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FEBRUARY 2018 | FÉVRIER 2018
Clear and clean Water is an existential concern for many mines. And as fresh water becomes less available, mining companies are looking for ways to reduce and recycle the water they use By Kylie Williams
12 The makings of a milestone 2018 marks 120 years of excellence at CIM By Elle Crosby
50 Mining goes mobile Applications to modernize mapping, monitoring and mine management
55 CIM Convention 2018 preliminary program
By Ian Ewing
February • Février 2018 | 5
CIM MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2018 • FÉVRIER 2018
in each issue
8 10 14
Editor’s letter President’s notes Chatter
tools of the trade
The best in new technology Compiled by Cecilia Keating
Labour disruption at Torex’s El Limon-Guajes mine highlights controversial Mexican “protection unions” By Joel Barde
Global economy growth, Chinese manufacturing stability promise strong 2018 for commodities
By David Meffe
Claim staking moves online in third stage of Ontario’s new mining act, currently being implemented
By Kelsey Rolfe
we are mining
PDAC award-winning consultant Lana Eagle wants mining companies to understand the history of residential schools By Kelsey Rolfe
Canadian Metallurgical Quarterly
Female prospectors in the California, Klondike, and Nevada mining booms fought sexism and claim thieving to be taken seriously By Cecilia Keating
AI & machine learning
The power and pitfalls of predictive algorithms
By Guy Desharnais of Osisko Royalties
A look at machine learning projects across the mining industry By Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco
The potential of artificial intelligence in mining does not necessarily come at the cost of the human workforce, says UBC professor Ilija Miskovic
70 71 72
Table des matières
Mot du président
Lettre de l’éditeur Le 120e anniversaire de l’ICM
article de fond
Pour beaucoup de mines, l’eau constitue une préoccupation existentielle Par Kylie Williams
By Christopher Pollon
Nous publions progressivement sur notre site Internet les articles du CIM Magazine en version française.
6 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
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First principles he character of the clutter on my desk has undergone a distinct change over the last few weeks. As we prepared for this issue and the year ahead – CIM’s 120th – the scattered scraps that usually litter my desk on projects present and future have become buried under decades of old volumes of CIM publications. In anticipation of this anniversary, we have dusted off old CIM Bulletins from the 1920s and ‘30s, an impressively psychedelic professional directory from the 1970s and industry retrospectives to explore the written and graphic history of the Institute. Leaf through them and it becomes clear that CIM has reinvented itself a number of times, both in how it presents itself to the world and how it carries out its daily business. Our current moment is one of those instances. We are beginning this milestone year with new leadership. Angela Hamlyn, newly appointed as executive director, already has a decade of work at CIM under her belt. Many loyal readers know that this space in the magazine was once hers. She worked her way up through the publishing ranks to become director of communications, publications and media and is now the first woman to lead CIM. Her challenge today is the same as those that have come before her: to ensure the Institute is relevant and responsive to the needs of its current and future members. In an irresistible bit of symmetry, Benjamin Bell, the animating person behind the Canadian Mining Institute back in the 1890s when it was still a work in progress, was not a
Ryan Bergen, Editor-in-chief firstname.lastname@example.org @Ryan_CIM_Mag
Editor-in-chief Ryan Bergen, email@example.com Executive editor Angela Hamlyn, firstname.lastname@example.org Managing editor Andrea Nichiporuk, email@example.com Section editors Tom DiNardo, firstname.lastname@example.org; Kelsey Rolfe, email@example.com Web content editor Maria Olaguera, firstname.lastname@example.org Associate editor Elle Crosby, email@example.com Contributors Joel Barde, Guy Desharnais, Ian Ewing, Sahar Fatima, Cecilia Keating, David Meffe, Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco, Christopher Pollon, Sarah Treleaven, Kylie Williams Editorial advisory board Mohammad Babaei Khorzhoughi, Vic Pakalnis, Steve Rusk, Nathan Stubina Translations Karen Rolland and CNW
This issue’s cover The water treatment plant at Barrick Gold’s Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic.
mining engineer but an editor of a mining periodical. He saw the need to pull professionals from across the country together to share their ideas and experience, and nurture a community that could improve and renew itself. While our new director may never match Bell’s savoir faire with the cricket bat nor his facility for growing a moustache, the two share a commitment to these founding principles and bring an outsider’s perspective on how they might be served. Over the course of the year these pages will highlight both the work that has brought CIM to this point and the projects that lay ahead. We look forward to hearing from you for both of these efforts.
eth R. Wilson enn Aw 5K
Courtesy of Barrick
Advertising sales Dovetail Communications Inc. Tel.: 905.886.6640; Fax: 905.886.6615; www.dvtail.com Senior Account Executives Janet Jeffery, firstname.lastname@example.org, 905.707.3529 Neal Young, email@example.com, 905.707.3525 Subscriptions Online version included in CIM Membership ($197/yr). Print version for institutions or agencies – Canada: $275/yr (AB, BC, MB, NT, NU, SK, YT add 5% GST; ON add 13% HST; QC add 5% GST + 9.975% PST; NB, NL, NS, PE add 15% HST). Print version for institutions or agencies – USA/International: US$325/yr. Online access to single copy: $50. Layout and design by Clò Communications Inc. www.clocommunications.com Copyright©2017. All rights reserved.
Published 8 times a year by: Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum 1250 – 3500 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West Westmount, QC H3Z 3C1 Tel.: 514.939.2710; Fax: 514.939.2714 www.cim.org; firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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Printed in Canada 8 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
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Mining and commodity price increases
“There have been significant price increases for iron ore, lead, tin, coking coal and of course lithium, the ‘white petroleum.’”
Prior to assuming the role of CIM president last year, I wrote an article in the CIM Annual Report that referenced the super-cycle decline from 2012 to 2015 and its damaging effect on the mining industry worldwide. Today there is cautious recovery, which bodes well. Commencing in 2002, metal commodity prices escalated in excess of 300 per cent to a peak in 2011. About half those gains had been lost by 2015 as Chinese demand waned. Companies, to maintain profitability, instituted capital rationing, tight operating cost control, debt reduction and in some cases disposal of unwanted assets. The super cycle was considered the biggest boom and unfortunately the biggest bust in the mining industry. The top 40 mining companies booked, in 2014/15, US$200 billion asset value impairments of the US$630 billion spent between 2010 and 2015. Share prices of companies declined by as much as 50 per cent. Investment funds, especially for juniors, were difficult to come by, owing to a loss of confidence. Fortunately, as 2017 progressed, we saw a slow but cautious price recovery for some commodities. For example, copper since late 2016 has climbed about 50 per cent to more than US$3 per pound; in 2002, the start of the super cycle, it was less than US$1 per pound. Zinc has topped over $1.50 per pound, its highest level in over a decade; in 2002 it was less than US$0.50 per pound. There have been significant price increases for iron ore, lead, tin, coking coal and of course lithium, the “white petroleum.” These recent commodity price increases, debt reduction and control of costs have seen mining company share prices rebound as investors regain confidence. Shares of the world’s number one miner, BHP, have more than doubled in the last couple of years, with the company valued at US$120 billion. Other companies, during the same time period, have seen similar recoveries: Anglo American’s share price has increased by about 450 per cent, Vale’s is up fourfold and Glencore’s has increased more than 300 per cent. So, going forward there is anticipation that companies have learned from the experience of the super cycle in the last decade and will be more cautious.
Kenneth (Ken) G. Thomas CIM President
10 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
Breaking new ground to achieve more with less Water is essential for mining operations and one of the most challenging resources to manage. With tailings making up as much as 98% of the total ore mined, a step change in dewatering technology was needed.
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nniversaries make you stop and think about who you are and why you exist, and CIM’s 120th anniversary gives us a good opportunity to do that. From our early days of collecting and compiling technical papers, to the birth of the Bulletin, to more field-specific publications such as the Exploration and Mining Geology Journal, to the launch of our new online CIM Magazine, CIM has continually strived to further advance the level and quality of knowledge for our industry. Add to this the plethora of high quality papers, technical presentations and proceedings from our various conferences and meetings put on by our Societies and Branches and the impact we have had since our inception is nothing short of astounding. I recently celebrated my own anniversary. It was just over 10 years ago that I joined CIM as the Editor-in-Chief of CIM Magazine. At that time it was quickly apparent that I had
inherited more than a publication. As the leading voice for an Institute that has, as one of its fundamental purposes, the creation, curation and delivery of leading-edge knowledge, we shoulder the responsibility of evolving to serve the changing needs of our readers, the industry and the world at large – and we have. I thank and celebrate the thousands of people and organizations that have contributed to making CIM the community for leading expertise for these past 120 years and welcome those who will help shape it for the next 120!
Angela Hamlyn CIM Executive Director
The first annual CIM Journal was published in 1898 and included minutes from CIM meetings, the constitution and by-laws, the list of members and technical papers.
In 1908, CIM produced its first Quarterly Bulletin to publish advance proofs of papers and “other matters of general interest to the membership.”
12 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
Soon after its conception, the Bulletin became a monthly publication full of regional mining news and events as well as correspondences from members.
CIM Magazine succeeded the CIM Bulletin, in 2006. CIM Magazine focuses on mining news and developments around the world.
In 2010, CIM started publishing its own quarterly journal of peer-reviewed articles on all facets of the mining and metallurgy industries.
An institute emerges With the rapid deposit discoveries and technological advances in 19th century Canada, mining men began to form local organizations to provide professionals outlets to discuss their work and to guide legislation related to the mining industry. The General Mining Association of the Province of Quebec was formed in 1891, the Mining Society of Nova Scotia in 1892 and the Ontario Mining Institute in 1894, and in 1897 members from each of those provinces along with others from British Columbia joined together to create the Federated Canadian Mining Institute. In 1898, the Institute was reorganized and incorporated by an act of parliament as the Cana-
dian Mining Institute. The Institute changed its name to the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy in 1920 then again to the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum in 1990. Its name has changed, but its goals have remained the same. In 1898, CIM created a circular outlining its objectives, which included “promoting … the economical production of valuable minerals and metals, by means of meetings for the reading and discussion of technical papers, and the subsequent distribution of such information.” In 2018, CIM continues to support the mining industry and facilitate the exchange of ideas through its events and publications.
years of excellence Publish or perish CIM has always aimed to help create connections between people in the mining industry, and one of the main ways it has done so since its founding is through publications. In 1898, CIM established a mining library made up of more than 125 books and reports, many maps and periodicals from similar societies around the world as well as its own Proceedings, which carried many of the technical papers presented at its meetings. In 1899, the library had more than 400 volumes and was being used regularly by CIM’s growing membership. CIM no longer has a physical mining library in Montreal, but it does publish industry-related books and has online libraries with tens of thousands of papers available to its members. With the advancement of technology, it has become easier and easier to publish and access information, but finding relevant, reliable materials has simultaneously become more difficult, making trusted networks that much more essential.
Compiled by Elle Crosby February • Février 2018 | 13
CIM – Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
RE: NO TIME FOR WASTE (JUNE/JULY ‘17)
GREAT example of how economics drives the development of greater efficiencies through technology. – Ryan Medd, @ryan_in_bc RE: ATLANTIC PEARLS (SEPT/OCT ‘17)
A fantastic example of how successful projects are delivered! Great work by the Atlantic Gold team! – Ryan Weymark , @RyanWeymark
Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
Canadian Institute of Mining
RE: MINING’S INNOVATION PROBLEM (NOV ‘17)
Mr. Bergen: I came across your Editor's Letter from November 2017 about the Mining’s innovation problem L uncertainty facing our industry for technology advances. This is a concise and wonderful assessment of where we are headed and the challenges along the way. Thank you for presenting it. In our excitement for being part of a rapidly unfolding technical future, our mining industry may be chasing solutions for problems that do not exist. If mining trade publications are a fair gauge of the state of that technical future, then, as you so well point out, autonomous surface haulage may be one of those solutions in search of a problem. Proponents of this technology argue that autonomous trucks do not call in sick, have bad days or suffer from inattention during operation. But are today's trained, skilled and dedicated truck haulage operators not delivering value to the operation? Looking deeper into autonomous haulage prognostications we discover these autonomous haul trucks will carry the same net tonnage per round as their human-operated counterparts; will operate within the same speed parameters and will face the same logistics challenges at the load and dump points within the haul trip lifecycle. So, where is the problem that needs solving? In the end, the major benefit from autonomous truck haulage may be in headcount reduction at the mine. But does anyone really believe that retiring haul truck operator job codes is going to make or break a senior or junior mine’s balance sheet? Hardly. For every haul truck operator retired there will probably be multiple people employed to operate and maintain this new, fragile and unproven-at-scale technology, and at a cost that will exceed that of a trained, skilled and dedicated haulage operator. The value proposition for this solution doesn't seem strong. If our mining industry is going to cast its lot with any unfolding technical future, let us look to make meaning and increase understanding from the exponential growth of data available from minewide sensing fields, capital and operating equipment, and other sources that offer real-time insights into our environment, its safety and productivity. That's a solution for a problem that does exist. Best regards, Jefferson L. Martin, CEO Synfluent Corporation editor’s letter
ast year at the quadrennial MinExpo in Las Vegas, where the newest in equipment and technology takes centre stage, the big attraction was a purpose-built autonomous hauler. The vehicle had fourwheel steering, no cab and could truck ore either forward or backward. It was big, photogenic and representative of the next step in autonomous haulage. A year later, in a small conference room in a Toronto hotel, Peter Kondos, senior director of strategic technology solutions for Barrick Gold, had a different take on where mining technology was heading. “Trucks are not the future,” he said. He was speaking at the Mines and Technology conference held in early October where, over three days, miners shared case studies, suppliers offered solutions and speakers puzzled over exactly what the industry might do to improve its performance in the immediate and distant future. Despite the abundant evidence that mine performance can be dramatically improved by better using current mining practices – one presentation detailed how, with a little more feedback to the equipment operators, underground haul
This issue’s cover B2Gold’s Fekola operation
eth R. Wilson enn Aw 5K
Courtesy of B2Gold
trucks could carry 50 per cent more material – there was an obvious impatience with how the industry was being held back by the lack of ambition with which new technologies, such as sensors, were being deployed. Or, as Nathan Stubina, managing director at McEwen Mining put it: “Do we really need people in Perth monitoring the balls in a one per cent-efficient tumbling mill?” Rather than optimize what amounts to a colossal noisemaker, he would prefer to see it scrapped and replaced by a better design. The size of the crowd made it clear that technology is a reliable attraction. While there were plenty of interesting concepts presented, the most compelling discussions, however, revolved around the question of how mine management can block out the incessant “innovation” noise and evaluate the countless options available to them based on a clear set of goals. “There are lots of shiny things out there,” said Stubina. “Where do you want to get to?”
Editor-in-chief Ryan Bergen, email@example.com Executive editor Angela Hamlyn, firstname.lastname@example.org Managing editor Andrea Nichiporuk, email@example.com Section editors Tom DiNardo, firstname.lastname@example.org; Kelsey Rolfe, email@example.com Copy editor Marilena Lucci, firstname.lastname@example.org Web content editor Maria Olaguera, email@example.com Contributing editor Eavan Moore, firstname.lastname@example.org Associate editor Elle Crosby, email@example.com Editorial intern Rob Csernyik, firstname.lastname@example.org Digitization technician Marie-Ève Lapierre, email@example.com Contributors Graham Chandler, Cecilia Keating, Alexandra LopezPacheco, Carl Weatherell, Kylie Williams Editorial advisory board Alicia Ferdinand, Mohammad Babaei Khorzhoughi, Vic Pakalnis, Steve Rusk, Nathan Stubina Translations Karen Rolland, CNW and Annick Vallée
Published 8 times a year by: Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum 1250 – 3500 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West Westmount, QC H3Z 3C1 Tel.: 514.939.2710; Fax: 514.939.2714 www.cim.org; firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Bergen, Editor-in-chief email@example.com @Ryan_CIM_Mag
Advertising sales Dovetail Communications Inc. Tel.: 905.886.6640; Fax: 905.886.6615; www.dvtail.com Senior Account Executives Janet Jeffery, firstname.lastname@example.org, 905.707.3529 Neal Young, email@example.com, 905.707.3525
Subscriptions Online version included in CIM Membership ($187/yr). Print version for institutions or agencies – Canada: $275/yr (AB, BC, MB, NT, NU, SK, YT add 5% GST; ON add 13% HST; QC add 5% GST + 9.975% PST; NB, NL, NS, PE add 15% HST). Print version for institutions or agencies – USA/International: US$325/yr. Online access to single copy: $50.
Layout and design by Clò Communications Inc. www.clocommunications.com Copyright©2017. 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.
adian Busines sM Can in
Printed in Canada
8 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 12, No. 7
RE: GRAPHITE’S STERLING HISTORY IN EASTERN ONTARIO (DEC ‘17/JAN ‘18)
Interesting article. Coincidently, my grandfather was a blacksmith at Black Donald Mine and my father worked on the construction of the hydro dam. – Dan Laing
RE: DON’T GET BOGGED DOWN IN THE DETAILS (MAY ‘17)
I agree with this, but I have also had reports thrown back at me by securities personnel for not being technical enough, and therefore adding more layers. I would love for these reports to be somewhat 'lighter' but still convey the relevant information. – Andy Randell
ERRATUM In the December 2017/January 2018 issue, we misspelled the name of Tanzanian President John Magufuli in our third-annual jurisdiction review (pg. 26). We regret the error.
14 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
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tools of the trade
When bulky materials get stuck in dump truck beds, operators often resort to jerking the bed up and down or getting out of the cab to manually dislodge the material using shovels, rods and mallets. The former is a tip-over hazard and hard on the equipment, and the latter brings operations to a halt and puts the operator at risk. With Martin Engineering’s Cougar MDC 12 400/700 vibrator, drivers can safely dislodge unruly material from inside the cab. The vibrator, activated by a push button, quickly breaks up the clumped material. A redesign of the electrical windings means the vibrator motor runs on less current – 13 amps – and a lower temperature than previous models. As a result, it can run for longer, and will put less strain on the vehicle’s electrical system. The vibrator can be retrofitted on most existing brackets and fits Co most electrical ur t esy of systems. It is Ma r ti n En dustand watergin ee rin resistant and can withg stand punishing temperatures, from -30 to 50 C.
Simplified controls Operating heavy-duty vehicles in underground mines requires focus to work the controls around the cab while navigating tight spaces. Rock-Tech’s Gen II Titanium underground utility vehicles have been designed to reduce distractions inside the cab so that operators can concentrate on what is outside. The line includes crane trucks, lifting platforms, man-lifting boom baskets, remixers, fuel lube vehicles, ANFO loaders, paste fill pipe installers and personnel carriers. Operators can now control steering, transmission, horn and lights from one joystick mounted in an arm rest. “It almost feels like you are missing something out of the machine,” said Rock-Tech president Ricky Lemieux. “Yet it’s all there, but with a higher level of technology and ergonomics.” The new line also reduces vehicle blind spots by changing the operator seat position, incorporating more and larger windows into the cab layout, and redesigning the engine hood. Fuel, transmission, hydraulic [fluid] and coolant levels can be checked at once at ground level from within a metre of the cab door entrance, simplifying operators’ daily inspection. “Failure underground is common,” said Lemieux, explaining that Gen II Titanium’s simplified diagnostics will “reduce operating costs and give [vehicles] a higher availability for production.”
Courtesy of Rock-Tech
Shake it out
Determining the most productive cut-sequence at a mine requires complex calculations and consideration of multiple factors, including the haul trucks’ most efficient route to the waste dump. For large open-pit mines that have waste dumps with multiple access roads, planning is even more difficult. “It’s a very careful ballet,” said Carl Brackpool, product manager for Hexagon Mining’s MineSight Schedule Optimizer (MSSO), the modelling and planning software platform that determines and generates the most productive cut-sequence. “You want to ensure that you aren’t wasting time and money because your haul network was planned incorrectly and your trucks are congested on the road.” Version 11, the latest iteration of MSSO, has a new multi-entry feature that allows mine engineers to determine the best routing direction for material destined for dumps with multiple entry points, resulting in a more detailed dumping sequence for the overall mine schedule. According to Brackpool, the software upgrade “improves the haulage component significantly” and “will give a much higher confidence in short and medium-term plans.” Previously, MSSO users had to split waste dumps with multiple entrances into multiple dumps in the software, creating unnecessary extra destinations that caused congestion and a greater burden on dispatchers and truck operators to direct haul trucks. Compiled by Cecilia Keating 16 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
Courtesy of Hexagon Mining
Making complex cut-sequences easier
Explosion hits drying complex at Teck’s Elkview coal mine
Global economic growth, Chinese manufacturing stability promise strong 2018 for commodities
Cobalt and palladium 2017’s big winners, Canadian crude and uranium slump2
Claim staking moves online in third stage of Ontario’s new mining act3
Developments Government forces end blockade at Torex Gold’s mine in Mexico Labour disruption at company’s El Limon-Guajes mine highlights controversial Mexican “protection unions” By Joel Barde
Courtesy of Torex Gold
nities and consider their Torex Gold said the monthsrequests for further assislong worker blockade at its El tance,” she said in an email. Limon-Guajes gold mine in “Unfortunately, we are not Mexico’s Guerrero state was always able to provide the removed by the state’s governor additional services and in late January. The Torontoinfrastructure they request,” based company closed the and in those situations work mine in December after a group with federal and state govof workers began blockading ernments. the site in November, claiming As is common practice in that the union representing Mexico, Torex selected the them is illegitimate. Torex reCTM union before comopened the mine in January mencing operations, formusing a construction road, with ing what is commonly 75 Mexican national police offireferred to as an “employer cers brought in to protect protection contract.” While workers from what Torex CEO Torex re-opened El Limon-Guajes in January, with 75 Mexican national legally recognized, so-called Fred Stanford called an “illegal” police officers brought in to protect workers. “protection unions” are blockade. regarded by labour advocates as preWith the strike ended, Torex said it Mexican union with close ties to Canaemptive union agreements that prevent can now access the main plant gate and dian labour groups that represents security, the company’s accommodation workers at mines owned by Goldcorp, workers from organizing on their own facilities and the El Limon pit. and fail to provide the benefits of union First Majestic Silver and Leagold. The striking workers – currently repmembership. Maria Xelhuantzi Lopez, a In response to the workers’ allegaresented by Mexico’s largest union, Contions, Gabriela Sanchez, Torex’s vice- labour expert at Mexico’s National federacion de Trabajadores de Mexico president of investor relations, told CIM Autonomous University, told Al Jazeera (CTM) – said they are underpaid and Magazine that the company pays “above in September that about 90 per cent of that Torex has not followed through on the average within the mining industry the country’s unions are protection promises to improve conditions at the in Mexico.” She said Torex rents land unions. According to the OECD, Mexinearby village of Atzcala, nor has the under contracts with the owners for can workers have the lowest average company compensated the village for water extraction, and has done work to wage of its 35 member countries. Some labour experts have pointed to protecwater it uses at its mine. They protested pave roads and build houses in commution unions as the major problem. to join Los Mineros, a more independent nities nearby. “We listen to our commu18 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
The CTM, which is the biggest alliance of unions and is especially powerful in Mexico’s auto industry, is often criticized for taking the side of companies rather than employees, and not fighting for higher wages. Three men have been killed since the blockade began. According to a report in the Globe and Mail, brothers Victor and Mauricio Sahuanitla Peña were killed in November after gunmen opened fire on the blockade, then chased the protesters into the surrounding scrubland, where the two were beaten to death. Quintin Salgado, who, according to Los Mineros, was a supporter of the strike, was killed in late January. A recent press release from Los Mineros draws a clear line between the November killings and the CTM. “We demand just punishment for the CTM assassins of the brothers Víctor and Mauricio Sahuanitla Peña, who worked for this company, and were executed gangster-style on Nov. 18 in the pres-
ence of their fellow workers and their own family,” reads the recent release, which was forwarded to CIM Magazine by the United Steelworkers (USW). The attorney general’s office of Mexico’s Guerrero state had a different interpretation of what happened. It suggested the men were killed in a dispute between community police groups in charge of protecting residents from drug cartels in the area, which is both violent and impoverished. Canadian unions Unifor and the USW have been vocal critics of Torex, which they say is a bad actor taking advantage of lax labor laws in Mexico. The unions’ outspokenness come as Canada renegotiates the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which they say is woefully lacking when it comes to protecting Mexican labor. Both unions want to see an end to employee protection contracts. Such deals are an obstacle to legitimate union
activity, explained Mark Rowlinson, a USW spokesperson. The Steelworkers are in a “strategic” alliance with Los Mineros, and members have rallied at Torex’s Toronto headquarters and a mining conference to raise awareness about the story. Union representatives have also had several phone conversations with government officials aimed at “getting them to act.” According to Torex’s Stanford, Canadian unions have a clear political agenda and are playing fast and loose with the facts in order to strengthen their hand as they negotiate NAFTA. “The variance from the truth and the union messaging has been quite exquisite,” said Stanford. Stanford said that Torex is open to changing unions and that workers were poised to vote for themselves until Los Mineros decided to delay the vote last month. According to Stanford, workers voted to go back to work by a huge margin in mid-December.
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www.dmcmining.com Photo courtesy of BHP incorporating Rio Tinto’s “Mine of the Future” ™ technology
February • Février 2018 | 19
Patagonia Gold closed the purchase of the Pan American Silver subsidiary Minera Aquiline Argentina for US$15 million on Jan. 31, acquiring the company’s Calcatreu deposit in the deal. Calcetreu is a high- grade, low-sulfidation gold system in Argentina that has been on care and maintenance since the mid-2000s. It is an advanced-stage exploration project, and Patagonia said it plans to start developing the project by exploring the surrounding area immediately. Luff Industries and SKF announced in January their new strategic partnership and the introduction of the SKF Equipped program, which will begin this year. The partnership and program will result in SKF ball bearings coming as standard in all Luff conveyor idlers. The companies said they believe this will help decrease maintenance and operating costs. First Majestic Silver will acquire Primero Mining, the companies announced on Jan. 12, strengthening First Majestic’s stakes in Mexico. Primero shareholders will be able to exchange one Primero share for 0.03325 First Majestic share. Following the acquisition, Wheaton Precious Metals’ current silver streaming interest at Primero’s San Dimas silver-gold mine will be terminated and replaced with a new arrangement in which Wheaton will receive ongoing payments and $151 million worth of First Majestic shares. The judges for the 2018 Disrupt Mining competition were announced in December. They include Integra Resources CEO George Salamis, McEwen Mining chief owner Rob McEwen, Goldcorp director Blanca Treviño, University of British Columbia mining engineering student Veronica Knott and venture capital firm Chrysalix founder Wal van Lierop. Disrupt Mining is a crowd-sourcing challenge for mining innovation that was started in 2017 by Goldcorp and Integra Gold. The top five competitors present at a Shark Tank-style live finale at the PDAC convention, and the winner has an opportunity to negotiate an investment with Goldcorp. This year the competition will take place on March 4.
20 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
want to rip up the agreement,” he said. Torex said it has signed long-term lease agreements with two Ejidos – groups of about 100 landowners – that stipulate a payment of 2.5 ounces of gold per hectare per year to the Ejidos. “I don’t suspect this is much about the workers. I suspect [the Ejidos are] trying to renege on their land lease agreement,” said Stanford. “They’re using this as a tool to try to do that.” CIM
Courtesy of the United Steelworkers
FROM THE WIRE
Stanford also disputes allegations that the CTM is illegitimate, saying that it is the largest union in the country and that it gathered 50 per cent of workers signatures after Torex selected it. When asked about the unrest, Stanford suggested another factor at play: landowners. He said that some have become frustrated with the current benefit agreements and are stoking discontent in communities. “We’re hearing a lot of noise that they
Explosion hits drying complex at Teck’s Elkview coal mine Repairs to the drying facility at Teck Resources’ Elkview coal mine, which was hit on Jan. 18 by what the company has called a “significant pressure event” and the local union is calling an explosion, are expected to take four to six weeks and cost between $5 and $10 million. “In the interim, Elkview is producing higher moisture steelmaking coals” at roughly 80 per cent of its planned production levels, Teck said in a Jan. 25 release. The company will blend higher moisture coal from Elkview with its dry finished coal inventory and dry coal from other operations in the Elk Valley. “We expect lost production in the range of 200,000 tonnes of clean coal.” The company is currently conducting an investigation to determine the cause, extent of the damage and steps to prevent further occurrences, in conjunction with United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9346, which represents Elkview workers, as required under the British Columbia Mines Act. The British Columbia Ministry of Mines is also involved. “They’ll be looking at the process flow as the coal goes through the dryer system and…any obvious root causes, but it’ll take some time before the experts can find exactly what happened,” said British Columbia chief inspector of mines Al Hoffman in a statement to CIM Magazine. Company spokesperson Chris Stannell said in an email that the company will “incorporate any additional [safety]
A view of smoke coming from Teck's Elkview mine after an explosion at the drying facility on Jan. 18.
measures that are identified in the investigation.” Teck said in a Jan. 19 news release that the event caused “no adverse health or environmental impacts,” and Stannell said that no employees were injured in the incident. USW Local 9346 president Alex Hanson said workers reported seeing a “fireball” shoot through the building’s vents. Stannell said the drying system was designed to handle the high pressure “and there are controls in place to mitigate the impact.” The drying chamber’s venting system “operated as designed, releasing pressure to a safe area outside the building,” Stannell said. “However, there was damage caused by this event.” Hanson suggested the event might be an opportunity to consider new technology for drying coal. “There is other technology that’s out there as well, so let’s take a look at the whole scenario, and say ‘how do we do this the safest way possible?’” he said.
In a letter sent to the USW a few days prior to the incident, Hoffman, responding to safety concerns the union had raised in mid-December, expressed his “concerns about the possibility of a coal dust explosion within the coal dryer or breaker operations,” and said he would visit several mines in the Elk – Kelsey Rolfe Valley in February.
Federal government details plans for carbon pricing for industrial emitters Industrial emitters like mining, potash and oil and gas operations will pay a price on carbon once they emit above a certain level of pollution per year in provinces that adopt the federal carbon pricing plan. According to the government’s carbon pricing framework and a draft of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, released Jan. 15 for public comment by Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna and Finance Minister Bill Morneau, industrial facilities will be given an annual limit on the total greenhouse gases (GHG) they can emit before the carbon price kicks in. The limit will be defined as an amount of GHG emissions per unit of product, and “in most cases” will be set as a percentage of the sector’s national average. The more operations exceed their annual limit, the more they will pay. If they fall beneath the limit by 30 per cent or more, they will earn credits that they could sell to higher emitters or save for another year. In an emailed statement to CIM Magazine, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ (CAPP) spokesperson Tonya Zelinsky said “Any government action taken to meet climate change commitments should consider Canada’s ability to attract investment and remain competitive while continuing to be a global energy supplier.” In the framework, the government said the output-based system will “create a pricing incentive to reduce GHG emissions from industrial facilities
while limiting the impacts of carbon pricing on their international competitiveness, particularly on their ability to compete with similar businesses in countries that do not have carbon pricing.” The draft legislation also includes new charges on fuels like gasoline, propane, diesel and natural gas. The federal plan goes into effect this year, with the cost of carbon starting at $10 per tonne. It will increase by $10 a year every year to $50 per tonne by 2022. In the first two years of the plan, the output-based system will apply to industrial operations that emit 50 kilotonnes or more of “carbon dioxide equivalent” per year, the ministers said. Provinces and territories that have not implemented their own system by September will have the federal backstop program imposed on them. Currently, Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta have implemented carbon pricing systems that meet federal requirements. “Four out of five Canadians live in jurisdictions that already have a price on carbon,” McKenna said in a news release, “and right now, those provinces are leading Canada in job creation.” In September 2017 Nova Scotia proposed a cap-and-trade program, and a month later Manitoba set its own carbon price at $25 per tonne, which will be in compliance with the federal plan until 2020. Yukon Territory will adopt the new federal system. The rest of the provinces and territories have not yet set up a system, and former Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has threatened to sue the federal government over the carbon pricing plan. The government has stressed that the federal plan will be revenue neutral, with all funds derived from it returned to the provinces and territories to invest as they choose. CAPP suggested funds could be best invested in “technology and innovation” to “advance our goals to cut emissions while increasing revenues to government, communities and indus– Kelsey Rolfe try,” Zelinsky said.
BHP and Vale will each be paying around US$200 million in 2018 toward remediation for the Samarco dam collapse of 2015, the companies announced in late December. The two parent companies are each making up to US$48 million available to Samarco to carry out ongoing repair, maintain facilities and support restart planning. BHP will contribute US$181 million and Vale US$131 million to the Renova Foundation in the first six months of 2018 for remediation and compensation programs. These will be offset against the combined US$2.5 billion provisions the companies agreed to make in 2016. Alderon Iron Ore reappointed Tayfun Eldem as president, CEO and director, effective Feb. 5. Eldem was president and CEO from 2011 to 2015 but stepped down when the iron ore market collapsed and Alderon could not move forward with its projects. Eldem remained on the board of directors and company founder Mark J. Morabito assumed the role of president and CEO. Morabito has now taken the position of non-executive chairman. Under Eldem’s leadership, the company said it hopes to resume its efforts at its Kami project in Labrador. Francis Fournier was named president and CEO of COREM on Jan. 15. Fournier succeeded Claire Lavallée, who held the position since 2013. Fournier has more than 20 years of experience in the innovation sector, mainly with FPInnovations, a national forest research and development centre. The Ontario government granted Laurentian University’s Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health (CROSH) more than $300,000, Ontario’s Minister of Energy and Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault announced on Jan. 16. The funding will go toward three research projects CROSH has proposed to address mobile equipment hazards, advancing Indigenous occupational health and safety in Northern Ontario and improving safety for people working with heavy equipment. More than half of the money will go toward research addressing mobile equipment hazards, which was identified as a priority in Ontario’s 2015 Mining Health, Safety and Prevention review. Compiled by Elle Crosby
February • Février 2018 | 21
Promising market forecasts for 2018 has bulls on parade Global economic growth, Chinese manufacturing stability promise strong 2018 for commodities Despite political turbulence in much of the world, commodities markets look bullish throughout 2018 based on economic forecasts and market analysis, with upward trends poised to extend to most base metals, crude oil and natural gas. Projections by the World Bank, Goldman Sachs and Canadian firms like Scotiabank all indicate strong growth and stable markets for the coming year. “For the first time in years, global economies, both advanced and emerging, are growing or accelerating in sync, with very little in the way of contractions,” said Scotiabank commodities economist Rory Johnston, noting that no single factor tells the whole story. “It’s a virtuous circle. One of the big turnarounds has been Europe going from a drag on global growth to actually stimulating global growth, which has a positive spinoff for countries that trade with Europe, which has cascaded down the entire global economy, including to Canada.” Upward commodity trends that began in 2017 are expected to edge up throughout 2018 and into 2019, based in part on continued stability from Chinese manufacturing markets. “The commodity market has shifted in the last 12 months, so we’re in a situation now where we’ve got this synchronized optimism, underpinned by this belief in a stronger than expected global economy,” said Paul Robinson, a director at CRU Group. “That puts the commodity markets in a good position, though we’re still very much reliant on what happens in China from a demand perspective. What is still unfolding is what China may do from a supply perspective to restrict production across a range of commodities.” This year’s base metal darlings are cobalt, zinc and nickel. In the cases of 22 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
Courtesy of Rio Tinto
By David Meffe
Rio Tinto’s Kennecott copper mine. Copper looks set for solid growth throughout 2018 and into 2019 after a December rally.
cobalt and nickel, this has been at least partially attributed to investment in electric vehicle technology, which is expected to rise as production and affordability of newer models grows. As lithium-ion batteries for both light and heavy-duty vehicles become more cost-efficient, the demand for their base metal ingredients is expected to grow steadily along with prices. S&P Global Platts expects global electric vehicle sales to rise 1,300 per cent from 2015 to 2025, and battery manufacturing capacity to more than double by 2021. So the real question is not whether base metal prices will increase, but whether miners will be able to keep up with exponential demand from that sector. For zinc, market fundamentals are still in its favour. “Globally, zinc is in tight supply and production of refined zinc may struggle to keep pace with demand,” said Joe Innace, S&P’s Americas’ metals content director.
Copper rallied steadily throughout December, and looks set for solid growth throughout 2018 and into 2019, keeping it in line with its nickname ‘Doctor Copper’ as a marker for assessing the global industrial cycle. This is driven in part by speculative financial investors building long positions, according to Andy Blamey, the associate editorial director of metals pricing with S&P. “Fundamentals remain broadly supportive and with numerous labour contracts up for renewal this year, particularly in Chile and Peru, the market may be factoring in a disruption risk premium.” Iron ore prices are expected to average $60 in 2018, down from $72 from the previous year, according to Scotiabank. This is due in part to market oversupply from low-cost producers like Australia and Brazil, which are both forecasted to increase production. China’s steel output was higher than expected in 2017, but Beijing has announced plans to cut capacity 10 per
cent by 2021 to battle air pollution. The China Metallurgical Industry Planning and Research Institute projected output to rise 0.7 per cent to 838 million tonnes in 2018, compared to a three per cent increase in 2017. The volatility of iron ore will depend on China, but Goldman Sachs is keeping its projection bearish on the risk of steel production topping in the world’s biggest producer. According to the World Bank, oil prices are projected to average $58 per barrel in 2018, up from $53 in 2017, with supply growing at half the pace of global demand. The extension in late November of an OPEC output cut until the end of 2018 led Goldman Sachs to revise up its forecast for oil prices. However, this depends heavily on OPEC members continuing to comply
with the terms of the deal, especially amid an ongoing political rift in the Arabian Gulf. “As of December, OPEC members have reached all-time high levels of compliance. This burden is being shared much more evenly among major segments, though it wasn’t always the case,” said Johnston. “This initially raised fears around potential defection from the agreement. However, we see them now much more evenly contributing to the deal, which is generally bullish on the outlook for the agreement and oil prices.” Other risk factors for the energy market include supply disruptions from turbulent countries like Libya, Iraq, and Nigeria, as well as ongoing political and economic turmoil in Venezuela. If the United States reduces
Mexican imports, demand for heavy Alberta crude could boost Canada’s market share with increased access to U.S. refining capacity, according to a projection released by Deloitte. Unfolding events in 2018 like NAFTA renegotiations, Chinese stimulus withdrawals, Brexit and new tax policies in the U.S. will also have unforeseen effect on markets throughout the year, though most analyses are nonetheless positive. “You could have drawn forecasts for 20 events that would have turned markets last year, and another 20 that could turn it this year,” said Robinson. “But based on what’s before us, we see relatively little downside. What’s more important now is looking for what will give more upside than speculating on major risks we can’t foresee.” CIM
Metals begin the year with wind at their backs Cobalt and palladium 2017’s big winners, while Canadian crude and uranium slump As a new year dawns and projections are made, it’s important to look back on 2017 and explore both the structural- and sentiment-driven performance of a number of different commodities. Scotiabank Economics highlighted cobalt and palladium as big performers this year, and CRU Group in London pointed out that all the London Metal Exchange metals (copper, zinc, lead, aluminum, tin, nickel, cobalt and molybdenum) ended the year strongly and overall had upward trends for the year. Analysts point to an overall synchronized global growth that drove both optimism and demand. Paul Robinson, director at CRU Group, said his pick for 2017 star performers are the aluminum raw materials: alumina, calcined petroleum coke and coal tar pitch. Alumina registered a price increase of 40 per cent, and the latter two materials saw increases of more than 60 per cent. Rising prices
Courtesy of North American Palladium
By Sarah Treleaven
North American Palladium’s Lac des Iles mine northwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Palladium had a strong 2017 thanks to a high demand for conventional automobiles and evolving emission standards.
for alumina were driven largely by concerns about supply disruptions related to strikes and civil unrest in Guinea. The reasons behind the stellar performances of coal tar pitch and cal-
cined petroleum coke, according to Robinson, are related to a structural “double whammy:” a reduction in the use of blast furnaces for steel production means a reduction in coal tar February • Février 2018 | 23
pitch, a byproduct of that process; and the corresponding increased use of electric arc furnaces creates additional demand for calcined petroleum coke, with new consumers competing with aluminum smelters. Aluminum raw materials were also affected by periodic closures of coalfired aluminum smelters in China – a phenomenon that also had an impact on global steel prices. Prompted by environmental concerns, particularly air quality in major cities, China’s “blue sky” initiative closed smelters during the winter months when citizens were also heating their homes with coal. “There were concerns that you would see a reduction in Chinese production and that would leave the overall market in deficit,” said Scotiabank commodity economist Rory Johnston. “But as we’ve come through the year and partway through winter, the cuts were less severe than initially feared and some high-capacity plants were per-
mitted to maintain a higher capacity than expected.” Electric vehicles and batteries boosted both nickel and copper. “The quote you hear from Elon Musk is that they’re called lithium-ion batteries but should be called nickel graphite batteries because that’s the bulk of their weight,” said Johnston. But nickel has a much larger supply overhang than some of the other base metals, and Johnston instead listed cobalt as his overall best performer of all commodities in his 2017 year-end report, citing a rise of 127 per cent to $33 per pound. “Cobalt mirrors the 2016 rise of lithium,” he said. And, given that cobalt is a relatively small market in terms of tonnage, he noted that even small changes in demand can quickly throw the market into real or perceived deficit or surplus. Despite increasing optimism surrounding the electric car industry, the demand for conventional automobiles
remains high – which made 2017 a good year for palladium. According to market research group Statista, 80 million cars were sold worldwide in 2017. North American Palladium president and CEO James Gallagher noted that the year-over-year increase has been a steady two to three per cent for the last decade. Evolving emission standards – particularly in China and Europe – have also led to increased demand for palladium, which acts as a catalyst inside catalytic converters, helping to filter some of the more toxic engine byproducts. Alongside an increase in demand, the global supply of palladium has remained relatively flat. “There’s been a structural deficit in the market for the last four years,” said Gallagher. “They’ve increased recycling of old automobiles and tapped Russia’s big stockpiles, but those have largely been depleted.” While oil prices hit a two-year high in 2017, Canadian crude prices
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reached a three-year low in December. Canadian crude is typically discounted to remain competitive in the face of higher refinement costs, but that discount jumped to $27 from $12 over the course of 2017 – higher than anticipated. The key problem, according to Johnston, is that an increase in oil sands production is bumping up against pipeline capacity. In November, the discount on Western Canadian Select (WCS) peaked when a Keystone pipeline-related spill and subsequent outage backed up inventory into Albertan storage tanks. “We’re waiting on a number of new pipelines to enter operation, but the political climate and regulatory issues keep pushing those dates back,” said Johnston. And, he added, efforts to supplement pipeline delivery through rail service have been met with reluctance from rail companies not keen to sign stopgap contracts. The fallout from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster continued
to depress uranium prices in 2017, which began the year at $24.50 per pound and ended at $22.32 per pound. (Pre-Fukushima prices were around $70 per pound.) In Japan, only five of 50 reactors have come back online, and confidence in nuclear power has been shaken or even overturned elsewhere, most notably in Germany. As a result, the market continues to be oversupplied, driving
Canada creates watchdog to investigate Canadian companies’ conduct abroad Canada is naming an independent watchdog to investigate alleged human rights abuses linked to Canadian companies’ activities abroad, initially focusing on the mining, oil and gas and garment sectors.
down prices. But Garth Struther, a spokesperson for Saskatchewan-based Cameco, said he sees one bright spot for the year: producers are finally starting to exercise some supply discipline. Cameco announced in November a 10-month closure of the Key Lake and McArthur River sites, and Kazakhstan’s state-owned Kazatomprom announced plans to reduce production over three years. CIM
The government is also creating a multi-stakeholder advisory body to work in conjunction with the new Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE), International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne announced on Jan. 17. “This is an announcement that’s going to make Canadian companies the international business partner of choice,” Champagne said.
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February • Février 2018 | 25
The move was long expected by miners as it was part of the Liberals’ 2015 campaign promise. The watchdog has a mandate to help resolve disputes between communities and Canadian companies. The CORE will have the power to investigate allegations, report independently, recommend a remedy and monitor its implementation. “Through this process, the ombudsperson will offer people a straightforward, credible and fair remedy,” Champagne said. Remedies suggested could include monetary compensation, corporate policy changes and apologies. The ombudsperson will also have the power to recommend the withdrawal of trade advocacy support and changes to government policy. “We told Canadians during the election that we would do this. We are now moving forward,” Champagne said, adding that Canada will be the first
country in the world to have an ombudsperson for responsible enterprise. “We’re very pleased to see that this is being rolled out and will apply across business sectors,” said Ben Chalmers, the Mining Association of Canada’s (MAC) vice-president of sustainable development. “We’ve been working with government and civil society for a while to get to a process that is workable for everyone.” Chalmers said MAC intends to have a representative on the advisory body. “We hope to see a diverse table with many informed views from business and civil society come together to constructively and collaboratively work towards better human rights performance,” Chalmers said, adding that protecting human rights is something the association is already active in. “It’s both a business imperative and the right thing to do. If you’re not operating in a way that is responsible to
Connecting People. Powering Communities.
26 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
human rights today, you are not going to be able to operate on a sustainable basis,” Chalmers said. But, he said, MAC has expressed concerns about how the ombudsperson’s independent investigation will work in other countries that may not be thrilled about an outsider coming in. “There are many complications there,” Chalmers said. “Our primary hope is that whatever process it follows will contribute to bringing companies and communities together where disputes exist to jointly resolve the issue in a way that allows them to move forward on a positive basis and improve the relationship.” Canada already has an extractive sector corporate social responsibility counsellor, Jeffrey Davidson, whose role is to advise companies of their responsibilities and standards as well as reviewing their activities. But Davidson himself has said in the past that the office lacks teeth.
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“Speaking my own mind and my own opinion, I believe a hybrid approach is required that allows for preventative authority, as well as regulatory authority and judicial authority,” Davidson told a parliamentary subcommittee on international human rights in September last year. He said then that an independent ombudsperson would probably carry more power. “It would mean more dedicated resources, a better implementing architecture for carrying out the mandate that currently exists, and a stronger architecture that provides the ombudsperson or the counsellor with more resources to work – Sahar Fatima with.”
Planetary Resources launches Arkyd-6 satellite to test resource detection technology in space Planetary Resources successfully launched its Arkyd-6 satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India on Jan. 12. Arkyd-6’s mission is to test 17 commercial technologies that have been modified to operate in space, most crucially the mid-wave infrared (MWIR) imager, which detects water molecules. The company’s mission control team achieved two-way communication with Arkyd-6 and started receiving telemetry from it the same day it was launched. Planetary Resources’ director of software Brian Geddes said in a video uploaded by the company that the satellite’s autonomous systems have kicked in and the company is able to charge Arkyd-6’s batteries using its solar panels. “It’s gathering and recording data, including precise information about its orbit,” Geddes said. He said that the company will move onto testing “more advanced features” of the satellite, including sending software updates, confirming its ability to point precisely, and take a first MWIR image. Arkyd-6 is part of Planetary Resources’ research and development work to create an instrument capable of detecting water and other resources on near-Earth asteroids. Arkyd-6 will stay within Earth’s orbit and conduct hydration studies of Earth to determine how effective the MWIR is at detecting remote sources of water. Arkyd-6’s MWIR is the first commercial infrared imager to be used in space. Based on the Arkyd-6 mission, Planetary Resources plans to further develop the water resource detection capabilities of the imager. The refinements made to the MWIR and the other data obtained from the Arkyd-6 test will inform the development of Planetary Resources’ next satellite, the Arkyd-301, which will go outside Earth’s orbit to detect water concentration in asteroids. The company has not said when it plans to launch Arkyd-301. While the company’s long-term goal includes mining asteroids for platinum-group metals, which are relatively rare on Earth and are essential to the manufacture of electronics, it is first focusing on sourcing water from asteroids. Water can be used as rocket fuel, act as radiation shielding and help support life for humans, plants and animals in
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space. Planetary Resources estimates it will reduce costs of space missions by 95 per cent if it can harvest water from asteroids. Planetary Resources estimates that there are over 16,000 asteroids in nearEarth space and that they contain a total of two trillion tonnes of water. Arkyd-301’s mission will be to determine which of those asteroids will be the first to be mined for water. In 2020, the Washington-based company plans to launch the world’s first commercial deep space exploration mission based on Arkyd-301’s findings. Additional technologies such as power generation, attitude determination, instrument operation and twoway communication will also be tested on Arkyd-6. The satellite is fully autonomous and capable of executing all of its functions independently, but it will communicate with Mission Control throughout its time – Elle Crosby in space.
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British Columbia government rejects KGHM’s Ajax KGHM International’s proposed Ajax mine near Kamloops, British Columbia will not receive an environmental assessment certificate, the provincial government announced on Dec. 14. B.C. environment minister George Heyman and mines minister Michelle Mungall said in a joint news release that the $1.3-billion project had the potential for 53 “residual and cumulative” adverse effects, including air quality and risk to human health. The 1,700-hectare open-pit coppergold project is located about 10 kilometres southwest of Kamloops on the traditional territory of the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwépemc Nation (SSN), Ashcroft Indian Band, Lower Nicola Indian Band and Whispering Pines/Clinton Indian Band.
“Given these conclusions and the close proximity of Ajax to the City of Kamloops, particularly the neighbourhood of Aberdeen, including an elementary school, the ministers concluded the adverse effects would not likely be mitigated to an acceptable level and would therefore prevent an unacceptable risk,” the release said. In a statement on Dec. 15, KGHM’s parent company, Polish miner KGHM Polska Mied S.A., said “KGHM…will consider the next steps, which may include judicial review.” KGHM’s external affairs manager for Ajax, Yves Lacasse, thanked staff for their work over the past six years in a Dec. 14 Facebook post. “Regardless of your position on the project, I am proud of the professionalism displayed by our staff (past and present) in the community,” he wrote. Bryan Cox, president and CEO of the Mining Association of British Columbia, called the announcement
Courtesy of KGHM Polska Mied S.A.
disappointing. “Obvigenerations of royal wedding ously whenever a project bands, including the Queen Mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, doesn’t move forward Queen Elizabeth, Princess Marthrough the process, for garet, Princess Anne and the industry it’s disapPrincess Diana. Last November, pointing,” he told CIM the Daily Post, which covers Magazine. “And when you think of a project like North Wales, reported 60 Ajax, it’s one that could grams of gold from the Clogau have provided economic mine sold at auction for benefit, both in terms of £44,000 ($76,000) to an jobs and the commodity anonymous buyer for five times that’s produced.” its estimated value, prompting Cox said that despite speculation it had been bought the announcement, he felt by the royal family for the wedthe province’s new NDP Ajax, a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper-gold project, is located about 10 ding of Prince Harry and government has been kilometres southwest of Kamloops. Meghan Markle in May. clear about its “commitDiminishing gold reserves ment” to the mining industry. “This is Federal environment minister caused the mine to shutter in 1998, one specific project, but the governCatherine McKenna issued a separate but Alba’s executive chairman George ment has made that comment to indusnews release on Dec. 14 saying that she Frangeskides told CIM Magazine that try and also publicly that they believe had referred the project back to Fish- the “prospect of discovering unworked this industry is foundational and eries and Oceans Canada and Natural veins in the existing and extensive Cloessential in the transition to a lower Resources Canada to determine gau mine development is above all carbon economy,” he said. what makes this project attractive.” whether the project could go ahead. – Kelsey Rolfe Kamloops City Council and the four Frangeskides said the company is still First Nations had previously objected assessing the project’s timeline, but there has been more interest in the to the mine being built. In March an Junior miner takes a project due to the royal connection. environmental review panel led by the stake in project with a Alba has uranium, iron ore, SSN rejected the project after a graphite and oil and gas assets in the months-long review, citing the spiritual royal pedigree United Kingdom, Ireland, and Greenand cultural importance of the land Alba Mineral Resources aims to land. Frangeskides said the company around Jacko Lake, where the mine reopen a Welsh gold mine with a royal looks for assets with “significant historwould be located. connection, which was closed for ical work and, ideally, a production Ajax was the first mining project in nearly 20 years. history.” Clogau-St David’s has proBritish Columbia’s history that needed The London-based miner acquired duced the most gold historically of any to have a First Nations consultation a 49 per cent stake in Gold Mines of U.K. gold mine, accounting for 81,000 plan as part of the environmental Wales Limited, the owner of the Clo- ounces of the 131,000 produced in the assessment project. The ministers said in the release that gau gold mine, in early December. In Dolgellau gold belt it is located within. Alba’s announcement, the company The company, which is worth £8.8 the assessment found the project would have “significant adverse impacts” on said “the opportunity presented by this million ($15 million) on the London Stock Exchange’s small-cap market, the asserted aboriginal rights and title Project is pretty unique – high grade of the SSN, “which in many cases could gold in the heart of the United King- plans to bring the existing mine back dom, the fact that Welsh gold attracts a into production and explore the site for not be avoided or minimized. new targets. “With a wider exploration “The ministers concluded these significant premium over spot rates, ground, we have identified over 100 effects were unacceptable in the cir- the historic connections of Welsh gold with the heritage of the United Kingsuch targets and historical workings,” cumstances.” Frangeskides said. “To focus on the The environmental assessment was dom, the potential for finding more coordinated between the provincial gold in the vastly under-explored highest priority areas, we’re using 3D underground scanning and we will Environmental Assessment Office and exploration ground.” The site area includes the Clogau-St commission ground and airborne geothe Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. It evaluated the project David’s mine and “over 300 smaller physical surveys over the most prospective areas of the project to idenfor five different types of effects: envi- workings and trials.” The high-grade, narrow veins of tify structures for follow-up drilling.” ronmental, economic, social, heritage Clogau have provided gold for three – Amanda Scriver and health. February • Février 2018 | 29
Ontario does away with traditional staking process in mining act modernization Claim staking for prospectors and companies moves online in third stage of Ontario’s new mining act, currently being implemented By Kelsey Rolfe
Courtesy of Jessica Bjorkman
Juniors and major companies will Ontario prospectors are no still hire prospectors.” longer able to stake claims the Ferguson also added that the traditional way as of midnight new system will allow individual Jan. 9. prospectors to stake claims anyThe province is in the process where in the province, instead of of implementing the third stage focusing their work in one geoof its modernized mining act, graphic area to manage the costs which will involve online claim associated with ground staking. staking and an electronic system The Mining Land Adminisfor administering mining lands. tration System (MLAS) “has The goal of the updates is to been designed so that prospecsimplify mining lands administors and mining companies use tration and management, and the same process to register minmake exploration less intrusive ing claims,” Ferguson said. to recognize Indigenous and Veronique Bjorkman conducts prospecting work in northern Ontario. In addition to traditional prospecting work, many “Ground staking benefits treaty rights as well as better independent prospectors stake both on contract and for medium and larger companies respect private landowners. themselves. who have the resources to hire With the new system, mining and transport stakers throughout the companies or prospectors will be able prospectors previously told CIM Magaprovince, while prospectors do not to stake a claim by selecting a piece of zine that they worried mining compahave such resources.” land on a digital map using an online nies would not need to hire For a 90-day “pre-conversion period” registration system. independents to do their staking work. before the transfer to online staking, There will be a single registration “We will lose 50 per cent of our claim recording activity and other transfee for staking a claim under the new income overnight. That’s a tremendous system, but Ontario’s Ministry of loss for us,” Karl Bjorkman said in actions like filing assessment work reports and transferring claims are not Northern Development and Mines has 2016. Bjorkman’s family business, permitted. The last day that prospectors not finalized the cost yet, said ministry Bjorkman Prospecting, received could file an application to record a spokesperson Cameron Ferguson in an PDAC’s Special Achievement Award in ground-staked claim was Feb. 7. email to CIM Magazine. Currently, stak- 2016. “We stake claims to keep ourThe hiatus is in place to convert ing a mining claim includes a record- selves floating, so we can have some prospectors’ existing claims to the ing fee, a cost for acquiring claim tags money to go prospecting.” province’ s new map of cells. Each cell and additional costs to the individual Garry Clark, president of the represents a 20-hectare claim; previor company. Ontario Prospecting Association, said ously claims were 16 hectares each. “We are working to ensure the cost that is still a concern for prospectors Over the past few years prospectors of the regulatory compliance creates a who do less profitable work like line have been taking down the precise GPS fair and competitive environment for cutting, blazing trees and cutting posts, co-ordinates of their existing claims in mineral exploration in Ontario,” Fer- and use money from claim staking to order to properly situate them on the turn a profit. But he said he does not guson said. map. Clark said there may be situathink mining companies will stop hirIndependent prospectors have said tions of claims overlapping cell bounding or purchasing claims from prospecthe switch to online staking may cause aries, or two claims falling within in tors. them to lose a major source of their the same cell. “You still need the prospector; he or income. Along with traditional The roll-out of online staking and she needs to take a piece of property that prospecting work, many independents the electronic system will occur in two is prospective but doesn’t have much to stake on contract for mining compaparts. The first will see the electronic it and do some work to attract the larger nies and on their own by acquiring system go into effect on Feb. 7, and company,” he said. “The best way to find land and selling it to companies at a allow claim holders to set up an things is to put people on the ground. profit. With staking simplified, 30 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
account profile. On April 10, the second phase will take effect, launching online claim staking, allowing prospectors to obtain or renew a license online and enabling online transactions for all mining lands administration matters.
Ferguson said the province is considering ways to prevent registration on a “disproportionate number of claims,” including limiting the amount of claims that a prospector or company can register during a single transaction.
Discussions on the need for industry to innovate were the name of the game for both delegates and organizers of the 50th annual Canadian Mineral Processors (CMP) Conference in late January. More than 630 delegates gathered in Ottawa for three days to celebrate the conference’s semicentennial. As well as the conference’s formula has worked for the past 50 years, CMP conference chair Johnna Muinonen acknowledged that it needs to adapt. “When I was starting out at Inco [in the early 2000s] they would send 16 people to CMP. That doesn’t happen anymore. A lot has been lost as Canadian companies have been taken over by multinationals.” Without a trade show attached to it, the event has been a place where operators could bring the struggles and ideas from their experience at their own plants to share with fellow operators. Today, however, the number of delegates from operations are vastly outnumbered by CMP members – many in the second half of their careers with backgrounds in operations – who work in the service and supply sector. The student program, which, with the help of corporate sponsors, brings students from mineral processing programs to the event, remains a vital part of the conference, but CMP is trying to address the absence of young professionals. CMP has begun a pilot program that sponsors young people working in operations to come to the event, Muinonen said. Two members from CMP’s Central Ontario region in the
Mineral processing conference celebrates its 50th and plans for the future
In addition, the province requires the holder to file a report of assessment work on the claim within two years to continue holding it and must submit $400 worth of assessment work on each claim unit every year. CIM
Glenn Dobby and Glenn Kosick, co-founders of Woodgrove Technologies and creators of the staged flotation reactor.
first five years of their career were sponsored by CMP and its regional arm to attend. Virginia Lawson of Glencore Technology presented the many technical innovations that have emerged from Mount Isa Mines in Queensland, Australia, including the ISA Mill and the Jameson Cell. According to Lawson, the keys to bringing these ideas to fruition included the survival instinct that came from operating a mine that was marginal, a complex ore body that prevented them from copying the work of others and “research that was done hand in hand with operations.” Modern operations, with much of the work done remotely, make such collaboration less likely, she noted. The final afternoon of the conference focused on how operations can separate valuable ore from waste rock more efficiently. Kevin Murray, director of metallurgy at Goldcorp, stirred delegate interest with the work on a demonstration plant he is leading at
the company’s Porcupine operation in Timmins to sort and upgrade mineralized waste rock. The evolution of sensors and computing power have expanded the accuracy of ore sorting technology and volume it can handle, delegates heard during a panel discussion. “We have the rare opportunity to improve the environment and our businesses at the same time,” argued Brent Hilscher, principal engineer for Sacre-Davey Engineering. The best example of innovation and collaboration at the event came at the awards banquet, where Glenn Kosick and Glenn Dobby, co-founders of Woodgrove Technologies, were recognized as the Mineral Processors of the Year. In 2009, the two created the company to develop their ideas on how to improve on the standard flotation cell. The result was the staged flotation reactor, which requires less space, time and energy to float minerals. BHP is installing 79 reactors in its Spence mine expansion project in Chile. Ken Major received the Lifetime Achievement award for his enduring contributions to mineral processing. David Cataford, Champion Iron’s COO, earned the Bill Moore Special Achievement Award for his work through his still-early career. The A. R. MacPherson Comminution Award went to Mark Richardson, president of Contract Support Services, and Rob Piccolo was recognized for his contributions to CMP with the Ray MacDon– Ryan Bergen ald Volunteer Award.
Saskatchewan First Nation buys stake in well-known potash contractor A Saskatchewan First Nation is now part owner of Xtreme Mining and February • Février 2018 | 31
Demolition Inc. after its economic arm joined a consortium to purchase the well-known potash contractor in December. The Mistawasis Nêhiyawak First Nation, located about 120 kilometres north of Saskatoon, created holding company Misty Ventures Inc. in 2011 to manage its business ventures, which grew to include six companies in diverse industries. Misty Ventures partnered with Hamilton Construction Corp. to buy and run Xtreme effective Dec. 1. Xtreme’s previous owner, Leonard Banga, was killed in a B.C. plane crash in 2016. “It’s not something that’s traditionally done in First Nations business that they actually become owners,” said Misty Ventures president and CEO Robert Daniels. “It gives us an opportunity to see right from the top down.
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32 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
You see where board decisions are made, to the company operations. You get to see the whole picture.” Misty Ventures has been building a portfolio involving various sectors, such as oil and gas, agriculture and commercial real estate, so it is better placed to jump on opportunities that may come up in any industry, Daniels said. With Hamilton and Xtreme’s knowledge and experience in local and global markets, this acquisition adds value towards that goal, he added. “We don’t want to be on the outside looking in saying, ‘Darn, I wish we could participate,’” he said. “It would be nice to have our companies ready to go.” Xtreme has worked or is currently working with multiple Saskatchewan potash mines including Nutrien’s Allan, Cory, Lanigan and Rocanville mines, and Mosaic’s Esterhazy and
Colonsay operations, and also provides explosive demolition in Canada, U.S., Brazil, and elsewhere. With this acquisition and its other efforts, Daniels said, Misty Ventures can offer employment opportunities for the Mistawasis while also stimulating the economy in general. “We want to create opportunities for all people, not just one selected group,” he said. “And that means you have to have everyone’s involvement.” General partnerships between First Nations and mining companies are useful, “but I think there’s also a need for more ownership opportunities for First Nations entities to be able to make that investment and to be a part of that growth in a successful company,” Daniels said. “Not just to be a silent partner but actual partner that contributes and has a seat at the table.” – Sahar Fatima
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“We have been able to train our eyes to not see it” PDAC award-winning consultant Lana Eagle wants mining companies to understand the history of residential schools. The first installment of our We Are Mining series By Kelsey Rolfe
ancouver-based consultant Lana Eagle, a member of the Whitecap Dakota Nation in Saskatchewan, works to align two “timelines:” mining companies’ desire to get permits and get to work, and Indigenous communities’ desire to be heard and understood, which includes confronting the generations of marginalization and abuse they have endured. Eagle says the key is for mining companies to come to the table with an understanding of Indigenous Peoples’ unique challenges. Eagle was recently appointed chair of CIM’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, and awarded PDAC’s Skookum Jim Award for her work creating dialogue between Indigenous communities and the mining industry. She spoke with CIM Magazine in January about her work, how mining can be a part of reconciliation, and what it takes to have a truly inclusive workplace.
CIM: How did you initially get interested in mining? Eagle: I think it came just because that’s what my dad did for his career. He was in the mining industry and I don’t think it was ever that when I grew up I wanted to be a miner. It was more that’s what we grew up with, in terms of talk around the dinner table.
things are the way they are, because of the challenges that they’re facing. I look at how we bring those two timelines, those two worlds, together. I think what’s interesting is that companies that have operations elsewhere outside Canada are beginning to realize that they need to work with Indigenous communities and have conversations. And move forward through an engaged process, rather than [following the timeline] they think things should happen in.
CIM: Tell me about the work you’re doing now. Eagle: I am a consultant. I really find myself moving forward in the arena of reconciliation. It’s something that builds upon what companies are already doing really well, which is relationship-building. I presented last year at a conference, and one of the elders in the room referred to reconciliation as the elephant in the room, that we can’t be afraid to talk about. I think we’re still on two different timelines. Companies want permits, and they want to move forward into development. Indigenous communities want to build relationships and have conversations around where they are today, and why these 34 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
CIM: A lot of people in the industry talk about how mining can be a part of reconciliation, but that conversation seems to mainly focus on the economic side. Do you think that’s the main way the industry can play a role? Eagle: I think economics is an avenue, but I don’t think it’s everything. Communities are perhaps looking at ownership, or greater percentages in how they participate, in terms of jobs or local procurement. That’s how some people have chosen to move forward to make their lives better, to alleviate poverty
we are mining
and to make those changes. For some people, they’re still suffering from what residential schools have done to them. Look at some of the numbers on incarceration [of Indigenous people], alcohol and drugs, abuse and violence, missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and abject poverty. You can argue that if people had more wealth, they could alleviate those problems. But long term, how can we deal with these issues? Some of them are a result of children being sent to residential schools, because they were removed from their families and lived in very abusive situations. Then they come back, and they lack the skills to love, to parent, to create longterm safe homes for families, and deal with the challenges through alcohol and drugs. That just seems to perpetuate from one generation to the next. I think people in business think, “Well, if we can give them some money to deal with these things, that should be good.” I think it’s a social issue as well as economic. I think it needs a blend of both approaches to deal with this.
CIM: How do mining companies factor in the social aspect of reconciliation? Eagle: Some of the social aspects have to be talked about. In those conversations a level of trust is built, because people can feel that they can open up to you and really tell you about what their problems are, and what their solutions are. It’s not just a, “Today we’re going to talk about residential schools. How did that go for you?” kind of a conversation. It’s deeper than that, it’s softer than that. If I had that challenge, how do I begin to trust you? If I tell you certain things that are so dark and so deep, how do I know that’s going to be information that is shared between you and me, shared between the community and the mining company? That there will be a going-forward in how that’s dealt with? Preparing to enter into those conversations is definitely a challenge for people. I think a big part of it is a call for companies to better understand the history. I think that we as Canadians have been able to train our eyes to not see it. Why would we go into a reserve if we don’t have to? The fact that today, in 2018, we still have communities that are on boil water alerts and have been for decades, is reprehensible. For the amount of promises that this government makes, their progress to deal with those challenges has been slow. I think the industry has to begin to say, “What can we do?” Rather than rely on the government to make those changes, whether it’s around electrification or clean water, maybe it’s time for mines to step up. I think going forward the solution is not saying, “We’ll build you a swimming pool, we’ll build you a school,” but really finding out from the community, what do you need to move forward? Where can we be of help?
CIM: You were recently appointed chair of CIM’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee; what are you hoping to do during your time there?
with these very issues, in terms of diversity and inclusiveness. How do we begin to break those barriers, and what is it that prevents people from going forward?
CIM: What do you think companies can do to improve the diversity of their workforce? Eagle: I think our responsibility in industry is to be aware of [Indigenous Peoples’ history with residential schools]. We have to be more aware that this does exist and why it exists. We also need the major companies to make commitments [to diversity], to say “This is what we’re going to do, and how we’re going to move forward,” and not be afraid to make those commitments. Even though there might be people who will criticize, I think companies have to be courageous enough to move forward. Also, if you want to have an Aboriginal workforce, you have to look at companies that are in Northern Saskatchewan as examples. For them, it’s taken years to get there. Look at Cameco, which has won [diversity] awards, they’re proud to have their third generation of [Indigenous] employees. It took a lot of years to get there, and a lot of history in there.
CIM: How do you get to a truly inclusive industry? Eagle: It takes a lot of work. I think we need to ask, what is inclusivity? The easiest way that I can define it is feeling like you belong. We spend so much of our time during the day where we work; do you feel like you actually belong? What does that really mean? Is it a healthy belonging? I think it’s everyone has to work together to create that new environment or that new culture.
CIM: Do you feel like you belong? Eagle: I do. I’ve always felt like I belonged, because of how I was raised. I feel very comfortable whether I’m in the boardroom or in the band office. I think to some extent you have to be willing to be adaptive to a new culture to be part of it. You have to try to make it work. CIM
We Are Mining Throughout 2018 CIM Magazine will feature the stories and experiences – both the good and the bad – of women, Indigenous people and people of colour working in the mining industry through a series of Q&As, columns and stories reporting on issues of importance to them. Do you have any idea for a story we should cover, or a person we should talk to? Reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eagle: I think we have to just take the steps and move forward, and be guided by the members of CIM, who are dealing February • Février 2018 | 35
How machine learning will disrupt mining The power and pitfalls of predictive algorithms By Guy Desharnais
rtificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are so ubiquitous in the media these days that they have garnered a healthy dose of skepticism from the public, in many cases deservedly so. Machine learning comprises computer programs that are capable of solving classification or prediction problems by making inferences and decisions from a dataset without human intervention. Many such algorithms have been around for decades; their recent successes are in part due to increased computer power but also a new generation of algorithms that are more effective than their soft-brained human creators at the tasks they were designed to complete. The application of machine learning to mineral exploration, geometallurgy, and human operator replacement is accelerating, but that does not necessarily mean that blind application of AI will result in increased productivity. The real-world achievements are expected to vary wildly depending on the potential gains, the quality of data and the expertise of the humans behind the scenes. Google and Facebook have been using machine learning for years to curate their ads. Investment banks have been using these algorithms to parse through news to make bets on market trends milliseconds before their competitors. The newest generation of machine learning algorithms, such as neural networks and decision trees, have been enhanced with extra layers of analysis and decision-making that significantly increase prediction success. A negative byproduct of these extra layers is that the algorithms usually become black boxes from which we cannot know what features rely upon which parameters of data, or how each prediction is made. This lack of transparency often results in a lack of trust in the process and the results. These new powerful machine learning algorithms are by and large in the public domain and are even available to every Joe and Jane through cloud-based applications, such as Microsoftâ€™s Azure platform. Development has also accelerated from a hardware standpoint; for example, the newest genera-
36 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
tion of smartphones contain chips dedicated to machine learning, enabling facial recognition and augmented reality.
What it means for mining One of the strengths of machine learning is the efficient identification of patterns in data that enable classification. Autonomous driving relies heavily on machine learning algorithms to delimit and re-adjust to the center of the lane several times per second based primarily on photos of the road ahead. To accomplish this feat, the system needs to learn from millions of images from similar sets of cameras and distance sensors in similar conditions. This implies that exceptional circumstances such as snow in Morocco or fog in the Abitibi will cause stoppages or accidents; thus reinforcing the need for human intervention to ensure safety and productivity. The application to open-pit or underground mining is actually easier than on public roads because the extent of road networks and the number of possible collision types are very small. The potential benefit of removing the driver from mining equipment is massive from safety, to efficiency and cost reduction. This is particularly true for fly-in fly-out operations where the cost of keeping a human driver on site, fed, warm and happy are increasingly prohibitive. A few equipment manufacturers already offer autonomous fleets, and several others have working prototypes. This same adeptness to classification makes the application of machine learning particularly useful in the identification of exploration targets to replace our mineral inventory. Exploration geologists have a limited capability to digest rich data provided by the new generation of exploration tools including geophysics, hyperspectral imaging, geochemistry and mineralogy. Machine learning techniques, if properly coded and calibrated, can see through all of the layers of data to identify the combination of the features in the data that can predict the presence of ore.
AI & machine learning
The caveat Unfortunately, these techniques are fussy about the type of data we feed them. Above all, a lot of data are required to properly train a classifier; the more data, the better. Further, the coverage and resolution of each data type should be consistent. This is rarely the case for exploration projects with various generations of surveys and drilling. The clustering of the most reliable information (drilling) around what we already know is a huge limitation of this method because we are trying to make predictions where we have no data. The application of machine learning to exploration was a central theme at the recent decennial exploration conference in Toronto. There was a consensus that these powerful techniques have huge potential but require close human supervision due to their propensity to produce spurious results. When analyzing satellite images to find ore deposits, for example, the algorithm will handily identify the repeating pattern of colourful lakes (tailings ponds) and point to sites such as the Timmins golf course and Rouyn waste-water treatment plant as great exploration targets. We can also apply these algorithms to entire mining operations to help predict and react to different ore types and optimize operations. This concept is essentially an upgrade to geometallurgy: each block of rock within a deposit is tagged with all the information that can affect its economic viability. This should include grade, recovery, hardness, mining recovery/dilution as well as the costs to mine, process and reclaim those blocks. All of
these parameters are essential to effectively optimize an operation and enable short- and medium-term planning, but they are difficult to estimate locally. The quality of machine learning predictions is highly dependent on data quality but more so on the quantity and wide distribution of data. Using carefully planned data collection procedures on all rock samples from exploration through to plant entrance using a combination of cost-effective analytical tools (e.g. handheld XRF, photographs and hyperspectral images) and a calibration survey of comprehensive metallurgical testing, we can infer the local rock properties as predicted by machine learning. The result is a baseline of rock performance that enables exponentially better optimization and planning. Mining and processing performance data are fed back into the model to improve future predictions, reduce risk and increase profits. The actual cost of such a process is tiny compared to any unexpected shut-downs or loss of efficiencies. As with the advent of any burgeoning technology, there will be a transition period where decision-makers will be wary of technologies that have yet to show tangible results. The companies that embrace AI and machine learning to improve their profitability should expect some false starts until the human teams implementing them understand the amazing power and limitations of their application to our industry. CIM Guy Desharnais is the director of mineral resources evaluation at Osisko Gold Royalties and one of CIM’s current Distinguished Lecturers.
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Courtesy of Newtrax Technologies Inc.
Newtrax Technologies is working with the Institute for Data Valorisation (IVADO) to develop machine learning pilot projects for underground mines using open source algorithms.
Revving up A look at machine learning projects across the mining industry By Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco
he mining industry has been sitting on a gold mine of data for years. But the problem has always been what to do with all that information. With recent advances in machine learning technology – the ability of computers to gather data and learn from it – many are now rushing to extract the enormous value within that data to improve everything from exploration to processing and smelting. Mining companies such as Goldcorp and Rio Tinto have launched machine learning projects in the last year. Service and supply companies such as CGI Group and SGS Canada have developed their own machine learning systems and are helping clients implement them. There are also a growing number of start-ups bursting onto the scene with machine learning algorithms designed to resolve specific mining problems. Many of these projects are too new to have results, and those that do are tied up in confidentiality agreements. It is clear nonetheless that the industry recognizes the potential of data mining.
Goldcorp “We spend $100 million every year on exploration,” said Luis Canepari, vice-president of technology at Goldcorp. “If we can find a way to predict better drilling targets more efficiently, it can have a direct effect on the balance sheet.” 38 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
To that end, Goldcorp teamed up with IBM last spring to use its Watson machine learning technology to help identify exploration targets at its Red Lake mine in Ontario. Since then, the project has concentrated on the onerous task of collecting and uploading more than 80 years’ worth of data on this historic gold mining district into the Watson database. “In the next six to nine months, we hope the machine will have its first set of targets,” said Canepari. At that point, Goldcorp will begin drilling to test out the cognitive technology’s accuracy. “Even if we don’t hit the targets, the fact that we are enabling our geologists with this technology to be that much more efficient is a fantastic business case,” said Canepari.
SGS Canada Since winning first place in the 2016 Integra Gold Rush Challenge with its innovative prospectivity scoring system, SGS Canada has worked on some six projects with mining clients in North America and Africa, said Marc-Antoine Laporte, a project geologist with the company. The SGS system combines machine learning with traditional geological methods to produce targets. The company has continued to improve its system to increase its adaptability to clients’ needs. Ideally, machine learning algorithms acquire the most knowledge and accuracy when
AI & machine learning
they have access to an abundance of data, but that is not always realistic for every project. So SGS has added a second type of machine learning algorithm and a new classification tool to give the system greater adaptability to learn from different amounts and types of data. While not always necessary, SGS can now “use the three in combination…to generate better results for our customers,” said Laporte. According to Laporte, many of the company’s clients use the SGS prospectivity scoring system to compare with their own inhouse targets. “That gives them an extra level of confidence to go drill and ask for more money,” he said. SGS has not yet published target drilling results from its clients.
Goldspot Discoveries A finalist in the 2017 Disrupt Mining Dragon’s Den-style expo, Goldspot CEO and director Denis Laviolette said he believes the company can turn exploration from an art into a science. To do so, he has built a team that includes geologists and geochemists in addition to data scientists. “We learned early that using technology-type people only for developing a set of algorithms and machine learning isn’t enough,” said Laviolette. For the competition, Goldspot gathered all available public data related to the 1,470 known deposits in Quebec’s Abitibi region and homogenized it. This included everything from drilling information to maps and geochemical data. “We wanted to train the computer on existing deposits, so it can draw correlations to identify the fingerprints,” said Laviolette. “Then we set it loose to generate prospectivity across the province.” The result was a prospectivity map. The company staked a few of the open targets itself, which it plans to use to validate the work. Since the competition, Goldspot has worked with a number of clients in North and South America, including a historical mining site in Nevada. Confidentiality agreements prevent the company from divulging details of its findings but Laviolette said clients have been pleased with the results. One such client, U.K.-based Hochschild Mining, recently took an equity interest in Goldspot.
Newtrax Technologies Since last March, Newtrax Technologies has been working with the Montreal-based Institute for Data Valorisation (IVADO), a consortium of more than 1,000 data scientists. Together they are developing machine learning pilot projects for underground mines using open source algorithms. The objective is to test the quality of existing data sets to better understand the extent to which they will bring value to underground mining customers. It was a natural step for the company, a provider of safety and operations management wireless devices and systems for underground hard rock mines, given that its sensor-based technology has been capturing data for its clients for years. With the right machine learning algorithms, Newtrax can potentially analyze that data to better understand equipment failure. The company is currently focused on an algorithm for vehicle maintenance. “We’re trying to predict if things will break or
fail on the vehicle,” said Michel Dubois, vice-president of quality assurance. “We have some preliminary results on one mine site in Quebec and it’s looking very promising.”
PETRA Data Science Based in Australia, PETRA Data Science has developed a suite of machine learning algorithms for process performance prediction and preventative maintenance. One of those, FORESTALL, was a finalist in the Austmine 2017 Awards’ METS Innovation category. It is currently live on mine sites in Australia and Papua New Guinea. PETRA’s anomaly detection algorithms use sensor data from fixed plant machines to predict failures. When deployed on conveyors, for example, these algorithms predict 70 per cent of failures an hour in advance. The company’s machine learning preventative maintenance and process performance algorithms for pumps, valves, SAG mills and high-pressure grinding rollers look outside the equipment itself, examining data from upstream equipment as well as ore characteristics. The company has also created more complex algorithms that use 3D data to track ore and analyze everything from a site’s dispatch, drilling and weather data to fragmentation and rock size distribution using LiDAR data. “We can basically run the whole mining sequence throughout the simulation and then we use machine learning to develop predictive models for how that ore is going to behave in the processing plant,” said Penny Stewart, PETRA’s managing director.
Rio Tinto “The process to produce aluminum is more than 135 years old,” said Gervais Jacques, managing director for Rio Tinto’s aluminum assets in the Atlantic (which includes France, the U.K., Iceland, Quebec, and British Columbia). “And we’ve been operating pretty much the same way, which is setting an alarm, waiting and reacting.” This is about to change. Last year, Rio Tinto partnered with IT company CGI to launch a preventative maintenance and optimization machine learning project at its Aluminum Operational Centre in the Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec. “Together we are moving from being reactive to being proactive and analyzing all the data,” said Jacques. The project involves tracking more than 2,000 parameters on each reduction cell, or “pot,” operated by the centre. “We have 3,200 pots so you can imagine all the data that needs to be analyzed,” said Jacques. But it is not simply about adding a new tool to the old way of doing things. Machine learning is a potential source of continuous improvement as the algorithms learn from new data that is generated. In the final phase of the four-year project, CGI will work with Rio Tinto to develop a more agile operation that can quickly and fully leverage new insights on an ongoing basis. “We have so much data and so many things that we can analyze and learn from to improve our way of operating,” said Jacques. “It’s quite exciting. I think we are at the beginning of a big journey.” CIM February • Février 2018 | 39
The robots are here to help The potential of artificial intelligence in mining does not necessarily come at the cost of the human workforce, says UBC professor Ilija Miskovic By Christopher Pollon
niversity of British Columbia (UBC) professor and engineer Ilija Miskovic, who was born in the former Yugoslavia, has an easy way to distinguish the oftconfused domains of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Think of them as Russian dolls, he suggests. Artificial intelligence, a branch of computer science focused on creating intelligent machines that can emulate human beings, is like the biggest wooden doll. Inside that is machine learning, which involves the ability of machines to continually improve performance with minimal human oversight. Deep learning, a subset of machine learning, is the third, smallest doll. In a conversation with CIM Magazine, Miskovic explained how AI is currently being applied to mining and where it might go in the future. The implications of AI to the mines and workforce of the future could be profound, he said, but humans will not become obsolete any time soon.
CIM: What was your career path leading to your current position at UBC? Miskovic: The area of Yugoslavia I was born in had, by the time my schooling was complete, become part of Serbia. I have degrees in process, energy and environmental engineering. In 2007 my wife convinced me to go to the U.S. and continue my education. She told me, “Pack your stuff, we’re leaving in two months.” I came to the States and started my PhD in mining engineering at Virginia Tech, with a focus on geological carbon sequestration and enhanced coalbed methane recovery. I joined the Norman B. Keevil Institute of 40 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
Mining Engineering at UBC in 2016. In addition to my academic and research positions, I also spent 11 years in the power industry. I worked as a senior power systems designer and consultant on over 60 projects in power generation, oil and gas, and mining sectors worldwide.
CIM: What got you interested in AI and machine learning? Miskovic: While at Virginia Tech, I was working on SECARB’s (Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership) field demonstration study in the Central Appalachian Basin. My work was focused on designing an integrated suite of sensing technologies for deep-well, near-surface, and surface monitoring, and their implementation at a remote test site. During the design phase of the project, we had to analyze tremendous amounts of unstructured geologic and production [coalbed methane] data, and then come up with the safest way to inject and sequester CO2 into the subsurface. So we had to [find ways to] correlate, analyze and make sense of very large heterogeneous data sets in order to predict the behaviour of the subsurface in advance of the actual CO2 injection. That’s when I started exploring and using data mining, machine learning and predictive analytics in my research.
CIM: How are these technologies most commonly applied right now in mining? Miskovic: Machine learning and AI can be applied from the beginning [of mining] to the end of the mine life-cycle, from
AI & machine learning
prospecting to production to closure and mine reclamation. For example, we can use machine learning to answer questions about where to explore and where the best areas to target are. We can train our algorithms and computers to automatically identify rock faces or other salient features we are looking for, then merge different types of structured and unstructured data to create a fuller picture of what is happening on the surface or in the subsurface, all of which will allow us to narrow down an exploration area, analyze mineral prospectivity and ultimately identify the locations of highgrade ores. AI is also used within the domain of smarter planning and operations where its advanced master data management, workflow management and predictive analytics capabilities are used to analyze different types of data in real time and optimize short-term planning, scheduling and transportation.
CIM: What are some specific examples of how itâ€™s used? Miskovic: Perhaps, the first and best example of how machine learning and smart machines are applied to mining is how Rio Tinto is using a fleet of driverless trucks in Pilbara, Australia. Theyâ€™re running their whole operation remotely from the control room in Perth, which is 1,200 km away from the site. To run those trucks, you need to analyze enormous amounts of real-time data collected by embedded sensor systems and learn about the behaviour of the machines to enable predictive maintenance and maximize efficiency. Itâ€™s been about 10 years since they started using driverless trucks, and over this time theyâ€™ve seen about a 14 per cent improvement in terms of operational efficiency, mainly because those trucks can be monitored and run 24/7. Another, more recent example is Goldcorpâ€™s collaboration with IBM on their Red Lake project in Ontario, where they are attempting to train IBMâ€™s Watson cognitive platform to analyze huge amounts of unstructured historic data and identify the best regions to mine within an existing brownfield project area. A lot of that work is still confidential but, if successful, this project will definitely have a great impact on the mining industry.
CIM: How useful is AI and machine learning when it comes to interpreting vast data sets generated by satellite imagery, particularly in places difficult to access on the ground? Miskovic: Using machine [deep] learning-based image classification is the most developed field of AI right now. When it comes to exploration and interpreting satellite imagery, we are collecting huge amounts of data, and every day our spatial and spectral surveys are getting
higher in resolution and more accurate. The downside is that with these improvements our data sets are becoming bigger. When it comes to prospecting and mineral identification, it would take forever to target and analyze the pixels with the highest likelihood of occurrence of a specific mineral. By applying AI and high-performance computing, we can expedite our analytical workflows.
CIM: What is exciting to you in terms of future applications of AI to mining? Miskovic: In the mine of the future, everything will be digitally connected. I expect this connectivity will allow companies to monitor their operations centrally. A company might have one team in Canada, one in Europe and another in Australia, but they wonâ€™t have all experts in all places. They will collaborate in an immersive visualization environment, where all exploration and operational data will be shared, consolidated and analyzed. This virtual environment will be fed by hundreds of thousands of embedded sensors and data streams in real time, including market data. By adding AI as a top layer, companies will be able to gain strategic insights from their operational data, run multiple â€œwhat-ifâ€? scenarios based on market conditions, and make more informed valuedriven decisions.
CIM: In the future, what are the workforce implications of AI and how do we prepare for that now? Miskovic: There is a deep-seated fear of AI and automation among many people in the mining industry, especially when it comes to their job security. An increasingly popular concern is that robots will completely replace ordinary workers. There is a grain of truth to this because mining operations have a high technical potential for automation, especially
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when it comes to jobs that involve activities in hazardous environments. Also, AI and machine learning can significantly improve and expedite mineral resource estimation, and mine planning and production activities. Who knows, maybe within the next 10 to 15 years mining companies could employ more data scientists than geologists. We definitely need to think about the workforce of tomorrow and how to get ahead of the curve on this. In my opinion, the first obvious step is to expose the workforce to new technologies and adapt mining engineering education as early as possible.
CIM: What skill sets and occupations will be needed to run the mines of the future as this technology continues to advance? Miskovic: There will be more data scientists, statisticians, geostatisticians and machine learning specialists. Machine operators will also need to understand new technologies. So, we will need to upgrade the curricula taught in mining engineering programs to reflect the changing skill requirements. To stay competitive, mining engineers will need to diversify their skill sets and learn about topics such as robotics, edge and cloud
computing, and augmented and virtual reality. They will also need to understand how predictive analytics works as well as how to develop, deploy and troubleshoot Industrial Internet of Things systems.
CIM: We talk so much about the potential, but what are the limitations of AI? Miskovic: We cannot expect that AI alone will do anything and everything for us. AI and its spectrum of technologies are not really useful without combining them with technologies from other emerging fields, like the Internet of Things, virtual reality, etc. So by combining these technologies, we will get the most accurate and timely information about the [mining] system performance and proactively respond to operational challenges. Another challenge with AI is if algorithms are allowed to roam too freely through all the data we have, they will find only insignificant patterns. Today, finding patterns in data isn’t that hard but finding those that work reliably in real-world mining operations is. If we automate the process without careful supervision by geologists, mining engineers or data scientists, algorithms will not be that effective, or find and tell us anything meaningful. CIM
Improving Strategic Capital Management with Integrated Valuation and Risk Modelling Methods
Volatility in commodity prices and financial markets compounded by technical uncertainty make it difficult for natural resource industry professionals to assess the risk exposures and identify the factors influencing their Strategic Capital Management (“SCM”) decisions. Integrated Valuation and Risk Modelling (“IVRM”) methods form a toolkit comprising advanced finance theory, risk management concepts, decision analytics, statistical analysis and numerical methods that can be used to analyse a wide range of SCM problems. Types of applications include comparing alternative project development strategies, innovative financing structures, mergers and acquisitions, corporate portfolio risk and enterprise risk management. INSTRUCTORS Michael Samis, Ernst & Young, Canada; Mauricio Zelaya, Ernst & Young, Canada; and Roussos Dimitrakopoulos, McGill University • DATE April 24, 2018 (half day) • LOCATION Montreal, Quebec, Canada (please contact Admcrc.email@example.com directly for this half day seminar)
Strategic Mine Planning with New Digital Technologies, Risk Management and Mineral Value Chains
At the time of a continuing rebound of metal markets, learn how the application of new digital technologies that can add substantial value to strategic mine planning and asset valuation. The new technologies and related tools integrate technical risk management while capitalizing on the synergies amongst the elements of mineral value chains through their simultaneous optimization – from mines to products to markets. INSTRUCTORS Roussos Dimitrakopoulos, McGill University, Canada and Ryan Goodfellow, McGill University, Canada • DATE September 19-21, 2018 • LOCATION Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Geostatistical Mineral Resource Estimation and Meeting the New Regulatory Environment: Step by Step from Sampling to Grade Control
This course is designed according to the latest regulations on public reporting of Mineral Resources. It aims at showing how state-of-the-art statistical and geostatistical techniques help answer the requirements of those regulations in an objective and reproducible manner. A particular emphasis is put on understanding sampling and estimation errors and how to assign levels estimation confidence through the application of resource classification fundamentals. In addition to a solid introduction to mining geostatistics this course provides a comprehensive overview of industry’s best practices in the broader field of Mineral Resource estimation. INSTRUCTORS Marcelo Godoy, Newmont Mining Corp., Denver; Roussos Dimitrakopoulos, McGill University, Canada; and Guy Desharnais, SGS Canada Inc., Canada • DATE October 2018 • LOCATION Montreal, Quebec, Canada
42 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
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Courtesy of Barrick Gold
Water is an existential concern for many mines. How it is managed and how it is perceived to be managed can decide whether a project succeeds or fails. Kylie Williams investigates how miners are responding.
A community visit to one of the two water treatment plants at Barrickâ€™s Pierina mine in Peru.
“The reality is that we all have to learn to live in a resourceconstrained world,” said Resa Furey, market analyst at global design and engineering firm Stantec. “Water is life and a finite resource, so limited supplies of fresh water are putting the squeeze on everyone – mining, agriculture and society.” A reliable water supply is critical to any mining operation. As ore reserves decline, mines are pushed to more remote locations, often in water-stressed countries and regions. A 2014 Moody’s Investor Service report showed that about 70 per cent of mines operated by the “Big Six” – BHP, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Vale, Xstrata and Glencore – are located in countries where water stress is considered a major risk. Without a robust water management strategy, mining companies are potentially putting their operations, as well as the environment, at risk. “The most straightforward risk is to lose the social licence to mine, which translates into delays, conflict and bad feelings that do not easily dissipate,” said Jim Finley, a principal geochemist at Stantec who has worked for decades on mine water management projects. “An important component of a mine’s overall risk management program is addressing water supply and use while limiting the impact on existing water users.” Specific water management solutions are as varied as mines themselves but a trend is emerging. “An often used yet still innovative approach is a ‘fit for use’ water strategy,” said Furey. This approach involves replacing fresh water that would be used in operations with relatively poorer quality water, such as saline groundwater, seawater or wastewater, and treating it so that it is “fit for use” then recycling it through different water management circuits throughout the mine site. This strategy requires custom, site-specific solutions that involve out-of-the-box thinking and a combination of technical innovation and social collaboration. The hope is to drastically cut water consumption at operations. One company is even going so far as aiming to one day eliminate water withdrawals from the environment.
The road to zero At an internal sustainability conference in March 2016, Goldcorp president and CEO David Garofalo set a lofty goal for his company, what he called “towards zero water.” “It took us about a year to wrap our brains around it, to give definition and meaning to it, and start advancing,” 46 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
Access to water is a growing global humanitarian and environmental challenge. In the latest World Economic Forum Global Risks Report, water crises ranked fifth in terms of global impact. Competing demands for water will result in food crises, large-scale involuntary migration and environmental degradation. According to the World Bank, 70 per cent of fresh water worldwide is used for agriculture and this sector will need to grow by 50 per cent to feed the expected 10 billion people on earth by 2050.
said Brendan O’Brien, environment manager Top 10 risks in terms of at Goldcorp. Later that same year the company launched its Towards 1 Zero Water (H2Zero) Weapons of mass destruction water-reduction strategy. 2 “We’re continually Extreme weather events looking for ways to reduce our fresh water 3 Natural disasters usage,” said Michael Jacobs, Goldcorp’s 4 director of water and Failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation tailings. “Clearly, we haven’t gotten to the 5 point yet in mining Water crises where we can do it 6 without any water, but Cyberattacks the objective is to reuse 7 all the water and not Food crises add any new water to 8 the system.” Biodiversity loss and Mines need milecosystem collapse lions of litres of water 9 each year to process Large-scale involuntary migration and extract ore, store 10 waste rock as tailings, Spread of infectious diseases cool drilling machinery and supress dust. Currently, the largest store of unavailable water in the mining process is locked in conventional slurry tailings but mining companies are becoming more creative about storing tailings in other ways. Goldcorp’s EcoTails project is studying and testing ways to blend coarse waste rock material and finer, filtered tailings together on a giant conveyor system. The two sizes would “co-mingle” and the finer material would fill the gaps between the larger particles to produce strong, stable, solid tailings. Up to 95 per cent of the unavailable water could be recovered and no tailings dam would be required. There may be an additional benefit of reducing the probability or volume of acid rock drainage. Solid tailings like these would result in a smaller mine footprint, lower overall risk and possibly a lower cost
Courtesy of Jose Luis Valverde Ortiz
Photos of the same section of the Rio Chili in Peru, taken two years apart.
over the long term, which includes the closure and post-closure period. Goldcorp began testing the EcoTails concept at its Peñasquito open-pit gold mine in northwest Mexico in 2017. “We believe EcoTails is the most environmentally and socially responsible method of dealing with tailings,” said Jacobs. “We are also testing this concept at our closed mine in Guatemala with promising results so far.” EcoTails would require investing in larger and stronger conveyers and equipment, so Goldcorp has collaborated with FLSmidth, which is providing the fast filtering and materials handling equipment for testing. A full-scale prototype is planned at Peñasquito and, depending on the results, could be deployed at the mine. “We’re in the process now of finalizing the feasibility study for our prototype to launch it,” said Jacobs, “We hope to ultimately roll this out to other Goldcorp properties as well.” In addition to developing EcoTails, Goldcorp teams are making site-specific modifications at all their operations to dramatically reduce water use. At Peñasquito, a recently installed high-pressure truck washing system collects and reuses 100 per cent of the water used to remove dust, dirt and debris from site vehicles. At Porcupine Gold Mines in Ontario, the amount of fresh water taken from the nearby Porcupine Lake has declined dramatically to 0.1 cubic meters per ounce of gold in 2017, down from 0.35 cubic meters in 2014 after reconfiguring the mill’s water circuit to accept 100 per cent reclaimed water. The Red Lake mine recently implemented a new recycling system on the overflow water from the paste plant to send it back to the mill process water tank, which will allow the mine to displace some of the water supply from Balmer Lake. The Cerro Negro mine also began using a dust suppression agent that will allow them to use less water along a lengthy haul road. And at Musselwhite mine, Goldcorp has installed an underground water recycling plant that uses ultraviolet light to prevent viruses reproducing in recycled water without using chemicals.
Partners in water stewardship On behalf of its member companies, the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) released a Position
Statement on Water Stewardship in January 2017 that defines water stewardship as the use of water in ways that are socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial. Effective stewardship, said ICMM, requires a mining company to collaborate with government, civil society, business and local communities through inclusive stakeholder engagement. “Technical innovation is fundamental to resolve the challenges of declining access to fresh water in support of mining,” said Stantec’s Finley, “It’s crucial to combine technical innovations with social outreach efforts. While the technical innovation is fundamental to the internal mining operation, winning and maintaining the social licence to mine is critical to the future success of the mining operation.” On the ground, this translates to companies becoming increasingly creative and clever at finding ways to work with communities, governments and other companies to secure a water supply for the life of the mining operation, recycle as much water as possible on site, and deliver clean water back into the surrounding environment. A unique and successful demonstration of the synergy between social licence and water access is underway at Cerro Verde, Peru’s biggest copper mine, where Freeport-McMoRan built a wastewater treatment plant that would benefit both the operation and the local community of Arequipa. Researchers from the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute (CIRDI) travelled to Cerro Verde to interview Freeport-McMoRan management, local government and community leaders to document the case as part of its Education and Research for Integrated Water Resources Management in Peru program. “Freeport didn’t have any means to take water from the river anymore,” said Dr. André Xavier, program manager at CIRDI. “In order to expand, they needed to find different ways to bring in water.” One option, explained Xavier, was to invest in constructing over 100 kilometers of pipelines and numerous pumping and water treatment stations to push seawater up 2,500 metres and over mountainous terrain from the coast. Although other operations, such as Minera Esperanza’s copper-gold operation February • Février 2018 | 47
Courtesy of Barrick Gold
Local communities participate in downstream monitoring of the Margajita River, which runs adjacent to Barrick’s Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic. Community members collect water samples to be analyzed at independently certified laboratories.
in Chile, successfully use untreated seawater in the processing plant, this expensive option was rejected. The creative solution at Cerro Verde came instead from the community, which suggested the mine use treated wastewater for mining operations. After seven years of negotiations and planning, the wastewater treatment plant was commissioned in late 2015 and now treats 85 per cent of Arequipa’s municipal sewage. The mine takes just over half of the 1.8 cubic metres per second of treated wastewater produced by the plant for mining operations and what remains is discharged into the Rio Chili, which provides 95 per cent of the area’s municipal and agricultural water needs. In exchange for building, operating and maintaining the plant, Freeport-McMoRan not only secured a water source for the expanding Cerro Verde mine, but a continuing social licence to operate. In the CIRDI case study, Fraser points out that, “Unlike other projects in the region, Cerro Verde did not experience any lost production due to community opposition.” Although Cerro Verde and Southern Copper’s Tia Maria mine are just 90 km apart, Tia Maria has faced prolonged opposition from local people over concerns about water contamination and were unable to get a permit to operate for several years.
Putting data to work Freeport-McMoRan’s willingness to listen and engage with the surrounding communities and invest in building shared infrastructure is an important reminder that mines don’t stand alone. Mines are both integrated residents in society and just 48 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
a tiny dot on the map in the wider water basin. Barrick Gold recognizes this and is taking a “basin stewardship approach” to water management, communicating its activities to the communities they work in through fair and early engagement. “Transparency is the currency of trust,” said John McCartney, vice-president of water management at Barrick. “It’s about making sure that all of our activities are very well known to everybody, and they are able to participate as much as they can in the decisions that we make.” Barrick is making the effort to go beyond simply disclosing data in sustainability reports and making it “easier to access, more visible and more interactive so that people can actually see how we’re doing.” Within two clicks of the home page, any stakeholder or member of the public can access interactive water use graphs and download spreadsheets of detailed water management data for any of Barrick’s operations worldwide. In addition to this increased distribution of data, Barrick is also putting its data to work by applying machine learning to help predict water issues. “Extreme drought can affect our water supply, for example,” said McCartney. “We’ve started a program of implementing continuous online water balances fed by continuous weather updates for particular facilities to look at what their risk level is for those facilities.” Barrick has built a Consolidated Data Platform to connect the databases storing reams of critical information collected at mines and offices around the world. This digital conduit provides a platform to quickly access and share data, which can then be plugged into machine learning algorithms to
Courtesy of Agnico Eagle
Aerial shot of Agnico Eagle’s Meliadine mine in Nunavut
monitor and predict water usage, mine processing and productivity, among other things. “Using new machine learning we would be able to track and look at those patterns and trends to see if we have emerging risks,” said McCartney.
Water out One of the biggest risks related to water management at mine sites is the unplanned release of untreated water into surrounding waterways. In January, Nevada-based Tahoe Resources responded to an alleged spill at the Shahuindo mine in central Peru, where heavy rains caused a diversion ditch to overflow. News outlets were quick to report the spill and the company responded with a press release detailing the incident and the inspection by local authorities. The scrutiny of water use is not confined to arid or densely populated areas. Near the western shore of Hudson Bay in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, Agnico Eagle’s high-grade Meliadine gold mine is currently under construction and also under the microscope. In 2016, Agnico Eagle received a water licence from the Nunavut Water Board to begin construction activities at the planned mine site. “Water quality in Nunavut is very important because it’s a pristine environment,” said Michel Julien, Agnico Eagle’s vicepresident of environment. “Water is a resource and it should be protected like any other resource. What we need to do is approach it in a reasonable and responsible manner. We try to limit external water usage as much as we can, so it forces us to use technologies that promote recycling and reuse of water.” Agnico Eagle plans to use filtered tailings at Meliadine once the project, currently under construction, begins production in 2019. All the excess process water will be recirculated through the filtration plant, Julien explained, which is more complicated operationally but will greatly reduce the amount of water managed at the surface. Agnico Eagle is also looking
into technologies to manage salinity at Meliadine to prevent water with high salinity being released into the environment. Julien acknowledged that these engineering solutions require additional effort and capital investment to improve water management at Meliadine, but the reward is in risk reduction. “When there are issues,” said Julien, “it’s often related to water.” CIM
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Mining goes mobile Applications to modernize mapping, monitoring and mine management
Courtesy of Canary Systems
By Ian Ewing
Among its many uses on the work site, smartphones make the collection of field data faster and more reliable.
obile technology is ubiquitous today. Seventy-six per cent of Canadian adults owned a smartphone in 2016, according to Statistics Canada, and 54 per cent owned a tablet or e-reader. The numbers are virtually identical in the United States. It is no surprise, then, that mobile devices are changing how people work, even in industries as conservative – and as operationally challenging – as mining. A handful of companies have begun taking advantage of the new technology space. The mobile applications they offer vary in focus, but each aims to help miners get better visibility, make better decisions and improve the efficiency and productivity of their operations – all at prices far below traditional enterprise-level software. That fact promises to help level the technological playing field between large and small operators.
If you know where you are… Takor Group is an Australian geospatial technology startup. Their primary product, Mappt, is a low-cost, offline-capable mobile geographic information system (GIS) application. Users record data and photos against geographic locations, such as the position of a drillhole, using configurable forms. “It can pop up questions one by one, and as they’re answered, it jumps to the next question,” said Takor product manager Ciarán Doyle. “In the background, it’s saving all that information against that location.” Users can create geofenced inclusion or exclusion zones, defining them 50 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
either ahead of time or by walking or driving the perimeter. “The app addresses quite a few of the pain points that field collectors were feeling,” said Doyle. “The massive time savings” of collecting data digitally, rather than manually with a physical map and pen and paper, is a major selling point, said Doyle, brand and strategy at Takor, as is having all the tools you need in one device. And, he said, “The quality of data has shot through the roof.” It is also a fit-for-purpose solution, like many of the apps available for mining. “One of the reasons that Mappt came about was due to the frustration of using ArcGIS and their mobile application,” said Doyle. “It’s quite extensive and extremely hard to use and to set up. You couldn’t just go out in the field with a professional tool without spending thousands of dollars, and there’s a massive process involved.” With Mappt, he said, a user can go straight from purchasing the product to being in the field in “literally minutes.” Chris Devlin, director at iSpatial Solutions, a GIS consultancy which acts as “effectively, the in-house GIS department” for a number of small mining companies, often recommends Mappt to clients. “They like it not only for the functionality and the ease of use but also for the licensing model,” he said. “It’s simple and cost-effective.”
providing a good safety share, for example. Shift changes can be improved by rewarding operators for getting on their machine before a certain time. Before, Dessureault said, “even if you did write an excellent safety share during your take-five, nobody would ever really know. Miners love having that feedback. They love to compete.” The sudden availability of inexpensive apps and consumergrade electronic devices has spurred some operators to adopt systems like this for the first time. “Some of our installs were in places that have never had fleet management before,” said Dessureault, “so productivity increased significantly.”
Put down the clipboard
Courtesy of Canary
For other operators, however, mobile technology may augment existing information management systems and make a technician’s job easier. Canary Systems’ MLWeb is one such data management system. It aggregates and correlates data from various third-party instrumentation and sensors, data loggers, radars and satellites to provide risk management for projects in numerous industries, including mining, construction and dams. The mobile portion of Canary’s software suite is the data collection tool MLField. “MLField has been designed to support users in cases …you can plan where you’re going where they don’t have automated instrumentation,” said MarMST Global’s Field Analysis & Reporting Application tin van Balkom, marketing manager at Canary Systems. “A (FARA) uses Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and a mobile app technician would like to go into the field and, for example, go to provide fleet and personnel management to underground to a piezometer and take a manual reading.” and open-pit operations. Sean Dessureault, now chief innova“There are still cases where people take the readings manution evangelist at MST, developed FARA at his company, ally” with pen and paper, added Andrei Pascu, Canary’s CanaMISOM Technologies, before selling MISOM to MST in late dian group manager. “Going back to the office, those readings are transcribed into the system or into Excel.” Using the app to 2017. “Our tablet for fleet management can be installed in a collect data, he said, is both faster and more reliable – previous machine in a few minutes,” Dessureault said, and even tem- readings are shown, helping catch entry errors, and the tablet automatically syncs to the project database once online again, porarily in contractor vehicles. The tablets detereliminating transcription errors. mine their position using GPS or by sensing “One of the advantages of tying this all small, $30 Bluetooth beacons that can be placed together is the speed with which you can around the site – even underground. That locanow manage the risk of this operation,” said tion information can be used by the application van Balkom. “We have a dam client in the to automatically track cycles, sequences and U.S. where their data collection in the field, even delays and can be leveraged to prompt users for input using location-based triggers. from the time it was collected until the engiOperators also use the app to fill in digitized neer saw it, took about 2 months. That’s basiforms for things like hazard assessments and cally historical data at that point.” Even pre-operational checklists. Tablet-to-tablet engineers used to getting instrumentation communication means that a supervisor can readings 12 to 24 hours after collection could approach a vehicle and view the forms the benefit from the increased visibility that digital driver has filled out, even without Wi-Fi or methods enable. LTE infrastructure. BME, a South Africa-based blasting com“From the operator feedback, they like the pany, offers XploLog, which like MLField, is pridigital forms the best. It saves time, and they marily for collecting data in the field. XploLog’s find the information more engaging,” said data syncs back to BME’s blasting design dataDessureault – especially when the feedback is base, BlastMap. gamified, as FARA can be configured to be. “As the users are logging into the XploLog sysMLField is the smartphone Employees earn points on a leaderboard for component of Canary System’s tem the actual loading and timing of what’s going the number of cycles they complete or for on in the field, that information is being sent MLWeb software suite. February • Février 2018 | 51
Courtesy of Takor Group
directly back to the office, so the people in the office are aware of any problem,” said BME managing director Joe Keenan. “They might get an alert saying three holes have collapsed, so they can talk about the best workaround. Or they can just log it into the system so the actual design is recorded in the database.” “It increases productivity, but it also reduces the surprises. These tools give you the ability to see the problem before it becomes the problem,” said Keenan. Before using the mobile app to record blast data, he added, “it was paper reports or word of mouth. And it was a very imperfect system, I assure you.”
Mappt, a mobile GIS app by the tech startup Takor, was designed to be low-cost and user friendly.
Bring your plan to work with you Eliminating paper from the field makes life simpler for both planners and supervisors. Fewzion is a work management system from Commit Works, which enables short interval control (SIC) on mobile devices in the field. All work on site can be pulled in from source planning systems such as Xact, Surpac, Deswik, SAP, spreadsheets etc., as well as inspections, equipment servicing, training, site development work and the actual production work. It is then planned and can be tracked in short chunks to ensure people can react to problems early enough to reliably hit their targets. “It contains all the work and targets that planners from each department have agreed to, alongside detailed tasks that crews and supervisors think need to be done for the whole site,” said Commit Works CEO Paul Moynagh. “Then the team can start making some trade-offs to land on a plan that is achievable for each shift.” By making everything visible to the whole team, detailed planning can take place between silos, allowing everybody to understand and commit to a well-coordinated, holistic plan for the operation. Moynagh notes that at many sites, supervisors still drive around with stacks of paper detailing the week’s work in production targets, Gantt charts, mud maps and even photos of the whiteboard from the production meeting. “If you see these massive piles of paper, you understand why it’s very difficult to find the information supervisors need or get good decision-making out of that kind of data,” said Moynagh. The mobile portion of Fewzion provides an organized, offline-capable digital view of everything in the system. “A phone or tablet is far more convenient to carry 52 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
around. And if they’re out in the field and see something that needs to be done, they can create a task and suggest a time for it,” he added. That task will be synchronized across the whole Fewzion system once the device is online. “Add to our new mapping system (visual ops) and all work can be seen on a map next to the machines and people that will be doing it and any of the hazards that they might encounter.” Users of Fewzion have seen 30 to 50 per cent increases in production after implementation, according to Moynagh. “A lot of the things that used to get in the way, a lot of the annoying waste, now gets planned out before it happens,” he said. “All the things that were causing them trouble, which are very hard to pinpoint, just start to disappear with a well-thoughtout frontline plan that everyone can see and agree on.”
More than mere technology In true Silicon Valley style, several of the app makers pride themselves as disruptors with a higher purpose. “Most tier ones would never pay $1,000 for something they could buy for $20,000,” said MST’s Dessureault, only half-jokingly. “Our price point is so low, we can open up the quarry market, the small-to-medium size mines.” “The big thing for us is the democratization of technology,” agreed Doyle of Takor Group. “We’re reducing or removing possible barriers to entry for people to benefit from technology. Being able to run the app on a cheap Android device and basically have an enterprise-level tool at a bargain basement price, that’s what we want.” CIM
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Think Differently Penser autrement PRELIMINARY PROGRAM PROGRAMME PRÃ‰LIMINAIRE May 6 to 9 | 6 au 9 mai 2018 VANCOUVER CONVENTION CENTRE Vancouver, BC
JOIN US IN BIENVENUE À
n behalf of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), we welcome you and your colleagues to the 2018 Convention. This convention focuses on THINKING DIFFERENTLY - the theme chosen to ignite the week’s discussions. At a time when safety, innovation, diversity, social responsibility and sustainability are melded with the traditional topics of operations, technical and financial management, it has become increasingly complex to manage organizations and ensure ongoing success. Be sure to arrive for the opening plenary as this current mix of topics will make up the conversation from the get-go and reveal a Modern Approach to Mining. The 12 streams of the convention Technical Program will cover recent advances in the various sectors of mining and contribute to the collective vision towards continuous recovery. Celebrating its 35th edition, the Expo, Canada’s mining marketplace, will host approximately 450 exhibiting companies, featuring the latest mining equipment, tools, innovations, technologies and services. Mining company operators and management are invited to discover the largest selection of innovative and forward-thinking solutions in the 100,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall. Bring on the miners! During the four days of the event, you will be able to exchange and engage with leaders from all walks and demographics of mining. We look forward to greeting you in Vancouver, one of Canada’s major cities and top destinations.
Ken Thomas CIM President | Président de l’ICM 2017-2018
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u nom de l’institut canadien des mines, de la métallurgie et du pétrole (ICM), nous vous souhaitons à vous et à vos collègues la bienvenue à notre congrès 2018. Cette année, c’est autour du thème PENSER AUTREMENT que s’articuleront les discussions durant la semaine du congrès. À une époque où la sécurité, l’innovation, la diversité, la responsabilité sociale et le développement durable se mêlent aux thèmes plus traditionnels de la gestion technique, financière et des opérations, il est de plus en plus difficile de diriger des organisations et de garantir leur succès. Ne manquez pas la séance plénière d’ouverture ; la diversité des thèmes proposés à ce jour contribuera à créer le débat dès le début du congrès, et révélera une approche moderne de l’exploitation minière. Les douze volets du programme technique du congrès couvriront les tous derniers progrès réalisés dans les divers secteurs de l’exploitation minière, et contribueront à créer une vision collective vers une reprise durable. L’Expo, le marché canadien des affaires minières, accueillera près de 450 sociétés qui exposeront les tous derniers équipements, outils, innovations, technologies et services du secteur minier. Ce salon commercial, qui fête cette année son 35e anniversaire, est le lieu idéal pour établir des contacts, échanger et faire des affaires. Nous invitons les exploitants et les directeurs de sociétés minières à venir découvrir la plus grande sélection de solutions innovantes et expérimentales dans notre hall d’Exposition de près de 9 300 mètres carrés. Mettez en valeur vos sociétés minières !
Sean Roosen General Chair CIM Convention 2018 Président du congrès de l’ICM 2018
SUNDAY, MAY 6 | DIMANCHE 6 MAI
WORKSHOPS | ATELIERS
ORGANIZING COMMITTEE | COMITÉ ORGANISATEUR CIM President | Président de l’ICM Ken Thomas Convention General Chair | Président du congrès Sean Roosen
Full workshop descriptions are available on the convention website.
CIM Executive Director | Directrice exécutive de l’ICM Angela Hamlyn
Vous trouverez une description complète des ateliers sur le site Internet du congrès. Les ateliers sont dispensés en anglais.
CIM Director of Events | Directrice des événements de l’ICM Lise Bujold
MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATION AND SIMULATION Facilitator | Animateur Georges Verly, Chief Geostatistician, Amec Foster Wheeler Time | Heure 8:00-17:00
CHARACTERISTICS OF A RESPONSIBLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR MINE WASTE FACILITIES Facilitators | Animateurs Greg Gosson, Technical Director, Geology & Compliance, Amec Foster Wheeler; Sheila Daniel, Principal, Mining Environmental, Amec Foster Wheeler; David Bleiker, Vice-President, Mining & Environment & Infrastructure, Amec Foster Wheeler Time | Heure 8:00-17:00
STATE OF PRACTICE IN WATER, TAILINGS AND MINERAL WASTE MANAGEMENT Facilitator | Animateur Rick Siwik, President, Siwik Consulting Inc. Time | Heure 8:30-16:30
THE SCIENCE OF COMMUNICATION – THE CSR PRACTITIONER’S ROLE IN BUILDING TRUST THROUGH MEDIA Facilitator | Animateur Robert Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, PR Associates Time | Heure 8:30-16:30
ACTIVITY CHAIRS | PRÉSIDENT(E)S D’ACTIVITÉS Plenary | Séance plénière Michael Cinnamond Technical Program | Programme technique Ross Pritchard and Grant Carlson Students and Early Career Professionals | Étudiants et jeunes professionnels Laura Foley Sponsorship | Commandites Carlos Da Costa and Pierre Julien TECHNICAL PROGRAM STREAM CHAIRS | PRÉSIDENT(E)S DES THÈMES TECHNIQUES Maintenance, Engineering and Reliability Best Practices | Meilleures pratiques en matière d’ingénierie, d’entretien et de la fiabilité Dominique Privé Mining Project Development | Développement des projets miniers Rahul Lakhote Environment and Sustainable Development | Environnement et développement durable Karola Toth Leading in Safety | Leadership axé sur la sécurité Glenn Lyle and Geoff Brick Practical Operations in Surface Mining | Opérations pratiques en exploitation minière à ciel ouvert Zoli Lukacs Rock Mechanics | Mécanique des roches Martin Grenon and John Henning
“BIO” TREATMENT FOR MINING WATERS: CURRENT STATE OF KNOWLEDGE AND BEST PRACTICES
Exploration and Mine Geology | Exploration et géologie minière Jason Dunning and Serge Perreault
Facilitators | Animateurs Monique Simair, President and Principal Scientist, Contango Strategies Ltd.; Vanessa Friesen, Partner and Principal Scientist, Contango Strategies Ltd. Time | Heure 8:30-16:30
A Vision for the Future: Mineral Processing in Canada | Vision pour le futur: Le traitement du minerai au Canada Scott Martin, John Davidson and Irma Gabric
MINING 101 – AN INTRODUCTION TO MINING AND MINERAL PROCESSING
Underground Mining | Exploitation minière souterraine Gary Poxleitner and Peter Cain
Facilitator | Animateur George McIsaac, Mine Strategic Planning & Economic Evaluation, Geology & Mining Evaluation Consulting (G-MEC) Time | Heure 8:30-12:30
Diversity and Inclusion | Diversité et inclusion Édith Garneau
Mining Metamorphosis | Métamorphose minière Heather Ednie
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION 101 Facilitator | Animateur Mafalda Arias, M.A., President and Founder, Mafalda Arias and Associates Time | Heure 9:00-12:00
TSM AND TAILINGS MANAGEMENT Facilitators | Animateurs Charles Dumaresq, Vice President, Science and Environmental Management, The Mining Association of Canada, and Ben Chalmers, Vice President, Sustainable Development, The Mining Association of Canada Time | Heure 13:00-16:30
Management and Finance Day | Journée gestion et finances Jane Spooner and Jessie Liu-Ernsting CIM STAFF | L’ÉQUIPE DE L’ICM Convention Planner | Planificatrice du congrès Guylaine Richard Sales and Expo Manager | Directeur des ventes et de l’Expo Martin Bell Expo and Sponsorship Coordinator | Coordonnatrice, Expo et commandites Nadia Bakka Awards Program and Digital Coordinator | Coordonnatrice, Prix d’excellence et communication digitale Carol Lee Registration and Customer Experience Specialist | Inscriptions et spécialiste de l’expérience client Rachel Séguin Team Leader | Chef d’équipe Chantal Murphy
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STUDENTS & YOUNG LEADERS PROGRAM | PROGRAMME POUR ÉTUDIANTS ET JEUNES PROFESSIONNELS
Pround sponsors :
SUNDAY, MAY 6 | DIMANCHE 6 MAI EARLY CAREER FORUM | FORUM DES JEUNES PROFESSIONNELS
Young Leaders and early career professionals join mining executives for a standing lunch, networking and serious discussion about the current state and future of mining. Engage in discussions with two panels of experts whose panelists hold the knowledge and experience of the mining cycles and trends affecting employment. CIM invites the Mining Industry human resources Council (MIHR) to moderate a panel of human resource experts who will share their vision of the challenges and opportunities facing the current and future workforce. Executive Director, Ryan Montpellier, will moderate the discussion and take questions from the room. Furthermore, to address the greater context, a panel of mining company executives will discuss the current upturn many believe is taking shape, the key driving factors, what companies must do differently and focus on, and whether or not super cycles can be expected again in the future. Les jeunes professionnels et ceux en début de carrière se mêlent aux dirigeants de sociétés minières à l’occasion d’un lunch où ils rencontreront des pairs et auront des conversations sérieuses sur la situation actuelle et à venir de l’industrie minière. Engagez le dialogue avec deux groupes d’experts constitués de conférenciers qui ont une grande connaissance et expérience des cycles miniers ainsi que des tendances qui affectent l’emploi.
L’ICM invite le conseil des ressources humaines de l’industrie minière (RHiM) à présider un groupe d’experts en ressources humaines partageant leur vision des enjeux et des possibilités qui se présentent à la main-d’œuvre d’aujourd’hui et de demain. Ryan Montpellier, directeur exécutif du RHiM, présidera la conversation et répondra aux questions posées par les participants. En outre, pour examiner le contexte de manière plus générale, un groupe de dirigeants de sociétés minières débattra de la reprise constatée par beaucoup au sein du secteur, des principaux facteurs déterminants, des changements auxquels doivent procéder les sociétés et des aspects sur lesquels elles doivent se concentrer, ainsi que des probabilités d’assister ou non à d’autres supercycles à l’avenir. 12:00-15:00 | $50 | Salon 121
SUNDAY, MAY 6 TO TUESDAY, MAY 8 | DIMANCHE 6 MAI AU MARDI 8 MAI STUDENT POSTER COMPETITION | CONCOURS D’AFFICHES DES ÉTUDIANTS
Showcase your talents to leading mining industry professionals. Put your best foot forward and submit an abstract online before March 1, 2018, on topics ranging from geology and mining to processing and sustainability. Envoyez votre résumé en ligne au plus tard le 1er mars 2018 et profitez de cette occasion parfaite pour présenter vos talents aux professionnels les plus renommés de l’industrie minière sur un large éventail de thèmes, de la géologie et des mines au traitement et à la durabilité. At the Expo | À l’Expo | Sunday/ Dimanche: 17:00 – 20:00, Monday and Tuesday/ Lundi et mardi: 10:00 – 17:00
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CIM ExPO | EXPO DE L’ICM TUESDAY, MAY 8 | MARDI 8 MAI YOUNG MINING PROFESSIONALS (YMP) KEYNOTE BREAKFAST | PETIT-DÉJEUNER DES JEUNES PROFESSIONNELS
CIM is excited to collaborate with the Young Mining Professionals Association (YMP)! YMP is pleased to bring its members together with CIM community members at this event, which will feature a panel discussion with distinguished young leaders in the mining industry. YMP is a growing international association of mining professionals with chapters in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and London (UK) that share the goal of advancing the global profile and future leadership of the mining industry. YMP’s goal is to deliver value to members by fostering connections and facilitating new business opportunities and educational experiences. YMP delivers these objectives through events that feature industry leaders as keynote speakers and networking with industry peers. L’ICM est fier de collaborer avec le Young Mining Professionals Association (YMP). YMP est une association internationale croissante qui vise à promouvoir le leadership futur dans le secteur minier. Ce petit-déjeuner sera sous forme de table ronde avec de jeunes leaders accomplis de l’industrie.
The CIM Expo, Canada’s premier mining show, features approximately 450 companies showcasing the latest in mining equipment, tools, technology and products. Plan your visit to see everyone whose offering will help you elevate your operational and business practices. Lunch and cocktail receptions will be held in the Expo on Monday and Tuesday, May 7 and 8, at 12:00 to 14:00 and 15:30 to 17:00. Lunch and one drink ticket are included with delegate registration.
8:00-10:00 | Salon 210
Be sure to stop by the CIM Magazine lounge to chat with one of our editors or a member of our advertising sales team and share ideas for future stories.
STUDENT-INDUSTRY LUNCHEON | LUNCH ÉTUDIANTSINDUSTRIE
Check out our exhibitors list online and in the preliminary CIM Expo Guide in the next issue of CIM Magazine.
The Student-Industry Luncheon seats students next to mining professionals, affording you the opportunity to make that all-important contact that can propel your career. Practice your networking skills by engaging with future employers and potential mentors in this select and professional networking environment. Prizes will be presented to poster competition winners.
L’Expo de l’ICM, le plus grand salon commercial de l’industrie minière au Canada, permet à près de 450 entreprises de présenter leurs produits, équipements, outils, technologies et services les plus récents destinés au secteur minier. Planifiez votre visite afin de rencontrer les leaders pouvant vous aider à élever vos pratiques opérationnelles et d’affaires. Votre inscription au congrès vous donne droit au lunch et à une consommation par jour lors des réceptions de lundi 7 mai et mardi 8 mai, de 12h à 14h et de 15h30 à 17h.
Le lunch étudiants-industrie est l’occasion idéale pour les étudiants de rencontrer des professionnels de l’industrie minière et d’établir des contacts importants qui pourraient donner à votre carrière un coup de pouce indispensable. Élargissez votre réseau de connaissances et engagez la conversation avec de futurs employeurs et des conseillers potentiels dans cet environnement de réseautage privilégié. Les prix seront remis aux gagnants du concours d’affiches.
EXPO HOURS | HEURES DE L’EXPO
SUNDAY | DIMANCHE MONDAY | LUNDI TUESDAY | MARDI
17:00 – 20:00 10:00 – 20:00 10:00 – 20:00
12:00-14:00 | Salon 211
CIM ExPO | EXPO DE L’ICM
CONVENTION.CIM.ORG | 59
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES LEAD THE DISCUSSION | LES PEUPLES AUTOCHTONES DONNENT LE TON
CIM Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee
Pround sponsors :
CIM promotes diversity and inclusion as we discuss the future of mining and ‘think differently’. The Environmental and Social Responsibility Society of CIM (ESRS), the Maintenance, Engineering and Reliability Society of CIM (MER) and the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee of CIM are excited to introduce this very important and relevant program segment to delegates. Indigenous Peoples are instrumental in educating those who wish to conduct mining activities in their regions, pointing out opportunities to partner and sharing requirements and expectations in terms of sustainable practices and outcomes. Six key sessions will place indigenous leaders at the heart of the discussion as follows. L’ICM promeut la diversité et l’inclusion alors même qu’on tente de ‘penser autrement’ sur le futur de l’industrie minière. Les sociétés Environnement et responsabilité sociale (ESRS), de l’ingénierie, de l’entretien et de la fiabilité ainsi que le Comité Inclusion et diversité de l’ICM sont fiers de présenter cet important et pertinent segment de programme aux délégué(e)s. Les peuples autochtones sont nécessaires à la sensibilisation de ceux qui entreprennent des activités minières dans leurs régions. Ils proposent ainsi des occasions de partenariats et d’échanges d’informations, des exigences et des attentes du milieu en termes de pratiques et retombées durables.
Monday, May 7 | Lundi 7 mai 12:00-14:00
LUNCH CONFERENCE Truth & Reconciliation: Call for Action: What’s on us? #92 | Réconciliation et vérité; appel à l’action #92 14:00-16:05
ANNUAL MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE SESSION
Are Indigenous Peoples rights’ holders or stakeholders? | Dialogue multipartite : Est-ce que les Autochtones sont des détenteurs de droits ou des parties prenantes? Tuesday, May 8 | Mardi 8 mai 10:30-12:10
First Nations and Mining | Les Premières Nations et l’industrie minière 14:00-16:05
Building and Maintaining Relationships with Indigenous Peoples | Renforcement et maintien des relations avec les peuples autochtones Wednesday, May 9 | Mercredi 9 mai 8:30-12:10
Inclusion in Action in Mining | L’inclusion en action dans le domaine de l’exploitation minière 8:30-10:10
Les 6 sessions suivantes se tiendront avec une présence soutenue de leaders autochtones.
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Technical session: Yukon Mining Projects | Les projets miniers au Yukon
MONDAY, MAY 7 LUNDI 7 MAI
Tickets including reception and dinner:
$150 + tax
Now in its 25th season, Canada's longest running dinner musical visits the CIM community! This high-energy production features all-Canadian music - from maritime folk songs to modern pop. This exciting evening of recognition, celebration, great company and an all-Canadian meal will be full of laughs.
Master of Ceremonies Your Emcee
Maintenant à sa 25e saison, le souper musical le plus ancien du Canada visite la communauté de l’ICM! Cette production de haute énergie comprend de la musique entièrement canadienne : des chansons folkloriques maritimes à la pop moderne. Cette exaltante soirée de reconnaissance, célébration, bonne compagnie et un repas entièrement canadien vous fera rire aux éclats.
Award-Winning CBC News Anchor
SOCIAL PROGRAM | PROGRAMME SOCIAL
SUNDAY, MAY 6 | DIMANCHE 6 MAI 1st TIME DELEGATE AND VIP RECEPTION | RÉCEPTION POUR NOUVEAUX DÉLÉGUÉS ET VIP
SUNDAY, MAY 6 | DIMANCHE 6 MAI OPENING CEREMONY AND WELCOME RECEPTION | CÉRÉMONIE INAUGURALE ET RÉCEPTION DE BIENVENUE
First time attendees and seasoned CIM mentors will come together to discuss how to best maximize their convention experience. Tap into CIM intelligence at its best!
The event is being held on the ancestral, traditional and unceded Aboriginal territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, and in particular, the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, Indigenous Peoples will perform to mark CIM’s 120th birthday.
Les délégués dont c’est la première expérience congrès et des mentors reconnus de l’ICM seront rassemblés pour discuter de comment optimiser leur présence au congrès. Ces nouveaux délégués se prévaudront de l’éminence grise de la communauté!
Puisque la conférence se tiendra sur les terres ancestrales du peuple Salish, les Premières Nations seront de la partie avec le numéro d’ouverture qui marquera, du même coup, les 120 ans de l’ICM. Sean Roosen, président du congrès, ouvrira ensuite le congrès pour une soirée mémorable marquée par une série de divertissements.
MONDAY, MAY 7 AND TUESDAY, MAY 8 | LUNDI 7 ET MARDI 8 MAI NETWORKING AT THE EXPO | RÉSEAUTAGE À L’EXPO
Lunch and cocktail receptions at the Expo will take place from 12:00 to 14:00 and 15:30 to 17:00. Les lunchs et consommations seront offerts dans le hall de l’Expo de 12 h à 14 h et de 15h30 à 17h.
MONDAY, MAY 7 | LUNDI 7 MAI
TUESDAY, MAY 8 | MARDI 8 MAI WOMEN IN MINING RECEPTION | RÉCEPTION DES FEMMES EN EXPLOITATION MINIÈRE CIM AWARDS & CELEBRATION GALA | GALA EXCELLENCE DE L’ICM
Hosted by CIM and Caterpillar and its Canadian dealers, the sumptuous CIM Awards Gala celebrates the Canadian mining industry’s shining stars. Get a real taste of Canada – on stage and on your plate – with the Oh Canada Eh? Dinner Show. Cette prestigieuse soirée est commanditée par l’ICM, Caterpillar et ses dépositaires canadiens. Le gala de remise des prix de l’ICM met à l’honneur les étoiles de l’industrie minière canadienne de l’année. L’aspect théâtre de Oh Canada Eh? vous fera goûter aux saveurs du Canada – autant par le divertissement que dans votre assiette.
Join CIM and Women in Mining BC for drinks and appetizers as we celebrate diversity and inclusion and raise our glasses to women from all walks of mining who make a difference daily. Joignez-vous à nous pour un verre avec canapés à la Réception des femmes en exploitation minière. Cette année, Women in Mining, C.B. s’associe au congrès de l’ICM 2018 pour célébrer la diversité et l’inclusion dans l’industrie minière. Sponsored by | Commandité par
Reception sponsored by | Réception commandité par Gala sponsored by | Gala commandité par
WEDNESDAY, MAY 9 | MERCREDI 9 MAI TUESDAY, MAY 8 | MARDI 8 MAI KOMATSU GALA | GALA KOMATSU
CLOSING LUNCH | LUNCH DE CLÔTURE
Gordon Bogden, Executive Chairman of Black Loon Metals Inc. will share his views on strategic issues around cost and financing in the mining industry.
Get ready for an evening of non-stop entertainment. The Komatsu Gala features live music, delectable finger foods and refreshments. Préparez-vous à une soirée de divertissement ininterrompu. Le gala de Komatsu sera animé par des musiciens qui vous feront danser sans arrêt, un savoureux buffet et une ambiance de fête inégalée.
Nous vous présentons Gordon Bogden, Président exécutif, Black Loon Metals Inc. qui partagera ses points de vue sur les plus récents enjeux stratégiques concernant les coûts et le financement au sein de l’industrie minière. Sponsored by / Commandité par
Sponsored by | Commandité par
PLENARY | PLÉNIÈRE
Pround sponsor: MONDAY, MAY 7 | LUNDI 7 MAI THINKING DIFFERENTLY: A MODERN APPROACH TO MINING
The Plenary Session is intended to bring focus to and initiate a conversation around the conference theme of “Thinking differently: a modern approach to mining”. Top leaders from different aspects of mining – some from unexpected tangential sectors – are brought together in this thought-provoking forum attended by hundreds in the room and remotely. This year’s edition will feature discussions on political risks, managing the resource cycle, the new exploration model, financing, government relations and social responsibility as well as diversity and inclusion.
MODERATOR | MODÉRATEUR
PENSER AUTREMENT: UNE APPROCHE MODERNE DE L’EXPLOITATION MINIÈRE
La séance plénière du congrès de l’ICM 2018 vise à polariser l’attention et à axer la conversation sur le thème de la conférence « Penser autrement : une approche moderne de l’exploitation minière ». Des chefs de file de diverses disciplines du secteur minier et d’autres secteurs sont réunis dans le cadre de ces discussions stimulantes. Ballroom BC | 9:00-11:30
OPENING REMARKS | CONFIRMED PANELISTS TO DATE | DISCOURS D’OUVERTURE PANÉLISTES CONFIRMÉS À DATE
MICHAEL CINNAMOND PHILLIPS S. BAKER, JR.
Hecla Mining Company
Osisko Gold Royalties
Senior Vice-President, Finance & Chief Financial Officer Premier vice-président, agent et directeur des finances
President and CEO Président et chef de la direction
Board Chair, CEO and CIM Convention 2018 General Chair Président du conseil d’administration, chef de la direction et président général du congrès de l’ICM
CEO & President Président directeur général
Executive Chairman Président exécutif
President, CEO & Director Président directeur général
64 | CONVENTION.CIM.ORG
MANAGEMENT & FINANCE DAY | JOURNÉE GESTION ET FINANCES Pround sponsor:
WEDNESDAY, MAY 9 | MERCREDI 9 MAI THE NEXT BIG CHANGE: THE ECONOMICS OF WATER, WASTE AND CLOSURE
The 10th annual Management & Finance Day, organized by the CIM Management and Economics Society, will feature expert speakers sharing their experiences and insights around key topics driving the industry.
9:45 – 10:00 10:00 – 11:00
11:00 – 12:00
Opening Remarks Session 1: Competing for Water Chair: Jessie Liu-Ernsting Water Conflict: Turning Challenges into Opportunities Rosemary Niechcial, Waypoint Infrastructure Inc. Water and Mining: Regulatory and Contractual Trends and Challenges Frederico Marques, McCarthy Tétrault Break Session 2: Alternative Approaches to Management of Tailings and Waste Rock Storage Waste Rock: Trade Off Studies John Cunning, Golder Economics Around Tailings Design at the Scoping Level Phase Rafael Dávila, Hatch Speakers and Audience Participation Moderator: Jenifer Hill, JLH Environmental
La 10e édition de la journée gestion et finances est organisée par la société de la gestion et de l’économie de l’ICM. Des experts et des conférenciers dynamiques y partageront leurs expériences et perceptions quant à des sujets intéressants qui font évoluer l’industrie.
12:00 – 13:45 13:45-14:15 14:15 – 15:15
15:15 – 15:30 15:30 – 16:30
CLOSING LUNCH: The Increasing Cost of Water Speaker: Gordon Bogden, Black Loon Metals Inc. ESRS Dialogue Session result Session 3: The Costs of Closure Chair: Bereket Berhe Realistic Treatment of Closure Costs in DCF Evaluations Larry Smith, Lawrence, Devon, Smith & Associates Cost of Closure: A Social and Business Perspective Carolyn Burns, NetPositive Break Session 4: The Next Big Changes Speakers and Audience Participation Moderator: Robert Duinker, Hatch Closing Remarks by Carlos da Costa Meet & Greet Networking Reception
Included for convention delegates (Closing Lunch is extra) | One-day program (including Closing Lunch): $425 Inclus pour les délégués du congrès (Lunch de clôture en sus) | Le programme d’un jour (Lunch de clôture compris) : 425 $
What are you doing to contribute to the SHIFT towards sustainable mining?
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TECHNICAL PROGRAM SHELL | GRILLE DU PROGRAMME TECHNIQUE Maintenance, Engineering and Reliability Best Practices Meilleures pratiques en matière d’ingénierie de l’entretien et de la fiabilité
Mining Projects Development Développement des projets miniers
Environment and Sustainable Development Environnement et développement durable
Leading in Safety Leadership axé sur la sécurité
Practical Operations in Surface Mining Opérations pratiques en exploitation minière à ciel ouvert Management & Finance Day Gestion et finances
Monday, May 7 | Lundi 7 mai A M
PLENARY SESSION Excellence in Maintenance Management L’excellence en matière de gestion de l’entretien
Transportation Infrastructure and Construction Materials in Remote Areas Les infrastructures de transport et les matériaux de construction dans les régions isolées
Responsible Water Use & Management L’utilisation et la gestion responsables de l’eau
Role of Leadership in Safety Le rôle du leadership dans la sécurité
Leadership in Mining Excellence and Innovation Innovation et leadership en excellence minière
Project Updates Les rapports d’avancement de projet
10X Gains through Waste Monetization Des gains décuplés grâce à la monétisation des déchets
Occupational Health and Hygiene Recognizing our Challenges La santé et l'hygiène au travail pour prendre conscience des enjeux
Operations Updates Mises à jour des opérations
Developments in Mine Waste Management Des développements en matière de gestion des résidus miniers
Innovation in Safety from New Technologies L'innovation en matière de sécurité procurée par les nouvelles technologies
Realizing the Value in our Operations Réaliser la valeur de nos opérations
Case Studies Études de cas
Risk Management and Design La gestion des risques et la conception
Best Practices in Risk Assessment/ Risk Management Les meilleures pratiques en matière d'évaluation/ de gestion des risques
Practical Application of Technology Application pratique de la technologie
Yukon Mining Projects Les projets miniers au Yukon
Technologies to Mitigate Environmental Liabilities Des technologies pour atténuer les responsabilités environnementales
Fatality Prevention, a Global Mining Challenge La prévention des accidents mortels, un défi minier mondial
Tuesday, May 8 | Mardi 8 mai
Mine Hoisting Innovation L’innovation en matière de levage dans l’industrie minière A M
All Electric Mine La mine tout électrique
Best Practices in Reliability & Safety Les meilleures pratiques en matière de fiabilité et de sécurité
First Nations and Mining Les Premières Nations et l’exploitation minière
Wednesday, May 9 | Mercredi 9 mai
Innovations in Energy Les innovations dans le domaine de l’énergie A M
Management & Finance Day Journée Gestion et finances Competing for Water La concurrence relative à l’utilisation de l’eau
Closure & Rehabilitation La fermeture des mines et leur assainissement
Alternative approaches management of tailings and waste rock storage Des approches différentes à la gestion du stockage des résidus et des stériles
Strategies for Restoring MineImpacted Waters Des stratégies d’assainissement des eaux polluées par les activités minières
The cost of closure Le coût de la fermeture des mines
The next big changes Les grands changements à venir VISIT CONVENTION.CIM.ORG REGULARLY FOR TECHNICAL PROGRAM UPDATES
Rock Mechanics Mécanique des roches
Exploration and Mine Geology Géologie et exploration
A Vision for the Future – Mineral Processing in Canada Vision pour le futur: Le traitement du minerai au Canada
Mining Metamorphosis: Innovation that will Redefine Mining Métamorphose minièe : L’innovation qui va redéfinir l’exploitation minière
Underground Mining Exploitation minière souterraine
Diversity & Inclusion Diversité et inclusion
SESSION PLÉNIÈRE Open Pit & Underground Mining L’exploitation minière à ciel ouvert et souterraine
The Challenge of Data Management Les difficultés liées à la gestion des données
Advanced Technologies Les technologies avancées
Leadership in Mining Excellence and Innovation Innovation et leadership en excellence minière
Operational Case Studies Études de cas opérationnels
Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue Session Atelier de dialogue multipartite
Operational Advancement Les progrès en termes d’exploitation
Mining Revolution: Transforming Mining by Adopting from Other Industries La révolution de l’industrie minière : transformer l’exploitation minière en adoptant les techniques d’autres industries
Stope Design, Grade Control and Blasting I La conception des chambres, le contrôle de la teneur et l’abattage à l’explosif I
The Co-management of Mining Projects: Community Engagement at the Basis of Project Development La gestion en collaboration de projets miniers : l’engagement envers la communauté à la base du développement d’un projet
The Matrix: Interoperability and Integration to Foster Innovation La matrice : l’interopérabilité et l’intégration pour promouvoir l’innovation
Stope Design, Grade Control and Blasting II La conception des chambres, le contrôle de la teneur et l’abattage à l’explosif II
Strategies for Social License to Operate Les stratégies relatives au permis social d’exploitation
Mine Equipment L’équipement minier
Building and Maintaining Relationships with Indigenous Peoples Renforcement et maintien des relations avec les populations autochtones
Instrumentation | Stabilization L’instrumentation et la stabilisation
Best Practices in QA/QC Les meilleures pratiques en matière d’AQ/de CQ
Deep Mining Geomechanics La géomécanique de l’exploitation minière profonde
3D Data Integration and Modelling L’intégration et la modélisation des données en 3D
Innovations in Rock Mechanics Les innovations en matière de mécanique des roches
Geophysics : Exploration, Mines and Tailings La géophysique : exploration, mines et résidus
Flotation La flottation
Autonomous Mining L’exploitation minière autonome
Rock Engineering Risk Le risque de l’ingénierie en mécanique des roches
Challenge of Ore Grades Reconciliation Les difficultés liées à la comparaison des teneurs de minerai
Sensor-Based Ore Sorting Tri des minerais à base de capteurs
Strategic Planning of Mineral Value Chain I La planification stratégique des chaînes de valorisation des minéraux I
Communications and Measurement I Les communications et la mesure I
Inclusion in Action in Mining L'inclusion en action dans le domaine de l'exploitation minière
Strategic Planning of Mineral Value Chains II La planification stratégique des chaînes de valorisation des minéraux II
Communications and Measurement II Les communications et la mesure II
Diversity in Action La diversité en action
Rock Fragmentation La fragmentation des roches
Process Improvement L’amélioration des procédures
Good Internal Governance to Enhance External Engagement Une bonne gouvernance interne pour améliorer l’engagement externe
VISITEZ CONVENTION.CIM.ORG POUR DES MISES À JOUR RÉGULIÈRES DU PROGRAMME TECHNIQUE
CONVENTION DAILY SCHEDULE SATURDAY | MAY 5 8:00-10:00 10:00-16:00 13:00-17:00
CIM Executive Commitee Meeting CIM Council Meeting Registration
SUNDAY | MAY 6 8:00-17:00 8:00-20:00 8:00-11:00 11:00-12:00 12:00-15:00 15:00-20:00 15:00-20:00 15:30-16:30 16:30-20:00 17:00-20:00
Workshops Registration CIM Officers Meeting and Leadership Congress CIM Annual General Meeting Early Career Forum Business Class Lounge Presenters’ Preparation Room First time Delegate and VIP Reception Opening Ceremony and Welcome Reception CIM Expo + Student Poster Competition
MONDAY | MAY 7 7:30-17:00 7:30-17:00 7:30-17:00 9:00-11:30 10:00-17:00 12:00-14:00 12:00-14:00 12:00-14:00 14:00-16:05 14:00-16:05 15:30-17:00 18:00-19:00 18:00-19:00 19:00-23:00
Registration Presenters’ Preparation Room Business Class Lounge Plenary Session – A Modern Approach to Mining CIM Expo + Student Posters Competition Lunch at the Expo 50-years Club Private Lunch Conference Lunch: Truth & Reconciliation – Call for Action Technical Program (10 streams) Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue session Networking Reception at the Expo CIM Past Presidents’ Reception CIM Awards Gala Reception – by Syncrude CIM Awards & Celebration Gala – by Caterpillar and its Canadian Dealers
TUESDAY | MAY 8 7:30-17:00 7:30-17:00 7:30-17:00 8:00-10:00 8:30-16:05 10:00-17:00 12:00-14:00 12:00-14:00 15:30-17:00 17:00-19:00 20:00-00:00
Registration Presenters’ Preparation Room Business Class Lounge Young Mining Professionals (YMP) Keynote Breakfast Technical Program (11 streams) CIM Expo + Student Poster Competition Lunch at the Expo Student-Industry Luncheon Networking Reception at the Expo Women in Mining Reception Komatsu Gala
WEDNESDAY | MAY 9 7:30-14:00 7:30-14:00 7:30-14:00 8:30-12:10 12:00-13:45 13:45-16:45 16:45-18:00
Registration Presenters’ Preparation Room Business Class Lounge Technical Program (9 streams) Closing Lunch Technical Program (3 streams) Management and Finance Day Meet & Greet Networking Reception
Have you registered yet? Early bird rates end on March 30
Êtes-vous inscrits? Les tarifs préférentiels se terminent le 30 mars
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FRANCOPHONE FÉVRIER 2018
71 Lettre de l’éditeur 72 Le 120e anniversaire de l’ICM 74 Mot du président 75 Pour beaucoup de mines, l’eau constitue une préoccupation existentielle. Sa gestion et la façon dont est article de fond
perçue cette gestion peut être déterminante dans la réussite ou l’échec d’un projet. Kylie Williams explore la façon dont les sociétés minières répondent à cet enjeu Par Kylie Williams
Nous publions progressivement sur notre site Internet les articles du CIM Magazine en version française.
lettre de l’éditeur
« Il est apparu évident que l’ICM s’était réinventé à de nombreuses reprises, à la fois dans sa manière de se présenter au monde, et dans la manière dont il exerçait son activité au quotidien. »
a nature du désordre sur mon bureau a subi un changement notable au cours de ces quelques dernières semaines. Tandis que nous nous préparions pour cette édition et pour l’année à venir – le 120e anniversaire de l’ICM – les bouts de papier éparpillés qui recouvrent habituellement mon bureau sur les projets présents et à venir se sont retrouvés enterrés sous de vieux volumes de publications de l’ICM recouvrant plusieurs décennies. En prévision de cet anniversaire, nous avons dépoussiéré les vieux bulletins de l’ICM datant des années 20 et 30, un annuel professionnel des années 70 incroyablement psychédélique, ainsi que des rétrospectives de l’industrie pour explorer l’histoire écrite et imagée de l’Institut. En les feuilletant, il est apparu évident que l’ICM s’était réinventé à de nombreuses reprises, à la fois dans sa manière de se présenter au monde, et dans la manière dont il exerçait son activité au quotidien. La période que nous vivons actuellement est l’un de ces exemples. Nous commençons cette année charnière avec une nouvelle direction. Angela Hamlyn, nouvellement nommée au poste de directrice générale, affiche déjà une décennie de travail au sein de l’ICM. Bon nombre de nos fidèles lecteurs savent que cet espace dans le magazine lui a un jour appartenu. Elle a gravi un à un les échelons de la publication pour devenir directrice des communications, des publications et des médias et est maintenant la première femme à la tête de l’ICM. Le défi qu’elle doit relever aujourd’hui est le même que celui de ses prédécesseurs : s’assurer que l’Institut demeure pertinent et réactif face aux besoins de ses membres actuels et à venir. Dans un irrésistible parallèle, Benjamin Bell, la personne ayant donné vie à l’Institut canadien des mines dans les années 1890, lorsque celui-ci n’en était qu’à ces débuts, n’était pas un ingénieur des mines, mais un rédacteur dans un périodique du secteur minier. Il a vu la nécessité de rassembler des professionnels des quatre coins du pays afin qu’ils partagent leurs idées et leur expérience, et qu’ils alimentent une communauté qui pouvait s’améliorer et se renouveler. Bien que notre nouvelle directrice puisse ne jamais égaler le savoir-faire de Bell avec une batte de cricket, ou encore dans son aisance à se laisser pousser la moustache, ces deux personnes partagent un engagement quant à ces principes fondateurs et apportent une perspective extérieure sur la manière dont ils pourraient les défendre. Au cours de l’année, ces pages souligneront à la fois le travail ayant permis à l’ICM d’en arriver à ce point et les projets se trouvant devant lui. Nous sommes impatients d’avoir de vos nouvelles concernant ces deux aspects.
Ryan Bergen, Rédacteur en chef firstname.lastname@example.org @Ryan_CIM_Mag
February • Février 2018 | 71
es anniversaires nous permettent de méditer sur notre essence et la raison de notre existence, et le 120e anniversaire de l’ICM nous donne l’occasion de faire cela. De nos débuts à recueillir et compiler des documents techniques à la naissance du Bulletin, en passant par des publications plus axées sur un domaine spécifique comme l’Exploration and Mining Geology Journalet le lancement du CIM Magazine, notre nouveau magazine en ligne, l’ICM s’est continuellement efforcé de faire progresser le niveau et la qualité des connaissances pour notre industrie. Quand vous ajoutez à cette pléthore d’excellents documents, les présentations techniques et les rapports issus des diverses conférences et rencontres organisées par les sociétés et sections de l’ICM, l’influence que nous avons eue depuis notre création est tout bonnement stupéfiante. J’ai récemment célébré mon propre anniversaire. Cela fait juste un peu plus de 10 ans que je me suis joint à l’ICM en
tant que rédacteur en chef du CIM Magazine. À l’époque, il est vite devenu évident que j’avais hérité de bien plus que d’une simple publication. En tant que principal porte-parole d’un Institut dont l’un des objectifs fondamentaux est de créer, organiser et offrir les connaissances de pointe requises, nous endossons la responsabilité d’évoluer pour répondre aux besoins changeants de nos lecteurs, de l’industrie et du monde en général – et nous y parvenons. Je remercie et salue les milliers de personnes et d’organisations qui ont contribué à faire de l’ICM la communauté pour l’expertise de l’industrie au cours des 120 dernières années et je souhaite la bienvenue à celles qui vont la façonner pour les 120 prochaines! Angela Hamlyn Directrice exécutive de l’ICM
Le premier CIM Journal annuel, qui est paru en 1898, contenait les procèsverbaux des réunions de l’ICM, les statuts et règlements, la liste des membres et des documents techniques.
En 1908, l’ICM a publié son premier Quarterly Bulletin pour diffuser les épreuves préliminaires d’articles scientifiques et « autres sujets d’intérêt général pour ses membres ».
72 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
Peu de temps après son lancement, le Bulletin est devenu un mensuel rempli de nouvelles et d’événements sur l’industrie minière régionale et de lettres de ses membres. Il a informé les membres pendant plus de 90 ans.
CIM Magazine a remplacé le CIM Bulletin en 2006. CIM Magazine met toujours l’accent sur les nouvelles et les événements liés à la communauté de l’ICM, mais s’intéresse également à l’actualité minière mondiale.
En 2010, l’ICM a commencé à publier tous les trimestres son propre journal d’articles évalués par des pairs sur tous les aspects de l’industrie minière et métallurgique.
Les fondations Avec l’accélération de la découverte des gisements et des avancées technologiques dans le Canada du XIXe siècle, les professionnels des mines ont commencé à former des organisations locales pour leur fournir un exutoire où discuter de leur travail et combattre les lois qu’ils considéraient comme une menace à l’industrie minière. L’Association générale d’exploitation minière de la Province du Québec naît en 1891, la Société minière de la NouvelleÉcosse est établie en 1892 tandis que l’Institut minier d’Ontario est formé en 1894. En 1897, des membres des associations de chacune de ses provinces, rejoints par d’autres de la Colombie-Britannique, créent ensemble l’Institut fédéré minier du Canada. En 1898, l’Institut se réorganise et est constitué par une loi du Parlement pour devenir l’Institut
canadien des mines (ICM). L’ICM change son nom pour devenir l’Institut canadien des mines et de la métallurgie en 1920 avant d’être rebaptisé Institut canadien des mines, de la métallurgie et du pétrole en 1990. Le nom a changé, mais l’objectif reste le même. En 1898, l’ICM a publié une circulaire afin de souligner ses objectifs, qui incluaient notamment « de promouvoir... la production économique de minéraux et de métaux précieux au moyen de rencontres favorisant la lecture et la discussion de documents techniques, et la diffusion subséquente de tels renseignements ». (traduction libre) En 2018, l’ICM continue à soutenir l’industrie minière et à faciliter l’échange d’idées grâce à ses publications et aux événements qu’il organise.
ans d’excellence Publier à tout prix L’ICM a toujours eu pour objectif de contribuer à créer des liens entre les gens de l’industrie minière, et l’un des principaux moyens d’y parvenir depuis sa fondation a toujours été par l’entremise de ses publications. En 1898, l’ICM a créé une bibliothèque sur les mines, qui contenait plus de 125 livres et rapports, de multiples cartes et périodiques émanant de sociétés similaires du monde entier, de même que ses propres rapports, qui diffusaient bon nombre des documents techniques présentés lors de ses rencontres. En 1899, la bibliothèque rassemblait plus de 400 volumes et était utilisée régulièrement par le nombre croissant de membres de l’ICM. L’ICM ne possède plus de bibliothèque physique à Montréal, mais il publie toujours des livres en lien avec l’industrie et propose des bibliothèques en ligne qui renferment des dizaines de milliers de documents auxquels les membres peuvent accéder. Grâce à l’avancée de la technologie, il est de plus en plus facile de publier de l’information et d’y avoir accès, mais en même temps il est devenu plus difficile de trouver des documents pertinents et fiables, ce qui rend l’existence de réseaux dignes de confiance encore plus primordiale. Par Elle Crosby February • Février 2018 | 73
mot du président
Augmentation des prix des produits miniers et des produits de base « Nous assistons à une augmentation notable des prix pour le minerai de fer, le plomb, l’étain, le coke métallurgique, et bien sûr, le lithium (le « pétrole blanc ») »
vant d’occuper le poste de président de l’Institut canadien des mines, de la métallurgie et du pétrole (ICM) l’année dernière, j’ai publié un article dans le rapport annuel de l’ICM sur le déclin du supercycle de 2012 à 2015 et sur les répercussions néfastes sur le secteur minier à l’échelle internationale. Nous assistons aujourd’hui à une reprise timide, mais prometteuse. À partir de 2002, le prix des métaux s’était envolé de plus de 300 %, atteignant un pic en 2011. La moitié de ces gains environ avaient été perdus à l’aube de 2015 en raison de l’affaiblissement de la demande de la Chine. Pour préserver leur rentabilité, les entreprises ont instauré des limites d’investissements, des contrôles des coûts d’exploitation rigoureux ainsi que la réduction de la dette, allant jusque dans certains cas à procéder à la cession d’actifs indésirables. Le supercycle a été considéré comme le plus grand essor du secteur minier, mais, malheureusement, comme le plus grand effondrement également. Les 40 plus grandes sociétés minières ont inscrit, entre 2014 et 2015, des charges de dépréciation d’actifs de 200 milliards de dollars sur les 630 milliards de dollars dépensés entre 2010 et 2015. Les prix des actions des entreprises ont chuté jusqu’à 50 %. Les fonds d’investissement, particulièrement pour les petites sociétés minières, ont été difficiles à obtenir par suite de la perte de confiance. Heureusement, alors que nous avancions dans l’année 2017, nous avons constaté une timide remontée des prix pour certains produits de base. Par exemple, depuis la fin de 2016, le prix du cuivre a grimpé d’environ 50 %, à plus de 3,00 $ la livre. En 2002, qui marquait le début du supercycle, il valait moins de 1,00 $ la livre. Le zinc a dépassé 1,50 $ la livre, son tarif le plus haut en plus de 10 ans. En 2002, il s’affichait à moins de 0,50 $ la livre. Nous assistons à une augmentation notable des prix pour le minerai de fer, le plomb, l’étain, le coke métallurgique, et bien sûr, le lithium (le « pétrole blanc »). Grâce à ces hausses récentes de prix des produits de base, à la réduction de la dette et au contrôle des coûts, les prix des actions des sociétés minières ont rebondi à mesure que les investisseurs reprenaient confiance. Le prix des actions de la plus grande société minière, BHP, a plus que doublé au cours de ces deux dernières années, l’entreprise étant évaluée à 120 milliards de dollars. D’autres sociétés minières, au cours de la même période de temps, ont affiché des reprises similaires : Le prix de l’action d’Anglo American a bondi d’environ 450 %, celui de Vale a quadruplé et celui de Glencore a grimpé de plus de 300 %. Ainsi, à l’avenir, on s’attend à ce que les entreprises aient tiré des leçons du supercycle de la dernière décennie et à ce qu’elles soient plus prudentes. ICM
Kenneth (Ken) G. Thomas Président de l’ICM
74 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
Des membres de la communauté visitent l’une des deux usines de traitement de l’eau à la mine Pierina de Barrick au Pérou.
Avec l’aimable autorisation de Barrick Gold
Pour beaucoup de mines, l’eau constitue une préoccupation existentielle. Sa gestion et la façon dont cette dernière est perçue peut être déterminante dans la réussite ou l’échec d’un projet. Kylie Williams explore la façon dont les sociétés minières réagissent à cet enjeu.
L’accès à l’eau représente un enjeu humanitaire et environnemental croissant au niveau mondial. Dans le dernier rapport sur les risques mondiaux du forum économique mondial (FEM), les crises de l’eau se classaient en cinquième position en termes d’incidence au niveau mondial. Les demandes concurrentes en eau entraîneront inéluctablement des crises alimentaires, une migration forcée à grande échelle et une dégradation de l’environnement. D’après la banque mondiale, 70 % de l’eau douce à l’échelle planétaire est utilisée pour l’agriculture, et ce secteur devra croître de 50 % pour nourrir les dix milliards d’habitants de la planète escomptés d’ici 2050. « La réalité est que nous devons tous apprendre à vivre dans un monde où les ressources sont limitées », déclarait Resa Furey, analyste de marché dans la société internationale d’études techniques et de conception Stantec. « L’eau, c’est la vie, mais c’est aussi une ressource limitée ; et les ressources limitées en eau douce mettent une pression importante sur tout le monde, l’industrie minière, l’agriculture et la société. » Un approvisionnement fiable en eau est essentiel à toute exploitation minière. À mesure que les réserves de minerai déclinent, on déplace les mines vers des lieux plus isolés, souvent dans des régions et des pays touchés par des stress hydriques. D’après un rapport de 2014 du Moody’s Investor Service (le service dédié aux investisseurs du groupe Moody’s), environ 70 % des mines exploitées par les « six grands » (BHP, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Vale, Xstrata et Glencore) se trouvent dans des pays où le stress hydrique est considéré comme un risque majeur. À défaut de trouver une stratégie solide en matière de gestion de l’eau, les sociétés minières pourraient exposer leurs exploitations, ainsi que l’environnement, à des risques. « Le risque le plus latent est de perdre son permis social d’exploitation, ce qui entraînera des retards, un conflit et une animosité qui se dissiperont difficilement », indiquait Jim Finley, géochimiste principal chez Stantec qui travaille depuis des décennies sur des projets de gestion de l’eau dans les mines. « L’un des éléments importants dans un programme de gestion des risques globaux consiste à aborder le problème de l’approvisionnement en eau et son utilisation tout en limitant l’impact sur les utilisateurs existants de ces ressources en eau. » Il existe aujourd’hui autant de solutions spécifiques de gestion de l’eau que de mines, mais on voit apparaître une tendance. « Une approche souvent utilisée, et pourtant encore innovante, consiste à adopter une stratégie d’utilisation de l’eau apte à l’usage », expliquait Mme Furey. Cette approche consiste à remplacer l’eau douce que l’on pourrait utiliser dans une exploitation par une eau de qualité inférieure, par exemple des eaux souterraines salines, de l’eau de mer ou des eaux usées ; cette eau sera ensuite traitée comme si elle était « apte à être consommée », puis recyclée par le biais de différents circuits de gestion de l’eau sur tout le site minier. 76 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
Cette stratégie implique d’adopter des solutions personnalisées pour chaque site qui requièrent des réflexions créatives et une association d’innovation technique et de collaboration sociale. On espère de cette manière pouvoir considérablement réduire la consommation d’eau des exploitations. Une société envisage même d’éliminer un jour ses prélèvements d’eau dans l’environnement.
Vers la fin de la consommation Lors d’une conférence interne sur la durabilité en mars 2016, le président et chef de la direction de Goldcorp David Garofalo a fixé un objectif ambitieux pour sa société, qu’il a baptisé objectif Zéro eau. « Il nous a fallu près d’un an pour bien appréhender l’ampleur de cet objectif, pour lui donner une définition et un sens, et pour commencer à avancer », déclarait Brendan O’Brien, responsable de l’environnement chez Goldcorp. Plus tard cette même année, la société lançait sa stratégie de réduction des ressources en eau Zéro eau (H2OZéro). « Nous recherchons sans cesse des moyens de réduire notre consommation d’eau douce », expliquait Michael Jacobs, directeur de l’eau et des résidus chez Goldcorp. « Nous sommes clairement arrivés à un point dans l’exploitation minière où nous ne pouvons pas avancer sans utiliser d’eau, mais notre objectif est de réutiliser l’intégralité de l’eau et de ne pas en rajouter dans le système. » Les mines ont besoin de millions de litres d’eau chaque année pour traiter et extraire le minerai, stocker les stériles comme des résidus, refroidir les engins de forage et supprimer la poussière. Actuellement, les plus grandes réserves d’eau non disponible du processus minier se trouvent dans les traditionnelles boues de résidus ; les sociétés minières s’efforcent cependant de trouver d’autres moyens créatifs de stocker les résidus. Le projet EcoTails de Goldcorp étudie et teste les manières de mélanger des stériles grossiers et des résidus filtrés plus fins dans un système de transporteur géant. Ceci permettrait aux deux tailles de « se mélanger » et au matériau le plus fin de combler les écarts entre les particules les plus grosses afin de produire des résidus solides, stables et résistants. On pourrait récupérer jusqu’à 95 % de l’eau non dis-
Avec l’aimable autorisation de Jose Luis Valverde Ortiz
Photos de la même section du fleuve Rio Chili au Pérou, prise à deux années d’intervalle.
ponible, ce qui rendrait inutiles les digues à stériles. Ce procédé pourrait également réduire la probabilité ou le volume de drainage rocheux acide, ce qui constituerait un avantage supplémentaire. Les résidus solides de ce type permettraient alors de réduire l’empreinte de la mine et les risques globaux ; sur le long terme, en tenant compte des périodes de fermeture et de post-fermeture de la mine, les coûts seraient également inférieurs. En 2017, Goldcorp a commencé à tester le concept EcoTails dans son exploitation à ciel ouvert Peñasquito, au nord-ouest du Mexique. « EcoTails représente selon nous la méthode de gestion des résidus la plus responsable des points de vue environnemental et social », indiquait M. Jacobs. « Nous testons également ce concept dans notre mine fermée au Guatemala ; jusqu’ici, les résultats sont bons. » EcoTails nécessiterait un investissement plus important dans des machines et des transporteurs plus grands et plus résistants, aussi Goldcorp collabore avec FLSmidth, qui lui fournit l’équipement de filtration et de manutention pour les essais. Un prototype grandeur nature est prévu pour le site Peñasquito ; en fonction des résultats, il pourrait être déployé à la mine. « Nous sommes en phase de finaliser l’étude de faisabilité pour pouvoir lancer notre prototype », déclarait M. Jacobs. « Nous espérons pouvoir à terme le déployer sur d’autres propriétés de Goldcorp. » En plus de développer EcoTails, les équipes de Goldcorp procèdent à des modifications spécifiques à chaque site dans toutes leurs exploitations afin de considérablement réduire leur utilisation des ressources en eau. Sur le site Peñasquito, un système de lavage à haute pression des camions récemment installé recueille et réutilise 100 % de l’eau ayant servi à éliminer la poussière, les saletés et les débris sur les véhicules utilisés sur le site. À Porcupine Gold Mines (PGM), une filiale de Goldcorp dans l’Ontario, la quantité d’eau douce prélevée dans le lac Porcupine voisin a considérablement décliné pour atteindre 0,1 mètre cube (m3) par once d’or en 2017, par rapport à 0,35 m3 en 2014, après la reconfiguration du circuit d’eau du concentrateur de manière à ce qu’il accepte 100 % de l’eau récupérée. La mine Red Lake a récemment mis en œuvre un nouveau système de recyclage de l’eau de trop-plein
provenant de l’usine de remblai en pâte, qui la renvoie vers le réservoir d’eau de l’installation de préparation du minerai. Ceci couvrira une partie des ressources en eau nécessaire à la mine, qu’elle puisait jusqu’à présent dans le lac Balmer. La mine Cerro Negro a également commencé à utiliser un agent de dépoussiérage qui permettra à la société d’utiliser moins d’eau sur une longue route de transport. Enfin, à la mine Musselwhite, Goldcorp a installé une usine de recyclage de l’eau souterraine qui utilise les rayons ultraviolets (UV) pour empêcher la reproduction des virus dans l’eau recyclée sans ajouter de substances chimiques.
Partenaires en matière de gouvernance de l’eau Au nom de ses sociétés membres, le conseil international des mines et métaux (CIMM) a publié un exposé des fonctions sur la stratégie de gouvernance de l’eau en janvier 2017, qui définit la gouvernance de l’eau comme l’utilisation équitable du point de vue social, durable sur le plan de l’environnement et avantageuse en termes économiques de cette ressource. Selon le CIMM, pour une gouvernance efficace, les sociétés minières doivent collaborer avec le gouvernement, la société civile, les entreprises et les communautés locales en favorisant l’engagement exempt de toute exclusion des parties intéressées. « L’innovation technique est fondamentale pour résoudre les problèmes de l’accès limité à l’eau douce pour les activités minières », indiquait M. Finley de Stantec. « Il est très important d’associer les innovations techniques aux efforts d’action sociale. Si l’innovation technique est essentielle au fonctionnement interne d’une exploitation minière, l’obtention et le maintien d’un permis social d’exploitation est indispensable à sa réussite future. » Sur le terrain, cela signifie que les sociétés font preuve de créativité et d’ingéniosité pour trouver des manières de travailler avec les communautés, les gouvernements et avec d’autres sociétés afin de garantir un approvisionnement sûr en eau pour toute la durée de vie de l’exploitation minière, de recycler autant d’eau que possible sur le site et de réintégrer une eau saine dans l’environnement. La synergie entre le permis social d’exploitation et l’accès à l’eau fait en ce moment même l’objet February • Février 2018 | 77
78 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
Avec l’aimable autorisation de Barrick Gold
d’une démonstration unique et réussie à Cerro Verde, la plus grande mine de cuivre du Pérou, où FreeportMcMoRan a construit une usine de traitement des eaux usées qui profitera non seulement à l’exploitation, mais aussi à la communauté locale d’Arequipa. Des chercheurs de l’institut canadien international des ressources et du développement (ICIRD) se sont rendus à Cerro Verde pour s’entretenir avec la direction de Freeport-McMoRan, le gouvernement local et les chefs de la communauté afin de décrire ce cas dans le cadre de leur projet Éducation et recherche pour la gestion intégrée des ressources Les communautés locales participent à une surveillance en aval du fleuve Margajita, qui coule le long de la mine Pueblo Viejo de en eau au Pérou. Barrick en République dominicaine. Les membres de la communauté aident à recueillir des échantillons d’eau pour les faire « Freeport n’avait plus analyser dans des laboratoires indépendants certifiés. aucun moyen de récupérer l’eau de la rivière », expliquait le Dr André Xavier, directeur Tia Maria de Southern Copper ; pourtant, la communauté du projet à l’ICIRD. « Pour se développer, il leur fallait trouver locale s’oppose depuis longtemps à l’exploitation de Tia Maria car la contamination possible de l’eau l’inquiète ; de fait, la d’autres manières de collecter l’eau. » r L’une des options, expliquait le D Xavier, consistait à inves- société n’a pu obtenir pendant plusieurs années de permis tir dans la construction de plus de 100 kilomètres (km) de social d’exploitation. canalisations et de nombreuses stations de pompage et de traitement de l’eau pour faire remonter de l’eau de mer du littoral Exploitation des données sur 2 500 mètres, sur un terrain montagneux. D’autres exploiLa volonté de Freeport-McMoRan d’écouter et de s’implitations telles que la mine de cuivre et d’or de Minera Espe- quer dans les communautés de la région ainsi que d’investir ranza au Chili sont parvenues à utiliser de l’eau de mer non dans la construction d’une infrastructure partagée vient nous traitée dans leur usine de traitement, mais cette option coû- rappeler que les mines ne fonctionnent pas en totale autonoteuse a été rejetée. mie. Elles sont d’une part, des occupants intégrés dans une La communauté a opté pour la solution originale proposée société et d’autre part, un minuscule point sur une carte dans à Cerro Verde, qui suggérait que la mine utilise des eaux usées la zone plus vaste du bassin hydrographique. Barrick Gold traitées pour ses activités minières. Après sept années de négo- reconnaît les bienfaits de cette stratégie et adopte désormais ciations et de planification, l’usine de traitement des eaux une « approche de gouvernance des bassins » pour la gestion usées a été mise en service à la fin de l’année 2015, et traite de l’eau ; la société communique désormais ses activités aux désormais 85 % des eaux d’égout municipales d’Arequipa. communautés dans lesquelles elle travaille par le biais d’une Pour ses activités minières, la mine utilise à peine plus de la participation équitable dès le début d’un projet. moitié des 1,8 mètre cube par seconde (m3/s) d’eaux usées « La transparence est la devise de la confiance », déclarait traitées produites par l’usine ; le reste est évacué dans le fleuve John McCartney, vice-président de la gestion de l’eau chez BarRio Chili, qui couvre 95 % des besoins municipaux et agri- rick. « Nous devons nous assurer que tout le monde est bien coles en eau de la région. au courant de toutes nos activités, et nous encourageons les En échange de la construction, de l’exploitation et de l’en- communautés à prendre part aux décisions que nous prenons. » tretien de l’usine, Freeport-McMoRan garantit non seulement Barrick s’efforce d’aller au-delà de la simple divulgation des une source d’eau pour sa mine Cerro Verde en pleine expan- données dans ses rapports de durabilité, et « facilite leur accès, sion, mais également le maintien de son permis social d’ex- les rend plus visibles et plus interactives afin que tout le ploitation. Dans l’étude de cas de l’ICIRD, M. Fraser fait monde puisse véritablement se rendre compte de la manière remarquer que « contrairement aux autres projets menés dans dont nous procédons. » En deux clics sur notre page d’accueil, la région, Cerro Verde n’a pas été confronté à des pertes en tout membre ou partie intéressée du public a accès à des gratermes de production en raison d’une opposition de la com- phiques interactifs sur l’utilisation de l’eau et peut télécharger munauté. » Seulement 90 km séparent Cerro Verde de la mine des tableurs contenant les données détaillées relatives à la ges-
Avec l’aimable autorisation de Agnico Eagle
Vue aérienne de la mine Meliadine d’Agnico Eagle dans le Nunavut
tion de l’eau pour toutes les exploitations de Barrick dans le monde entier. En plus de cette diffusion accrue des données de la société, Barrick valorise également ses données en exploitant l’apprentissage automatique pour pouvoir mieux prévoir les enjeux liés à l’eau. « La sécheresse extrême peut, par exemple, affecter notre approvisionnement », expliquait M. McCartney. « Nous avons lancé un programme de mise en œuvre de bilans hydriques constamment accessibles en ligne, alimentés par des mises à jour régulières des conditions météorologiques pour des installations données afin d’examiner le niveau de risque pour chacune d’elles. » Barrick a créé une plateforme de données regroupées pour relier les bases de données qui stockent de grands volumes d’informations essentielles recueillies dans les mines et les bureaux aux quatre coins du monde. Cet intermédiaire numérique fournit une plateforme permettant un accès et un partage rapides des données que l’on peut ensuite intégrer à des algorithmes d’apprentissage automatique pour surveiller et prévoir, entre autres, l’utilisation de l’eau ainsi que le traitement et la productivité à la mine. « En utilisant l’apprentissage automatique, nous pourrons suivre et étudier ces modèles et tendances pour déterminer les probabilités de risques émergents », indiquait M. McCartney.
Évacuation de l’eau L’un des plus gros risques liés à la gestion de l’eau sur les sites miniers concerne l’évacuation non anticipée d’eau non traitée dans les cours d’eau environnants. En janvier, la société Tahoe Resources basée dans le Nevada a dû faire face à une accusation suivant un déversement présumé à la mine Shahuindo dans le centre du Pérou, où de fortes pluies avaient provoqué le débordement d’un fossé de dérivation. Les médias ont rapidement mentionné le déversement, et la société a répondu par un communiqué de presse détaillant l’incident et l’inspection par les autorités locales.
L’examen minutieux de l’utilisation de l’eau ne se cantonne pas aux régions arides ou à forte densité démographique. Près de la côte ouest de la baie d’Hudson, dans la région Kivalliq du Nunavut, l’exploitation de minerai aurifère à haute teneur Meliadine d’Agnico Eagle est en cours de construction et est passée au peigne fin. En 2016, Agnico Eagle a obtenu un permis d’utilisation des eaux de l’office des eaux du Nunavut pour commencer ses activités de construction sur le site minier envisagé. « La qualité de l’eau au Nunavut est très importante, car l’environnement de la région est encore pur », expliquait Michel Julien, vice-président de l’environnement chez Agnico Eagle. « L’eau est une ressource et elle doit être protégée au même titre que toute autre ressource. Nous nous devons de l’utiliser de manière raisonnable et responsable. Nous nous efforçons de limiter au possible notre usage externe de l’eau, ce qui nous oblige à nous tourner vers des technologies promouvant le recyclage et la réutilisation de l’eau. » Agnico Eagle prévoit d’utiliser des résidus filtrés à la mine Meliadine une fois que la production sera lancée en 2019 dans le cadre de ce projet, actuellement en construction. L’intégralité de l’eau de traitement excédentaire sera réintégrée dans le cycle par le biais de l’usine de filtration d’eau, expliquait M. Julien, ce qui est plus complexe du point de vue opérationnel mais permet de réduire grandement la quantité d’eau gérée en surface. Agnico Eagle étudie également les technologies permettant de gérer la salinité à Meliadine pour empêcher que l’eau affichant une salinité élevée ne soit rejetée dans l’environnement. Comme l’admettait M. Julien, ces solutions techniques nécessitent un effort et une dépense en immobilisations supplémentaires afin d’améliorer la gestion de l’eau sur le site de Meliadine, mais la récompense en est une réduction des risques. « L’eau est souvent au cœur des problèmes que l’on rencontre », expliquait-il. ICM February • Février 2018 | 79
Canadian Metallurgical Quarterly Papers in CMQ, Vol. 55, No. 1
Electrodeposition of nickelâ€“phosphorus from a highly conductive citrate bath for wire bonding applications M. Dadvand, Energic Mareriaux Telecommunications, Lionel-Boulet, Varennes Quebec, Canada; N. Dadvand and G. J. Kipouros, Materials Engineering, Process Engineering and Applied Science, Dalhousie University Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Effect of prior austempering heat treatment on the microstructure, mechanical properties and high-stress abrasive wear behaviour of a 0.33% C dual-phase steel N. Shukla, Department of Metallurgical & Materials Engineering, National Institute of Technology Durgapur, Durgapur, West Bengal, India; H. Roy, NDT & Metallurgy Group, CDIS-CMERI, Durgapur, India; and B. K. Show, Department of Metallurgical & Materials Engineering, National Institute of Technology Durgapur, Durgapur, West Bengal, India
Modelling of heat flow and interdendritic crack formation in twin-roll strip casting of aluminium alloys M. O. El-Bealy, Metals Processing & Technology, Military Technical College, Cairo Egypt
DSC and FIB/TEM investigation of calcium and yttrium additions in the sintering of magnesium powder P. Burke, Materials Engineering, Process Engineering and Applied Science, Dalhousie University Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; J. Li, CanmetMATERIALS, Natural Resources Canada, Hamilton Ontario, Canada; and G. J. Kipouros, Materials Engineering, Process Engineering and Applied Science, Dalhousie University Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
The role of solution heat treatment on corrosion and mechanical behaviour of Mgâ€“ Zn biodegradable alloys A. Fereidouni Lotfabadi, H. R. Bakhsheshi-Rad, M. H. Idris, E. Hamzah, Department of Materials, Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor, Malaysia; and M. Kasiri-Asgarani, Advanced Materials Research Centre, Materials Engineering Department, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran
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MINING LORE The female pioneers of prospecting By Cecilia Keating
82 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
omen have long struggled to kind to other female prospectors, who were establish themselves in the minlargely unmarried and did not conform to ing industry. They are absent from their traditional gender role. Many had also most history books and were officially held ‘unseemly’ prior occupations in banned from mining in 1915 by the United saloons and dance halls in mining towns. States National Bureau of Mines, but have This was not coincidental; it was there that been an essential part of mining in North they heard and were inspired by clients’ America over the past several centuries. tales of riches. Many women were prospectors in the CaliFannie Quigley was initially a dance hall fornia and Klondike gold rushes in the midgirl in Dawson City. She became legendary to late 1800s and in Nevada’s early 1900s as a cook, singlehandedly tracking, killing mining boom. In their work, female prospecand cooking bears, moose and caribou for tors were beset by widespread prejudice, hungry miners. Nicknamed “Fannie the male prospectors who thieved their claims Hike” because of the distances she traipsed and difficulty selling the claims they did across the tundra with her kitchen gear and keep. Still they persevered to claim their own stove, she was famous for her flaky pie territory in the industry. crusts. She quickly turned her attention to Nellie Cashman said that while According to historians, sources on working as an elevator operator in mining, staking her first claim over 150 women prospectors are scarce, in part Washington, she was urged by kilometres east of Dawson in 1900. She future U.S. President Ulysses S. because they were largely working class and Grant to go west in search of gold. walked out on her first husband for a strike therefore unlikely to write diaries or letters. in Alaska. Moreover, because most were childless their stories were not Also in Dawson at the turn of the century was Lillian Malpassed down. The main sources on women prospectors are colm, a Broadway actress who, at age 30, set off to the mining camp newspapers, which were less focused on their Klondike to find gold. After her first foray into prospecting achievements and more on their clothes or unconventionality proved unsuccessful – several claims she staked were stolen – whether they wore pants or seemed too showy. from her by men – she decided to seek stable employment in In a rare acknowledgement of women’s contribution to the Dawson. Her efforts failed and, beleaguered by money trouindustry, Sunset Magazine – an on-board magazine for a train bles, she joined the boom in Nevada. She relied on her acting route to San Francisco – wrote in 1906 that the female abilities for extra cash, captivating desert miners with harrowprospector “tramps over the desert in a most business-like way, ing stories of her exploits in the north. and handles a prospector’s hammer as skilfully as her Eastern Once they struck gold, women prospectors had to work sisters would handle a fan.” harder than men to sell claims to potential investors, given The most celebrated female prospector was Nellie Cash- that they were banned from the male-only saloons where man. Born to a poor Catholic family in Ireland in 1845, her many deals were cinched. Moreover, they faced widespread family immigrated to the United States during the potato prejudice about women’s ability to do business or understand famine. She overheard tales of the West while working as an mining. elevator operator in a hotel in Washington, D.C. According to In order to publicize their claims, women had to be invenher own account, one passenger was Civil War general and tive. Malcolm travelled as far as Pittsburgh to get businessmen future U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, who urged her to go. to invest in her newly-formed company, “the Scotch Lassie After arriving in California in 1865, Cashman’s gold fever Mining Company.” Nevada gold miner Frances Williams told took her to Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, British Columbia, financial backers that her mine was the legendary Lost Breyfogle Yukon Territory, and Alaska. Known for her entrepreneurial Ledge, and convinced a respected historian to endorse it as flair, she worked as a cook and later ran restaurants and board- such. ing houses in many of the mining towns she prospected in. At a time when most women were relegated to domestic Accounts note she had impeccable timing, often being one of roles and motherhood was idealized, these contrarian women the first to arrive at a camp and leaving just as it began to were extraordinary. Lillian Malcolm, however, was matter-ofdecline. fact about female prospectors, saying to a journalist in Nevada, While Cashman’s piety, charity and philanthropy immor- “there is too much hypocrisy in the sexes… women can talized her as a “frontier angel,” contemporaries were less endure as much as a man.” CIM
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Water management is crucial to a sustainable operation – and industry Machine learning, artificial intelligence and mining – How great are t...
Published on Feb 1, 2018
Water management is crucial to a sustainable operation – and industry Machine learning, artificial intelligence and mining – How great are t...