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JUly 2020 | JUilleT 2020
NAMES TO KNOW
Names to Know 2020 The people bringing new strategies, new technologies and new perspectives to the mining industry By Ryan Bergen, Lynn Greiner, Carolyn Gruske, Robert Hiltz, Herb Mathisen, Tijana Mitrovic, Matthew Parizot
40 Smart Blasting Controlling blasting costs through data capture and analysis By Herb Mathisen
43 Celebration of Excellence Presenting the 2020 CIM award winners
July 2020 â€˘ Julliet 2020 | 5
CIM MAGAZINE july 2020 • juIllEt 2020
in each issue 8
tools of the trade 10
The best in new technology Compiled by Tijana Mitrovic
Miners look to alternative solutions to monitor tailings during pandemic By Matthew Parizot
How cosmic rays can help underground exploration By Matthew Parizot
Camp life in the midst of a pandemic By Tijana Mitrovic
mining mentors 22
Vale’s Katy Scharf offers advice to help businesses alleviate pandemic stresses for their employees
By Carolyn Gruske
How can a mining company continue to improve efficiency and reduce costs?
Incremental and major changes are possible and necessary if steelmakers are to reduce carbon emissions By Robert Hiltz
Table des matières
Lettre de l’éditeur
Mot de la présidente
article de fond 55
By Andrew Cooper
metallurgy and materials science
Les noms à connaître 2020 Des influenceurs à l’oeuvre pour définir, façonner et parfaire l’industrie minière Par Ryan Bergen, Lynn Greiner, Carolyn Gruske, Robert Hiltz, Herb Mathisen, Tijana Mitrovic, Matthew Parizot
Bacterial mutants and hydrogen peroxide may be keys to reclaiming value from tailings ponds and remediating pyrrhotite waste By Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco
CIM news 50
Metallurgy & Materials Society of CIM 2020 Awards
mining lore 66
A heroic sacrifice at the East Sullivan mine By Tijana Mitrovic
Nous publions progressivement sur notre site Internet les articles du CIM Magazine en version française. 6 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
A decisive moment “American Indian Movement activist Mike Forcia talked to a State Patrol captain sent to the scene to encourage protesters to follow a legal process for removing the statue, which has stood on the Capitol grounds since 1931. Forcia said they had tried that route many times and it had not worked.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 11, 2020
nd so a statue of Christopher Columbus was looped with ropes, pulled off its pedestal and brought to the ground. When, back in March, we took a hard turn and many of us went into self-isolation to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, we knew there would be consequences. The discussions centred around the disruption of work and life, the threat of the virus and the burden on the health care system, the near- and long-term impacts on the global economy. If we could not predict final outcomes, we could at least throw around ideas of what they might be. Many weeks of isolation, restlessness and anxiety, however, are a volatile mix. This was the setting when the images of the slow and brutal death of George Floyd at the hands of police became public. Frustrations that had been building for generations, anger over the long list of names of others who died under similar circumstances, the heavy toll of COVID-19 on AfricanAmerican communities, and the acute alienation from being confined at home found a common focus. This moment has been a catalyst for the expression of many long-held grievances that are well founded in history and far beyond the scope of police brutality. It has also come with such force that some who have succeeded in waving away such agitation for change in the past have had to respond and – more to the point – to listen. If this reckoning is centred in the United States, the stories that many Canadians – including current and past CIM colleagues – have shared reinforce that this is not a problem
This issue’s cover Martine Paradis, vice-president for engineering and environment at Nouveau Monde Graphite Photo by Marc-Antoine Hallé
belonging only to our southern neighbours. We have our own enduring legacies of injustice that we collectively ignore. If we choose to give it our attention, however, we can skip the bewildered, what-is-to-be-done phase. There is at least some guidance already. A year ago, “The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls” was released. It was a thorough accounting of systemic racism in Canada and came with a number of corrective actions. While many of the measures outlined in the report were for governments, they also gave recommendations to both the media and the extractive industries. For outlets such as CIM Magazine, the report called for the inclusion of Indigenous people in both the coverage and production of content, and for the extractive industries to respond to the fact that the impacts and benefits of development are not distributed equally across Indigenous communities. Why don’t we begin there?
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 Michele Beacom, email@example.com Section editors Carolyn Gruske, firstname.lastname@example.org; Matthew Parizot, email@example.com Editorial intern Tijana Mitrovic, firstname.lastname@example.org Contributors Andrew Cooper, Lynn Greiner, Robert Hiltz, Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco, Herb Mathisen Editorial advisory board Mohammad Babaei Khorzhoughi, Vic Pakalnis, Steve Rusk, Nathan Stubina Translations Karen Rolland Layout and design Clò Communications Inc., www.clocommunications.com 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; email@example.com
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 Christopher Forbes, email@example.com, 905.707.3516 Edyta (Edith) Dhillon, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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. Copyright©2020. All rights reserved. ISSN 1718-4177. Publications Mail No. 09786. Postage paid at CPA Saint-Laurent, QC. Dépôt légal: Bibliothèque nationale du Québec. The Institute, as a body, is not responsible for statements made or opinions advanced either in articles or in any discussion appearing in its publications.
Printed in Canada 8 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
COVID-19 has pushed us to reimagine how we do our work. Let’s embrace the opportunity.
The first steps into a new world
ositive changes are underway with the gradual re-opening of businesses and the government’s permission to expand social circles. This change is uplifting for all of us. The months of confined living have been quite wearing, so let’s get out and about (safely) while we can and soak up the joys of summer. I’m excited to say that much of our Canadian mining industry is forging ahead with success. We’re adjusting rapidly and learning from one another, and we continue to earn a place as an essential service industry. This designation is a shot in the arm for our morale and for the Canadian economy. Indeed, mining operations have adapted in finding effective ways to protect workers and family members as a first priority. We are not only running our operations, we are reaching out to community
members, and we are supporting first responders with muchneeded PPE. All these efforts and outcomes reflect our industry’s resilience and caring culture. In terms of next steps, we are holding the reins firmly in our hands and are steering the industry through uncharted territory, using centuries of collective experience and well-honed instincts. We have crossed the boundary into a new world and a new way of working. Now is the time to adapt and embrace the possibilities available to us. There is no going back to the preCOVID world. The new world is one that demands greater responsibility to our people, our communities, and our planet. It’s an ideal opportunity to transform our industry with new innovation and technologies, with new relationships, and with new business outcomes. It is essential to embrace this opportunity to build a stronger, more responsible industry than ever before. This July issue of CIM Magazine is one that celebrates excellence in the Canadian mining industry with well-deserved recognition to all the outstanding award winners. Although we haven’t celebrated in person this year, with stage lights and ceremony, our appreciation of these accomplishments is just as great. I am so proud of the 2020 CIM award winners and this is my personal thank you for your efforts in making our industry better. You are leaders and role models to all of us. I urge all CIM members to please take time to recognize the winners and their demonstration of excellence in our industry. Let us continue this journey together, in finding ways to leverage the challenges ahead of us with creativity, teamwork, and determination.
Samantha Espley CIM President July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 9
tools of the trade
Controlled emissions Courtesy of Caterpillar
Caterpillar’s new underground articulated haul truck, the CAT AD63, has a battery-powered electric HVAC system and an emissions control system to meet regulations and improve underground air quality. While the AD63 has a diesel engine, its emissions control system regulates the use of diesel particulates and meets emissions standards without the need for diesel exhaust fluid. The truck also has a 63-tonne payload and external displays which provides instant feedback on truck loads which, according to Caterpillar, enables greater efficiency and load optimisation. “The AD63 is designed and built to help miners improve productivity and reduce cost [with] faster cycle times [and] increased tonnes hauled per kilometer per hour,” Nathan Wescombe, hard rock vehicles commercial manager at Caterpillar, told CIM Magazine. “Additionally, increased payload contributes to greater production and lower cost-per-tonne, and low emissions help provide a better working environment underground.” The AD63 will be available in late 2020.
Courtesy of FORTAI
An eye on inventory FORTAI’s SmartCubes are a new add-on for enterprise resource planning systems that manage resources and materials in real time for surface and underground mining operations. Part of the company’s Automated Delivery, Material Management and Inventory Technology (ADMMIT) system, SmartCubes include IoT sensors which identify materials such as tools, explosives or PPE and record how they are used, and upload the information to an inventory database through scans and smart image processing and recognition. “Once [a SmartCube] container is opened, materials can be easily placed inside or retrieved,” Trang Tran‑Valade, FORTAI President, told CIM Magazine. “When materials are removed, the ADMMIT central server is notified to update the Enterprise Resource Planning system, ensuring accurate real-time inventory management.”
Courtesy of Weir Minerals
Automated lubrication Weir Minerals’ Accumin Lubricators automatically grease mining equipment in regular intervals to reduce downtime and extend part life. Accumin lubricators use a battery-operated drive unit, which can be set to dispense consistent amounts of lubricant every few hours, weeks or months and can be monitored by their LCD display, LED alert system or the transparent grease cartridges. “The Accumin lubrication system provides an automated solution to the old-fashioned process of manual lubrication with a grease gun,” Michael Roinich, Accumin product specialist at Weir Minerals, told CIM Magazine. “This reduces the number of interactions with equipment, [limiting] the exposure to safety hazards and freeing up labour for other more critical tasks.” Accumin Lubricators are available in three sizes and two drive configurations, and can be used on equipment such as pumps, valves, crushers and more. Compiled by Tijana Mitrovic 10 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
Developments Miners look to alternative solutions to monitor tailings during pandemic The COVID-19 crisis has forced operations to adjust their tailings monitoring techniques with technology and proper planning With the COVID-19 pandemic upending the way mines conduct operations, as well as the not-so-distant memories of high profile tailings dam disasters such as Mount Polley and Brumadinho still in the public’s mind, miners have had no choice but to adapt and look for new solutions to continue effective dam monitoring during this crisis. In an e-mail communiqué to its members, Catrin Bryan, president of the Canadian Dam Association (CDA), offered suggestions to dam owners that have had to alter their operations to support measures such as social distancing and quarantining. However, while mining companies face the same challenges as dam owners during this pandemic, the nature of tailings dams and the remote locations of many mine sites pose their own unique challenges. “Owners continue to perform critical dam safety monitoring (particularly associated with critical controls) while also implementing special procedures that include social distancing, disinfecting and screening of staff as they arrive on site,” Bryan wrote to CIM Magazine. “These steps can be particularly challenging for mines with remote camps and that require air travel.” As well, the implementation of quarantines for employees arriving on site has also made it more difficult for those responsible for monitoring tailings dams to monitor for lengthy stretches of time. Tailings facilities are different from normal dams in that they are constructed or raised at the same time that tailings are being deposited, Bryan said, as opposed to water dams that are constructed prior to reservoir filling. As such, constant monitoring of active tail-
Courtesy of Agnico Eagle
By Matthew Parizot
A view of the tailings ponds at Agnico Eagle’s LaRonde mine in Quebec ings storage facilities is paramount when it comes to mitigating the risks present when adding additional material to the dam. The solution, according to Bryan, is to focus on the fundamentals of dam safety described in the CDA guidelines, even for companies that haven’t put in place an effective strategy for environmental monitoring during the COVID-19 crisis. “It is never too late to implement or improve dam safety monitoring, and dam safety management is always subject to continuous improvement initiatives,” she wrote. A big part of those initiatives includes the use of technology that can help circumvent the disadvantages posed by COVID-19 safety measures. Remote cameras, unmanned aerial vehicles and remote satellite data uploaded from
monitoring instruments allow employees to see the tailings dams without the need to leave quarantine or go outside. One example Bryan points to is the use of trail cameras connected to cellular networks that send photos of spillways periodically so that they can be inspected for debris accumulation without sending someone to the site. Once companies take steps to implement these measures, they’ll have to work to integrate them into their regular procedures alongside all the other responsibilities that come with operating a mine. As part of its guidelines, the CDA encourages dam owners to review their plans for emergencies and unusual events and how they will be implemented with the pandemic staffing restrictions. The COVID-19 crisis is still ongoing, and mines are coming to terms with a July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 11
FROM THE WIRE
Compiled by Tijana Mitrovic
Edie Thome has been nominated as
an independent director to Wesdome’s board of directors. Thome has leadership experience in government relations, environmental permitting and more, and was most recently president and CEO of the Association for Mineral Exploration in British Columbia. Murray John has been appointed to
Prime Mining’s board of directors. John has been in the resource investment industry since 1992 and is currently the chairman of Discovery Metals. Bruce Durham has also resigned from the board. Kevin Reid, Michael Gentile and Blair Schultz are joining Solstice Gold’s board of directors. Marty Tunney and Chad Ulansky will resign
from their positions as board members. Tunney will retain his role as president of Solstice Gold and Ulansky will remain as a consultant for the company. Dr. Elaine Dorward-King has joined
NOVAGold’s board of directors. Dorward-King has 30 years of experience in environmental stewardship, sustainability practices and more, and has previously held positions at Newmont and Rio Tinto. Jose Vizquerra has resigned from
his position as a director at Discovery Metals. He had been on the board of the company since its inception in 2017. Xanadu Mines CFO Munkhsaikhan Dambiinyam has been appointed as COO, a newly created role within the company. The role will be based in Mongolia, where he will be the company’s top official. Spencer Cole will succeed him as CFO, having previously worked at ABA Resources and Newcrest Mining.
12 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
situation where a suspension won’t affect dam monitoring at a site. “Suspension of mining does not eliminate dam safety responsibilities,” Bryan
Courtesy of New Gold
situation where operating activities can be suspended at a moment’s notice if there’s an outbreak. However, with proper planning, companies can avoid a
wrote. “Monitoring and emergency planning activities remain essential for safe performance regardless of the mine’s operating status.” CIM
reported a pre-tax net present value of $1.0 billion at a five percent discount rate, a 11.3 per cent internal rate of return and a payback period of 6.2 years before tax. New Gold acquired the Blackwater project in 2011 and received federal and provincial environmental assessment certificates last year, and began working on meeting permit Before divesting the project, New Gold said it was looking into “other strategic alternatives” for Blackwater. requirements. In the company’s MD&A report for 2019, the company began disArtemis Gold to acquire cussing alternative project scenarios New Gold’s Blackwater with lower initial capital costs, and stated it was “considering other strategic project alternatives with respect to the BlackwaOn June 9 Artemis Gold signed an ter project.” Project costs for the first asset purchase agreement to buy New quarter of 2020 totalled US$8.1 million, Gold’s Blackwater gold project for $190 compared to US$1.9 million in 2019, million. The project is located in central mostly due to continued work on meetBritish Columbia, 112 kilometres southing environmental assessment condiwest of Vanderhoof. tions and conducting participation Per the agreement, Artemis Gold will agreements with First Nations communipay New Gold $140 million in cash once ties. New Gold CEO Renaud Adams said the acquisition is finalized and will make the sale would help the company meet its a second payment of $50 million one year goal of generating free cash flow in 2021. after closing. New Gold will also receive “The proposed acquisition of Black$20 million, or 9.9 per cent, of Artemis water is the first meaningful step in our Gold’s issued and outstanding shares, strategy to develop a first-tier gold whichever is less at the time of closing as deposit in one of the world’s premier well as a royalty for gold produced at low-risk mining jurisdictions,” Steven Blackwater. Dean, chairman and CEO of Artemis Gold, A 2014 feasibility study estimated said. “Our focus will be the methodical that once completed, the proposed opende-risking of the project development to pit mine and 60,000 tonne-per-day enhance net present value, optimize process plant would produce 7 million internal rate of return and minimize ounces of gold and 30 million ounces of equity dilution to shareholders.” Dean silver over a mine life of 16 years. The was the CEO of Atlantic Gold prior to study estimated capital costs to be $1.9 its acquisition by St. Barbara Limited billion. Blackwater has a measured and in 2019. indicated mineral resource of 9.5 million Some of these development activities ounces of gold and 70.13 million ounces include securing project debt financing of silver from 90.9 million tonnes grading for initial capital expenditures, contractat 0.3 and 4.3 grams per tonne, respecing infrastructure projects to third parties tively. Annual gold production is estiand undertaking a high-density grade mated at 485,000 ounces, with an all-in drilling program prior to construction. sustaining cost of US$685 per ounce in The company will also be using an initial its first nine years. The study also lower target for capital expenditure and
developments Courtesy of Endeavour Mining
conduct one or two more expansions in order to reach the production outlined in the feasibility study. Once the Blackwater acquisition is complete, the company will be focusing on completing project financing, meeting permit requirements and establishing relationships and engaging with local Indigenous communities. In the next three months the company also intends to conduct an updated pre-feasibility study of the project. – Tijana Mitrovic Endeavour Mining’s Agbaou pit in Côte d’Ivoire.
Endeavour focuses on responsible mining in new sustainability report Africa-focused gold producer Endeavour Mining published its 2019 sustainability report on May 27, releasing its plan to meet environment, social and governance (ESG) targets and announcing that executive bonuses will be dependent on the completion of those targets. The report highlights the company’s goal of implementing the Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMPs), the
World Gold Council’s ESG reporting framework. In 2019, Endeavour conducted a gap analysis to identify activities and standards and highlight which ones met the RGMPs and which ones fell short. The World Gold Council launched the RGMPs last September in order to clearly define responsible mining expectations to consumers. The RGMPs consist of 10 umbrella principles which cover the ethical impact of mining operations, labour rights, water usage, energy and climate change and more. There are an additional 51 principles under those umbrella top-
ics, such as enhancing local procurement and addressing tailings and waste management, which contribute to the framework of responsible gold mining. Endeavour’s analysis demonstrated that the company had already met the RGMP external assurance relating to accountabilities and reporting. “We are pleased with the progress we have made so far, and the steps taken to improve our business practices and reporting,” said Sébastien de Montessus, president and CEO of Endeavour. “In addition, to drive the right behaviours and actions across our business, we have augmented our shortand long-term compensation schemes with clear and measurable ESG targets.” The company announced it was expanding its group targets, which affect employee bonuses, to include 20 per cent of ESG-related short-term targets such as reducing the lost time injury frequency rate by 10 per cent and increasing the number of women employees to 10 per cent, two per cent more than the company’s 2019 total. Long-term incentives will be weighted on the completion of all 10 umbrella principles and 51 principles
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of the RGMPs. According to the company, details about the compensation plan will be published in this year’s third quarter. In the report, the company set out its environmental goals for 2020, which include developing a target for reducing emissions, implementing a new mine closure standard and reviewing current mine closure plans. The company will also con-
duct a review of possible renewable energy opportunities at its operations, such as adding a solar farm to generate power at its Houndé mine in Burkina Faso. The report also highlights the company’s environmental achievements, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 22 per cent and avoiding any significant environmental incidents over the past two years.
Other achievements across ESG areas include increasing West African general manager representation from 25 to 75 per cent, increasing representation of women in technical and supervisor roles by five per cent and distributing US$627 million in value to host countries, including $100 million in taxes and royalties. – Tijana Mitrovic
How cosmic rays can help underground exploration Ideon Technologies’ new cosmic ray muon tomography technology uses sub-atomic particles from space to locate mineral deposits
Courtesy of Ideon Technologies
By Matthew Parizot
Using multiple borehole detectors in multiple holes allows the detection and construction of a 3D image of the deposit. Cosmic rays originating from the depths of space might soon find a use in exploring the depths of the earth, as one Canadian start-up has developed a new method of locating underground mineral deposits using the subatomic particles produced by these rays. Vancouver-based Ideon Technologies – formerly known as CRM Geotomography and created as a spin-off from TRIUMF, Canada’s national particle accelerator laboratory located at the University of British Columbia – is gearing up to introduce its “cosmic-ray muon tomography” mineral deposit detector, which the company claims can “reduce exploration drilling activities by 10 times and can identify exploration tar14 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
gets with 95 per cent or higher certainty.” The detector is designed to enhance, rather than replace, traditional exploration drilling. Once a company has drilled a hole and retrieved the core sample, the detector can then be inserted into the very same drill hole, creating a 2D image of mineral deposits in the surrounding area down to a distance of one kilometre underground. With the use of multiple detectors in multiple holes, a 3D image can be constructed to precisely locate and define the mineral deposit. The detectors measure muons, subatomic particles created when cosmic rays (high-energy protons and atomic
nuclei) originating from outside the solar system enter Earth’s atmosphere, collide with elemental atoms and molecules like oxygen and nitrogen and then decay into smaller, radioactive, secondary particles that shower down through our atmosphere at the speed of light. While the science behind the detectors may seem complicated, Ideon’s vice-president of product Don Furseth, explained that the way the detectors find mineral deposits is analogous to a common medical procedure we are all familiar with. “If you’re familiar with X-ray images, you can see bones and structures in the human body,” Furseth told CIM Magazine. “The way this works is very similar in terms of when X-rays pass through
developments matter like bones you can see where things are more dense by looking at the image. It’s exactly the same process, it’s just on a different scale. Rather than looking inside a human body, we’re looking into the earth, and rather than penetrating through centimetres we’re penetrating hundreds of metres.” Using the borehole detectors, companies will be able to be more selective about where they decide to drill, says Furseth, which would be helpful for an industry which the company says “has invested US$198 billion in exploration over the past 10 years with an [approximately] 45 per cent return on investment.” “If you’re searching the area, rather than drilling a lot of holes, you can be more selective,” Furseth said. “Do onetenth the number of holes and have them spaced farther apart and then from each hole essentially look around and see if there’s something dense.” The detectors have been in development for several years and were previously too large to fit into a borehole, severely limiting the usefulness of the product. According to recently appointed
CEO Gary Agnew, shrinking the size of the detector was key to its success. “That borehole product really takes us from a solution that [only] works in brownfield mine sites with existing mine shaft infrastructure,” Agnew said. “We were kind of locked into that part of the industry, but now the borehole detector opens up both green and brownfield opportunities.” Ideon has performed several case studies with mining companies such as at Teck Resources’ MX700 lead-zinc deposit at the Pend Oreille mine in Washington, U.S.A., and Nyrstar’s Price zinc-copper deposit at its Myra Falls underground mine in British Columbia. During the company’s latest case-study at Orano and Cameco’s McArthur River uranium mine in Saskatchewan, the detectors located a high-grade uranium deposit under 600 metres of sandstone. “This is a severely compact, needle-ina-haystack type of orebody, and basically, conventional techniques can’t find these [deposits],” Furseth said. “They’re hard to discover, so this was quite an exciting breakthrough for [Cameco and Orano.]”
The borehole detector is still undergoing trials, and the company is aiming for them to be commercially ready sometime in 2021. CIM
MINExpo convention held back to 2021 MINExpo International, one of the world’s largest mining conventions held every four years in Las Vegas, Nevada, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 virus. The convention, originally to be held from Sept. 28 to Sept. 30, has been rescheduled for September 2021, to be held in Las Vegas if possible. In 2016, the convention featured 1,953 companies exhibiting both inside and outside the Las Vegas Convention Center. “The National Mining Association (NMA), the MINExpo International 2020 sponsor, has made its highest priority the health, well-being and safety of exhibitors, attendees, stakeholders and their respective families and colleagues, as well as our event partners in Las
We approach innovation from all angles We dream, we design, we innovate. From front-end studies to mine closures and reclamation, Stantec designs creative, innovative, and industry-leading solutions that advance mining companies and the communities they serve. stantec.com/mining
July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 15
– Matthew Parizot
Kinross Gold and Mauritania reach agreement over Tasiast On June 15, Kinross Gold announced it had reached an in-principle partnership agreement with the government of Mauritania, providing the company with a 30year exploitation licence for its Tasiast Sud exploration target, granting it the possibility of early mining and allowing it to expedite the permitting process. Once the agreement is completed, Kinross Gold will pay the Mauritanian government US$10 million to resolve disputes regarding fuel use and tax exemptions and an additional US$15 million to resolve disputes over the exploitation licence for the mine. The government will repay Kinross approximately US$40 million in value-added tax refunds through 2025, effectively reinstating the company’s tax exemption on fuel duties. Under the agreement, Kinross will pay the Mauritanian government an escalating royalty on its Tasiast Sud mine, dependent on the price of gold, an increase from its previous fixed 3 per cent royalty. The company will pay royalties of 4 per cent when gold prices are below US$1,000 per ounce of gold and up to 6.5 per cent when gold prices meet or exceed US$1,800 per ounce of gold. “We are pleased to see further development of a positive foreign investment climate in Mauritania with this success16 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
Courtesy of Kinross Gold
Vegas,” the announcement posted on the MINExpo website read. “The advance of COVID-19 around the world has made holding the show in September 2020 impracticable under the circumstances.” COVID-19 has made the prospect of holding in-person conventions and events next to impossible, with other mining conventions – such as the CIM 2020 Convention which was to be held in Vancouver at the beginning of May – have been outright cancelled due to the pandemic. The continued border shutdown between the United States and Canada has also complicated matters for Canadian companies who had planned to exhibit at MINExpo. Attendees of the convention will have their registration and award luncheon tickets refunded. Exhibitors will have their spaces in the floorplan carried over to the new date in 2021.
The agreement will provide Kinross with a 30-year exploitation licence for its Tasiast Sud exploration target in line with the country’s latest mining code. ful outcome of our discussions with the government, along with the [International Finance Corporation]-led Tasiast project financing signed in December 2019,” J. Paul Rollinson, president and CEO of Kinross Gold, said. “This balanced agreement will deliver increased stability, position Tasiast for long-term success, and provide enhanced benefits to Mauritania and its people.” In September 2019, Kinross Gold announced it was moving forward with its US$150 million expansion of Tasiast, which is expected to increase throughput production to 24,000 tonnes per day, an increase over its current throughput of about 15,000 tonnes per day. The project is expected to reach this output by mid2023 and increase the life of mine by four years, until 2033. According to the company, the Tasiast 24k expansion project will include modifying the mine’s grinding circuit, expanding leaching and thickening capacity and onsite power generation and water supplies. “This agreement is a result of positive efforts between the government of Mauritania and Kinross to amicably resolve our discussions,” Mauritanian Minister of Petroleum, Mines and Energy Mohamed Abdel Vetah said. “It also highlights our commitment to providing an attractive investment climate in the country and ensures that the Mauritanian people will receive the appropriate benefits from the Tasiast mine.” – Tijana Mitrovic
IBM and Shell team up on mining marketplace IBM iX and Royal Dutch Shell have partnered to create Oren, a newly launched “global B2B digital mining services marketplace platform” that acts as a hub for mining services and a library of best practices for mining companies. The pair of companies positions this platform as something that will assist mining businesses to improve aspects of their mine-to-port activities. Predictive maintenance and fleet analytics software found on the platform, for example, will help mining businesses manage their vehicular assets more efficiently. Similarly, shipping and logistics tracking and scheduling software should ensure supply chains operate smoothly. Decarbonization and environmental applications are also expected become a large part of Oren’s marketplace offerings. While some of the technology solutions offered on the platform will come from Shell and IBM, they will be listed along with offerings from other providers, including small companies and start-ups. “It is generally very hard for a startup to work with a corporate,” said Saskia Mureau, general manager of digital innovation, Shell Global Commercial. “Oren will help them find new revenues, it will forge partnerships and it will offer them digital tools to assess how their proposals are being received.”
developments As of the launch, Oren officials said there are 30 different solutions listed in its marketplace, but promised there are 150 “in the funnel.” Among the companies currently part of Oren’s platform are MachineMax, which offers cloud-based fleet optimization tools for off-road vehicles, Hydrox Holdings, a hydrogen-production company, RedEye, an engineering drawing and drafting management tool provider
and Envirosuite, which offers a number of products including blast management and environmental compliance tools. Additionally, mining companies will be able to request consulting services through Oren and have IBM and Shell offer advice on how to integrate tools found in the marketplace into their operations. The platform is being run on the “freemium” model, so mining companies
can join without cost, set up a profile and do things such as searching through the articles to find how-to tips and best practices or browse through the marketplace. Other features will be offered at a cost. Solutions providers will pay a listing fee to be part of the marketplace and transaction fee when businesses purchase their services or products. – Carolyn Gruske
Heading back to camp Mineral exploration camps are resuming in British Columbia amidst new health and safety protocols in the COVID-19 pandemic Mineral exploration companies in British Columbia are heading into the field this summer after months of sheltering in place. But in the midst of a global pandemic, what will exploration camps look like? Governments, industry organizations and companies continue to release and develop new COVID-19 health and safety protocols to protect communities and control the spread of the virus. In May, the provincial government announced that all workplaces would be required to have a COVID-19 safety plan before resuming or beginning work. The government’s mining ministry also mandated that all camps develop their own prevention and control protocols for the virus and released a guidance for COVID19 mining health and safety. According to the guidance, mines and exploration camps are directed to limit the amount of people in the same space, including common areas such as cafeterias and sleeping quarters, to a maximum of 50 people. The document also specifies that employees maintain a distance of two metres from one another both during and outside of work hours. Other directions include limiting elevator capacity to four people at a time, increasing the number of hand-washing stations and reducing in-person meetings and when necessary, holding site meetings in open spaces or outside. According to Kendra Johnston, president and CEO of the Association for Mineral Exploration (AME), maintaining physical distancing will be paramount and will change how camps are organized.
Courtesy of Anatole Tuzlak
By Tijana Mitrovic
Exploration in B.C.’s Chachi Corridor. “The main thing is going to be organizing camp in a way that allows for physical distancing,” Johnston says. “Thinking about sleeping quarters and tents for example, typically we would put four people in a 14-by-16 tent to sleep. Maybe now we’ll have to hang sheets from the top of the tent down in
between beds to make quadrants within the tents.” For Andy Randell, geologist at Strata GeoData, maintaining physical distancing at camp will be the biggest challenge this season. “[Distancing is] hard to do in a camp,” said Randell. “It’s a very tight environment. You could be on the side of July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 17
a mountain and have all the space in the world yet in camp you’re all clustered in one little space.” “We’re putting together a field camp right now with 10 people, and we’re actually wondering if the footprint in our permit is going to be enough for us to be able to separate tents and give everybody their own space. There’s those kinds of considerations as well. It just takes a little bit of thinking and a little bit of planning to overcome it.” New protocols on bringing workers to and from camps will largely depend on screening employees before any travelling, either by asking healthrelated questions or conducting temperature screening. “The other piece that’s going to be really important is making sure that we’re looking after our First Nations partners and not putting them in harm’s way by travelling through their communities and potentially bringing infectious people within [their] proximity,” Johnston explained. “Passing over First Nations
communities and communities where people are living in an effort to go from a municipality straight into camp will be important.” Despite the new protocols and precautions, Johnston believes that the dayto-day life of mineral explorers will not vastly change. However, the virus has already had significant impacts on exploration overall. “People have been having trouble getting access to capital, and therefore programs haven’t been financed to the same degree that they would have been in other years,” Johnston says. As a result, she says that many companies are opting to do smaller programs. Even then, purchasing equipment to protect employees and local communities are cutting further into the exploration budget. As the COVID-19 pandemic has brought increased attention to hygiene, some new health and safety protocols may remain in place for the long-term. “Camps are typically places where if
one person gets sick that illness, whatever it is, whether it’s a cold or the flu, spreads around camp pretty quickly,” Johnston explains. “I think overall there are some really good hygiene-related practices that are going to be maintained for the long-term beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.” According to Johnston, AME and the provincial government are currently working on a guidance document specifically for small camps. The document will outline how exploration companies can operate in the field under new regulations on camps and transportation. “There are still a few changes to be made to that document,” Johnston says. “But we are moving forward and are happy to see that many of our members are planning and preparing to head out to the field.” “What all of the guidance boils down to is [ensuring that] we do the job as best as possible and as efficiently as possible, and still maintain physical distancing.” CIM
Lumina Gold Corp. released the results of its preliminary economic assessment on June 9 for its flagship Cangrejos project in Ecuador, adding US$600 million of additional net present value to the project. The assessment was managed by MTB Enterprises Inc. According to Lumina, the improvements shown since the company’s last PEA from 2018 come as a result of the additions of the Gran Bestia deposit, increased mineral resource definition and an improved process flow sheet. The project is expected to have annual production of 366,000 ounces of gold over a 25-year mine life (seven years longer than in 2018) and will process 40,000 tonnes of ore per day in its first five years, with an expansion to 80,000 tonnes per day in year six. The combined Cangrejos and Gran Bestia deposits contain an indicated mineral resource of 10.4 million ounces of gold from 570.8 million tonnes of ore with an average grade of 0.73 grams per tonne, as well as an inferred resource of 6.7 million ounces from 500.4 million tonnes grading at 0.53 grams per tonne. 18 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
Courtesy of Lumina Gold
Lumina Gold adds value to Cangrejos project
The new economic assessment adds an additional seven years of life to Cangrejos. Overall, the project is expected to have an after-tax net present value with a discount rate of five per cent of US$1.6 billion and average all-in sustaining costs of US$604 per ounce, assuming a gold price of US$1,400 per ounce. Initial capital costs for mine development, infrastructure and equipment are estimated at US$1 billion, with another
US$454 million slated for the process plant expansion. In the company’s view, the results of the assessment are a positive development for a jurisdiction that has only recently become open to the prospect of mining. “Cangrejos is an exceptional global gold deposit and one of the few of this
Eldorado proceeds with Lamaque decline construction On June 8, Eldorado Gold announced that it would be proceeding with the construction of a three-kilometre decline, or tunnel, at its Lamaque underground operation in Val-d’Or, Quebec. The decline will travel from the company’s Sigma mill down to the 405-metre level of the Triangle mine, which is located 2.5 kilometres south of the historic Lamaque mine. According to the company, the decline project is expected to provide several benefits in both the short- and long-term. These benefits include eliminating surface re-handling and haulage of ore from Triangle (potentially reducing carbon emissions, lowering costs and reducing traffic), providing increased access for exploration in the area between the Triangle mine, Lamaque and the Sigma mine. “We are pleased to begin construction of the decline at Lamaque this summer,” Eldorado president and CEO George Burns said. “This is a project we have been advancing for nearly a year and is another step towards further production growth and continued value creation at Lamaque.” According to Eldorado, engineering and site preparations for construction will begin in June and surface construction on the portal will begin in the third quarter. Construction is expected to be
completed in the first half of 2022 and will carry an estimated cost of US$24 million. How the decline will impact the operation’s gold production has yet to be determined, though the company says that it will release “an update outlining a path forward for Lamaque” in the fourth quarter of 2020, and is considering the addition of an underground crushing and conveying system and a potential expansion of the Sigma mill. Lamaque’s 2020 production outlook is forecast between 125,000 to 135,000 ounces of gold, processing 615,000 tonnes of ore at a grade of seven grams per tonne. Fifty-thousand metres of exploration drilling at Lamaque is planned for 2020, 29,000 of which are reserved for drilling in the lower Triangle deposit. – Matthew Parizot
Monarch Gold has appointed Yohann Bouchard to its board of directors. Bouchard has 24 years of experience in the mining industry and has held positions at Primero Mining, Iamgold and Breakwater Resources. He is currently senior vice president of operations at Yamana Gold. New Pacific Metals has appointed Mark Cruise to its board of directors. Cruise assumed the position of CEO in April after serving as the company’s COO. Prior to joining New Pacific Metals, he held positions at Trevali Mining and Cardero Resources. Vincent Dubé-Bourgeois has been
named CEO of Goldspot Discoveries. Dubé-Bourgeois is a founding member of the company and has acted as its COO since 2017. Previous CEO Denis Laviolette will continue as president of the company and will succeed Frank Holmes as executive chairman.
Wesdome delivers Kiena preliminary economic assessment
Angie Robson has joined Torex Gold
Wesdome Gold Mines released the results of the independent preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its Kiena gold mine complex in Val d’Or, Quebec, laying out a potential scenario for restarting production. The results, issued on May 27, are based on the company’s mineral resource estimate from September 2019, which showed a promising increase in measured and indicated resources. According to the PEA, the Kiena gold mine complex would have an after-tax net present value of $416.1 million with a discount rate of five per cent, an aftertax internal rate of return of 102 per cent and an estimated mine life of eight years. The complex would have a total operating cost of $492 per ounce of gold and an all-in sustaining cost of $647 per ounce of gold for a total sustaining capital cost
as vice-president of corporate affairs and social responsibility. She has over 20 years of experience in public and government affairs and community relations, and was most recently director of corporate affairs and sustainability for Vale’s North Atlantic operations and Asian refineries. Mikko Tepponen has joined FLSmidth
as its new chief digital officer. He has previously held positions at Wärtsilä and Outotec and has experience using digital solutions to achieve more sustainable and resource-efficient practices for companies. David Prins has resigned from his
Courtesy of Wesdome
scale that is 100 per cent controlled by an independent developer,” Lumina president and CEO Marshall Koval said. “Ecuador has made substantial progress in its mining sector with the successful commissioning of [Lundin Gold’s] Fruta del Norte and [Ecuacorriente’s] Mirador. Now the country will turn their focus to the next generation of development projects.” If constructed, Cangrejos will be a large open-pit mine employing 652 fulltime employees during the construction phase and between 718 and 970 employees during the production phase. The mine would also use a dry stack tailings storage method, which the company says would reduce operating costs, provide positive environmental and social benefits as well as reduce the footprint and the amount of water required for the operation. – Matthew Parizot
The PEA suggests that the Kiena mine complex would contain an after-tax net present value of $416.1 million.
position of vice-president of operations at Pretium Resources. The company has begun looking for a replacement, and Prins will assist with the transition. Alan Hitchborn has joined New
Placer Dome Gold’s advisory board as a senior technical advisor. He has nearly 40 years of experience in mineral exploration and has led exploration teams for Placer Dome, Corex Gold and more. He was most recently vice president of geology and exploration for Frontera Mining.
July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 19
– Tijana Mitrovic
Geoscience BC study highlights a new method for mineral exploration Geoscience BC has released new research which offers a novel method for quick geological sampling. The study, “A Geochemical Investigation of Halogens in Spruce Treetops and Integration with Existing Multi-Element Data,” investigates how treetop samples could be analyzed for halogen elements to determine the presence of mineral deposits or changes in geology below ground. “Our research… [wanted] to see what we can pick up without ever having to put a shovel in the ground or get people on the ground,” Christa Pellett, vicepresident of minerals at Geoscience BC, told CIM Magazine. “[By] collecting these samples from treetops, [we wanted to know] what can we learn about the geological structure beneath the surface, about the changes in geology and if [we] can pinpoint where the industry might be interested in doing more mineral exploration work.” Geoscience BC used samples from 400 spruce trees covering a 1,000 20 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
Courtesy of Geoscience BC
of $120.8 million. The estimated total cost does not include exploration costs. The assessment also indicates pre-production capital costs of $34.8 million, with an after-tax payback period of 1.7 years at a gold price of US$1,532 per ounce. “We are pleased with the results of the PEA that clearly illustrate the viability to restart production at the Kiena Mine in a very short-term horizon,” said Duncan Middlemiss, president and CEO of Wesdome. “The PEA demonstrates a low-cost and high-margin operation, with low capital requirements and a short payback period, while minimizing risks and maximizing shareholders’ return.” The Kiena gold mine complex has been in care and maintenance since March 2013, when Wesdome suspended operations due to low ore grades and uncertain Canadian dollar gold prices. According to Middlemiss, the company will provide an updated resource estimate in this year’s fourth quarter which will be followed by a pre-feasibility study on the complex. Wesdome will decide on restarting production in the first half of fiscal 2021.
The original TREK study used a fairly unique sampling method to collect hundreds of samples from treetops, pictured here. Using a helicopter, a collection team hovered over the tops of trees for 30 seconds while a harnessed sampler would reach out of the helicopter to clip branches of a certain health and a certain position relative to the top of the tree. Once clipped, the branches would be bagged, numbered and referenced on a GPS map to be able to identify the specific locations of each sample. Sampling took place over a six-day period from a 1,000 square-kilometre area in the Chilcotin Plateau of central B.C.
square-kilometre area near the Blackwater deposit in central British Columbia. The samples, taken from the side of a helicopter, had been collected in 2015 as part of Geoscience BC’s TREK regional biogeochemical survey. The analysis of the data found that the presence of certain halogen elements provided an indication of potential for mineral deposits. The organization worked on the study with ALS Laboratory Group, which developed a proprietary technique for
testing halogen samples. According to Colin Dunn, the lead researcher of the study, the process starts by taking a small amount of sample material, usually about 50 grams, and reducing it to ash in a furnace over 24 hours. “The material has to be reduced to ash because there are… many analytical interferences caused by the organic material,” said Dunn. “The only practical way around that problem is to reduce it to ash to eliminate the organics, and thereby concentrate the elements.” Once the material is reduced to ash, weighing only a couple of grams at this point, it is digested in hot water, put through a leach aid and aspirated through inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). ICP-MS is a process that measures the spectrum of light and matter in materials, such as minerals and metals. In this instance, ICP-MS is used to detect whether there are halogen elements, such as chlorine, bromine and iodine in the sample material. Halogen elements are often found in mineral alteration and gangue minerals associated with mineral deposits and over time move into the surrounding material such as soil, water and vegetation. Once halogen elements have migrated to these surface areas, they are easier to detect and may indicate ore deposits nearby. “It’s a really great way that potentially a company can go in, examine a big area without having to be on the ground and drill it,” Pellett said. “These results show that although more work needs to be done, [this method] does give you a bit of insight into what the geology is like below the ground.” Dunn said what he “would like to see is the development of a drone that is capable of going across the forest canopy and taking off a small amount of some of the upper side branches to be brought back for analysis, rather than go to the expense and trouble of having a helicopter-mounted survey.” “There are companies trying out this [analytical method] right as we speak, to assess its use in their exploration programs,” Dunn said. “It’s another tool to add to the prospector’s toolbox.” The idea for the study was submitted in the fall of 2018 as part of Geoscience BC’s call for research proposals. The report is available online on the Geoscience BC website. – Tijana Mitrovic
Courtesy of Katy Scharf
Be patient, be kind and let passion lead Vale’s Katy Scharf offers advice to help businesses alleviate pandemic stresses for their employees By Carolyn Gruske
aty Scharf has had to adapt and be resilient. The human resources business partner lead at Vale Canada is carrying out her duties from the home she shares with her husband and two small children. Being in that kind of mixed working and home environment is a new situation for her, just as it is for many people who have undergone COVID19-related job changes. For Scharf, as the leader for Vale North Atlantic’s Mental Health Working Group (which is currently focused on COVID-19-related mental health issues), managing the challenge of work and life at this moment is the job description. Scharf is a passionate advocate for mental health. She is also one of the founding members of the five-year-old mental health working group for Vale’s Ontario operations. Scharf recognizes that Vale’s efforts to promote good mental health in the workplace have given the company an advantage when helping employees cope with COVID-19-related stresses.
exhaustion from that hypervigilance is contributing to higher stress levels. We take a dual lens approach. What we’ve really tried to do is take that step back and look at what can we do for them from an organizational risk-factor perspective: How can we give our employees access to factual, timely information? How do we give them that peace of mind that they can take time off if they need to? And in some circumstances that can be paid [time off] and in others it’s job-protected leave if they need to care for their children when there’s no schooling. We’re really putting those organizational factors in play, to bring some peace of mind and stability to the workplace, recognizing that for many people their home and social lives are still uprooted, or maybe they’re just finding a balance now. We also focus on personal risk factors and provide employees with access to employee and family assistance programs, mental health resources, tips and tricks, webinars, training, etc.
CIM: Have you seen an increased demand for mental health information due to the pandemic? Scharf: One data point that sticks out for me is that we held a
CIM: One of the first things the Ontario mental health working group did was conduct a survey asking employees about their mental health. Please tell us about the survey. Scharf: We conducted the survey in 2017, and partially into 2018
webinar recently called Building Resilience in the Face of COVID-19… During normal circumstances, we maybe get participation from 100 or maybe 200 employees. And during this event, we had over 500 employees participate in the conversation around building resilience. And the same thing happened with the communications we sent out to employees about different coping mechanisms and tips and tricks and access to support resources. We definitely have seen an uptick in that.
CIM: Why do you think people are looking for mental health support and resources right now? Scharf: I don’t think any of us expected the impact that the pandemic would have. What we’re trying to react to in our mental health work is recognize and give employees permission to pause and recognize this is unlike many other stressors, which might impact one area of our life, but [allow us to] still find stability and comfort in some of those things that aren’t changing. The pandemic really has uprooted everything. For most people, work is different and home is different, and their social interactions are different. We’re really seeing an extra level of hypervigilance against the coronavirus among our employees and the 22 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
as well. And in that period of time, we were able to get over 50 per cent participation of our employees, which, for us is incredible. We usually get about 20 per cent participation in surveys. So the fact that we had over 50 per cent participation, recognizing the challenges we face: working in an underground environment where not all of our employees could do an online survey. It was all paper-based surveys that we administered in person. It usually took about an hour to do those surveys. And so the commitment from the organization was significant.
CIM: What were the results? Scharf: We came to understand that in many ways, our results for the mental health and well-being of our employees were consistent with the general population. Anxiety and depression were the leading mental health problems with our employees. We also came to understand that there were areas like sleep issues and fatigue and post-traumatic stress levels that seemed to be higher with our employees. Now, it wasn’t extremely more prevalent either – it was one or two per cent higher than what
mining mentors we were seeing in the general population. This was based on either personal or workplace factors, things like distance travelled to work or shift work contributing to sleep issues and fatigue or the exposure to the kind of catastrophic events that can happen in mining, and not necessarily events that happened within our organization. Based on those results, we started to build a strategy and action plan around two things: one was what could we do to improve the organizational factors that contributed to mental health – things like communication and the culture that we created and something as simple as holding people accountable, and when I say holding people accountable, that doesn’t mean in a bad way, but having clear expectations of what we want. Removing ambiguity from the workplace was an important factor for us. The other was a plan to help individuals with their personal risk factors. We were very deliberate to say this isn’t about maximizing the mental health of just our employees. Mental health is a human problem. And so whatever we do, we want to make sure that it’s accessible to employees, their family members, as well as service providers and suppliers and people who come on to our work locations.
CIM: How have you adapted Ontario-based programs for your operations in the rest of Canada and the U.K.? Scharf: The biggest thing with mental health is understanding that, as an organization, we like to have consistent messaging. We also have to be respectful of the small nuances in our cultures and the services available to us at each of our locations. Each province and location has its own sub working group. They take the information that we have at a global level and North Atlantic level and work with their union partners, frontline employees and key stakeholders in the community to cater the support and the message to their audience. So it is consistent at a certain level, it’s got the same program feel, the same messaging at a high level, but that the access to resources and some of the small nuances are changed to really reflect the local culture. With our MINES for Minds program [with MINES standing for monitor, intervene, normalize, encourage, support], our logo is a miners cap with the with the cap lamp on the front. We started to talk about the use of that. Our Long Harbour Processing Plant operations in Newfoundland are just a surface plant. They don’t work underground, and so the cap lamp on the front meant nothing to them. The other example is in our U.K. operations. We were using our high-visibility clothing from Canada in our messaging. And for them, they wear blue uniforms. And so it wasn’t resonating with their employees. When it comes to mental health, the visual symbol needs to connect with the reader or with the person seeing the message, so it’s not just about the message, but the visual cues, too. We recognized that we would lose our employees’ attention if it didn’t have something relatable in it.
CIM: Vale had the advantage of having mental health support programs in place when the pandemic hit. What advice do you have for companies that need to start building their mental health programs from scratch? Scharf: Don’t underestimate the passion within your organization for mental health, the individual stories that people carry, and how they might be able to influence significant change, ranging from caring for each other at a very basic level to influencing leadership to move forward.
Set up a working group with people who are champions and advocates for mental health and create a balanced representation from different areas of your business. Hold meetings and talk about mental health and understand the ground roots in your organization. There are some great resources out there. There is 13 Factors: Addressing Mental Health in the Workplace from the Mental Health Commission of Canada. There is a great program free online that you can use to do a survey and assessment: Guarding Minds at Work. We actually used it in addition to our survey. Then, from there, if you understand the mental health status in your workplace in its current state, you can build upon that with training and awareness.
CIM: Why is passion important? Scharf: One thing that I pride myself on is that at Vale, part of our building blocks has been really counting on our employees sharing their stories and making it really personal. We’ve done campaigns and videos, with testimonials from our own employees with their own experiences. It’s really just a way to bring in that human factor and remind people it’s not about words on slides here. This is about us in it together.
CIM: How did you find yourself in the role as a mental health champion? Scharf: I would say my work with mental health in the organization started five years ago, but my work with mental health started 20 years ago or more. As a teenager, I was diagnosed at a young age with anorexia bulimia, and, later in life, have experienced symptoms of panic disorder and anxiety. Dealing with my own personal challenges has, in a way, set me up with the support network and understanding of the value of knowing what your mental health plan is before you are in crisis. So that’s propelled me to be an advocate inside our organization and outside.
CIM Magazine: Do you have any other advice for readers who are either struggling with their own mental health challenges at this time or who will be putting programs in place to assist their coworkers? Scharf: My advice is one, be kind. I think sometimes we underestimate how great an impact those small kindnesses have on each other and our mental health. Two, be patient and offer yourself and others a bit of grace as you learn to talk about mental health. We won’t always get it right and sometimes we might say the wrong things, and we need to learn from that, but don’t let fear get in the way of us making progress. So, we should be kind, be patient with ourselves, give ourselves a little bit of room and not let fear stop us from trying again. CIM
mining mentorS Running throughout 2020, our Mining Mentors series will feature conversations with industry veterans and budding professionals on strategies for building a career in mining. Do you know someone who should be featured in this section? Reach out to us at email@example.com. July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 23
Don't you wish people knew what our industry is really like?
Letâ€™s show them what we are all about. In partnership with Science North, CIM is developing a mineral literacy program to increase and improve public awareness of the minerals and metals industry. Our Earth's Riches (working title) will be a state-of-the-art travelling exhibit that will be on display full-time at science centres, museums and other venues across Canada. We estimate Our Earth's Riches to provide an exciting interactive experience to 1.5 million Canadians who will learn about our industry's commitment to advanced technology, safety, sustainability, and diversity and inclusion. In other words, the real minerals and metals industry. We can't do this alone. We need your help to make Our Earth's Riches a reality. Financial and in-kind support is needed and if you or your company feel this is important to the future advancement of our industry, please donate.
Together we will make a diďŹ€erence! Visit cim.org/earthsriches
Courtesy of Andrew Cooper
The New Gold standard By Andrew Cooper
ne just has to do a search online for “mining” and “downgrade guidance” to see the extent of the ripple effect of the 2020 pandemic. As some mining companies experience net losses, they may be looking to improve efficiency and reduce costs without incurring major capital expense. Energy is an often-overlooked component of operational expense, which has the potential to offer a solution to this question. Over the course of seven years at New Gold’s New Afton mine, we undertook energy performance improvement projects, such as underground ventilation management, flotation blower control and compressed air optimization, which resulted in a cumulative energy savings of more than 10 per cent of the mine’s annual energy consumption. In 2019, however, when the energy-saving projects in the “stockpile” required significant capital with less than attractive payback periods, we went to the employees. Through the implementation of low- or no-cost energy-savings projects, based on employee suggestions, we were able to exceed our annual energy objective by seven per cent and further reduce annual energy consumption. All this was possible by doing three things: develop, commit and adopt.
management: employing a full-time energy specialist to manage energy and supporting investment in an energy management information system. Over the years, this commitment has held fast with annual energy performance improvement objectives being included in the annual business plan. The employees at the mine understand that “Energy Matters” at New Afton and their commitment was evident in the success of the employee suggestion campaign in 2019. Without this commitment to energy and GHG management being an integral part of the business, the strategy is destined for failure.
1. Develop an energy and GHG management strategy
Energy is, typically, a mining company’s second biggest expense, after employee salaries and benefits. It is also, generally, the largest source of its GHG emissions. An overarching energy and GHG management strategy serves a number of purposes: Improvement in the financial bottom line as a result of a reduction in energy costs. An eight- to 10-per cent reduction in annual energy costs is feasible through good energy management practices. A reduction in GHGs as a result of a reduction in energy use or a switch to an alternative energy source. With the increased focus on climate change and GHG emissions, there is growing pressure on mining companies to set GHG reduction, “net zero” or “carbon neutral” targets. Compliance with recommendations in climate changerelated financial disclosures, like the Task Force on Climaterelated Financial Disclosures (TFCD), which makes a company more attractive to sustainability-focused investors.
GHG reductions aside, what’s the size of the prize here? Annual energy costs for a mine vary significantly; $300 million per year for a large open-pit operation and concentrator to $12 million per year for an underground operation and concentrator. The one constant, however, is the potential eight to 10-per cent annual avoided-energy cost through the implementation of an effective energy management system. That equates, on the conservative side, to $24 million of avoidedenergy costs per year for the large open-pit operation or $960,000 of avoided-energy costs per year for the underground operation. Not chump change, by any stretch of the imagination. How do you continue to improve efficiency and reduce costs, but without major capital expense? It is a question that all operators need to be asking themselves right now. And the answer is do these three things: develop, commit and adopt. It sounds so simple, and it is. It is an investment in sustainability with an attractive financial payback. CIM
3. Adopt an energy management system How does a company deliver on the strategy? Seldom is there a system and management structure in place for energy management. Protocols and standards for effective energy management systems are out there. The Mining Association of Canada’s Energy and Climate Change Protocol and the ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard are just two examples of excellent tools to help you reduce your energy cost and effectively mitigate your impact on climate change through GHG reduction.
2. Commit to that strategy The success of an energy and GHG management strategy depends, primarily on one thing: commitment. Commitment from all levels of management. Commitment from all employees. Even before production at New Afton started in June 2012, the management team was committed to energy
Andrew Cooper, P.Eng, B.Comm, CEM, is a strategic energy management specialist who led New Gold’s New Afton mine to be the first ISO 50001 certified mine in North America. He is an international speaker and a previous winner of the AEE’s International Energy Manager of the Year award. (@TheEnergyGuy)
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July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 25
Steelmakers have options to reduce carbon emissions Incremental and major changes are possible and necessary
ow do you solve the problem of carbon emissions in steelmaking? It is a pressing question for both steelmakers and the miners who supply them. One with no easy answers. The massive scale of steel production makes the industry’s carbon footprint large, but it also means that even small gains can have a large effect. Steelmaking accounts for between seven and nine per cent of global carbon emissions, and about 30 per cent of the emissions come from heavy industry. By comparison, aluminum production makes up between one and three per cent of industrial carMining companies are pushing for less carbon-intensive steel production in order to reduce the industry's bon emissions, and accounts for less than overall CO2 footprint. one per cent of overall emissions. These figures are part of the foundations of a new research paper by Alisha Giglio and Janice Bolen. Both are chemical process that, essentially, converts iron ore to metallic engineers at Hatch, and they have analyzed some of the ways iron without the use of a blast furnace. Giglio and Bolen report steel producers can reduce emissions right now, and where the that producing steel from pure DRI accounts for only about seven industry will be able to go in the long term. per cent of worldwide production and is a method found primarily in India. This produces about 0.96 tonnes of CO2 for every Production methods tonne of steel produced, less than half the blast furnace route. There are three primary methods of steel production. The When looked at this way, the simple answer to reducing most prevalent is found in the integrated steel mill where a emissions from steel production lies in transitioning toward blast furnace is used to turn iron ore into metallic iron, and that electric arc furnaces. is then sent to a basic oxygen furnace for steel production. About 70 per cent of worldwide steel production is made using Reuse and recycling this method, write Giglio and Bolen. One of the unique qualities of steel is how easily it is recyFor the traditional blast furnace route of production, Giglio cled. Theoretically, recycled steel from an electric arc furnace and Bolen estimate there are 2.05 tonnes of carbon dioxide can be nearly carbon neutral. What makes the difference is how (CO2) for every tonne of hot-rolled coil steel produced. Of that, the electricity is produced that powers the furnace. The furnace they estimate about 1.45 tonnes of that CO2 produced is from itself releases very little carbon dioxide, the CO2 production the ironmaking process in the blast furnace alone. (Giglio and comes from the grid itself, part of what are known as scope 3 Bolen chose hot-rolled coil steel as the benchmark output steel emissions – those produced downstream of mining operations. because it is a relatively common end product.) “It uses tremendous amounts of electricity. So, if your elecThe second method uses electric arc furnaces fed wholly or tricity grid is low carbon – say, it’s coming from nuclear or wind in part by scrap. Giglio and Bolen estimate this produces about or solar – then you can make steel with almost no carbon dioxone-seventh as much CO2, with 0.26 tonnes of CO2 produced for ide emissions,” Bolen said. every tonne of hot-rolled coil steel. The carbon emitted in this The trouble is to go this route, it requires a mature scrap process is highly dependent on how power for the electrical grid industry. In North America and Europe, this has largely been is produced because of the furnace’s massive energy require- achieved. In the United States, about 70 per cent of steel proments. So, the carbon output varies depending on the country duction is via arc furnaces, she said. When a bridge is torn down where it is produced. In France, for example, Giglio and Bolen or a car sent to the crusher, most of that steel makes it way back report the grid produces 0.08 kg of CO2 per kilowatt hour, into a furnace and comes out the other side as more steel. For where in China and India that figure is more than 1 kg of CO2 example, about 94 percent of the steel used to erect a building is per kilowatt hour. For their calculations, they used a midway recycled when that building is torn down, according to the figure from Japan, where the national grid produces an average World Steel Association. But in a place like China, which has of 0.47 kg of CO2 per kilowatt hour. industrialized more recently, much of the steel that has been The third current method of steel production is feeding an produced and used in the country is only just finding its way electric arc furnace with direct-reduced iron (DRI), made by a into being scrap. Giglio and Bolen predict that over the next
26 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
By Robert Hiltz
metallurgy couple of decades, the availability of Chinese scrap metal will approach levels found in Europe, North America and Japan.
New coke While scrap recycling and electric arc furnaces are already proven to be lower in carbon dioxide emissions, the fact remains that 70 per cent of the world’s steel is still produced in carbon-heavy blast furnaces and basic oxygen furnaces. For the moment, the best solution is to improve that process to incrementally reduce carbon emissions in already existing plants. Usually, these two types of furnaces are found together in combined steelmaking plants, where iron ore is first turned into molten pig iron by the blast furnace, then sent to the oxygen furnace for smelting into steel. Much of the carbon emissions come from the ironmaking part of the process, which requires coke (a refined form of coal) to facilitate the smelting of the iron ore into metallic iron. Research is underway to replace some of the coal used to make coke with biocarbon material (wood or plant material that has undergone a thermal conversion process). While carbon is still released from the biomass, it is considered carbon neutral because as the original source material grows, the plant matter absorbs carbon. The problem with this biocarbon substitution, according to Giglio and Bolen, is that biocarbon products have reactive properties that reduce the quality of the finished-product coke. Because of this, only about 10 per cent of metallurgical coal has been successfully replaced in the experimental cokemaking process. “Due to this reduction in coal quality, the complete replacement of fossilized coal with biocoal in the blast furnace may be an unlikely reality,” they write. There are other demonstration-size furnaces in operation that show some potential. For example, Vale is using a Tecnored furnace, which uses charcoal for a carbon source. The furnace has been in operation since 2011, but it only produces about 75,000 tonnes per year. The production at a full-scale steel plant, meanwhile, measures output in the millions of tonnes per year, with some large Asian plants producing upwards of 10 million tonnes. Giglio explained there are other intermediary steps that can be taken to make modest reductions in carbon emissions. For instance, electrically powered plasma torches, which have become more reliable and easier to maintain than when they were first introduced in the 1980s, can be used to superheat blast furnace hot-blast air. “In the blast furnace you can use these plasma torches to provide a portion of the heat requirement,” said Giglio. “You can minimize your coal consumption in the furnace, and that would move some of your energy requirement from the coke to the electricity. If you have a green grid, then you can slightly lower your emission sources there.” Part of the push for less carbon-intensive steel production is coming directly from the iron mining industry. Large players like Vale are accounting for not just their own emissions, but those downstream from the mining process. Because of this, they are pushing the steelmakers who purchase their products to lower their emissions to reduce the industry’s overall CO2 footprint. “The big iron ore miners are worried that they’re going to lose investment, due to the high scope 3 emissions in the iron and steel industry,” Giglio said. “So, there’s a lot of push from that side coming down from the miners to whoever they sell the material to.”
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In the longer term, there are possibilities of moving away from producing steel using carbon and to a hydrogen-based process. By using hydrogen as the reducing agent of iron, it avoids altogether the production of CO2 and instead produces water as a byproduct. Hydrogen can also be used in the DRI production process. However, Giglio and Bolen warn in their paper that this process will be zero-carbon only if the hydrogen gas is produced through electrolysis (which does not produce any non-green byproducts – something other methods of creating hydrogen can do), and only if that process is powered by renewable electricity sources. The real problem is scale. In 2018, Giglio and Bolen said that 1.8 billion tonnes of steel were produced. To create that much steel using a hydrogen process, 64 million tonnes of hydrogen gas would be required, which would take some 4,100 terrawatt hours – or 4.1 trillion kilowatt hours – of green electricity. That is about double the total of Australia’s 2018 annual energy production or one-tenth of total power consumption that year in China. “The feasibility I would say of iron or steel production process using hydrogen is there. It’s just really scaling up the amount of hydrogen that you need in order to drive that process,” Giglio said. “There’s a lot of research going into it, it’s possible. It’s more or less a simple chemical process. It is just really not economically feasible at this point.” Currently, natural-gas-reduced DRI already uses about 55 per cent hydrogen gas, they write. As hydrogen becomes more economical, that percentage could rise to 100 per cent. This could reduce CO2 emissions 91 per cent compared to the natural gas process. Several European steelmakers are experimenting with pilot plants using a hydrogen DRI process. “Another interesting development in the steel industry is the Boston Metal process which employs molten-oxide electrolysis. It’s borrowing from what they do at aluminum smelters and applying that to other metals,” in this case iron, explained Bolen. “You put in iron ore, do some electro-chemical magic, or electricity magic, and out comes pure steel,” she said. “This process has the potential to transform the metals processing industry. Boston Metal will be moving through larger lab-scale trials and plant trials over the next few years as they develop their process. They are currently at the scale with furnaces about the size of your kitchen table.” According to Bolen, it will have to be scaled up to aluminumsmelter size in order to get the economies of scale employed at steel plants – something along the lines of a kilometre-long aluminum smelter with many rows of mini-furnaces that will look and operate very differently from typical steel plants. Overall, the steel industry has many options to lower its emissions. But as Giglio and Bolen show, for the industry to see large emissions reductions, it will take more than incremental improvements. Much of the industry will have to change, first to focus more on recycling as scrap stocks pile up, and then move to more radical changes in iron processing. That second phase will not be just up to industry: it will depend on the greening of the power grid and decarbonization elsewhere in society. CIM Alisha Giglio and Janice Bolen are scheduled to present their findings at MetSoc's COM 2020 in October.
28 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
Courtesy of Glencore
University of Toronto researchers are working to develop a bioleaching process that could help mining companies reclaim tailings ponds and recover up to $11 billion worth of nickel from them in the process.
Making pyrrhotite waste remediation pay for itself Bacterial mutants and hydrogen peroxide may be keys to reclaiming value from tailings ponds clean-up By Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco
he number is substantial by any standard: over 100 million dry tonnes. That’s how much nickeliferous pyrrhotite waste is currently stored in tailings ponds located in the Sudbury area. In 2013, researchers led by Vladimiros Papangelakis, a professor at the University of Toronto’s department of chemical engineering and applied chemistry, began working on developing a low-cost bioleaching process that could both sustainably remediate the nickeliferous pyrrhotite waste accumulated over the course of 50 years and extract an estimated US$6 to US$8 billion worth of nickel from it. The technology would make it possible to offset the cost of the tailing pond remediation with the profits from the sale of nickel, as well as other products such as sulfur or even precious metals. Unfortunately, extracting the approximate 0.8 per cent of nickel in the pyrrhotite tailings is, as Papangelakis puts it, a highly complex puzzle. Over the years, the diverse research team, which includes microbiologists and bioprocess engineers from the U of T, as well as Nadia Mykytczuk from Laurentian University in Sudbury, has been methodically gathering pieces of that puzzle. One of these researchers is Dazhi Ren, a chemical engineering master’s student at U of T. She recently completed a two-year investigation into the optimal method for leaching the iron in the pyrrhotite in an industrial setting and her findings add insights that will contribute to the growing number of pieces of the puzzle already in hand.
A 100-million-tonne problem Pyrrhotite is a common mineral found in igneous rocks and in massive quantities in the Sudbury Basin where companies have been mining for 100 years. In fact, the area has one of the world’s highest occurrences of the mineral. Historically, pyrrhotite was processed with the pentlandite concentrate. During the roasting process, the sulfur in the pyrrhotite was converted into sulfur dioxide, which for years was emitted into the atmosphere. Iron was rejected in the slag. In the 1950s, attempts to recover the iron from the pyrrhotite and reduce the sulfur dioxide emissions proved to be economically unfeasible. By the 1970s, with increasing awareness of the dangers that sulfur dioxide-caused acid rain wreaked on the environment and on living organisms, environmental regulations were created to reduce emissions and pyrrhotite-rejecting circuits became the norm. That left the Sudbury mining companies with a massive and ever-growing amount of pyrrhotite waste. Once ore containing nickeliferous pyrrhotite has been mined and its valuable minerals extracted, nature’s decomposition process on the discarded pyrrhotite begins. Because of this, where there is pyrrhotite waste, there is a potential not just for acid rain but also for acid mine drainage – the flow of acidic water into the environment from the mine site. “Three things have to co-exist for [decomposition and acidification] to happen,” said Papangelakis. “The first is oxygen from air, the second is water from rain and the third is naturally July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 29
occurring bacteria. With these three things, the material spontaneously decomposes into sulfuric acid, which, if left untreated, seeps into the ground water along with acid-soluble metals resulting in environmental impact. If you eliminate one of the three, then you stop the reaction.” The mining companies eliminated oxygen from the air to keep the material stable by storing the pyrrhotite waste underwater in tailings ponds. Without a viable treatment solution, the tonnes of pyrrhotite accumulated over the decades. More significantly, the method is not perfect. In recent years, researchers have noted the water in the tailings ponds tends to have a low pH level, which could be evidence the pyrrhotite waste is oxidizing and acidifying the ponds. “Currently, these tailings are being managed 24/7, 365 days a year by Glencore and Vale, which own the tailings area,” said Papangelakis. “So, for the companies it is a hassle because to meet environmental emissions regulations; they have to stop any potential transformation of this material into acid and/or neutralize any generated acid.”
Turning waste into opportunity But that’s the dark side of pyrrhotite. The mineral also has a very bright side. “This whole story started with a paper [written] by Xstrata (now Glencore) people back in 2010 in which they estimated the value of the nickel in the tailings. Even with today’s depressed prices, it is in the order of US$6 to $8 billion,” said Papangelakis. The opportunity to combine remediation with extraction sparked the research, but the question of how to do it remained a conundrum. Since nature is so effective in the chemical transformation of minerals, the university scientists turned to it for inspiration for a man-made solution. “We thought we could do what Mother Nature does but adjust the chemistry to convert the material into one that’s non-hazardous and in doing so we might be able to recover some of the valuable products,” said Papangelakis. “Our thinking was to use a biocatalytic process to do in days what Mother Nature takes years to do.” In contrast to natural decomposition that results in the production of sulfuric acid, the researchers began looking into bioleaching opportunities to efficiently convert the iron sulfide in the pyrrhotite (which is responsible for creating sulfur dioxide and acid) into iron hydroxide – an inert, insoluble disposable solid – and elemental sulfur. The elemental sulfur will have to be separated and recovered as another saleable byproduct, and the remaining iron hydroxide waste can be potentially further treated for precious metals recovery before ultimate disposal. It is all a matter of economics. “By producing elemental sulfur from this material, we prevent the production of sulfuric acid,” said Papangelakis. “We use naturally occurring bacteria which feed on iron to do this. Just as humans use organic food, like veggies or proteins, and we breathe oxygen to convert this food into an oxidized waste form, so the bacteria eat the active form of iron and convert it into the inactive hydroxide form.” The problem is that the naturally occurring bacteria also feed on sulfur. “So we are developing bacteria to feed on iron only. This is an ongoing process,” said Papangelakis. “Our selection process for the bacteria continues. Using modern state-of-theart biotechnology tools, we select, but we can also make bacterial mutants. We knock out the genes that are responsible for eating sulfur to convert the bacteria into a new type of bacteria that only feed on iron. Nickel and other soluble metals go into a solution and then we can process and recover the nickel and the 30 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
metals. We aim at also producing elemental sulfur, which has a low market value, but is also a potential product.” The material left behind will be completely benign tailings that can be stored with no environmental impact because there will no longer be any reactive material when exposed to the natural environment, according to Papangelakis.
Good chemistry Before that can happen, however, the team needed to investigate the chemical mechanism in the bioleaching process. That’s where Ren comes in. She worked with a process in which tailings are leached by ferric sulfate, with the ferrous being bio-regenerated in a second step. Ren collaborated with U of T’s associate researcher Georgiana Moldoveanu, bioengineering professors Radhakrishnan Mahadevan and Elizabeth Edwards as well as Papangelakis. “In previous studies, researchers looked at how to ensure the concentration of the reactants remained relatively stable throughout the whole process and they studied this reaction for a very low solid percentage in the tailings,” she said. “Having a low solid percentage in the solution would require a very large vessel to leach the tailings and would use a lot of water, making it less economically feasible for the industry.” Ren investigated the effects of increasing the solid content in the solution from one per cent, to five per cent and eventually to 20 per cent. In order to mimic the continuous operation of an industrial scale reactor, she had to regenerate the ferric lixiviant in situ while comparing the performance of two oxidizing reagents – hydrogen peroxide and potassium permanganate – to determine which would perform better. The study found low-cost hydrogen peroxide was highly effective in the production of elemental sulfur from the pyrrhotite. When using potassium permanganate as the reagent, only between 50 to 70 per cent of the dissolved pyrrhotite was converted to elemental sulfur. With hydrogen peroxide, it was 79 to 92 per cent. Not only is hydrogen peroxide the more effective reagent, “it is also much cleaner because it is only composed of two elements, oxygen and hydrogen,” said Ren.
More pieces of the puzzle “In the future, our goal is to combine both the chemical attack on the pyrrhotite and the microbially assisted ferric regeneration into one, in a process known as bioleaching, so we will have everything happening in the same vessel,” said Papangelakis. For now, the team will conduct further research to develop the optimal microbial culture that feeds exclusively on iron and resolve some remaining technical issues in the separation of elemental sulfur. Then, they plan to scale up with a continuous reactor process. At the end of all this, even if the remediation and bioleaching process the researchers are developing does not result in billions of profits from nickel and other recovered products, it might just cover the costs of eliminating the 100 million – and growing – tonnes of nickeliferous pyrrhotite sitting in tailing ponds to prevent its decomposition and the creation of sulfur dioxide. “There is no roadmap that assigns a dollar value to having the environmental liability of these tailings there forever,” said Papangelakis. “So, if you invest to remediate and extract value from the tailings, you save on the costs of monitoring and maintaining the tailings for as long as you own the mines and offset those costs. I think it’s a no-brainer.” CIM Vladimiros Papangelakis and Dazhi Ren are scheduled to present their ﬁndings at MetSoc's COM 2020 in October.
EvEry yEar CIM MagazIne sEarchEs out pEoplE who rEprEsEnt somE of thE ways thE mining industry is growing and changing, whEthEr through thEir policy work, tEchnology lEadErship, or thEir frEsh approach. somE facEs may bE familiar, and somE lEss wEll known. Each is bringing EithEr nEw stratEgiEs, nEw tools or nEw pErspEctivEs to thE mining industry. thEsE arE thEâ€¦
NAMES TO KNOW
Courtesy of Nalaine Morin
NalaiNe MOriN Principal, ArrowBlade Consulting Services Last year more than half of the money spent on mineral exploration in British Columbia went into the northwest of the province, and much of that work happened within the Tahltan Territory. As land director for the Tahltan Central Government, it is Nalaine Morin’s job to manage that exploration activity, and work with the communities and the province to establish clear expectations for engagement. These expectations extend well beyond Tahltan boundaries. With the Tahltan Central Government and as principal at Smithers, B.C.-based ArrowBlade Consulting Services, Morin is
THE iMpAcT EvAluATOR
SeaMuS O’regaN Minister of natural resources, Government of Canada Although he had already been on the job for a few months, Seamus O’Regan’s introduction to the mining industry on its own turf came at this year’s PDAC. It was the opportunity for the federal minister of natural resources to help strengthen relationships strained by a long-stalled pipeline project, conflict over the carbon tax and a derailed multi-billion dollar oil sands mine. It was also an event that could have proved disastrous to that mission. News that one of the more than 23,000 PDAC attendees tested positive for COVID-19 made national headlines and that news was amplified when O’Regan sent out a tweet soon after the March conference saying he was sick, he was going into self-isolation and his doctor recommended a COVID-19 test. Directly after leaving PDAC, O’Regan had travelled to Cigar Lake in northern Saskatchewan, toured Cameco’s uranium mine, spoke with company officials, and then visited three neighbouring Indigenous communities – communities with members who work at the mine.
Courtesy of Katrina Nokleby
KaTriNa NOKleby Minister of industry, tourism and investment, Northwest Territories
THE ROOKiE WiTH ExpERiENcE 32 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
Katrina Nokleby, the Northwest Territories’ new industry, tourism and investment minister, already had her work cut out for her with the diamond mining sector winding down and uncertainty about what would replace it. Then came COVID-19, ramping the degree of difficulty up to a whole new level. Fortunately, she’s used to learning on the fly. Nokleby, who graduated from the University of
focused on fostering relationships that recognize the role of Indigenous nations in decision-making on Indigenous lands. “An important aspect of the work that we do today is working towards achieving social licence developing long-term relationships,” she explained. “Words like trust, transparency and respect are so important in developing these types of long-term relationships so that meaningful discussions regarding projects can be had between companies and Indigenous communities.” She has been involved in environmental assessments nationwide, including the one at the New Prosperity Mine in Williams Lake, which twice failed to receive its certificate before being cancelled. She was also involved in the environmental assessment of the Red Chris mine, and noted that the project “got off to a bad start with the Tahltan Nation, but the company engaged with the nation and the parties came up with an agreement that satisfied everyone. Red Chris is now in operation and the companies and the Tahltan government work together to address matters that
O’Regan’s test came back negative, but the whole episode reinforced how tightly connected the Canadian mining and Indigneous communities are. “These communities became very concerned and Chief Bobby Cameron from the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations called me and said, ‘these are very vulnerable communities. They hope you get well, but they need to know if you’re positive or not,’” said O’Regan. “Very early on… [my cabinet colleagues and I] were alerted to the sensitivities of northern communities, remote communities, Indigenous communities, and how vulnerable they were. Chief Bobby was the first person I called when I got the test results – before I called my husband, but don’t tell him that.” O’Regan knows that the future of the mining industry is tied with the future of the Indigenous People. He earned a master’s of philosophy from Cambridge University in the U.K. with a dissertation on Indigenous equity positions in large-scale resource development (specifically the Labrador Innu and the Lower Churchill hydroelectric project) and worked on the Voisey’s Bay Impacts and Benefits Agreements on behalf of the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial government.
British Columbia with a bachelor of applied science in geological engineering in 2001, moved to Yellowknife 13 years ago to work as a consultant. Since mining companies tend to lightly staff their Yellowknife offices – often with as few as two or three employees – consultants find themselves in demand for a wide variety of work. “You end up doing a bit of everything,” said Nokleby. “Any job they can get, they’ll send you to.” Work took Nokleby across the North, including visits to producing and past-producing mines. For a time, she kept the Giant Mine remediation site in environmental compliance. She also did ice engineering on the Tibbitt to Contwoyto winter road that winds some 400 kilometres north from Yellowknife to the three diamond mines: Diavik, Ekati and Gahcho Kué. Nokleby gained an appreciation for the peculiarities of logistics planning in a land notoriously unsympathetic to budgets and schedules. She also saw how government could be more responsive and efficient. Partially to bring a private-sector mentality to government, Nokleby ran for – and won – a seat in the territorial
affect the nation. Their work together developing COVID-19 protocols for the Red Chris Mine is a good example," explained Morin. “I’ve been quite fortunate that right now the mining landscape and its regulatory landscape are changing to recognize the role of Indigenous government, and I’ve been able to really participate and be a part of that,” she said. While Morin has done a significant amount of work for her Tahltan Nation, in northern B.C. – a nation whose territory covers approximately 11 per cent of the province and includes three operating mines and a large portion of the mineral-rich Golden Triangle – her influence is wide and her voice is heard throughout the province. Morin is on the board of directors of Geoscience BC, and in February 2020 was appointed to the board of directors of BC Hydro. In 2018, she was awarded the Indigenous Trailblazer Award for Women in Mining and also the Aurora Award for Women in Mining B.C. “I’ve worked with both Ministry of Energy and Mines and with the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office and have provided
input into the new changes to the environmental assessment legislation in the province of B.C. As well, I’m a standing member of the B.C. Mine Code Review Committee – it’s the health, safety, and reclamation code for the province of B.C.” Morin also is a senior technical advisor for the Citxw Nlaka’pamux Assembly in Merritt, B.C. As a consultant, Morin is well positioned to facilitate interactions between mining companies and Indigenous communities, as she is able to offer insights based on both her heritage and cultural awareness and her education and professional experience. She got her engineering degree in metals and materials engineering at the University of British Columbia and a mechanical engineering technology diploma from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her interest in engineering was gained as a little girl growing up in mining communities in British Columbia, where her father worked as a millwright. She also holds the
“As I said at PDAC, the industry is decades ahead of other industries [with regards to environmental practices] and partnering with Indigenous Peoples.” He added that mining companies have “been ahead of the game and they’ve been pioneers in sustainable and responsible resource extraction. So, I’m giving credit where credit is due… Truthfully, other industries will look to mining in order to figure out how to get it right.” In February, the government got notice from the Federal Court of Appeal that it had gotten something right on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The court declared that the level of Indigenous consultation the government most recently engaged in “adequately remedied” flaws a lower court identified in an earlier round of consultations. The decision left some Indigneous groups disappointed, the industry feeling upbeat, and O’Regan assured that the government was on the right track where negotiations with Indigenous People are concerned. PDAC presented an opportunity for O’Regan to introduce the next phase of the government’s Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan (CMMP) – known as the Action Plan 2020. Designed as a
blueprint to drive the evolution of the CMMP, the Action Plan includes guidelines to assist with creation of a pan-Canadian geoscience strategy, generate more Indigenous participation in the industry and increase mineral literacy, all with the aim of securing the country’s position as a “global mining leader.” The government intends to introduce the updated CMMP later this year. The event also had O’Regan sharing the stage with Alex Christopher, Teck Resources’ senior vice-president, exploration, projects and technical services. The minister took the opportunity to sing Teck’s
legislature last fall. The election saw a crop of first-time MLAs oust incumbents and raise the number of women in the legislative assembly to nine – nearly half of the 19 seats. The new government came to power at an economic crossroads: the diamond mines are slated to close down before the decade’s end with no sure-fire projects ready to take their place. “Industry was recognizing we needed people[in government] that were going to be representative of their voice,” said Nokleby, explaining that colleagues encouraged her to seek a cabinet position. In the territory’s consensus-style government, there is no party system. Instead, MLA candidates campaign locally on their own platforms. The 19 elected MLAs then form a government by selecting a premier and cabinet from their ranks. Nokleby did not initially campaign with cabinet in mind – traditionally, seats are reserved for veteran MLAs. But with just two returning ministers, she threw her hat in the ring. Nokleby was named minister of infrastructure as well as industry, tourism and investment, and soon after hit the road for
AME Roundup in Vancouver and PDAC in Toronto. (She hadn’t attended Roundup since volunteering as an undergrad.) At the conferences, miners urged her for more consistency with reporting requirements and timelines in the N.W.T.’s regulatory process, as she touted her government’s priorities of settling outstanding land claims, pushing for new all-weather roads and promoting a major hydro expansion – all efforts the government believes will help miners and attract investors. But that seems so long ago. COVID-19, which cast a shadow over PDAC, has since thrown world markets into disarray and ground the N.W.T.’s economy to a standstill. Unable to sell US$180 million in diamonds on world markets, Dominion Diamond Corp. – owner of Ekati and 40 per cent owner of Diavik – was granted creditor protection in early April. Meanwhile, the territory’s main export is a luxury commodity that won’t be top of mind for millions in the unemployment line. Plus, early estimates on this
THE MiNiSTER Of OpTiMiSM
(continued on page 38)
(continued on page 39) July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 33
Courtesy of Seamus O’regan
(continued on page 38)
Courtesy of bruno Oberle
bruNO Oberle Chair, Global Tailings Review
Bruno Oberle, the chair of the Global Tailings Review (GTR), believes that society at large is no longer willing to accept the environmental disasters caused by companies in extractive industries, such as tailings dam failures. “This has consequences for the mining industry: from public perception, through changing regulations, to the relationship with and perception of investors,” he explained. “This will inevitably change the mining industry.” Given his position with the GTR – one of many roles that he
MarTiNe ParadiS Vice-president engineering and environment, Nouveau Monde Graphite
Courtesy of Chris adachi
At the Nouveau Monde Graphite’s Matawinie Mine in Quebec, things are a little different. From the start, the mine has been planned to put the environment first. Not just to meet regulations as they are, but to exceed them. This is what intrigued Martine Paradis. Much of her career had been spent coming in after problems were already created and mitigating their effects as a consultant for the industry, or finding the problems as a regulator. Nouveau Monde Graphite offered a different opportunity: the chance to do things the right way from the start. “It’s funny because all my career I’ve had a mandate when the mine is running to change some basic criteria of the engineering because it does not fit with regulations or the environment,” Paradis said. “And now to start with the environment – that’s the new way to do things.”
ChriS adaChi Sustainability and climate change manager, Teck Resources In February 2020 when Teck Resources announced its goal of becoming carbon neutral across all its operations by 2050, it joined the ranks of the select few mining companies committed to the same target, such as global mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto. To help undertake this massive challenge, the company has put a lot on the shoulders of Chris Adachi, Teck’s sustainability and climate change manager. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Adachi obtained an undergraduate degree in biology and philosophy at McMaster University, a master of forestry degree at the University of British Columbia and
THE cARbON cuTTER
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holds – Oberle is doing his best to ensure the mining industry develops and adopts the kinds of best practices that will prevent future catastrophes. It is a goal that has shaped his life’s work. Since the 1970s, Oberle has spent his career in the environmental field. He received a doctorate from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. In 2005, he was appointed director of the Swiss government’s newly established Federal Office for the Environment and as its secretary of state for the environment. In 2016, he joined the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, where he teaches green economics and chairs its green economy and resource governance program. “Working as state secretary for the environment required me to be part of a long and intensive global dialogue and a structured negotiation process to establish a framework of rules to tackle environmental challenges,” he explained. “I learned to accept different points of view – even if very divergent from my own – to look for a point of equilibrium and balance between them and [learned] that it is difficult to have a fruitful discussion if you consider the opposing party as an enemy rather than a partner.”
So she left her job as a consultant to become vice-president for engineering and environment at Nouveau Monde Graphite. There, Paradis is focused on making sure the design of the mine is done with the environmental future of the site in mind. She is particularly focused on managing the tailings and waste rock. The Matawinie mine, located about 150 kilometres north of Montreal, is expected to extract as much as 100,000 tonnes per year of high-grade graphite over an expected 25-year lifespan. The project (which comes with a $350 million estimated life of mine cost) has a Probable Mineral Reserve of nearly 60 megatonnes, containing 4.35 per cent graphitic carbon. The mine is perhaps most notable for the company’s decision to have a fully electric fleet of vehicles. But the environment-first approach goes beyond that. Paradis said the Nouveau Monde Matawinie project is in many ways a reference project for thinking about mining more holistically. The industry can be fairly conservative when it comes to changing long-established ways of doing things. Nouveau Monde’s approach means putting more costs upfront.
a masters of environmental studies at the University of Waterloo. He brought that background to Teck and has, for the last decade, worked his way up the organization, always with an eye trained on carbon management. In his current role at Teck, his responsibilities include everything from working on environmental policy to the nitty-gritty of the company’s operations. “My responsibilities can include anything from supporting a mine site in terms of developing its GHG inventory [and] supporting them to identify different greenhouse gas reduction opportunities. But it would also include working on regulations,” Adachi told CIM Magazine. “So while my day-to-day is primarily focused on the climate-change issue, I often play a role in the planning cycle for us in terms of reviewing our sustainability risks and opportunities overall, and working with various people in the organization to help define what our strategy is going forward.” The climate solutions the company has proposed are wideranging. In its 2019 sustainability report released in March, Teck outlined some of the steps it has taken to reduce its environmental impact thus far, such as using renewables for 80 per cent of its electricity requirements, reusing water an average of three
Apart from government work, Oberle has been a part of several organizations and projects on natural resources and development over the years, and is currently a member of the International Resources Panel and co-chair of the Green Digital Finance Alliance, among other roles. He has also acted as a consultant on environmental management for multiple companies in the private sector. His experience in global discussions and risk management attracted the attention of the GTR’s co-conveners. Following the Brumadinho disaster in January 2019, the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and the Principles for Responsible Investment created the GTR to evaluate current practices on tailings in the mining industry globally. In June 2019, the GTR began meeting with a large advisory group of stakeholders to develop a standard for tailings practices, which will become an ICMM member commitment. In September, a multidisciplinary expert panel, led by Oberle, completed a first draft of the review and began consultations
in multiple mining jurisdictions such as Kazakhstan, China, Chile and more. Oberle conducted the extensive in-person consultation workshops in order to hear from those directly impacted. The scope of the review is a broad one, but according to the GTR, the process was to include an examination of the “global and transparent consequence-based [tailings storage facility] classification system with appropriate requirements for each level of classification”; work on a “system for credible, independent reviews of tailings storage facilities”; and the establishment of “requirements for emergency planning and preparedness.” The GTR wants to achieve that all while consulting with a wide range of people representing a far-ranging group of viewpoints. “A multi-stakeholder approach was core to the review,” he explained. “Equal attention was given to the interests and concerns of the industry actors as well as those of other interested
By way of example, Paradis noted Nouveau Monde’s decision to desulfurize its tailings by separating all the sulfur out of the waste by-product and containing those sulfuric tailings – about 20 per cent of the total expected tailings – within a dry stack made of individual cells. To create the stack, waste rock is first placed to create a cell, acting something like a bowl to contain the sulfuric tailings. Those tailings that contain sulfur will have first been separated from the rest of the tailings and filtered. When placed in the cell, the sulfuric tailings can then be compacted. Finally each cell will be surrounded by the non-sulfuric tailings. These individual cells will then be put in a single co-disposal stack. The outer layers prevent the entrance of oxygen to the central layer of sulfuric compounds, and are designed so the water flows around the cells through the more porous waste rock and non-sulfuric tailings. And because there is no tailings pond, there is no need for a tailings dam, which could later fail. By containing the minerals that can oxidize and therefore change the acidity of the surrounding environment, Nouveau
Monde fixes the problem before it starts. “You have to be visionary and open-minded to understand that. To do the desulfurization, it’s very costly on the CapEx and OpEx, and also we have to filter and dry stack them to avoid having any dams,” she said. “That brings a lot of costs to the tailings management.” But in her work as a consultant, she saw the false economy of not doing those things right from the start, and instead responding to failures or other issues as they arose.
times at its operations and reducing its GHG emissions by almost 300,000 tonnes since 2011. Some of its shorter-term goals include replacing the equivalent of 1,000 standard-emission vehicles with emission-free alternatives by 2025 and using 100 per cent clean energy for its Chilean operations by 2030. According to Adachi, achieving these goals is paramount not just for the well-being of the planet, but also for meeting the expectations of the investors and communities involved with the company and its operations. In order to do so, staying ahead of the curve is key. “[Questions like] ‘Are you managing the environment well?’ ‘Are you managing your energy usage well?’ are largely tied to external drivers and expectations,” Adachi said. “What are policy-makers doing? What are regulators doing? What are investors asking for? What do communities expect of you? Those expectations are constantly changing [in] a number of ways that are challenging to predict. You can look at what a trend is for five or 10 years, but it’s a constant evolution.” Adachi expects that in the near-future, the industry will place a larger focus on haul trucks and the methods used to move
material, as well as a change in focus towards the commodities needed to produce battery electric vehicles and renewable energy sources, such as copper, steel and zinc. And while mining companies are becoming increasingly devoted to the idea of becoming more environmentally friendly, it will be much more difficult if these companies don’t make sustainability a cornerstone of their company culture. “We tend to achieve all of our goals not because they’re easy. We achieve them because there’s a cultural value in sustainability,” Adachi said. “It’s important, from [president and CEO Don Lindsay] all the way down through our leadership, that we manage our sustainability risks and that we achieve those goals.… I think it would be hard to see this from the outside, but within the organization I get to witness the growing culture and the pride and the value that employees put on sustainability.” “You can put in targets all you want, but I think if you have an employee base that doesn’t accept or want to build or contribute to them, you’re going to have some challenges.”
THE fORWARd THiNKER (continued on, page 39)
– Matthew Parizot July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 35
(continued on, page 39)
Courtesy of Jody Kuzenko
THE lEgAl MiNd
JOdy KuzeNKO CEO, Torex Gold “I would say I’ve had a pretty unconventional career path. I started out as a lawyer and ended up becoming CEO of a mining company,” said Jody Kuzenko who formally took control at Torex Gold in June. Kuzenko was born and raised in Sudbury, where her father was a mechanic at Inco. After
MiKe Mayhew Co-founder, Mayhew Performance Ltd. A mining consultant may have a hard time standing out in a place like Sudbury, where the depth of mines is matched only by the expertise of industry veterans. Nevertheless, Mike Mayhew makes a compelling case that Mayhew Performance Ltd., the enterprise he and wife Nicole launched together in February, has staked out fresh ground. “I’m the only guy in the world who has actually sold, designed, manufactured, built, commissioned, brought a battery electric vehicle underground in a shaft, assembled and operated it in a real production environment. Nobody else can say that today,” said Mayhew. Mayhew’s work with BEVs began with a cold call from Artisan Vehicle Systems’ CEO Mike Kasaba, who recruited him to be the company’s director of sales and marketing. The company touted Mayhew’s history working for Atlas Copco, RockTech, MacLean Engineering and Stantec and the many relationships he had with mining companies. It omitted, however, his time at Toyota. After he got spun out of the mining industry in the downturn of the 1990s, Mayhew joined the automaker and spent nearly five years learning everything
Courtesy of Melanie Campbell
MelaNie CaMPbell Director of the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan Secretariat, Natural Resources Canada The federal government called the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan (CMMP) “a milestone in Canada’s mining history” when it was announced last year. The aim was to make the country more competitive and secure its leadership position, The CMMP came at a moment when takeovers by Australian miners flush with cash, a decline in the global share of exploration dollars and domestic ambivalence
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attending law school at Western University in London, Ont. and receiving her degree, she moved back to Sudbury. In 1996 she was hired by a small law firm, where she started her career in private practice and litigation work. “One thing about the legal profession is that... by and large there is a lot of repetition,” she explained. “About eight years in, I started wondering if this was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I felt like ‘man, there must be other things out there.’” Around that time, Kuzenko saw a job advertisement for a chief legal officer at Inco. “I remember thinking my dad would be proud if I was working at Inco, the company where he was a mechanic,” she said. “So I threw my hat in the ring.” She got the job and quickly began working in labour, environmental and occupational health and safety law over the next few years. When Vale acquired Inco in October 2006, she
from lean manufacturing to product planning and design, to marketing to warranties. “I got to touch everything and travelled around the world with Toyota Canada, which was an unbelievable experience.” Artisan had gotten a toehold in the mining industry in 2012, providing the battery power for the RDH machines that Kirkland Lake Gold implemented at the Macassa mine. That year also happened to be when the World Health Organization reclassified diesel exhaust as carcinogenic. The high cost of ventilation the operation faced and the workaround that emissions-free vehicles offered made Macassa a proving ground for BEVs. Then, in 2017, Kirkland Lake Gold bought one of Artisan’s new LHD BEVs, but CEO Tony Makuch also wanted a 40-tonne class underground BEV truck, and he wanted it fast. “So we designed the truck, we built it, and within one year we delivered it to the market.” The battery powered 40-tonne Z40 truck was built in Kirkland Lake and launched in March 2018. “I lived and breathed that truck for at least four months. It was seven days a week and the team from Artisan and Kirkland Lake Gold were determined to make it happen.” Mayhew then decided to leave Artisan only to be scooped up by Kirkland Lake Gold for a short-term contract that evolved into the position of mine superintendent at Macassa, managing the underground operations.
about resource development were all feeding a growing anxiety that the country was losing ground as a global leader in mining. Melanie Campbell, a 25-year veteran of Natural Resources Canada, is one of the architects of the plan. “It was the one thing that I fought to be involved in,” she said. “I really saw the value of undertaking a new [minerals and metals] strategy for Canada and making sure that this industry is [not only] recognized for [its] high quality and high standards, but also making sure that we don’t just stand on our laurels.” In 2017, officials from the federal, provincial and territorial governments began working together to devise a comprehensive vision for the future of the Canadian mining industry. Officials conducted in-person events such as stakeholder workshops and expert meetings across the country, as well as online activities such as surveys. Campbell describes the work process as open engagement with people and groups across the country about the future of the industry.
was involved in the buy-out process as Inco’s legal chair. Following that, Kuzenko worked as part of the Vale legal team for a few years – until she began yearning for new challenges. Kuzenko then moved out of the legal department and into a sustainability role, focusing on safety and health, the environment, Indigenous relations, energy and security for Vale Canada. She later transitioned to more leadership roles in the production sector, as general manager of production services and later general manager of refining. Her last role at Vale was as the director of business strategy for Vale’s Ontario operations. “There came a point in my career at Vale where I decided it was time for new challenges,” she said. “I was coming up on 50, and I thought either I stay here and finish my career here or it’s time to move on and try something new.” In October 2018, Kuzenko left Vale and joined Torex Gold as its COO. Though she knew little about the gold space, capital
markets or mining in Mexico, she described the leap of faith as one of the best decisions of her life. This year, Kuzenko succeeded Fred Stanford, one of her mentors at Inco, as company CEO and president. “My job is to build off of [his] foundation,” said Kuzenko. “For me, [that] looks like building another mine, continuing to generate cash out of our existing assets, capitalizing on Muckahi, [the company’s proprietary new mining method], and growing [our] company and team. And in so doing, it’s important to me to make a positive difference in the lives of our employees and our neighbouring communities.” Although she hasn’t practised law in over a decade, Kuzenko says she uses her legal training every day. “Being legally trained and having practised [law] completely shaped the way I listen… and it shaped the way I speak.”
“We implemented a lot of strategies with the team at the operations, which I learned from my Toyota days such as lean manufacturing and Kaizen, putting people in the right positions within the mine to achieve production that was both safe and hit daily targets.” Makuch then tapped him to move over to the Shaft 4 project as the integration manager to support the sinking and engineering of the project. Last December, eager to return to the family home in Sudbury, Mayhew and his wife opted for a reset. With Mayhew Performance Ltd., he consults on design, infrastructure, planning and implementation of BEVs alongside Nicole – a nurse with mining operations experience gained at Shaft 4 – who focuses on delivering on safety and risk management advice. “We want to provide a very neutral, balanced, factual approach that industry can use to make proper business decisions to operate their mine with the right product that’s going to achieve their goals from the point of view of one, safety and two, production,” said Mayhew. Mayhew’s goal is to cut emissions from mining operations to zero and commit his background with BEVs to the task. It is work that he has begun on a full charge. He has already established himself as a hub of activity around electrification: He is working with Collège Boréal in
Sudbury to create a maintenance training program for battery electric mining equipment to be offered in the fall; he is the leader for the Global Mining Guidelines Electric Mine Working Group whose tasks include updating GMG’s “Recommended Best Practices for Electric Vehicles in Underground Mining” and doing a comprehensive survey of the mining BEV marketplace for knowledge sharing; he has become an associate of Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation; he has partnered with Kitchener-based modular battery start-up Stacktronic to repurpose a personnel carrier for use underground; and he
“It’s been a collaboration with jurisdictions from across the country working very closely with the provinces and territories, [as well as] with Indigenous communities and groups,” said Campbell. “[It] has really made this an outstanding project to be involved in and one that we really see as being long-term.” The CMMP was released in March 2019 and introduced six strategic directions for the mining industry, including economic development and competitiveness, advancing the participation of Indigenous Peoples, the environment, communities, global leadership and science, technology and innovation. The plan also identified six areas for action, such as regulation, land access and land use and mineral processing. (At the time the plan was issued, however, Saskatchewan and Ontario declined to endorse it. The provinces issued a statement saying they did not believe the plan offered a strong enough statement of support for the industry and did not do enough to “specifically address economic and competitiveness challenges.”)
Then, in March, NRCAN released the latest phase of the CMMP – the Action Plan 2020 – to further develop Canada’s mining industry. Described as a pan-Canadian approach, the action plan also identified six strategic directions, including bringing together Indigenous businesses and partners to develop long-term benefits for Indigenous communities, an environmental initiative that includes a reimagined orphaned and abandoned mines strategy and enhancing Canada’s position as a global mining leader. In May, federal, provincial and territorial mining ministers confirmed they had begun working on the next phase of the process – taking the blueprint set out in the Action Plan and turning its stated goals and directions into realized accomplishments (or, at the very least, firmly established processes). The government will release further action plans in 2021, 2022
THE ElEcTRic dRivER
(continued on page 39)
(continued on page 39) July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 37
Courtesy of Mike Mayhew
– Tijana Mitrovic
(continued from NALAINE MORIN, page 33)
A PROUD LEGACY OF MINE SAFETY At De Beers Group, we value the safety of our people and pursue it without hesitation or compromise. GAHCHO KUÉ MINE
• 2020 National John T. Ryan Award for Select Mines • 2019 & 2016 Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce Workplace Health & Safety • 2019 National Western Region Overal Surface Mine Rescue Champion • 2019, 2018 & 2017 NWT/NU Mine Rescue Overall Surface Champion • 2017 Hatch-CIM Mining and Metals Project Development Safety Award
• 2020, 2019 & 2018 Eastern Regional John T. Ryan Award for Select Mines • 2017 & 2016 National John T. Ryan Award for Select Mines • 2018 & 2012 Workplace Safety North President’s Award • 2017, 2016 & 2015 Workplace Excellence Award, Workplace Safety North • 2013 Angus D. Campbell Award, Porcupine Safety Group
We don’t work safely for the honours and accolades. It is the right thing to do. www.canada.debeersgroup.com
Canadian environmental practitioner’s certificate from the Canadian Environmental Certification Approval Board. A lot of Morin’s work involves creating awareness of the responsibilities falling on the provinces and on her own community. Ten years ago, Indigenous communities were not meaningfully consulted about projects in their territories; today, she said, there’s a real recognition of Indigenous governments, and a realization that they have responsibility in processes. They are even conducting joint inspections of mining and exploration projects with the province to ensure each nation is kept in the loop. Morin’s future includes continuing to work on land-planning projects with the Tahltan and on developing tools to support good decision-making. She also hopes to continue to act as a guest lecturer in mining engineering at UBC, something she has done for the past few years. “Land planning is a big project that we’re doing in Tahltan Territory right now,” she explained. “And I am also working on specific matters like developing environmental assessment strategies for nations engaging on projects that are in the environmental assessment process – understanding impact assessment and developing impact assessment tools that are specific to Aboriginal rights and interests.” As Morin sees it, her job involves not just working to resolve current tensions and disputes but setting a foundation for the future. “We’ve gained a wealth of experience in the work that we’ve been doing, and we’re being innovative in the tools that we’re developing. It’s time to share this information with the people that are coming up,” she says. “It’s always about making sure that we’re connected with the next generation. We all have the same goal at the end of the day: We want to make sure that we’re being good stewards of the land, and that our world, our environment, and our activities on the land are sustainable for future generations.” – Lynn Greiner
(continued from SEAMUS O’REGAN, page 33)
Committed to diversity & inclusion
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praises and stress that “our government has always had and will continue to have an excellent relationship with Teck.” Only weeks earlier Teck had politely laid the blame for the shelving of the Frontier oil sands project on the federal government’s poorly outlined climate change policy. O’Regan maintains it is the creative thinking that expanded Canada’s resources and that will secure the future of the oil sands. “It is one of the country’s great blessings, to be honest with you, and it’s an industry that’s been built on innovation. We have managed to find a way to extract oil from sands – that is an extraordinary thing. What we need to do, though, is lower the emissions that are required in order to get it out. That’s where the international community looks on us and judges us and we’ve got to raise the bar and our ability to do it,” he said. Now, it’s O’Regan’s job to convince the industry that the government is on its side and to help the wider world appreciate the role mining has to play. “Mining is an engine for change,” he said. “It’s going to build the engines for electric vehicles and for all sorts of things. So, I’m really excited. PDAC got me pumped. I don’t think I picked up a bug there. I think I picked up a lot of vigour and vim, which is far more important and longer lasting.” – Carolyn Gruske
(continued from KATRINA NOKLEBY, page 33) summer’s exploration spending look grim, compounding the territory’s production-gap problem. Nokleby, however, has leaned into the demands of her new, all-hands-on-deck reality, procuring PPE for the territory and closing borders to stop the spread. “I felt like I was back in my consulting days,” she said. “It was kind of like the biggest project I’ve ever managed.” In one Facebook Live interview, she even encouraged residents to email her personally if they weren’t getting answers from her department. If the job wasn’t stressful enough, in late May she also had to endure a mysterious and secretive push by some anonymous MLAs to remove her from cabinet. When notice of that motion was raised in the legislative assembly, the group of MLAs was met with a groundswell of public opposition, including a petition and a letter of support for Nokleby from the local Chamber of Mines. The MLAs sheepishly withdrew their motion. Nokleby understands that she needs to juggle short-term crises along with longer-term issues, including immediate COVID-19 public safety concerns, all while also doing what she can to keep the economy chugging. It’s unfamiliar territory for politicians the world over, requiring quick action and data-driven decision making. Though new to her role, Nokleby’s career experiences appear to have prepared her for this moment.
– Herb Mathisen
(continued from BRUNO OBERLE, page 35) and concerned stakeholders, such as communities, insurance and investors, amongst others.” After the initial consultations wrapped up in December, Oberle and the panel began developing specific recommendations for the standard based on stakeholder discussions in January. According to Oberle, the standard and its accompanying documents are ready for a final discussion among the co-conveners. While the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the review’s work, he hopes that they will be able to finalize the discussions by the fall. Reflecting on the review’s work, Oberle said that when the three co-conveners of the GTR approached him about leading it, he welcomed the opportunity. “I accepted without any hesitation,” he said. “This is something that has to be done and it is an honour to be part of it.” – Tijana Mitrovic
(continued from MARTINE PARADIS, page 35) That approach defers costs. “I’m not sure that in the end you save money, but you significantly reduce environmental issues related to mining and tailings,” she said. Nouveau Monde also plans to backfill the mine with waste rock and tailings, reducing the footprint of the mine and also the costs of safely containing the tailings and waste rock pulled from the mine. Paradis said she hopes the way the mine is being designed is a model for other future mining projects. It certainly caught the attention of the government and regulators in the province. “The ministry really looked at our project and they are really happy that one mine is open to bringing [this mindset],” she says. “I think it takes one or two mines to go in this direction to encourage others.”
She believes Nouveau Monde’s forward-thinking approach to environmental management is going to become the norm in mining, especially as governments and regulators are going to demand more and more that the industry put questions of the environment first. “Not everybody will see that now, but it’s coming, and I think it’s coming very fast,” Paradis says. – Robert Hiltz
(continued from MIKE MAYHEW, page 37) founded 2nd Battery Life Inc., a company that will help operators reuse, repurpose or recycle batteries from the growing fleets of electric vehicles. Mayhew is careful to acknowledge those he has worked closely with over the last few years to get this unique foothold in the industry. ”I give all the credit to my mentor Tony Makuch, as well as Duncan King, KLG’s VP of Canadian operations and Evan Pelletier the current GM at the Kirkland Lake operations, and the Artisan team in California for the build of the Z40.” (Artisan has since been acquired by Sandvik.) Credit he said is also due to his stepfather, “Rosy” Rosaire, who after a long career as a long hole driller at Inco, died of cancer soon after retiring. “I remember him saying to me, ‘Mike, please do something for the mining industry someday and make me proud.’ If I can save one or two people by implementing BEVs, then I’ve accomplished everything Rosy asked me to do.”
– Ryan Bergen
(continued from MELANIE CAMPBELL, page 37) and every three years after to continue responding to global opportunities and circumstances. Campbell joined NRCAN after receiving her bachelor of arts in law and master of public administration and sustainable development degree. She worked in a variety of areas in the department, including energy and corporate services, before joining NRCAN’s mining sector in the mid-1990s. Beginning as a statistical analyst, she learned about the mining industry from the ground up before transitioning into a policy analyst position where she focused on environmental assessments and regulatory policy. According to Campbell, her educational background in law is what helped attract her to public policy work at NRCAN. “[It] made me realize that the thing that I find the most interesting is… looking to see how regulations have impacts on activities, whether it’s from an [industry, community or a Canadian’s] perspective on how things operate,” she explained. “Having [a law] background allowed me to look at those proposed regulations or proposed activities and be able to closely analyze how those would work and how they would actually function as a regulatory policy.” Campbell believes that the continued work on the CMMP will take the mining industry from strength to strength. “It’s been really critical to have that support going forward and to have a collective unity under the plan to push us forward,” she said. “I think the more we work together the stronger we’ll be as a country.” – Tijana Mitrovic July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 39
Courtesy of Orica
Improved data collection and fragmentation analysis technologies, such as those developed by Orica and applied at Boliden's Kevitsa nickel mine in Finland (above), are helping optimize blasting practices for the entire production process.
Smart blasting Capturing, understanding and harnessing data is key to controlling blasting costs through continuous improvement By Herb Mathisen
ith a thorough understanding of the geology, it is time to begin planning the blast pattern and design. Then, drill the holes, load them with pre-selected explosives and charge the blast. Now, as the shovel begins to fill trucks with ore to bring to the mill, it is time to get to work to figure out how to make the blasting even better. There are many areas miners can choose to focus on to wring as much value from that rock for as little cost as possible. Some approaches optimize fragmentation to more easily move and crush the rock, while others pinpoint how the ore moved in the blast to ensure all of the valuable rock is sent through the mill. Fortunately, there is a technology out there for whatever needs to be tracked: from site-wide software that details the financial impact of the blasting strategy on downstream stages of the operation, down to customized explosive loads that allow the targeting of different types of rock along the depths of each hole with more or less energy. The common denominator with all of these products is that data is king: the more that can be captured and the better it is understood, the quicker improvements needed to optimize blasting and reduce costs can be made.
Planning the blast BLASTMAP III, BMEâ€™s blast-design tool, lets users plan out all aspects of their surface blasting. Customers can use the software to simulate a blast and also generate predictive vibration and fragmentation models from their blast design based on inputs that include rock characteristics, hole and explosive properties, timing, delay, pattern and spacing and more. â€œWith the predictive tools, you can start to really optimize things as you gather and record more physical information,â€? said Scott 40 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
Scovira, BME’s global manager, blasting science. The more realworld results plugged into the software, the more robust and representative the models become. “You can continue to calibrate the different models within the program, so if somebody becomes an expert user with this particular tool, they really can get the best possible blast outcomes, based on the designs that they’re using.” The software also has a costing model built into it, specifying how much the blast design costs in explosives, detonators and boosters. BLASTMAP generates reports from every blast, maintaining a record, which keeps miners from repeating past mistakes, said Scovira. “The drill and blast role at most mine sites has a fairly high degree of turnover and being able to pass that history from one drill and blast engineer to the next is really critical,” he said. BME recently enhanced BLASTMAP with a burden relief feature, which aims to give miners a degree of control in the shape of the muckpile to make it most suitable to the methods they plan to use to move it. Orica offers its own blast design software package called SHOTPlus as part of its digital blasting suite. SHOTPlus now integrates geotechnical data into the blast design process by supporting measure-while-drilling information from smart drills which enables rock hardness values and other geotechnical data to be used to determine the appropriate energy down the blast hole. To zoom out on the effect blasting has on overall site costs, miners can use DataCloud’s MinePortal mine-to-mill software that plugs in data streams from each part of the operation and links them together in one place. “I think anyone can look at single-correlation factors, but it’s the interdependence between a number of factors that actually matters. It’s a lot harder for us as human beings to just look at data and see,” said North Jones, business solutions consultant with DataCloud. “Basically, our first step is bringing everything together and then looking for cause and effect.” MinePortal can let miners track a problem in one stage of the process and work back to find a solution. For instance, it can identify a contaminant in ore from one area that is causing processing issues and let the customer seamlessly blend that ore with ore from another area to reduce the contaminant’s effects in the mill. “Instead of just spending money on the hopes that something has an effect down the road, we’re able to quantify whether that effect actually appeared or not,” said Jones. A dashboard display lets users view their cost per tonne through each stage of the mining process. By spending a few more cents per tonne on blasting to fine-tune fragmentation, users may actually save five cents per tonne downstream. “In a lot of cases, there is still that siloing, so people are looking for individual savings and not necessarily looking at the bottom line of the company,” said Jones. “It’s nice to be the blasting manager and say you saved five per cent, but if you really cost the company more money overall, did you really achieve anything?”
Time to blast When it is time to decide on explosives, Dyno Nobel’s Delta E2 lets miners pack each borehole with up to six different energy profiles. Jeff Averett, senior manager for bulk products and delivery, explained that miners can use rock hardness data gathered from a smart-drill or other geologic models and customize the energy profile of the explosives to specific types of rock in the hole, changing it up at different depths. “We’re targeting
Courtesy of BME
BME's latest BLASTMAP offering includes a feature to help control the shape of the muckpile, suiting it to the excavation method. that energy,” said Averett. “It’s pretty common that you might be over- and under-shooting in the same blast, so you’re going to get a wider fragmentation range.” This technology, he said, is especially useful to differentiate between waste rock and the ore heading to the mill. “Even if the rock hardness in those two different areas might be similar, we can still lower the powder factor in the waste material because they just need to dig that and get it to a dump somewhere,” he said. “We can essentially steal energy from the waste portion of the shot and concentrate that in the ore part of the shot automatically and keep the overall powder factor within a specific budget, or even lower it potentially,” Averett said. Customers can also use Delta E2 to make up for drill constraints, by spreading out their patterns and increasing the power of the explosives in the holes. “We lower their drilling costs and can still produce good, or even sometimes better, fragmentation,” said Averett, adding the extra blasting cost is more than made up by the savings in drilling.
After the blast When the dust has settled, the Blast Movement Monitoring System (BMM) from Blast Movement Technologies (BMT) allows miners to monitor the movement of the ore from the blast. Sensors packed into separate planned holes send their locations below the surface of the muckpile to a drone buzzing overhead. This data is transmitted to a display that lets customers direct shovels to where the ore actually is. This reduces ore loss and dilution, ensuring more of the valuable rock winds up in the mill, not the waste pile. Jeff Loeb, BMT’s global consulting manager, said understanding what happened under the surface of the muckpile is crucial because rock movement varies by depth. “You might have an average movement of four metres. But in one part of the blast, it might move one [metre] and another part of the blast, it might move nine [metres], so you need to have multiple sensors in the shot to capture that variability and make sure that the translation’s accurate,” he said. “You need to be within about July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 41
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Courtesy of Orica
0.3-metre accuracy when the shovel goes to dig that line, especially in a high-grade gold mine.” In a single blast using the BMM system, the Dalgaranga Gold project in Western Australia reduced ore loss by 19 per cent, recovering 2,874 tonnes of ore, valued at roughly $140,000, which would have otherwise been sent to the waste pile, according to BMT. “You have the entire geology team that’s dedicated to delineating where the ore is, based on samples before the blast,” said Loeb. “If you’re not accounting for blast movement, or not measuring blast movement, you’re basically just ruining all of that hard work and money that you spent trying to figure out where the ore is in the first place.” Loeb said this lets miners focus their attention on fine-tuning their blast designs to achieve the ideal fragmentation. “Whatever the movement is, it doesn’t really matter because we’re measuring it,” he said. When it comes to monitoring fragmentation, Orica has brought automated rock-sizing-measurement technology, FRAGTrack to market. Raj Mathiravedu, Orica’s vice-president of digital solutions, said, “this state-of-the-art fragmentation measurement device is designed to improve productivity and optimize drill and blast through the integration of fragmentation data into the drill and blast planning and design processes. This creates an opportunity for our customers to significantly improve downstream outcomes.” FRAGTrack is a plug-and-play system that uses binocular cameras, a proprietary hybrid 2D/3D image-processing algo-
rithm and edge computing, to generate more accurate and immediate insight on fragmentation. It can be configured for both Orica's FRAGTrack system operating face-shovel, for continual includes binocular cameras assessment of particle size distribuand image processing software to generate tion at the dig face of a muckpile, as immediate feedback on well as above the operational conblast fragmentation. veyor, allowing the determination of both volume and mass of material. The system integrates with Orica’s BlastIQ optimization platform to allow real-time online access to each blast. The system tags each sample with GPS coordinates and associates it with a precise location and time in the blast area, enabling customers to understand the geological domain, blast boundaries and improving mining metrics such as excavation productivity and plant throughput. According to Mathiravedu, “FRAGTrack is built on more than 20 years of history in fragmentation analysis technology internal to Orica, but we decided to develop this into a commercial system so we could enable our customers to deliver those gains themselves, as well.” CIM
The CIM Awards Program is owned by The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
CAREER EXCELLENCE AWARDS CIM has a long and proud tradition of honouring the accomplishments of those who excel in the industry. The achievements and
VALE MEDAL FOR MERITORIOUS CONTRIBUTIONS TO MINING This medal, one of CIM’s highest honours, is presented as a mark of distinction and recognition to a person who has made a meritorious contribution of outstanding importance to the mining and metallurgical industry of Canada.
dedication of our award winners make Canada a force to be reckoned with in the mining world.
Their legacy inspires tomorrow’s leaders.
Senior Advisor, Hatch Ltd.
his year’s recipient, Chris Twigge-Molecey, has indeed made such a contribution. He is past president of both CIM and MetSoc, a board member of the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame, a recipient of the AIME Mineral Economics Award, a past director of the CanadaChina Business Council, Canadian Mining Innovation Council and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. He served on federal government advisory boards and has over 80 publications and six patents. “It is an incredible and humbling honour to receive the Vale Medal,” Twigge-Molecey said when he received the award announcement. “Recognition by one’s peers is a professional’s greatest reward, acknowledging contributions that take many forms over many years and circumstances.”
SELWYN BLAYLOCK CANADIAN MINING EXCELLENCE AWARD
GREGORY (GREG) GOSSON Technical Director, Geology & Compliance, Wood Group
reg Gosson is recognized as a steward of mining standards. For more than 35 years, he worked in exploration and mine operations before becoming chief mining advisor of the BC Securities Commission the year that NI 43-101 standards were first adopted. He has merged his knowledge of mining project evaluation with securities regulations of mining disclosure standards. “The mining industry is evolving quickly to meet society’s need for raw materials,” he said. “The keepers of the standards and best practices will need to be vigilant about maintaining and improving those standards.”
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CIM DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL
Awarded for distinguished or meritorious service to the Institute or the mineral industry, of a nature not necessarily technical or scientific.
Senior Mining Engineer, Environment, AECOM
avid Forrester has been active in CIM for over 33 years, including attending CIM Council on behalf of Coal Division, Mining Society of Nova Scotia, District 1 and the Environmental and Social Responsibility Society. He was a founding member of the Underground Coal Mine Safety Research Collaboration within the Underground Mining Society. A professional mining engineer, Forrester started his career in the U.K. coal industry before coming to Canada. He said he was soon impressed upon to join CIM because “CIM really needed young active representation where I was located: in the east.” He added, “I would now extend that invitation to all young professionals in the Canadian mining industry, wherever you are located, to become active in CIM. CIM’s main mission is to foster knowledge, networking and fellowship throughout our industry, so please get involved. You will not regret it.”
Technical Director, Global Mining Advisory, SLR Consulting Ltd.
eborah McCombe, a professional geoscientist, is widely recognized throughout the Canadian and international mining industry, especially for her focus on due diligence reviews, Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve estimates, feasibility studies, and valuations in connection with mergers and acquisitions. Asked how she hoped to see the industry build upon her work, she said, “The principles of transparency, materiality and competence in public reporting of exploration results, mineral resources and mineral reserves are fundamental to public confidence in our industry and funding of projects. CIM takes a leading role in developing international standards and best practices and this effort will continue as new best practices are developed in areas such as environmental, social and governance based on the collective experience of CIM members.”
CIM FELLOWSHIP This award recognizes CIM members who have distinguished themselves through outstanding contributions to the mining, metallurgical and petroleum industries.
ANDREW DAVID (DAVE) MACKINTOSH
also the MetSoc Airey Award recipient for 2020
July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 45
BRANCH AND SOCIETY AWARDS DISTRICT DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD, WEST DISTRICT
Area Manager - Surface Operation, Mining Plus A long-term dedicated member of the CIM Vancouver Branch Executive who has continually gone above and beyond the call of duty for the branch.
BARLOW MEDAL FOR BEST GEOLOGICAL PAPER
Sutton Geological Services Recognized for his paper entitled “Reconciling mineral reserves at the well-to-well in-situ copper leaching operation at San Manuel mine, Arizona, USA”
JULIAN BOLDY GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY SERVICE AWARD
ELIZABETH (LIBBY) SHARMAN Principal Global Geoscientist, BHP
In recognition of her exceptional service to CIM and the Geological Society of CIM.
ROBERT ELVER MINERAL ECONOMICS AWARD
Principal Geologist, SLR Consulting Ltd. In recognition of his significant contribution to the updates to both the CIM Exploration Best Practice Guidelines and the CIM Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Best Practice Guidelines.
MINING ENGINEERING OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
RIMAS PAKALNIS (posthumous) In recognition of his practical engineering contributions towards empirical methods of rock mechanics and mine design. He developed a reputation for promoting lifelong education and improving safety and cost-effectiveness in the industry and will be remembered for generations to come.
MEL W. BARTLEY OUTSTANDING BRANCH AWARD
CIM TORONTO BRANCH Built on the committed efforts of its Executive volunteers, the Toronto Branch boasts an active and supportive group of members and corporate sponsors and it continues to evolve, improve and grow. The 2020 Branch Executive is led by its chair, Kurt Breede (right), principal of Metallica Consulting, who in February took over from past chair, Curtis Clarke (left), senior mining consultant of Golder Associates.
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CIM DISTINGUISHED LECTURERS
MINING SAFETY LEADERSHIP MEDAL
Manager of Risk, Prevention and Environment, Glencore
n recognition of his exceptional contribution towards improving mining health and safety results throughout his career. At Raglan Mine, Charles Levac has overseen an astounding reduction in reportable injuries through driving its management team toward a clear vision of zero harm, instituting measurable field safety activities and stimulating one-on-one preventive actions in the field through first-line management.
The CIM Distinguished Lecturers Award winners are chosen on the basis of their accomplishments in scientific, technical, management or educational activities related to the minerals industry, and speak at CIM Branch and Student Chapter meetings across the country, over the course of the following year. Watch the CIM Calendar of Events for upcoming lectures.
C. D. (’LYN) ANGLIN Principal, Anglin & Associates
JAMES BUDAC Retired
JOHN T. RYAN SAFETY TROPHIES The John T. Ryan Safety Trophies Committee believes that safety program performance is best measured by the prevention of injuries serious enough to keep a worker from returning to his or her regular job the day following the injury. NATIONAL METAL CATEGORY: Glencore, Nickel Mine Raglan NATIONAL SELECT CATEGORY: DeBeers Group of Companies, Gahcho Kué Mine; Vale, Voisey’s Bay Mine NATIONAL COAL CATEGORY: Westmoreland Coal, Poplar River Mine REGIONAL METAL BC/YUKON: New Gold Inc., New Afton Mine REGIONAL METAL PRAIRIE/TERRITORY: Cameco Corporation, Cigar Lake Operation REGIONAL METAL ONTARIO: Glencore, Kidd Operations REGIONAL METAL QUEBEC/MARITIMES: Rambler Metals and Mining Canada Ltd. REGIONAL SELECT WEST: Mosaic, Esterhazy REGIONAL SELECT EAST: DeBeers Canada, Victor Mine
Founder and CEO, I&D 101
MONICA OSPINA Founder and Director, O Trade
Strategy and Business Development Leader, Stantec Proudly sponsored by
EXPLORATION AWARDS A.O. DUFRESNE EXPLORATION ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
GREAT BEAR RESOURCES LTD. In recognition of the knowledge, vision and dedication in discovering and developing the Dixie Project as a world class deposit.
J.C. SPROULE NORTHERN EXPLORATION AWARD
Manager, Mining Royalty Administration, Government of Northwest Territories In recognition of his eminent record of contributions through innovation, research, project management, education and outstanding personal achievements that have contributed to Canada’s northern mineral resources.
July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 47
EARLY CAREER AWARDS CIM-BEDFORD CANADIAN YOUNG LEADERS AWARD
The CIM-Bedford Canadian Young Mining Leaders Awards encourages and accelerates the development of leadership in Canadian mining by recognizing outstanding achievement and potential of mining professionals 39 years of age or younger in various sectors of mining, including: corporate performance, operations, finance, technical services and innovation, marketing and trading, as well as services and support functions.
Water Resources Engineer and Associate, Mining Environment Group, Klohn Crippen Berger
urrently the project manager and leading tailings designer at one of the largest copper deposits in the world, Kate Patterson spent hundreds of hours in 2016 and 2017 managing the Study of Tailings Management Technologies project, which identified best practices in tailings management. “Over the past several years,” she said, “I have seen the tailings industry banding together to take on the challenges facing the industry in relation to tailings management. I take this award as motivation, and inspiration, to continuing selfimprovement, mentoring others and contributing to the growth of our industry.”
Senior Mine Engineer and Project Manager, SLR Consulting Ltd.
avid Robson has been involved in several international arbitration cases regarding alleged expropriation of mining assets and has provided technical advisory work in support of numerous capital markets transactions, including debt and equity financings, mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, and joint venture agreements. “Mining is a fundamental part of modern society,” he said, “and I look forward to the industry continuing to evolve in a way where mining focuses on social engagement, environmental responsibility, and profitability over the long-term. I encourage everyone looking at career choices to consider this essential industry.”
COURTNEY NUNN Mine Manager, Lake Shore Gold
ourtney Nunn is currently responsible for overseeing all site activities at Timmins West Mine, including operations, engineering, geology, environmental, and safety. She is a champion for continuous improvement, cost reductions, positive working relations, and promotes a commitment to a zero-harm workplace. Honoured that her hard work in conjunction with her commitment to excellence is being recognized, she said, “The great leaders, mentors and colleagues that I have worked with over the years have played a major part in me receiving this award. They have made a profound impact on my professional development.”
CIM PRESIDENTS’ ROLE MODEL MEDAL
BETTY YI-SHING LIN
Manager/Global Specialist, Backfill Systems, Hatch Ltd.
hrough volunteering, mentorship and leadership, Betty Yi-Shing Lin, sets an outstanding example for young engineers interested in a career in the mining and minerals industry. She offered these words of encouragement to others early in their careers looking to improve best practices in their field: “Today’s challenges and problems are multidimensional, they require solutions that include cultural, ethical, social, environmental and economic considerations. As engineers it is our role to provide the best technical solutions, while being cognizant that there could be many points of views and solutions to a problem.”
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SUSTAINABILITY AWARDS EXCELLENCE IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AWARD
Vice President of Environment, Kirkland Lake Gold
s an active seeker of sustainability solutions that engage and affect the Canadian public, Mohammed Ali exemplifies excellence in sustainable development. He specializes in environmental management, permitting, communication, lifecycle assessment, integration of environment and social concerns in process design, and greenhouse gas measurement and reporting. He sits on numerous committees and chairs various mining, environmental and sustainability conferences in Canada and globally.
TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE MINING AWARDS TSM Excellence Awards acknowledge companies, facilities and individuals that have implemented projects and initiatives to expand and promote sustainable development within the mining sector.
TSM COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AWARD
TSM ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE AWARD
(Northern Saskatchewan Operations) Community-Based Environmental Monitoring Program
(Pinos Altos) Soil Regeneration through Ultra-High-Density Grazing with Cattle Program
In recognition of the relationships Cameco has fostered with northern communities. The community-based environmental monitoring program in the Athabasca Basin speaks to the evolution of community partnerships and the overall response to the needs identified by the local communities. This is an important program geared towards building a relationship between Indigenous groups and the uranium mining industry.
In recognition of Agnico Eagle’s commitment to responsible mining in Mexico, through the application of innovative, social and environmentally responsible practices and at a time when sustainable development becomes a premise to follow.
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND EDUCATION AWARDS CIM COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION AWARD
President and CEO, Sherritt International Corporation
President, Kim Bittman Consulting
his award recognizes Kim Bittman as an “unsung hero” of the mining industry and of CIM for her significant contribution to the Environmental and Social Responsibility Society. Her interest and passion for the environmental and regulatory aspects of the mining industry have given her a reputation as one of the go-to professionals when new committees or studies are being contemplated.
s a Catalyst Canada Advisory Board member and a supporter of the 30% Club campaign to promote greater gender balance on boards, David Pathe is committed to accelerating the advancement of women within the mining industry in Canada.
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Congratulations to all recipients Honours and Awards of the
2020 METALLURGY & MATERIALS SOCIETY OF CIM METSOC AIREY AWARD
METSOC AWARD FOR RESEARCH EXCELLENCE
METSOC SILVER MEDAL
The Airey Award is considered the most prestigious award in Canadian metallurgy and materials. Recognition of a an outstanding individual contribution based on at least 15 years of input that has an impact and benefit to Canada.
This MetSoc Award is the premier award for contributions by an academic or research scientist in any Canadian research laboratory or Canadian university. The award recognizes a lifetime contribution in teaching and research.
The Silver Medal is awarded to individuals who have built, sustained and developed the Metallurgy and Materials Society of CIM into the present strong, internationally renowned organization.
University of Toronto
For her effective contribution to the growth of MetSoc through her initiatives of programs to break barriers for women in engineering and encouraging young engineers’ involvement at MetSoc.
BBA Inc. For outstanding contributions in Canada in submerged bath injection processes. Sponsored by
For unique and exemplary contributions in the fundamentals of Hydrometallurgy, and Aqueous and Environmental Engineering.
University of Guelph
To view all of our section awards and student awards recipients, please visit the website www.metsoc.org
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Veuillez consulter la liste des lauréats des Prix étudiants et des prix des sections techniques MetSoc www.metsoc.org
Félicitations à tous nos lauréats Récompenses et Prix de la
SOCIÉTÉ DE LA MÉTALLURGIE ET DES MATÉRIAUX DE L’ICM 2020 METSOC BRIMACOMBE AWARD
METSOC ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD
The Brimacombe award is to recognize young achievers who have made noteworthy contributions in any of the scientific and technological disciplines relevant to MetSoc.
This award was created by Teck in order to promote innovation and development in the field of environmental control technology for the metallurgical and materials industry in Canada.
BRUCE R. CONARD
For a career spent promoting the production of metals in a safe and sustainable manner.
For his contributions to the field of extractive metallurgy of gold and the organization of MetSoc conferences.
NOTICE TO MEMBERS
AVIS DE CONVOCATION The Annual General Meeting of the members of the Metallurgy and Materials Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum will be held digitally online, Tuesday, August 25 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time. An invitation will be sent by email for your complimentary registration. L’Assemblée générale annuelle des membres de la Société de la métallurgie et des matériaux de l’Institut canadien des mines, de la métallurgie et du pétrole sera diffusée par internet, mardi le 25 août à 11h30 heure de l’est. Une invitation sera envoyée par courriel pour vous inscrire gratuitement.
www.metsoc.org July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 51
CIM Journal Abstracts from CIM Journal, Vol. 10, No. 4
Performance prediction of a full-size rapid dampening suspension in an ultra-class hauler application R. K. Soni, T. G. Joseph, and M. Curley, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Rapid dampening suspension is a proposed suspension design for ultra-class haulers that is intended to avoid metal-tometal contact inside a strut and under shock loading, thus improving ride quality and ameliorating fatigue loading issues on a hauler structure. Laboratory testing has shown the ability of the proposed design to reduce the opportunity for bottoming out, that is, metal-to-metal contact between the colliding ends of oleo-pneumatic, two-piece suspension struts during the compression cycle. This paper predicts the performance of a full-size rapid dampening suspension strut by applying scaling rules to test the proposed design based on a set of field data from a Caterpillar 797B ultra-class haul truck operating in the oil sands region of the province of Alberta, Canada. The predicted performance of the suspension strut is compared to that of the original equipment manufacturer model, which was monitored on board the truck during field data collection.
Is bigger still better? Considerations in increasing the size of haulage equipment M. Dotto, T. G. Joseph, and M. Curley, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Equipment selection is a key decision in mine planning. Equipment size affects decisions from pit size to the total operation cost. Particularly when replacing haulage fleets for long-life surface mining operations, mining operations focus solely on haulage productivity. Road width and specifically ramp width are significantly affected by an increase in hauler size in terms of overall strip ratio through required highwall set-backs or sterilizing of lower ore access due to required overlying ramp fill structures. In addition, in light of ever increasing regulatory and reporting emissions requirements, bigger equipment may not translate into lower emissions per tonne moved. This study analyzes hauler-scale impacts on aspects not currently incorporated into conventional mine planning, including expansion of roads to accommodate larger equipment, road layer thickness variation depending on hauler size, and fuel consumption and emissions. Results indicate that such relationships have a large impact on cost. Therefore, an expanded consideration of the capacities of increasing equipment size in mine planning is highly recommended.
Subscribe at www.cim.org
lettre de l’éditeur
fraNcOphONe Un moment décisif JUILLET 2020
LES NOMS À cONNaître
Lettre de l’éditeur
Mot de la présidente
article de fond 55
Les noms à connaître 2020 Des influenceurs à l’oeuvre pour définir, façonner et parfaire l’industrie minière Par Ryan Bergen, Lynn Greiner, Carolyn Gruske, Robert Hiltz, Herb Mathisen, Tijana Mitrovic, Matthew Parizot
Nous publions progressivement sur notre site Internet les articles du CIM Magazine en version française.
Mike Forcia, activiste de l’American Indian Movement (AIM, le mouvement indien américain), s’est entretenu avec un agent de police d’État envoyé sur les lieux pour encourager les manifestants à suivre une procédure légale avant de retirer la statue qui trônait au Capitole depuis 1931. M. Forcia lui a répondu qu’ils avaient tenté cette voie-là à plusieurs reprises, mais sans succès. – Minneapolis Star Tribune, 11 juin 2020
’est ainsi que les manifestants ont encordé la statue de Christophe Colomb, l’ont hissée de son piédestal et l’ont jetée à terre. En mars, lorsque nous avons pris un virage difficile et sommes entrés en auto-isolement pour ralentir la propagation du coronavirus, nous savions qu’il y aurait des conséquences. Les débats s’articulaient autour de la perturbation de nos vies professionnelles et personnelles, de la menace du virus et de la charge imposée au système de santé par les mesures, ainsi que des répercussions à court et à long termes sur l’économie mondiale. S’il était difficile de prévoir l’issue finale, on pouvait tout au moins envisager à quoi elle ressemblerait. Les semaines d’isolation, l’agitation et l’anxiété constituent un mélange détonant. C’est dans ce contexte que les images de la mort lente et brutale de George Floyd sous le genou d’un officier de police ont été rendues publiques. Les frustrations qui s’accumulaient depuis des générations, la colère face à la liste trop longue de noms d’autres personnes ayant péri dans des circonstances similaires, le lourd tribut de la COVID-19 sur les communautés afroaméricaines et l’aliénation sévère résultant de semaines de confinement venaient de trouver un exutoire. C’est ce moment précis qui a déclenché l’expression de griefs de longue date, si fortement ancrés dans l’histoire et qui s’étendent bien au-delà de la brutalité policière. Cette manifestation d’une colère refoulée est arrivée avec une telle force que les personnes qui étaient jusqu’ici parvenues à faire taire cette agitation pour obtenir des changements ont finalement dû y faire face et, plus important encore, l’écouter. Si ces revendications se concentrent principalement aux États-Unis, les histoires qu’ont partagées nombre de Canadiens, y compris des collègues de l’ICM d’hier et d’aujourd’hui, montrent bien que ce problème ne concerne pas que nos voisins américains. Nous avons, nous aussi, un passé jalonné d’injustices persistantes que nous ignorons collectivement. Si toutefois nous décidons de lui accorder notre attention, nous éviterons d’être déconcertés face à l’inévitable question du « que faire ? ». Nous avons au moins quelques orientations ; il y a un an, le « rapport final de l’enquête nationale sur les femmes et les filles autochtones disparues et assassinées » était publié. Ce rapport donnait une description détaillée du racisme systémique au Canada et présentait un certain nombre de mesures correctrices. Si la plupart des mesures présentées dans ce rapport s’adressaient aux gouvernements, les recommandations concernaient également la presse et les industries de l’extraction. Pour des organes de presse tels que le CIM Magazine, le rapport appelait à intégrer les populations autochtones dans la couverture médiatique et la production de contenu ; pour les industries de l’extraction, il leur demandait d’expliquer la raison pour laquelle les répercussions et les avantages du développement n’étaient pas distribués équitablement aux communautés autochtones. Il est grand temps de commencer à agir. Ryan Bergen, Rédacteur en chef email@example.com @Ryan_CIM_Mag
mot de la présidente
Premiers pas dans le nouveau monde
a réouverture progressive des entreprises et l’autorisation du gouvernement d’élargir nos cercles sociaux annoncent des changements positifs, des changements qui réchauffent le cœur. Ces mois de confinement ont été épuisants, et le temps est venu de prendre l’air (en gardant nos distances de sécurité) tant que l’on peut et de profiter des joies estivales. Je suis ravie de constater que l’industrie minière canadienne va de l’avant sans défaillir. Nous nous adaptons rapidement et apprenons les uns des autres, tout en continuant de nous tailler une place en tant que secteur des services essentiels. C’est un ballon d’oxygène pour notre moral et pour l’économie canadienne. De fait, les exploitations minières se sont adaptées et se sont fait une priorité de trouver des moyens efficaces de protéger les travailleurs et les membres de leur famille. Nous ne nous contentons pas de faire tourner nos exploitations, nous tendons la main à la communauté et soutenons les intervenants de pre-
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mière ligne en mettant à leur disposition des équipements de protection individuelle (ÉPI) indispensables. Tous ces efforts et ces résultats reflètent la résilience et la culture de compassion qu’entretient notre industrie. Pour ce qui est des étapes à venir, nous tenons fermement les rênes entre nos mains et pilotons l’industrie en territoire inexploré en nous fondant sur des siècles d’expérience collective et des instincts bien affûtés. Nous avons traversé les frontières vers un nouveau monde et vers de nouvelles habitudes de travail. Le temps est venu de s’adapter et de saisir les occasions qui se présentent à nous. Rien ne sera plus comme avant le COVID-19. Le nouveau monde exige de notre part une plus grande responsabilité envers nos concitoyens, nos communautés et notre planète. C’est l’occasion idéale de transformer notre industrie en exploitant l’innovation et les technologies, en nouant de nouvelles relations et en misant sur de nouveaux résultats opérationnels. Pour bâtir une industrie plus que jamais forte et responsable, nous devons saisir la balle au bond. Cette édition du mois de juillet du CIM Magazine met à l’honneur l’excellence dans l’industrie minière canadienne en accordant la reconnaissance qu’ils méritent à tous les lauréats des prix de l’ICM. Cette année, nous n’avons pu célébrer en chair et en os sur une scène éclairée de mille feux et avec une cérémonie digne, mais cela ne nous empêche en rien de reconnaître ces accomplissements. Je suis extrêmement fière des lauréats des prix de l’ICM 2020, et je tiens à vous remercier personnellement pour tous vos efforts visant à faire de l’exploitation minière une industrie meilleure. Vous êtes des chefs de file et des modèles pour nous tous. J’invite tous les membres de l’ICM à prendre le temps de féliciter les lauréats et l’excellence dont ils font preuve dans notre industrie. Poursuivons ce chemin ensemble, et trouvons les moyens de relever les défis qui se présentent à nous en déployant notre créativité, notre esprit d’équipe et notre détermination.
Samantha Espley présidente de l’ICM
Chaque année, le CIM MagazIne se met en quête de personnalités emblématiques de l’évolution et du Changement au sein de l’industrie minière, que Ce soit au travers de leur travail d’élaboration des politiques, de leur leadership en matière de teChnologie ou de leur approChe novatriCe. Certains visages vous seront familiers, d’autres moins. ChaCune de Ces personnalités apporte à l’industrie minière de nouvelles stratégies, de nouveaux outils ou de nouvelles perspeCtives. déCouvrez…
LES NOMS À cONNaître
Avec l’aimable autorisation de Nalaine Morin
NALAiNE MoriN Directrice d’ArrowBlade Consulting Services L’année dernière, plus de la moitié de l’argent investi dans l’exploration minière en ColombieBritannique a été injecté dans le nord-ouest de la province, et la plupart des activités ont eu lieu en territoire tahltan. En tant que directrice du territoire pour le gouvernement central de la nation des Tahltans, Nalaine Morin est chargée de gérer l’exploration et collabore avec les communautés et la province pour établir des attentes claires en termes d’engagement. Ces attentes s’étendent bien au-delà des frontières du territoire tahltan.
L’experte eN étudeS d’iMpact
SEAMuS o’rEgAN Ministre des ressources naturelles, gouvernement du Canada Seamus O’Regan occupait ce poste depuis quelques mois, mais c’est à l’occasion du congrès de la Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC, l’association canadienne des prospecteurs et entrepreneurs) cette année qu’il a découvert l’industrie minière « sur son territoire ». Le congrès a été l’occasion pour le ministre fédéral des ressources naturelles de renforcer les relations mises à rude épreuve par un projet de construction d’un oléoduc paralysé depuis longtemps, un conflit concernant la taxe carbone et l’échec d’un projet d’exploitation des sables bitumineux de plusieurs milliards de dollars. À cet égard, le congrès aurait pu se révéler désastreux. La contamination au COVID-19 de l’un des plus de 23 000 participants au congrès de la PDAC a rapidement fait les gros titres de la presse nationale, et la nouvelle a pris une toute autre ampleur lorsque M. O’Regan a révélé dans un tweet, peu de temps après le congrès du mois de mars, qu’il était malade et entamait une période d’auto-isolement après que son médecin lui ait suggéré de procéder à un test de dépistage du COVID-19.
Avec l’aimable autorisation de Katrina Nokleby
KAtriNA NoKLEby Ministre de l’industrie, du tourisme et de l’investissement des Territoires du Nord-Ouest
La NOvice expériMeNtée 56 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
Katrina Nokleby, la nouvelle ministre de l’industrie, du tourisme et de l’investissement des Territoires du Nord-Ouest (T.N.-O.), avait déjà du pain sur la planche face à la perte de vitesse du secteur de l’extraction des diamants et à l’incertitude concernant ce qui viendrait le remplacer. L’arri-
Dans le cadre de ses fonctions au gouvernement central de la nation des Tahltans et en tant que directrice d’ArrowBlade Consulting Services, une société basée à Smithers, en ColombieBritannique, Mme Morin œuvre à encourager les relations reconnaissant le rôle des nations autochtones dans le processus décisionnel concernant les terres autochtones. « Une part importante du travail que nous menons actuellement consiste à obtenir le permis social d’exploitation et à développer les relations sur le long terme », expliquait-elle. « Des termes tels que la confiance, la transparence et le respect sont importants pour créer ce genre de relations à long terme, et permettent aux sociétés et aux communautés autochtones de mener des débats constructifs sur les projets. » Mme Morin a pris part à des évaluations environnementales dans tout le pays, notamment celle de la mine New Prosperity à Williams Lake qui, par deux fois, s’est vue refuser son certificat d’évaluation environnementale avant qu’il ne soit annulé. Elle a
Juste après le congrès de la PDAC, M. O’Regan s’était rendu à Cigar Lake dans le nord de la Saskatchewan, avait visité la mine d’uranium de Cameco, s’était entretenu avec des représentants officiels de la société, puis avait rendu visite à trois communautés autochtones voisines, des communautés dont certains membres travaillent à la mine. Heureusement, les résultats du test de M. O’Regan étaient négatifs, mais toute cette affaire a montré à quel point l’industrie minière canadienne et les communautés autochtones étaient étroitement liées. « Les communautés se sont beaucoup inquiétées, et le chef Bobby Cameron de la Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN, la fédération des nations autochtones souveraines) m’a contacté par téléphone. Il m’a expliqué que ces communautés étaient très vulnérables, qu’elles me souhaitaient un prompt rétablissement mais qu’elles devaient savoir si j’étais contaminé », déclarait M. O’Regan. « Dès le début, [mes collègues du conseil des ministres et moi-même] avons pris conscience des sensibilités des communautés du Nord, des communautés isolées et des communautés autochtones, ainsi que de leurs vulnérabilités. Le chef Bobby Cameron est la première personne que j’ai appelée lorsque j’ai reçu mes résultats, avant même d’appeler mon mari, mais ne lui dites pas. »
vée du COVID-19 a propulsé le degré de difficulté de la situation à un tout autre niveau. Heureusement, Mme Nokleby est habituée à apprendre « sur le tas ». Ingénieure en géologie appliquée, elle a obtenu son diplôme de sciences appliquées à l’université de la Colombie-Britannique (UBC) en 2001, puis a emménagé à Yellowknife il y a 13 ans pour travailler comme conseillère. Les sociétés minières ont tendance à ne pas embaucher beaucoup de personnel dans leurs bureaux de Yellowknife (rarement plus de deux ou trois employés), aussi les conseillers sont très demandés pour un large éventail d’activités. « On se retrouve à toucher un peu à tout », déclarait Mme Nokleby. « On nous confie toute sorte de projets. » Le travail a emmené Mme Nokleby dans le Nord, notamment pour des visites de mines en production ou anciennement en exploitation. Pendant un temps, elle était chargée de faire respecter la réglementation environnementale sur le site d’assainissement de la mine Giant. Elle a aussi mené des travaux d’ingénierie des glaces sur la route d’hiver reliant Tibbitt à
également participé à l’évaluation environnementale de la mine Red Chris ; d’après elle, le projet « avait mal commencé avec la nation des Tahltans, mais la société a fini par s’engager auprès de la nation et les deux parties sont parvenues à une entente qui satisfaisait tout le monde. La mine Red Chris est maintenant en exploitation et les sociétés collaborent avec le gouvernement tahltan pour aborder les problèmes qui affectent la nation. Leur collaboration pour mettre au point des protocoles dans le contexte du COVID-19 à la mine Red Chris en est un bon exemple ». « C’est une chance qu’actuellement, l’exploitation minière et son paysage réglementaire évoluent de manière à prendre en considération le rôle du gouvernement autochtone ; j’ai pu réellement prendre part au débat », déclarait-elle. Si Mme Morin a principalement travaillé avec sa nation des Tahltans dans le nord de la Colombie-Britannique (C.-B.), une nation dont le territoire couvre environ 11 % de la province et compte trois mines en exploitation ainsi qu’une large part du
triangle d’or riche en minéraux, elle exerce une vaste influence et sa voix est entendue dans toute la province. Elle fait partie du conseil d’administration de Geoscience BC et, en février 2020, a été nommée au conseil d’administration de BC Hydro. En 2018, elle a reçu l’Indigenous Trailblazer Award (le prix Trailblazer pour les Autochtones) de l’association Women in Mining Canada (WIM, les femmes dans l’industrie minière au Canada) ainsi que le prix Aurora de l’association Women in Mining B.C. (WIMBC, les femmes dans l’industrie minière en Colombie-Britannique). « J’ai travaillé avec le ministère de l’énergie et des mines et avec le B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (le bureau d’évaluation environnementale de C.-B.) et ai apporté mes contributions sur les nouveaux changements à la législation en matière d’évaluation environnementale en Colombie-Britannique. Je suis
M. O’Regan est conscient que l’avenir de l’industrie minière est étroitement lié à celui des populations autochtones. Il est titulaire d’une maîtrise de philosophie de l’université de Cambridge au Royaume-Uni, dont le mémoire portait sur les participations des Autochtones aux capitaux propres dans le développement des ressources à grande échelle (particulièrement les Innus du Labrador et les travaux d’aménagement hydroélectrique du cours inférieur du fleuve Churchill), et a travaillé sur les ententes sur les répercussions et avantages (ERA) de la baie Voisey au nom du gouvernement provincial de TerreNeuve-et-Labrador. « Comme je le disais au congrès de la PDAC, l’industrie minière est en avance de plusieurs décennies par rapport à d’autres industries [en termes de pratiques environnementales] et de partenariats avec les populations autochtones. » Il ajoutait que les sociétés minières sont « des précurseurs et des pionniers de l’extraction durable et responsable des ressources. Aussi je me permets de rendre à César ce qui appartient à César… Honnêtement, d’autres industries se tournent vers le secteur minier pour savoir comment s’y prendre ». En février, la cour d’appel fédérale a fait savoir au gouvernement qu’il avait pris des décisions opportunes dans le projet d’agrandissement du réseau de Trans Mountain (TMX). La cour a déclaré que
le niveau de consultation avec les Autochtones qu’avait récemment amorcé le gouvernement « a convenablement remédié » à des vices de forme que le tribunal inférieur avait identifiés dans une série antérieure de consultations. Certains groupes autochtones se sont montrés déçus par la décision, l’industrie s’est montrée optimiste, et M. O’Regan a assuré que les négociations du gouvernement avec les populations autochtones étaient en bonne voie. Le congrès de la PDAC a permis à M. O’Regan de présenter la prochaine étape du plan canadien pour les minéraux et les métaux (PCMM), plus connu sous le titre de plan d’action de 2020. Ce plan d’action est envisagé comme le moteur de l’évolution du PCMM ; il comprend des lignes directrices qui contribueront à l’élaboration d’une stratégie collaborative pancanadienne sur les données
Contwoyto, qui serpente sur quelque 400 kilomètres au nord de Yellowknife vers Diavik, Ekati et Gahcho Kué, les trois mines de diamants de la région. Mme Nokleby s’est alors fait une idée des particularités de la planification logistique dans un territoire notoirement hostile aux budgets et aux calendriers. Elle a aussi constaté à quel point le gouvernement pouvait être plus réactif et efficace. Parce qu’elle souhaitait, entre autres, apporter la perspective du secteur privé au sein du gouvernement, Mme Nokleby a déposé à l’automne dernier sa candidature pour un siège à l’assemblée législative territoriale, qu’elle a remporté. Lors de cette élection, des députés fraîchement élus ont pris la place des titulaires, et neuf femmes siègent désormais à l’assemblée législative, ce qui représente près de la moitié des 19 sièges. Ce nouveau gouvernement a été élu en plein carrefour économique. Les mines de diamants devraient fermer leurs portes avant la fin de la décennie et aucun projet sûr n’est prêt à prendre leur place. « L’industrie admettait qu’elle avait plus que jamais
besoin de porte-parole », indiquait Mme Nokleby, expliquant que ses collègues l’avaient encouragée à se présenter à un poste ministériel. Le gouvernement de consensus du territoire ne repose pas sur un régime des partis. Au contraire, les candidats au poste de député mènent leur campagne à l’échelle locale par le biais de leurs propres plateformes. Les 19 députés élus forment ensuite un gouvernement en sélectionnant un Premier ministre et un conseil des ministres dans leurs rangs. Initialement, Mme Nokleby n’a pas fait campagne dans le but d’intégrer le conseil des ministres, sachant que les sièges sont traditionnellement réservés aux députés expérimentés. Cependant, avec seulement deux ministres dont le mandat a été reconduit, elle a annoncé sa candidature. Mme Nokleby a été nommée ministre de l’infrastructure, ainsi que ministre de l’industrie, du tourisme et de l’investissement.
Le MiNiStre de L’OptiMiSMe
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Avec l’aimable autorisation de Seamus o’regan
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Avec l’aimable autorisation de bruno oberle
Président du Global Tailings Review
D’après Bruno Oberle, le président du Global Tailings Review (GTR, l’examen international des résidus miniers), la société dans son ensemble n’est plus disposée à accepter les catastrophes environnementales telles que les ruptures de digue à stériles provoquées par des sociétés des industries de l’extraction. « Les conséquences sont claires pour l’industrie minière, que ce soit au niveau de la perception du public, des changements au niveau des réglementa-
MArtiNE PArAdiS Vice-présidente au génie et à l’environnement, Nouveau Monde Graphite
Avec l’aimable autorisation de Chris Adachi
À la mine Matawinie de Nouveau Monde Graphite, au Québec, le développement s’est fait un peu différemment. Dès le début, les considérations environnementales ont été placées au premier plan. Il ne s’agissait pas simplement de se conformer aux réglementations, mais d’aller au-delà. Il n’en a pas fallu davantage pour éveiller la curiosité de Martine Paradis. Que ce soit dans son rôle de conseillère dans l’industrie où on la mandatait pour régler des problèmes existants et atténuer leurs effets, ou bien en tant qu’autorité de réglementation où elle était chargée de détecter les problèmes, Mme Paradis a été habituée aux situations problématiques durant sa carrière. Nouveau Monde Graphite lui a offert un horizon bien différent, une possibilité de bien faire les choses dès le début. « C’est drôle car, pendant toute ma carrière, j’ai toujours eu la mission de changer des critères techniques fondamentaux de la mine
ChriS AdAChi Directeur du département Durabilité et changement climatique à Teck Resources
Le défeNSeur du déveLOppeMeNt durabLe 58 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
En février 2020, lorsque Teck annonçait son intention d’atteindre la neutralité carbone dans toutes ses exploitations d’ici 2050, la société a rejoint les rangs de quelques sociétés minières sélectes qui s’engagent à en faire de même, tels que les géants miniers internationaux BHP et Rio Tinto.
tions ou de la relation avec les investisseurs et de leur perception de l’industrie », expliquait-il. « Cet examen changera inévitablement l’industrie minière. » Étant donné sa position au sein du GTR (l’un des nombreux rôles qu’il occupe), M. Oberle fait de son mieux pour s’assurer que l’industrie minière développe et adopte le genre de pratiques qui empêcheront les catastrophes à l’avenir. Cet objectif est, pour ainsi dire, sa vocation. Depuis les années 1970, M. Oberle a évolué dans le domaine de l’environnement. Il a obtenu son doctorat à l’institut fédéral suisse de technologie à Zurich (ETH Zurich). En 2005, il a été nommé directeur de l’office fédéral de l’environnement (OFEV) du gouvernement suisse, récemment créé, et secrétaire d’État à l’environnement. En 2016, il a rejoint l’École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) où il est professeur d’économie verte et où il dirigeait l’International Risk Governance Center (IRGC, le centre international de gouvernance des risques) de l’université.
alors qu’elle était déjà en exploitation, car elle ne répondait pas aux réglementations ou aux critères de conformité environnementale », expliquait Mme Paradis. « Aujourd’hui, on procède différemment ; on commence par les considérations environnementales. » Elle a donc quitté son emploi de conseillère et est devenue vice-présidente au génie et à l’environnement à Nouveau Monde Graphite. Dans ce nouveau rôle, Mme Paradis est chargée de s’assurer que la conception de la mine prend en compte l’avenir environnemental du site. Elle accorde une attention toute particulière à la gestion des résidus miniers et des stériles. La mine Matawinie, située à environ 150 kilomètres au nord de Montréal, devrait extraire quelque 100 000 tonnes par an de graphite à haute teneur sur une durée de vie estimée à 25 ans. À l’égard de cette durée de vie estimée, le coût du projet est de 350 millions de dollars. Il affiche des réserves minérales probables de près de 60 mégatonnes, contenant 4,35 % de graphite. Toutefois, c’est sans doute la décision de la société d’équiper la mine d’un parc de véhicules entièrement électriques qui la rend unique ; mais l’approche accordant la priorité à l’environnement adoptée par la société va plus loin.
Pour relever un défi de cette ampleur, la société s’en est remise à Chris Adachi, directeur du département Durabilité et changement climatique à Teck Resources. Né à Hamilton, en Ontario, M. Adachi a obtenu son diplôme de premier cycle en biologie et philosophie à l’université McMaster, suivi d’une maîtrise en sylviculture à l’université de la ColombieBritannique (UBC) et d’une maîtrise en études environnementales à l’université de Waterloo. Il a amené son savoir à Teck et, depuis une décennie, a gravi les échelons de l’organisation en gardant toujours un œil exercé rivé sur la gestion des émissions de dioxyde de carbone (CO2). Au poste qu’il occupe actuellement, ses responsabilités s’étendent de la politique en matière d’environnement aux activités concrètes de la société. « Je suis tout autant chargé d’assister un site minier dans le développement de son inventaire des gaz à effet de serre [que] de l’aider à identifier les différentes options pour réduire ses émissions. Je travaille aussi sur les réglementations », déclarait M. Adachi à l’équipe du CIM Magazine. « Ainsi, si ma
« En tant que secrétaire d’État à l’environnement, j’ai dû engager un dialogue international long et intense ainsi qu’un processus de négociation structuré afin d’établir un cadre de règles permettant de faire face aux enjeux environnementaux », expliquait-il. « J’ai appris à accepter les différents points de vue, même ceux qui divergeaient beaucoup des miens, afin de trouver un équilibre entre eux. [J’ai compris] qu’il était très difficile d’avoir un débat constructif si l’on considère la partie adverse comme un ennemi et non comme un partenaire. » Outre son travail au gouvernement, M. Oberle a contribué à plusieurs organisations et projets sur les ressources naturelles et le développement au fil des ans. Il est actuellement membre de l’International Resource Panel (IRP, le panel international pour la gestion durable des ressources) et coprésident de la Green Digital Finance Alliance (GDFA, l’alliance pour la finance numérique durable), entre autres. Il a également été conseiller en matière de gestion de l’environnement pour plusieurs sociétés du secteur privé.
Son expérience en matière de débats internationaux et de gestion des risques a attiré l’attention des autres personnes préposées au GTR. Après la catastrophe à Brumadinho en janvier 2019, le programme des Nations Unies pour l’environnement (PNUE), l’International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM, le conseil international des mines et métaux) et les principes pour l’investissement responsable (PRI) des Nations Unies ont créé le GTR afin d’évaluer les pratiques actuelles en matière de gestion des stériles dans l’industrie minière à l’échelle mondiale. En juin 2019, le GTR a commencé à rencontrer régulièrement un grand groupe consultatif de parties prenantes afin d’établir une norme pour les pratiques relatives à la gestion des stériles, qui fera désormais partie des engagements des membres de l’ICMM. En septembre, un groupe d’experts pluridisciplinaire dirigé par M. Oberle a terminé la première ébauche de l’examen
D’après Mme Paradis, le projet Matawinie de Nouveau Monde est, à bien des égards, une étude de cas visant à envisager l’exploitation minière de manière plus holistique. L’industrie peut se montrer relativement conservatrice lorsqu’il s’agit de changer des habitudes de longue date. L’approche adoptée par Nouveau Monde implique un coût initial supérieur. Mme Paradis citait comme exemple la décision de Nouveau Monde de désulfurer ses résidus miniers en isolant tout le soufre des sous-produits inutilisables et en contenant ces résidus sulfureux (qui représentent environ 20 % des résidus totaux) dans une pile de résidus secs composée d’alvéoles de stockage individuelles. Pour créer cette pile, on entrepose d’abord les stériles de manière à créer une alvéole de stockage, qui sert de réceptacle pour les résidus miniers sulfureux. Ces résidus qui contiennent du soufre auront été préalablement séparés du reste des résidus, puis séchés. Une fois placés dans l’alvéole, les résidus sulfureux peuvent ensuite être compactés. Enfin, chaque alvéole sera entourée des résidus non sulfureux. Ces alvéoles individuelles constitueront par la suite une seule pile d’élimination mixte. Les
couches extérieures empêchent l’oxygène de pénétrer dans la couche centrale de composés sulfuriques et sont conçues de manière à ce que l’eau s’écoule autour des alvéoles à travers les stériles et les résidus non sulfureux plus poreux et non compactés. En l’absence d’un bassin de décantation des résidus, il n’est pas nécessaire de construire de digue à stériles, qui pourrait ultérieurement céder.
journée s’articule principalement autour des questions liées au changement climatique, je contribue également au cycle de planification de la société pour renouveler globalement nos politiques de risques et de possibilités en matière de développement durable. Je travaille avec plusieurs personnes au sein de l’organisation afin de définir notre stratégie pour les années à venir. » La société propose des solutions très variées pour lutter contre le changement climatique. Dans son rapport sur le développement durable de 2019, publié en mars, Teck présentait certaines des mesures que la société a prises jusqu’ici pour réduire son impact sur l’environnement, par exemple l’utilisation de sources d’énergie renouvelables pour 80 % de ses besoins en électricité, la réutilisation de l’eau en moyenne trois fois dans ses exploitations, et la réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre (GES) d’environ 300 000 tonnes depuis 2011. Parmi ses objectifs à court terme, la société prévoit de remplacer l’équivalent de 1 000 véhicules diesel polluants par des solutions sans émissions
d’ici 2025, et d’utiliser 100 % d’énergie propre dans ses exploitations chiliennes d’ici 2030. D’après M. Adachi, il est indispensable d’atteindre ces objectifs d’une part, pour le bien-être de notre planète et d’autre part, pour répondre aux attentes des investisseurs et des communautés en lien direct avec la société et ses activités. Pour y parvenir, il faut prendre une longueur d’avance. « [Les questions relatives à] la bonne gestion de l’environnement et à l’usage de l’énergie sont étroitement liées à des facteurs et des attentes extérieures », indiquait M. Adachi. « Que font les décideurs, les autorités réglementaires ? Que demandent les investisseurs ? Quelles sont les attentes des communautés ? Ces attentes évoluent constamment [d’une] manière qu’il est difficile de prévoir. On peut étudier une tendance sur 5 ou 10 ans, mais l’évolution ne s’arrête jamais. » Dans un proche avenir, prévoit M. Adachi, l’industrie se concentrera davantage sur les camions de transport et les méthodes utilisées
Marc-Antoine hallé Photographe
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Avec l’aimable autorisation de Jody Kuzenko
Jody KuzENKo Présidente et chef de la direction de Torex Gold
« On peut dire que mon parcours professionnel est relativement atypique. J’ai commencé ma carrière en tant qu’avocate et ai fini par devenir présidente et chef de la direction d’une société minière », déclarait Jody Kuzenko, qui a officiellement pris les rênes de Torex Gold en juin. Mme Kuzenko est née et a grandi à Sudbury, où son père
MiKE MAyhEw Cofondateur de Mayhew Performance Ltd. Un conseiller en exploitation minière pourrait avoir du mal à se faire sa place dans un lieu comme Sudbury, où la profondeur des mines n’a d’égal que l’expertise des vétérans de l’industrie. Pourtant, Mike Mayhew se montre fort convaincant et pose de nouveaux jalons avec Mayhew Performance Ltd., la société qu’il a lancée avec sa femme Nicole en février dernier. « Je suis le seul homme de la planète à avoir vendu, conçu, fabriqué, construit, mis en service et conduit un véhicule électrique à batterie sous terre dans un puits de mine, puis à l’avoir assemblé et fait fonctionner dans un environnement de production réel. Personne ne peut en dire autant aujourd’hui », déclarait M. Mayhew. Ses travaux sur les véhicules électriques à batterie (VEB) ont commencé par un appel spontané de Mike Kasaba, le chef de la direction d’Artisan Vehicle Systems, qui l’a recruté comme directeur des ventes et du marketing. La société vantait la collaboration de M. Mayhew avec Atlas Copco, Rock-Tech, MacLean Engineering et Stantec ainsi que les nombreuses relations qu’il entretenait avec les sociétés minières. Elle avait cependant omis son expérience chez Toyota. Après un début de carrière dans l’in-
Avec l’aimable autorisation de Melanie Campbell
Directrice du plan canadien pour les minéraux et les métaux à Ressources naturelles Canada
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Lors de son annonce l’année dernière, le gouvernement fédéral a qualifié le plan canadien pour les minéraux et les métaux (PCMM) « d’étape importante dans l’histoire minière du Canada ». L’objectif de ce plan était de renforcer la compétitivité du pays et de garantir sa position en tant que chef de file.
travaillait comme mécanicien chez Inco. Après avoir fait ses études et obtenu son diplôme à la faculté de droit de l’université Western à London, en Ontario, elle est retournée vivre à Sudbury. En 1996, elle a été embauchée par un petit cabinet d’avocats où elle a commencé sa carrière dans le domaine de la pratique et des litiges en droit privé. « Dans la profession juridique… dans l’ensemble, on se répète beaucoup », expliquait-elle. « Après avoir passé huit ans dans cette profession, j’ai commencé à me demander si je souhaitais réellement exercer ce métier toute ma vie. J’étais convaincue que le monde me réservait d’autres aventures. » C’est à peu près à ce moment-là qu’elle a vu une offre d’emploi pour un poste de conseillère juridique en chef chez Inco. « J’ai tout de suite pensé à mon père, qui serait fier de moi si je travaillais à Inco, la société où il avait lui-même travaillé en tant que mécanicien », indiquait-elle. « Alors j’ai déposé ma candidature. »
dustrie minière au beau milieu du ralentissement économique des années 1990, M. Mayhew a rejoint le fabricant automobile et a passé près de cinq années à approfondir ses connaissances, depuis la production au plus juste jusqu’à la planification et la conception des produits, le marketing et les garanties. « J’ai touché à tout et ai voyagé dans le monde entier avec Toyota Canada ; c’était une expérience inestimable. » Artisan a mis un pied dans le secteur minier en 2012, lorsque la société a fourni l’alimentation par batteries des machines RDH utilisées par Kirkland Lake Gold à la mine Macassa. Cette même année, l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) reclassait les gaz d’échappement des moteurs diesel dans la catégorie « cancérigène ». Le coût élevé de l’aérage des exploitations et la solution de repli qu’offraient les véhicules sans émissions proposés ont fait de la mine Macassa un terrain d’essai idéal pour les VEB. Puis en 2017, Kirkland Lake Gold a acheté l’une des nouvelles chargeuses-transporteuses (LHD, de l’anglais load-haul-dump) électriques d’Artisan. Mais le chef de la direction Tony Makuch voulait aussi acquérir un camion électrique souterrain de 40 tonnes, et il le voulait rapidement. « Nous avons alors conçu le camion, nous l’avons construit et, en une année, l’avons commercialisé. » Le camion Z40 de 40 tonnes alimenté par batterie a été fabriqué à Kirkland Lake et
Le PCMM est arrivé dans un contexte où les rachats par des sociétés minières australiennes inondées de liquidités, le déclin dans la part mondiale d’investissements dans l’exploration et l’ambivalence nationale quant au développement des ressources alimentaient tous une peur croissante selon laquelle le Canada perdait du terrain en tant que nation dominante à l’échelle mondiale dans le domaine de l’exploitation minière. Melanie Campbell, qui travaille depuis 25 ans au sein de Ressources naturelles Canada (RNCAN), est l’une des architectes du plan. « Je me suis battue pour faire partie de ce projet », déclaraitelle. « J’ai réellement pris conscience de la valeur d’entreprendre une nouvelle stratégie [sur les minéraux et les métaux] pour le Canada ; je voulais m’assurer que l’on reconnaît cette industrie [non pas uniquement] pour [sa] grande qualité et ses normes élevées, mais aussi parce qu’elle ne se contente pas de se reposer sur ses lauriers. »
Elle a obtenu ce poste et a rapidement commencé à travailler dans le domaine du droit du travail, de l’environnement et de la santé et la sécurité au travail dans les années qui ont suivi. Lorsque Vale a racheté Inco en octobre 2006, elle a contribué au processus d’acquisition en tant que présidente des affaires juridiques d’Inco. Peu après, elle a intégré l’équipe juridique de Vale pour quelques années, jusqu’à ce qu’elle aspire à élargir son horizon vers de nouveaux défis. Mme Kuzenko a ensuite quitté le département juridique pour se consacrer au développement durable, se concentrant sur la sécurité et la santé, l’environnement, les relations avec les Autochtones, l’énergie et la sécurité chez Vale Canada. Elle a ensuite exercé des postes de direction dans le secteur de la production, notamment en tant que directrice générale des services de production puis, plus tard, en tant que directrice générale de l’affinage. Lorsqu’elle a quitté Vale, elle était directrice de la stratégie commerciale pour les exploitations de la société en Ontario.
« Il est arrivé un moment dans ma carrière chez Vale où j’ai décidé qu’il fallait m’ouvrir à de nouveaux horizons », déclaraitelle. « J’approchais de la cinquantaine, et je me suis alors dit que soit je restais à ce poste jusqu’à la fin de ma carrière, soit il fallait que je change et essaie quelque chose de nouveau. » En octobre 2018, Mme Kuzenko a quitté Vale pour rejoindre Torex Gold en tant que directrice de l’exploitation. Elle connaissait mal le monde de l’or, des marchés financiers ou de l’exploitation minière au Mexique, mais décrit ce pari sur l’avenir comme la meilleure décision qu’elle ait pris dans sa vie. Cette année, Mme Kuzenko a succédé à Fred Stanford, l’un de ses mentors à Inco, en tant que présidente et chef de la direction de la société. « Mon travail consiste à m’appuyer sur [les] bases qu’il a créées », expliquait-elle. « Pour moi, [c’est] un peu comme construire une autre mine, continuer de générer des flux de
lancé en mars 2018. « Je me suis consacré corps et âme à ce camion pendant au mois quatre mois. On y travaillait sept jours sur sept, et l’équipe d’Artisan et de Kirkland Lake Gold était déterminée à donner vie à ce projet. » M. Mayhew a ensuite décidé de quitter Artisan pour revenir, le temps d’un court contrat, chez Kirkland Lake Gold, contrat qui a évolué en un poste à Macassa de surintendant de mine chargé de la gestion de l’exploitation souterraine. « Nous avons mis en œuvre de nombreuses stratégies que j’avais apprises chez Toyota avec l’équipe dans l’exploitation, par exemple la production au plus juste et la méthode kaizen, un concept qui s’inscrit dans le système de production sans gaspillage et consiste à affecter les bonnes personnes aux bons postes dans la mine afin d’atteindre une production à la fois sûre et qui atteint les objectifs quotidiens. » M. Makuch l’a ensuite invité à prendre part au projet de puits de mine n° 4 (Shaft 4) comme responsable de l’intégration pour assister dans le fonçage et l’ingénierie du projet. Au mois de décembre dernier, souhaitant retrouver leur maison familiale à Sudbury, M. Mayhew et sa femme ont opté pour un nouveau départ. À Mayhew Performance Ltd., M. Mayhew est conseiller en matière de conception, d’infrastructure, de planification et de mise en œuvre des VEB. Sa femme Nicole, infirmière de formation, a acquis son expérience dans le domaine minier
dans le cadre du projet de puits de mine n° 4, et dispense des conseils en matière de gestion de la sécurité et des risques. « Nous souhaitons proposer une approche très neutre, équilibrée et factuelle que l’industrie peut mettre à profit pour prendre de bonnes décisions opérationnelles afin d’exploiter les mines avec le produit adéquat, qui lui permettra d’atteindre ses objectifs des points de vue de la sécurité et de la production », indiquait M. Mayhew. L’objectif de M. Mayhew est de réduire à zéro les émissions des exploitations minières et de s’appuyer sur sa formation dans les VEB pour y parvenir. Il s’est pleinement investi dans cette tâche et s’est déjà imposé comme
En 2017, des représentants officiels des gouvernements provinciaux, territoriaux et fédéral ont entamé une collaboration afin d’élaborer une vision exhaustive pour l’avenir de l’industrie minière canadienne. Ils ont organisé des événements en personne tels que des ateliers avec les parties prenantes et des rencontres entre experts dans tout le pays, ainsi que des activités en ligne telles que des sondages. Mme Campbell décrit cette méthode de travail comme un engagement ouvert avec des personnes et des groupes de tout le pays sur l’avenir de l’industrie. « C’est une collaboration étroite entre les autorités du pays et les provinces et territoires [ainsi que] les communautés et les groupes autochtones », déclarait-elle. « [Cette collaboration] a vraiment rendu la participation à cette initiative passionnante et elle permettra d’en faire un projet à long terme. » Publié en mars 2019, le PCMM présentait six orientations stratégiques pour l’industrie minière, à savoir : le développement économique et la compétitivité ; promouvoir la participation des
peuples autochtones ; l’environnement ; les communautés ; le leadership mondial ; et les sciences, les technologies et l’innovation. Le plan a également identifié six champs d’action, parmi lesquels les réglementations, l’accès aux terres et l’utilisation des terres, et le traitement des minéraux (au moment de la publication du plan, la Saskatchewan et l’Ontario refusaient toutefois de l’appuyer. Ces deux provinces ont publié une déclaration stipulant qu’elles n’étaient pas convaincues que le plan offre un soutien suffisamment fort à l’industrie et ne prenait pas suffisamment de mesures pour « répondre spécifiquement aux enjeux relatifs à l’économie et à la compétitivité »). Puis en mars dernier, RNCAN a publié la dernière phase du PCMM, le plan d’action de 2020, pour développer encore davantage l’industrie minière au Canada. Décrit comme une approche pancanadienne, le plan d’action a également identifié six orientations
Avec l’aimable autorisation de Mike Mayhew
(suite à la page 64)
Le partiSaN de L’éLectrique
(suite à la page 64)
(suite à la page 64) July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 61
(suite de l'article sur NALAINE MORIN en page 57)
(suite de l'article sur SEAMUS O’REGAN en page 57)
également membre permanente du B.C. Mine Code Review Committee (le comité d’examen du code minier de la C.-B.), un code dédié à la santé, la sécurité et la réhabilitation des sites pour la province de C.-B. » Mme Morin est également conseillère technique supérieure pour la Citxw Nlaka’pamux Assembly (l’assemblée Citxw Nlaka’pamux) à Merritt, en C.-B. En tant que conseillère, elle est très bien placée pour faciliter les interactions entre les sociétés minières et les communautés autochtones, car elle peut leur offrir des points de vue reposant sur son propre patrimoine et sa sensibilisation culturelle ainsi que sur son éducation et son expérience professionnelle. Elle a obtenu son diplôme de génie des métaux et des matériaux à l’université de la Colombie-Britannique (UBC), et son diplôme de technologie du génie mécanique au British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT, l’institut de technologie de la ColombieBritannique). Son intérêt pour le génie lui est venu alors qu’elle n’était qu’une enfant, grandissant au sein des communautés minières de Colombie-Britannique où son père travaillait comme mécanicien de chantier. Elle est également spécialiste de l’environnement agréée du Canada (SEAC), un certificat que lui a décerné le bureau canadien de reconnaissance professionnelle des spécialistes de l’environnement (BCRPSE). Une grande partie des travaux de Mme Morin consistent à sensibiliser la population aux responsabilités qui incombent aux provinces et à sa propre communauté. Il y a 10 ans, les communautés autochtones n’étaient pas intégrées dans le processus de consultation concernant les projets dans leurs territoires ; aujourd’hui, expliquait-elle, on reconnaît réellement les gouvernements autochtones, et on comprend bien qu’ils ont une responsabilité dans ces processus. Ils mènent même des inspections conjointes des projets d’exploitation et d’exploration minières avec la province afin de s’assurer que chaque nation reste informée. Pour les années à venir, Mme Morin prévoit de travailler sur des projets d’aménagement du territoire avec la nation des Tahltans et sur le développement d’outils visant à améliorer le processus décisionnel. Elle espère aussi continuer d’intervenir à l’UBC comme conférencière invitée en génie minier, un rôle qu’elle occupe depuis plusieurs années. « L’aménagement du territoire est un grand projet que nous menons actuellement au sein du territoire tahltan », expliquaitelle. « Je travaille également sur des thèmes spécifiques tels que l’élaboration de stratégies d’évaluation environnementale pour des nations participant à des projets s’inscrivant dans le processus d’évaluation environnementale, afin de comprendre et de développer des outils pour l’étude d’impact spécifique aux droits et aux intérêts des Autochtones. » Telle que le conçoit Mme Morin, son travail ne consiste pas uniquement à résoudre les tensions et les désaccords actuels, mais aussi à poser des bases pour l’avenir. « Nous avons acquis une grande expérience grâce aux travaux que nous menons, et nous faisons preuve d’innovation au niveau des outils que nous développons. Le temps est venu de partager ces informations avec la prochaine génération de chefs de file autochtones », indiquait-elle. « Le plus important est d’être en lien avec la prochaine génération. En fin de compte, nous avons tous le même objectif. Nous voulons être de bons intendants des terres, et aspirons à un monde, un environnement et des activités sur nos terres qui soient durables pour les générations futures. »
et les connaissances géoscientifiques, encourageront la participation des Autochtones à l’industrie et renforceront les connaissances de l’industrie des minéraux, dans l’optique de positionner le Canada en tant que « chef de file de l’exploitation minière à l’échelle mondiale ». Le gouvernement a l’intention de présenter la dernière version du PCMM d’ici la fin de l’année. Durant le congrès, M. O’Regan a également partagé la scène avec Alex Christopher, premier vice-président de Teck Resources à l’exploration, aux projets et aux services techniques. Le ministre a saisi cette occasion pour chanter les louanges de Teck et a rappelé que « le gouvernement a toujours eu une excellente relation avec Teck, et entend la préserver ». Quelques semaines plus tôt, Teck avait très poliment rejeté la responsabilité de la mise en suspens du projet d’exploitation des sables bitumineux Frontier sur la politique climatique mal ajustée du gouvernement fédéral. M. O’Regan maintient que c’est la créativité à l’origine du développement des ressources énergétiques du Canada qui assurera l’avenir des sables bitumineux. « En toute honnêteté, c’est l’une des grandes bénédictions de notre pays, et c’est une industrie qui s’est bâtie sur l’innovation. Nous avons trouvé le moyen d’extraire du pétrole de gisements sablonneux ; c’est extraordinaire. Aujourd’hui, nous devons réduire les émissions inhérentes à cette extraction. C’est là que la communauté internationale à l’œil rivé sur nous et nous juge ; nous devons placer la barre plus haut et renforcer notre capacité à le faire », ajoutait-il. M. O’Regan doit maintenant convaincre l’industrie que le gouvernement est de son côté et aider le monde entier à comprendre le rôle de l’exploitation minière. « L’exploitation minière est un moteur du changement », déclarait-il. « Ce secteur construira les moteurs des véhicules électriques et toute sorte d’autres choses. Je suis très enthousiaste. Le congrès de la PDAC m’a réellement motivé. Ce n’est pas un virus que j’ai attrapé là-bas, mais plutôt de la vitalité et de l’énergie, ce qui est bien plus important et durable. » – Carolyn Gruske
– Lynn Greiner 62 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
(suite de l'article sur KATRINA NOKLEBY en page 57) Peu de temps après son investiture, elle s’est rendue à l’AME BC Roundup (le tour d’horizon sur l’exploration minière de l’Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia) à Vancouver, puis au congrès de la Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC, l’association canadienne des prospecteurs et entrepreneurs), à Toronto ; elle n’avait pas participé à l’AME BC Roundup depuis ses années de bénévolat en premier cycle. Durant ces conférences, elle a présenté les priorités de son gouvernement portant sur la résolution des revendications territoriales en suspens, la construction de nouvelles routes praticables en toute saison et la promotion d’un développement majeur du réseau hydroélectrique, des efforts qui, selon le gouvernement, aideront les sociétés minières et encourageront les investissements. Les sociétés minières, quant à elles, l’ont sommé d’harmoniser les exigences en matière de déclaration et les échéanciers dans le processus réglementaire des T.N.-O. Mais tout ceci paraît bien lointain. La pandémie de COVID-19, qui a jeté une ombre sur le déroulement du congrès de la PDAC, a depuis semé la confusion dans les marchés mondiaux et a para-
lysé l’économie des T.N.-O. Dans l’incapacité de vendre l’équivalent de 180 millions de dollars américains de diamants sur les marchés mondiaux, Dominion Diamond Corp. (le propriétaire de la mine Ekati et de 40 % de la mine Diavik) a bénéficié de la protection des créanciers début avril. Le fait est que la principale source d’exportation du territoire est un produit de luxe qui ne fera pas partie des priorités des millions de personnes se retrouvant soudain au chômage. Par ailleurs, les premières estimations relatives à l’investissement dans l’exploration pour cet été s’annoncent peu réjouissantes, aggravant par là même le problème de l’écart entre la production effective et la production potentielle du territoire. Cependant, Mme Nokleby s’est dévouée corps et âme aux exigences de cette nouvelle réalité requérant toutes les ressources nécessaires. Elle a assuré la distribution d’équipements de protection individuelle (ÉPI) à l’ensemble du territoire et a fermé toutes les frontières pour endiguer la propagation du virus. « J’ai eu l’impression de revenir en arrière, à l’époque où j’étais conseillère », déclarait-elle. « C’est le plus grand projet que j’ai jamais géré. » Dans une entrevue en direct sur Facebook, elle a même encouragé les résidents à la contacter directement par courrier électronique au cas où ils ne recevaient pas de réponse de son ministère. Et si tout cela n’était pas suffisamment stressant, elle a été mise sur la sellette, fin mai, au titre d’une motion mystérieuse et secrète présentée par des députés anonymes demandant sa destitution du conseil des ministres. Lorsque l’avis de cette motion a été présenté à l’assemblée législative, le groupe de députés a fait face à un grand mouvement d’opposition du public. La chambre des mines a lancé une pétition et envoyé une lettre de soutien à Mme Nokleby, ne laissant d’autre choix aux députés que de retirer leur motion. Mme Nokleby est bien consciente qu’elle doit jongler entre les crises à court terme et les questions à long terme, y compris les préoccupations immédiates en termes de santé publique liées au COVID-19, tout en faisant son possible pour maintenir l’économie à flot. Cette pandémie est un territoire totalement nouveau pour les politiciens et politiciennes du monde entier, qui requiert une action rapide et des décisions fondées sur les données. Bien qu’elle soit novice dans son nouveau rôle de ministre, les expériences professionnelles de Mme Nokleby semblent l’avoir bien préparé à cet épisode. – Herb Mathisen
(suite de l'article sur BRUNO OBERLE en page 59) et a entamé les consultations dans diverses juridictions minières telles que le Kazakhstan, la Chine, le Chili et autres. M. Oberle a organisé des ateliers complets de consultation en personne afin d’écouter les personnes directement affectées. La portée de cet examen est vaste, mais d’après le GTR, le processus consiste à inclure un examen « du système mondial et transparent de classification [des installations de stockage des résidus] fondé sur les conséquences, avec des exigences adaptées à chaque niveau de classification » ; à travailler sur un « système dédié à l’évaluation crédible et indépendante des installations de stockage des résidus » ; et à définir des « exigences pour la planification et la préparation dans des situations d’urgence ». Le GTR souhaite atteindre ces objectifs tout en consultant un large éventail de personnes représentant un groupe varié de perspectives.
« L’adoption d’une approche multipartite était essentielle à l’examen », expliquait-il. « La même attention a été accordée aux intérêts et aux inquiétudes des acteurs de l’industrie, ainsi qu’à d’autres parties prenantes exprimant leur intérêt et leur préoccupation telles que les communautés, les assurances et les investisseurs, entre autres. » Après les premières consultations, qui ont pris fin en décembre, M. Oberle et le groupe d’experts ont commencé à élaborer en janvier des recommandations spécifiques pour la norme fondée sur des discussions entre parties prenantes. D’après M. Oberle, toutes les personnes préposées au GTR sont prêtes à mener la discussion finale sur la norme et ses documents d’accompagnement. La pandémie de COVID-19 a, certes, ralenti l’examen, mais il a bon espoir de finaliser les discussions d’ici l’automne. Concernant l’examen en lui-même, M. Oberle indiquait qu’il avait favorablement accueilli cette occasion lorsque les trois autres personnes préposées au GTR l’avaient contacté. « J’ai accepté sans hésiter », déclarait-il. « Cet examen est indispensable, et je suis honoré d’en faire partie. »
– Tijana Mitrovic
(suite de l'article sur MARTINE PARADIS en page 59) En contenant les minéraux qui s’oxydent et, par là même, modifient l’acidité dans le milieu environnant, Nouveau Monde élimine le problème avant même qu’il n’apparaisse. « Il faut être visionnaire et faire preuve d’ouverture d’esprit pour le comprendre. Les dépenses d’investissement et d’exploitation liées à la désulfuration sont extrêmement élevées ; cette méthode implique également de filtrer et d’empiler les résidus secs afin d’éviter de devoir construire des digues », indiquaitelle. « Cela entraîne des coûts de gestion des résidus miniers élevés. » En tant que conseillère, elle a souvent été témoin de fausses économies découlant de l’absence de telles initiatives dès le départ et de tentatives de faire face aux défaillances ou à d’autres problèmes à mesure qu’ils se produisaient. Cette approche ne fait que reporter les coûts, et « je ne suis pas certaine que l’on économise au final », ajoutait-elle. Nouveau Monde prévoit également de remblayer la mine avec des stériles et des résidus miniers, ce qui réduira l’empreinte de la mine et les coûts liés au stockage en toute sécurité des résidus et des stériles extraits de la mine. Mme Paradis espère que la conception de la mine servira de modèle pour de futurs projets miniers. Elle a incontestablement attiré l’attention du gouvernement et des autorités réglementaires de la province. « Le ministère s’est vraiment intéressé à notre projet et se réjouit qu’une mine fasse preuve de [cette ouverture d’esprit] », indiquait-elle. « Il suffirait qu’une mine ou deux adoptent cette approche pour encourager les autres. » D’après Mme Paradis, Nouveau Monde est un précurseur dans sa gestion de l’environnement. Cette pratique est vouée à devenir la norme dans l’exploitation minière, notamment à mesure que les gouvernements et les autorités réglementaires exigent toujours davantage que l’industrie accorde la priorité aux questions d’ordre environnemental. « Tout le monde ne verra pas forcément les avantages dans l’immédiat, mais les choses avancent, et elles avancent vite », déclarait-elle. – Robert Hiltz July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 63
(suite de l'article sur CHRIS ADACHI en page 59) pour déplacer les matériaux ; elle se penchera également davantage sur les matières premières nécessaires à la fabrication de véhicules électriques à batterie (VEB) et sur les sources d’énergie renouvelables telles que le cuivre, l’acier et le zinc. Si les sociétés minières se font toujours plus à l’idée de devenir plus respectueuses de l’environnement, la transition sera toutefois beaucoup plus complexe si ces sociétés ne placent pas le développement durable au cœur de la culture de leur entreprise. « On parvient souvent à atteindre nos objectifs, non pas parce qu’ils sont faciles, mais parce que la durabilité présente une valeur culturelle », indiquait M. Adachi. « De la part [du président et chef de la direction Don Lindsay] et à tous les niveaux hiérarchiques, il est primordial de gérer nos risques et d’atteindre nos objectifs en matière de développement durable… C’est sans doute difficile à discerner de l’extérieur, mais au sein de l’organisation, je suis témoin de la sensibilisation grandissante ainsi que de la fierté manifeste et de la valeur qu’attachent les employés à la durabilité. » « Quels que soient les objectifs que l’on se fixe, si les employés ne les acceptent pas ou ne souhaitent pas construire ou contribuer à ces objectifs, les problèmes seront nombreux. » – Matthew Parizot
(suite de l'article sur JODY KUZENKO en page 61) trésorerie sur nos actifs existants, capitaliser sur Muckahi [la nouvelle méthode minière propriétaire de la société] et développer [notre] société et notre équipe. Ce faisant, il est important pour moi de changer les choses de manière positive dans les vies de nos employés et de nos communautés voisines. » Bien qu’elle n’ait pas pratiqué le droit depuis plus d’une décennie, Mme Kuzenko explique qu’elle se sert de ses connaissances juridiques chaque jour. « Ma formation en droit et le fait que j’ai exercé la profession [d’avocate] façonnent totalement la façon dont j’écoute… et la façon dont je m’exprime. »
– Tijana Mitrovic
(suite de l'article sur MIKE MAYHEW en page 61) une sphère de référence en matière d’électrification. Il collabore avec le Collège Boréal de Sudbury pour l’élaboration d’un programme de formation dédié à l’entretien des équipements miniers électriques à batteries, qui devrait être proposé à l’automne. Il dirige le groupe de travail dédié au concept de la mine tout électrique du Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG, le groupe sur les directives mondiales en matière d’exploitation minière), dont le travail consiste notamment à mettre à jour les lignes directrices Recommended Best Practices for Electric Vehicles in Underground Mining (pratiques exemplaires recommandées pour les véhicules électriques dans l’exploitation minière souterraine) du GMG, et à mener une étude complète du marché des VEB dans l’industrie minière pour le partage des connaissances. Il est associé du Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI, le centre d’excellence en innovation minière). Il a fait équipe avec la jeune entreprise innovante Stacktronic de Kitchener spécialisée dans les batteries modulaires en vue de reconditionner un véhicule de transport du personnel pour une utilisation sous terre. Enfin, il est le fondateur de 2nd Battery Life Inc., une société qui aide les exploitants à réutiliser, reconditionner ou recycler les batteries des parcs de véhicules électriques grandissants.
64 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
M. Mayhew prend soin de mettre à l’honneur les personnes avec lesquelles il a étroitement collaboré ces dernières années afin de préserver cet ancrage unique dans l’industrie. « Tout le mérite revient à mon mentor Tony Makuch, ainsi qu’à Duncan King, viceprésident des exploitations canadiennes chez Kirkland Gold, et à Evan Pelletier, directeur général des opérations à Kirkland Lake, sans oublier l’équipe d’Artisan en Californie pour la construction du Z40. » (Artisan a depuis été rachetée par Sandvik). Il rend également hommage à son beau-père, « Rosy » Rosaire qui, après une longue carrière de foreur de longs trous chez Inco, est décédé d’un cancer peu de temps après avoir pris sa retraite. « Je me souviens qu’il m’avait demandé de faire quelque chose pour l’industrie minière un jour, qu’il en serait fier. Si mes travaux sur l’intégration des VEB permettent de sauver la vie d’une ou deux personnes, alors j’aurai répondu au souhait de Rosy. » – Ryan Bergen
(suite de l'article sur MELANIE CAMPBELL en page 61) stratégiques, parmi lesquelles le rapprochement des entreprises et des partenaires autochtones qui permettrait aux communautés autochtones de retirer des bénéfices socio-économiques durables à long terme, une initiative environnementale qui inclut une stratégie réinventée pour les mines orphelines ou abandonnées et le renforcement de la position du Canada en tant que nation dominante dans le domaine de l’exploitation minière au niveau international. En mai, les ministres provinciaux, territoriaux et fédéraux des mines ont confirmé avoir commencé à travailler sur la prochaine étape du processus. Elle consistait à se fonder sur le projet défini dans le plan d’action pour transformer en accomplissements (ou, du moins, en processus fermement établis) les objectifs et orientations énumérés. Le gouvernement publiera d’autres plans d’action en 2021, 2022 et tous les trois ans afin de continuer à saisir les occasions et de faire face aux circonstances à l’échelle mondiale. Mme Campbell a rejoint RNCAN après avoir obtenu son baccalauréat ès lettres en droit et sa maîtrise en administration publique et développement durable. Elle a travaillé dans divers domaines au sein du ministère, notamment l’énergie et les services ministériels, avant de rejoindre le secteur minier de RNCAN au milieu des années 1990. Elle a commencé en tant qu’analyste statistique et a découvert l’industrie minière, un monde totalement nouveau pour elle. Elle a ensuite accepté un poste d’analyste des politiques où elle s’intéressait spécifiquement aux évaluations environnementales et à la politique de réglementation. D’après Mme Campbell, sa formation universitaire en droit est ce qui l’a attiré vers le travail de politique publique à RNCAN. « [Cela] m’a permis de saisir que ce que je trouve le plus intéressant est… de comprendre les répercussions des politiques sur les activités, que ce soit du point de vue [de l’industrie, de la communauté ou des Canadiens] quant à la façon dont les choses se déroulent », expliquait-elle. « Ma formation [en droit] m’a permis d’étudier les réglementations ou les activités proposées et d’analyser attentivement la façon dont elles s’appliqueraient et dont elles fonctionneraient en tant que politique réglementaire. » Mme Campbell est d’avis que les efforts soutenus investis dans l’élaboration du PCMM permettront à l’industrie minière de s’étoffer. « Le soutien que nous recevons et l’unité collective à l’origine du plan ont été d’une aide inestimable pour avancer », déclarait-elle. « C’est en travaillant de concert que nous deviendrons plus fort à l’échelle nationale. » – Tijana Mitrovic
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July 2020 • Julliet 2020 | 65
MINING LORE A heroic sacrifice at the East Sullivan mine Courtesy of Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
By Tijana Mitrovic
Sullivan Gold Mine near Val-d’Or, Quebec
n 1950, CIM president-elect A.O. Dufresne handed the CIM Medal for Bravery to Father Titus Wiktor of Val-d’Or, Quebec. “This particular ceremony,” it was reported in the CIM Bulletin from the time, “was this year more significant than usual due to the fact that the Medal had been awarded posthumously and for an extraordinarily brave deed.” Wiktor received the award on behalf of his countryman and friend Watsik Koltan, who had valiantly sacrificed himself to save the lives of his coworkers in an accident at the East Sullivan mine in Val-d’Or, Quebec. Koltan, who also went by Waclaw, grew up in Poland during the tumultuous years of the early-20th century. In 1939 he fought for his country in the Second World War and was imprisoned by the Russians for several months. He was later captured again by the Germans and held from 1943 to 1945. He arrived in Nova Scotia in late 1948, immigrating to Canada perhaps in hope of a new beginning. He was one of approximately 64,000 Polish refugees who came to came to Canada between the end of the Second World War and 1956, and one of hundreds of refugees who came to work in the mines of the Abitibi region. The mining companies of the region were suffering from worker shortages, as many local men were unwilling to work underground. The companies sent representatives to refugee sites in European countries, such as Poland, offering those living in the camps a chance for a new life in Canada if they agreed to a one-year contract at the local mines. Koltan, like many others, travelled from Halifax to Val-d’Or and began working at the East Sullivan mine in the spring of 1949. 66 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 15, No. 4
On the morning of Wednesday, July 27, a six-man team composed of Koltan, Lucien Doucet, Clément Gagnon, Maurice Boucher and two other men descended into the mine. The men had gone to a depth of about 450 feet, when around 11:30 a.m., Koltan and Boucher reached a rock blocking their path. Just as Boucher lit a stick of dynamite meant to destroy the blockade, an avalanche of rock fell and buried him. Koltan was unharmed by the falling rock but as he went to get help he noticed the live dynamite fuse. Aware there was no way to stop the explosive, he took the dynamite and ran away from the group. A couple of seconds later the dynamite exploded. The shock of the explosion knocked over the four miners. While the men were scraped up, none of them sustained serious injuries. They attempted to get Boucher out from under the rocks and managed to get him to the mine’s surface, though he died from his injuries shortly after. The mine closed for a few days afterward, though the damage from the explosion was light and caused no fires underground. The men began to piece together what had happened underground and realized Koltan’s sacrifice had saved their lives. In Val-d’Or, 50 immigrant men and women attended Koltan’s funeral, celebrating his life and sacrifice. As well, articles about his selfless act appeared in newspapers such as La Gazette du Nord, Le Devoir, The Ottawa Citizen and more. The news reached the Dow award committee, composed of editors for the most popular daily newspapers, who were so impressed that they posthumously awarded him the Dow Prize, given for heroic acts of bravery. CIM
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