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MARCH/APRIL 2018 | MARS/AVRIL 2018
Charging ahead With less demand for ventilation, mines using all-electric vehicles are breathing new life into otherwise unreachable ore bodies By Peter Braul
30 The tightrope between two worlds New Goldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Martha Manuel walks a fine line between the cultural beliefs she has been raised with and the industry she works in
46 On a roll A new generation of purposebuilt and cost effective high-pressure grinding rolls are working their way into the comminution circuit
49 The CIM EXPO 2018 preliminary program
By Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco
By Kylie Williams March/April â&#x20AC;˘ Mars/Avril 2018 | 5
CIM MAGAZINE MARCH/APRIL 2018 • MARS/AVRIL 2018
in each issue
8 10 12
Editor’s letter President’s notes Chatter
tools of the trade
The best in new technology Compiled by Jordan Faries
Industry groups say federal budget could go further to make mining more competitive
By Kelsey Rolfe
Royalty increases, end to stability clause in new DRC mining code bring objections from country’s miners
celebrating 120 years of CIM
By Ashley Joseph
How one paper in the CIM Bulletin launched a discipline
Margaux Resources partners with local stewardship group to look into recycling historic tailings
By Christopher Pollon
Welsh gold from the Dolgellau belt has been the source of royal jewelry for almost a century By Cecilia Keating
With the focus on mining innovation, talking heads have failed to realize that business drives technology, not the other way around
34 contenu francophone
66 67 68
By Sam Marcuson
The National Research Council brings ground support into the digital age with new rock bolt sensors A Quebec mining firm finds its sweet spot extracting shallow angle deposits By Joel Barde
Mining engineering innovator Greg Baiden leads the advance of robotics in underground mining applications
Lettre de l’éditeur Mot du président
article de fond
By Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco
Table des matières
La charge de l’avenir Forts d’un solide bilan de rentabilité ainsi que d’avantages indiscutables sur les plans de la santé, de la sécurité et de l’environnement, les véhicules électriques souterrains sont en train de redéfinir les possibilités du secteur minier Par Peter Braul
By Kylie Williams
Nous publions progressivement sur notre site Internet les articles du CIM Magazine en version française. 6 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 2
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Notes from the field hen you are trying to put a magazine out, hitting the road for two weeks is not the most productive strategy. The publication process slows down and the editors grinding away back at the office have to pick up the slack. The project pipeline, however, needs to be replenished with new ideas and developments. Thankfully, editorial discoveries are far more plentiful than mineral ones. The first stop was Minneapolis for the annual conference of our American brethren, the SME. With a healthy sized tradeshow and more than 500 technical presentations over a few short days, the event brings you face to face with your fear of missing out. This edition, just over one year into the Trump presidency, also offered a look into how the industry represents itself at this moment. Rene Aguilar, vice-president of corporate affairs and sustainability for Chile-based Antofagasta Minerals Group seized the opportunity during the inevitable panel discussion on innovation to pivot and decry the antiimmigration stance of the current administration and how counterproductive it is to the project of idea exchange. Meanwhile, some analysts of the coal industry described a buoyancy in the market and among producers now that “Obama’s war on coal” is over, while at the same time acknowledging that, however coal-friendly new regulations may be, institutional investors are pricing in the environmental impacts of the energy source, and that approach is not going away. The most compelling message, however, came from the number of people I spoke to on the tradeshow floor who were actively hiring.
Ryan Bergen, Editor-in-chief email@example.com @Ryan_CIM_Mag
Editor-in-chief Ryan Bergen, firstname.lastname@example.org Executive editor Angela Hamlyn, email@example.com Managing editor Lenie Lucci, firstname.lastname@example.org Section editors Tom DiNardo, email@example.com; Kelsey Rolfe, firstname.lastname@example.org Web content editor Maria Olaguera, email@example.com Editorial intern Jordan Faries, firstname.lastname@example.org Contributors Joel Barde, Peter Braul, Ashley Joseph, Cecilia Keating, Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco, Sam Marcuson, Christopher Pollon, Kylie Williams Editorial advisory board Mohammad Babaei Khorzhoughi, Vic Pakalnis, Steve Rusk, Nathan Stubina Translations Karen Rolland and Cision
This issue’s cover By Clò Communications
That recovery trend was just as evident at the PDAC in Toronto, which enjoyed its best turnout in the last five years. There, with so many industry people in one place, you can fill your notebook with as many leads as it can hold and you know you have found bonanza grade when geology students and global mining executives alike shift forward in their seats to take in the slide on the screen. It is also gratifying, now that I have more years in this industry, to see some of its members have a clearer idea of how their aspirations might be realized. Now, back at my desk, equal parts exhausted and energized, the task is to work through these notes, transcripts, press kits, business and mental notes to get at least some of these projects into development.
Advertising sales Dovetail Communications Inc. Tel.: 905.886.6640; Fax: 905.886.6615; www.dvtail.com Senior Account Executives Janet Jeffery, email@example.com, 905.707.3529 Neal Young, 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. Layout and design by Clò Communications Inc. www.clocommunications.com
eth R. Wilson enn Aw 5K
Copyright©2017. All rights reserved.
Published 8 times a year by: Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum 1250 – 3500 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West Westmount, QC H3Z 3C1 Tel.: 514.939.2710; Fax: 514.939.2714 www.cim.org; email@example.com
ISSN 1718-4177. Publications Mail No. 09786. Postage paid at CPA Saint-Laurent, QC. Dépôt légal: Bibliothèque nationale du Québec. The Institute, as a body, is not responsible for statements made or opinions advanced either in articles or in any discussion appearing in its publications.
adian Busines sM Can in
Printed in Canada 8 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 2
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Mining and water
“It is no wonder that the limited supply of fresh water has caused tension between societies and mining companies in many parts of the world.”
If you exclude the 97.5 per cent of the water on Earth that is saline and the 1.75 per cent that is frozen in ice caps, glaciers and snow, that leaves less than one per cent of accessible fresh water to humans and other creatures. It is no wonder that the limited supply of fresh water has caused tension between societies and mining companies in many parts of the world. The remaining 0.75 per cent – 2.5 million cubic metres of water in lakes, rivers and groundwater – is hardly distributed equally. In the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, one of the driest regions in the world, mining has flourished for over a century. Unfortunately, as the number and size of operations has increased, so has the conflict, as water exploitation for mining competes with agriculture and other uses. Barrick’s Pascua-Lama project on the Chilean-Argentine border has been idle since 2013 after the local Diaguita communities challenged the validity of the permit on the grounds that the mine would either contaminate or eliminate the area’s fresh water supply, and won. This was after the company invested $5 billion in the project. There has been a fountain of innovation around water use in the industry. Chilean company Minera Esperanza developed a copper flotation process using seawater instead of fresh water, pumping water 145 kilometres from the Pacific Ocean. In many parts of the world, thickened tailings allow greater water recirculation, enhancing water conservation. Another development has been the construction of desalination plants, using reverse osmosis to convert sea water to fresh water. The BHP/Rio Tinto desalination plant, for example, cost $3.4 billion to supply the Escondida mine, the largest copper producer in the world. A 183-kilometre pipeline, with four stages of high-pressure pumping, pushes water 3,000 metres above sea level to the plant. These water conservation measures and innovations come at a significant capital expense but highlight how mining companies can reduce social tensions by considering the needs of communities. Proponents of future projects will need to show that they, too, have a water management plan that does not underestimate the value of this natural resource.
Kenneth (Ken) G. Thomas CIM President
10 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 2
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CIM – Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
RE: THE DOME SCHOOL OF MINES (DEC ‘17/JAN ’18)
Wow, amazing story. Reminds me of Randfontein in Gauteng, south Africa. The town developed around the Mine. Started out in 1890 or so and recently closed down the last shafts. – Fritz Kruger
Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
“We have been able to train our eyes to not see it” PDAC award-winning consultant Lana Eagle wants mining companies to understand the history of residential schools. The first installment of our We Are Mining series By Kelsey Rolfe
Eagle: I think it came just because that’s what my dad did for his career. He was in the mining industry and I don’t think it was ever that when I grew up I wanted to be a miner. It was more that’s what we grew up with, in terms of talk around the dinner table.
things are the way they are, because of the challenges that they’re facing. I look at how we bring those two timelines, those two worlds, together. I think what’s interesting is that companies that have operations elsewhere outside Canada are beginning to realize that they need to work with Indigenous communities and have conversations. And move forward through an engaged process, rather than [following the timeline] they think things should happen in.
CIM: Tell me about the work you’re doing now. Eagle: I am a consultant. I really find myself moving forward in the arena of reconciliation. It’s something that builds upon what companies are already doing really well, which is relationship-building. I presented last year at a conference, and one of the elders in the room referred to reconciliation as the elephant in the room, that we can’t be afraid to talk about. I think we’re still on two different timelines. Companies want permits, and they want to move forward into development. Indigenous communities want to build relationships and have conversations around where they are today, and why these
CIM: A lot of people in the industry talk about how mining can be a part of reconciliation, but that conversation seems to mainly focus on the economic side. Do you think that’s the main way the industry can play a role? Eagle: I think economics is an avenue, but I don’t think it’s everything. Communities are perhaps looking at ownership, or greater percentages in how they participate, in terms of jobs or local procurement. That’s how some people have chosen to move forward to make their lives better, to alleviate poverty
34 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 1
Saying goodbye to the Dome Mine… reminds me that many times innovations like in-situ and instope leaching, ore pre-concentration and waste dump recovery by sorting were looked at for this mine — none of which were actually implemented, but perhaps could have extended its life even further? Food for thought… – Andrew Bamber
RE: HISTORICAL SOCIETY ASKS MINERS TO HELP PRESERVE LANDMARK COBALT HEADFRAME (DEC ‘17/JAN ‘18)
The Right of Way mine is an important part of not only Cobalt’s history, but of Ontario and even Canada’s history. There aren’t many of these historic and iconic headframes left, and this one is in the heart of the Town of Cobalt. – Shannon Lathem
RE: MINING GOES MOBILE (FEB ‘18)
Following an article by @CIMorg I decided to check out #Mappt by the @TakorGroup on my tablet. So far I am loving the simple interface and ability to upload shapefiles, I could see me using this in the field. – Andy Randell, @StrataGeoData
12 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 2
Canadian Institute of Mining
we are mining
and to make those changes. For some people, they’re still suffering from what residential schools have done to them. Look at some of the numbers on incarceration [of Indigenous people], alcohol and drugs, abuse and violence, missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and abject poverty. You can argue that if people had more wealth, they could alleviate those problems. But long term, how can we deal with these issues? Some of them are a result of children being sent to residential schools, because they were removed from their families and lived in very abusive situations. Then they come back, and they lack the skills to love, to parent, to create longterm safe homes for families, and deal with the challenges through alcohol and drugs. That just seems to perpetuate from one generation to the next. I think people in business think, “Well, if we can give them some money to deal with these things, that should be good.” I think it’s a social issue as well as economic. I think it needs a blend of both approaches to deal with this.
CIM: How do mining companies factor in the social aspect of reconciliation? ancouver-based consultant Lana Eagle, a member of the Whitecap Dakota Nation in Saskatchewan, works to align two “timelines:” mining companies’ desire to get permits and get to work, and Indigenous communities’ desire to be heard and understood, which includes confronting the generations of marginalization and abuse they have endured. Eagle says the key is for mining companies to come to the table with an understanding of Indigenous Peoples’ unique challenges. Eagle was recently appointed chair of CIM’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, and awarded PDAC’s Skookum Jim Award for her work creating dialogue between Indigenous communities and the mining industry. She spoke with CIM Magazine in January about her work, how mining can be a part of reconciliation, and what it takes to have a truly inclusive workplace.
CIM: How did you initially get interested in mining?
Proud to have attended the Dome School of Mines in the early ‘90s. – Ken Roberts
Eagle: Some of the social aspects have to be talked about. In those conversations a level of trust is built, because people can feel that they can open up to you and really tell you about what their problems are, and what their solutions are. It’s not just a, “Today we’re going to talk about residential schools. How did that go for you?” kind of a conversation. It’s deeper than that, it’s softer than that. If I had that challenge, how do I begin to trust you? If I tell you certain things that are so dark and so deep, how do I know that’s going to be information that is shared between you and me, shared between the community and the mining company? That there will be a going-forward in how that’s dealt with? Preparing to enter into those conversations is definitely a challenge for people. I think a big part of it is a call for companies to better understand the history. I think that we as Canadians have been able to train our eyes to not see it. Why would we go into a reserve if we don’t have to? The fact that today, in 2018, we still have communities that are on boil water alerts and have been for decades, is reprehensible. For the amount of promises that this government makes, their progress to deal with those challenges has been slow. I think the industry has to begin to say, “What can we do?” Rather than rely on the government to make those changes, whether it’s around electrification or clean water, maybe it’s time for mines to step up. I think going forward the solution is not saying, “We’ll build you a swimming pool, we’ll build you a school,” but really finding out from the community, what do you need to move forward? Where can we be of help?
CIM: You were recently appointed chair of CIM’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee; what are you hoping to do during your time there?
with these very issues, in terms of diversity and inclusiveness. How do we begin to break those barriers, and what is it that prevents people from going forward?
CIM: What do you think companies can do to improve the diversity of their workforce? Eagle: I think our responsibility in industry is to be aware of [Indigenous Peoples’ history with residential schools]. We have to be more aware that this does exist and why it exists. We also need the major companies to make commitments [to diversity], to say “This is what we’re going to do, and how we’re going to move forward,” and not be afraid to make those commitments. Even though there might be people who will criticize, I think companies have to be courageous enough to move forward. Also, if you want to have an Aboriginal workforce, you have to look at companies that are in Northern Saskatchewan as examples. For them, it’s taken years to get there. Look at Cameco, which has won [diversity] awards, they’re proud to have their third generation of [Indigenous] employees. It took a lot of years to get there, and a lot of history in there.
CIM: How do you get to a truly inclusive industry? Eagle: It takes a lot of work. I think we need to ask, what is inclusivity? The easiest way that I can define it is feeling like you belong. We spend so much of our time during the day where we work; do you feel like you actually belong? What does that really mean? Is it a healthy belonging? I think it’s everyone has to work together to create that new environment or that new culture.
CIM: Do you feel like you belong? Eagle: I do. I’ve always felt like I belonged, because of how I was raised. I feel very comfortable whether I’m in the boardroom or in the band office. I think to some extent you have to be willing to be adaptive to a new culture to be part of it. You have to try to make it work. CIM
We Are Mining Throughout 2018 CIM Magazine will feature the stories and experiences – both the good and the bad – of women, Indigenous people and people of colour working in the mining industry through a series of Q&As, columns and stories reporting on issues of importance to them. Do you have any idea for a story we should cover, or a person we should talk to? Reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eagle: I think we have to just take the steps and move forward, and be guided by the members of CIM, who are dealing February • Février 2018 | 35
RE: “WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TRAIN OUR EYES TO NOT SEE IT” (FEB ’18)
Thought-provoking interview with @lanaeagle2 about connections between indigenous communities and the mining industry – Maureen Padden , @maureenpadden This should be a great series @CIMorg! @lanaeagle2 always has thoughtful words and critical insights to share about #reconciliation and #mining. @TeckResources will be listening. – Heather Lawrence, @HeatherInVan Very much enjoyed this first We Are Mining article! – Kim McGrath , @mcgrathomik Great series! It's awesome to hear others stories especially from #womeninmining. – American Exploration, @MiningAmerica Great interview! I had the pleasure of being able to listen to Lana present to one of my classes last term, which focussed on Indigenous People and mining. – Ashish KC Great article, Lana! – Siri Camille Genik
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Courtesy of Monico
Courtesy of Outotec
tools of the trade
Actionable information Advanced analytics from equipment-based sensors are quickly catching on in the mining industry, but some of the problems it can be used to prevent – such as the catastrophic failure of a load-bearing structure – require real-time analysis on site, rather than more delayed off-site computations. Monico is looking to bridge that disconnect with its mCore Secure Data Router, a product designed to bring “real-time, actionable intelligence” directly to customers on a mine site. In a presentation made at SME’s annual conference and expo in February, Monico president and CEO Doyle Taylor said the device is a rugged, secure tool that “will not just add more data, but make value out of data.” Taylor said the router offers a flexible framework adaptable to the needs and expertise of customers.
The complete dry stack package The traditional system of impounding tailings slurry is far from perfect, as it puts the watershed at risk of contamination and requires dams that can and do fail. The alternative, dewatering and stacking the tailings, has been viewed as complicated and overly costly. Outotec wants to simplify the process with its Dry Tailings Plant, which covers the dewatering and stacking process from start to finish. “We can deliver a complete process equipment package, which will deliver better performance at a lower cost,” Toni Kuisma, sales manager with Outotec, explained. The plant includes all the components required to thicken, filter, convey and dry stack the tailings. While the concept of dry stacking is hardly new, a complete system that oversees the entire process in a way that is economically viable is rare, according to Kuisma. The process also provides “intrinsic geotechnical stability,” said Mark Wallgren, also an Outotec sales manager, which makes the plant more resistant to seismic activity than most tailings solutions.
Replacing mill liners, which can weigh more than 3.5 tonnes, is costly and time consuming, but a necessary expense for mining operations that use grinding mills. SAGwise, FLSmidth’s newest launch, tackles this problem by using process control technology to increase the efficiency and prolong the life of semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mills. The system, which the company says will pay for itself in six months, monitors and registers highspeed and critical impacts to the liner from the steel balls used in grinding, then makes automated adjustments to reduce up to 45 per cent of those critical collisions. This can save mines hundreds of thousands of dollars, as the typical replacement process creates downtime that can be valued at up to US$130,000 per hour, according to Jack Meegan, FLSmidth’s global product manager. In addition to reducing damages, the monitoring system also lowers the mill’s overall energy consumption by up to six per cent and improves employee safety at the mine site by decreasing the amount of worker intervention required to keep the mill running. 14 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 2
Courtesy of FLSmidth
Reducing critical impacts
Compiled by Jordan Faries
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Goldcorp invests $1 million in Acoustic Zoom at Disrupt Mining
Supercluster focusing on natural resources, health and industrial sectors receives federal funding
Miners fear getting burned by Congolese mining code reforms
Margaux Resources partners with local stewardship group to try to recycle historic tailings
Developments Feds extend exploration tax credit, fund scientific research in 2018 budget Industry groups say budget could go further to make mining more competitive Skills and employment training for Indigenous Canadians, a pilot apprenticeship grant for women pursuing careers in the trades and a one-year extension of the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) are a few of the initiatives in the 2018 federal budget being praised by industry groups. But both the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) said the budget did not go far enough to help the Canadian mining industry compete globally. “The federal government needs to recognize that there are serious competitiveness concerns, not just in the mining space, but…in the business community in Canada,” said Brendan Marshall, MAC’s vice-president of economic and northern affairs. He said that while the United States has recently cut personal and corporate income taxes, “Canadian taxation practices for mining have moved in the opposite direction.” PDAC president Glenn Mullan agreed, saying in a release that while Canada is a mining leader, “on an international scale it has become increasingly less competitive.” According to S&P Global Market Intelligence’s March 2017 report on global mining exploration trends, 16 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 2
Courtesy of the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada
By Kelsey Rolfe
Minister of Finance Bill Morneau tabled the 2018 federal budget in the House of Commons on Feb. 27.
spending on gold exploration in Canada declined to US$487.2 million in 2016, a nearly US$110 million drop from the year before. And for the first time since 2003 Australia overtook Canada as the top gold exploration destination in the world, with US$510 million spent there in 2016. However, S&P pointed out that Canada was the “most popular national target” for all exploration spending, accounting for 14 per cent of the global total. The budget did not earmark much specifically for the mining industry, but did renew the METC, a 15 per cent
non-refundable tax credit that incentivizes investment in junior exploration companies, until March 31, 2019. Both associations cheered the renewal, but have in the past called for three-year extensions. “Renewing the METC for one year helps our members in the short term,” Mullan said. “Yet greater measures are required – both by government and industry – if Canada’s mineral exploration and development sector is to remain globally competitive.” The industry will likely also benefit from the new Indigenous Skills and
Employment Training Program (ISET), which will replace the existing Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy. The federal government earmarked $2 billion over five years for the new program, which will have a stronger focus on “training for higher-quality, better paying jobs rather than rapid re-employment.” The program will also support services like childcare, to give Indigenous women better access to skills and training. The government also plans to pilot an apprenticeship incentive grant for women, which will put $19.9 million over five years toward encouraging women to pursue careers in the trades. Women in Red Seal trades, which include heavy equipment operators of dozers, excavators and tractor/loader/backhoes, will receive $3,000 per year in their first two years of training. Lyn Anglin, board chair of British Columbia’s Association for Mineral Exploration (AME), praised both initiatives. “Whenever we enter an upswing it becomes a question of competing for expertise and skills,” she said. “Anything government can do to raise the skill level, especially for Indigenous people and women, increases the pool of people we can draw on.” According to a 2015 report from the Mining Industry Human Resources Council, women only make up 17 per cent of the Canadian mining industry, representing 38,600 positions. The budget lays out $1 billion in funding for implementing the new Impact Assessment Agency and the Canadian Energy Regulator, and also details funding for several of the federal government’s initiatives to combat climate change. The Canadian Revenue Agency and Environment and Climate Change Canada will receive $109 million over five years to put in place, administer and enforce the government’s carbon pricing backstop plan. The environment ministry will also receive $20 million over the same timeframe to hire external experts to evaluate the effectiveness of the PanCanadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which all provinces and territories but Saskatchewan have signed on to. The government placed a heavy focus on scientific research and innovation in the budget, which the mining and mineral exploration sectors may benefit from. Canada’s granting councils and research institutes will receive $1.7 billion over five years, including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), which will get $354.7 million, to “support the next generation of Canadian researchers.” The government will also spend $1.3 billion over the same time frame on laboratories, equipment and other research infrastructure. The Canada Research Chairs program will also get a funding boost, with $210 million to support researchers earlier in their careers and attempt to increase diversity – specifically the number of women – among the nominated researchers. Anglin said AME was “happy to see investment in research and innovation,” and hoped to see some of it earmarked for mineral exploration and mining research. She said that geoscience research like the kind being done by Geoscience BC
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and the University of British Columbia’s Mineral Deposits Research Unit “are programs that would probably benefit from this additional investment from the federal government.” The budget also put an emphasis on interdisciplinary research with two new proposed funding initiatives. It is allocating $2.8 billion to creating a
multi-purpose and collaborative research group that will bring together scientists and facilities from the Agriculture and Agrifood, Natural Resources, Fisheries and Oceans, and Environment and Climate Change ministries, the National Research Council and others to “advance interdisciplinary research on, among other
things, climate change, ocean protection and human health.” It also put $275 million toward creating a new tri-council fund for NSERC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to support “international, interdisciplinary, fastbreaking and higher-risk” research. CIM
Canada announces new federal agency for resource project evaluation
decisions about major projects like mines, pipelines and hydro dams.” She criticized the previous Conservative government for having “gutted” the environmental assessment process and undermining public trust in the process. “Without the trust of Canadians you end up with polarization, you end up with court challenges,” she said. The new agency will have a maximum of 300 days to review projects. “We will be streamlining the process and coordinating with the provinces and territories to reduce red tape for companies, and to avoid duplicating efforts in evaluating projects,” McKenna said. “Our goal is one project, one review.” Reviews will include a new “early engagement phase” in which the government will advise project proponents which Indigenous communities they need to speak with, McKenna said. The current Environmental Assessment Act’s “standing test,” which limits who can participate in the review process, will be done away with to allow more input from Indigenous communities, environmentalists and members of the public. The agency’s decisions will be based on “robust science, evidence and Indigenous traditional knowledge,” McKenna said, and will work with other bodies like the CER and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. The government will also increase funding to support Indigenous participation in the process, and to help them develop the capacity to assess and monitor projects’ impacts. “Indigenous jurisdictions will have greater opportunities to exercise powers and duties
under the new Impact Assessment Act,” she said. In a statement provided to CIM Magazine, the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) said it was reviewing the legislation but “at first glance…the bill appears to strengthen the agency’s authority to run efficient processes.” MAC also highlighted the bill’s regional and strategic assessments, “more innovative and fair approaches to addressing cumulative effects,” better opportunity for consultation with Indigenous people and the public, and co-operation with the provinces and territories as potential upsides. But, it noted, “the draft legislation introduces a range of new concepts related to timelines and costs, which depending on how they are implemented could adversely impact the industry’s competitiveness and growth prospects.” Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers president and CEO Tim McMillan said the association needed more clarity on how the legislation will intersect with the government’s climate change file and the upfront expectations for project proponents, among other concerns. “Even with the information we have today it’s hard to say what our final view will be,” he said. However, he added that Canada has a “reputational problem about an inability to get projects done,” which he hopes the legislation will rectify. “While Canada talks about having a clear and transparent regulatory process, [there’s been] an inability to move good projects forward at a timely fashion. This legislation is an opportunity to improve substantially.”
The federal government will create a new federal agency to evaluate resource and energy projects, simplify the approval process and scrap the National Energy Board in favour of a new regulator, environment minister Catherine McKenna announced in February. McKenna tabled Bill C-69 on Feb. 8, which will create the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada to review all major pipelines and resource projects in Canada. The reviews will expand from looking exclusively at a project’s environmental impacts to also include its health, social and economic impacts, and its effects on Indigenous Peoples. Every review will include a gender-based analysis. The reviews will also involve “proactive regional assessments” and consider whether companies are using the best available technologies and practices to mitigate environmental impacts. The new legislation also scraps the much-maligned National Energy Board (NEB) for the new Canadian Energy Regulator (CER), which will lose its environmental assessment responsibilities but be responsible for regulating pipelines and the traffic and tariffs associated with transmitting oil and gas through them. Critics had previously argued the NEB was unsuited to handling environmental assessments. McKenna told reporters that the legislation aims to “restore public trust in how the federal government makes 18 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 2
– Kelsey Rolfe
The British Columbia government has given a 12-member task force the job of finding ways to strengthen jobs in the province’s mining industry. The B.C. Mining Jobs Task Force, commissioned by mines minister Michelle Mungall on Feb. 26, will review current practices within the mining and exploration sector and make recommendations designed to keep the province competitive and sustainable. It will submit a report to the minister by November. Job security in a changing industry will be a priority for the task force. “One of our goals with this review is to find ways to ensure mines in B.C. remain viable when commodity prices
Courtesy of the Province of British Columbia
B.C. mining jobs task force will suggest ways to ensure job security during commodity fluctuations
B.C. mines minister Michelle Mungall announced a provincial mining jobs task force and showed off an electric car that will tour the province, promoting the link between mining and clean energy initiatives.
fluctuate, so that people can keep working and communities can thrive,” Mungall said in a news release. “We need to make sure that our operations are cost competitive so we
can continue to weather the commodity cycles that are just natural to the world,” said Bryan Cox, president and CEO of the Mining Association of British Columbia and one of the task
March/April • Mars/Avril 2018 | 19
force members. “The more efficient and competitive our operations are, the more we’re going to be able to sustain those jobs.” Cox stressed that mining jobs are not just found on mine sites. “Legal, environmental and technology services are all housed in places like Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna,” he said. “The opportunity to work in our industry is really a province-wide opportunity.” The task force is comprised of representatives from the mining sector, Indigenous groups, municipal government, an environmental NGO and labour groups, among others. Association for Mineral Exploration president and CEO Edie Thome, Teck Resources head of government affairs Tom Syer and Michelle Laurie, a representative for United Steelworkers, are among the members.
Mungall said the task force will work with First Nations, industry members and communities to “develop recommendations on possible actions government could take to bring more certainty to the mining sector.” One of those actions, Cox said, involves continuing to raise awareness of the mining sector’s importance to the province, like an electric car that will tour the province promoting the link between mined materials and clean energy initiatives. “The contribution mining makes in British Columbia is really big right now,” Cox said. B.C.’s mining industry currently employs more than 30,000 people and adds more than $6 billion to the province’s GDP. More than 1,100 businesses across the province are suppliers and servicers to mining opera– Jordan Faries tions.
Goldcorp invests $1 million in Acoustic Zoom at Disrupt Mining Acoustic Zoom was named the winner of Disrupt Mining on March 4, coming away with a $1-million investment from competition founder Goldcorp. Acoustic Zoom, an advanced geophysics company based in Paradise, Newfoundland, created an ultra-highfrequency 3D borehole seismic imaging method that would provide “very dense imagery” to map subsurface geological structures, CEO Jacques Yves Guigné said in the company’s video presentation during the event. The goal of the technology is to make mineral exploration simpler. “If you do this with every drillhole, this tells you what the true geology character is,
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Geostatistical Mineral Resource Estimation and Meeting the New Regulatory Environment: Step by Step from Sampling to Grade Control
This course is designed according to the latest regulations on public reporting of Mineral Resources. It aims at showing how state-of-the-art statistical and geostatistical techniques help answer the requirements of those regulations in an objective and reproducible manner. A particular emphasis is put on understanding sampling and estimation errors and how to assign levels estimation confidence through the application of resource classification fundamentals. In addition to a solid introduction to mining geostatistics this course provides a comprehensive overview of industry’s best practices in the broader field of Mineral Resource estimation. INSTRUCTORS Marcelo Godoy, Newmont Mining Corp., Denver; Roussos Dimitrakopoulos, McGill University, Canada; and Guy Desharnais, SGS Canada Inc., Canada • DATE October 2018 • LOCATION Montreal, Quebec, Canada
20 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 2
and where you should be drilling to infill,” he said. The company has done a couple of pilot projects, including one with Marathon Gold. Guigné said the technology was necessary because traditional seismic practices are expensive and have typically not been picked up by the mining sector, and drilling provides a small sample but “doesn’t have spatial or lateral information.” Acoustic Zoom was among four finalists who took part in the live “Shark Tank-style” finale at the Rebel Entertainment Complex during the annual PDAC convention in Toronto. British Columbia-based EnviroLeach Technologies proposed an environmentally friendly, water-based leach process that would replace cyanide. LlamaZoo Interactive, also from B.C., pitched its MineLife VR software, which visualized mine development in 3D, from resource management to mine planning and reclamation. The software is currently being used by Teck Resources at one of its sites. Open Mineral AG, from Switzerland, created an online platform for buying and selling concentrates, eliminating the need for a “middle man.” The proposals were evaluated by McEwen Mining chief owner Rob McEwen, Integra Resources CEO George Salamis, Goldcorp COO Todd White, University of British Columbia mining engineering student Veronica Knott and venture capital firm Chrysalix founder and CEO Wal van Lierop. Early in the evening Acoustic Zoom emerged as the clear favourite. During the five-minute question-and-answer session, Salamis asked Guigné and Acoustic Zoom vice-president of marketing Gary Dinn if they would test out the technology on Integra’s DeLamar mine in Idaho. While Acoustic Zoom walked away with the big prize, White told CIM Magazine that Goldcorp may work with other finalists in the future. This was the case last year: while Roy Slack of Cementation claimed $650,000 for his presentation of an injection hoisting system, ultimately
Courtesy of Disrupt Mining
Goldcorp CEO David Garofalo poses with the Acoustic Zoom team, CEO Jacques Yves Guigné (left) and vice-president of marketing Gary Dinn (right).
it was Kore Geosystems, one of the semi-finalists, who inked a $1-million deal with Goldcorp to further develop its solution that combines real-time monitoring and data analytics to support mineral exploration and production. Goldcorp also became a shareholder in Tradewind Markets, another 2017 finalist, which used blockchain technology to modernize the experience of trading and owning physical gold bul– Kelsey Rolfe lion.
PDAC attendees have a spring in their step Optimism was palpable in the session rooms and the trade show floor of the 2018 PDAC convention, which brought out 25,606 attendees to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from March 4-7 – the conference’s highest turnout since 2013. Equipment manufacturers and drilling companies noted that more orders were rolling in as the industry has come out of a prolonged commodities rout. “The juniors have more capital than they have had in a long time,” said Craig Mayman, vice-president of sales and aftermarket for Schramm Drilling Rigs. “All the drilling rigs are going back to work, but many are long in the tooth.” Mayman said ramping up has been “painful” as the company needed to add inventory to its shelves and personnel to its workforce. But lead times on equipment have started to come down, “and we are busier than we’ve been over the last 12 to 15 months.” Analysts agreed that this year is expected to be a strong one for commodities, thanks to global economic growth. Paul Robinson, director at CRU Group, said during his commodities
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outlook forecast that all of the London Metal Exchange metals were expected to climb in price in 2018. He told CIM Magazine that CRU expects “similar levels of growth and optimism” to last for the rest of the decade. “We do see a unified global economic recovery. We haven’t had all pistons firing at the same time before, so that helps,” he said. “We also think the supply discipline that has been shown by the industry should continue.” However, some panelists speculated as to how companies would be able to capitalize on the market turn given the lack of investment in previous years. Chris Gratias, head of CIBC’s global mining investment banking team, said there has been an abrupt shift that now has miners talking about growth, however, it is not clear how that will happen. He said his team has not seen a lot of new discoveries, but noted there has been “some re-investment” in junior companies. He did identify the trend of majors financing juniors, “almost as an alternative to exploration,” and making strategic private placements to fund a junior’s feasibility study. The growth of demand for electric cars – and, consequently, the need for specialty minerals like lithium and cobalt for batteries – was also buzzed
about in multiple sessions. Robinson said CRU expected electric vehicles to account for 47 per cent of lithium demand, 23 per cent of cobalt demand and six per cent of nickel demand in 2021; in 2016 they accounted for 35 per cent, eight per cent and two per cent, respectively. He speculated it could lead to persistent market deficits for lithium and cobalt. Robinson said he wonders whether industry and analysts alike are “completely underestimating electric vehicle demand going forward,” comparing it to the “absolutely wild” Chinese demand during the supercycle that the mining sector did not believe was possible. “What if we’re doing the same with electric vehicles?” Don Bubar, CEO of Avalon Advanced Materials, said the company has pivoted away from its Nechalacho rare earths project in the Northwest Territories to focus on its Separation Rapids lithium project near Kenora, Ontario. “We move projects forward where there is the best opportunity,” he said. “For years it looked like it would be rare earths,” but, because of the demand for lithium-ion batteries and the existing need for lithium in glass and ceramics, “obviously there’s much better prospects for lithium.” – Kelsey Rolfe and Ryan Bergen
Supercluster focusing on natural resources, health and industrial sectors one of five to receive federal funding A supercluster that will provide digital technology solutions for the natural resources, health and industrial sectors was selected as one of five to receive federal funding on Feb. 15. The British Columbia-based Digital Technology Supercluster is comprised of a consortium of 250 members, including Vancouver miner Teck Resources, TELUS, Microsoft and all 25 B.C. post-secondary institutes. The group also includes research institutes and hospitals. The supercluster focuses on connecting companies in each of its three main sectors to big data and digital technology companies and researchers at post-secondary institutions to help solve existing industry problems. “If we can bring together companies that build solutions that can solve sustainability issues we face in the natural resources world, we can advance those solutions faster,” Bill Tam, the supercluster’s co-chair, told CIM Magazine. Greg Brouwer, Teck’s general manager of technology and innovation, said in a news release that the funding
CANADIAN INSTITUTE OF MINING, METALLURGY AND PETROLEUM
Safety standards have changed, but our commitment to the mining industry hasn’t Loading explosives at a mine in Gorgas Alabama. Published in the CIM Bulletin, 1948
22 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 2
Haile Gold mine’s inaugural gold pour in January, 2017. Courtesy of OceanaGold’s Haile Operation, acquired by CIM Magazine, 2017
tein innovations supercluster from Saskatchewan. The mining industry’s supercluster, CLEER, which was among nine finalists announced from a list that started with 50 proposals, did not receive – Jordan Faries funding.
Agnico Eagle gets federal ministerial approval for Whale Tail project Agnico Eagle received the green light from the federal government to move forward with its Whale Tail project, located near Baker Lake, Nunavut. The prospective open pit gold mine is part of the company’s efforts to prolong the life of its Meadowbank mine, and is expected to begin operations in the third quarter of 2019 and last until 2022. Part of Agnico’s Amaruq project, the Whale Tail deposit will be connected to Meadowbank by a 65kilometre road and haul trucks will take ore to Meadowbank’s processing facilities. In a late February letter to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB), Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett recommended the project proceed, subject to 64 conditions the board raised in its review.
Bennett said there was still more information needed about potentially high levels of arsenic concentration in seepage water from the waste rock storage facility and the proposed pit lake that would be created after the deposit has been mined, but left it to the Nunavut Water Board to address. Jamie Quesnel, Agnico’s manager of regulatory affairs for Nunavut, said the water concerns are “at the forefront, but being managed.” He said the company will continue to work with government and the Kivalliq Inuit Association going forward. Bennett noted in her letter that the company had committed to conducting additional hydrodynamic modelling of the seepage water from the storage facility, and modelling and characterization studies around water quality in the pit lake. “This information will help to reduce uncertainty about water quality,” she wrote. Meadowbank was expected to stop producing in 2018, but the company reported in its 2017 financial results that production had been extended into 2019 by extending the mine plan for its Vault and Phaser pits. The change closed the gap between Meadowbank’s conclusion and the start of operations at Amaruq. “The key thing is to extend the life of mine at Meadowbank,” said Quesnel. Courtesy of Agnico Eagle
will “allow for further collaboration between the resource and tech sectors to unleash new innovation and address sustainability and productivity opportunities and challenges” in Canada and globally. The broader aim, Tam said, is to create solutions that extend across Canada and to sectors other than the group’s initial three. “The entire world is undergoing a digital revolution, and the transformation of businesses in the digital economy is going to impact every sector,” said Tam. “We think if you build tech platforms that serve the needs of those initial sectors, they can be broadly deployed across other industry sectors as well.” Among the consortium’s technology company members are MineSense Technologies, artificial intelligence and mixed reality solutions company Finger Food Studios, and LlamaZOO, a virtual and augmented reality studio that is creating solutions for mining companies. The Canadian government has set aside up to $950 million to be spread across the five winning superclusters, with exact amounts still to be worked out. The digital technology consortium has already racked up more than $500 million in commitments from its member companies. Supercluster proposals were required to match any government funding they receive. During the February announcement at the Canada Science and Technology Museum, economic development minister Navdeep Bains said all the winning superclusters made a “concerted effort” to developing a diversity strategy, which was an important component of the proposals. “It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s good for the bottom line and it’s the essential ingredient when it comes to innovation.” The other four superclusters to be selected were an artificial intelligence supply chain supercluster from Quebec, an advanced manufacturing supercluster from Ontario, an ocean supercluster from Atlantic Canada focusing on sustainable development within the ocean economy, and a pro-
The Whale Tail deposit, pictured, will be connected to Agnico's Meadowbank mine by a 65kilometre road. March/April • Mars/Avril 2018 | 23
Whale Tail must receive a project certificate from the NIRB before a water license can be issued, but Quesnel said the company streamlined the process
by engaging both the NIRB and the Nunavut Water Board in talks simultaneously to address the necessary concerns before beginning construction,
which the company is targeting for July. The operation is expected to create – Jordan Faries about 150 new jobs.
Miners fear getting burned by Congolese mining code reforms Royalty increases, end to stability clause in new DRC mining code bring objections from country’s miners Democratic Republic of the Congo President Joseph Kabila signed off on the country’s new mining code in early March following a six-hour meeting with executives from the country’s top miners, who have been vocally opposed to the law. While the hike in profit tax and royalties have companies on the defence, experts say the current code, signed into law in 2002, is long overdue for an update. “I think we’re seeing across most of Africa a new generation of mining codes coming in, and I don’t think the DRC mining code affected anything different from those norms,” said Ben Radley, a member of the Centre of Expertise for Mining Governance at the DRC’s Catholic University of Bukavu. “For me, they’re positive improvements in terms of increasing the state’s capture of the revenue generated by the sector, which historically has been low, including over the last ten years.” For companies operating in the region, including Randgold Resources, Ivanhoe Mines, Glencore, China Molybdenum, MMG and Eurasian Resources Group, the outlook on the proposed changes has not been as positive. “Faced with this situation, the mining industry expresses its deep concern as to the format of the initiated process and the content of the revised draft code,” Glencore said in a press release in December. “The process in itself, i.e. a unilateral revision of the tax and legal system currently governing the industry, represents a strong nega24 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 2
Courtesy of Glencore
By Ashley Joseph
Workers at Glencore’s Katanga mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
tive signal sent out by the DRC, which could do nothing but undermine, for a long period of time, the confidence of the stakeholders in the sector.” While the original draft negotiated between the government and the private sector in 2015 was met with greater acceptance, the most recent draft of the code introduces new clauses that multinational corporations say would threaten their fiscal stability. The code, which was approved by the second of the country’s two chambers of parliament in January, would increase taxation on profits (to 35 per cent, up from 30), the government’s stake in new mining projects (to 10 per cent, up from five), and royalties on copper and cobalt (to 3.5 per cent and 10 per cent respectively, up from two),
as well as introduce a super-profits tax of 50 per cent if commodity prices rise by 25 per cent above what was used in a mine’s feasibility study. It also sees the dissolution of the existing 10-year stability clause, which safeguards companies against fiscal and customs regime changes. With the support of several major mining companies, Randgold CEO Mark Bristow threatened in early January to take the case to international arbitration if the president signed off on the code. However, not all industry leaders shunned the changes put forth by the Kabila administration. Ivanhoe CEO Robert Friedland expressed willingness to accept higher rates of taxation, with the caveat that it be coupled with an improvement to the
way the government operates. “I don’t mind paying…as long as that royalty goes to develop, help and empower local people,” Friedland said at February’s Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town. “I want the accounting of that money to be transparent and absolutely help people around the mines.” While the regulations will enable the DRC to come closer to the World Bank’s recommended state capture rate, with tax rates and royalties in line with regional norms, the new code falls short of addressing the wider issues of good governance. “The previous mining code in 2002 had very few clauses that related to, for example, processes of displacement when mining companies need to construct projects or expand their mines,” said Radley, “and I think there’s a real need to fill that gap by providing more specific regulations for how companies should behave, in line with international standards.
Given these wider systemic issues, based around, in particular, accounting practices of companies, informal taxation practices of the government and lack of broader industrial policy in the Congo, I think any change is unlikely to make a significant long-term difference for Congolese people.” The decision to push through the new set of regulations comes on the heels of the recent battery-driven cobalt boom, with prices soaring 127 per cent in 2017 alone. Fueled largely by increased demand for smartphones, electric cars and energy storage, the rush would represent a significant revenue boost for the DRC, the world’s leading cobalt producer. Despite the opposition to the new mining regime, BMI Research predicts the DRC will be the world’s fastest growing mining centre in 2018, and government officials seem to share that confidence. Speaking at Mining Indaba, the country’s mines minister Martin Kabwelulu
compared the changes to a bush fire: “The fire is not going to destroy everything. There are plants that will keep their roots. New plants will grow.” CIM
Federal government awards contract for Giant mine remediation The federal government named California-based remediation firm Parsons the construction manager of the Giant mine remediation project on Feb. 20, following a bidding process that began last February. Parsons will provide up to $32 million in care and maintenance on the site for two years. In the second “term” of the project the company will oversee the remediation plan’s implementation, at a cost that has not yet been determined. Ottawa estimated in 2007 it could cost up to $1 billion to remediate the site.
March/April • Mars/Avril 2018 | 25
Courtesy of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
FROM THE WIRE SMT Scharf AG announced in early February that it acquired Alban, Ontario-based RDH Mining Equipment for $8 million. RDH has focused on underground equipment like jumbo drills, LHDs and scissor lifts for mining and tunnel construction for more than 30 years. SMT Scharf, based in Germany, designs personnel, equipment and material transport systems for the mining and tunnel construction industries. SMT CEO Hans Joachim Theiss said the acquisition “forms an ideal augmentation of SMT Scharf’s portfolio, to include rubber-tire vehicles and gives us an even broader positioning in the market.” Iamgold revealed positive results from a pre-feasibility study on its Boto gold project in Senegal in mid-February. The project has Probable Mineral Reserves of 26.8 million tonnes grading at 1.64 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and Indicated Resources of 37 million tonnes with a grade of 1.60 g/t gold. Boto is expected to have a mine life of 13.5 years, with a projected average annual production of nearly 100,000 ounces per year. The all-in sustaining costs are expected to be US$829/ounce over the mine’s life. With a gold price at US$1,275 per ounce, this would yield an after-tax internal rate of return of 13.3 per cent. The company said it expects initial capital expenditures of US$249 million. Mitsubishi invested US$4 million in Vancouver-based MineSense Technologies in February. The investment will help MineSense develop its “digital offering” and expand into more mining jurisdictions around the world, CEO Jeff Moore said. MineSense provides sensor-based ore data and sorting solutions. Michelle Ash was named the new chair of the Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group (GMSG), the group announced in late February. Ash has served on the GMSG leadership council for the past two years, and will Helius chair current succeed Guimaraes starting in May. Until then, she will serve as GMSG’s vice-chair. Ash is the chief innovation officer at Barrick Gold.
26 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 2
The Giant mine’s C-Shaft complex before deconstruction work began in Sept. 2015. The abandoned gold mine contains 237,000 tonnes of arsenic trioxide waste.
The second stage of remediation is projected to run from summer 2020 through to 2030. The project must obtain appropriate licenses to begin work. It will have a final cost estimate after the team managing the project, comprised of staff from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), and the Northwest Territories government, finishes preparing the final project design. Brad Thomson, senior project manager for the Giant mine remediation with PSPC, said Parsons will be required to “consider local and Indigenous labour capacity” and contract out work – largely construction and earthworks – in a manner that allows local firms to bid on the projects. Parsons was also the contractor for the removal of Giant’s arseniccontaminated roaster complex, which was completed in 2014 and cost $27 million. The abandoned Giant gold mine, which is located within Yellowknife’s city limits, operated between 1948 and 1999. Ownership of the mine – and responsibility for its cleanup – was transferred to INAC that year when its former owner, Royal Oak Mines, entered receivership. According to INAC the site contains 237,000 tonnes of arsenic trioxide
waste, located in 14 of 15 underground chambers and stopes. Natalie Plato, deputy director of the remediation project with INAC, said keeping that arsenic waste secure “is definitely a technological challenge.” The plan will involve containing that waste in frozen blocks by circulating cooled liquid through underground pipes to freeze the areas around and within those chambers, and keeping the ground frozen with metal devices called thermosyphons that take heat out of the ground and release it into the air. The team is using climate change models in the design of the freeze, to determine what the climate may look like decades into the future. A test freeze was done from 2009 to 2014 based on current climate change models, Plato said, to determine whether the technology could work. “Predictions are just that, and we needed to have on-theground data,” she said. The test chamber is currently frozen at the site, and the technology used will be incorporated into the rest of the plan. During the remediation nearly 100 buildings will be taken down, four tailings ponds will be covered, and eight open pits will be fenced off. Contaminated soil on the site will also need to be cleaned. Water that has come into contact with the
underground workings is currently being collected and treated. Baker Creek, which passes through the mine site, “will require some remedi-
ation to help restore it to a condition that is as ecologically sound as possible,” according to INAC’s website.
Redpath Group and Hasu Megawatt reached the planned depth of 1,284 metres on the Number 2 shaft at Turquoise Hill’s Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia, after being challenged by multiple prolonged work shutdowns during the shaft-sinking. Redpath and Hasu’s joint venture company, Dayan Contract Mining, blasted the final bench in mid-January. The shaft is 10 metres wide and will serve as a skipping and service shaft for early development and extraction activities at the mine.
– Kelsey Rolfe and Jordan Faries
Legacy project Margaux Resources partners with local stewardship group to look into recycling historic tailings A Calgary-based junior mining company and a British Columbia community stewardship group are working together on a plan to recycle and clean up historic tailings at a past-producing mine in south-eastern B.C. Margaux Resources, which has multiple properties in the region, filed an application to B.C.’s environment and mines ministries in February for a permit to take a 10,000-tonne bulk sample of tailings from the Jersey-Emerald mine. Jersey-Emerald, which was first mined in 1906, produced lead, zinc and tungsten up until 1970. Before the bulk sample can happen, Margaux not only needs the permit, but must determine the economic feasibility of removing tungsten from the tailings. To that end, Margaux shipped a 3,500 kilogram sample to a Pittsburgh laboratory for testing last September. The company applied for the permit in advance so it can get to work this summer if the tungsten recycling proves economically feasible. Margaux’s focus in the region includes gold, lead and zinc – and if the tests show good results, the company also plans to extract tungsten from the tailings to produce a mineral concentrate, with the potential for a full-scale tungsten recycling operation at some point in the future. Margaux is also planning to partner with the Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society – a local not-for-profit that focuses on the health of fish and aquatic ecosystems in the watershed. The group has been active for decades on the Salmo River, a tributary of the Columbia River.
Courtesy of Margaux Resources
By Christopher Pollon
An aerial view of the tungsten tailings pile at Jersey-Emerald. Margaux Resources and the Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society are working on a plan to recycle the historic tailings.
“It’s a win for the environment [if] we can take tailings out of the pollution stream,” said Streamkeepers coordinator Gerry Nellestijn. “This could also prove to be a major green economic opportunity.” Jersey-Emerald is located in the Kootenay Arc, a zinc-lead-silver belt that extends about 300 kilometres across south-eastern B.C. Today there are no active producing mines in the area, but the 150-year mining legacy remains – including at least 40 orphaned mine tailings sites of varying size and pollution footprint. The Streamkeepers have been the driving force behind recent cleanups of the Yankee Girl and Howard pastproducing mines in the belt. Margaux president and CEO Tyler Rice said it was Ed Lawrence, one of the company’s directors and a past JerseyEmerald mine manager, who played matchmaker between the company and the Streamkeepers. From the first meeting, he said, the two groups found common ground.
Ontario-based Nordmin Group signed an agreement with NioCorp Developments in early February to complete the detailed engineering work at NioCorp’s Elk Creek superalloy project in southeast Nebraska. Nordmin will update the project’s current mining method and extraction infrastructure plans to get Elk Creek to production sooner and reduce its environmental impacts. Nordmin expects to review the project’s water control technologies to reduce or eliminate Niocorp’s need for 15 to 18 months of active dewatering prior to shaft sinking begins, which would increase the project’s efficiency and reducing the amount of bedrock water produced by the mine. Torex Gold announced that Steven Thomas will join the executive team as chief financial officer in April. Thomas, a former CFO with both Goldcorp and De Beers, joins Torex as it develops its Morelos gold property, a 29,000hectare site located in Mexico’s Guerrero gold belt. Eldorado Gold announced in midMarch a shake-up of its senior management team. CFO Fabiana Chubbs will leave at the end of April after seven years with Eldorado; the company has not yet named her replacement. Timothy Garvin, who has been a senior inhouse legal counsel for multiple mining companies, was named executive vicepresident and general counsel. Andor Lips, who was most recently Lydian International’s technical director, joined Eldorado’s Amsterdam office as vicepresident of European government relations. Dawn Moss, Eldorado’s executive vice-president of administration, retired in February, and Eduardo Moura, a vice-president and special advisor to Eldorado CEO George Burns, also left the company. Compiled by Jordan Faries
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B.C. exploration community buoyed by 20 per cent increase in activity in 2017 Mineral exploration activity in British Columbia increased by 20 per cent in 2017, Gordon Clarke, the director of the B.C. Mineral Development Office, announced on the opening day of the 2018 Association for Mineral Exploration’s (AME) Roundup conference. It is the first annual increase since 2012, said Clarke, and a concrete indicator that B.C. explorers have survived the downturn of recent years. Under the banner of “A New Generation of Discovery,” this year’s Roundup focused on the role of the B.C. exploration industry in finding and extracting the materials required for a clean-energy future. New additions to the conference program, including the Innovation and Project Generator hubs and the Reconciliation Breakfast were designed to “modernize the image of mineral exploration and mining,” said AME’s new president and CEO Edie Thome. It was the first Roundup conference for Thome, who was appointed in June 2017. Thome is not new to the resource sector, having come from BC Hydro where she was responsible for permitting and compliance, Indigenous relations, and public affairs for B.C.’s controversial Site C hydroelectric dam project. “We’re expanding out beyond our own community to show new audiences that the mineral exploration and mining community are leaders in innovation and reconciliation,” said Thome. “There’s a movement worldwide to reduce emissions and our contribution is critically important. We want to make British Columbians and Canadians proud of our contributions on that world stage.” During his keynote address to the Chair’s Welcome Dinner, clean tech investor, author and speaker Tom Rand explained that “clean tech is not a sector” but the basis for the low-carbon economy that will be a reality in under a decade. He urged all businesses and
Velour Productions/Association for Mineral Exploration
“The major thing that resonated with me, was that profit is no longer being defined by the bottom number on an income statement,” he said. “Those that take from the environment should also consider giving back.” And from the Streamkeepers’ side, it helped that the group was not blindly opposed to industry. “I talked with Ed and Tyler on many occasions,” says Nellestijn. “I drive a car, I use metal every day, so I’m not opposed to mining. I just think there are better ways of doing it.” Rice said he was impressed by a process the Streamkeepers developed to expedite the clean-up of legacy mining sites, which could eventually help guide clean-up activities at the tungsten site. Called Rapid Assessment, Rapid Remediation (RAR), it is a process that enables the efficient characterization and assessment of tailings sites – documenting what is there, pinpointing how to best minimize and eliminate pollution, and how clean-up can be incentivized by extracting valuable components of the tailings. It is an ideal process for a landscape like the Salmo River watershed, where there are many legacy tailings dumps of widelyvarying environmental impact. Tungsten’s big jump in value since early 2017 also makes the legacy tailings an attractive target. “The price of tungsten is relatively high, so it could be economical with very little material processed,” Rice said. Margaux has recently shipped more tailings samples to South Africa, where smelting tests are being done. Those tests will shed light on the other tailings ingredients, and if the waste generated from the recycling process will be environmentally inert. Preliminary analysis has found the tailings, in addition to tungsten, contain iron and a lot of silica, which is used in sandblasting. Both could be marketable in the right quantities. “This [analysis] is required to understand how we can deal with some of these ancillary products,” said Rice, “and reduce the [environmental] footprint in putting it back onto the site.” CIM
This year’s Roundup was the first for AME’s new president and CEO Edie Thome, pictured.
industries that use energy or produce carbon dioxide, including mining, to “adopt fossil fuel-busting technology ten times faster than we are now” to meet climate goals, and complimented Goldcorp on its move away from diesel to battery-powered equipment at mine sites. “We’re not going to solve this problem with incremental change,” said Rand. “We need rapid, radical change to the way we do business. Gearing up for projects that will last 30, 40, 50 years… it’s prudent to think of ways one can gain economic advantage by seeing what’s coming and getting there first.” B.C.’s new mines and energy minister Michelle Mungall announced her support for extending the province’s Mining Flow-Through Share Tax Credit in her keynote. She also reiterated the government’s commitment to forming a Mining Jobs Task Force to attract investment, support innovation for environmental sustainability and provide training for long-term careers in the sector. Mungall also welcomed the latest public geoscience data release from Geoscience BC, which revealed the results of a 9,600-square-kilometre magnetic survey over north-central and northeastern B.C., the third phase of the multi-year Search project. Held in Vancouver from Jan. 22 to 25, the conference was attended by more than 6,570 participants from 39 countries, the highest attendance in three years and an 11 per cent increase – Kylie Williams over 2017.
The tightrope between two worlds Martha Manuel walks a fine line between the cultural beliefs she’s been raised with and the industry she works in By Kylie Williams
hen Martha Manuel was first offered the First Nations co-ordinator role at New Gold’s budding New Afton mine in 2008, her response was a firm “no.” Manuel’s family is vocal about Indigenous rights and title, and she was initially against the idea of working in mining. Her father, the late Grand Chief George Manuel of the Secwepemc Nation, was a leading Indigenous activist and had played a pivotal role in the Constitution Express movement in the early 1980s, protesting the lack of recognition of Indigenous rights in the proposed patriation of the constitution by Pierre Trudeau’s government. But, after some convincing from another influential community leader, the late John Jules of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc, Manuel made the decision to join New Gold and help Jules shape a new era of participatory relationships between mining companies and First Nations communities. A decade has passed, and Manuel was recently promoted to senior advisor of Indigenous relations at New Gold where she is responsible for ensuring communications flow between the company and the communities impacted by its operations in British Columbia. She spoke with CIM Magazine in February about her difficult decision to take on the role 10 years ago, how joint implementation committees help maintain the Indigenous workforce at New Afton at 23 per cent and what barriers still need to be overcome to create a truly inclusive industry.
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CIM: Was there a personal experience, mentor or specific turning point that led you to where you are today? Manuel: My whole life has been based on doing things differently to create relationships between First Nations communities and the forest industry, or the mining industry, or with government. Those teachings were derived from my late father, because he had a way of building relationships with the government during the years of his leadership, and opening doors of communication. A lot of the work that I’ve done so far at New Gold, has come from John Jules’ teachings and his mentorship during those initial few years of taking on the role. He was very inspirational. The most important message I received from John, the elders and the various community members I spoke with before taking the job at New Gold was to maintain our traditional knowledge, culture and beliefs and include it in as many conversations with New Gold as possible.
CIM: Do you sometimes feel like you’re caught in the middle? Manuel: It is challenging. I rely on the elders’ teachings and their support, especially during those challenging times when I’m caught between New Gold and the First Nations
we are mining
communities that I work with. I’m often walking between two different worlds, and, at times, I’m challenged by my own personal beliefs and the traditional teachings of my grandparents and my late father. More recently, I’ve been connecting with other women working in mining who are facing similar challenges in their roles. The more we share, the more we find our challenges are similar. And as we continue to build this network of strong women, we’ll overcome those challenging moments. I recently participated on an Indigenous Women in Mining panel at the AME Roundup conference in Vancouver earlier this year, and am also working with the Canadian Aboriginal Mining Association to develop a panel presentation of women in mining at the conference in November this year.
CIM: Are you able to use your experience in negotiating and implementing participation agreements at New Afton to build trust with First Nations around the Blackwater exploration project as it grows? Manuel: I build relationships with First Nations communities as per the traditional teachings of my grandparents, which is similar to how I started work with the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN). [New Afton is located within the SSN, which is comprised of Skeetchestn and Tk’emlups te Secwepemc.] I spend time within the communities and the leadership and get to know them and allow them an opportunity to get to know me, and work towards building a foundation of trust. I’m bringing people together in a circle. As long as we keep talking and having those conversations and continue building the relationships we’ll get stronger, and we can continue to work together to create capacity, transparency and accountability. I strongly believe that the participation agreements are the outcome of a strong relationship.
CIM: What have you found really works when implementing participation agreements with First Nations? Manuel: At New Afton, Rainy River, and Blackwater, we have set up joint implementation committees (JIC) — comprised of community and New Gold representatives. The JICs ensure that communications are flowing back to the leadership and to the communities, as well as providing an opportunity for the communities to ask questions or express concerns about any of the current operational activities. What makes the New Gold JICs successful is there is trust and consideration as to who represents the community. Ensuring information gets back to the communities makes a difference. The JICs are a technical working committee. They make recommendations to overcome challenging situations between New Gold and the communities. If a situation comes up where some information needs to get out to the communities, then it’s up to the JIC to make a plan to deliver that information.
CIM: What role have JICs played in growing Indigenous participation in New Gold’s workforce? Manuel: Twenty-three per cent of employees at New Afton are Aboriginal. The JICs play a vital role in addressing any concerns in relation to hiring, education and training, because when they see an opportunity, they’ll bring the idea to the JIC meetings. The JIC will encourage New Gold to consider other ideas for developing people and building capacity. Although we have the participation agreement in place, it doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. If there are other opportunities that come up out of these JIC conversations, or at the SSN Executive level, then New Gold will take time to consider whether or not it’s an opportunity that will work towards sustainability in some way, whether it’s a band member’s job or a business or environmental opportunity.
CIM: Are there some mistakes that the mining industry keeps making that are stopping it from becoming truly inclusive? Manuel: The main barrier is the assumption that the mining industry knows what’s best for the communities. Those assumptions can sometimes lead to further challenges in the community even though they may be well-intentioned. Without having those conversations with communities, planning accordingly and managing expectations you can almost make things worse rather than making them better. Another consideration is the cultural differences between communities. Not all communities carry the same traditional beliefs or protocols. That is very important to remember.
CIM: Do you feel like you belong? Manuel: For the most part, I do. My family was supportive as I evolved in my role, but over the years I lost a lot of family relationships. That’s a sacrifice I made to be able to do the work that I’m doing. I know that if I didn’t have the support of extended family relationships that I’ve developed through the years with the First Nations communities I work with, I wouldn’t still be doing the work I’m doing now. The most rewarding thing is when I’m talking to the youth, because our people are always considering seven generations ahead. When I look at my sons and how proud they are of their mother and the work that I’m doing, that means a lot to me, given the sacrifices I’ve made. They are going to carry on what they’ve learned from me, including the legacy of their grandfather, and from other members of our family who work hard to help develop these relationships between First Nations and industry and the government. CIM
We Are Mining
Throughout 2018 CIM Magazine will feature the stories and experiences of women, Indigenous people and people of colour working in the mining industry. Do you have an idea for a story we should report? Reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org March/April • Mars/Avril 2018 | 31
The old models are obsolete By Sam Marcuson
o understand innovation in mining we must first understand the business context. Mining is a commodity business, highly dependent on business cycles, with high capital and fixed costs. Startups of new operations and shut-downs of existing ones are slow. Ore quality and market access have traditionally led to extreme riches. “Business pull” rather than “technology push” drives development and implementation of new technology. Innovation plays three specific roles: It establishes and expands businesses, e.g. product development in 20th-century aluminum companies; it improves the business, e.g. the adaptation of novel technologies for cost savings; and it cleans the business of environmental and workplace hazards. Innovation in mining and process metallurgy is expensive. Because of the uncertainties and variation underlying these processes, extensive laboratory and pilot plant tests are required at every scale. Known as the “Power of 10,” each step in the development/commercialization process costs 10 times more than the previous. Therefore, there is hesitancy to pursue new developments unless promised rewards are great and the uncertainties small. Costs and business cycles interrupt development projects. Over the course of 36 years, I worked for three organizations that created profitable businesses from technology development and were strong supporters. However, I experienced seven episodes of layoffs and incentivized early retirements. Colleagues had similar or even more disruptive experiences. Nevertheless, since 1970, the mining industry developed and implemented revolutionary technologies: SAG and Isa/Verti mills, highpressure grinding rolls, column flotation, bath smelting, pressure leaching of sulfides, diesel-powered mecha-
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nized mining equipment, leach/solvent extraction of copper, carbon-in-pulp gold leaching, continuous casting, automation, and equipment scale-up to sizes unimaginable for the mid-20th century.
“We are no longer just mining, mineral processing or metallurgical engineers. We are earth engineers.”
But the world of mining has changed. By global standards, Canadian mining companies are small. The center of gravity has shifted from North America to Australia and China. Corporate research laboratories have closed or converted to technical service centres. Mining gets smaller proportions of provincial and federal government support for research and development. The old models will not work. Transforming technology development requires new ways of approaching old and new problems. Here are three proposals:
Have big thoughts about small things Much of the productivity improvements over the past quarter century have resulted from well-executed scaleup of existing equipment: large scooptrams and trucks, massive grinding mills and flotation cells. This approach has lost its efficacy. We must conceptualize and engineer systems that do more with less. The Rail-Veyor ore transport
system and Woodgrove’s staged flotation reactor are developing technologies showing the way in this domain. The research work of professor Robert Pelton of McMaster University on functionalized nano-particles for flotation collectors and that of professor Lesley Warren of the University of Toronto on bacterial activity in tailings areas testify to the importance of the ultra-small scale.
Work together and think green With universal problems and expensive technology development, collaboration is imperative. The potential benefits have been recognized for years but execution has been deficient. Encouraged by governments, corporations sponsor research on a local or regional basis for “license to operate” purposes as opposed to problems of national importance. As a result, organizations designed for collaborative work – COREM, CAMIRO, MIRARCO, IMII, CCPM, CEMI, CMIC – are either defunct or struggling. Corporations must demand requisite consolidation and provide unified, long-term support. Canada can look to Australia’s AMIRA as a model. Additionally, we should ask ourselves whether cross-border cooperation with U.S.-based organizations is possible. With the scale of modern mining and metallurgical complexes, we are no longer just mining, mineral processing or metallurgical engineers. We are earth engineers. Our activities can impact the earth and its inhabitants in profound ways – both negative and positive. “Thinking green” means that environmental and social concerns are transformed from hurdles to be overcome to objectives to be internalized. This shift will broaden our horizons, open new opportunities and promote intelligent,
column productive technology development. Miningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s soiled image will be cleansed. Perhaps the endeavor will attract more women to the industry.
Think L-O-O-N-G A decade or so ago, fickle investors demanded that mining CEOs invest in multi-year, high-volume, high-risk projects. Five years ago, the same investors mandated fire sales of these assets and firing of the CEOs. Spending on both exploration and technology development was slashed. Net present value, discounted cash flow and internal rate of return are sacred financial metrics. But the assumed price of the commodity, a factor that no one can control or reliably predict, is the chief determinant. Focusing on the five- to ten-year term, the metrics give little recognition to the fact
that mines and metallurgical plants typically have a 25- to 50-year life. These short-term measurements cripple longterm technology development. Financial measurements must compare the relative merits of projects and take a longer view of profits. Mining, with its extensive movement of earth and consumption of energy, water and potentially hazardous chemicals, combined with the necessity to dispose of vast amounts of waste, creates costs and liabilities not accurately appearing on balance sheets. The sooner the real costs of anthropogenic climate change, water consumption, tailings disposal and liabilities are accurately reflected in cost accounting and, as a result, selling prices, the sooner technology development and implementation to ameliorate these costs will commence.
Technology development in sustainable mining So what is the role of technology development in a modern mining company? To be successful, a mining enterprise requires good governance and business metrics. Equally important, it must have efficient and safe operations. But the sustainable company will integrate technology development firmly in its DNA and operate at the overlap of these three disciplines. When these principles are enshrined, we will realize the true potential of innovators to revolutionize and improve the way people live. CIM
Sam Marcuson served as vice-president base metals technology development for Vale Canada Limited, retiring in 2013. From 2015 to 2017 he led CMICâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efforts on energy efficient comminution.
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March/April â&#x20AC;˘ Mars/Avril 2018 | 33
Each RBS sensor is permanently mounted to a rock bolt and contains a unique RFID tag.
Smart support National Research Council brings ground support into the digital age with new rock bolt sensors By Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco
our years ago, researchers at Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) set out to adapt proven ultrasonic sensor technology used in the aerospace and oil and gas sectors to monitor the status of ground support in underground mines. After much research, development and testing, the resultant rock bolt sensor (RBS) began a six-month trial at an Agnico Eagle mine in March. The technology has the potential to improve ground support monitoring and prevent failures – and to be the key that opens the door to far more sophisticated ground control practices.
Between a rock and a hard place Rock bolts are effective at stabilizing tunnels, but over time seismic activity and blasting can cause shifts in the rock mass that can impact the load bearing capacity of the bolts. This can lead to support failures and losses in productivity, rehabilita34 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 2
tion costs, and the threat of accidents with injuries and loss of life. “In cases where the mine is experiencing seismic issues and dynamic changes in the rock mass, it is extremely important to monitor the ground support,” said Zara Anderson, a ground control engineer and general manager for mining and geotechnical services at ESG Solutions Inc., which specializes in micro-seismic monitoring. Monitoring ground support, however, remains a tedious and challenging manual task. There are few options today other than doing a visual check or what is known as a pull test, which involves pulling a rock bolt out to inspect its condition. The problem with pull tests, said Anderson, is that it is labour intensive and damages the tested bolt permanently. Furthermore, the results of a few tested bolts do not represent the entire rock bolt system that is installed in that area of the mine.
There are thousands of rock bolts in an average underground mine, and although some new instrumented rock bolt technologies exist, they are priced at more than US$400 per bolt so they tend to be used on a limited basis and only in critical areas.
Does the industry need and want a new rock bolt monitoring system? In 2014, senior researcher and ultrasonic expert Zhigang Sun began to explore the possibility of adapting the ultrasonic sensor technology for ground support monitoring. The first step was to assess whether it was something the industry would find helpful, said Yves Quenneville, a business development officer with the NRC who spearheaded the project. He brought in ESG Solutions and Andriy Plugatyr, senior technoeconomic analyst at the NRC, to do the research. “Technology development can be very costly,” said Plugatyr. “Techno-economic analysis (TEA) is an essential part of R&D that allows us to better understand industry needs and, thus, minimize R&D risks. We need to talk to end users, vendors and prospective licensees to come up with a product that is needed and used by the industry.” Consultations with ground control professionals operating in eight countries on five continents revealed that the industry was indeed interested in new sensors for ground support, but only under certain conditions. Most respondents said they were not willing to pay more than about US$100 for each sensored rock bolt. They also wanted the technology to be robust and easy to install and use. “The industry doesn’t want to have something complicated that needs a lot of software to run and takes a long time to get values,” said Roger Lacroix, manager of program ground control at NRCan’s CanmetMINING, which collaborated on the project and in testing the technology. “They want a quick reading. And the wish list for the mining industry is also that it can be connected to Wi-Fi or LTE.” The RBS technology was validated at CanmetMINING’s laboratories to confirm the reading of the sensors with standardized testing methods. As the NRC team worked with CanmetMINING to develop the technology application for ground control, Quenneville began to build a consortium of interested mining companies to field test the RBS.
The NRC rock bolt sensor With no moving parts or wires, Quenneville said the NRC believes the sensors could last up to ten years. The miniature ultrasonic sensor is permanently installed on a standard solid rebar. The only adjustment to the rebar is a blunt end and two small holes drilled into it that are used as markers to divide it into three sections. “The markers rebound the signal from the sensor, which allows it to not just look at the whole bolt, but also the three sections,” said Quenneville. That transforms the readings from the sensors into valuable data to better understand what is happening in the rock mass. The technology can identify where in the bolt plastic deformation is occurring due to an excessive load. In other words, it can detect where the metal
rebar is being thinned out by the weight before it breaks. This in turn makes it possible to more precisely rehabilitate before failures occur. The NRC system is also flexible. Each sensor has an RFID tag that is permanently affixed to the exposed end of an installed rock bolt. The sensors can be connected with a removable cap to a real-time multiplex recorder. Alternatively, to get a quick manual reading, an operator simply has to touch the sensor with a telescopic perch connected to a manual recorder. The multiplex recorder can be relocated to other areas in the mine to accommodate other sensors. “If you come back years later, you can put the cap on and the sensors can still be read. You can then see what happened since the last time you took a reading,” said Quenneville. And, as requested, it can connect to Wi-Fi or LTE, which opens up the possibility of integrating the system’s real-time data with other technology, including seismic monitoring.
What this means When Quenneville approached Agnico Eagle about the new rock bolt sensors, its engineers immediately saw the potential. “We have a deep mine so, for us, seismicity is a challenge,” said Philippe Morissette, a rock mechanics engineer with the mining company. “Being able to monitor micro-seismic events and the degradation of our support systems, that’s something very interesting for us.” Because the technology is affordable, it allows mines to monitor far larger areas. “It provides us with the opportunity to link what we see in the area we have inspected and the actual deformation of the bolts or if some bolts have collapsed,” said Morissette. “This could provide a more accurate picture of the situation.” Anderson said she sees great potential in the technology to enhance ground control monitoring and assessment. “The technology can help optimize ground support costs,” said Anderson. “Routine monitoring of support capacity allows for rehabilitation before rock mass failure. Furthermore, longterm monitoring, integrated with dynamic seismic analysis, can provide invaluable insights to optimize ground support design, reduce cost and enhance safety.” For now, the technology will continue to undergo testing and refining but once that is complete, Anderson said she believes it can be taken to market in less than 18 months. Meanwhile, the NRC has big plans for the patent-pending technology. “We are talking with many companies at this point,” said Quenneville. “At the same time, we have various applications in the works. This is just the first generation of the technology.” One possibility is to integrate the rock bolt data with microseismic and LIDAR monitoring technology. “If we link this together, the planning people will be able to better understand where the stress is moving and how the ground support systems are reacting,” said Lacroix. “These sensors give that extra ability to begin to connect all the dots and put them together.” CIM March/April • Mars/Avril 2018 | 35
Courtesy of Minrail
An operator drills off the first round from the SAMS platform.
Play the angles Quebec mining firm finding its sweet spot extracting shallow angle deposits By Joel Barde
hile miners have used the room and pillar method for deposits from level to 15-degree slopes, or the cut and fill and longhole stoping methods for those within 45 and 90 degrees, mining dips that fall within the 15 and 45 degree window have traditionally been tough, dangerous and often prohibitively expensive. That’s where Minrail Inc.’s CEO Marc Beauvais feels the company could fill a void. Minrail’s technology – known as a shallow-angle mining system or SAMS – hangs from the ceiling. And while its productivity is yet to be measured, its founder says it represents a major step forward for underground mining. “It’s an integrated system that allows you to undertake every phase of the mining cycle related to ore extraction in a given stope,” explained Beauvais. The system – which is suspended from the roof of a draise (part drift, part raise) – will increase safety and cut down on capital expenditure costs in a major way. Jean-Marc Lacoste, president and chief economic officer of Monarques Gold, said he feels that the technology could allow companies like his to reopen mines that currently do not make economic sense. “It would allow us to go after lower grade, shallow angle deposits that were uneconomical to mine before,” he explained. The system could also be good for other Monarques properties like its Croinor gold property in Val d’Or, Quebec, an
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advanced gold project that is currently at the prefeasibility stage, Lacoste said. At its Beaufor mine, Monarques has given Minrail the task of extracting 1,000 tonnes from a test stope to fine tune its system and measure its efficacy. “We basically said ‘go and have fun there. Whatever you bring out, we’ll bring to the mill,’” Lacoste said. “They need to figure out all the glitches. But the system is safe, and they like what they are seeing.” Monarques does not have a financial stake in Minrail. But as Minrail moves to commercialization, Lacoste said his company is hoping to gain one. “With the right financial backing and the right momentum this could be a big thing,” Lacoste said.
How it works After a niche and draise are excavated using conventional methods, workers begin installation of the system. Made up of a series of modular units – an energy block, a pneumatic drill for development, a longhole drill for production, a turret, a platform and a scraper/excavator – SAMS is designed to carry out the various tasks of the mining cycle. The units are suspended from a rail system that is bolted to the ceiling. Drill operators stand on a platform and use a remote control system to operate the drill, which is directly in front of them. After the ore body is drilled, explosives are placed. The blasted material is brought down to the sill drift using the
How it came to be The made-in-Quebec system has a long history and many iterations. In the 1980s, Richmont Mines, with the assistance of the Centre de recherche industrielle du Québec (CRIQ), developed the first underground mining system to use a platform. Situated on the ground rather than the ceiling, it proved difficult to move and was eventually shelved. In the ‘90s the Société de recherche et développement minier (SOREDEM) and the CRIQ developed a second version that would hang from a monorail system. The system was tested at the Sigma mine in Val d’Or. But after around 57 hours of use, it was shelved because the telescopic boom was too slow. Engineers, however, did note that using a horizontal system offered big advantages, as it increased safety and allowed for better bolting work. A mining engineer, Beauvais decided to revive the project, as he feels it holds tremendous potential. He went about acquiring the relevant patents and founded Minrail Inc. in 2012. CANMET tested the Minrail system over the course of 11 weeks last year. According to the miners who used it, the technology offers safety advantages. The miners also said using the technology was less exhausting than other forms of mining and the equipment was reliable. But they did note some negatives, like drilling problems with the long-tom, that the platform was too small for two people, and that the winches used to hoist the rails were too slow. Beauvais said those concerns have been addressed in an updated design of the SAMS. Marc-André Lavergne, vice-president and chief operation officer Monarques Gold Corp., said that while he sees promise in the system, he wants to see its productivity tested. “It’s safer for the worker, and we hope that it will be more productive than how we mine now,” he said. CIM
Courtesy of Minrail
excavator module in combination with a slusher. For stopes that are 3.5 metres high or less, a single drum slusher unit will suffice to pull the material down. A double drum unit and transfer and guiding pulleys are required for higher stopes. In early January, the Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology (CANMET) released an audit of phase one testing of the system, which looked at the logistics of setting it up. During testing, it took a three-person team 20 hours to install the bearing rails and main module, but the company says that with experience workers will be able to set it up in 10 hours or less and that the technology will facilitate efficient work cycles. According to Minrail, the system could reduce underground excavations by 40 to 60 per cent and produces more ore. While conventional mining methods require underground excavations every 10 to 20 metres, Minrail’s system will be able to access ore deposits using excavations every 50 to 60 metres, the company has said. Over the lifetime of a system – which Beauvais said will be around five years – it will be able to help miners save on capex. Beauvais said a narrow vein (1.2 to 1.5 metres) will cost around $40 or $50 per tonne to mine using the technology, while larger ones (five to six metres) will cost between $16 and $20. “With other mining techniques, we’re talking about $80 to $120 per tonne. That’s the difference,” said Beauvais. Because the system hangs from the roof, workers can stand on a platform, allowing them to inspect both the roof and ground for danger. “If you’re hanging on the roof you’re always in a position to judge the rock positions,” explained Beauvais. “You’re seeing the roof with your own eyes — at any moment you can assess the rock conditions, to see if there is any loose rock, or if you have to repair something,” he said.
Minrail’s shallow angle mining system is at work at the Monarques Gold Beaufor mine in Val d’Or, Quebec. March/April • Mars/Avril 2018 | 37
Courtesy of Penguin ASI
Forward, march! Mining engineering innovator Greg Baiden leads the advance of robotics in underground mining applications By Kylie Williams
M3D2, an underground mapping robot, uses technology first developed for the U.S. military.
utomated equipment designed for mining applications is being built to take on a range of tasks above and below the ground, from automated haul trucks and trains to robotic drills. These technologies can increase efficiency and save money, and they also offer enormous safety benefits. In an underground mine, robots can remove humans from hazardous situations altogether, where falling rock, blasting and poor air quality are all common risks. But before robotic underground miners become an everyday occurrence, some challenges involving navigation and communication need to be overcome. Greg Baiden, chairman and chief technical officer of Penguin ASI, has been developing robot technologies for mining for over 30 years. Baiden joined nickel mining giant Inco Limited in Sudbury, Ontario, in 1986 as a young engineer responsible for managing the introduction of automated driverless truck technology on site. In this role, he saw the need for telecommunications systems and began to work on computer networking systems to automate mining equipment. “I noticed there was no way to do underground positioning automatically, like you would on the surface or in an airplane. So, we began to focus on telecommunications systems and GPS [Global Positioning Systems],” said Baiden, who went on to build a factory-scale communications system for robotics during his PhD at McGill University in the early 1990s. “At the time, broadband technology was just coming out of research labs. Nobody knew what broadband meant, or what networks were,” said Baiden. “When we started installing broadband, I pointed out that if we build the right network, a control center computer on the surface can be linked to a wireless radio onboard a machine underground and thus, you have a robot.”
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Adapting to the underground Unlike their above-ground counterparts, which use GPS satellites and Wi-Fi to position themselves, underground robots must calculate their position within solid rock, without access to these communications. Just as an aeroplane needs to know which way is north and where the wings are pointed as it moves forward through the sky, a robot digging a tunnel underground needs to know its velocity, direction, location and which way its ‘limbs’ are angled, particularly any drilling arms or limbs designed to place explosives. Baiden created the Mapping 3D Droid (M3D2), a geospatial mapping system, in 2008. M3D2 uses a position location and navigation system adapted by Baiden and his team from current United States military tank technology. The technology’s first purpose was to direct weapons on tanks when the GPS would jam, but Baiden adapted the technology to solve surveying and positioning problems underground. “We figured out not just the location of the robot itself, but which way it is facing, how far it can reach, how far away the rock is, and all those aspects of the environment needed to tunnel through the solid rock in front of it,” said Baiden. “M3D2 can map an entire mine and create a 3D game space, similar to a PS4 game.”
A solid foundation for multiple applications M3D2 was first tested underground in Onaping, Ontario, in 2010. Based on the promising results of those trials, Chilean copper giant Codelco asked Penguin ASI to develop a solution for removing hang-ups, the rock blockages in tunnels that are hazardous and potentially fatal when they fall. Baiden and the team at Penguin ASI installed M3D2’s positioning technology
in a new robot, the Hang-Up Assessment and Removal Telerobotic System. Using laser scanners and the adapted military technology, this robotic vehicle drives autonomously to the location of the hang-up, where a remote operator directs a robotic arm precisely into the blockage of rock overhead, drills a hole and loads explosives to clear the blockage. “The robot surveys the area using laser scanners, and then uses the military technology that we worked on, and conA laser scan of an underground environment created by the surveying robot shown here, can then be used tinue to work on, to position for the positioning and navigation of autonomous equipment. the unit as if you have a GPS,” said Baiden. More recently, the M3D2 technology was deployed by the shrinkage stoping, which is ideal for narrow, steeply dipping Minnesota-based potash producer The Mosiac Company. At ore bodies. “Shrinkage mining is an older mining method that was the recommendation of a colleague familiar with Penguin ASI’s technology and applications, Monica Tochor, senior produc- done strictly by hand with a jackleg drill,” said Baiden. tion geologist at The Mosaic Company’s K3 potash mining “Shrinkage mining has been all but outlawed because of how operations in Saskatchewan, connected with Baiden in 2013 dangerous it is.” However, use of the RoboMiner enables high stoping rates and unprecedented safety by removing the miner to discuss deploying the technology at a Mosaic project. “We agreed to collaborate and test the M3D2 in a slightly from the active mining area. Keele partnered with Baiden to submit the project to Disdifferent application to see if we could remotely evaluate vertical mine shafts,” said Tochor. “The first deployment was com- rupt Mining 2018 because he is interested in using Penguin ASI technology at Braveheart’s Alpine project, a past-producpleted at our Carlsbad facility [in New Mexico] in 2015.” Mosaic was looking to collect spatial data representative of ing gold mine near Nelson in southeastern British Columbia. the conditions in a ventilation shaft, which is critical to the Alpine’s underground operations produced about 11,500 operation but difficult to assess since access is limited due to ounces of gold between 1938 and 1948, along with silver, lead physical restriction and time constraints. Tochor said she and zinc, recovered from quartz veins just one to 1.5 metres believes that the development of autonomous systems will thick. Although the project was not short-listed for the comincrease data reliability and evolve the workforce by removing petition, Keele said he still sees Alpine as a natural proving ground for the RoboMiner. people from the least favorable environments. “There is probably a substantial number of small, narrow, “Current standards require manual inspections be comthin veins of high-grade metallurgy that have not been mined pleted at a specific rate of frequency, but a person can only see just because they are too narrow,” said Keele. “It’s a whole what they can see,” said Tochor. “Access, lighting and complanew perspective on those ore bodies that have been left cency are limiting factors in a current inspection process. By behind.” developing and implementing complementary technology, the Keele acknowledges the productivity benefits of robotic data collection process becomes more complete and lends mining that eliminate the time lost during production due to itself to thorough review by making inspections safe and meal breaks, shift changes and shutting down the machine repeatable.” between shifts. Alpine has not yet restarted operations. Braveheart announced an updated resource estimate in January Using robots in risky conditions Baiden has also joined forces with Phil Keele, president 2018. However, Keele said he hopes to use M3D2 to safely and CEO of Braveheart Resources Inc., and a colleague from explore and map the collapsed tunnels and adits on the propQueens University to field-test another robot from the Pen- erty from the old mine workings in 2018, and start to test guin ASI stable. RoboMiner is a patent-pending robotic sys- RoboMiner on the property in 2019. “Safety is paramount,” said Keele. “You either remove the tem that combines artificial intelligence techniques with hazard or remove the person from the hazard and robotics Penguin’s positioning technologies to enable the mining of allows you to do that for a significant improvement in narrow-veined ore bodies using tele-autonomous grade conCIM safety.” trol. The system uses a vein-following technique called March/April • Mars/Avril 2018 | 39
Courtesy of Penguin ASI
Courtesy of MacLean Engineering/James Hodgins
MacLean Engineering now offers a suite of non-ore-moving electric vehicles, including the 975 Omnia Bolter.
The move to battery-powered underground mining fleets is gathering speed. It is also opening up miners to a new realm of possibility By Peter Braul
attery electric vehicles (BEVs), once considered fringe, have rapidly come onto the radar of every OEM in the underground mining industry. Almost all of them are working on new battery-driven models or ways to convert existing products to electrical power. That shift might seem a little outsized, given the number of mines that have actually deployed battery electric technology to full effect. But Goldcorp’s vice-president of corporate affairs and energy, John Mullally, predicts that the rate of adoption of BEVs will accelerate rapidly over the next five years and expects many underground mines built in Canada will choose battery-powered vehicles over a diesel fleet, and even underground mines already in operation will consider a shift to an all-electric underground fleet. “By moving away from diesel and by achieving other reductions associated with the use of clean technologies, Goldcorp can avoid more than 7,000 tons of CO2 and eliminate three million litres of diesel fuel, one million litres of propane and 33,000 megawatt hours of electricity every year,” said Mullally, who also stressed the positive impact on air quality and noise level that has already been noted by the development miners at the company’s all-electric Borden mine near Chapleau, Ontario. The project is one of three in the province on the leading edge of mine electrification. The others include Kirkland Lake Gold’s Macassa mine in Kirkland Lake and Onaping Depth, a development project in the Sudbury basin that Glencore fully approved in January, which plans to use an all-electric fleet. It is an unfamiliar place for miners: most technologies used in the business have not changed significantly in decades, if not longer. Now Glencore, one of the world’s largest miners, is earmarking $700 million to build a mine based on equipment that does not exist yet.
Kirkland Lake: tech incubator Key elements of an all-electric fleet are still in development by most OEMs: large 40-tonne capacity trucks and 14-tonne LHDs are on the horizon, but not yet available. In early March, Artisan Vehicle Systems launched the world’s first 40-tonne battery electric truck at its new manufacturing facility in Kirkland Lake. The California-based company has for years been supplying battery-electric drivetrains for RDH and Atlas Copco, and recently took on manufacturing its own mining vehicles as a primary focus. The company’s Z40 truck is a
landmark piece of equipment, and Kirkland Lake Gold CEO Tony Makuch said the truck is a “critical part,” of plans to expand the mine, which began using electric vehicles in 2012 because of constrained ventilation. Brian Huff, Artisan’s chief technology officer, said the young company has a long history in electric vehicles. “The company was originally formed back in 2003 (as California Motors). I was the first employee,” he recalled. “We kind of hit the EV goldrush and ended up selling shovels. We did projects with Volvo, Kenworth and Porsche-specialist Ruf, but mining really fit the bill for us.” He explained that as a smaller, specialized company, Artisan is best suited to manufacturing smaller numbers of high-value vehicles instead of mass-producing consumer goods. He also said the company’s Silicon Valley roots have drawn in “high level talent,” and made them innovative. With the recent reinvigoration of Kirkland Lake’s mining operations, Artisan is planning a “centre of excellence for battery-powered mining vehicles” in the town, which will house the company’s manufacturing facilities as it grows. “BEV’s are less than one per cent of the market share right now,” said Huff, noting that the company’s staff, today about 70 employees, is growing rapidly.
Ontario: the gold standard According to Goldcorp, Sandvik has committed to producing its own 40-tonne truck to be used by Borden by 2020. Once in full production, the mine will be accessible by a long ramp that the truck will need to climb, loaded, without recharging. One of the key differences between the Artisan trucks used at KLG and the proposed Sandvik truck for Borden will be on-board charging. Artisan batteries are swapped out when depleted at a swap station, where they are charged and await the next duty cycle. Huff said the company will also offer on-board charging in the future. Artisan’s Huff stressed swapping batteries is not a major undertaking, “this is due to the ability to load and unload batteries using a mechanism on the truck,” he said. “No swapping infrastructure is needed in the mine. Batteries can be swapped in less than 10 minutes, enabling nearly continuous operation.” For the time being, Goldcorp’s preference is for onboard charging that can plug into existing electrical infrastructure in the Borden mine, meaning no batteries need to be moved in order to charge. March/April • Mars/Avril 2018 | 41
What’s in a battery? Most commercialized BEVs use some form of lithium-ion battery. And though a few other options are being developed in lab scenarios, for the coming decades lithium is going to continue to dominate the field, according to Brian Huff of Artisan Vehicles. For him, the most interesting thing about lithium-ion batteries are the varieties of ions used. Artisan uses a lithium-iron-phosphate battery which Huff touts as being safer than other options, while retaining solid performance characteristics. For Artisan’s four-tonne LHD, the fact that their batteries have a slightly lower energy density is actually an advantage, said Huff. The rough conditions of the mining industry combined with an intense focus on safety are pushing most manufacturers to stay away from the nickel-cobalt-aluminum batteries found in many passenger cars.
Artisan Vehicle Systems
Mining vehicle manufacturers do not currently make their own batteries – instead these are sourced from qualified suppliers who can customize chemistry to their clients’ needs and have spotless “clean rooms” for manufacturing. Temperature and charge management are where big gains are to be had, according to David Lyon of Medatech. While Medatech chose German supplier Akasol to supply its modular battery system (the cells themselves are produced by specialists for Akasol), Artisan manufactures its own battery management system, but sources the cells themselves from Chinese manufacturers.
Artisan Vehicles Systems’ A4 battery
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MacLean Engineering, which supplies Borden with bolters, emulsion charges and other non ore-moving mining vehicles, also uses onboard charging. “We felt that, yes, we can get the new mines, but with onboard charging we can also make these products available to existing mines that want to switch away from diesel, with a high degree of flexibility,” said Anthony Griffiths, the company’s product manager for fleet electrification. “They can just plug into their existing infrastructure.” Some mines will not be able to consider electrification until equipment size is on par with diesel counterparts. Even if the 14-tonne LHD comes to fruition, there are already 20-tonne diesel loaders that might remain attractive for some. When Macassa switched to BEVs, the price of gold was dropping and a focus on tonnage over grade did not make sense. Macassa’s ore body contains some very rich areas directly adjacent barren rock, which incentivizes the pursuit of only the highestgrade material and very tight grade control. In many ways, KLG was an ideal place for BEVs to get started.
Too many reasons to switch For the past several decades, mining has made gains through economies of scale, simply using ever larger trucks. While today’s BEVs are not the largest mining vehicles ever produced, miners like Goldcorp are confident the economics speak for themselves when it comes to justifying the additional cost for BEVs. Goldcorp expects to cut operating expenses by $9 million per year at Borden through savings in diesel, ventilation costs and the cost of carbon. But dollar figures do not tell the whole story. “The improved air quality is the factor that doesn’t get costed out as easily,” said Stuart Lister, director of marketing and communications at MacLean Engineering. “Once you go into a diesel-free mine, the working environment is just so much better. Every mining company we talk to has a different set of drivers for making that transition. In Ontario we have a really good combination of mines getting deeper, a good electricity grid and a government that provides some benefits to reducing your GHGs.” Huff agreed “the intangible benefits” of electrical vehicles are a “really, really big factor” in why mines will move away from diesel. He said, having talked to operators, “they tell us that typically at the end of the day they would be so beat they would just go home and go to sleep. After operating our equipment they’ll go home and still have energy and time to play with their kids and be with their families. That’s a game changer for those miners themselves. The heat, vibration and poor air quality associated with diesel engines really contribute to fatigue.” In addition to exhaust gases containing diesel particulate, they contain water vapour as well, which contributes to humidity underground, said Huff. “And with no exhaust pipe, you don’t kick up as much dust,” he added. “They talk about going home and blowing black snot out of their noses after running diesel equipment all day, and that’s gone with BEVs.” And with a less fatigued and healthier workforce, miners can feasibly expect cultural, safety and productivity gains.
Lister said that if economics and health and safety are not enough to convince miners, the social license argument is strong. According to Goldcorp, the 7,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually saved at Borden alone represent more than the carbon footprint of the island nation of Tuvalu. The 33,000 MWh per year saved is enough energy to power the Cook Islands.
Knowledge for the common good
Relationships between OEMs and their mining partners are far different in the pioneering BEV space. “We’re not just pricetakers anymore,” said Goldcorp’s Mullally. Instead, the companies work together to solve problems as they come up, big or large. That open communication is a tradition started by Kirkland Lake Gold, which had to approach open-minded OEMs like Atlas Copco and RDH to create machines to spec, since nothing existed on the market at the time. MacLean Engineering’s Griffiths said sometimes the adjustments can be very small and simple, but just would not be considered in conventional mining. “With our diesel machines, we had two different units that had different-sized cable reels,” he recalled. “Goldcorp asked, when we go allelectric, if we could make them all the same. It was a very simple fix but it was something that had never occurred to us with diesel units, which are seldom plugged in.” The miners, too, take an open approach. “We exchange notes on a regular basis,” said Mullally of his colleagues at Glencore and KLG.
It was at a battery electric vehicle workshop in May 2016 when David Sanguinetti recalled having the realization that “Oh my god, BEVs are real and clearly important to a lot of people.” Sanguinetti is the innovation manager for the Canada Mining Innovation Council’s underground mining group. “We had to move to a larger room because we literally had people flying across from Europe for this one-day BEV workshop,” he said. At the end of the day, Heather Ednie, managing director of the Global Mining Standards and What can’t be done? Guidelines group, made a pitch: all stakeholders in the industry had to Electrification has opened up the work together towards widespread design of mining vehicles to a huge adoption of this new tech, or there variety of interpretations. David Lyon, would be chaos. She appears to business development manager at have been convincing: not long Canadian engineering firm Medatech, after, Sanguinetti was coordinating said choosing the right combination of more than 100 different voices, batteries and motors involves careful including all the major miners and balance. Medatech supplies the powOEMs, to produce a guideline. The ertrains used in MacLean equipment, aim: to make sure that with a myrbut is actively researching future iad of battery chemistries, sizes applications. “In the mining space – David Lyon, and charging options available for we’re looking at equipment that has as business development manager at Medatech various equipment, mines still low as a 60 kilowatt motor and as worked well as a whole. high as 400 kW,” he noted. The bat“The biggest issue during the creation of the first edition teries in MacLean equipment currently use a combination of was related to the performance testing section,” said San- nickel-manganese-cobalt oxide and lithium-titanate-oxide guinetti. “Miners were saying ‘we need an apples to apples chemistries, which he said is optimal for their intended use. comparison,’ but OEMs didn’t want to go there. Now we’re In many circumstances it is not necessary for a vehicle to working on the second edition of the guidelines and OEMs run for eight hours without charging. “In surface mining or are lining up to contribute.” And, he noted, OEMs have real- any haulage application, we reduce the onboard battery but ized that hiding knowledge is not always advantageous. It we decrease the charge time,” said Lyon. “We’re looking to use might be more important for an OEM to show off its ability chemistry that has an extreme level of power input, so that to rapidly adopt new technology and adapt to changing con- while a truck is dumping it can be charged in two or three ditions than to highlight performance metrics that will be minutes.” Yes, he said it: surface mining. “We’re engaged in a project obsolete soon anyway. “Everyone has realized that whatever already,” he reported. With low grades, extreme tonnages your performance is right now is going to be different in six and air quality concerns of their own, open pits are a sort of months anyway,” said Sanguinetti. Holy Grail for BEV technology: if they can work there, they Batteries are ever changing, and Huff noted there are several battery chemistries in lab development that could mean can work anywhere. While Sanguinetti was working on the significant improvement. “There is talk of solid lithium bat- first edition of the guideline, he said open-pit electrification teries, and getting rid of electrolytes,” he said. And thanks to was considered in the realm of the impossible. It has only the new guidelines for performance testing, OEMs will be able been a year since then. “Now, we’re into the second edition to quantitatively show the performance gains to their clients, and I’m aware of at least two OEMs that are working on open making them more likely to be the first to invest in new gear. pit projects.” CIM
We’re looking to use chemistry that has an extreme level of power input, so that while a truck is dumping it can be charged in two or three minutes.
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An algorithm for the ages After 120 years of publishing, the CIM archives are vast. Inside them authors have laid the foundations for entire new schools of thought and methods for generating value from mineral resources.
“The 3D algorithm was quite brilliant and logically very complex. Also the description was somewhat terse! Nevertheless, I figured out a way to program it and offered to write it for Newmont,” Whittle recalled. The company, however, was not prepared to take on the risk, so the Whittle family did. The program was written over a couple That is what Helmut Lerchs and Ingo Grossman, a pair of months using Fortran. His wife, Ruth, wrote the manual mathematical whizzes-turned-operations-researchers at IBM, and took on the marketing. “The first run with real data at did in the January 1965 edition of the CIM Bulletin. “The Newmont took 160 hours on a VAX mini-computer.” It was another 12 months before they made their first sale. model proposed in this paper,” the authors wrote, “will serve Then Whittle said, sales began to gather to explore alternatives in pit design, given momentum and he was back at work a real or a hypothetical economical enviwith the next iteration of the software. ronment (market situation, plant configEventually there was not a bank in Ausuration, etc.). … The objective then is to tralia that would finance a miner who design the contour of a pit so as to maxihad not used the optimization software to mize the difference between the total create a mine plan, according to Roussos mine value of ore extracted and the total Dimitrakopolous, a mining engineering extraction cost of ore and waste.” professor at McGill University who speToday the names Lerchs and Grossman cializes in mine optimization. are synonymous with open pit mine In 2014 Lerchs, Grossman and design, but when they published their Whittle were inducted into the Internaeight-page paper, the technology required tional Mining Technology Hall of Fame to execute their method did not yet exist, for their pioneering work, which ultiand would not for many years. mately established the discipline of Jeff Whittle was contracting with strategic mine planning. Earlier this Newmont in Australia when he came year, Whittle was also named an officer across the Lerchs-Grossman paper. “I also of the Order of Australia. read an article somewhere that said that Grossman died in 1995. Whittle met the mining industry would love to use Lerchs, who passed away last summer, at Lerchs-Grossman but it was ‘too hard to Lerchs and Grossman first presented their a CIM conference in the 1990s. “He had program,’” Whittle wrote to CIM Maga- paper at an Operations Research recently become aware that the algorithm conference in Montreal in May 1964. zine recently. was being used in mining,” said Whittle. “In the early ‘70s Placer Dome had “Apparently he had happened to sit next to a miner on a flight, managed to get it working, but it was well known in the indusand the guy had asked if he was the Lerchs of pit optimization try that they had had great difficulty and it had cost them a lot of money – I think the figure quoted was a quarter of a million fame.” Whittle, who at 88 still programs “from time to time,” made dollars. That was indeed a lot of money in the early ‘70s. Of a point of sharing the credit for his achievements with the peocourse, Placer Dome didn’t allow anyone else to use it. ple who have struggled with the optimization challenge over “By 1980, I had had 18 years of technical programming the last few decades and for those who first committed it to experience, and I regarded ‘too hard to program’ as a personal print. “There is no way I could have thought up the Lerchschallenge!” Whittle wrote. Grossman algorithm,” Whittle said. “It involved mathematics The paper included a 2D and a 3D optimization algorithm CIM that were way beyond me.” based on graph theory, a realm of mathematics used to represent a collection of connected objects.
by Ryan Bergen
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On a roll Purpose-built and cost effective, a new generation of high-pressure grinding rolls are working their way into the comminution circuit
Image courtesy of Metso
By Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco
This installation of Metso's HRC3000 HPGR has been in operation at a copper mine in the U.S. since 2014. Last year, according to Metso, it averaged 71,000 tonnes per day.
few years ago, Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX) chose high-pressure grinding rolls (HPGR) over a semi-autogenous grinding mill for the expansion of its Morenci open-pit copper mine in Arizona. In February of this year, Iamgold announced it too would be using HPGRs at its new Côté Lake project in northern Ontario. The same month, Altura Mining also revealed it would be using HPGRs for its lithium mine in Pilbara, Western Australia. And there are many more. Across the globe, a growing number of mining companies are jumping on the HPGR bandwagon. Some believe the technology is now poised to give SAG mills and other conventional comminution equipment a run for their money, which, in turn, could lead to a revamped approach to comminution with far more efficient and streamlined circuits.
Spelling out HPGRs HPGRs employ two large, heavy rotating metal rollers – also known as tires – one of which is fixed on the frame of the machine, while the other is floating, attached to a hydraulic system that can be adjusted to exert different pressures, according to comminution needs. The material is fed through the gap between the rollers, where it is exposed briefly to very high pressure. This creates micro-cracks in the particles and produces a significant amount of fine material. It is a dry process, which results in not just higher energy efficiency but also lower water usage and costs in a comminution circuit. 46 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 2
Courtesy of FLSmidth
A new technology 40 years in the making The high-pressure grinding roll was originally developed in 1977 and first used in 1984 by the cement industry, where the technology quickly became a standard. It is not altogether new to mining. It has been used by diamond miners for more than two decades because of its effectiveness in liberating diamonds from softer material without breaking larger stones. The iron ore sector also adopted the technology around the same time because it produces a substantial amount of fine material, which is ideal for pelletizing. In fact, “Iron ore has been the mineral that has pushed HPGR in the minerals industry,” said Tim Lundquist, Weir Minerals’ North America HPGR sales manager. For the most part, the hard rock mining sector, however, has been reluctant to replace tried and true SAG mills with HPGRs. “I think ten years ago there were a lot of guys in the mining industry that had their lives invested in SAG mills,” said Joseph Dziedzina, FLSmidth’s HPGR global product manager. “Any time a new machine comes along, their initial response is to see it as a threat. It takes a while to work that out. In addition to a decade of proven productivity, you now have another generation of miners who saw HPGRs early on in their studies, so it’s something they know about and there is more acceptance of the technology.”
Technological advances Part of that acceptance, however, has been due to improvements and innovations by HPGR manufacturers in adapting the technology used in the cement industry to better address the needs of the hard rock mining sector. And indeed these advancements have turned into advantages for hard rock comminution. “We tried to develop a machine that wasn’t simply a transition from cement to metals,” said Dziedzina. “We designed machines specifically for hard rock applications, which are more maintenance intensive than cement applications.” One of the earliest advancements was the improvement of the roll surface design to increase wear life by adding studs, which leads to the formation of an autogenous layer on the rolls that protects the surface. Today, rollers can last between a year and 18 months in hard rock applications before they need to be replaced, said Lundquist. From extending the life of the tires, manufacturers then turned their attention to reducing the downtime involved in replacing the large and heavy rollers by using open-frame designs rather than the traditional box designs in cement HPGRs, which had to be disassembled to replace the rolls. “Most manufacturers have incorporated a fast tire change so if you can do your roll change in 24 hours or less and you are only doing that once a year or so, that’s it. You are down to the 24 hours of downtime,” said Lundquist. “That means 95 to 97 per cent availability of your circuit with an HPGR.” Adapting the technology to mining has also required making bigger equipment than used in the cement industry. “Because grades are lower and lower these days,” Rüdiger Dicke, HPGR sales support manager for TAKRAF,
FLSmidth plans to send of its F-Series HPGRs to a project later this year.
whose largest HPGR can process 5,000 tonnes per hour. “You have to process more and more tonnes to achieve the same output as before. This requires bigger machines, so the roller dimensions become bigger and bigger.” Manufacturers have increased the size of rollers but it has been a challenge. Simply enlarging traditional designs resulted in uneven feed distribution that skewed the tires out of their parallel positions. Metso lead the way in this by developing an innovative patented Arch-frame for three metre diameter by two metre-wide rolls that do not skew. The company’s 900 tonne-HRC 3000 was first installed in 2014 in FCX’s Morenci mine and remains the world’s largest HPGR. There is one area where the technology continues to face challenges and that is ore with a high moisture level. This leads to peeling away of the autogenous layer on the rolls and exposing the steel underneath, increasing wear. “We see some projects where HPGR has clear benefits and others where the benefit is marginal,” said Bjorn Nielsen, head of product line dry comminution and sorting for Outotec. “Certainly, for sticky, viscous or clayey ores, the materials handling requirements make HPGR difficult to implement. Even then, it can be done if there’s a driver.”
The benefits of HPGR “The main attraction to HPGRs is that they are highly efficient compared to SAG/AG mills and also due to their superior ability to process highly competent ores,” has been that they use about 17 to 25 percent less energy than SAG mills said Dziedzina. They are also very quick to get up and running. “While a SAG mill can take nearly a year from commissioning to its full operation, our HPGR takes six to eight weeks,” said Dicke. There is a notable downside to HPGRs, one that has held many cash-strapped miners back from purchasing the equipment during the industry’s downturn over recent years: they have a higher capital cost than SAG mills. Their high availabilMarch/April • Mars/Avril 2018 | 47
ity, ease of maintenance, wear life and limited spare parts, as well as high energy efficiency and water savings make their lower operating costs the selling point. And weighing capital costs against operating costs is something the mining industry is now putting far more thought into than in the past. Ironically, it is the hard rock sector, which has been the slowest to adopt HPGR, that could most benefit from the technology, both in return on investment as well as improved comminution. “The harder the ore, the more likely HPGR is to give sufficient reduction in energy, water and wear parts to overcome the higher overall capital cost usually associated with HPGR circuits,” said Bjorn Nielsen, head of product line dry comminution and sorting for Outotec. “In extreme cases, the HPGR circuit may be the only viable process route or could be lower capital cost than conventional grinding circuits.” HPGR also allows for greater circuit flexibility, said Victoria Herman, global product manager for Metso’s HRC HPGR. “The HRC has the ability to vary the operating speed to match the downstream tonnage demands,” she said. “In addition, operating pressure can also be adjusted to handle changing ore conditions.” HPGR technology can also have in impact on performance further down the processing line. The micro-cracks in the course particles that remain through the process help improve
leaching and flotation efficiencies. “It lowers the amount of work needed. In a leaching plant, for example, the micro-fractures, or canals, increase the kinetic speed and recovery,” said Lundquist.
Looking ahead HPGR’s ability to improve crushing efficiency has major implications for the design and operation of comminution circuits, said Herman. “In closed circuit applications the increased breakage rates provide higher energy efficiency by reducing circulating loads and potentially decreasing the size of ancillary equipment,” she said. “Alternately, the increased breakage rates could allow for a finer product on the HPGR circuit which decreases the demand of downstream equipment.” Dziedzina said he believes, “the next step might be to completely eliminate all grinding mills from the comminution circuit and get to that final size ready for separation just with HPGR and air classification.” It is still early days to know where HPGR will take comminution in mining, said Lundquist. “But if you look at all the main mining equipment manufacturers, pretty much all of them have jumped in on HPGR within the last few years,” he said. “That’s really a sign of what’s to come. Over the next ten years, it’s going to become commonplace.” CIM
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48 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 2
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48e Nord International
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Saint-Urbain-Premier, QC, Canada aqeptence.com
ABC Canada Technology Group Ltd.
Aquatech Dewatering Ltd.
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Maple, ON, Canada AquatechDewatering.com
Arctec Alloys Limited
Lively, ON, Canada fullerindustrial.com
Calgary, AB, Canada arctecalloys.com
Edmonton, AB, Canada aecon.com BOOTH 706
Oshawa, ON, Canada afmindustries.com BOOTH 1537
Arizona Commerce Authority Phoenix, AZ, USA azcommerce.com BOOTH 1251
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AFX Mixing and Pumping Technologies Inc.
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Richmond,, BC, Canada arrowspeed.com
Arrow Speed Controls
ASDR Canada Inc.
Rouyn-Noranda, QC, Canada airmp.ca
Malartic, QC, Canada asdr.ca
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Peachtree City, GA, USA assaabloyentrance.com
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Altra Industrial Motion
Atlantic Industries Limited
South Beloit, IL, USA altramotion.com
Stoney Creek, ON, Canada ailmining.com
Am Cast, Inc.
Bohemia, NY, USA rethinkthelimits.com BOOTH 643
ATS Electro-Lube International Inc.
Delta, BC, Canada atselectrolube.com
AMC Mining Consultants (Canada) Ltd
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American VULKAN Corporation
Winter Haven, FL, USA vulkan.com
Autonomous Solutions, Inc.
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Beachwood, OH, USA master-builderssolutions.basf.us
Seville, OH, USA blairrubber.com
Blair Rubber Company
Mont-St-Hilaire, QC, Canada bba.ca
Bryanston, Gautang GT, South Africa bme.co.za
Sudbury, ON, Canada varismine.com
Vancouver, BC, Canada bmtwbm.com
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Stockholm, Sweden bombardier.com
Betterwear New Material Co. Ltd. Jingdezhen City, JI, China betterwear.cn BOOTH 309
BGC Engineering Inc.
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BKT Tires Canada
BMT WBM Canada
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Regina, SK, Canada brandt.ca BOOTH 518
Brevini Canada Ltd.
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Black Cat Wear Parts
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Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI)
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Plymouth, MN, USA buhlergroup.com
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CurvePRO by Partition Enterprises
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CWA Engineers Inc.
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Changsha, HN, China vibowear.com
Huddersfield, Great Britain dbsantasalo.com
Westmount, QC, Canada magazine.cim.org
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Johannesburg, GT, South Africa debtech.com
St-Laurent, QC, Canada cklogistics.ca
Buffalo, NY, USA Derrick.com
Camfil APC / Envirotech Air Surrey, BC, Canada camfilapc.com BOOTH 331
Canada Filtration Material Inc
Canada North Environmental Limited Partnership Saskatoon, SK, Canada cannorth.com BOOTH 1416
Canadian Mining Journal (CMJ)
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Canadian Wear Technologies Ltd.
Cobourg, ON, Canada canadianweartech.com BOOTH 1608
New London, NH, USA canarysystems.com BOOTH 404
Carbon Activated Corporation
Compton, CA, USA activatedcarbon.com BOOTH 1306
Carlson Software Maysville, KY, USA carlsonsw.com BOOTH 1511
Cementation Canada Inc. North Bay, ON, Canada cementation.com BOOTH 333
Center Rock Inc. Berlin, PA, USA centerrock.com
Clark Services & Insulations Ltd
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Clifton Associates Ltd. Regina, SK, Canada clifton.ca BOOTH 1111
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Conductix Wampfler Canada Burlington, ON, Canada conductix.ca BOOTH 1338
Contango Strategies Ltd. Saskatoon, SK, Canada contangostrategies.com BOOTH 516
Continental Conveyor Ltd. Thetford Mines, QC, Canada continentalconveyor.ca BOOTH 438
King of Prussia, PA, USA cooneycoil.com BOOTH 709
Corner Cast Inc.
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54 | CONVENTION.CIM.ORG
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De Beers Group Services
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DMC Mining Services
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Saint-Jerome, QC, Canada doppelmayr-mts.com BOOTH 332
Dos Santos International Marietta, GA, USA dossantosintl.com BOOTH 1524
Toronto, ON, Canada DRAglobal.com
EBC, Northec, EBC Mines
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Vaughan, ON, Canada electromate.com BOOTH 837
Enduride Canada USA
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Engineered Pipe Group
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Ensol Systems Inc.
Surrey, BC, Canada ensolsystems.com BOOTH 703
Kirkland Lake, ON, Canada epc-groupe.com BOOTH 949
Lively, ON, Canada atlascopco.com BOOTH 1633
Napier, New Zealand equiptec.co.nz BOOTH 1145
St-Hubert, QC, Canada euclidchemical.com BOOTH 605
Okotoks, AB, Canada evergreensolutions.com BOOTH 1825
DSI Mining Canada
Evonik Resources Efficiency GmbH
Saskatoon, SK, Canada dsiunderground.com
Dumas Contracting Ltd.
Toronto, ON, Canada dumasmining.com BOOTH 427
Ylöjärvi, LS, Finland dynaset.com BOOTH 1131
Dyno Nobel Canada
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Darmstadt, Germany corporate.evonik.com
ExcelSense Technologies Corp. Vancouver, BC, Canada excelsensetech.com BOOTH 510
F.F.P. Systems Inc.
Mississauga, ON, Canada ffpsystems.com BOOTH 200
Fabco Plastics Western Limited
Edmonton, AB, Canada fabcoplastics.com
Pittsburgh, PA, USA fennerdunlopamericas.com
Crystal Lake, IL, USA generalkinematics.com
Tinley Park, IL, USA grindex.com
Fenner Dunlop Americas
Joure, FL, Netherlands fibremax.nl
Dallas, TX, USA geoshack.com
Tucson, AZ, USA groundprobe.com
GroundProbe North America
Chicoutimi, QC, Canada filtrartech.com
Hazleton, PA, USA geosonicsvibratech.com
Plessisville, QC, Canada groupecastechplessitech.com
Edmonton, AB, Canada finning.ca BOOTH 630
Fireball Equipment Ltd. Edmonton, AB, Canada mining.fireball.ca BOOTH 842
Linthicum, MD, USA flowrox.us BOOTH 1117
Midvale, UT, USA flsmidth.com BOOTH 1224
FMDC Watermist Canada Ltd Cobble Hill, BC, Canada fogmakercanada.ca BOOTH 508
Fonderie BSL Casting inc. Rimouski, QC, Canada bslcasting.com/en BOOTH 1340
Saskatoon, SK, Canada fortiscorporation.com
Germany - Federal Ministry (BMWi) Koeln, Germany balland-messe.de BOOTH 1144
Val-d’Or, QC, Canada arkys.com BOOTH 1202
GF Urecon Ltd
Calmar, AB, Canada georgfischer.com BOOTH 1727
GHH Fahrzeuge GmbH Gelsenkirchen, Germany ghh-fahrzeuge.de BOOTH 413
GKM Consultants, Inc. Sainte-Julie, QC, Canada gkmconsultants.com BOOTH 1023
Gladiator Equipment Inc. Leduc, AB, Canada gladiatorequipment.com BOOTH 838
Global InspectionsNDT Inc.
Boucherville, QC, Canada robert.ca BOOTH 812
Qingdao, SD, China greatwallfabrics.com BOOTH 1051
Haver & Boecker
St. Catharines, ON, Canada havercanada.com BOOTH 638
Hazleton Pumps International (Pty) Ltd. Centurion GT, South Africa hazletonpumps.co.za BOOTH 800
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Richmond Hill, ON, Canada hemcoequipment.com BOOTH 901
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Thetford Mines, QC, Canada fournierindustries.com
Frontline Industrial Solutions Ltd
Saskatoon, SK, Canada frontlineindustrial.com BOOTH 1127
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Global Mining and Metals ISAC
Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems Canada Inc.
Vancouver, BC, Canada mmisac.org
Toronto, ON, Canada herrenknecht.com
Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group Westmount, QC, Canada globalminingstandards.org
Winnipeg, MB, Canada fwsgroup.com
Saskatoon, SK, Canada gmsminerepair.ca
Rouyn-Noranda, QC, Canada plastiquesgplus.com
Surrey, BC, Canada gridcom-mining.com
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Gridcom Enterprises Ltd.
Tucson, AZ, USA hexagonmining.com BOOTH 1513
Hilliard Brake Systems
Elmira, NY, USA hilliardbrakesystems.com BOOTH 1604
Grimsby, ON, Canada honeywellsafety.com
Howden Simsmart Technologies
Brossard, QC, Canada howden.com BOOTH 406
HSL Automation Ltd.
Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada hslautomation.com BOOTH 1041
Hydrau Flo (Weir Minerals)
Richmond, BC, Canada minerals.weir BOOTH 531
HydroTech Mining inc.
Val d’Or, QC, Canada hydrotechmining.com/index.php BOOTH 1708
Ideal Gear & Machine Works
Delta, BC, Canada idealgearworks.com BOOTH 1138
St-Lambert, QC, Canada imafs.com BOOTH 1241
IMP Automation Canada Ltd. Burlington, ON, Canada impautomation.com BOOTH 1341
IMSM Canada Ltd.
Saskatoon, SK, Canada imsm.com BOOTH 1222
Independent Mining Consultants Inc. Tucson, AZ, USA imctucson.com BOOTH 1725
indurad GmbH - The Industrial Radar Company Aachen, Germany indurad.com BOOTH 808
Industrial Info Resources Sugar Land, TX, USA industrialinfo.com BOOTH 1723
Indutech instruments GmbH
Simmersfeld, Germany indutech.com BOOTH 1418
Vancouver, BC, Canada infomine.com BOOTH 1142
Val-d’Or, QC, Canada innovexplo.com
New York City, NY, USA ge.com/digital/products/mineperformance
CONVENTION.CIM.ORG | 55
Bingen, WA, USA insitu.com BOOTH 401
Integrity Fusion Products, Inc. Fayetteville, GA, USA integrityfusion.com BOOTH 945
Intermobile Pipe Rig Ltd. Surrey, BC, Canada PIPERIG.COM BOOTH 736
Omaha, NE, USA intersystems.net BOOTH 609
Iraeta Grinding Media Toronto, ON, Canada iraetagrinding.com BOOTH 723
Louisville,, KY, USA isco-pipe.com BOOTH 1105
Kalenborn Abresist Corporation Urbana, IN, USA abresist.com BOOTH 707
Kemetco Research Inc. Richmond, BC, Canada kemetco.com BOOTH 1517
Key Maintenance Technologies
Edmonton, AB, Canada kmt1.ca BOOTH 917
Calgary, AB, Canada joyglobal.com BOOTH 1026
Lafarge Canada, Inc. Calgary, AB, Canada lafarge-na.com BOOTH 802
Ledcor Group of Companies Edmonton, AB, Canada ledcor.com
Thetford Mines, QC, Canada lynnco.ca
Lachine, QC, Canada metso.com
LYNN Co Ltd.
Maccaferri Canada Ltd.
Cambridge, ON, Canada maccaferri.com/ca BOOTH 822
MacLean Engineering & Marketing Co. Limited Collingwood, ON, Canada macleanengineering.com BOOTH 1817
FAM Canada Ltd.
Magdeburg, Germany fam.de/ BOOTH 618
Edmonton, AB, Canada mammoet.com BOOTH 1140
Rouyn-Noranda, QC, Canada adria-mfg.ca BOOTH 1200
MI Petro Construction & Supply Inc.
Calgary, AB, Canada mipetrogroup.com BOOTH 1705
MiHR COUNCIL - CONSEIL RHiM
Kanata, ON, Canada MIHR.CA BOOTH 1523
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Mine Cable Services Corp.
Edmonton, AB, Canada minecableservices.ca BOOTH 1509
Mine Design Technologies
Kingston, ON, Canada mdt.ca
Sudbury, ON, Canada levert.ca
North Bay, ON, Canada minehoist.com
Edmonton, AB, Canada jetcolighting.com
Lexington, KY, USA matrixteam.com
Oakville, ON, Canada levitt-safety.com
St Augustine, FL, USA mineraltechnologies.com
Irving, TX, USA maxam.net
Burlington, ON, Canada liebherr.ca
Markham, ON, Canada MiningEquipmentCompany.com
Barrie, ON, Canada jebcoindustries.com
Jetco Heavy Duty Lighting
JIANGSU SHANGCHI GROUP CO., LTD Liyang, JI, China jssc.com.cn BOOTH 1043
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Levert Personnel Resources Inc.
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Lakewood, CO, USA maptek.com
Matrix Design Group
Maxam North America
McCue Engineering Contractors
Delta, BC, Canada mccuecontracting.com BOOTH 741
Mine Hoists International Ltd.
Mining Equipment Company
Minnovare Pty Ltd Perth, WA, Australia minnovare.com
John Brooks Company Limited
Line Power Mfg. Corp.
McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd.
Delta, BC, Canada jbrakes.com
Hamilton, New Zealand loadscan.com
Hollidaysburg, PA, USA mclanahan.com
Sudbury, ON, Canada mirarco.org
Edmonton, AB, Canada johnbrooks.ca
Johnson Industries Ltd.
Bristol, VA, USA linepower.com
Vancouver, BC, Canada McElhanney.com
Vernon, BC, Canada kaltiremining.com
Nimes, France logimine.com
Hanford, CA, USA mclellanindustries.com
Calgary, AB, Canada luffindustries.com
Rouyn-Noranda, QC, Canada mecanicad.ca
Luff Industries Ltd.
56 | CONVENTION.CIM.ORG
McLellan Industries Inc.
Lycopodium Minerals Canada Ltd.
Mississauga, ON, Canada lycopodium.com.au
Val-dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Or, QC, Canada meglab.ca
Georgetown, KY, USA minovausa.com
Mitsubishi Materials U.S.A. Corporation
Statesville, NC, USA mmus.com BOOTH 1002
MMD Mineral Sizing (Canada) Inc.
Edmonton, AB, Canada mmdsizers.com
Tucson, AZ, USA conspecinternational.com
St-Ambroise de Kildare, QC, Canada commercial.nj-albert.com
Rock Safety Systems – Conspec Int’l
Mobile Parts Inc.
Val Caron, ON, Canada mobileparts.com BOOTH 940
Modular Mining Systems Tucson, AZ, USA modularmining.com BOOTH 1231
Motion Metrics Int’l Corp. Vancouver, BC, Canada motionmetrics.com BOOTH 326
NJ Albert Télécommunications
Manage, WBR, Belgium qt.nlmk.com BOOTH 1541
Normet Canada Ltd. Lively, ON, Canada normet.com BOOTH 1337
Saskatoon, SK, Canada norsemanstructures.com
Nipawin, SK, Canada northfringe.com
Shawinigan, QC, Canada movexinnovation.com
Mississauga, ON, Canada camese.org BOOTH 813
Mullen Trucking Corp. Aldersyde, AB, Canada mullentrucking.com BOOTH 408
Multicrete Systems Inc. Winnipeg, MB, Canada multicretesystems.com BOOTH 624
Multotec Canada Ltd. Longueuil, QC, Canada multotec.com BOOTH 1806
Nalco Canada Co. Nisku, AB, Canada ecolab.com BOOTH 504
National Research Council Canada Boucherville, QC, Canada nrc-cnrc.gc.ca BOOTH 1349
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa, ON, Canada nrcan-rncan.gc.ca/canmetmmsl BOOTH 1702
Netzsch Canada, Inc.
North Fringe Industrial Technologies Inc.
Northern Survey Supply Mattawa, ON, Canada Nsscanada.com BOOTH 631
NPK Construction Equipment, Inc.
Walton Hills, OH, USA npkce.com/mining BOOTH 847
O.B.WIIK Canada Ltd Simcoe, ON, Canada obwiik.ca BOOTH 603
OCP Construction Supplies Sudbury, ON, Canada ocp.ca BOOTH 1547
OH&S Safety Consulting & Training Solutions Ltd. Kamloops, BC, Canada ohandscanada.ca BOOTH 823
Orica Canada Inc. Watkins, CO, USA orica.com BOOTH 701
OSIsoft Canada ULC Montreal, QC, Canada OSIsoft.com
Barrie, ON, Canada pumps.netzsch.com
Burlington, ON, Canada outotec.com
New Concept Mining
Outotec (Canada) Ltd.
Johannesburg, GT, South Africa ncm.co.za
Surrey (Port Kells), BC, Canada pacific-bit.com
Edmonton, AB, Canada nilex.com
Pacific Bit of Canada Inc.
Charlotte, NC, USA pbegrp.com
Oshawa, ON, Canada prengineering.com
Riverside, CA, USA pcigases.com BOOTH 642
Penticton Foundry Ltd.
Penticton, BC, Canada pentictonfoundry.com BOOTH 1040
Mississauga, ON, Canada lubricants.petro-canada.com BOOTH 500
Pex Industrial Piping Solutions
Edmonton, AB, Canada pex-pipe.COM BOOTH 431
Phoenix Contact Canada
Milton, ON, Canada phoenixcontact.ca BOOTH 410
Phoenix Conveyor Belt Solutions
PR Engineering Limited
Praetorian Construction Management
Edmonton, AB, Canada praetoriancm.com BOOTH 1718
Precision Bolting Ltd.
Edmonton, AB, Canada precisionbolting.com BOOTH 1601
Precision Pulley & Idler
Pella, IA, USA ppipella.com BOOTH 1720
Process Combustion Systems Inc.
Calgary, AB, Canada processcombustion.com BOOTH 622
Pelham, AL, USA processbarron.com BOOTH 1605
Procon Mining & Tunnelling
Tazewell, VA, USA phoenix-conveyorbelts.us
Burnaby, BC, Canada procongroup.com
North Vancouver, BC, Canada piteau.com
Guelph, ON, Canada prominent.ca
ProMinent Fluid Controls
Vancouver, BC, Canada placergolddesign.com
Fergus, ON, Canada proco-fwi.com
Placer Gold Design
Protective Coatings, Inc.
Elora, ON, Canada poly-corp.com
Quebec, QC, Canada attakroc.com
CONVENTION.CIM.ORG | 57
Maple Ridge, BC, Canada rstinstruments.com
Suzhou, JI, China shareate.com/en/
RST Instruments Ltd.
Cambridge, ON, Canada rubbersource.ca
Toronto, ON, Canada shawcor.com
Wallaceburg, ON, Canada rulmeca.ca
El Lago, TX, USA lube-education.com/lp/mininginfocenter.html
Quebec, QC, Canada shuot.com BOOTH 737
Alliston, ON, Canada PROVIX.net
Saskatoon, SK, Canada respec.com
North Bay, ON, Canada safesightxp.com
Pointe-Claire, QC, Canada pumpaction.com
Vancouver, BC, Canada rigidrobotics.com
Surrey, BC, Canada sandale.ca
Kingston, ON, Canada mine.queensu.ca
Surrey, BC, Canada RIMEX.com
Rimex Supply Ltd.
Shareate Tools Ltd.
SafeSight Exploration Inc.
Sandale Utility Products
Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology
SIEMAG TECBERG Inc. Milwaukee, WI, USA siemag-tecberg.com BOOTH 641
Laval, QC, Canada simwell.ca BOOTH 1331
SIX Safety Systems Inc.
Calgary, AB, Canada sixsafetysystems.com BOOTH 1600
SM Cyclo of Canada, Ltd.
Lively, ON, Canada mining.sandvik.com
Oakville, ON, Canada smcyclo.com
Macamic, WC, Canada radiateurjmt.ca
Alban, ON, Canada rdhminingequipment.com
Burnaby, BC, Canada rbauction.com
R.D.H. Mining Equipment
Saskatchewan Trade & Export Partnership
SME - Society for Mining Metallurgy & Exploration
Saskatoon, SK, Canada sasktrade.sk.ca
Englewood, CO, USA smenet.org
Carp, ON, Canada rmegeomatics.com
Underwood, QLD, Australia scantech.com.au
Lively, ON, Canada railveyor.com
Kamloops, BC, Canada rcmi.ca
Rail-Veyor Technologies Global Inc.
Rock Construction & Mining Inc.
Kewdale, WA, Australia rct-global.com
Wilsonville, OR, USA rockmore-intl.com
Rockmore International, Inc
Cologno Monzese, MI, Italy redaelli.com/en
Cambridge, ON, Canada rockwellautomation.com/
Redaelli Tecna Spa
Markham, ON, Canada rdlcom.com
Lively, ON, Canada rocvent.com
Alpharetta, GA, USA redwave-us.com
Goodwood, ON, Canada rosta.com
Redwave Solutions US LLC
Redwood Plastics and Rubber Langley, BC, Canada redwoodplastics.com
58 | CONVENTION.CIM.ORG
RPMGlobal Canada Ltd. Toronto, ON, Canada rpmglobal.com
Scantech International Pty Ltd.
Schwing Bioset Inc. Somerset, WI, USA schwingbioset.com/ BOOTH 1507
Sensemetrics, Inc. San Diego, CA, USA sensemetrics.com
SmithCo Side-Dump Trailers Le Mars, IA, USA sidedump.com BOOTH 1201
SMS Equipment Inc. Acheson, AB, Canada smsequip.com BOOTH 1700
SNF Canada Ltd.
Woodbridge, ON, Canada snfcanada.com BOOTH 306
Bramelea, ON, Canada sewcan.ca
SEW-Eurodrive Co. of Canada Ltd.
Shaft Drillers International Mt. Morris, PA, USA shaftdrillers.com BOOTH 740
Shandong Taishan Tyre Co. Ltd. Feicheng, SD, China en.taishantyre.com
Nisku, AB, Canada spencecorrosion.com
Spraying Systems Canada Ltd. Delta, BC, Canada spray.ca BOOTH 1123
Delson, QC, Canada ssab.com BOOTH 1321
Ottawa, ON, Canada stantec.com/mining
Regensburg, Germany sgb-smit.com
Lexington, KY, USA temaisenmann.com
Starkstrom - GerÃ¤tebau GmbH
TEMA ISENMANN Inc. / HEIN LEHMANN US
Tri-Rok Drilling Accessories Inc.
Walton, KY, USA steinertglobal.com
Richmond HIll, ON, Canada terrativedigital.com
Lindsay, ON, Canada tsman.com
Whitby, ON, Canada stoncor.ca
Wels, Austria teufelberger.com
Corvallis, OR, USA TunnelRadio.com
StonCor Group - Canada
Terrative Digital Solutions
Teufelberger Seil Ges.m.b.H.
Brampton, ON, Canada trirokinc.com
Winnipeg, MB, Canada sctfrp.com
Tewksbury, MA, USA thermoscientific.com/ bulkweighing
Vancouver, BC, Canada mining.ubc.ca
Morris, MN, USA superior-ind.com
Edmonton, AB, Canada thiess.com
Sherbrooke, QC, Canada surplechv.com
Redmond, WA, USA tbirdmining.com
Pennington, NJ, USA sympatec.com
Regina, SK, Canada thyssenmining.com
Structural Composite Technologies Ltd.
Surplec HV solutions
Synergy Engineering Ltd. Coquitlam, BC, Canada synergy-eng.com BOOTH 311
Syntron Material Handling LLC Tupelo, MS, USA syntronmh.com BOOTH 1137
Rouyn-Noranda, QC, Canada technosub.net BOOTH 1444
Teck Resources Ltd.
Sparwood, BC, Canada teck.com/careers BOOTH 1612
TECO-Westinghouse Motors (Canada) Inc.
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Thiess Pty Ltd.
Thunderbird Mining Systems
ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions Canada Inc Calgary, AB, Canada thyssenkrupp-industrialsolutions.com BOOTH 425
Tioga HVAC Rentals
Erie, CO, USA tiogahvacrentals.com BOOTH 1037
Tramac Equipment Ltd. Landing, NJ, USA tramac.com BOOTH 1431
Transmin Pty Ltd.
Malaga, WA, Australia transmin.com.au BOOTH 938
Cambridge, ON, Canada tecowestinghouse.ca
Fort Myers, FL, USA trapbag.com
Sudbury, ON, Canada TEGAINDUSTRIES.COM
Vancouver, BC, Canada trecanada.com
Myslenice, MA, Poland www.tfkable.com
Auckland, New Zealand trimble.com/mining
Tega Industries Limited
TRE ALTAMIRA Inc.
UBC Mining Engineering
Kelowna, BC, Canada unicast.ca BOOTH 432
V.J. Pamensky Canada Inc. North York, ON, Canada pamensky.com BOOTH 1237
Veolia Water Technologies
Saint-Laurent, QC, Canada veoliawaterstna.com BOOTH 1210
Richmond Hill, ON, Canada victaulic.com BOOTH 305
VIR Electric Inc
Richmond, BC, Canada virelectric.ca BOOTH 711
Voith Turbo Inc.
Mississauga, ON, Canada canada.voithturbo.com BOOTH 1822
Wagener-Schwelm GmbH & Co. Hilden, Germany wagener-schwelm.com BOOTH 1217
Acheson, AB, Canada wajaxequipment.com BOOTH 944
Watson Marlow Canada Inc.
Concord, ON, Canada watson-marlow.com BOOTH 1609
WEGU Manufacturing Inc.
Whitby, ON, Canada wegumanufacturing.com BOOTH 1031
Weir Minerals - North America
Welco Expediting Ltd.
Calgary, AB, Canada welco.ca BOOTH 440
Wellsite Masters Ltd.
Calgary, AB, Canada wellsitemasters.com BOOTH 1440
WESCO Distribution, Inc
Burnaby, BC, Canada wesco.ca BOOTH 907
Mills, WY, USA wstch.com BOOTH 1409
WesTech Engineering Inc.
Salt Lake City, UT, USA westech-inc.com BOOTH 810
Western Star Trucks
Fort Mill, SC, USA westernstartrucks.com BOOTH 1206
Westpro Machinery Inc. Vernon, BC, Canada westpromachinery.com BOOTH 317
Whitmore / Jet-Lube Rockwall, TX, USA jetlube.com BOOTH 601
North Bay, ON, Canada wipware.com BOOTH 1527
Prairie Village, KS, USA wirecoworldgroup.com BOOTH 223
Wiseworth Canada Industries (1996) Ltd.
Surrey, BC, Canada wiseworth.com BOOTH 941
WSP Canada Inc.
Montreal, QC, Canada wspgroup.com/en/WSP-Canada BOOTH 1417
Charlotte, NC, USA xylemwatersolutions.com/ca BOOTH 1249
ZITRON - VDDO
Delson, QC, Canada VDDO.ca BOOTH 747
Red Deer, AB, Canada ZoneDefenseFleet.com
Madison, WI, USA weirminerals.com
CONVENTION.CIM.ORG | 59
CONVENTION DAILY SCHEDULE
CIM EXPO | EXPO DE L’ICM
SATURDAY | MAY 5– 8:00-10:00 10:00-16:00 13:00-17:00
CIM Executive Commitee Meeting CIM Council Meeting Registration
SUNDAY | MAY 6– 8:00-17:00 8:00-20:00 8:00-11:00 11:00-12:00 12:00-15:00 15:00-20:00 15:00-20:00 15:30-16:30 16:30-20:00 17:00-20:00
Workshops Registration CIM Officers Meeting and Leadership Congress CIM Annual General Meeting Early Career Forum Business Class Lounge Presenters’ Preparation Room First time Delegate and VIP Reception Opening Ceremony and Welcome Reception CIM Expo + Student Poster Competition
MONDAY | MAY 7– 7:30-17:00 7:30-17:00 7:30-17:00 9:00-11:30 10:00-17:00 12:00-14:00 12:00-14:00 12:00-14:00 14:00-16:05 14:00-16:05 15:30-17:00 18:00-19:00 18:00-19:00 19:00-23:00
Registration Presenters’ Preparation Room Business Class Lounge Plenary Session – A Modern Approach to Mining CIM Expo + Student Posters Competition Lunch at the Expo 50-years Club Private Lunch Conference Lunch: Truth & Reconciliation – Call for Action Technical Program (10 streams) Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue session Networking Reception at the Expo CIM Past Presidents’ Reception CIM Awards Gala Reception – by Syncrude CIM Awards & Celebration Gala – by Caterpillar and its Canadian Dealers
TUESDAY | MAY 8– 7:30-17:00 7:30-17:00 7:30-17:00 8:00-10:00 8:30-16:05 10:00-17:00 12:00-14:00 12:00-14:00 15:30-17:00 17:00-19:00 20:00-00:00
Registration Presenters’ Preparation Room Business Class Lounge Young Mining Professionals (YMP) Keynote Breakfast Technical Program (11 streams) CIM Expo + Student Poster Competition Lunch at the Expo Student-Industry Luncheon Networking Reception at the Expo Women in Mining Reception Komatsu Gala
WEDNESDAY | MAY 9– 7:30-14:00 7:30-14:00 7:30-14:00 8:30-12:10 12:00-13:45 13:45-16:45 16:45-18:00
Registration Presenters’ Preparation Room Business Class Lounge Technical Program (9 streams) Closing Lunch Technical Program (3 streams) Management and Finance Day Meet & Greet Networking Reception
60 | CONVENTION.CIM.ORG
The CIM Expo, Canada’s premier mining show, features approximately 450 companies showcasing the latest in mining equipment, tools, technology and products. Plan your visit to see everyone whose offering will help you elevate your operational and business practices. Lunch and cocktail receptions will be held in the Expo on Monday and Tuesday, May 7 and 8, at 12:00 to 14:00 and 15:30 to 17:00. Lunch and one drink ticket are included with delegate registration. Be sure to stop by the CIM Magazine lounge to chat with one of our editors or a member of our advertising sales team and share ideas for future stories. Check out our exhibitors list online and in the preliminary CIM Expo Guide in the next issue of CIM Magazine. L’Expo de l’ICM, le plus grand salon commercial de l’industrie minière au Canada, permet à près de 450 entreprises de présenter leurs produits, équipements, outils, technologies et services les plus récents destinés au secteur minier. Planifiez votre visite afin de rencontrer les leaders pouvant vous aider à élever vos pratiques opérationnelles et d’affaires. Votre inscription au congrès vous donne droit au lunch et à une consommation par jour lors des réceptions de lundi 7 mai et mardi 8 mai, de 12h à 14h et de 15h30 à 17h. EXPO HOURS | HEURES DE L’EXPO
SUNDAY | DIMANCHE MONDAY | LUNDI TUESDAY | MARDI
17:00 – 20:00 10:00 – 20:00 10:00 – 20:00
PAVILIONS THAT SHINE! | DES PAVILLONS QUI EN METTENT PLEIN LA VUE ! ARIZONA– BOOTH 217
Arizona Commerce Authority
EBC, Northec, EBC Mines
Phoenix, AZ, USA www.safetywhips.com BOOTH 217
plastiquesgplus.com BOOTH 1144
Tucson, AZ, USA www.guardvant.com
JLT Mobile Computers Inc.
Chandler, AZ, USA www.jltmobile.com
Southwest Microwave Inc.
Tempe, AZ, USA www.southwestmicrowave.com
InnovExplo Inc. innovexplo.com
QUEBEC– BOOTH 1147
48e Nord International 48inter.com BOOTH 1148
AIRMP Inc. airmp.ca
Manufacture Adria adria-mfg.ca
ASDR Canada Inc. asdr.ca
sasktrade.sk.ca GERMANY – BOOTH 1823
SASKATCHEWAN– BOOTH 1336
Canada North Environmental Limited Partnership cannorth.com BOOTH 1339
Clifton Associates Ltd. clifton.ca
Contango Strategies Ltd. contangostrategies.com BOOTH 1340
fortiscorporation.com BOOTH 1343
apc analytics GmbH apc-analytics.com/en BOOTH 1825
Evonik Resources Efficiency GmbH corporate.evonik.comBOOTH BOOTH 1717
Germany - Federal Ministry (BMWi) balland-messe.de BOOTH 1727
GHH Fahrzeuge GmbH ghh-fahrzeuge.de BOOTH 1821
Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems Canada Inc. herrenknecht.com
Frontline Industrial Solutions Ltd
Mecanicad BOOTH 1151
Saskatchewan Trade & Export Partnership
G+ Industrial Plastics
NJ Albert Télécommunications
IMSM Canada Ltd. imsm.com
indurad GmbH - The Industrial Radar Company BOOTH 1723
Indutech instruments GmbH indutech.com
What are you doing to contribute to the SHIFT towards sustainable mining?
ARE YOU MAKING ? #CIMBC18
SHARE YOUR STORY, JOIN THE SHIFT MAKERS’ CONVERSATION
62 | CONVENTION.CIM.ORG
MONDAY, MAY 7 LUNDI 7 MAI
Tickets including reception and dinner:
$150 + tax
Now in its 25th season, Canada’s longest running dinner musical – Oh Canada Eh? – visits the CIM community! This high-energy production features all-Canadian music - from maritime folk songs to modern pop. This exciting evening of recognition, celebration, great company and an all-Canadian meal will be full of laughs. Maintenant à sa 25e saison, le souper musical le plus ancien du Canada – Oh Canada Eh? – visite la communauté de l’ICM! Cette production de haute énergie comprend de la musique entièrement canadienne : des chansons folkloriques maritimes à la pop moderne. Cette exaltante soirée de reconnaissance, célébration, bonne compagnie et un repas entièrement canadien vous fera rire aux éclats.
Master of Ceremonies
Award-Winning CBC News Anchor
TECHNICAL PROGRAM SHELL | GRILLE DU PROGRAMME TECHNIQUE Maintenance, Engineering and Reliability Best Practices Meilleures pratiques en matière d’ingénierie de l’entretien et de la fiabilité
Mining Projects Development Développement des projets miniers
Environment and Sustainable Development Environnement et développement durable
Leading in Safety Leadership axé sur la sécurité
Practical Operations in Surface Mining Opérations pratiques en exploitation minière à ciel ouvert Management & Finance Day Gestion et finances
Monday, May 7 | Lundi 7 mai A M
PLENARY SESSION Excellence in Maintenance Management L’excellence en matière de gestion de l’entretien
Transportation Infrastructure and Construction Materials in Remote Areas Les infrastructures de transport et les matériaux de construction dans les régions isolées
Responsible Water Use & Management L’utilisation et la gestion responsables de l’eau
Role of Leadership in Safety Le rôle du leadership dans la sécurité
Leadership in Mining Excellence and Innovation Innovation et leadership en excellence minière
Project Updates Les rapports d’avancement de projet
10X Gains through Waste Monetization Des gains décuplés grâce à la monétisation des déchets
Occupational Health and Hygiene Recognizing our Challenges La santé et l'hygiène au travail pour prendre conscience des enjeux
Operations Updates Mises à jour des opérations
Developments in Mine Waste Management Des développements en matière de gestion des résidus miniers
Innovation in Safety from New Technologies L'innovation en matière de sécurité procurée par les nouvelles technologies
Realizing the Value in our Operations Réaliser la valeur de nos opérations
Case Studies Études de cas
Risk Management and Design La gestion des risques et la conception
Best Practices in Risk Assessment/ Risk Management Les meilleures pratiques en matière d'évaluation/ de gestion des risques
Practical Application of Technology Application pratique de la technologie
Yukon Mining Projects Les projets miniers au Yukon
Technologies to Mitigate Environmental Liabilities Des technologies pour atténuer les responsabilités environnementales
Fatality Prevention, a Global Mining Challenge La prévention des accidents mortels, un défi minier mondial
Tuesday, May 8 | Mardi 8 mai
Mine Hoisting Innovation L’innovation en matière de levage dans l’industrie minière A M
All Electric Mine La mine tout électrique
Best Practices in Reliability & Safety Les meilleures pratiques en matière de fiabilité et de sécurité
First Nations and Mining Les Premières Nations et l’exploitation minière
Wednesday, May 9 | Mercredi 9 mai
Innovations in Energy Les innovations dans le domaine de l’énergie A M
Management & Finance Day Journée Gestion et finances Competing for Water La concurrence relative à l’utilisation de l’eau
Closure & Rehabilitation La fermeture des mines et leur assainissement
Alternative approaches management of tailings and waste rock storage Des approches différentes à la gestion du stockage des résidus et des stériles
Strategies for Restoring MineImpacted Waters Des stratégies d’assainissement des eaux polluées par les activités minières
The cost of closure Le coût de la fermeture des mines
The next big changes Les grands changements à venir
Rock Mechanics Mécanique des roches
Exploration and Mine Geology Géologie et exploration
A Vision for the Future – Mineral Processing in Canada Vision pour le futur: Le traitement du minerai au Canada
Mining Metamorphosis: Innovation that will Redefine Mining Métamorphose minièe : L’innovation qui va redéfinir l’exploitation minière
Underground Mining Exploitation minière souterraine
Diversity & Inclusion Diversité et inclusion
SESSION PLÉNIÈRE Open Pit & Underground Mining L’exploitation minière à ciel ouvert et souterraine
The Challenge of Data Management Les difficultés liées à la gestion des données
Advanced Technologies Les technologies avancées
Leadership in Mining Excellence and Innovation Innovation et leadership en excellence minière
Operational Case Studies Études de cas opérationnels
Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue Session Atelier de dialogue multipartite
Operational Advancement Les progrès en termes d’exploitation
Mining Revolution: Transforming Mining by Adopting from Other Industries La révolution de l’industrie minière : transformer l’exploitation minière en adoptant les techniques d’autres industries
Stope Design, Grade Control and Blasting I La conception des chambres, le contrôle de la teneur et l’abattage à l’explosif I
The Co-management of Mining Projects: Community Engagement at the Basis of Project Development La gestion en collaboration de projets miniers : l’engagement envers la communauté à la base du développement d’un projet
The Matrix: Interoperability and Integration to Foster Innovation La matrice : l’interopérabilité et l’intégration pour promouvoir l’innovation
Stope Design, Grade Control and Blasting II La conception des chambres, le contrôle de la teneur et l’abattage à l’explosif II
Strategies for Social License to Operate Les stratégies relatives au permis social d’exploitation
Mine Equipment L’équipement minier
Building and Maintaining Relationships with Indigenous Peoples Renforcement et maintien des relations avec les populations autochtones
Instrumentation | Stabilization L’instrumentation et la stabilisation
Best Practices in QA/QC Les meilleures pratiques en matière d’AQ/de CQ
Deep Mining Geomechanics La géomécanique de l’exploitation minière profonde
3D Data Integration and Modelling L’intégration et la modélisation des données en 3D
Innovations in Rock Mechanics Les innovations en matière de mécanique des roches
Geophysics : Exploration, Mines and Tailings La géophysique : exploration, mines et résidus
Flotation La flottation
Autonomous Mining L’exploitation minière autonome
Rock Engineering Risk Le risque de l’ingénierie en mécanique des roches
Challenge of Ore Grades Reconciliation Les difficultés liées à la comparaison des teneurs de minerai
Sensor-Based Ore Sorting Tri des minerais à base de capteurs
Strategic Planning of Mineral Value Chain I La planification stratégique des chaînes de valorisation des minéraux I
Communications and Measurement I Les communications et la mesure I
Inclusion in Action in Mining L'inclusion en action dans le domaine de l'exploitation minière
Strategic Planning of Mineral Value Chains II La planification stratégique des chaînes de valorisation des minéraux II
Communications and Measurement II Les communications et la mesure II
Diversity in Action La diversité en action
Rock Fragmentation La fragmentation des roches
Process Improvement L’amélioration des procédures
Good Internal Governance to Enhance External Engagement Une bonne gouvernance interne pour améliorer l’engagement externe
VISIT CONVENTION.CIM.ORG REGULARLY FOR TECHNICAL PROGRAM UPDATES
FRANCOPHONE MARS/AVRIL 2018
67 Lettre de l’éditeur 68 Mot du président 69 Forts d’un solide bilan de rentabilité ainsi que d’avantages indiscutables sur les plans de la santé, de la article de fond
sécurité et de l’environnement, les véhicules électriques souterrains sont en train de redéfinir les possibilités du secteur minier Par Peter Braul
Nous publions progressivement sur notre site Internet les articles du CIM Magazine en version française.
lettre de l’éditeur
Les nouvelles du terrain « Le message le plus puissant est venu des diverses personnes à qui j’ai parlé dans l’aire d’exposition et qui recrutaient activement. »
orsque vous essayez de publier un magazine, partir sur la route pendant deux semaines n’est pas la stratégie la plus productive. Le processus de publication est ralenti et les rédacteurs qui retournent au bureau en grommelant doivent prendre la relève. La filière de projets, cependant, doit être enrichie de nouvelles idées et de nouveaux projets. Heureusement, les découvertes éditoriales abondent plus que les découvertes minières. Je me suis d’abord rendu à Minneapolis pour la conférence annuelle de nos compatriotes américains, la SME. Avec un salon d’une taille non négligeable et plus de 500 présentations techniques en quelques jours seulement, vous devez confronter votre peur de rater une occasion. Cette édition, qui a eu lieu un peu plus d’un an après le début de la présidence de Trump, a également offert un aperçu de la façon dont l’industrie se représente elle-même en ce moment. Rene Aguilar, vice-président des affaires générales et du développement durable du Antofagasta Minerals Group, établi au Chili, a saisi l’occasion au cours de l’inévitable table ronde sur l’innovation pour changer de direction et dénoncer la position anti-immigration de l’administration actuelle et son effet contre-productif dans le contexte du projet d’échange d’idées. Entre-temps, certains analystes de l’industrie du charbon ont parlé d’un dynamisme sur le marché et au sein des producteurs, maintenant que la « guerre d’Obama contre le charbon » est terminée, mais, du même souffle, reconnaissent que peu importe à quel point les nouvelles réglementations peuvent être favorables à l’industrie du charbon, les investisseurs institutionnels prennent en compte les conséquences environnementales de la source d’énergie, et cette approche ne va pas disparaître. Toutefois, le message le plus puissant est venu des diverses personnes à qui j’ai parlé dans l’aire d’exposition et qui recrutaient activement. Cette tendance au redressement était tout aussi évidente à l’ACPE, à Toronto, qui a connu sa meilleure édition des cinq dernières années. Là, en raison de toutes les personnes de l’industrie réunies en un seul endroit, vous pouvez remplir votre carnet de notes d’autant de pistes qu’il peut en contenir et vous savez que vous avez trouvé un filon lorsque des étudiants en géologie aussi bien que des dirigeants de l’industrie minière mondiale s’avancent au bout de leur siège pour assimiler la diapo à l’écran. Il est aussi gratifiant, maintenant que j’ai plus d’expérience au sein de l’industrie, de voir certains de ses membres avoir une idée plus claire de la façon de réaliser leurs aspirations. Maintenant, de retour à mon pupitre, autant exténué que motivé, la tâche consiste à étudier l’ensemble de ces notes, transcriptions, dossiers de presse, notes d’affaires et mentales pour au moins mettre sur les rails quelques-uns de ces projets.
Ryan Bergen, Rédacteur en chef email@example.com @Ryan_CIM_Mag
March/April • Mars/Avril 2018 | 67
mot du président
Utilisation de l’eau dans les mines « Il n’est donc pas étonnant que des réserves limitées d’eau douce engendrent des tensions entre les populations et les sociétés minières dans de nombreuses régions du monde. »
i l’on exclut de l’eau de notre planète l’eau salée (97,5 %) et l’eau gelée sous forme de calottes glaciaires, de glaciers et de neige (1,75 %), il reste moins de 1 % d’eau douce accessible aux humains et aux autres espèces vivantes. Il n’est donc pas étonnant que des réserves limitées d’eau douce engendrent des tensions entre les populations et les sociétés minières dans de nombreuses régions du monde. Le 0,75 % d’eau restant – 2,5 millions de mètres cubes d’eau sous forme de lacs, de cours d’eau et de nappes souterraines – n’est guère réparti équitablement. Dans le désert d’Atacama au nord du Chili, l’une des régions les plus arides du globe, l’exploitation minière prospère depuis plus d’un siècle. Malheureusement, le nombre de conflits augmente au même rythme que le nombre et la taille des mines, car l’utilisation d’eau pour les mines fait concurrence à son usage pour l’agriculture et à d’autres fins. Le projet Pascua-Lama de la société Barrick, sur la frontière argentino-chilienne, est au point mort depuis 2013, alors que les communautés diaguitas locales ont obtenu gain de cause dans leur contestation de la validité du permis accordé, au motif que la mine contaminerait ou épuiserait la réserve d’eau douce de la région. C’était après que la société eut investi 5 milliards de dollars dans le projet. Les innovations relatives à l’utilisation de l’eau ont coulé à flots dans l’industrie. La société chilienne Minera Esperanza a mis au point une méthode de récupération du cuivre par flottation remplaçant l’eau douce par de l’eau de mer, en pompant l’eau de l’océan Pacifique sur 145 kilomètres. En divers endroits du monde, des résidus plus épais facilitent une meilleure recirculation de l’eau, améliorant du même coup la conservation de cet or bleu. Une autre avancée repose dans la construction d’usines de dessalement qui recourent à l’osmose inverse pour transformer l’eau de mer en eau douce. L’usine de dessalement de BHP-Rio Tinto, par exemple, construite au coût de 3,4 milliards de dollars, approvisionne la plus grosse mine de cuivre du monde, celle d’Escondida. Un pipeline de 183 kilomètres, comptant quatre étages de pompage à haute pression, pousse l’eau à 3 000 mètres au-dessus du niveau de la mer jusqu’à l’usine. Bien qu’elles nécessitent des dépenses en capital substantielles, ces mesures de conservation de l’eau et ces innovations prouvent qu’il est possible pour les sociétés minières de réduire les tensions sociales en tenant compte des besoins des communautés. Les promoteurs des projets à venir devront démontrer, eux aussi, que leur plan de gestion de l’eau évalue à sa pleine mesure l’importance de cette ressource naturelle. ICM
Kenneth (Ken) G. Thomas Président de l’ICM
68 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 2
Avec l’aimable autorisation de MacLean Engineering/James Hodgins
La charge de l’avenir
MacLean Engineering propose désormais une série de véhicules électriques non destinés à déplacer le minerai, dont la boulonneuse/écailleuse Omnia 975.
es véhicules électriques à batterie (VEB), autrefois considérés marginaux, ont rapidement attiré l’attention de tous les fabricants d’équipement d’origine (FÉO) du domaine de l’exploitation minière souterraine. Désormais, ces derniers travaillent pratiquement tous à de nouveaux modèles à batterie ou à des façons de convertir des produits existants à une alimentation électrique. Cette transition peut sembler un peu démesurée, étant donné le nombre de mines qui déploient réellement pleinement une technologie électrique à batterie. Pourtant, John Mullally, Vice-président, Affaires de la société et énergie chez Goldcorp, prédit que le rythme de l’adoption des véhicules électriques à batterie (VEB) s’accélérera rapidement au cours des cinq prochaines années, s’attend à ce que beaucoup de mines souterraines aménagées au Canada optent pour un parc de VEB au détriment des véhicules à moteur diesel, et prévoit que même des mines souterraines déjà en exploitation se pencheront sur une transition à un parc de véhicules souterrain entièrement électriques. « En abandonnant les moteurs diesel et en atteignant d’autres réductions associées à l’utilisation de technologies propres, Goldcorp peut éviter l’émission de plus de 7 000 tonnes de CO2, éliminer trois millions de litres de carburant diesel et un million de litres de propane, et économiser 33 000 mégawatts-heures d’électricité chaque année », a déclaré monsieur Mullally. Celui-ci a également mis en relief les incidences favorables sur la qualité de l’air et les niveaux sonores qu’ont déjà remarquées les mineurs de développement à la mine entièrement électrique Borden de la société, située près de Chapleau (Ontario). Le projet fait partie de trois initiatives dans la province à la fine pointe de l’électrification des mines. Les autres comprennent la mine Macassa de Kirkland Lake Gold à Kirkland Lake, et Onaping Depth, projet de mise en valeur dans le bassin de Sudbury, que Glencore a entièrement approuvé
La transition vers un parc de véhicules d’exploitation minière souterraine électriques à batterie prend de la vitesse. Les sociétés minières s’ouvrent ainsi à un nouveau monde de possibilités. Par Peter Braul
en janvier et qui projette d’utiliser un parc de véhicules entièrement électriques. Il s’agit d’un terrain inconnu pour les sociétés minières : la majeure partie des technologies utilisées dans ce secteur n’a pas considérablement changé depuis des décennies, si ce n’est plus. Glencore, l’une des plus importantes sociétés minières du monde, affecte pourtant 700 millions $ à la construction d’une mine fondée sur de l’équipement qui n’existe pas encore.
Kirkland Lake : incubateur de technologies Les principaux éléments d’un parc entièrement électrique sont toujours en cours de réalisation chez la plupart des FÉO : de gros camions de 40 tonnes et des chargeurs-transporteurs de 14 tonnes sont prévus, mais non encore disponibles. Au début de mars, Artisan Vehicle Systems a lancé le premier camion électrique à batterie de 40 tonnes au monde à ses nouvelles installations manufacturières de Kirkland Lake. L’entreprise basée en Californie fournit depuis des années des transmissions électriques à batterie à RDH et à Atlas Copco et a récemment commencé à se concentrer principalement sur la construction de ses propres véhicules miniers. Le camion Z40 de l’entreprise est un appareil emblématique du secteur, et le président directeur général de Kirkland Lake Gold, Tony Makuch, a déclaré que ce camion est un « aspect essentiel » des projets d’expansion de la mine, qui utilise des véhicules électriques depuis 2012 en raison de contraintes sur le plan de la ventilation. Brian Huff, directeur de la technologie d’Artisan, a commenté la longue expérience de la jeune entreprise en véhicules électriques : « L’entreprise a vu le jour en 2003 (sous le nom de California Motors). J’y étais le premier employé, se souvient-il. Nous avons en fait vécu la ruée vers l’or des véhicules électriques et avons fini par vendre des pelleteuses. March/April • Mars/Avril 2018 | 69
Nous avons mené des projets avec Volvo, Kenworth et Ruf, un spécialiste Porsche, mais l’industrie minière nous est vraiment allée comme un gant. » Il explique qu’à titre de petite société spécialisée, Artisan est mieux adaptée à la construction d’un plus petit nombre de véhicules de valeur élevée, plutôt qu’à la production en série de biens de consommation. Il ajoute que les racines d’Artisan dans la Silicon Valley ont attiré des « talents de haut niveau », qui ont ainsi rendu la société innovatrice. Dans la foulée de la récente revitalisation des activités minières de Kirkland Lake, Artisan planifie la mise sur pied d’un « centre d’excellence de véhicules miniers à batterie » dans la ville, qui hébergera les installations de fabrication de l’entreprise au fur et à mesure de sa croissance. « Les VEB représentent moins d’un pour cent de la part de marché pour l’instant », précise monsieur Huff, soulignant que l’effectif de l’entreprise, qui compte aujourd’hui environ 70 employés, augmente rapidement.
L’Ontario : l’étalon-or Selon Goldcorp, Sandvik s’est engagée à produire son propre camion de 40 tonnes, que Borden utilisera d’ici 2020. Une fois que sa production aura atteint son plein régime, la mine sera accessible par voie d’une longue pente que le camion devra remonter, chargé de minerai, mais sans recharger sa batterie. L’une des différences capitales entre les camions d’Artisan utilisés à KLG et le camion proposé par Sandvik à l’intention de Borden sera le système de charge embarqué. Une fois épuisées, les batteries d’Artisan se font remplacer à une station de remplacement, où elles subissent une recharge et attendent le prochain cycle d’utilisation. Monsieur Huff a ajouté que l’entreprise offrira également le système de charge électrique embarqué à l’avenir. Il a également tenu à souligner que le remplacement de batterie ne constitue pas une énorme tâche. « Cela découle de ce qu’on peut retirer et mettre en place les batteries à l’aide d’un mécanisme embarqué dans le camion », a-t-il expliqué. « La mine n’a pas besoin d’une infrastructure de remplacement. On peut remplacer une batterie en moins de 10 minutes, ce qui permet une exploitation quasi continue. » Pour l’instant, la préférence de Goldcorp favorise le système de charge électrique embarqué qui peut se brancher à l’infrastructure électrique de la mine Borden, et ainsi élimine le besoin de déplacer et remplacer des batteries aux fins de leur recharge. MacLean Engineering, qui fournit à Borden des boulonneuses, des chargeurs à émulsion et d’autres véhicules miniers ne déplaçant pas de minerai, a également recours à un système de recharge embarqué. « Il nous a semblé que nous pouvions ainsi attirer les nouvelles mines, mais qu’avec la recharge embarquée, nous pouvions également, avec une très grande souplesse, mettre ces produits à la disposition de mines existantes souhaitant abandonner le diesel, explique Anthony Griffiths, chef, Produits, pour l’électrification du parc de l’entreprise. Ils peuvent alors simplement les brancher à leur infrastructure existante. » Certaines mines ne pourront envisager l’électrification tant que la taille de l’équipement n’équivaut pas à celle des véhicules diesel. Même si le chargeur-transporteur de 14 tonnes 70 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 2
se concrétise, il existe déjà des chargeuses diesel de 20 tonnes pouvant demeurer attrayantes pour certaines exploitations. Lorsque Macassa a adopté les VEB, le prix de l’or chutait, et se concentrer sur le tonnage plutôt que sur la teneur n’était pas logique. Le gisement de minerai de Macassa comporte des zones très riches immédiatement adjacentes à la roche stérile, ce qui stimule l’exploitation du seul matériau à teneur la plus élevée et un contrôle de teneur très strict. À de nombreux chapitres, KLG était le site idéal pour le lancement des VEB.
Trop de raisons justiﬁant cette transition Au cours des dernières décennies, l’exploitation minière a profité d’économies d’échelle, en utilisant simplement des camions de capacité toujours plus élevée. Même si les VEB actuels ne sont pas les véhicules miniers les plus imposants jamais produits, les sociétés minières comme Goldcorp sont convaincues que l’aspect économique constitue un argument massue, justifiant le coût supplémentaire des VEB. Goldcorp prévoit une réduction des frais d’exploitation de 9 millions $ par année à Borden, grâce aux économies de coûts de carburant diesel, de ventilation et de carbone. Mais les montants d’argent ne constituent pas le seul incitatif. « L’amélioration de la qualité de l’air est le facteur dont il n’est pas facile d’évaluer le coût », commente Stuart Lister, directeur de la mise en marché et des communications chez MacLean Engineering. « L’environnement de travail d’une mine sans diesel est tout simplement bien meilleur. La combinaison de facteurs incitant à cette transition diffère aux yeux de chaque société minière à laquelle nous en parlons. En Ontario, nous disposons d’une excellente combinaison de mines de plus en plus profondes, d’un bon réseau électrique, et d’un gouvernement fournissant des avantages lorsque vous réduisez vos émissions de GES. » Monsieur Huff convient que « les avantages intangibles » des véhicules électriques présentent un « facteur d’une énorme importance » justifiant l’abandon du diesel. De ses conversations avec des camionneurs, il rapporte ce qui suit : « Ils nous racontent qu’en général, à la fin de la journée, ils étaient tellement fatigués qu’ils rentraient simplement chez eux pour se coucher. Après avoir utilisé notre équipement, ils rentrent chez eux et ont encore de l’énergie et du temps pour passer du temps avec leurs enfants et leur famille. Cela change réellement la donne pour ces mineurs. La chaleur, les vibrations et la mauvaise qualité de l’air associées aux moteurs diesel contribuent vraiment à la fatigue. » Outre des particules diesel, les gaz d’échappement contiennent de la vapeur d’eau qui augmente l’humidité souterraine, précise monsieur Huff. « Sans conduite d’évent, vous ne vous débarrassez pas d’autant de poussière, ajoute-t-il. Ils racontent qu’en rentrant chez eux, ils mouchaient noir après avoir utilisé l’équipement diesel toute la journée ; ce n’est plus le cas avec les VEB. » Grâce à une main-d’œuvre moins fatiguée et en meilleure santé, les sociétés minières peuvent réalistement s’attendre à des gains culturels tout autant que sous les angles de la sécurité et de la productivité. Monsieur Lister renchérit que si l’aspect économique et les améliorations de la santé et de la sécurité ne suffisent pas à convaincre les sociétés minières, l’argument du permis social
pèse beaucoup. Selon Goldcorp, la réduction de 7 000 tonnes d’équivalent de CO2 enregistrée chaque année seulement à Borden dépasse l’empreinte carbone de la nation insulaire de Tuvalu. L’économie de 33 000 MWh par an représente suffisamment d’énergie pour alimenter les Îles Cook.
Des connaissances pour le bien commun C’est lors d’un atelier sur les véhicules électriques à batterie en mai 2016 que David Sanguinetti se rappelle avoir pris conscience que « Mon Dieu, les VEB sont vraiment et clairement importants pour beaucoup de gens! » Monsieur Sanguinetti est le responsable de l’innovation pour le groupe d’exploitation minière souterraine du Conseil canadien de l’innovation minière. « On a dû nous transférer dans une plus grande salle, car nous avions des gens qui, littéralement, venaient par avion d’Europe afin de participer à cet atelier d’une journée sur les VEB », se remémore-t-il. À la fin de la journée, Heather Ednie, directrice générale du groupe Global Mining Standards and Guidelines (normes et lignes directrices minières mondiales), a préconisé que tous les intervenants de l’industrie doivent collaborer en vue de l’adoption générale de cette nouvelle technologie afin d’éviter le chaos. Elle semble avoir été convaincante, puisque peu de temps après, monsieur Sanguinetti coordonnait plus de 100 voix, notamment toutes les principales sociétés minières et tous les principaux FÉO, afin de produire une directive. L’objectif consistait à s’assurer que malgré la myriade de chimies, de tailles, et d’options de recharge des batteries disponibles pour divers équipements, les mines continueraient à globalement bien fonctionner. « Le principal défi lors de l’élaboration de la première édition concernait la section sur les essais de rendement, précise monsieur Sanguinetti. Les sociétés minières déclaraient qu’elles souhaitaient pouvoir procéder à des comparaisons d’égal à égal, mais les FÉO ne voulaient pas s’y résoudre. Nous travaillons maintenant à la deuxième édition des directives et les FÉO se pressent pour contribuer. » Il poursuit en notant que les FÉO se sont rendu compte que cacher des connaissances n’était pas toujours avantageux. Il peut être plus important pour un FÉO de se vanter de son aptitude à adopter rapidement une nouvelle technologie et à s’adapter aux conditions changeantes que de souligner des mesures de rendement qui seront de toute façon bientôt désuètes. « Tout le monde a pris conscience que peu importe leur rendement actuel, il sera différent dans six mois de toute façon », conclut monsieur Sanguinetti. Les batteries sont en constante évolution, et monsieur Huff signale qu’il existe plusieurs chimies de batterie en cours d’élaboration dans les laboratoires qui pourraient entraîner des améliorations d’importance. « Il est question de batteries au lithium solide et de l’abandon des électrolytes », confie-t-il. Grâce aux nouvelles directives sur les essais de rendement, les FÉO seront en mesure de montrer les gains de rendement quantitatifs à leurs clients, augmentant ainsi la probabilité que ceux-ci soient les premiers à investir dans du nouveau matériel. Les relations entre les FÉO et leurs partenaires miniers sont de beaucoup différentes dans l’espace pionnier des VEB. « Nous ne sommes plus seulement des preneurs de prix », soutient monsieur Mullally de Goldcorp. Les entreprises
collaborent plutôt à résoudre les problèmes, qu’ils soient de taille ou non, à mesure qu’ils surviennent. Cette communication ouverte est une tradition lancée par Kirkland Lake Gold, qui a dû approcher des FÉO ouverts d’esprit, comme Atlas Copco et RDH, afin de créer des machines répondant aux prescriptions spécifiées, puisque rien n’existait alors sur le marché. M. Griffiths de MacLean Engineering explique que parfois les ajustements peuvent être minimes et simples, mais que l’industrie minière conventionnelle refuse tout simplement d’en tenir compte. « Nos machines diesel comprenaient deux unités distinctes dotées de dévidoirs de câble de taille différente, se rappelle-t-il. Goldcorp a demandé si, lors du passage aux véhicules électriques, nous pouvions les fabriquer tous de la même taille. C’était un ajustement très simple, mais qui ne nous était jamais venu à l’esprit pour les unités diesel, qui sont rarement branchées. » Les sociétés minières adoptent également une approche ouverte. « Nous échangeons des notes régulièrement », confie monieur Mullally en parlant de ses collègues de Glencore et KLG.
Qu’est-il impossible de faire ? L’électrification a ouvert la conception des véhicules miniers à une immense variété d’interprétations. David Lyon, directeur du développement des affaires pour l’entreprise canadienne d’ingénierie Medatech, explique que le choix de la bonne combinaison de batteries et de moteurs exige un équilibre subtil. Medatech fournit les groupes propulseurs de l’équipement de MacLean, mais effectue des recherches actives en applications futures. « Dans le secteur minier, l’équipement dispose d’un moteur d’une puissance aussi basse que 60 kW et aussi élevée que 400 kW », commente-t-il. Les batteries de l’équipement MacLean ont actuellement recours à une combinaison d’oxyde de nickel-manganèse-cobalt et de chimies d’oxyde de titanate-lithium, qu’il qualifie comme étant optimale pour l’utilisation visée. Dans de nombreux cas, il n’est pas nécessaire qu’un véhicule fonctionne huit heures sans recharge. « Dans le cadre de l’exploitation à ciel ouvert ou de toute application de transport, nous réduisons la batterie embarquée, mais raccourcissons la durée de la recharge, commente M. Lyon. Nous cherchons à utiliser une chimie qui présente un niveau extrême de puissance à l’admission, afin que le camion puisse procéder à la recharge de la batterie en deux ou trois minutes au cours de son déchargement. En exploitation à ciel ouvert, a-t-il bien précisé ; « Nous participons déjà à un projet », indique-t-il. Du fait de leurs faibles teneurs, de leurs tonnages extrêmes et de leurs propres préoccupations en matière de qualité de l’air, les fosses à ciel ouvert sont pratiquement le Saint-Graal de la technologie des VEB : si ces derniers y fonctionnent, ils peuvent fonctionner n’importe où. Lorsque M. Sanguinetti travaillait à la première édition des directives, il déclarait que l’électrification des fosses à ciel ouvert était de l’ordre de l’impossible. Une seule année s’est écoulée depuis. « Nous en sommes maintenant à la deuxième édition et je suis au courant d’au moins deux FÉO qui travaillent dans le cadre de projets de mine ciel ouvert. » ICM March/April • Mars/Avril 2018 | 71
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MINING LORE Royal gold By Cecilia Keating
74 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 13, No. 2
or over a century, Welsh were expected to fetch gold has been sought after between £1,600 and £2,000 because of its connection in an auction; they went for to royalty, its rarity and its £10,500. unusual pink tint. While most For years, many errogold mines in the country shutneously believed that Welsh tered 20 years ago, the industry gold ore had an unusual may be poised for a revival; not warm, pinkish tint. In fact, it only has Welsh gold been thrust just appeared so because Vicinto the public limelight by torian jewellers diluted the media speculation about Prince gold with silver, bronze or Harry and American actress copper. But the myth worked Meghan Markle’s wedding bands, to their advantage and but there has also been a flurry of boosted the gold’s mystique interest in dormant gold mines in The remains of the Clogau gold mine in Wales, the most prolific and desirability, so they pernorthern Wales. petuated it. mine in the Dolgellau gold belt. Clogau closed down large-scale Historically, the majority of operations in 1911. Welsh gold’s royal connecWelsh gold mining took place in tions have also heightened its the Dolgellau gold belt, which stretches across Snowdonia allure. Exchanging wedding rings made of pure Welsh gold National Park. No gold mines are currently operating there, has been a tradition for the British royal family for almost a but a 2012 report by mining consultancy Snowden esti- century. In 1923, the Queen Mother and King George VI were mated the area contains US$220 million dollars of given a Clogau gold nugget for their wedding rings. Enough untouched gold. gold remained in the nugget to create wedding rings for the In December, the Clogau-St. David’s mine, once the most Queen and Prince Phillip in 1947, the Princess Margaret and prolific in the region, made headlines when junior miner Alba the Earl of Snowdon in 1960 and Princess Diana and Prince Mineral Resources announced plans to bring it back into pro- Charles in 1981. duction after a nearly 20-year closure. One month later, Welsh There is less than one gram left of that original nugget, but jewellery firm Clogau, currently running down a stockpile of in 1981 the Royal British Legion topped up the Queen’s supply Dolgellau gold for its jewellery, submitted an application to when they gave her 36 grams of Welsh gold of unknown orirestart work at the nearby Gwynfynydd mine. gin. One kilogram of gold from Gwynfynydd was presented to First mined for copper and lead, Clogau was the site of two the Queen on her 60th birthday in 1986. Either of these gifts gold rushes in the 19th century. Since 1800, it produced could have been the source for the pure Welsh gold wedding 81,000 ounces of the 131,000 produced in Dolgellau. The rings exchanged by Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles mine continued as a large-scale operation until 1911, when it in 2005, and by Prince William and Kate Middleton six years was closed due to diminishing returns. Gwynfynydd was less later. Royal pundits are now speculating whether Prince Harry prolific, producing 45,000 ounces in total between 1883 and and Markle will carry on the tradition. 1998, and large-scale operations ended in 1916. Welsh gold’s connection with royalty is not limited to wedClogau and Gwynfynydd were mined intermittently ding bands, and pre-dates King George VI’s wedding. In 1911, throughout the 20th century, but gold was scarce and opera- gold from Clogau was incorporated into the coronet, rod, ring tions were expensive in the U.K.’s high-wage economy. More- and sword worn by 17-year-old Prince Edward – later King over, pollution controls in Snowdonia were stringent and Edward VIII – at his public investiture as Prince of Wales at waste was disposed of at a high cost. By the time both Clogau Caernarfon Castle in Wales in 1911. and Gwynfynydd were announced commercially exhausted in The regalia was used again for Prince Charles’ investiture as 1998, gold cost more than £1,000 per ounce to extract. Prince of Wales in 1969 – apart from the coronet, which King Because it is so scarce and expensive to mine, Welsh gold Edward VIII smuggled to France with him after he abdicated fetches up to three to five times the spot gold price. Jewellers the throne in 1936. Relations between King Edward VIII and that sell Welsh gold items – like jewellery firm Clogau – ration his family were so bitter that the Royals did not stoop to asking it to “a touch” in each piece. In November 2017, gold nuggets for the coronet’s return. Another was commissioned, also out and flakes from the Clogau mine totalling around two ounces of Welsh gold from Dolgellau. CIM
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