between the United States and Suriname.“Every 14 days we have a vessel coming in here,” explained Samaroo. “What’s happening now is that many local companies are piggybacking on that vessel because it’s become an established route.” He expects that shipping will pose more of a challenge over time, as the Chinese continue to take increasingly more shipping resources off the market.

The road ahead While Zigarlick, Madsen and Samaroo acknowledge that their respective jobs are not exactly easy, they are all clearly rewarding. Modern technology such as cell phones, GPS and computers have improved communications immensely and mitigated some of the previous “surprises,” but none forget who is ultimately at the wheel. “Mother Nature does some pretty funny things to ice, especially in the opening of the season,” said Zigarlick. “The trick is being prepared — expecting the unexpected.” Samaroo agreed observing, “It’s a complicated process, and when you have the wheel well oiled it goes pretty smoothly. But I’ve been in this business for 15 years and each day still brings new challenges.” CIM Offloading cyanide at Rosebel’s dock. 22 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

moving in mines

Prairie Mines’ Marion M8200 dragline weighs in at a whopping 8.5 million pounds.

Genesee mine’s dragline relocation project by Dan Zlotnikov he logistics of moving mining equipment can be staggeringly complicated. No matter how much engineering ingenuity you have at your disposal, some things just can’t be folded for easy transportation. The colossal world of mining — where oversized machinery is commonplace — is full of such challenges. Nevertheless, the heavy machinery does make it to its destination, and the work continues apace. But there’s large, and then there’s 8.5 million pounds’worth of large. This happened to be the weight of the dragline Prairie Mines and Royalties, Ltd. needed to move at its Genesee mine site. A dragline is a machine used for stripping the overburden from coal. “People can’t really comprehend what 8.5 million pounds means,” said Genesee mine’s engineering manager Ken Martens. There’s simply nothing a person encounters in daily life that’s this massive. For comparison’s sake, Martens offered the example of a Boeing 747 jet, which clocks in at a measly 380,000 pounds. You’d need about 22 of them (or 607 school busses) to equal the weight of the dragline.


The planning The original decision to move the dragline was made years back and was part of the mine’s 10-year plan, explained Martens. The original excavation site, mined since 1988, was being depleted, which meant moving operations from the east side of the highway to the west side, to enable excavation on the new seams. “We have lots of experience moving heavy equipment,” said Martens, so the technical challenges of the move were part of standard operations. But the process was slowed by the presence of a 13-inch, high-pressure gas pipeline. Buried 1.5 metres underground, it parallelled a highway that served as a major artery for the local community and industry. Walking the dragline across the highway required precautionary measures in place to protect the road, the public, and the power and gas lines. “We went to ATCO Gas, who owned the pipeline and the right of way, and asked if we could have the gas shut off for the duration of the move,”recalled Martens. ”But we were told that the pipeline was supplying not just our power plant but

June/July 2008 | 23

moving in mines Hydrovaccing line: A hydrovaccing technique was used to break up the soil around the pipeline.

also a number of plants downstream, as well as the local residents, and had to stay on.” With such a tremendous weight travelling overhead, the danger of a pipe rupture was too great, so any proposal for the move had to demonstrate beyond any doubt that the project could be completed safely.

The design Genesee contracted Golder Associates, a geotechnical engineering firm out of Calgary, to produce the project proposal. “Due to the nature of our work, we are very experienced with moving large amounts of material,” said Martens. “So we asked them initially how much competent overburden material we’d need to put on top of the existing surface to spread the weight safely. They came back with a figure of between five and seven metres, so that was out of the question.” Golder went back to the drawing board, and returned with a new design. The revised plan entailed covering the pipeline with 2.4 metres of overburden in combination with rig mats — common reusable surfaces used in the oil and gas industry. “These rig mats are steel I-Beam frames in-filled with laminated six-inch lumber,” explained Martens. They are often used to get heavy machinery over muddy or swampy terrain. Still, the rig mats themselves could not spread the weight sufficiently, so the pipeline had to be exposed and essentially bridged with the mats. “We used a hydrovaccing technique,” said Martens, “where a high-pressure water jet is used to break up the soil and a truck-mounted industrial vacuum sucks up the mud.”This technique exposed the pipeline for a length of 90 metres, and the resulting void was filled with a compressible material to keep the trench sides from collapsing under the dragline’s weight. The material — essentially packing foam — did not quite reach the surface of the trench, which meant any weight pressing onto the rig mats would be kept off the pipeline itself. “The dragline was operating inside a pit that was roughly 15 metres below ground surface,” explained Martens.“It had to be brought up from the first pit and then ramped down into its new operating position. Technically, that was a bigger challenge for us than the crossing.”

The challenges Despite the logistical obstacles, Martens said that the biggest challenge wasn’t the technical aspect of the move, but rather the legal process. Ensuring that all stakeholders were satisfied with the plan took quite a long time. “The other concern was with our insurer, and whether we’d need to pay extra for the coverage of the move,” added Martens. The worst-case scenario, against which the mine had to be insured, paints a 24 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

moving in mines grim picture to be sure. This would entail the dragline rupturing the pipe and causing the gas to ignite during the crossing. The result would be a severed gas supply not only to the power plant and a number of other industrial facilities, but also to the local residents, who would have to contend with Alberta’s 30°C February temperatures. Worse yet, the dragline’s weight would have meant that it could not be moved until any fire damage had been repaired. Its size would have effectively shut down the highway. “This would also have created concern about us being able to meet our coal production commitments due to decreased excavating capacity,” added Martens. With this highly unlikely, but potentially disastrous, scenario in mind, the engineering team was especially careful to ensure the crossing was performed safely.

The mine’s 20-yearlong record of zero time-lost accidents remained unbroken. The dragline — a “mere” Marion M8200 — is one of two that Prairie Mines operates at the site. The bigger sibling is an M8750, which sits at roughly 15 million pounds. It is not schedulled to move in the current tenyear plan, though Martens did not dismiss it as an eventual possibility. Whatever the — K. Martens future holds for the draglines, the lessons learned from the Genesee crossing have shown that additional moves can be flawlessly executed with the proper MEP-Pub Solution v2.qxd 02/06/2008 11:30 Page 1 CIM plans in place. Gas line mats

“People can’t really comprehend what 8.5 million pounds means.”

The crossing Once the plans were laid, double-checked and approved, the crossing itself was almost speedy — not a phrase normally applied to a machine that moves at eight feet per minute. The dragline had been carefully schedulled over the previous months so as to position it as close as possible to the crossing point. It was inspected and shut down at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 22 of this year, at which time the highway was closed and the process began. The closure had been advertised in local publications and detour signs posted a week ahead of the move. “Once it started walking, the dragline was over the highway and out of swing radius within an hour and a half,” said Martens. The entire process — which included building the protective layer over the highway, lowering the overhead power lines and then reversing the process after the dragline had crossed — only lasted 36 hours. The M8200 was back in operation by Sunday.

The Instant


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The lessons If there’s one lesson to be taken away from this project, it is how to properly plan a major machinery move. “People always talk about ‘safety first,’ and this was just such a situation,”said Martens.“We probably had more safety precautions than were strictly necessary, but the cost, when compared to the potential consequences of an accident, was negligible.”

1 866 GO MUROX June/July 2008 | 25




moving in mines

CSL Acadian carrying Orca Quarry sand and gravel into San Francisco.

Delivering construction aggregates to eager customers on the western seaboard by Mike Westerlund alifornia is experiencing some growing pains. Various factors such as population growth, largescale infrastructure projects and earthquake reinforcement programs make it the second-largest consumer of construction aggregates in the United States ( Texas is the largest). However, sharp declines in locally available aggregates and intense opposition to the permitting of new quarries near major urban markets have translated into increasing shortages of these critical construction materials. In an effort to satisfy this growing demand, Polaris Minerals Corporation, which owns a majority interest in the Orca Quarry, a large sand-and-gravel operation near Port McNeill on the northern portion of Vancouver Island, faced a big challenge: how to transport its low-value product to distant customers in an economically viable manner. Polaris, a publicly traded Canadian company, solved this problem by mastering the efficient production and movement of large volumes of sand and gravel. The company’s complicated but efficient logistical chain combines a modern


quarry operation with self-unloading bulk carriers, to expertly deliver construction aggregates to a growing roster of customers in cities on the western seaboard of North America, including Vancouver, San Francisco and Honolulu.

The Orca Quarry The Orca Quarry is owned 88 per cent by Polaris and 12 per cent by the Namgis First Nation. It hosts a reserve of 134 million tons of high-quality sand and gravel — only 12 per cent of the deposit is oversized and requires crushing. The quarry is permitted to produce 6.6 million tons annually and is located 1.6 kilometres from a deep and navigable waterway. Polaris began operations in February 2007 and produced 1.4 million tons that year. The company estimates that the quarry will ship increasingly larger amounts in the coming years as the quarry approaches its permitted production level. “These materials are traditionally trucked to customers; however, we are able to compete effectively through the efficient utilization of bulk ocean-going carriers,” said Herb June/July 2008 | 27

moving in mines

Top row, from left: Loaded barge on the way to Vancouver; Stacker conveyor at night; The self-unloading boom moves aside to enable loading. Bottom left: Tractor scrapers efficiently collect loosely consolidated material. Bottom right: High-speed overhead conveyor in the Richmond terminal.

Wilson, COO of Polaris Minerals Corporation. “We have become a logistics company and a quarrying company.” Wilson said while the devil is in the details, when it comes to moving aggregate products to customers in coastal North American cities, the results speak for themselves.“During my 35 years in the quarrying business I have never witnessed such a fast and smooth ramp-up as we are achieving at the Orca Quarry,” said Wilson, adding that the team at the quarry deserves much of the credit.

Operations Operations at the Orca Quarry begin with the efficient extraction of raw material. Rather than use a traditional loader and haul-truck combination, three Caterpillar 637G scrapers are used for both primary loading and hauling. This is a rare application for these machines, but it’s the most efficient method of harvesting the loosely consolidated, boulder-free material. The scrapers add operational benefits by blending the material as they harvest along the active face of the deposit. 28 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

The quarry’s state-of-the-art processing plant was designed on a turnkey basis by Metso Minerals. During the entire plant process, the material travels by conveyor, eliminating the need for trucks or loaders to transfer the material between processing stages. Each of the four finished product stockpiles — two for sand, one each for coarse and fine gravel — have about 150,000 tons gross and 50,000 tons live capacity. This ensures sufficient inventory for rapid ship or barge loading. Sand and gravel from the stockpiles is conveyed to bulk carriers by a 5,000-ton-per-hour conveyor and shiploader system. The quadrant-beam shiploader is able to load an 80,000-ton bulk carrier in less than 24 hours. In fact, the quarry set a record for CSL International, the operator of the world’s largest fleet of rapid self-unloading freighters, when it loaded one of its ships in just 17 hours.

Transportation The long-distance shipment of low-value bulk products such as aggregates requires cost-effective transportation methods. Economies of scale are imperative. Polaris elected to use Panamax-class rapid self-unloading bulk carriers, which are the largest and most efficient delivery option. The ships offer numerous benefits, including low transportation costs, less energy per ton of cargo and a reduction in harmful greenhouse gases. “By shipping in bulk carriers, we are removing millions of truck-miles from the roads in California each year,“ said Wilson. “By doing so, we help alleviate the issues of traffic congestion and harmful tailpipe emissions in our customers’ cities.” CSL International is shipping sand and gravel from the Orca Quarry under multi-year contracts of affreightment that provide Polaris with distribution certainty at a time when world shipping markets are highly volatile. CSL’s reliable and cost-effective rapid self-discharge ships are a vital link in the logistical chain. Once loaded with 80,000 tons of sand and gravel for the three-day trip to San

moving in mines

Francisco, the fully laden ship draws about 14 metres of water. However, San Francisco Bay has only shallow-water ports available for bulk cargos and cannot accommodate these fully laden ships. To overcome this challenge, Polaris partially offloads the CSL vessels at a deepwater anchorage onto barges using the ship’s self-unloading equipment. This lessens the draft of the ship so it can move into the shallow-water terminals where it discharges the remaining cargo at a rate of up to 5,000 tons per hour.

Storage and distribution The aggregate receiving, storage and distribution terminals are critical elements in the logistical chain that links the Orca Quarry to customers in Maritime urban areas. “These coastal facilities become virtual quarries in the heart of our markets where the ships meet the trucks that distribute our construction aggregates to the end users,” said Wilson.“Each time Polaris secures access to a terminal, it establishes a base for further business growth.” Of the four terminals that Polaris currently supplies in San Francisco, the company-owned Richmond Terminal stands out as a state-of-the-art facility. Its high-speed overhead conveyors can receive product from a Panamax freighter at its maximum unloading rate of 5,000 tons per hour, thus ensuring the ships spend a minimum amount of time unloading their cargo. The enclosed terminal, which has the capacity to store approximately 70,000 tons of sand and gravel, features a rapid truck-loading facility. Polaris completed construction of the Richmond Terminal in the fourth quarter of 2007, and in 2008 the company plans to add a second truck-loading bay so two trucks can be loaded simultaneously. In addition to the competitive advantage provided by the CSL ships and Richmond Terminal, Polaris enjoys long-term supply contracts with firms in the San Francisco Bay area capable of receiving large quantities of material loaded into their barges or delivered directly to their land-based termi-

nals. Its 20-year supply contracts with Cemex and Shamrock were unheard of several years ago, but are examples of longer term supply contracts now sought by ready-mix companies in response to the growing shortage of high-quality construction aggregates in the coastal urban centres.

The future As shortages of construction aggregates increase on the West Coast, and concerns over traffic congestion, fuel prices and greenhouse gas emissions heighten, Polaris is strongly positioned to efficiently supply vast quantities of high-quality aggregates to these resource-starved markets. By mastering the efficient movement of a low-value product, Polaris is well on the way to becoming a major force in the West Coast aggregates market. Even though the company and its Orca Quarry have proven highly effective,Wilson isn’t satisfied.“We will continue to improve operations, productivity and cost effectiveness over the long run as we grow our business,” he said. “We expect to bring our second quarry — a large granite resource near Port Alberni, also on Vancouver Island — on line in the not too far distant future.” CIM June/July 2008 | 29

ça bouge dans les mines

Camion sur la route d’hiver Tibbitt à Contwoy

e nombreux gisements miniers sont situés dans des endroits éloignés, souvent inhospitaliers. La découverte d’or dans la jungle ou de diamants dans le Grand Nord témoigne déjà de la persévérance des chercheurs mais ce n’est que le premier pas. Il faut entrer les gens et les équipements et sortir le produit de manière rentable. Les responsables doivent donc faire preuve d’ingéniosité et d’un grand respect pour Dame Nature.


Les diamants dans le Nord La découverte de diamants dans les Territoires du NordOuest au début des années 1990 a déclenché une ruée moderne. Cependant, il est vite devenu apparent que ce ne serait pas une cueillette facile. Toutes les infrastructures devaient être bâties pour extraire et traiter les minerais dans des gisements situés à plus de 100 kilomètres au-delà de la limite des arbres. L’un des facteurs de viabilité de l’industrie minière dans le Nord est la route de glace de Tibbitt à Contwoy; une route de 600 kilomètres sur des lacs gelés. En 2007, un record de 11 000 voyages de camion, soit 330 002 tonnes de carburant, de nitrate d’ammonium, d’équipements et autres fournitures, ont été acheminés par cette route. Une co-entreprise BHP Billiton Diamonds Inc. et Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. détient le permis de construire la route et Nuna Logistics Limited (Nuna) a obtenu le contrat pour construire et entretenir cette route. John Zigarlick, président de Nuna et ancien président de Echo Bay Mines, est le visionnaire 30 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

derrière la route; il la suit depuis 26 ans. « La co-entreprise ne voulait pas qu’une compagnie de transport construise la route car l’emphase aurait été mise sur le volume transporté alors que notre plus grande priorité est la sécurité. » Trois équipes effectuent des milliers d’essais géoradar pour déterminer l’épaisseur de la glace. « La détermination du profil de la glace est la clé pour assurer la sécurité routière » réitère Erik Madsen, le directeur de l’exploitation de la route d’hiver. Les premiers véhicules à utiliser la portion sud, la dernière à geler, sont des Hägglunds, des véhicules amphibies qui ne demandent que 12 pouces de glace pour soutenir leur poids. Ils voyagent le long de la route pour la déneiger et constamment mesurer l’épaisseur de la glace. « Là où la glace est mince, des équipes sont envoyées pour forer des trous et arroser la route pour en augmenter l’épaisseur. » Une fois que la glace a atteint une épaisseur de 16 pouces, les « snowcats » peuvent être utilisés pour déneiger plus rapidement. Ce déneigement est nécessaire car la neige agit en tant qu’isolant et empêche l’air d’atteindre la glace pour l’épaissir. Il faut généralement une épaisseur de 28 pouces pour commencer à haler en toute sécurité. La capacité de passer de lourdes charges le plus tôt possible représente des millions de dollars pour les compagnies minières. Cependant, la sécurité n’est jamais compromise. Environ 160 personnes travaillent à la route; mais, comme il s’agit d’emplois saisonniers d’hiver, on embauche des travailleurs agricoles ou de la construction. « Nous avons des

ça bouge dans les mines gens qui reviennent depuis plus de 15 ans; cela diminue nos coûts de formation », ajoute M. Zigarlick. Le simple changement d’équipe soulève de grands défis. « L’équipe qui sort se prépare le matin pour l’avion qui arrive vers 11 heures et il peut être 14 ou 15 heures avant que l’équipe qui arrive ne soit prête. Les équipements tournent donc pour plusieurs heures à des températures de -30 à -40ºC. » Nuna a résolu ce problème en modifiant les horaires pour qu’ils se chevauchent. Bien que la route de glace soit reconstruite à tous les ans, c’est en fait une nouvelle route à chaque fois. Des voies secondaires et environ 250 kilomètres de voies express sont aussi construites. Ces dernières sont réservées aux camions vides; la charge est bien moins lourde et les camions peuvent atteindre une vitesse de 60 km/h. Il s’agit d’économies importantes lorsque l’on sait que la vitesse maximale permise en direction nord n’est que 25 km/h – moins qu’une zone scolaire – une limite rigoureusement appliquée par l’équipe de sécurité. Les camionneurs appèlent le secteur du lac McKay le lac à deux films. Ils ont en effet le temps de visionner deux films durant la longue et lente traversée. « Lorsque les camions sont chargés, la glace plie et cause des vagues. Plus vous allez vite, plus les vagues sont amplifiées jusqu’à l’atteinte d’un point critique qui fait éclater la glace », explique M. Madsen et ajoute : « La route nous enseigne bien des choses. Grâce à des levés aériens au cours de l’été nous pouvons voir les endroits moins creux et planifier des options de tracé. Un seul segment faible sur les 600 kilomètres peut faire fermer la route. »

La mine Rosebel est située dans la République du Suriname; IAMGOLD en possède 95 % et l’autre 5 % est la propriété du pays. Elle est située dans la jungle, à 105 kilomètres de la ville la plus proche, Paramaribo; en 2006, cette mine a produit 301 000 onces d’or. Selon Ravi Samaroo, le surintendant de l’approvisionnement et de la logistique, les défis évidents de l’éloignement et du manque d’infrastructures étaient moins difficiles

à surmonter que la bureaucratie. « L’entente devait être approuvée par l’Assemblée nationale; le parti au pouvoir et le parti d’opposition avaient chacun leurs experts qui analysaient l’entente. » M. Samaroo observe que de telles procédures sont plus faciles dans les pays développés qui ont l’expérience des mines. « Nous étions la première grande exploitation minière au pays. Il n’existait aucune loi des mines et les gens ne savaient pas vraiment ce qui était impliqué. » La sensibilisation et l’éducation étaient, et sont encore, des enjeux clés. Sur la distance de 105 kilomètres entre la mine et la ville, seuls 25 kilomètres sont pavés; le reste est sur de la roche latéritique. La compagnie dépense environ 30 000 $US par mois pour l’entretien, que ce soit à la suite de défoncements par des camions chargés de bois, de pluies torrentielles ou de crues transformant la route en rivière. D’autres lourdeurs administratives ont été rencontrées en raison de la nature de certains produits chimiques requis pour le traitement des minerais aurifères. « Ils ne comprenaient pas vraiment le cyanure, la chaux vive et l’acide nitrique. Deux cents tonnes de cyanure les rendaient très nerveux, surtout après le massacre de Jonestown en Guyane, en 1978. Des réglementations et des procédures d’intervention en cas d’urgence ont été implantées, incluant la formation requise. » Les inquiétudes concernant le transport de produits chimiques à travers la ville ont aussi été réglées par la construction d’un quai à environ 25 kilomètres en amont de la ville. Un autre obstacle logistique a été l’achat des produits chimiques aux États-Unis alors que le Suriname maintient de fortes attaches avec la Hollande. La compagnie affrète donc son propre transporteur maritime. Alors que MM. Zigarlick, Madsen et Samaroo reconnaissent que leur tâche n’est pas facile, ils reconnaissent aussi qu’elle est très intéressante. La technologie moderne avec les cellulaires, les GPS et les ordinateurs ont grandement amélioré les communications et atténué des « surprises », mais c’est encore Dame Nature qui mène. CIM

Chasse-neige Nuna

Route de glace à deux voies

L’or dans la jungle

June/July 2008 | 31

ça bouge dans les mines

Réinstallation de la pelle à benne traînante de la mine Genesee éplacer des équipements miniers peut être extrêmement compliqué en raison de leurs dimensions démesurées; ils ne se plient pas pour rangement facile. La pelle à benne traînante de Prairie Mines and Royalties pèse 8,5 millions de livres. Il est difficile de s’imaginer un tel poids. Un Boeing 747 ne pèse que 380 000 livres; il en faudrait 22 pour égaler le poids de la pelle. « La décision de déménager la pelle a été prise il y a quelques années; cela faisait partie de notre plan décennal », explique Ken Martens, directeur de l’ingénierie pour la mine Genesee.Le site original d’extraction,exploité depuis 1988,était épuisé et il fallait déménager l’exploitation de l’autre côté de la route, une artère principale, pour atteindre de nouveaux filons. « Nous avons beaucoup d’expérience dans le déplacement d’équipements lourds », dit M. Martens. Cependant, le processus se trouvait compliqué par la présence d’un pipeline de gaz à haute pression enfoui à une profondeur de 1,5 mètre. Traverser la route demandait des mesures de protection extraordinaires. « Nous avons demandé à ATCO Gas, propriétaire du pipeline, de fermer le gaz durant la traversée », dit M. Martens. « La compagnie nous a signalé que le pipeline desservait plusieurs usines et résidences et qu’il ne pouvait être fermé. » Toute proposition de déplacement devait donc démontrer sans l’ombre d’un doute qu’elle était sécuritaire. Genesee a demandé à Golder Associés de calculer la quantité de matériel nécessaire pour étaler la charge. Il en aurait fallu de cinq à sept mètres d’épaisseur. Cette idée a donc été rejetée. Une nouvelle conception proposait 2,4 mètres de matériel avec des plates-formes modulaires fréquemment utilisées dans l’industrie du gaz et du pétrole. Il


32 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

s’agit de poutres en « I » remplies de madriers laminés de 6 pouces; elles servent au déplacement de la machinerie lourde sur des terrains boueux ou marécageux. Cependant elles ne pouvaient répartir la charge adéquatement. Le pipeline a donc été découvert sur une distance de 90 mètres et les plates-formes ont servi de pont par-dessus le pipeline. Malgré tous les obstacles logistiques, le plus gros défi n’était pas l’aspect technique mais bien l’aspect légal. « Nos autres préoccupations étaient les assurances et le besoin potentiel d’une couverture supplémentaire pour le déplacement », ajoute M.Martens.Selon le pire scénario – et contre lequel nous devions être assurés – la pelle défonçait le pipeline et le gaz prenait feu. En plus de la fermeture de la route cela entraînerait un manque de combustible pour les résidences, alors qu’en Alberta les températures baissent à -30ºC en février.Il y avait aussi la question de nos engagements à produire du charbon. Considérant ce scénario, peu probable mais potentiellement désastreux, l’équipe d’ingénierie devait assurer une traversée sécuritaire. Une fois tout vérifié, la traversée a été presque rapide – un terme rarement utilisé pour décrire une vitesse de 8 pieds par minute. La pelle a été inspectée puis fermée à 19 heures, le vendredi 22 février, en même temps que la route. La traversée de la route proprement dite a duré une heure et demie. Le processus complet, avec la protection de la route, le retrait et la remise des lignes d’électricité n’a demandé que 36 heures. « Nous avons appris à planifier le déménagement d’équipements énormes. Nous étions probablement plus sécuritaires que strictement nécessaire, mais le coût était négligeable par rapport aux conséquences d’un accident », dit M. Martens. « Notre record de 20 ans sans accident avec perte de temps est demeuré intact.» CIM

ça bouge dans les mines

CSL Acadian

Livraison d’agrégats le long de la Côte Ouest a Californie vit actuellement une crise de croissance en raison de l’accroissement de la population, des méga-projets d’infrastructures et des programmes de protection parasismique. Cependant, le peu d’agrégats locaux et la forte résistance à l’ouverture de nouvelles carrières à proximité des centres urbains se traduisent par des pénuries de matériaux de construction. Pour pallier cette demande, Polaris Minerals Corporation, qui détient les intérêts majoritaires (88 %) de la carrière de sable et gravier Orca dans le nord de l’île de Vancouver, avait un défi majeur : transporter, de manière rentable, un produit à faible valeur économique à des clients éloignés. La carrière Orca, située à 1,6 km d’une voie navigable, est aussi la propriété à 12 % de la Première Nation Namgis. Les réserves sont de 134 millions de tonnes de sable et de gravier de haute qualité – seulement 12 % du gisement a besoin de concassage. Elle a les permis requis pour extraire 6,6 millions de tonnes annuellement. « Ces matériaux sont généralement acheminés aux clients par camion; pour être compétitifs, nous utilisons des vraquiers océaniques à auto-déchargement », dit Herb Wilson, directeur de l’exploitation, Polaris Minerals Corporation. L’exploitation commence par l’extraction efficiente de la matière brute.Plutôt que d’utiliser les traditionnelles chargeuses frontales et des camions,trois bennes-racleuses Caterpillar 637G servent au chargement et au transport. C’est une application inhabituelle pour ces machines, mais c’est la méthode la plus efficace pour extraire ce matériau peu consolidé. L’usine de traitement a été conçue par Metso Minerals. Durant tout le processus, le matériau voyage par convoyeurs; même des quatre aires de stockage aux vraquiers. Le transport de produits à faible valeur sur de longues distances exige des méthodes de transport efficaces en termes de coûts. Polaris utilise des vraquiers à auto-décharge-


ment rapide de classe Panamax. En expédiant en vrac, la compagnie sauve des millions de kilomètres de transport par camion par année. Les contrats d’affrètement sont négociés pour plusieurs années, assurant ainsi à Polaris une certitude de distribution à un moment où les marchés sont inconstants. Pour le voyage de trois jours vers San Francisco, le navire pleinement chargé de 80 000 tonnes de sable et de gravier tire 14 mètres d’eau, ce qui est trop pour la baie de San Francisco. Polaris décharge alors partiellement les agrégats en eau profonde sur des barges; le reste est déchargé au port à des terminaux d’eau moins profonde. L’auto-déchargement rapide est un facteur important dans la chaîne logistique. Les terminaux d’entreposage et de distribution constituent un élément critique de la chaîne logistique. « Ces installations côtières deviennent des carrières virtuelles; les camions rencontrent les navires et distribuent ensuite les agrégats aux clients », dit M. Wilson. Des quatre terminaux de Polaris à San Francisco, le terminal Richmond ressort en tant que terminal à la fine pointe technologique. Les convoyeurs aériens peuvent décharger un cargo à une vitesse de 5000 tonnes/heure; le terminal comporte aussi une installation de chargement rapide des camions. En plus de l’avantage compétitif des navires de CSL International et du terminal Richmond, Polaris jouit de contrats à long terme avec des compagnies telles que Cemex et Shamrock, des contrats inouïs de 20 ans. Avec les pénuries d’agrégats et l’augmentation des problèmes de trafic, du prix du pétrole et des émissions de gaz à effet de serre, et en maîtrisant le transport efficient d’un produit à faible valeur, la compagnie Polaris est bien positionnée pour fournir de vastes quantités d’agrégats de qualité à des marchés en manque de ressources. CIM June/July 2008 | 33

student life

The possibility of exploring the little known but still active El Teide–Pico Viejo stratovolcanoes within the Las Cañadas caldera complex on the Canary Islands was recently offered to us as an undergraduate or graduate course at Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. What a great opportunity to learn more about ancient and modern volcanism, and come face-to-face with such an amazing natural wonder. The Spanish Canary Islands represent a volcanic archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Africa. This around 35 million-year-old archipelago is composed of seven volcanic islands — Fuerteventura, The group on the top of Pico Viejo, with the summit of El Teide in the background (Las Cañadas caldera complex, October 24, La Gomera, Gran Canaria, 2007). Notice the channelled a'a flows emanating from El Teide and El Piton. El Hierro, La Palma, Lanzarote and the largest, most popu- dome-flow complexes), lava and clasus suffered from lack of oxygen at this lar, Tenerife. togenic flows, pyroclastic deposits altitude; however, the view at the top made up for the discomfort. (e.g. on the caldera wall during the Many tourists, decked out for sunPico Guajara climb) and the basaltic The adventure bathing, arrived from the coast wearrift-related volcanic rocks during the The two weeks on Tenerife were ing only shorts, t-shirts and sandals. intense. To give us a representative Pico Viejo trek. We were fortunate Although sunny, the temperature was overview of the volcanic geology, enough to have two well-known scienabout -4°C. Needless to say they didthree critical areas were selected. tists in volcanology — Joan Martí of n’t stay long. The first week, we stayed in the the Institute for Earth Sciences, CSIC For the next three to four days, we only hotel available within the Las Barcelona, and Joachim Gottsmann of stayed in the coastal city of El Médano Cañadas caldera, at an altitude of the University of Bristol — as field and concentrated on the southeastern about 2,100 metres — the El Parador guides who explained the evolution of Bandas del Sur formations, i.e. pyrode Cañadas del the Las Cañadas caldera complex. clastic deposits originating from the Teide. Our stay The ascent to the summit of El by Nicolas Vinet and various episodes of the Las Cañadas great, Teide — the highest volcano in Émilie Roulleau was caldera complex. This volcaniclastic mostly because Europe at 3,718 metres in altitude — of the tranquility, the abundance of was not as exhausting as the previous zone shows pyroclastic outflow amazing meals, and the sauna and day when we hiked three to four sheets, valley-fill deposits, and cinder swimming pool. It took one day to hours to the top of Pico Viejo. Because and scoria cones. At the end of each adjust to the elevation and to recover it would have been too gruelling to day-long trip, we took full advantage climb the full ascent to the top, we of the nearby ocean. from the fatigue of the journey from took the cable-way to the summit staWe spent the last three days of our Quebec. We studied, in great detail, tion; only the last 200 metres to El trip in the small historic town of the caldera, stratovolcanoes, intraPiton, the small cone on top of El Masca, built on the flanks of the Teno caldera floor formations (e.g. pahoeMassif, in the northwest sector of Teide, still had to be climbed. Many of hoe and a’a basaltic flows, phonolitic June/July 2008 | 35

Photo by Wulf Mueller.

The fieldtrip of a lifetime

student life Tenerife. The area shows the complexity of the Miocene mafic shield during ocean island construction, which allows you to view the rift zones. Masca, with its magnificent view and matchless quietness, was probably for most, if not all of us, a prime example of paradise on earth.

Thanks for the memories! During these two warm and sunny weeks, we saw the subaerial evolution of an oceanic island and how shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes and calderas formed and developed with time. Our perception has changed — the shear size of every-

thing we saw was more than any of us could imagine. Had we been lucky enough to witness an eruption of the El Teide–Pico Viejo volcanoes, well, that would’ve been the icing on the cake! Many students in the group are working on ancient deformed volcanic areas in Canada (e.g. the Abitibi greenstone belt). This type of fieldtrip is really one of the best ways for students to better understand the formation of these rocks, as it provides useful modern analogies. We are grateful to Wulf Mueller for organizing the trip. It is important to note that without sponsorship from numerous companies, as well as the Society of Economic Geologists, most of us would not have been able to participate in this fieldtrip. Financial support is clearly essential in helping students participate in these kinds of excursions; they are instructive and indispensable to a student’s education. CIM

About the authors Nicolas Vinet, a third-year earth sciences PhD candidate, Sciences de la Terre, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, has been passionate about volcanoes since the age of 12 or 13. In the future, he wants to enter an organization or create a company that monitors volcanoes to prevent and reduce risk, especially in less economically developed countries and/or zones marked by human poverty. Émilie Roulleau, a third-year earth sciences PhD candidate, GEOTOP - Université du Québec à Montréal, has shared Nicolas’ passion for volcanoes since the age of 11. Recently, as a scientific guide, she began participating in the popularization of volcanology for children. 36 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

first nations An aboriginal approach to mining relationships In the summer of 2004, a group of aboriginal leaders began exploring opportunities in the mining and exploration industry that were available to northern Ontario aboriginal communities. After months of researching the issue, it became apparent that this was not an easy task. Most existing negotiations between industry and aboriginal communities are, for the most part, very secretive documents bound by confidentiality agreements. Furthermore, one thing was very apparent: aboriginal communities were not participating in mining and exploration activities to their full potential, and the potential that this participation could have to economic and employment development efforts in the communities was not being realized. At around the same time, the Supreme Court of Canada was delivering its final judgment on the now famous court case between the Haida and Taku Nations and the government of British Columbia. The case dealt with aboriginal treaty right and title of land. The province granted permits to industry without consulting the communities, who argued that the land in question was theirs. The province asked that the communities provide proof of this. The case was taken to the by Juan Carlos Reyes B.C. Provincial Supreme Court and finally appealed by the B.C. government federaly; in both instances, the courts agreed with the communities. The Federal Supreme Court went a step further. It clarified when the need to “consult and accommodate� arises, and also clarified that the responsibility to consult lies solely with the Crown. The Supreme Court announced that the need to consult

and accommodate arises whenever the Crown has knowledge, real or constructive, of the potential existence of the aboriginal right or title and contemplates conduct that might adversely affect it.

communication between the communities and industry. The first annual Learning Together conference was hosted in Sudbury, Ontario, in 2006 with participation from over 30 aboriginal communities

It was decided that there was

a need to improve the knowledge

that the industry had about aboriginal communities, treaties, rights and methods for doing business These decisions pinpointed the importance for industry to increase awareness and knowledge about aboriginal communities and the need to engage and collaborate to improve relationships. In 2005 these aboriginal leaders decided that something needed to be done. They wanted to create an information-sharing mechanism that would allow communities interested in mining to become informed and receive all the facts about the industry from those communities involved first-hand. At the same time, it was decided that there was a need to improve the knowledge that the industry had about aboriginal communities, treaties, rights and methods for doing business. Learning Together was created for this purpose. The first task carried out was to organize a conference that would bring together the communities and industry to hear from aboriginal participants in the mining industry about their successes, challenges and failures in order to improve knowledge and

from Ontario and Quebec, as well as a significant number of industry and government representatives. The conference was a great success and proved to be an excellent mechanism to help break myths and increase knowledge. In 2007 the conference was held in Timmins, Ontario. The recent 2008 conference was hosted in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and saw an increase in participation from across the country, with over 50 First Nations represented and close to 200 registered delegates. The next step for Learning Together is to grow and work closely with partners like CIM and PDAC, and through mutual collaboration become the go-to place for aboriginal communities and industry that wish to increase awareness, dialogue and information-sharing about mining in aboriginal territories. CIM

About the author Juan Carlos Reyes, the organizer of Learning Together, is passionate about human rights and works tirelessly helping improve the lives of Canadian aboriginal people.

June/July 2008 | 37

the supply side

Expand your business through telemarketing Recently I was asked by a CAMESE member who is starting a new business for tips on how he could develop a client base through telemarketing. The telephone remains one of the most powerful and cost-effective business tools, if it is used properly. Here are the suggestions that I passed on to him, in the hopes that they may be of use to others. You need lists that target the right people. The white pages section of a telephone book, for example, is too broad based to be of value to a mining supby Jon Baird plier; however, certain categories in the yellow pages could provide more targeted prospects. If, for example, you want to create contacts with Canadian mining companies

working in Latin America, the Canadian Mines Handbook will give you their names and much more information. Good sources of other lists will depend upon specifically what you are selling and to whom you want to sell it. You need get through to the person that makes decisions for your product or service. If you cannot find out who it is from the company website, ask the receptionist. Normally they will tell you and put you through if you say something like, “May I know who in your firm is involved in drilling operations in Latin America?” Identify yourself and make a benefit statement. “This is Jane Doe from Gizmo Manufacturers. Our environmentally safe products are specifically designed to enhance the efficiency of

The Right Tools for Your Job Site.

A page for and about the supply side of the Canadian mining industry exploration and production drilling in Latin America.” Find out if he/she is really in charge of decisions concerning your product or service. “My research indicates that your company is working in Latin America and that you would be the most likely person to make a decision for improving your drilling procedures there. Am I correct?” If they say no, ask who is in charge and get through to him or her. If they tell you that they are not drilling in Latin America or that they are well served, this is the end of the call. However, if they need help, hopefully they will open up with their need and you can begin to tell them how you can fill it. Have a brochure that you can email after the call. Many will say that they may have a future need and you want them to remember you. Keep records and call those that have shown interest again after a reasonable period. Be patient. Your success rate could be only a few per cent of the companies that you contact. However, one good order could pay for hours or days of phoning. CIM

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About the author Jon Baird, managing director of CAMESE and president of PDAC, is interested in collective approaches to enhancing the Canadian brand in the world of mining.

parlons-en IPIMM : moteur du développement technologique de la Côte Nord La Côte Nord est une région magnifique et immense, qui s’étend de Tadoussac à Blanc-Sablon et comprend les villes nordiques de Schefferville et Fermont, ainsi que l’île d’Anticosti. Région canadienne du fer par excellence, elle est depuis le milieu du vingtième siècle le siège de quatre grandes compagnies minières qui exploitent des mines de fer et de titane, des concentrateurs et usines de bouletage ainsi que des installations portuaires et ferroviaires de premier plan. Favorisés par la demande et la forte montée des prix du minerai de fer, de nouveaux projets d’exploitation minière sont en train de voir le jour près d’anciennes mines dont l’exploitation avait été abandonnée. La Côte Nord est en voie de revivre son âge d’or, ou plutôt devrait-on dire son âge de fer. Mais, tel qu’on l’a vu à la fin des années 1970 lors de la crise du fer, l’économie d’une région ainsi dépendante de l’exploitation de ses ressources naturelles peut plonger en même temps que le prix des ressources dont elle regorge. Il devient alors primordial de diversifier l’économie régionale. C’est dans une telle optique, afin de favoriser le développement des régions et en particulier celles dont l’économie est fortement tributaire de l’exploitation des ressources naturelles, que le gouvernement québécois a lancé en 2002 le projet ACCORD (Action concertée de coopération régionale de par Annie Lévesque développement). Celui-ci visait à construire des systèmes productifs régionaux, dans lesquels évoluent des entreprises aux activités connexes et interdépendantes,

qui collaborent entre elles malgré le fait qu’elles sont d’abord concurrentes. Ces entreprises sont regroupées sur un territoire défini, elles entretiennent des relations fréquentes avec les universités, les cégeps et commissions scolaires et collaborent avec des réseaux d’information et d’appui. Un créneau d’excellence est un système productif dont une région a résolu de favoriser le développement, qui lui donnera une image de marque sur la scène nationale et internationale. La Côte Nord est la région du Québec désignée pour le développement du créneau d’excellence Ingénierie des procédés industriels, miniers et métallurgiques (IPIMM), pour lequel le milieu désire jouer un rôle de leader nord-américain et mondial. Le choix de ce créneau leader découle tout naturellement des principales caractéristiques historiques et économiques de la région : • La production d’aluminium de première fusion, par l’implantation de deux entreprises majeures, conférant à la Côte Nord le premier rang canadien dans ce domaine. Des PME servant les alumineries ou d’autres perçant le marché de la transformation de l’aluminium viennent se rajouter à la filière aluminium régionale. • Un tissu industriel en amont des entreprises majeures, constitué d’une dizaine de PME spécialisées en usinage, soudage et procédés industriels. • Un Centre d’aide technologiques aux entreprises, en appui aux

Références Projet ACCORD. Site du Ministère du Développement économique, Innovation et Exportation (MDEIE). Disponible à Stratégie de développement du créneau d’excellence : Créneau Ingénierie des procédés industriels, miniers et métallurgiques. Comité régional ACCORD, 2005, 35 pages.

entreprises régionales qui veulent innover et se développer technologiquement. • Une offre de formation professionnelle et technique provenant des commissions scolaires et cégeps de la région. La consolidation des liens existants entre les grands donneurs d’ordres et les PME de la région constitue la base de développement du créneau IPIMM. De même, des actions en vue de développer l’exploration et l’exploitation minière et de diversifier l’économie régionale en favorisant la transformation des ressources métalliques (aluminium et fer), seront entreprises dans le cadre de la stratégie de développement du créneau, dont le Centre d’aide technologique aux entreprises (CATE) Côte Nord est le maître d’œuvre. L’octroi récent d’un centre collégial de transfert de technologie (CCTT) au Cégep de Sept-Iles, représente un atout majeur pour le développement du créneau IPIMM. Ainsi, le gouvernement du Québec reconnaît l’excellence de l’offre d’expertise en maintenance industrielle dans la région. Le Centre d’excellence en maintenance industrielle (CEMI), qui sera géré et opéré par le CATE Côte Nord, offrira des services de recherche appliquée, de soutien technique, de développement technologique, de formation et d’information en maintenance industrielle aux entreprises de la région et du Québec tout entier. CIM

L’auteur Annie Lévesque, coordonnatrice et chargée de projet Créneau d’excellence IPIMM, CATE Côte Nord, ingénieure en matériaux, est native de Sept-Îles où elle est retournée vivre car elle y a trouvé un bon emploi dans son domaine d’études. June/July 2008 | 39

MAC economic commentary Celebrating a significant investment in geoscience During the past five years of strong growth in mineral prices, the mineral exploration community in Canada has been facing an increasingly difficult challenge — namely, how to find resources in promising northern regions where underlying mineral data is either weak or non-existent. The federal government has been under-investing in its geological mapping responsibilities for some 20 years, with annual spending declining from $98 million in 1988 to $50 million in 2007. This decline has been equally dramatic at the provincial and territorial government levels. One interesting consequence of this neglect is that some 73 per cent of Nunavut, for example, is unmapped or poorly mapped and, at present investment levels, the first full mapping of the territory would not be finished for 80 years. Given such a weak foundation of data, private companies are less able to undertake effective exploration programs. While exploring for minerals is, to some extent, akin to “searching for a needle in a haystack,” it is the public policy investment in basic geological survey work that allows those accessing the data to at least find where the haystacks are. In view of the high level of interest in diamonds, uranium, base metals and other northern resources, one must question the public good served by this pattern. Questions of national sovereignty in the by Paul Stothart North are also raised by this under-investment. The federal budget tabled in February 2008 reverses this pattern. In what may stand as the best public policy news of the year for the Canadian mining industry, the federal government announced a re-investment in geological mapping of $34 million over the next two years. Given that this issue was one of their main public 40 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

policy priorities over recent years, the Mining Association of Canada and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada were both very pleased with this announcement. MAC was doubly pleased with the details obtained in subsequent discussions with senior federal officials. In particular, while not formally announced, the actual investment extends a further three years, so the total federal injection of new money into this geo-mapping for energy and minerals (GEM) initiative will be $100 million over five years. (While details are being finalized, approximately three-quarters will be directed towards investment in the territories and one-quarter in the northern areas of the provinces). As well, the federal geoscience spending in the provinces will be increased further through cost-shared investment by provincial governments. The specific spending priorities and targeted projects will be developed in a coordinated manner through the National Geological Survey Committee, comprising federal, provincial and territorial government representatives. The Geological Survey of Canada is Canada’s premier agency for geoscientific information and research and will have lead responsibility for implementing the GEM initiative. As noted within its mandate, GSC supplies the fundamental national geoscience knowledge base required to support effective mineral and hydrocarbon exploration and development across Canada, to provide the geological basis necessary to understand and address health, safety and

environmental issues, and to advocate the interests of Canadian geoscience at the international level. GSC has a fascinating history that dates to its formation a quarter-century before Confederation — a history which is closely linked to Canada’s traditional presence as a global leader in natural resources development. By investing $100 million in new funds over the next five years, the present federal government has made its own positive contribution to the long and distinguished history of GSC. This will lead to a revitalization of the geoscientific community in Canada, the hiring of new graduates, the attraction of international technical experts and, over time, the development of new mineral resource projects and valueadded capital investment. Past studies have shown that each dollar invested by governments in geoscience leverages five dollars worth of private-sector exploration expenditures. The improved geological database also enhances the effectiveness of the exploration spending. Given the buoyant long-term demand outlook for the commodities that Canada produces, this renewed federal geoscience commitment represents a solid investment in Canada’s future. CIM

About the author Paul Stothart is vice president, economic affairs of the Mining Association of Canada, where he is responsible for advancing the industry’s interests regarding federal tax, trade, investment, transport and energy issues. Previously, he was a senior policy advisor to several federal Cabinet ministers and was also a hockey player in Europe and with the Canadian national team.

innovation Setting the stage for workplace innovation Innovation, workplace creativity, new technology application, and research and development are all expressions we have come to associate with leading-edge firms that set the next platform or benchmark for performance excellence. And it’s powerful! Leveraging that next breakthrough capability and putting it to work in your company can produce measurably better results that contribute significantly to a firm’s viability and success. It’s not surprising that many companies then invest sizably in new technology development and applications that brand them as innovators in their industry. The mining and mineral processing areas are no exception, with innovations ranging from 3-D mine visualizations, automation and robotics, advanced equipment monitoring, new wear materials, sensor development, process control algorithms and much more. All of these combine to make the mining industry more competitive and effective as a whole. Amidst these higher profile developments there is another form of innovation at work every day in our operations. It’s an area where people knowledgeable in their work are valued for their creativity in addressing challenges and coming up with improvements to the business. When supported at every level in an organization, it promotes a culture of innovation that is embraced as a core business strategy. For a creative culby Gord Winkel ture to happen in a company, leadership that understands and supports this dynamic is required — leadership that genuinely believes that when given positive choices, people want to contribute to that next improvement and be connected to a unit or team that continually gets better at what it does. This is also principled leadership in action. Principled leaders under-

stand that there is a moral imperative to support people so that, as much as possible, work is a positive life experience as opposed to something that is endured. It’s a healthy workplace with reduced negative stress and positive performance. Opening up the opportunity to innovate is one part of the equation. The interesting and challenging work that goes along with an innovation culture promotes commitment that unleashes peoples’ discretionary effort to go beyond the norm to produce great results. Making innovation happen is also hard work. It requires a set of leadership skills that promotes engagement of people rather than continually directing their efforts. Leadership of this caliber is quick to implement the more immediate improvements and has developed mechanisms for engaging management in approval processes to progress the larger scope ideas. There are many examples where the ability to innovate led to performance improvement. Consider a mineral processing plant that employed large sloped rotating cylindrical vessels to mix ore and water into a slurry, as required for a downstream extraction process. High rates of wear in this vessel required frequent maintenance outages to reconstitute wear surfaces and structures with heavy weld overlays and repairs. The confines of the vessel made working within it at multiple sites difficult, leading to injury incidents and schedule pressure to perform the necessary work. This was clearly not an acceptable situation. However, repeated attempts to alter work plans and execution

strategies were frustrated with little or no improvement. The need to innovate was clear. People closest to this hard work were supported to take on the challenge and knew what could be done. The suggestions for improvement came immediately and were implemented by management. Electricians were given the time upfront to devise improved lighting in the vessel, air movers were used from other areas in the plant to improve ventilation, scaffolders were left to design more robust working platforms that improved accessibility and limited exposure by others to heavy welding, the workers set personal protective equipment requirements and enforced them, heavy lifts were sequenced with work breaks to limit exposure, and more. People’s creative ideas for improvement transformed the work. As a result of their innovative efforts, this work is now routinely completed within cost and schedule and, most importantly, with zero injuries. And it’s a work environment where people feel good about their achievements and feel valued for their ideas. Everyday innovation in mining is a great partner to the technological innovations we are progressing, and we will rely heavily on both to improve the mining and mineral processing industry. CIM

About the author Gord Winkel, oil sands technology manager, Kearl Oil Sands Project, Imperial Oil Resources, is a strong supporter of workplace safety and the advancement of mining technology as a means to improve both mining industry effectiveness and the quality of life for mining people.

June/July 2008 | 41

HR outlook Immigrants – a key resource for the mining sector The Canadian mining industry is facing significant labour challenges over the next decade and beyond. Recent research conducted by the Mining Industry Human Resources Council points to as many as 92,000 new jobs that will need to be filled between now and 2017. In the face of red-hot growth in our sector, many new mine projects are gearing up to open, skilled workers are being recruited for existing operations, while around 40 per cent of the current workforce is set to retire in the coming decade. The labour shortage will be exacerbated by the stiff competition from other sectors for skilled personnel — professionals, tradespersons and general labour. The fact that many of the job opportunities in other burgeoning sectors of the Canadian economy, such as construction, electricity generation, and oil and gas are located in larger, more urbanized areas makes recruitment and retention an even bigger challenge for mining sector employers. In 2003, Statistics Canada predicted that by 2011, Canada would be almost entirely dependent upon immigrants for growth in the labour force. This prediction points to the need for the Canadian mining industry to put in place strategies for engaging and integrating internationally trained and experienced workers in all areas of our workforce. MiHR is currently undertaking a by Barbara Kirby number of initiatives that will facilitate the development and implementation of these targeted approaches, ranging from documentation and sharing of successful immigrant engagement models to developing national occupational standards that can be used to evaluate international credentials and experience. A newly published Statistics Canada report offers encouraging 42 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

information that may contribute to the development of effective strategies for increasing participation of immigrants in the mining sector labour market. The January 2008 edition of

pattern emerges for those with no degree who live in small urban or rural areas. This is particularly good news, as recent labour market research examining occupations in high demand for the In 2003, Statistics Canada predicted that mining sector showed by 2011, Canada would be almost entirely that employers are facing recruitment chaldependent upon immigrants lenges not only for for growth in the labour force. skilled trades such as electricians and millPerspectives contains an article entitled wrights, but also for degree-bearing “Immigrants in the Hinterland,” geologists, engineers and accountants. which concludes that “Immigrants livTo capitalize on this comparative ing outside the largest urban centres advantage in the race to find the right can translate their credentials acquired people with the right skills at the right abroad into a relative income advantime, Canadian mining companies tage more easily. They are more likely may wish to promote mining commuto overcome their lack of ability in an nities as destinations of choice for official language, quickly learning newly arriving immigrants who English or French, enabling them to choose to live and work there. Mining increase their ability to generate communities can work together with income faster.” local mining sector employers to The analysis in the “Immigrants in attract immigrants by citing not only the Hinterland” report shows that the enhanced living conditions such as more rapid economic integration of proximity to the great outdoors, immigrants in rural areas holds true friendly neighbours, affordable housfor workers with lower levels of educaing, but also emphasizing faster tion, as well as those with university achievement of income parity with degrees. The data suggests that every other Canadians and official language immigrant with a university degree acquisition as benefits to working in achieved income parity in small urban the sector. CIM and rural communities within four About the author Barbara years and, in some Kirby is the director of Labour cases, within less Market Intelligence and than a year, Workforce Development at the whereas some Mining Industry Human university eduResources Council. She has over cated immigrants 20 years experience working in large urban within Canada and centres did not internationally, with an emphasis achieve income on linking industry with parity even 13 education and technical training years after their programs. arrival. In most cases, the same

engineering exchange Improving bitumen recovery The Sensors Engineering Business Unit (SENG), part of the Engineered Products and Services team at the Alberta Research Council, focuses on the development of sensors for measurement and analysis, a small but highly specialized field of engineering. In 2000 SENG, headed by Rodney Ridley, its manager, teamed up with Syncrude, with the aim of improving bitumen recovery. Syncrude was concerned that the bitumen extraction process was not as efficient or effective as it could be. Significant losses of bitumen ended up in the tailings pond even under the best circumstances, and Syncrude was determined to find a way to ensure that the most bitumen possible was extracted during processing — less in the pond and more in the barrel, so to speak. Working closely with Syncrude researchers, the ARC team looked at all stages of the processing operation, to see where improvements could be made.

Step 1: Conveyor belt A Near InfraRed oil sands analyzer was developed and adapted to give a bitumen percentage measurement prior to processing. This full scanning instrument utilizes short wave infrared reflectance to “read” the bitumen content in the mined material, enabling downstream process inputs such as chemicals and water to be adjusted according to the quality of raw material detected by Haidee Weldon upstream.

A K40 nuclear online analyzer measures potassium levels in an oil sands hydro-transport slurry line.

is readily Figure 1 - K40 detected Analyz P by c d ARC’s o H

K40 T gamma spectrometer analyzer. This instrument provides timely information on clay fines and allows process operations to quickly make adjustments to compensate for changes in the clay fines content.

Step 3: Froth/middlings interface vision system This system gives the operator real-time measurement of the interface between the middlings and froth in the primary separation vessels. Previously, the level measurement was corrected manually by observing the fluids through a glass window. The new real-time vision system automatically determines the interface level and digitizes a video signal, which is then processed using algorithms to produce the level measurement, thus removing human error.

Step 2: Hydrotransport pipeline

Step 4: Online tailings analyzer

Clay is a sticky material that is endemic in the oil sands. Sometimes there’s more, sometimes less, but it can really disrupt efficient bitumen extraction. Fortunately, clay contains potassium and emits miniscule amounts of gamma radiation. This particular radioactive isotope (K40)

This system measures the bitumen levels in the tailings prior to being released to the ponds. The data captured allows for process improvements and modifications at the primary separation vessels and froth treatment plants to further reduce bitumen loss. Basically, it measures

spthet end B mresult S

so that tweaking can be L done at an earlier stage to counter the loss of bitumen. Other oil sands companies have shown interest in this technology: CNRL is installing both the infrared and K40 systems at their site; Albian is looking to retrofit; and Suncor is assessing their processing plant for the possibility of utilizing some, or all, of the ARC/Syncrude-developed sensor systems. One of the challenges of designing delicate sensors and precise measuring instrumentation for use in the oil sands is the environment itself. “The oil sands are abrasive and sticky,” Ridley pointed out, “and the temperatures can range from minus 40 degrees to up to 50 degrees. The trick is building something that will survive those conditions.” SENG works primarily with the oil sands and pulp and paper industries but has recently branched out to hard rock mining. Through ARC this team is able to focus entirely on its area of expertise: something that would not be feasible on their own because of the limited market. All members of ARC’s Engineered Products and Services team enjoy diverse work experiences where every day brings new projects and unique challenges. CIM June/July 2008 | 43

eye on business Copper hedging Generally speaking, a “hedge” or a “hedge contract” is a legally binding obligation to deliver or purchase specified quantity of a product at a specified price at a future date. There are a number of factors that could influence a company in its decision to hedge future output. First, where there is a “contango” (future price is higher than current spot price) as opposed to a “backwardation” (future price is lower than current spot price) in the market, hedging may be attractive. Primary copper producers may want to hedge a portion of future production to ensure at least break-even revenues and to avoid the risk of having to place a mine on care and maintenance if and when prices decline again. In addition, hedging of byproducts (e.g. the copper byproduct output of a gold-copper mine) may reduce the copper price risk and improve equity valuations, as the company would be considered more of a by Chuck Higgins and pure “gold play.” James Verraster Perhaps one of the more frequent uses of hedging is where price protection is required in debt

financing. It would be common in some forms of bank financing (i.e. non-recourse project finance) for the borrower to be required to enter into a hedging program sufficient to secure cash flows to cover operating costs and debt service during the repayment period of the loan.

Types of hedging arrangements There are two main types of hedging transactions — public and private. Public transactions take the form of futures contracts traded on certain commodities exchanges. The main exchanges are the London Metal Exchange for base metals and the New York Mercantile Exchange for precious metals. Contracts between private parties are usually governed by a standard form agreement prepared by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. The agreement, which is updated from time to time (the current version is the ISDA Master Agreement, 2002), has a checklist of alternatives and additional provisions that may be incorporated.

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44 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

Obviously, there are price and production risks. The price risk involves the forgone revenue if the future price of copper turns out to be higher than the price at which the forward contract was set. For example, some primary copper producers sold forward portions of 2006 and 2007 production, after which copper prices rose substantially, resulting in a substantial forgone profit and a significant unrealized “mark-to-market” accounting charge. Gold producers Ashanti and Cambior were unable to cover substantial long-term forward gold sales (and other gold derivative sales) with current production when the price of gold increased significantly following the highly publicized Central Bank Gold Agreement in 1999. The companies could not meet the sudden and significant cash margin calls, and they were also unable to afford going into the spot market to purchase sufficient quantities of gold to satisfy their future delivery obligations. This resulted in the substantial restructuring of both companies. There are also less obvious risks such as credit worthiness of the contract parties. Each hedging program will have credit risks, both of the producer and the hedge counterparty. Further, as hedge contracts in some cases can be complex and expose a producer to hidden risks, an adequate evaluation of internal controls is required to ensure that the hedging program and contractual arrangements are clearly documented and the risks and rewards are fully understood, before the arrangements become binding. It is worth noting that there are products readily available in the market that a producer can purchase/employ that will limit the risks

eye on business of non-delivery and eliminate or limit the risk of exposure to cash margin calls (see reference to Yamana’s program below).

Accounting issues Although it is beyond the scope of this article, there are substantial accounting issues with hedge programs, centring on the question of whether a hedge program is eligible for “hedge accounting” treatment. For example, if the program is eligible for hedge accounting, then any increase or decrease in the market price of copper following execution of the program (when compared to the actual hedge program price) will be reflected in the financial statements as a balance sheet entry. If the program is not eligible for hedge accounting, then any increase or decrease will be reflected as unrealized gains or losses on the income statement. The test is whether the hedge will be highly effective over its duration. International Financial Reporting Standards 39 and Financial Accounting Standards 133 in the United States address this issue in great detail.

Copper market Over the course of the last 10 years, the copper market bottomed out at US$.58 per pound in November of 2001 — a level that rendered many copper mines uneconomic. The copper world changed dramatically towards the end of 2003 when copper started its rather meteoric rise, eventually reaching US$4.00 per pound in May of 2006. While copper was traditionally in a contango in the nearby (six to twelve) months, hedging of medium or longer term (12 to 36 months) copper was extremely difficult, due to the presence of the steep forward backwardation caused by a lack of liquidity to hedge longer dated contracts. After 2003, the copper market got a real boost from two main factors: 1) a significant increase in global demand for physical copper for infrastructure, and 2) the growth of hedge funds, which are keen to invest in physical and forward copper, providing new liquidity for hedgers. Therefore, despite the presence of the steep backwardation, producers have started to hedge given the hugely attractive current prices (in other words, they would be willing to suffer some forward discounts because for the first time in history they could start with a current copper price in the US$3 to $4 range).

About the authors Chuck Higgins works for the Global Mining Group at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. His interest in mining comes from his grandfather, Larratt Higgins, Sr., who was a mining engineer at the El Teniente copper mine in Chile, which is still the biggest underground mine in the world.

James Verraster and his partners opened the doors at Auramet in 2004 right around the time that metal and other commodity prices started to recover, helping clients in the mining sector achieve their financial goals. Those who know Jim well can confirm how busy Auramet has kept him because they know he hasn't been spending enough time trying to improve his golf game!

Examples Recent public company examples of copper hedging programs that were mentioned in press releases include Baja Mining Corporation, Fronterra Copper Corporation and Equinox Minerals Limited. Alternately, Mercator Minerals Limited, a copper-molybdenum producer, completed a public debt financing without a hedge program. An example of a gold company that hedged a portion of its copper byproduct is Yamana Gold Corporation. CIM June/July 2008 | 45

canadians abroad The ups and downs of travelling abroad Wherever in the world there’s mining, chances are a Canadian is, or has been, there. For Peter Edmunds, newly appointed vice president for global strategic customers with Atlas Copco CMT, the list of countries visited is chock full of check marks. From fishing in Namibia to getting a little too close to hungry lions in the Namib, Edmunds has experienced a lot of what the world has to offer. Here, he kindly shares his story on the ups and downs of one Canadian travelling abroad. Born and raised in South Africa, Edmunds got into mining straight out of school in northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Two and a half years later, he left for England and studied mining engineering at the Camborne School of Mines. It was during a summer job at Rio Tinto’s New Quirke mine in Elliot Lake, Ontario, that Edmunds first fell in love with Canada. He was offered a permanent position by Rio Tinto, after which he moved around for a bit before finally settling down with Atlas Copco in Montreal in September 1971 as a sales promotion engineer for mechanized minby Carolyn Hersey ing equipment. He became a Canadian citizen in December 1975. Edmunds travels, on average, one week out of three. During the last 15

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months alone, he has been to the Batu Hijau mine in Indonesia, the Boddington mine in Western Australia, the Waterval and Palabora mines in South Africa, the Kemi mine in Finland, a marble open pit mine in Spain and various head offices in larger cities. “When not travelling, I am handling all the work generated by my visits,” said Edmunds. When asked about some of the perks that come with travelling abroad, he responded very enthusiastically: “Living in another country can be a wonderful experience for one’s family, especially with younger children. One experiences different cultures, cuisine, countrysides and ways of life. For instance in Windhoek, Namibia, we were living between two deserts — the Kalahari and the Namib. Going on safari often meant camping in dry river beds. One memorable night in the Namib, we had to keep the fire going all night because a hungry male lion was prowling around and showing far too much interest in us. Catching fish off the beach on the Skeleton Coast of Namibia with nobody around for miles was also pretty exciting.” Travelling the world with his wife and two young sons also posed a few interesting challenges. “We learned very soon to equip each boy with his own backpack for the plane,” said Edmunds. “It Peter Edmunds was amazing how quickly they would settle down for a 14-hour flight with their own toys, pyjamas and so on, and stay content for the duration.” The family also chose

flights with interesting stopovers, which included mini holidays in London, Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Amsterdam, Austria, Sweden, the Seychelles and Disney World. “They still talk about landing at JFK airport in New York and having to transfer to La Guardia airport by helicopter, which meant flying in between rows of high-rise buildings,” he recalled. “It was a great thrill.” The experiences, he noted, greatly impacted his boys. His older son is now a lawyer with a strong interest in human rights and has spent time at The Hague and seven months in Bangladesh dealing with human rights issues. His younger son completed a degree in international affairs and then worked for 13 months in northwestern Tanzania with 250,000 refugees from Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Although the benefits are numerous, travelling does come with its downsides, some more serious than others. “You have to deal with telephones that don’t work, currencies that fluctuate, strict foreign exchange controls, work visas, local customs, frequent exposure to hepatitis, AIDS, malaria, poisonous snakes, spiders, scorpions and freedom fighters,” said Edmunds, adding, “One time, a bomb exploded in a butcher shop about a kilometre from our home in Windhoek, killing three people.” Despite the sometimes scary aspects of working abroad, Edmunds was adamant that “If you get a chance to work abroad, go for it. It normally means more money, certainly different holidays and a whole plethora of unique experiences.” But perhaps one of the greatest upshots of his travels is that of the national pride he feels for his adopted homeland. “Be thankful that you are Canadian,” he said enthusiastically. “And guard that nationality very carefully.” CIM

standards CRIRSCO 2007 — current activities This is the third in a series of articles about the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO). The first article was an interview with Niall Weatherstone, Chairman of CRIRSCO (CIM Magazine, February 2008) the second described the background and goals of CRIRSCO (CIM Magazine, March/April 2008). In 2007, CRIRSCO was adopted as the Reserves and Resources Task Force of the International Council on Mining and Metals. This decision by ICMM has resulted in an increased level of funding for CRIRSCO and the ability to advance its objectives. In mid-October 2007, CRIRSCO members met in London England to discuss the status of each of the member countries’ reporting codes and the progress of various CRIRSCO projects.

Update on national reporting codes Australia: The last update of the Australian JORC Code was in 2004. While there are ongoing discussions about issues that arise from the application of the latest version of the Code, there are no plans to update JORC in the near future. Canada: The Canadian Securities Administrators revised National Instrument 43-101 in December 2005. At the same time, the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum published updated Resource and Reserve Definitions that are incorporated by reference by John Postle and in NI 43-101. CIM Deborah McCombe is continuing work on developing Best Practice Guidelines to assist practitioners in the estimation of Mineral Resources and Reserves. South Africa: The South African Mineral Reserve Committee is currently awaiting an update of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Limited Listing Rules, which will incorporate both SAMREC and

SAMVAL (South African valuation guidelines). The official launch of both codes is expected in 2008. Europe: The Pan-European Reserves Reporting Committee expects to release a consultation draft in 2008. Emphasis is being placed on industrial minerals and aggregates, which constitute a very large industry in Europe. Chile: The Chilean Certification Code was approved in early 2008. As part of the Code, a National Commission is being established to screen and review reports on a random or specific basis. United States: The Society of Mining Engineers updated the SME Reporting Guidelines in 2007. The Securities and Exchange Commission has not accepted these more up-to-date definitions and guidelines. The SME committee will continue to discuss the incorporation of these Reporting Guidelines with SEC. SME has also established a class of membership, a Registered Member, which includes disciplinary measures for non-compliance with the SME guidelines.

CRIRSCO projects CRIRSCO and the Society of Petroleum Engineers have compared (mapped) the CRIRSCO Template, as discussed in the article published in the February 2008 issue of CIM Magazine, to the SPE’s Petroleum Resource Management System hydrocarbon classification system. CRIRSCO and SPE reported the results of this exercise to the International Accounting Standards Board’s Extractive Activities Research Project team, which is developing accountancy standards for the reporting of mineral resource assets. It is expected that the results of this exercise will appear as an IASB discussion paper in 2008.

CRIRSCO has also taken a lead role within the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Ad Hoc Group of Experts, in mapping the CRIRSCO template to the United Nations Framework Classification system. CRIRSCO and SPE have jointly presented proposals for certain modifications to the UNFC which, if adopted, would mean that the CRIRSCO Template and SPE Petroleum Resource Management System become guidelines for the UNFC. These two mapping processes now mean that, for the first time, there is the potential for a globally unified resource classification system with conformity at a high level between industry reporting practice for minerals and hydrocarbons and the UNFC. In 2008, CRIRSCO faces a number of challenges. It will need to continue to remain proactive in its dealings with international bodies, such as the United Nations Economic Commission and the International Accounting Standards Board, to build on the progress made during 2007. In addition, CRIRSCO will continue to develop relationships with the financial regulatory authorities and provide educational materials to highlight and complement the Reporting Codes. CIM

About the authors John Postle is a mining engineer who has worked in the industry for many years. When taking time off, he likes nothing better than a rainbow trout on the end of a fly line. Deborah McCombe, executive vice president of Scott Wilson Roscoe Postle Associates, is a consulting geologist who is strongly involved in Canadian disclosure standards for the mining industry.

June/July 2008 | 47

Over 40 years of “underground” music


hey are the “Men of the Deeps”— men from coal mines across Cape Breton who, together, formed a choir back in 1966. At this time, the mines were struggling and so was the local economy. There were many mine closures and as the men lost their livelihoods, they responded by staving off despair: they undertook a mission to preserve Cape Breton’s rich culture and folklore through song. The history of Cape Breton is deeply rooted within the mining industry. It is often said that the coal mines formed the nuclei for the island’s many communities. In fact, the region has had a long and troubled history with coal since the early 1700s. Throughout the years, mining operations fluctuated with the rise and fall of coal prices, resulting in a series of successes and failures. At its peak production, the mining industry in Cape Breton produced as much as 6.6 million tons of ore and employed 12,000 workers. However, it also claimed over 1,400 lives along the way. Among the group’s vast repertoire of songs are the ones that tell of these lives lost in the coals mines — songs about historical mining disasters and tragedies such as the New Waterford explosion of 1917, the No. 26 Colliery tragedy that occurred in Glace Bay in 1979, or by Michelle Sabourin again, the three major disasters of Springhill, Nova Scotia in 1891, 1956 and 1958. The songs were collected by the group’s director, John C. O’Donnell, who has been with the choir since its inception in 1966. In addition to the songs that depict the great tragedies in the mines are songs that simply talk about the daily work life deep underground — songs that the miners would 48 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

The Men of the Deeps

sing during their long, dark walk into the coal seams, 10 kilometres out beneath the Atlantic Ocean, and songs instilled with the coal miner’s tenacious sense of humour, able to make light of some very serious situations. Even still, some of the songs performed by the Men of the Deeps are not related to the mines. Some are simply folklore from the region or songs that were passed down from Celtic ancestors. Some are songs authored by Cape Breton songwriters such as Rita MacNeil and Allister MacGillivray. To be part of the choir one must presently work, or have once worked, in the coal mines. The ages of the members range from the late 30s to the late 70s, reflecting appropriately the ages of men who worked side-by-side underground — sons who toiled alongside their fathers and their brothers. In fact, some of the members have been with the choir since the very beginning and can clearly remember tragedies such as the Springhill mining disasters, adding a feeling of authenticity to the choir’s performance. To amplify this sense of authenticity, the

members also perform wearing their mining garb. Dressed in coveralls, work boots and hard hats, the men are known for making an impressive entrance to their shows within complete darkness, illuminated only by their own headlamps. Countless numbers of these poignant entrances have been made in concert halls throughout Canada and the United States since 1967. The Men of the Deeps have also performed internationally. Notably, in 1976, the group became the very first Canadian musical ensemble to tour the Peoples Republic of China once diplomatic relations had been restored with the country in 1972. In 1999, the group also travelled to Kosovo in order to perform on behalf of the United Nations Children’s Fund. The Men of the Deeps have been featured in four short films produced by the National Film Board of Canada and have also released several albums on the Atlantica, Apex and Waterloo record labels. Incidentally, they are also the only all-male chorus in North America. CIM

featured mine

View towards the west of the town of Malartic.

It takes a village by | Marlene Eisner

Setting out to “do something different” Osisko Exploration Ltée takes a community-minded approach to their Malartic project and uses a new geological model to resurrect an old mining operation.


From the beginning, Osisko Exploration Ltée’s president and CEO, Sean Roosen, decided the Canadian Malartic gold project was going to be different — and that it was going to be done right. With a gold deposit of 8.4 million ounces and a projected mine life of 14.3 years, the potential for a major win-win situation for the company and the community was evident. However, continued exploration and eventual development might eventually mean moving homes and re-locating people. Nevertheless, the prospect of defining a large, world-class gold mine that could lead to the creation of numerous jobs was enough to convince Roosen that doing it right on the first go-round was the only way to proceed.

“We’ve always prided ourselves on being progressive in terms of integrating mining and community, and being proactive at the beginning of a project, making sure not only to have a sustainable policy, but also to do what we say we’re going to do,” said Roosen. “We took this project to heart right from the beginning, going back to the way mining used to be: taking care of employees and not being dependant on government assistance. The days of sitting back and hoping that the government will take care of infrastructure problems is a thing of the past. To attract a good workforce and shareholders, you have to have a good balance, a spectrum.” June/July 2008 | 49

featured mine

Above, from left: Lot assignment in the new neighbourhood; Core logging; Supplier’s day at Malartic Bottom row, from left: New neighbourhood development; Drilling Canadian Malartic Project; PDAC award presentation, Urban drilling in the town of Malartic; Public meeting

Roosen’s community-minded philosophy dates back to his 13 years working in project development in Africa. During that time, Roosen’s expertise lay in explaining the projects to communities that really had no idea about mining. “It was up to us to get them to understand the good and bad of mining,” he said. He added that they drew on that experience in West Africa when establishing their North American operations. “We went on the premise that we have to be proactive so that the community of Malartic understands why we are doing what we are doing, how it will impact them, and the long-term implications of living with a mine this big in their backyard.”

The mine and its potential The 100 per cent owned Canadian Malartic gold property is located approximately 20 kilometres west of Val-d’Or in the heart of Quebec’s Abitibi Gold Belt, immediately south of the town of Malartic. The overall property covers 230 square kilometres and includes four previous underground producers, including the former underground Canadian Malartic mine. Between 1935 and 1983, production in the Malartic camp 50 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

totalled over five million ounces for the Canadian Malartic, Barnat, Sladen and East Malartic mines. The Canadian Malartic deposit was discovered in 1926, with production starting in 1935 and closing in 1965 after churning out 1,080,000 ounces of gold from 9.93 million tonnes of ore. The property remained idle after it closed, until 1979 when it was purchased by Lac Minerals. From 1980 to 1988, Lac Minerals explored the property with the objective of defining a near-surface economic deposit amenable to open pit mining. The exploration led to the definition of five near-surface gold zones forming an aggregate historical resource of approximately 8,160,000 tonnes at 1.98 grams per tonne. The project was shelved when Barrick Gold Corp acquired Lac Minerals in the early 1990s. Barrick Gold subsequently sold the property to McWatters Mining in 2003, and a year later, McWatters went bankrupt. In late 2004, Osisko purchased a 100 per cent interest in the property from the McWatters bankruptcy trustee. The main Canadian Malartic deposit is part of a three kilometre-long contiguous, east-west striking mineralized system that was historically mined by four independent under-

featured mine

ground operations. The Canadian Malartic deposit was mined primarily by underground long-hole stoping methods from 1935 to1965, the only underground bulk tonnage gold mine in Quebec.

The community There are currently 1,000 households in the town of Malartic. About 30 per cent of these homes are located over the old mine workings, with the stopes protruding into a crown pillar which, in places, is only eight to nine metres thick, thereby creating a safety issue. Fences with warning signs were erected in these areas of town in the 1970s. If Osisko goes ahead with mining, the 205 homes must be moved because they lie within the area over the old stopes and a planned buffer zone of 150 metres between the final pit wall and the rest of the town of Malartic. To accommodate the residents in the relocation zone, Osisko purchased land in the north end of the town. It started construction work on the new ground in November 2007 and to date, 23 lots have been completed and 157 more are under construction in the northern location referred to as

Sector 7. So far, Osisko has purchased 62 houses in the southern sector and 124 of the households have agreed to relocate to Sector 7. The company is in the process of working out the final details with the remaining homeowners and expects to begin the process of moving the first homes onto their new lots this summer. Right from the beginning, the community was involved in the relocation project. “We’ve been working on the relocation formula with an urban planner since 2005,” explained Roosen. “We created a community advisory committee and they interacted with the urban planner, who did a survey of the areas that surround Malartic to identify where the people would like to live.” The residents had the opportunity to provide input into what they wanted to see in the new northern sector, which is located near a golf course and the local high school. The advisory committee brought the information to the citizens and there were many meetings before a consensus was reached. Osisko also recently opened a community relations office in the centre of town, with three full-time employees. “It’s completely walk-in,” explained Roosen. “The plans are available for anyone who wants to see them. Our comJune/July 2008 | 51

featured mine

Osisko’s Malartic team

munication director is from Malartic and our PR person is from Val-d’Or.”

The road ahead “This project will create 400 long-term jobs and about 800 jobs during the construction period, with another 700 to 1,000 service and secondary jobs over the estimated life of the project,” said Roosen of the economic impact of the project. To date, Osisko has purchased more than $180 million dollars worth of mining equipment (suppliers include Hewitt Equipment/Caterpillar, Metso Minerals, FLSmidth, ABB, GE Canada). “Sourcing locally is part of our strategy to maximize the benefits for the local community,” he said. “At the end of April, we held three ‘Supplier Days’ in the Abitibi region (in Malartic, Val-d’Or and Rouyn-Noranda). We met with local firms and gave them the opportunity to learn about our requirements and fully participate in the project. These events were a smash success — more than 180 companies attended and exchanged information with our construction and operations managers.” For Osisko, the Malartic development represents a brand new geological model in an old mining camp. “We feel there are more possibilities for additional deposits to be found,” he said. “Considering this was a mine that was shut down and now we have defined an additional 8.4 million ounces in the first 1,000 days of new exploration, it demonstrates the possible long-term sustainability of this mining camp.” Roosen stressed the importance of investing in exploration and scientific research to be able to discover new ways and means of tapping into the area’s resources. “It’s 52 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

largely because of advances in technology and rising gold prices that we are able to economically mine one-gram deposits that wouldn’t have been mineable 10 years ago. We need to look at new models and to continue to invest in exploration and good scientists that have good ideas. In our case, the application of advancements in mining technology, combined with a new geological model, are the keys behind our success at Canadian Malartic. We feel strongly that these ideas will lead to more success stories in this camp and the region in the future.” And it seems those “good ideas” are being recognized. Osisko was the recipient of the 2007 PDAC Prospector of the Year Award, and was the 2006 winner of the Quebec Prospector of the Year Award. “Aside from discovering and defining a world-class gold deposit, a good portion of the reason we got the PDAC award this year was based on our community relations work as we advanced the project,” said Roosen. “We looked at what had previously been done in the industry when companies built mines near existing communities and we set about to do something completely different. I believe for a project at this stage of the game, this is the first one where the community and the project have been interlinked so closely and worked together from the outset in such detail, with a mutual desire to achieve success.” Osisko has also recently set up a sustainability fund for the town of Malartic, which ties the future success of the company and the town together even more closely. “After the mining comes to an end, we hope this endowment program goes on into perpetuity, leaving a legacy that sustains the town of Malartic.” CIM


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mines en vedette

Ça prend un village


Dès le début, Sean Roosen, le président et chef de l’exploitation d’Osisko Exploration Ltée, a décidé que le projet aurifère Canadian Malartic serait différent – et qu’il serait effectué correctement. Avec un gisement de 8,4 millions d’onces d’or et une durée de vie de mine projetée de 14,3 ans, le potentiel d’avoir une situation gagnant-gagnant entre la compagnie et la communauté était évident. Bien que l’exploration continuelle et l’éventuel développement signifient des inconvénients pour la ville à brève échéance et puissent même conduire au déménagement et à la réinstallation de maisons et de personnes, la perspective de définir une mine de classe mondiale qui pourrait créer 400 emplois à long terme et 800 emplois à court terme en construction était suffisante pour convaincre M. Roosen que des travaux bien effectués du premier coup étaient la seule façon de procéder. « Nous avons pris ce projet à cœur dès le début, en revenant, aux anciennes valeurs d’exploitation : prendre soin des employés et ne pas dépendre de l’aide gouvernementale. Les jours de simplement espérer que le gouvernement prendra soin des problèmes d’infrastructures sont révolus. Pour attirer une bonne main-d’œuvre et des actionnaires, vous devez avoir un bon équilibre, une bonne gamme », dit M. Roosen, lors d’une récente entrevue. La philosophie axée sur la communauté de M. Roosen remonte aux 13 années durant lesquelles il a travaillé au développement de projets en Afrique. L’expertise de M. Roosen consistait alors à expliquer les projets aux communautés qui n’avaient vraiment aucune idée de l’exploitation minière. « Il était de notre responsabilité de leur faire comprendre les bons et les mauvais côtés des exploitations », dit-il. La compagnie s’est basée sur cette expérience acquise en Afrique de l’Ouest lors de l’établissement des exploitations en Amérique du Nord. « Nous 54 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

partions avec la prémisse que nous devions être proactifs afin que la communauté de Malartic comprenne ce que nous faisons, pourquoi nous le faisons, et quels seront les impacts et les implications à long terme de vivre avec une mine d’une telle dimension dans leur cour arrière. »

La mine et son potentiel La propriété aurifère détenue à 100 % par Canadian Malartic est située à environ 20 kilomètres à l’ouest de Vald’Or, au cœur de la ceinture aurifère du Québec, tout juste au sud de la ville de Malartic. L’ensemble de la propriété couvre 230 km2 et comprend quatre anciens producteurs souterrains, les mines Canadian Malartic, Barnat, Sladen et East Malartic. Entre 1935 et 1983, la production dans ce camp minier a été de cinq millions d’onces d’or. Le gisement Canadian Malartic a été découvert en 1926; la production a débuté en 1935 et la mine a fermé en 1965 après en avoir extrait 1 080 000 onces d’or à partir de 9,93 millions de tonnes de minerai. Après sa fermeture, la propriété est demeurée inactive jusqu’en 1979, l’année de son achat par Lac Minerals. De 1980 à 1988, Lac Minerals a exploré la propriété dans le but de définir un gisement économique pouvant être exploité à ciel ouvert. L’exploration a mené à la définition de cinq zones aurifères à proximité de la surface formant un ensemble historique ayant des ressources d’environ 8 160 000 tonnes métriques de minerai à une teneur de 1,98 grammes Au/tonne. Le projet était en veilleuse lorsque la compagnie minière Barrick Gold a acquis Lac Minerals au début des années 1990. Barrick Gold a par la suite vendu la propriété à McWatters Mining en 2003 cependant, un an plus tard, McWatters a fait

mines en vedette faillite. À la fin de 2004, Osisko a acheté 100 % des intérêts de la propriété de l’administration de la faillite.

La communauté La ville de Malartic comporte 1000 ménages (3500 personnes). Les 8,4 millions d’onces de réserves aurifères d’Osisko sont situées au sud de la ville; il y a actuellement 205 maisons à cet emplacement. Environ 30 % de ces maisons sont situées au-dessus d’anciennes mines. À certains endroits, le pilier de couronne au-dessus des chantiers a une épaisseur de seulement huit à neuf mètres, ce qui constitue un problème de sécurité. Des clôtures avec panneaux de mise en garde avaient été érigées dans ces secteurs de la ville durant les années 1970. Si Osisko décide d’aller de l’avant et d’exploiter le gisement, les 205 demeures devront être déplacées puisqu’elles sont dans le secteur à risque; une zone tampon de 150 mètres est aussi planifiée entre le mur final de la fosse et le reste de la ville de Malartic. Pour répondre aux besoins des résidents de la zone de réinstallation, Osisko a acheté des terrains à l’extrémité nord de la ville. La construction sur les nouveaux terrains a débuté en novembre 2007 et, à ce jour, 23 lots sont prêts et 157 autres sont en construction dans ce secteur, connu sous l’appellation Secteur 7. Osisko a déjà acheté 62 maisons dans le secteur sud et 124 ménages ont accepté la réinstallation au Secteur 7. La compagnie est à définir les derniers détails de déplacement des premières maisons sur leurs nouveaux sites cet été. La communauté a cependant été impliquée dès le début du projet de réinstallation. « Nous travaillons à la formulation de la réinstallation depuis 2005 avec un planificateur urbain », explique M. Roosen. « Nous avons créé un comité consultatif communautaire et les membres ont travaillé avec le planificateur urbain; ce dernier a effectué un relevé des secteurs autour de Malartic afin d’identifier les endroits où les gens aimeraient vivre. » Les résidents pouvaient signaler ce qu’ils aimeraient dans le nouveau secteur Nord, lequel est situé à proximité d’un terrain de golf et de l’école secondaire; de nombreuses rencontres ont été tenues avant d’arriver à un consensus. Osisko a aussi récemment ouvert un bureau des relations avec la communauté au cœur de la ville, avec trois employés à temps plein. « C’est ouvert à tous en tout temps », explique M. Roosen. « Les plans sont disponibles pour quiconque veut les voir. Notre directeur des communications est de Malartic et notre agent des relations publiques vient de Val-d’Or. »

La route à parcourir À ce jour, Osisko a acheté pour plus de 180 millions de dollars d’équipements miniers (les fournisseurs comprennent Hewitt Equipment/Caterpillar, Metso, Fl Smidth, ABB, GE Canada) et les études de délimitation indiquent une durée de vie

de 14,3 ans avec une production moyenne de 460 000 onces d’or; le coût au comptant des activités de production s’élèverait à 369 $ en tenant compte de la durée de vie de la mine. « Ce projet créera 400 emplois à long terme et environ 800 emplois durant la période de construction en plus de 700 à 1000 autres emplois dans les services et les emplois secondaires au cours de la durée de vie estimée du projet », dit M. Roosen à propos de l’impact économique du projet. « La sélection de fournisseurs locaux fait partie de notre stratégie de maximisation des bénéfices pour la communauté locale. À la fin d’avril, nous avons tenu trois ‘journées fournisseurs’ dans la région de l’Abitibi (à Malartic, à Val-d’Or et à Rouyn-Noranda). Nous avons rencontré des compagnies locales, nous avons expliqué nos exigences et nous leur avons donné la possibilité de participer au projet. Ces événements ont connu un franc succès – plus de 180 compagnies ont participé et ont échangé des informations avec nos directeurs de la construction et de l’exploitation. » Pour Osisko, le développement Malartic représente un tout nouveau modèle géologique dans un ancien camp minier. « Étant donné qu’il s’agit d’une mine qui a été fermée et que nous avons défini 8,4 millions d’onces additionnelles dans les 1000 premiers jours d’une nouvelle exploration, cela démontre le potentiel de durabilité à long terme de ce camp minier », dit M. Roosen. Il souligne l’importance d’investir en exploration et en recherche scientifique. « C’est principalement en raison des avances technologiques et de la montée des prix de l’or que nous pouvons exploiter des gisements d’un gramme par tonne, des gisements qui n’auraient pas été exploitables il y a dix ans. « Nous devons considérer de nouveaux modèles et continuer à investir en exploration et dans des chercheurs qui ont de bonnes idées. L’application des nouvelles technologies minièree et un nouveau modèle géologique sont les clés de notre succès à Canadian Malartic. Nous sommes confiants que ces idées conduiront à encore plus de succès dans ce camp et dans la région. Il semble que ces « bonnes idées » sont reconnues. Osisko a gagné le prix de prospecteur de l’année 2007 de l’Association canadienne des prospecteurs et des développeurs (PDAC); la compagnie a aussi mérité le prix de « Prospecteur de l’année » de l’Association de l’exploration minière du Québec. « En plus d’avoir découvert et défini un gisement aurifère de classe mondiale, une bonne partie de la raison derrière l’attribution du prix PDAC était basée sur notre travail en relations communautaires à mesure que nous avancions le projet », dit M. Roosen. « Nous avons regardé ce qui avait déjà été fait dans l’industrie lorsque les compagnies bâtissaient des mines à proximité de communautés existantes; nous nous sommes engagés à faire quelque chose de tout à fait différent. Osisko a aussi récemment ouvert un fonds de durabilité pour la ville de Malartic, fusionnant encore plus la ville et le futur succès de la compagnie. « À la fin de l’exploitation minière, nous espérons que ce programme de dotation se poursuivra à perpétuité, laissant un héritage qui soutiendra la ville de Malartic. » CIM June/July 2008 | 55

On Any Level, You Can’t Afford To Miss It.


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A look back in time

Arika, Sreenivasulu, Alberta Bach, Leora, British Columbia Bernales, Jesus Sonny, British Columbia Bowles, Steven, Québec Bunton, John, Alberta Cadien, Kenneth, Alberta Campbell, Galen, Alberta Carson, Wes, British Columbia Dickson, Peter, Ontario Ekstein, Mendel I., USA Esford, Fiona, British Columbia Farthing, Greg, Québec Fayram, Todd, USA Fjordell, Kjell, Ontario Froc, Neil, British Columbia Hamilton, Tim, Saskatchewan Hartard, Mario, Ontario Hudon, Michel G., Québec Isidoro, Allison, British Columbia Jarjoura, George, Nova Scotia Khalesi, Nasser M., British Columbia Kumar, Sunil, Ontario Leseigneur, Juan Carlos, Ontario Lloyd, Geraint, Québec Marcantonio, George, USA McMinn, Neil, Alberta

20 YEARS AGO… • The First Canadian Conference on Computer Applications in the Mineral Industry was held at Université Laval on March 7-9, 1988. • PetSoc held its 39th Annual Technical Meeting. • Catchy title! An article published in CIM Bulletin was titled: “Old mines never die… they just close down, and rest a while!” • The CIM Algoma Branch set up a $36,000 trust fund to award bursaries to mining students over the following 15 years. • Funded by ten companies, an industrial research chair in hydrometallurgy was set up at UBC. The first chair holder was Ernest Peters, a 30-year faculty member in UBC’s Department of Metals and Materials Engineering. • Future president of CIM (for 1997-1998) A.M. “Sandy” Laird was appointed vice president, project developments, at Placer Dome, for whom he had worked for 28 years.

Moreau, Eric, Nova Scotia Mroczek, Marek, British Columbia Nassrov, Dmitri, Québec Nunes, Denise, British Columbia O’Grady, Frank, British Columbia Olscamp, David, New Brunswick Ordonez, Juan Carlos, Ontario O’Reilly, Andrew, Ontario Plante, Martin, Québec Plante, Alexandra, Québec Robson, David M., Saskatchewan Rojas, Rodrigo, Ontario Rossouw, Ralph, Australia Roy, Louis, USA Sanchez, Carlos Oré, Québec Sanford, Tim, Ontario Singh, Nalini, Québec Smith, Herbert, Ontario Soch, Steven, Nova Scotia Solodkin, Vladimir, British Columbia Stanley, Clifford, Nova Scotia Stevens, Edward, Australia Tanas, Kevin, Alberta Vaillant, Denis, Québec Watson, David, Manitoba Wong, Edward, Ontario Young, Barry, Australia

The above was taken from the June and July 1988 issues of CIM Bulletin.

June/July 2008 | 57


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Geostatistical mineral resource/ore reserve estimation and meeting the new regulatory environment: Step by step from sampling to grade control

September 15-19, Montreal Michel Dagbert, Geostat Systems Int, Canada; Jean-Michel Rendu, Consultant, USA; and Roussos Dimitrakopoulos, McGill University, Canada Learn about the latest regulations on public reporting of resources/reserves through state-of-the-art statistical and geostatistical techniques. Learn how to: • Apply geostatistics to predict dilution and adapt reserve estimates to that predicted dilution. • Learn how geostatistics can help you categorize your resources in an objective manner. • Understand principles of NI43-101 and SME Guide.

Quantitative mineral resource assessment an integrated approach: Exploration risk analysis for strategic planning October 20-21, Montreal Don Singer, US Geological Survey, USA; David Menzie, US Geological Servey, USA

Learn how to provide decision-makers with unbiased information about the expected value and probabilities of other values of undiscovered mineral resources. Learn how to: • Identify the sources and magnitudes of risk and uncertainty in assessments of undiscovered mineral resources. • Demonstrate how operational mineral deposit models can reduce uncertainties. • Construct internally consistent models.

Theory and practice of sampling particulate materials October 27-29, Part 1, Montreal October 30-31, Part 2 (QA-QC, mine, and project audits), Montreal &QOKPKSWG(TCPĂ QKU$QPICTĂ QPAGORATEK, USA

&GXGNQRCPWPFGTUVCPFKPIQHVJGVJGQT[QHUCORNKPIRCTVKEWNCVGOCVGTKCNUKVURTCEVKEGUEQRGNKOKVCVKQPU and appropriate applications. Learn how to: • Eye-opening facts you may have overlooked or ignored until now about the consequences of bad sampling and the difficulties of good sampling. • The unsuspected amplitude of economic ramifications of poor sampling.

cim news Une activité pour les étudiants Le 17 mars dernier, 34 personnes de la Section de Québec assistaient à la rencontre annuelle dédiée aux étudiants. Les membres de la section ont eu le plaisir de recevoir quatre conférenciers étudiants qui ont partagé leur expérience de stage ou de projet de fin d’études. Les quatre conférenciers étudiants ont présenté leurs sujets : • Compte-rendu d’une visite de quatre gisements au Maroc (Guillaume Lesage, étudiant en géologie) • Les staurotides zincifères de la Mine LaRonde (Pascal Delisle, étudiant en géologie) • Résidus miniers épaissis et en pâte : une approche durable pour l’industrie minière (Simon Rouleau, étudiant en génie mines et minéralurgie) • Analyse du CCM, appareil de mesure du niveau de la charge contenue dans un broyeur autogène (Geoffrey Barden, par Marie Fortin, secrétaire de la étudiant Section de Québec de l’ICM en génie des matériaux et de la métallurgie) Leurs performances étaient évaluées par un jury composé de profes-

De gauche à droite : Guillaume Lesage, Pascal Delisle, Simon Rouleau, Geoffrey Barden et Rock Gagnon.

sionnels du milieu; la Section de Québec décernait 1000 $ en prix pour les présentations. La remise des prix a été faite sous l’égide du président sortant de la Section de Québec, Monsieur Rock Gagnon. Cette rencontre était commanditée par Agnico-Eagle, l’Association minière du Québec, COREM, Fasken Martineau, Gestion SODEMEX inc., Instrumentation GDD inc et Mines Virginia. CIM

It’s all about the students On March 17, 34 members of the CIM Quebec Branch participated in an evening dedicated to students. The four student speakers discussed their work-terms or end-of-term projects: • Guillaume Lesage, a geology student, on a visit to four deposits in Morocco • Pascal Delisle, a geology student, on LaRonde mine • Simon Rouleau, a mining and mineralogy engineering student, on thickened and paste mining tailings: a sustainable approach for the mining industry • Geoffrey Barden, a materials and metallurgy engineering student, on ACL analysis: a measuring device of the circulating load in an autogenous grinder. The students’ performances were evaluated by a jury; $1,000 in prizes was awarded. The evening was sponsored by Agnico-Eagle Mines, the Quebec Mining Association, COREM, Fasken Martineau, Gestion SODEMEX inc., Instrumentation GDD inc. and Virginia Mines. CIM June/July 2008 | 59

cim news L’ICM reçoit le professeur Jean-François Dorion du Cégep de Thetford Mines Le 13 mars dernier au Club Le Relais de Thetford Mines, une trentaine de membres de la section de Thetford Mines de l’ICM accueillaient M. Jean-François Dorion à titre de conférencier. Monsieur Dorion est professeur au département de technologie minérale du Cégep de Thetford Mines et étudiant au doctorat à l’Université Laval. Sa présentation s’intitulait «La corrosion des systèmes de soutènement souterrain». Monsieur Dorion a étudié sur place l’impact de différents facteurs sur la corrosion des boulons d’ancrage et autres dispositifs d’acier servant à soutenir les massifs rocheux dans cinq mines souterraines au Québec. Il s’agit des mines Niobec, Mouska, Géant Dormant, Doyon et Laronde, toutes situées en Abititi et au Saguenay. Il a observé des par Pierre Laroche, taux de corroprésident de la Section sion très élevés Thetford Mines de l’ICM dans ces deux dernières mines de sulfures contenant des métaux de base (cuivre, zinc, etc.) et précieux (or, argent, etc.). Les premières observations et conclusions de ses études se résument comme suit : • Les conditions (eau et air) sont très variables d’une mine à une autre et à l’intérieur de chaque mine; • L’humidité de l’air est en général très élevée dans les galeries, c’est-àdire de 70 % à 100 %; • Les eaux souterraines peuvent être agressives en raison de la présence d’ions dissous; • Les eaux souterraines de certaines mines peuvent être acides (à cause de la présence des sulfures). M. Dorion avait apporté des échantillons de grillage et de plaques très corrodés et certains 60 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

De gauche à droite : Thomas Coleman, président ex-officio, Section Thetford Mines, Pierre Laroche, président, Section Thetford Mines, Jean-François Dorion, enseignant au Cégep de Thetford et conférencier, François Jacques, vice-président, Section Thetford Mines, Richard Rodrigue, secrétaire-trésorier, Section Thetford Mines.

après seulement quelques mois après avoir été installés! Compte tenu des impacts économiques énormes de la corrosion des supports, des risques pour la sécurité des travailleurs, les études de M. Dorion seront des plus utiles pour améliorer la rentabilité économique

et la sécurité de nos mines souterraines au Québec. Rappelons que M. Dorion a été boursier de la Section de Thetford Mines de l’ICM comme étudiant à la maîtrise et comme étudiant au doctorat en génie minier à l’Université Laval de Québec. CIM

CIM branch hosts Jean-François Dorion On March 13, 2008, about 30 members of the CIM Thetford Mines Branch greeted Jean-François Dorion, a professor in the Department of Mineral Technology at the Cégep de Thetford Mines and a doctoral student at Laval University. His presentation covered corrosion of underground support systems. He received scholarships from the CIM Thetford Mines Branch, first for his master’s studies and then for his doctoral studies in mining engineering at Laval University in Quebec City. Dorion studied the impact of various factors on the corrosion of anchor bolts and other steel devices used to support rock masses, on site, at the Niobec, Mouska, Géant Dormant, Doyon and Laronde mines, all located in the Abititi and the Saguenay regions. Very high corrosion rates were observed in the latter two sulphide mines; they contain base and precious metals. Dorion brought several samples of very corroded grids and plaques; some had only been installed a few months. Given the huge economic impacts of support corrosion and the risks for worker safety, Dorion’s work will prove to be most useful in improving the economic viability and the safety of underground mines in Quebec. CIM

CIM Conference and Exhibition


Congrès et Salon commercial de l’ICM

May 10 to 13 | Toronto, Ontario | 10 au 13 mai

Call for Papers CIM is committed to enabling knowledge sharing to help our operations maintain their productivity. Presenters from around the globe will line up in Toronto to share their tools and experiences — arming you with new ideas to implement and enhance your business. The technical program will feature the following themes: geosciences mining and software environment and processes innovations and operations management, ethics and law It will cater to both underground and open pit operations, in hard and soft rock environments.

Interested in submitting an abstract?

Submission deadline is September 30.

Demande de communications L’ICM est engagé à faciliter le partage des connaissances dans le but d’aider nos exploitations à maintenir leur productivité. Des conférenciers de partout au monde seront à Toronto pour partager leurs outils et leurs expériences – vous donnant de nouvelles idées à implanter et visant à promouvoir votre entreprise. Le programme technique soulignera les thèmes suivants : les sciences de la Terre les logiciels d’exploitation minière l’environnement et les procédés les innovations et les exploitations les aspects d’éthiques et légaux Il portera sur les exploitations souterraines et à ciel ouvert, sur les roches dures et tendres.

Êtes-vous intéressé à soumettre un résumé?

La date limite est le 30 septembre.

cim news

CIM Annual Report available

Rapport annuel de l’ICM disponible

For the first time ever, CIM has published an annual report including details on branch and society activities, messages from the president and executive director, details on publications and events, and so much more. Go to to read up on what happened within CIM in 2007. The amassing of information and writing of the report was carried out by Deborah Sarik. Our thanks go out to her for this massive undertaking.

Pour la première fois de son histoire, l’ICM publie un rapport annuel qui comprend les messages du président et du directeur exécutif, détaille les activités des sections et des sociétés, traite des publications et des événements, et bien plus encore. Visitez le pour savoir ce qui s’est passé à l’ICM en 2007. Deborah Sarik a colligé toute l’information et écrit ce rapport. Nous la remercions sincèrement pour cette grande réalisation.

62 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

cim news AROUND THE WORLD CIM EVENTS CIM Saskatoon Branch Golf Tournament and Dinner July 11 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Contact: Robert Carey Email: 12th Annual Rudolph Kneer Memorial Golf Tournament August 9 Lively, Ontario Contact: Roxanne Kneer Email: Hydrometallurgy 2008 — 6th International Symposium honouring Robert Shoemaker August 17-20 Phoenix, Arizona Contact: Courtney Young Tel.: 303.973.9550 Fax: 303.973.3845 Email: Website: The Conference of Metallurgists (COM) August 24-27 Winnipeg, Manitoba Contact: Brigitte Farah, MetSoc of CIM Tel.: 514.939.2710, ext. 1329 Fax: 514.939.9160 Email: Website: CIM New Brunswick Branch 33rd Convention September 4-6 Bathurst, New Brunswick Contact: Paul Rennick Email: Frank Grieco Golf Tournament September 17 Toronto, Ontario Contact: CIM Toronto Branch Administrator Tel.: 416.352.1989 Fax: 416.352.1989 Email: Cobalt Branch Seafood Night September 25 Haileybury, Ontario Contact: Todd Steis Email: Symposium 2008 on Mines and the Environment/ Symposium 2008 sur l’environnement et les mines November 2-5 Rouyn-Noranda, Québec Contact: Chantal Murphy, CIM Meetings Coordinator Tel.: 514.939.2710, ext. 1309 Fax: 514.939.2714 Email: Website:

III International Conference on Mining Innovation (MININ 2008) August 6-8 Santiago, Chile Contact: Olga Cherepanova Tel.: +56.2.652.1519 Fax: +56.2.652.1570 Email: Website: 2nd International Conference on Wireless Communications in Underground and Confined Areas August 25-27 Val-d’Or, Quebec Contact: Hasnaâ Aniss Tel.: 819.874.7400, ext. 221 Fax: 819.874.7166 Email: Website: 21st World Mining Congress and Expo 2008 September 7-11 Krakow-Katowice, Poland Contact: Katarzyna Witek Tel.: +48.12.617.4604 Fax: +48.12.617.4605 Email: Website: 1st Southern Hemisphere International Rock Mechanics Symposium September 15-19 Perth, Western Australia Contact: Josephine Ruddle Tel.: +61.8.6488.3300 Fax: +61.8.6488.1130 Email: V International Mineral Processing Seminar (PROCEMIN 2008) October 22-24 Santiago, Chile Fabiola Bustamante Tel.: +56.2.652.1555 Fax: +56.2.658.1570 Email: Website: World Scrap Metal Congress 2008 November 3-5 Shanghai, China Contact: Juliana Tyan Tel.: +65.6322.2726 Fax: +65.6271.8057 Email: Website:

June/July 2008 | 63

Thanks to our sponsors! Without your contributions, the CIM Conference and Exhibition would not have been the huge success it was.

Merci à nos commanditaires Vos contributions sont essentielles au succes de Congrès et Salon commercial de l’ICM Premier


Diamond • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Gold • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Silver • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 2 Colour: Logo = Pantone 3025 Text = Black

Friends • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Mining in Society • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

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Southern African Institute of Mining & Metallurgy


Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy

14 – 18 April 2009

Canadian Institute The Canadian Institute of Mining, of Mining &and Metallurgy & Petroleum Metallurgy Petroleum

Grand Westin Hotel Cape Town, South Africa

in conjunction with 3 Pre-Conference Workshops


The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM), the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) and the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) have agreed to jointly convene a World Gold Conference every two years. The conference will be held on a rotational basis between the three organizations – in 2009 it will be held in Cape Town, South Africa and hosted by the Western Cape Branch of the SAIMM. Some important aspects of the current mining environment will provide opportunities and threats for the industry in the foreseeable future, which include: x All-time high gold metal prices x All-time high non-gold metal prices present opportunities for By- and Co-products from gold operations x Minimal exploration success for the last 10 years and little immediate prospect for revolutionary success is leading to revisiting known “old” (sub-marginal) deposits x Lower precious metal content x Increasing refractoriness x More energy efficient mining and processing

World Gold 2009 will reflect these key issues as greater focus will be required on improved efficiency and latest technology in – (a) geological mapping, (b) gold mining, (c) mineral processing, and (d) extraction and refining. Thus, we are focusing on more environmentally friendly, resource efficient and energy efficient mining and recovery methods. Papers are therefore called for under the following


En v i r o n m en t al Ef f i c i en c y Res o u r c e an d En er g y Ef f i c i en c y Mi n i n g Ef f i c i en c y Tec h n i c al Ef f i c i en c y Accepted papers will be subject to peer review. All accepted papers will be published and presented at the conference. Authors are required to register for the conference to present their papers. The language of the conference will be English.


Three pre-conference workshops will be organised in conjunction with World Gold 2009: x Gold Processing Workshop

Technological developments and their applications in gold processing Convener: Guy Deschênes

x Flotation Technology in the Mining Industry Workshop

Looking at the newest technologies in flotation used by the mining industry Conveners: Cyril O’Connor and JP Franzidis

x Environmental Aspects of Water Usage Workshop Environmental aspects such as mine water treatment, sustainability, etc. in gold mining operations Convener: Dave Deglon

The Final Date for Submission of Abstracts is 31 July 2008.

We invite you to email an abstract, indicating your possible participation in either the Conference or the Workshops (or both), not exceeding 300 words in English, to: Enid Thom Technical Coordinator Tel : +27 (0)21 808-4423 Fax : +27 (0)21 808-2059 Email :

COM2008WINNEPEG CONFERENCE OF METALLURGISTS Friendly Winnipeg welcomes you! The Conference of Metallurgists, the premier annual event of the Metallurgical Society of CIM, is returning to Winnipeg on August 24–27, 2008, after an absence of 21 years. The organizing committee, with the advice of its industry and academic representatives, has selected the theme Sustainable Practices in Metallurgy and Materials: Embracing the Future. The chair of the technical program committee, Bill Caley, Dalhousie University, and the chairs and co-chairs of the nine international symposia have structured the technical program of the conference to reflect the latest advances and main concerns and issues affecting the future of the metallurgical and materials industry. Lectures will be given by internationally recognized leaders in industry and academia, and will address the major topics relating to the future of the metals and materials sector and its impact on the environment. Presentations will include topics on research and development (on new as well as established materials), processes and products, and the related technological advances. The technical program will also address issues relating to economic drivers, impacts of industry consolidation, manpower development, sustainability, trends in operations and productivity, and human health issues. In addition, participants will also enjoy the hospitality, sunshine and beautiful beaches of “Friendly Manitoba� for which it is famous. I invite you all to come to Winnipeg this August and encourage you to make the conference part of an exciting summer family vacation. Mahesh Chaturvedi COM2008 Conference Chair


Deadline is August 1

Delegate registration fees include admission to the technical sessions and a copy of the conference program guide. Banquet tickets must be reserved and are on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional fees may apply depending on your registration category (see website or form for more details). Prices are listed on website. Discounted registration pricing until June 30. June/July 2008 | 67

See the complete technical program with abstracts inserted with this issue of CIM Magazine.

Technical program Zinc and Lead Metallurgy Chairs: J. Liu, Vale Inco, J. Harlamovs, Teck Cominco, L. Centomo, Xstrata Zinc, and M.J. Collins, Sherritt Technologies Sponsored by: The Non-Ferrous Pyrometallurgy Section, The Hydrometallurgy Section of the Metallurgical Society of CIM Aerospace Materials and Manufacturing Symposium IV: Advances in Processing and Repair of Aerospace Materials (in honour of Dr. Mahesh Chaturvedi) Chairs: M. Jahazi, P.C. Patnaik, National Research Council of Canada, and M. Elboudjaini, National Resources Canada Sponsored by: The Materials Performance and Integrity Section and the Materials Science and Engineering Section of the Metallurgical Society of CIM Water, Air and Land: Sustainability Issues in Mineral and Metal Extraction (WALSIM) Chairs: C. Jia, University of Toronto, and R. Rao, McGill University Sponsored by: The Environment Section of the Metallurgical Society of CIM, Consortium on Sustainable Materials (COSM) Corrosion and Wear of Materials Chairs: Z. Farhat, Dalhousie, A. Alfantazi, University of British Columbia, and M. Elboujdaini, CANMET Sponsored by: The Materials Performance and Integrity Section of the Metallurgical Society of CIM

Poster session Papers from various fields of minerals, metals and materials research and technologies will be presented at the general poster session held on Monday, August 25. Poster paper presentations provide an excellent opportunity for learning about current research projects, encourage interactive discussion and showcase the work of students. Send posters or abstracts to

Proceedings Proceedings for the major symposia will be available for sale at the conference bookstore during the meeting. Orders can be pre-paid through the online conference registration.

Keep up to date! 68 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

Organizing committee COM2008 Conference Chair Mahesh Chaturvedi University of Manitoba

Structural Alloys for Lightweight Vehicles Chairs: S. Esmaeili, M. Worswick, N. Zhou, University of Waterloo, M. Jain, D.S Wilkinson, J. McDermid, S. Shankar and C. Barry, McMaster University Sponsored by: The Materials Science and Engineering Section (MSES) of the Metallurgical Society of CIM Management in Metallurgy Chairs: D. Ashman, Teck Cominco Metals Ltd., and D. Brosig, Hatch Sponsored by: The Management in Metallurgy Section of the Metallurgical Society of CIM Advanced Characterization Techniques Applied to Minerals, Metals and Materials Chairs: R. Gauvin, McGill University, and D. Paktunc, CANMET Sponsored by: The Metallurgical Society of CIM Functional Nanomaterials: Current Status and Future Trends Chair: M. Brochu, McGill University Sponsored by: Material Science and Engineering Section of the Metallurgical Society of CIM Recent Developments in Advanced High-Strength Steels Processing Chairs: A.M. Elwazri, McGill University, and P. Wanjara, National Research Council of Canada, Institute for Aerospace Research Sponsored by: The Iron and Steel Section of the Metallurgical Society of CIM

Technical Program Chair William Caley Dalhousie University Publicity Chair Mathieu Brochu McGill University Industrial Tour Chair Jack Cahoon University of Manitoba Short Courses Chair George Kipouros Dalhousie University Sponsorship Chair Michael King (retired) Falconbridge Technology Centre Poster Session and Volunteers Lanre Ojo University of Manitoba Secretary Elenor Friesen University of Manitoba

Sponsors We would like to thank our sponsors for their support.



EVENT June/July 2008 | 69

Short courses

Georges Kipouros

All COM2008 courses will be held at the Winnipeg Convention Centre. This year, we have organized three excellent short courses that will take place prior to the conference technical sessions. For more details go to

Zinc and Lead Metallurgy Held on August 23-24, this two-day course will cover the following topics: • Introduction to zinc and lead processes • Lead smelting • Roasting and smelting of zinc and Pb/Zn concentrates • Ausmelt • Zinc calcine leaching • Zinc pressure leaching • Zinc atmospheric leaching • Solvent extraction of zinc • Purification and impurity control • Electrolysis of lead and zinc • Recycling • Environmental aspects

Industrial tours The conference is offering three excellent field trips in and around the Manitoba and British Columbia region of Canada. Spaces are limited so act fast! Industrial tours will take place on Thursday and Friday following the technical sessions of the conference and include transportation, flights, accommodations and meals where indicated (see exact schedule and inclusions on Jack Cahoon the website). For additional information contact Jack Cahoon at Tel.: 204.474.6401 or by email at

Near Net Shape Production of Aluminum Components Via “Press-and-Sinter” Powder Metallurgy Processing Technologies This one-day course held on August 24 will review: • Characterization • Secondary operations of metallic powders • Commercial alloy systems • Powder production techniques • Case studies of select • Uni-axial die compaction industrial products • Sintering theory and practice • Emerging developments

Wear of Engineering Materials and Protection and Corrosion This course, held on August 24, will be broken into two parts — wear (a.m.) and corrosion (p.m.) Wear: • Wear modes, mechanisms, testing and characterization (abrasion, adhesion, erosion, corrosive/oxidative wear, fretting) • Wear behaviour of engineering materials (metallic materials, ceramics, composites, others) • Surface engineering for wear protection (surface modification, protective coatings, others) Corrosion: • Economic, social, political and environmental impacts of corrosion • Thermodynamics of corrosion • Kinetics of corrosion • Corrosion rate measurement techniques • Passivity/localized corrosion • Corrosion inhibitors • Industrial corrosion cases

70 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

Companions program Discover friendly Manitoba with a series of tours set to discover the city, culture and fun during your stay in Winnipeg. Monday, August 25

Winnipeg City Sightseeing Tour with Manitoba Museum This tour includes the Forks National Historic site, Winnipeg’s historical “meeting place,” with its unique outdoor historic site and indoor market of shops, cafes and restaurants. Next, you will see Winnipeg’s French Quarter (St. Boniface) and the beautiful St.

Elenor Friesen

Register online at HudBay Minerals Inc., Flin Flon, Manitoba Hudbay Minerals Inc. is an integrated mining company producing zinc, copper, gold and silver metals. Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co. is a wholly-owned subsidiary operating in northern Manitoba. The zinc plant produces 115,000 tonnes per year with the world’s first two-stage zinc pressure leach plant using Sherritt technology. In 2001, HudBay commissioned a modern fully automated cellhouse designed by Asturiana de Zinc, S.A. The 777 mine, located immediately adjacent to HudBay’s metallurgical complex, is the company’s flagship mine that produced 1.37 million tonnes of ore in 2006.

Boeing and Standard Aero Boeing Canada Technology Ltd.’s Winnipeg Division is the largest aerospace composite manufacturer in Canada. They design, develop and fabricate complex glass and graphite fiber composite structures and sub-assemblies for Boeing 737, 747, 767 and 777 aircraft. They specialize in wing-tobody fairings, engine strut fairings, thrust reverser blocker doors as well as additional complex composites including Nacelle Chines and Ducts. Standard Aero, a leading aerospace company, is one of the world’s largest independent providers of gas turbine maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO). Standard Aero services General Electric, Rolls-Royce, Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney Canada engines used by regional airline, business aviation, helicopter and military operators.

Teck Cominco ZnPb Tour, Trail, British Columbia (two-day tour) At Trail, located in British Columbia’s beautiful Kootenay region, participants will see and learn about one of the world’s largest integrated zinc/lead smelting and refining complexes. The technical tour of Teck Cominco’s Trail operations includes the return flight to/from Winnipeg.

Boniface Cathedral. The cathedral’s cemetery features the grave of Louis Riel, the famous Métis leader and founder of Manitoba. Also included are the Exchange District for its architecture and art galleries.

“shake it up” with our own private dance lesson. Lunch will be held at Brio’s on the upper level of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, of which a guided tour is included.

Tuesday, August 26

Fashion Museum and Nygard Shopping Experience

Wednesday, August 27

Winnipeg Arts Scene We will start with a fascinating peek into the studios of the Famous Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, where the students of the RWB learn the precise art of dance. We will get an inside look at the wardrobe and shoe departments and get a glimpse of the students of the world-renowned company rehearsing. After the ballet school, you will continue to Ted Motyka’s Dance Studio, the same studio used in the filming of Shall We Dance with Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere. Learn to

Visit the Costume Museum of Canada, home to a collection of 35,000 artifacts spanning 400 years. Afterwards, we will venture to the nearby Nygard Fashion World, located in a beautifully restored historic building. More than just a trip to a store, we’ll have our own corporate wardrobe specialist addressing different body shapes, how to coordinate the wardrobe and providing information about investment shopping. In addition, a mini fashion show will be included that showcases some of the most current fashion trends and popular looks. Of course, time for shopping is included. June/July 2008 | 71

Student travel Financial assistance is available to support student travel to the conference for the authors of posters or papers. Only CIM student members qualify for this assistance. Please use the online student travel request form at and send your request for funding, including an abstract of your accepted paper/poster to Brigitte Farah at

Social program To complement the full days of events, join us and your colleagues in the evening for some excellent opportunity to network in a fun and relaxing atmosphere.

Opening Reception All delegates are invited to attend the Opening Reception, sponsored by SNC-Lavalin on Sunday evening, August 24. Your registration includes one complimentary cocktail and horsd’oeuvres.

Anne Brunet, Brigitte Farah and Ronona Saunders

MetSoc head office Brigitte Farah Manager, Administration and Meeting Planning

MetSoc Annual General Meeting and Luncheon

Ronona Saunders Publications and Publicity Coordinator

On Monday, August 25, the society will hold its Annual General Meeting and will feature the inauguration of the new Metallurgical Society president. The luncheon ticket includes lunch and a glass of wine. Tickets for members, authors/session chairs, non-members, sister societies are complimentary but must be reserved as seating is limited. Life and retired members, students and guests may purchase tickets with registration.

Anne Brunet Administrative Assistant

Industry-Student Mixer On Monday evening, August 25, representatives from industry and students are invited to meet informally at the mixer, sponsored by SGS Minerals. This event is by invitation only, except for students.

MetSoc Section Meetings The various sections of MetSoc will hold their annual meetings on Tuesday during lunch (a box lunch will be served). These meetings are an invitation to all who are interested in joining these groups and Society.

MetSoc Awards Banquet On Tuesday, August 26, the society will honour its outstanding members by presentation of the Society Awards. Tickets for members, authors/session chairs, non-members and sister societies are complimentary but must be reserved as seating is limited. Life and retired members, students and guests may purchase tickets with registration. 72 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

SPECIAL EVENT for all Delegates The Historical Metallurgy Committee celebrates

30 years! The Historical Metallurgy committee will host a complementary box lunch on Tuesday, August 26, featuring invited speaker William Culver.

Technical Innovation & Business Strategies: Copper Metallurgy 1860-1920 with William W. Culver, Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at State University of New York

history The Comstock Lode, Nevada (Part 3)* by R.J. “Bob” Cathro Chemainus, British Columbia

The number of men on the payrolls of the Comstock mines increased from perhaps 1,500 in the 1860s to more than twice that in the 1870s, with possibly two-thirds of the men classified as “miners,” the rest occupying nearly 40 categories of skilled and unskilled labour. One of the bigger mines might have 500 to 700 employees… The census of 1880 showed that while native Americans formed more than half of the total population, in the mining labour force they were greatly outnumbered, only 770 of 2,770 being American-born. Of the 1966 listed in the special category of “miners,” 691 were Irish, 543 English (including Cornishmen but excluding Welshmen), 394 Americans, 132 Canadians and the rest scattered among very small national groups. By contrast, Americans had pre-empted jobs that required operating or maintaining machinery. … A “Miners Protective Association” was formed at Virginia City in 1863 … to maintain the existing standard wage of $4 per day, in coin, for all work done underground. (PAUL, 1963)

All the information in this chapter on stock markets has been derived from Sears (1973) unless otherwise noted. 74 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

The unusually hot water encountered in the Comstock mines played an important role in pointing geologists and miners to the link between hot springs, hydrothermal fluids and mineralization. Similar hot water occurred in a large geyser field at Steamboat Springs, 11 kilometres northwest of Comstock and 16 kilometres south of Reno, Nevada. A period of intense fumarolic activity between 1984 and 1987, before the installation of a geothermal power plant, showed that up to 21 springs are present, making it either the fourth or fifth largest geyser field in the world. Whereas the geysers had reached heights of up to 15 metres previously, the power plant lowered the water table to about 10 metres below surface (GOSA, 1989). The Steamboat Springs geyser field lies within a small northeast-trending belt of rhyolite domes and flows about eight kilometres long. Two of the domes are up to one kilometre in diameter, three others are smaller and a questionable dome underlies the hot springs. Hot spring activity may have started as long as 3 million years ago but two of the domes have been dated at only 1.21 and 1.14 Ma. The active sinter deposits include small quantities of gold, silver, mercury, antimony, arsenic, thallium, sulphur and boron (Stone, 1990). It was natural that early workers in the district would notice the similarities between the hot water in the Comstock Lode and Steamboat Springs. The mines at Comstock and in the California gold districts made vital contributions to the emerging science of economic geology and to mining technology. Future advances in economic geology would be dependent on the discovery and development of new mines that would provide the field laboratories for studying the origin and occurrence of metals. In addition to systematic prospecting, future discoveries were also dependent on risk capital and better mining techniques to explore the new prospects at depth. Comstock and California gold created the excitement that ensured that the tools would be provided to achieve those aims. Those tools were mining stock exchanges for raising the risk capital and a modern mining equipment manufacturing industry, neither of which existed before. Both of these became centred in San Francisco, turning it into a world mining capital for about three decades. The first U.S. paper currency (the ‘greenback’) was issued in 1862, near the start of the Civil War and just as the Comstock boom was starting. The paper dollar tended to trade at a substantial discount to gold because it was not directly exchangeable. Speculation in gold was transacted through an exchange in New York, where the value of the greenback fluctuated widely according to the war news and traded as low as 40 cents. The federal government had a strong incentive to support new mining developments in the West, since it needed to acquire substantial reserves of gold and silver to finance the war. Thus, the Civil War had a far-reaching influence on gold and silver mining in California and Nevada. Public stock companies focused on mining had already appeared at the time of the California gold rush. Between 1850 and 1859, 432 companies were incorporated in California, three-quarters of which were mining or water companies (see CIM Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 7, p. 102). The number of incorporations skyrocketed during the Comstock rush; 2,933 were formed in 1863 alone, 84 per cent of them gold and silver mines (Jung, 1999). That was partly because these mines required relatively more capital for milling equipment than the California gold mines, but also because the public became far more

economic geology

Above: Pacific Iron Works single-drum hoist, which was made in two sizes — one for work to a depth of 130 m, and another for work to 200 m. Reproduced in the Mining and Scientific Press, February 19, 1881 (from Bailey, 1996). Right: Hendy ore crusher, the cheapest on the market. Only the outer jaw moved and the shoes and dies were easy to replace. Reproduced in the Mining and Scientific Press, November 20, 1880 (from Bailey, 1996).

involved in stock speculation. Eastern U.S. and European investors showed scant interest in California or Nevada until the rise of lode mining, which they recognized as a complex, capital-intensive activity that required sophisticated machinery and scientific processes. Promoters worked hard to convince the public that mining was no longer a reckless adventure but rather a modern industry conducted by sober businessmen with practical experience. They skilfully used the press to attract investors by contributing newspaper articles, writing letters to editors and serving as sources. The press responded with optimism. Some promoters began to produce elaborate stock prospectuses for investors to examine (Jung, 1999). In contrast to stock exchanges in distant capital markets that focused on financing banks, insurance companies, railways, utilities and other major corporations, a large number of mining stock exchanges (also called stock boards or brokers boards) were formed in or near western gold and silver “boom towns,” beginning in 1861. One feature that distinguished the western mining markets was the close connection, some said far too close, between mining companies and banks. Ten exchanges opened in California between 1861 and 1864, eight of which were in San Francisco. In Nevada, seven opened in 1863 and four in 1864, five of which were in Virginia City and three at Gold Hill. Two more were opened in Portland in 1864 and 1865. Most of them (including the first one, called the San Francisco Board of Brokers) were short-lived, even “ephemeral,” partly because several were wiped out by a local depression in the Nevada market in 1864–1865. By 1870, San Francisco was established as a major financial centre. Much has been written about the early California stock exchanges, which were characterized by gambling, manipulation and fraud long before the era of regulatory over-

sight. The motivation of the early organizers was largely self-interest. According to one 1861 anecdote, “it became customary for large stock owners to meet in the morning, pretend to make sales to one another and report their transactions to brokers, who then used these prices in making deals with their customers.” This gave legitimate brokers a strong incentive to start the San Francisco Stock and Exchange Board in 1862. It operated until 1967. One particularly important function of specialized (mining) exchanges was their assistance in the growth of an industry of vital importance in the economic progress of the country and the direction and speed of settlement (Sears, 1973). In spite of the improprieties and abuses, the better mining exchanges gradually became reputable and served a valuable, even crucial, role in generating the risk capital needed for exploration. At a time when the industrialization of the United States was in its early stages, the mining industry took the lead in the organization of limited liability companies and specialized stock exchanges to facilitate the flow of capital. The mining exchanges also played an important role in making the mining industry a leader in the widespread use of the corporate form of business organization and in the distribution of securities to the public. San Francisco was also strategically positioned, with its large harbour and river access to the gold fields, to develop into an important manufacturing centre to serve the mining industry. The West Coast was relatively isolated from the great eastern industrial centres until the transcontinental railways were built across the mountains June/July 2008 | 75

economic geology

Above: Severance & Holt No.1 prospecting drill. An early model, portable diamond drill with a 15 HP steam engine. Reproduced in the Mining and Scientific Press, May 7, 1870 (from Bailey, 1996). Right: Ingersoll rock drill powered by compressed air, which was represented in San Francisco by Parke and Lacy. Reproduced in the Mining and Scientific Press, August 19, 1882 (from Bailey, 1996).

to the Pacific Coast, starting in 1869. Local entrepreneurs took advantage of this opportunity to develop a thriving industry producing custom-made and locally designed equipment. By 1864, 47 foundries and machine shops had been established, including names such as Union Iron Works, Pacific Iron Works, Risdon Iron and Locomotive Works, Fulton Foundry and Iron Works, Pelton Water-Wheel Company, Parke and Lacy, Vulcan Foundry and Iron Works, Joshua Hendy Iron Works, Aetna Iron Works, California Wire Rope Company and others. Their crushers, stamp mills, hoists, headframes, pumps, steam engines, dredges, aerial tramways and smelter equipment could soon be found at every mine site in western North America, as well as in Central and South America and throughout the Eastern Hemisphere. In 1876, 2,000 workers were employed in the San Francisco mining machinery industry, earning between $3 and $5 per day. After the railroads reached the coast, the San Francisco firms began to face steadily increasing competition and, by 1892, much of the mining equipment used in the West 76 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

was being supplied from Chicago and Milwaukee by companies like Allis-Chalmers and Ingersoll. By 1919, the transition was complete and the strongest of the San Francisco companies were only able to survive by switching to shipbuilding and other new fields. CIM

References Bailey, L.R. (1996). Supplying the mining world: the mining equipment manufacturers of San Francisco 1850 - 1900. Tucson, Arizona: Westernlore Press. GOSA (1989). The annual journal of the Geyser Observation and Study Association, Transactions, Volume 1. Retrieved on October 30, 2007, at Jung, M.A. (1999). Capitalism comes to the diggings: from gold-rush adventure to corporate enterprise. In J.J. Rawls and R. Orsi (Eds.), A Golden State: mining and economic development in gold rush California. Berkeley: University of California Press in association with the California Historical Society. Paul, R.W. (1963). Mining frontiers of the far west, 1848 - 1880. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Sears, M.V. (1973). Mining stock exchanges 1860 -1930: an historical survey. Missoula: University of Montana Press. Stone, D. (1990). In C.A. Wood and J. Kienle (Eds.), Volcanoes of North America: United States and Canada (pp. 252-262). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

history of mining The evolution of shaft sinking systems in the western world and the improvement in sinking rates Part 7: 1600 A.D. to the present — a summary by Charles Graham, managing director, CAMIRO Mining Division, and Vern Evans, general manager, Mining Technologies International

Primitive shaft sinkers used their hands and implements Prior to 1600 AD of bone, wood and, later, metal to dig the shafts that were The sinking of shafts had been going on for thousands necessary to remove the minerals required in their society. of years prior to 1600. The Egyptians mined gold extenWith the arrival of a social system, under the Egyptians and sively in eastern Egypt and Sudan as far back as 2000 BC the Phoenicians, shaft sinking and mining became more and sank shallow shafts to access the majority of this gold. organized, with slaves, criminals and prisoners of war being It is thought that it was from the Egyptians that the utilized. In these early days, fire quenching was utilized Persians, Greeks and Romans learned their mining and along with wedges and hammers to break up the rock, which shaft sinking techniques. Besides iron tools, the Romans was then removed in baskets. used fire to fracture the rock. Pliny mentions breaking up In Cornwal , i theand shaft 1700sthe rock by cmeansde of blfire dva m With the coming of the Middle Ages, mining and vinegar. Other Roman sinking alike became a respected profession; however, minauthors, such as Livy and Vitruvius, mention fire setting ing techniques remained much ng the same asque those used under and vinegar as well. pe ki of the Romans. The first major change in shaft sinking practice A summary of the sinking system of 1600: was the use of black powder rather than fire quenching to • Excavation using fire setting and primitive tools ng. T break the rock, which occurred in the 17th century. The • Hand mucking to small wooden buckets Industrial Revolution brought about the next major changes • Hoisting material with man-powered windlass — steam-powered hoists and pumps. In the 19th century, the1800. • Rectangular or square shafts with wooden shaft linings pneumatic rock drill replaced • Temporary ground support condrilling by hand and in the mid-20th sisting of platforms in the shaft century, mechanical mucking every few metres machines replaced hand mucking. • Crude ventilation or none at all All these changes, although slow in • Water handling with buckets or coming, drastically increased the other inefficient devices speed of shaft sinking. The big change that occurred in Summarizing the average sinking this period was the status of the minspeeds from the various periods ers and shaft sinkers. In Egyptian clearly illustrates the changes in and Roman times, miners and shaft technology over time and the resultsinkers were generally slaves, criminals or prisoners of war. By the early ing increase in sinking rates. • Prior to 1600 AD — 1 to 1.2 part of the 12th century, the shaft metres per month sinker and the miner were consid• 1600 to 1800 AD — 3 to 4 metres ered to be tradesmen and were much per month (three-fold increase) in demand. Personnel involved in the mining trade were freed from • 1800 to 1900 AD — 10 to 12 metres per month (three-fold paying certain taxes, were allowed to increase) carry arms and did not have to serve as soldiers. They were also free to • 1900 to 1940 AD — 30 to 40 metres per month (three-fold choose the mine where they preincrease) ferred to work. Although the status • 1940 to 1970 AD — 90 to 110 of the shaft sinker and miner alike metres per month (three-fold changed drastically during this period, the techniques used for sinkincrease) • 1970 to 2007 AD — 90 to 110 ing shafts had changed very little Shaft sinkers in Saxony metres per month (0 increase) from Roman times.



June/July 2008 | 77

history of mining 1600 to 1800 In Cornwall in the late 1700s, there was considerable advancement in mining techniques as deeper workings led to the greater use of steam power for hoisting and pumping. The use of steam power in shaft sinking, however, was much more pronounced after 1800. It would also appear that it was during the 1700s that shaft sinking came to be considered a separate occupation from mining. Improvements to the sinking system during the period were: • Hand drilling of drill holes • Blasting with black powder • Larger muck buckets • Hoisting utilizing horse whims • Faster water handling with buckets using horse whims 1800 to 1900 The invention of the steam engine in the late 18th century was very important to both miners and shaft sinkers. This invention translated into two very important pieces of equipment for the shaft sinking fraternity: steam-powered mine hoists and steam-powered mine pumps. Both of these inventions were pioneered in Cornwall. The Cornish steam-powered pumps and hoists were exported all over the world. During the reign of the Tudors in England, Saxon technicians taught Cornishmen shaft sinking techniques employed in their native Saxony. These techniques were utilized to access Cornwall’s extensive tin and copper deposits and for the next two centuries, England had a virtual monopoly on these two essential minerals. Beginning about 1840, and repeated in 1865, Cornish mining prosperity slumped drastically for a number of technical and financial reasons. The discovery of rich overseas copper deposits was the main problem, worsened by a degree of mismanagement in the Cornish mines. This situation caused many of the mines to close, throwing thou-

sands of shaft sinkers and miners out of work. Cornish workers moved to North America, Australia and South Africa to ply their trade. Many of the shafts sunk during this period were sunk by Cornish men or “Cousin Jacks” as they were called. Improvements to the sinking system during the period: • Mechanical drilling with large drills powered by compressed air • Blasting with dynamite and safety fuse • Hand mucking to buckets or skips • Circular shafts with brick lining utilized in poor ground • Hoisting men and material with steam-powered hoists • Wire hoist rope replaced the hemp hoist ropes • Ventilation using steam-powered centrifugal fans • Water handling with steam-powered pumps • Kind-Chaudron system of shaft drilling for sinking in high water-bearing ground • Poetsch system for the use of the freezing technique in sinking through high water-bearing ground

1900 to 1940 During this period in North America, shafts were almost all rectangular and timber-lined, while in Europe, nearly all were circular and lined with brickwork. The introduction of electrical power to mines at the beginning of the 20th century had a great impact on shaft sinking practice. By the start of the Great Depression, miners and shaft sinkers alike celebrated the industry’s embrace of the electrical mine hoist for most types of shaft work. Improvements to the sinking system during the period: • The use of light, handheld “plugger” drills rather than heavy drills mounted on some type of support • Blasting with electrical detonators rather than fuses • Temporary wall support with rock bolts • Ventilation using axial fans • Water handling with electric pumps

Changes in shaft sinking systems Drilling

Prior to 1600 No

1600 -1800 Double jacking


Fire quenching

Black powder



Permanent lining Protection from ground falls Hoisting Hoist rope Ventilation Water handling Water control Average advance rate


1800 - 1900 Large pneumatic drills Dynamite and safety fuse Hand

1900 - 1940 Light, hand-held drills Dynamite and safety fuse Hand




Platforms in shaft Man-powered windlass Hemp Bellows Buckets

Platforms in in shaft Horse-powered windlass Hemp Bellows Buckets



3–4 ft/month

3–4 m/month

Permanent brick lining Steam-powered hoists Wire rope Centrifugal fans Steam-powered pumps Freezing method 10–12 m/month

78 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

Brick or cast in place concrete Permanent lining Electrical-powered hoists Wire rope Centrifugal fans Electrical pumps

1940-1970 Pneumatic drill jumbo Dynamite and electrical caps Mechanical muckers Cast in place concrete Rock bolts

1970-2007 Hydraulic drill jumbo Bulk explosives Mechanical muckers Cast in place concrete Rock bolts

Electrical-powered hoists Wire rope Axial fans Electrical pumps

Electrical-powered hoists Wire rope Axial fans Electrical pumps

Freezing or grouting 30–40 m/month

Freezing or grouting 90–110 m/month

Freezing or grouting 120–130 m/month

Kind – Chaudron system of w P

be c

l ng



history of mining z qu

1940 to 1970 It was during this period that the South Africans devel1900 to 1940 oped their sinking system that incorporated the suspended curb ring and a multi-deck Gallaway work stage. This S , pe N A allowed for the installation of a concrete lining at the same E time as excavation was being carried out on the shaft bottom below. This type of equipment was also adopted by both Canada and the United States, as well as some western European shaft sinkers, although concurrent concreting was T not always carried out. The mechanized loading of broken muck from the shaft bottom was also introduced during this period. In South Africa and Europe, the Cactus Grab mucking machine was adopted for shaft mucking. In the United States, the Eimco 630 loader was the most popular, while in Canada the Canadian shaft sinkers with a Cryderman shaft mucker Cryderman mucker became the most popular mucking Canadi shaft nker w yde m machine. Improvements to the sinking system during the period: I prove S ng • Introduction of pneumatic drill jumbos for drilling • Mechanical mucking machines • l j • Suspended concrete forms and multi-deck work platforms for concreting M • Concrete slick lines for lowering of concrete in the shaft

20 B y’

uc P bos


1970 to 2007 Although hydraulically powered drills had been used in the tunnelling industry since the 1970s, it took most shaft sinkers until the late 1980s to start using hydraulically powered drills mounted on drill jumbos. In Canada, the “Long Round” system of shaft drilling was Canadian shaft sinkers in a rectangular shaft adopted in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This system utilizes a drill jumbo that is suspended from the sinking stage 1970 to 2007 rather than sitting on the shaft bottom. This type of jumbo • Shaft equipping concurrent with excavation drills a “burn cut” rather than the “V-cut” that is usual in A • Development of the Wirth V-mole shaft sinking. • Development of large-diameter drilling techniques for Very recently in Canada, a project was carried out where relatively1970s, small shafts 1980s the shaft sinker was successfully able to equip the shaft concurrent with sinking operations being carried out on the Summary shaft bottom below. This is certainly a major achievement At the present time, average sinking rates around the and should bring about an increase in shaft sinking advance world do not vary a great deal. If an average of 3 metres of rates in the order of 25 per cent. completely equipped shaft can be attained, this is probably It was during this period that a number of attempts were considered “L to be an excellent sinking rate in any country in Round” made to speed up shaft sinking by mechanizing it, as with the world. the case of the tunnel boring machine in the tunnelling The excavationT of tunnels has seen z a huge change in techindustry. Perhaps the most successful example of this is the nology in recent years with the invention of the tunnel borWirth V-mole. Although bottom access to the shaft is ing machine. Whether a similar change will be seen in shaft required and the machine is really a shaft enlarger rather than sinking techniques in years to come is difficult to a shaft sinker, it has functioned relatively well on a number forecast. CIM of projects. In addition to the Wirth V-mole, large-hole drilling, based on petroleum technology, is used to drill relatively small venBibliography tilation shafts in moderately hard ground. Agricola, G. (1556) De Re Metallica. New York: Dover Publications Inc. Improvements to the sinking system during the period: Donaldson, F. (1912) Practical Shaft Sinking. New York: McGraw Hill Book Company. • Drilling with hydraulically powered drill jumbos Duncan, L.C.D. (2006). Roman Deep Vein Mining. Retrieved on July 15, 2006, at • Blasting with electronic detonators and bulk explosives June/July 2008 | 79

metallurgy Migration and movement of scholars A study in the history of diffusion of knowledge: Part 4 by Fathi Habashi, Department of Mining, Metallurgical, and Materials Engineering, Laval University

Political turmoil and forced emigration Political unrest in a country may force distinguished thinkers to leave their homes for another country. Voltaire lived in England from 1726 to 1729 when he was exiled from France, due to his political writings that set the groundwork for the Great Revolution. In 1850, Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx followed him to London after publishing their Manifesto of the Communist Party in 1848. England was also the destination for deposed rulers and overthrown politicians; King Charles X of France found refuge in England after the 1830 Revolution. Although political unrest in Europe in 1848 led to massive emigration to the United States, King Louis Philippe of France and the Austrian statesman Metternich found refuge in England. When the distinguished French chemist Lavoisier (1743-1794) was executed during the turmoil of the French Revolution, his associate at his Gun Powder Laboratory in the Arsenal, Eleuthière Irénée du Pont de Nemours (1771-1834), emigrated with his family to America in 1800. His father, Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours, was a friend of Lavoisier’s who owned a large estate at Bois-des-Fossés, near Nemours. He was arrested in August 1794, three months after Lavoisier’s execution, but released a month later after Robespierre had been guillotined. Feeling insecure in his home country, he and his family left for America. Irénée started the first gunpowder factory in America (in Delaware) and was the founder of the great chemical enterprise now known as Du Pont. At the same time, Joseph Priestley (1733-1804), the famous British chemist who had discovered oxygen in 1774, was forced to flee to America. Because Priestly was sympathetic to the independence of the American colonies and the French Revolution, he was attacked in his home country because of his political views.

Eleuthière Irénée du Pont de Nemours

80 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

Joseph Priestley

Benjamin Thompson

metallurgy In 1891, Marja Sklodowska His home in Northumberland, (1867-1934) left her home country Pennsylvania, where he established of Poland, which was under his laboratory and discovered carRussian occupation, for Paris, bon monoxide, is now a museum. where she entered the Sorbonne It was there, in 1874, where and married physics professor American chemists gathered to Pierre Curie in 1895; she was commemorate the hundredth awarded two Nobel prizes for her anniversary of his discovery of oxywork on radioactivity in 1905 gen. During this event, a proposal (physics) and in 1911 (chemistry). was made to form a chemical sociAfter the Russian Revolution in ety; however, the proposal was shot 1917, there was an exodus of tens down by a past president of the of thousands of Russians to France, American Association for the England and North America. The Advancement of Science, which same situation took place in the was formed earlier in the year. Two 1930s when the National Socialist years later, however, in 1876, the Party took power in Germany. American Chemical Society was Ignacy Domeyko founded. British immigrants in Sweden During the same troubled From its very founding in 1621, period, Benjamin Thompson Göteborg, now Sweden’s second (1753-1814), later known as Count largest city, had been a cosmopolitan Rumford, had to leave his home in city. Dutchmen had been brought in America in 1775 for England. After to lay out the town centre. a brief stay in London, he accepted Germans, Englishmen and Scots a top position in the Kingdom of had established themselves at an Bavaria where he spent 11 years early date, mostly as traders and before returning to England. craftsmen. From the mid-18th cenDuring his stay in Bavaria, the title tury onwards, even more immiof Count of the Holy Roman grants came from Scotland. In 1731, Empire was bestowed on him; he they founded the Swedish East India chose the name Rumford, the name Company for the export of iron and by which his birth place of Marja Sklodowska, later known as Madame Curie timber and the import of cereals and Concord, New Hampshire, had coal. Fully loaded, the ships been known. He became an extremely wealthy man and in returned more than a year later to 1799, founded the Royal Institution of Great Britain on Göteborg, where the cargo was stored in the company’s Albermarle Street using his own funds. In 1802, he huge warehouse on Norra Hamngatan (now Göteborg City employed Humphry Davy (1778-1829) as a researcher, Museum). The enterprise was highly successful. who, in turn, later employed Michael Faraday (1791William Chalmers was one of the early Scottish immi1867) as his assistant. Many great discoveries in electrogrants who married a Swedish girl and settled in Göteborg. His son, William Chalmers Jr. (1748-1811), was born in chemistry, inorganic chemistry and metallurgy were made Göteborg. at the Royal Institution during the 19th century. In 1783, William Chalmers Jr. set off for China. He had Ignacy Domeyko (1802-1889), a distinguished minbeen appointed representative of the Swedish East India eralogist, was born at Niezd-Wiadka in Poland, eduCompany in Canton and Macao, where many European cated at Vilna and forced to leave Poland after particinations set up trading stations. He remained in this post for pating in the insurrection of 1830 against Russian occu10 years before returning to Göteborg a very wealthy man. pation. He went to Paris to study at the École des Mines. After graduating in 1839, he went to Chile as a On visits to England, he saw industrialization in full swing professor of chemistry at Coquimbo College. In 1840, and he foresaw a similar development in Sweden. Declining he discovered silver deposits in the Andes Mountains in health in the spring of 1811 and having no family of his own, he proposed creating an “industrial school for poor and helped develop Chilean resources. When his school children who have learned to read and write.” Three weeks burned down, he moved to Santiago to become a profesafter signing his will, William Chalmers Jr. died. sor of mineralogy at the newly founded University of The Swedish East India Company began to run into difSantiago, which he had helped create; he was its rector ficulties towards the end of the 18th century, and in 1813, from 1867 to 1887. June/July 2008 | 81

metallurgy it went bankrupt after 132 voyages in 70 years. Eleven years later, when disputes with the estate in bankruptcy had been settled, the proposed school was founded from Chalmers’ bequest. Eduard von Schoultz (1815-1881) studied at the school and graduated in 1841; he became its director in 1852. He introduced a one-year preparatory course to increase the number of potential students, by offering preparatory studies to pupils without sufficient prior knowledge. In 1878, this “lower” course became a two-year one and the school was divided into “Chalmers Lower” and “Chalmers Higher.” This division survived until 1937 when Chalmers Lower was reconstituted as Göteborg Technical Secondary School and Chalmers Higher acquired the status of a university of technology.

Peter the Great and the New Russia In his attempt to destroy Russia’s isolation and make his country a commanding power, Peter the Great (1672-1725) founded Saint Petersburg in 1703 on the Neva River and made it the capital of Russia in 1713. He hired many foreign artists and engineers to build luxurious palaces and spacious churches. In 1724, he created an Academy Peter the Great of Sciences, which he staffed with foreign scientists. For example, the Swiss mathematician Euler (1707-1783) was a member of the academy from 1727 to 1741. His son, Johann Albert Euler (17341800), was born in Saint Petersburg and was also a member of the academy. Peter the Great paid special attention to the mining and metallurgical industry. In Moscow in 1700, he created an organization charged with directing the prospecting for deposits. In 1711, he travelled to Freiberg twice to visit the mines and metallurgical installations. In 1719, he founded the Bergkollegium (Mining Council), which had the authority to develop the mining industry. He hired a large number of foreign specialists to help him develop all areas of mining and metallurgy. For example, V.I. Guenin (16761750) of Holland was hired to direct the industry in the Olonetski region and later in the Urals. He introduced major improvements in the production of cast iron and cannons. Johann Schlatter (1708-1768) was hired in Berlin in 1722 to work in the assay laboratory of the Bergkollegium. In 1724, he accepted a position at the

82 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

Saint Petersburg Mint and became its director in 1754. From 1760 to 1768, he served as president of the Bergkollegium. His work Detailed Course of Instruction for the Mining Industry, published in 1760, discussed the problems of geology, mineralogy, prospecting, the sinking of shafts for extracting ores and the state of contemporary mining machines. It contained chapters on the exploitation of coal deposits and the use of stream engines for pumping water. The book was later used for teaching at the School of Mines. Peter’s successors continued this enlightened tradition until the 1917 Revolution. In 1781, Benedikt Franz Johann Hermann (1755-1815) was hired from Styria in the Austrian Empire, to build a steel plant in Ekaterinburg. In 1737, Christlieb Ehregott Gellert (17131795) was hired from Saxony to teach in Saint Petersburg, where he stayed until 1765. He wrote Anfangsgründe zur metallurgischen Chemie (1751) and Anfangsgründe der Probierkunst (1775). Germain Henri Hess (1802-1850) was hired from Switzerland to teach chemistry at the Saint Petersburg Mining Institute in 1832 and stayed there until his death. He also taught at the Polytechnic Institute and the Military College in Saint Petersburg. In 1831, he published his Fundamentals of General Chemistry, which was the standard textbook until Mendeleev wrote his in 1869. Hess is the founder of thermochemistry and in 1840 formulated the law named after him. The Russian heavy metallurgical industry was launched with the discovery of iron ore at Krivoy Rog in the south, the development of coal mining in the Donetz Basin 320 kilometres to the east and the connection of these two centres by railway in 1884. The main industrial centre in the Donetz was the New Russia Metallurgical Company, founded in 1869 by a Welshman named John Hughes. The plant was called Yuzovka for Hughesovka, but was renamed Stalino in 1924. Since Stalin’s death it was changed to the more neutral Donetzk. Alfred Bernhard Nobel (1833-1896) was born in Stockholm, and at the age of nine, he moved with his parents to Saint Petersburg. From 1850 to 1854, he studied engineering in the United States and then returned to Saint Petersburg to help his father in the explosive business. He invented dynamite and became very wealthy. He was also engaged in the exploitation of the oil fields in Baku. He left a large fund for prizes to be awarded annually to persons who have made significant contributions in chemistry, physics, medicine or physiology, literature and peace. The Austrian chemist Karl Josef Bayer (1847-1904) spent 1885 to 1894 in Russia; he was a student of Bunsen from 1869 to 1871. It was at the Tentelev plant in Saint Petersburg that he invented his process for the manufacture of alumina from bauxite. CIM



TO INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE Peer reviewed by leaders in their fields CIM Bulletin abstracts 84

Development of a spontaneous heating liability index of coal from kinetic parameters D.C. Panigrahi, H.B. Sahu and N.M. Mishra


An experimental investigation into the trapping model core pillars with reinforced fly ash composites M.K. Mishra and U.M. Rao Karanam


Use of gravity drainage and quasi-homogeneous dykes for containment of oil sands tailings L. Nichols, K. Czajewski and H. Keele


Canadian Metallurgy Quarterly Volume 46, Number 4

Complete CIM Bulletin papers are posted in the online Technical Paper Library June/July 2008 | 83

executive summaries





Development of a spontaneous heating liability index of coal from kinetic parameters Spontaneous heating of coal leading to fires is a serious problem in the coal mining industry. These fires create several problems, such as accidents, loss of coal reserves, sterilization of resources, diminution of the heating value and coking properties of coal, environmental pollution, etc. In India, the crossing point temperature (CPT) method is used for estimating the susceptibility of coal to spontaneous heating; a low susceptibility is always predicted for coals with a high moisture content. However, in reality, these coals are highly susceptible. Some researchers have used other experimental techniques for assessing the proneness of coal to spontaneous heating. Most of the research findings on this aspect are empirical in nature. With this in mind, an effort was made for this paper to develop a spontaneous heating liability index (SHLI) of coal, based on a mathematical approach using kinetics of low-temperature oxidation. The rate of this oxidation is a function of the temperature-dependent rate constant and the reaction model. The effect of temperature on the rate constant is introduced through the use of an Arrhenius equation. Finally, the energy transferred through coal during reaction is predicted by applying the Frank-Kamenetskii model for conductive heat flow. After incorporating all the concepts of coal oxidation and using a mathematical approach, SHLI was developed and is presented in this paper. The parameters required for computation of the SHLI are the enthalpy change or heat of reaction, specific heat of coal, rate constant and time required to reach a certain temperature. All of these parameters were obtained by differential scanning calorimetric (DSC) studies.

D.C. Panigrahi, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India, H.B. Sahu, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India, and N.M. Mishra, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India

84 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

In order to test the validity of this index, 31 coal samples representing both fiery and non-fiery coal seams of different ranks were collected from different Indian coalfields. DSC studies were conducted on all the samples using a Perkin-Elmers DSC-7 calorimeter. The kinetic parameters and specific heat values obtained from DSC experiments are used to compute the SHLI values. In addition, the susceptibility of these samples to spontaneous combustion was ascertained by standard crossing-point temperature measurement, and the moisture percentage of all the samples was obtained by proximate analysis. A comparative study was carried out between the SHLI and crossing-point temperature, along with moisture percentage. There are cases in which the SHLI and crossing-point temperature do not predict similar results. In these cases, the spontaneous heating tendency of these coal seams have been noted in the field conditions and compared with the spontaneous heating tendency predicted by both the SHLI and crossing-point temperature. Finally, it was concluded that the SHLI developed and reported in this paper predicts the susceptibility of coal to spontaneous heating more accurately than crossing-point temperature. This index has a sound theoretical base and the results are reproducible. The SHLI values obtained in the present study vary in wider range, i.e. between 2.40 to 150.93, thus providing a broad range for classifying coals with respect to their proneness to spontaneous heating. The findings of this study will be very useful to mine planners and engineers in taking preventive measures in avoiding a high occurrence of fires due to spontaneous heating.

executive summaries An experimental investigation into the trapping model core pillars with reinforced fly ash composites


The length to diameter ratios of the final trapped models were between 1.33 and 2.0. Unconfined compressive strength and Brazilian indirect tensile strength tests were performed on a large number of samples for 28 and 56 days of curing periods, as well as for different annular thickness of the confining materials. The strength of fly ash composite changed with the addition of lime and gypsum, as well as the curing period.

These observations confirm that the addition of excess lime to fly ash composites is not beneficial. A maximum strength gain of 14% was achieved with model cores of a cement-sand ratio of 1:2.5 for fly ash composite containing 15% lime and 5% gypsum, as well as for fly ash composite material with 20% lime only. Shear failure pattern was predominant in almost all the trapped model pillars, indicating that the reinforced fly ash composite materials offered significant radial confinement to the core pillars and induced the core pillars to fail in a ductile form. The experimental investigations reveal that the brittle failure of the model cores could be changed to ductile failure through a suitable confining material, which has some strength of its own. The trapping of pillars could improve the post-peak strength characteristics of the structure. It is also concluded that suitable fly ash composite materials, reinforced with wire ropes, can substantially enhance the strength of the load-bearing element and also significantly change the post peak characteristics of trapped cores.


Pure anhydrous chemical grade lime and gypsum were added in various proportions to the class F fly ash. Lime contents were 15% and 20% and gypsum was 5% by weight of the fly ash. Reinforcement was provided using commercially available galvanized iron wire 2 square mesh per centimetre and 0.9 mm thick. Model core pillars 57 mm in diameter and 200 mm in length were made of various ratios of cement and sand. The engineering properties of the model core pillars, as well as that of the fly ash composite materials, were determined as per the recommendations of ISRM and ASTM.

Experimental investigations have revealed that the percentage increase in the strength of the trapped model core pillar varied with the type of composite material, curing period and ratio of the annular thickness of fill area to the model core pillar radius. The seven-day strength of fly ash composites substantially improved with additives. The slake durability indices for the first and second cycles were more than 90% and 80%, respectively. The 28-day curing period increased the strength dramatically. An addition of 15% lime improved the strength of the composite to 5.45 MPa for a 28day curing period, about 185% more than that for a sevenday curing period; however, the strength gain dropped to 56% beyond 28 days. Similarly, a gain of 205% compared to the strength values for a seven-day curing period was noticed after 28 days, while the strength gain dropped to 46% for a 56-day curing period with 5% more lime. Although an addition of 5% gypsum increased the strength value, it suffered reduced gain percentages for both curing periods.


In the room-and-pillar mining methods, pillars form an important load-bearing element of the system, controlling the stability of the near field domain. The effective performance of a pillar support system is related to the depth of working, dimensions of the opening and the pillars, as well as the extraction percentage of coal/ore. One of the historic methods of containing the ground failures over mine voids is through backfilling of the mine voids by river bed sand or mill tailings. However, fly ash applications as an alternate material for backfilling mine voids is fast proving its potential. This paper presents investigations relating to the development of fly ash composite materials, as well as that of the load-deformation characteristics of model core pillars when confined by the wire mesh reinforced fly ash composite materials.

M.K. Mishra, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India, and U.M. Rao Karanam, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India June/July 2008 | 85

executive summaries





Use of gravity drainage and quasi-homogeneous dykes for containment of oil sands tailings The oil sands industry in northern Alberta disposes of the by-products of bitumen extraction into tailings ponds. The mix of tailings sand and mature fines, with gypsum added as a flocculent, constitutes a waste stream called consolidated tailings or composite tails (CT). The two main challenges of the tailings disposal process are a chronic shortage of economical containment and the potential mobility of CT deposits in the event of breaching by, for example, long-term erosion, which makes abandonment of tailings ponds more complicated. Thick deposits of CT do not consolidate in adequate time to provide reassurance for abandonment of the CT containment facilities and that is why the containment must be adequately robust or the properties of CT improved for long-term stability. This paper addresses potential solutions to these problems by applying the gravity drainage of CT and quasi-homogeneous construction for containment facilities.

struction. The remainder of dry waste is stored either in waste dumps or in tailings ponds, consuming valuable in-pond space originally allocated to CT material. Quasi-homogeneous dykes are proposed to contain CT deposits rather than traditional minimum crosssection dykes built of overburden and/or cell sand. The quasi-homogeneous dyke may change the unfavourable material balance and lessen the construction constraints that are presently imposed on the mine/waste disposal process. To date, approximately only 5% of surface mineable reserves have been exploited. In the process, over one billion cubic metres of mature fine tailings are in storage behind massive earth and sand structures. Some forecasts estimate that over 5 million barrels per day of bitumen will be produced from the surface mining industry by 2020. The growth forecasts are staggering.

Gravity drainage is suggested as a mechanism to facilitate the consolidation of CT in critical areas of the ponds by inserting internal sand layers within the body of the deposit. Critical CT areas are defined as areas around the perimeter of containment. The advantages of this solution are long-term stability of the disposal area by creation of stiff deposits around its perimeter and facilitation of reclamation efforts on its surface.

In an industry that is under more and more scrutiny by all stakeholders to meet approved plans on schedule as they have committed to and been approved by regulators, new innovative methods need to be developed and implemented in the field to assist in maximizing consolidated tailings implementation. Sand has become a valuable resource, with demands ranging from dyke building, beach construction, road development and, currently, the most important, consolidated tailings.

The present solution for containment of CT deposits is not favourable from a materials balance point of view. In general, sand has become a valuable resource as it both forms the primary component of the CT matrix and becomes the containment building material. If sand is required for CT, less is available for dyke construction. This puts additional pressure on the industry as a whole to maximize the use of overburden and interburden for construction of tailings containment structures. Typically, only 50% of dry mine waste (overburden + interburden) is incorporated into dyke con-

Although consolidated tailings is a challenge to implement with at least five unit operations, currently it is the only commercially proven method of reducing the fine tailings inventory in the oil sands. The success of consolidated tailings is of paramount importance to the industry as a whole until alternates have been developed. Proper drainage of the CT deposit is a key component in the success of the consolidated tailings deposit. The use of gravity drainage and quasi- homogeneous dykes for oil sands containment structures may assist the industry in achieving its goals.

L. Nichols, K. Czajewski, Terracon Geotechnique Ltd., Calgary, Alberta H. Keele, Marston Canada, Inc., Calgary, Alberta 86 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

cmq abstracts

Canadian Metallurgical Quarterly Volume 46窶年umber 4

Weld Cracking in Directionally Solidified Inconel 738 Superalloy R.K. Sidhu, O.A. Ojo and M.C. Chaturvedi, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba The microstructure of a laser beam welded directionally solidified Inconel 738 (DS IN738) superalloy was studied. The alloy was welded along the longitudinal (the solidification direction) and the transverse (perpendicular to solidification) direction in two pre-weld heat treated conditions. The material suffered intergranular microfissuring in the heat affected zone (HAZ); however, the centerline fusion zone cracking observed in most other directionally solidified or single crystal alloys, was not observed in any of the welded samples. Cracking in the present directionally solidified (DS) IN738 was further reduced by the use of a recently developed overageing pre-weld heat treatment. Microstructural Evaluation of Friction Stir Processed AZ31B-H24 Magnesium Alloy M. Fairman, N. Afrin, D.L. Chen, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario; X. Cao and M. Jahazi, Aerospace Manufacturing Technology Centre, Institute for Aerospace Research, National Research Council Canada, Montreal, Quebec The microstructural characteristics in an AZ31B-H24 magnesium alloy after friction stir processing (FSP) were examined. The effects of FSP parameters including forge force and traverse speed on the microstructure were evaluated. It was observed that the grain size increased from about 4 ツオm in the base metal to about 8 ツオm at the centre of the stir zone after FSP. The aspect ratio of the grains decreased towards the centre of the stir zone. The changes in the grain size and shape resulted in a drop in micro-indentation hardness from 75 HV in the base metal to about 55 HV at the centre of the stir zone. Increasing the forge force or decreasing the traverse speed increased the grain size due to a greater heat input. Processing and Evaluation of Cu/Carbon Fibre Composites by Vortex and Powder Metallurgy Techniques O.A. Elkady, Central Metallurgical Research & Development Institute, Cairo, Egypt; M.A. Abou Tabl, Faculty of Science Chemistry Department, Cairo, Egypt; and Z. Abdel Hamid and S.F. Moustafa, Central Metallurgical Research & Development Institute, Cairo, Egypt Carbon fibres have high reactivity and poor wetting characteristics with most molten metals. These drawbacks cause difficulties in fabricating metal matrix composites reinforced with carbon fibres. One solution to overcome these drawbacks is to apply a compatible metal or metal carbide layer on carbon fibres. In this investigation, a very thin coating of either chromium or chromium carbide was applied on carbon fibres of the PAN type. Results indicated that the composite reinforced with Cr carbide-coated carbon fibres showed the highest TRS, electrical conductivities and densities, while the composites made from uncoated carbon fibres exhibited the lowest properties.

June/July 2008 | 87

cmq abstracts Diffusion Induced Grain Boundary Migration in the Ni-Zn System U. Sridevi Nadiminti and S.P. Gupta, Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India Diffusion induced grain boundary migration (DIGM) has been studied in the Ni-Zn system by exposing polycrystalline Ni to Zn vapour with the Ni-30 wt% Zn alloy acting as a source. The time and temperature dependence of the migration distance and hence the rate of migration was studied in the temperature range 773 to 933 K. A parabolic growth behaviour was observed. The microstructural features during DIGM have been studied in detail and analyzed. These will also be presented. The diffusion induced growth of fine grains and growth of the fine grained layer were also studied. From the rate of growth of fine grains and the value of Dbδ calculated for the growth of fine grained layer, it has been observed that these two processes also occur by solute transport through the grain boundaries. Room Temperature Deformation Properties of High Purity AZ31 Magnesium Alloy Y. Tamura, T. Yanagisawa, T. Haitani, H. Tamehiro, N. Kono, Department of Mechanical Science, Chiba Institute of Technology, Narashino-shi, Japan; H. Soda and A. Mclean, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario A high purity ternary alloy corresponding to the composition of AZ31 alloy was prepared using distilled magnesium (> 99.99%) and high purity aluminum and zinc. The tensile and cold rolling properties were then examined and compared with a commercial purity AZ31 alloy. It was found that during tensile testing of the high purity alloy, the number of twinned grains increased linearly with strain, indicative of uniform deformation, while with the commercial alloy, active twinning occurred in the early stages of plastic deformation and twinning activity decreased in the latter half of the deformation regime. In association with the high degree of cold reduction and the uniform deformation characteristics of the high purity alloy, the material after annealing exhibited a recrystallized structure consisting of fine grains each about 2 µm in size. Effect of Redundant Strain on No Recrystallization Temperature in Nb Microalloyed Steel J. Vikram, A.M. Becerra, F. Zarandi, A.M. Elwazri and S. Yue, Department of Metals and Materials Engineering, McGill University, Montréal, Quebec This work concerns the effect of applied redundant retained strain on the flow behaviour and no recrystallization temperature (Tnr) in Nb microalloyed steel. Unlike conventional torsion testing where multiple unidirectional twisting is applied, in this work, cylindrical specimens were deformed by multiple cycles of alternating uniaxial tension/compression during cooling from a high temperature. Various cyclic-strains of 0.05, 0.1 and 0.2 were applied at a constant strain rate of 0.1 s-1 during cooling from 1200 to 600ºC at a constant cooling rate of 1ºC.s-1. The flow properties and softening capacity were monitored during deformation in order to specify the temperature of no recrystallization. The technique and results will be discussed in this paper. Pitting Characterization of 90/10 Cupro-Nickel Chiller Tubes G.P. Gu, J. Li, Y. Lafrenière, M. Elboujdaini, R.W. Revie, CANMET-MTL, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; and A. Day, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), Ottawa, Ontario Severe corrosion damage has caused unexpected down time of 90/10 cupro-nickel refrigerant tubes in a water chiller system. In addition to down time, the environmental risk associated with losing refrigerant was a concern that led to this investigation. Microstructural investigation using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and electron microprobe indicated that pitting corrosion resulted in local nickel depletion. During the corrosion process, copper and cuprous oxide (Cu2O) redeposited near corrosion pits which might accelerate pitting corrosion.

Excerpts taken from abstracts in CMQ, Vol. 46, No. 4. Subscribe—

88 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 3, No. 4

professional directory and product files

In the next issue The August issue addresses one of the hottest topics facing the mining industry today:

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Product File QINGDAO ODYKING TYRE CO. LTD. June/July 2008 | 89

voices from industry

Gearing up for Toronto Planning already underway for 2009 CIM Conference and Exhibition by Tom Rannelli, senior mining engineer, Loans Products Group, BMO Capital Markets, and conference chair, CIM Conference and Exhibition 2009

n the heels of a very successful CIM Conference and Exhibition in Edmonton, the attention of many now returns to matters more specific to daily routines, including the continued monitoring of what everyone agrees is our industry’s commodity super cycle. However, for a group of committed CIM members, shaping next year’s conference has already kicked into high gear. Before we know it, energy will resonate through the halls of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre as delegates, dignitaries and industry representatives experience the CIM Conference and Exhibition 2009 in Toronto next year. The driving force of the 2009 conference will be the energy created by all of the participants to deliver what will become a major milestone for the Canadian mining industry, positioning Canadian mining at the forefront of the international scene. Whether it is within Canada or abroad, Canadians have become infamous for their inexplicable passion and commitment for the mining industry, its people, its reputation and its ultimate preservation. Canadians are leaders in the global industry, not by declaration, but because our peers are listening, watching and relying on us for our experience, insight and direction. The CIM Conference and Exhibition empowers all individuals in the Canadian mining industry to stand up and acknowledge their role as global mining leaders. In these strong times, our industry is striving to set higher standards and develop new best practices to maintain our global leadership at the forefront of technological, organizational and cultural models. However, a rapid expansion of the industry has created shortages of resources and a demand for even better process standards. We are facing a lack of people and a need for increased exploration to yield the world-class properties to


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sustain global production. Rarely has our industry been so affected by globalization, and the reality of meeting the needs of our clients requires that we realize unprecedented efficiencies. The CIM Conference and Exhibition 2009 will be the setting to generate and communicate solutions to today’s challenges. It will bring together representatives from industry, government and various institutions to explore how their investment in the Canadian mining industry can continue to develop the knowledge base of our professionals as they move into the rapidly expanding global mining community. In addition to the traditional representation, next year’s conference will be drawing on groups that have long been the silent stakeholders in our industry — those from the areas of business and finance. These stakeholders will discuss their interests and further expound on how collaboration and awareness can merge our common issues. Collaboration is undoubtedly the key to success. To strengthen the scope and effectiveness of next year’s conference, a number of industry partners have teamed up to create a truly global event that will bring the world of mining to Toronto with events such as the Second International Mine Managers’ Conference, hosted by CIM in partnership with AusIMM, and the 20th Canadian Rock Mechanics Symposium, which always draws a large crowd. As well, during the conference, the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame, Teck Cominco and the Royal Ontario Museum will be unveiling the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame Gallery, one of the three galleries that will make up the Teck Cominco Suite of Earth Sciences Galleries. The conference promises to be an event like no other; it will be a true alignment of numerous partnerships and opportunities to learn and share, and promises to be the “must attend” mining event of the year. CIM

CIM Magazine June/July 2008  

FEATURE: Moving in Mines — The logistical challenges of remote mining operations

CIM Magazine June/July 2008  

FEATURE: Moving in Mines — The logistical challenges of remote mining operations