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rio tinto: global footprint With operations on six continents, Rio Tinto is a global mining and metals group focused on finding, mining, processing and marketing the earth’s mineral resources. We offer an opportunity to follow its operations around the world.

Issue 18 2017

World Mining

Coarse Particle Recovery

Changes Everything!

EFD’s HydroFloat™ Separator radically improves the traditional sulfide processing circuit through Coarse Particle Flotation. Unlike conventional flotation, the HydroFloat Separator recovers particles as large as 800 microns with as little as 1% mineral surface expression. By rejecting the balance as “coarse” tailings, much of the recirculating load is eliminated, thus greatly increasing mill capacity… with NO loss in mineral recovery!

Particles approximately 850 microns

HydroFloat Separator

Coarse Particle Recovery using EFD’s HydroFloat Separator can:

Overflow Coarse Mineral

Recovers virtually all particles which exhibit greater than 1% hydrophobic surface expression

• Increase mill throughput by as much as 15-20% • Reduce energy & media consumption • Produce a coarse tailing stream





Michael J. Mankosa, Jaisen N. Kohmuench, Lance Christodoulou Eriez Flotation Division, 2200 Asbury Road, Erie, PA 16506 USA Phone: (814) 835-6000 Email: Jaisen Hilsen and Gerald H. Luttrell Mining & Minerals Engineering, 100 Holden Hall, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061 USA Phone: (540) 230-7112 Email:

Underflow Coarse Tails

ABSTRACT The efficiency of the froth flotation process has long been known to be strongly dependent on particle size. For sulfide minerals, good recoveries are typically achieved in industrial flotation circuits for particles in the 10 to 200 micron size range. Particles outside this critical size are typically lost in the tailings streams rejected by industrial operations due to inherent constraints associated with the physical interactions that occur in the pulp and froth phases of conventional flotation equipment. In response to these limitations, a series of experimental studies were conducted to determine whether particles LE previously lost as tailings could be economically recovered using E PARTIC a suite of novel flotation technologies developed for the upgrading SPLIT of ultracoarse and ultrafine particles IN COARS TECHNOLOGY in the industrial minerals industry. For -FEED CE AREA FLOAT the case of ultracoarse particles, a fluidized-bed flotation system called SURFA CIRCU HYDRO the HydroFloat separator was tested. IT DESIG ED GRAIN WITH THE The data obtained using this novel flotation device in both laboratory N FOR and pilot-scale trials showed that good R ORE E OF EXPOS PRIM lost sulfide values up to 0.7 mm in recoveries of previously COPPE ICANC Michae ARY SULFI diameter could be achieved. A sample Wang Sciences Eriez Flotati l J. Manko THE SIGNIFOF LOW-GRADE photograph of coarse middling and Yan particles recovered by this technology and Earth DE RECO on Divisio sa and C.L. Lin is shown in Figure 1.Similarly, for TION of Mines Miller, Jaisen Phone: ultrafine particles, a new highintensity flotation system known as FLOTA VERY n, 2200 Jan D. ring, College N. Kohmu 84112 USA (814) 835-60 the StackCell was tested. This technology, Asbury which utilizes high-shear high-energy contacting of slurry and gical Enginee Lake City, UT 00 Email: Road, Erie, ench gas, was capable of recovering valuable Mining ent of Metallurty of Utah, Salt Email: Jan.Mill PA ultrafine sulfide slimes that & Minera were previously lost as waste due mmank Departm to low capture efficiencies. The objectives Universi osa@e 16506 USA ls Engine -5160 describe the unique operating principles of this article are (i) to nch 801-581 ering, 100 Gerald H. m of these two advanced flotation technologies N. Kohmue 16506 USA Phone: Luttrel ancillary classification equipment, Phone: Holden and associated l a and Jaisen Erie, PA (ii) to present experimental test data (540) 230-71 Hall, Virgin showing the metallurgical benefits J. Mankos Asbury Road, of this approach for upgrading coarse sa@erei Michael 12 Email: ia Tech, and fine sulfide minerals, and (iii) , 2200 mmanko to provide a generic cost-benefit analysis of the proposed system for Division Luttrel Blacksburg, 0 Email: upgrading Flotation tailing streams l@vt.e Mining VA 24061 historically rejected by sulfide mineral Eriez concentrators. John (814) 835-600 du Engine USA Phone: ering, 365AA. Herbst West Hall Luttrell Gerald H. ring, 100 Holden Minera Phone: Virginia Univer (304) 293-76 Enginee sity, Morga l Resources 24061 USA Buildin & MineralsBlacksburg, VA 80 ntown, g Mining Email: Luttrell@ Tech, jaherbs WV 26506 A new Virginia 230-7112 Email: t@mai l.wvu.e deploy generation of ABST du ed Phone: (540) due to RACT microns unique during in the advanced flotatio ACT ABSTR fluidiz industr of 150-200a novel fluidized n techno ed-bed succes topsize of ns, logies sfully flotatio ial minerals industr has recentl to a particle e these limitatio for the purposelast n system scale equipm treated by lly limited y. To overcom ent indicat froth flotatio has dramat One such techno y been develo . Over the d specifica be recove s are typically ically develope n. Recent e red by logy is ped obic mineralsfull-scale units machine pulp and froth phases. metal r has been conven that this techno hydroph the HydroF and comme studies increased the concen by the Separato ional flotation tional flotatio conduc logy can upper of exposed minerals with several-based test workis trator indicat loat separat rcially contain Convent ts created the HydroFloat particle l ing as n machin also be used ted using laborat constrain , sulphide or. size that minute amountsto industria size e that little as metals recently inherent es. Data a grind ng only this to float system called ory, bench-limit that canThis industr ography ully applied diameter. More rous values at collect y has the5% hydrophobictechnology the use bed flotation particles containi be microtom successf scale and ed from coarse sulfide y to can float g 3 mm been of X-ray metallife coarse potenti split-fe has ng minera middli pilot-sc necessar study, gy involve floating and exceedin of recoveri ngs that pilots segreg ed circuitry. al to offer many l. As such, composite middli ale tests conduc the current surface exposure both particle this technoloparticles up to cannot using separat ators. In The ation of the crossov also capable decade, obic that ngs as advant ted at a l concentr to recover device is the feed split-feed ages of hydrophThe data indicate from a low grade large er ors/rea base flowsh installed that this novel used in industria gents specifi into more concept, which for recove of this techno as 700 micron the degree gy. eet provided flotation ry, selectiv than one this case, for sulfide logy into is oat technolo has shown s cally optimi of than currently entally quantify was achieved size class often used coarse particle HydroFl ity and a coarser flotation to experim use of for capacit the base much coarser using the critical factors in as 850 microns detailed 3D analysis Figure 1 – Photograph of coarse middling follow the coarse grind size that includes zed for that ed by upgrading industr y throug particles recovered as froth 1) was used different sizes as large particu provides feature area exposure coarse and (Figure of grains are particle lar size separate upgrad discarded tailing stream using the HydroFloat concentrate froms aofpreviously ial minera h particles exposed multiphase particlesgrains. This articleextent of surfaceissues of bubble flotatio corresponding and fine proces class. technology. data showinthe split-fe ls, recover surface area of the for ly higher ental ed circuitr n equipm sulfide sing circuits An examp ing of each class defines g the ent. split-fe r. Fundam ns. of locked mass and Excellent recovery , which is provid le of a split-fe ed circuitr metallurgical y incorporating The objecti mill throughput exposure KEYWORDS ography HydroFloat Separato ed in Figure t surface ed copper ore. y illustra benefit can the HydroF ves of this d plant operatio microtom to the sufficien s of ting the article be accommodate 1. In using X-ray size class fed strategies for improve there was Coarse Particle Flotation, Fine Particle increas this processing loat techno products each Flotation, HydroFloat, StackCell logy, (ii) are (i) to introdu d via the ed milling process scheme as flotation for recovery of to capacit ce , d as well y Split-Fe y that mayand (iii) to present experim the key necessar are also discusse ed Sulfide nt be attaine provide simula ental test Flotatio attachme n d by this tions of Conventio approa the nal ch. Rougher

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the editor

Critical connections



Martin Ashcroft


ot so long ago, we protected our critical industrial assets with walls and fences. Nothing can be absolutely secure, but these kept all but our most determined enemies out. We’ve all seen films in which criminals devise ingenious methods to gain access to heavily protected sites, so it’s a question of balance; how secure do we want to be? Now we have the Internet of Things, however, security is not as straightforward as it used to be. In the pursuit of safety and efficiency, connectivity is suddenly all the rage in modern mining. It started simply with pieces of equipment monitoring themselves; a motor that monitors bearing temperature or vibration level, for instance. But automation is still in its infancy, according to Kaj Koskela, Vice President, Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology – BU Breakers. “I think we have just scratched the surface with automation,” he says. “The imagination is the limit. There is much more to come from the Internet of Things in terms of what can be automated, and we have many interesting projects going on.” Sandvik already offers tele-remote on its breaker booms, so one person can operate five or six booms with HD quality video and the latest sound systems, from an office 30 kilometres away from the mine site.

In the new age of relentless connectivity, if it can be connected, it will be connected. It’s the vision of the Industrial Internet of Things for everything to be connected, from the mine site to the Cloud. Managers at corporate headquarters want to monitor everything from their cell phones. They want to see how efficiently the equipment is running, how much water is being consumed, which trucks will need new tires. Data being collected now enables whole systems to be monitored to optimise the performance of the complete process. It’s a miracle of connectivity, but you have to connect everything, or you won’t get the full picture. While managers are watching in HQ, however, who else is watching? Criminals no longer need physical access to our sites to do us damage, and threats to the industrial control systems of our critical infrastructure are no longer theoretical. Attacks are not commonplace, but they have happened. Is your underground ventilation system automated? Controlled from an office at HQ? If someone penetrates your firewall, they can shut you down in minutes. In our headlong rush towards connectivity we have created new access paths for our enemies, right into the heart of our operations. Shut the gate, someone, please. World Mining Magazine


Contents Cover story: rio tinto- Global footprint Page 26 Page:


• The Editor: Critical connections


• Goldcorp and Barrick join forces in Chile • Magellan Gold to acquire mill in Mexico • Tronox to acquire Cristal TiO2 business



• DeepGreen looks for deep sea metals with Maersk • IAMGOLD completes acquisition of Merrex Gold


• Sampling begins at Wealth Minerals’ Laguna Verde lithium project


• LSC Lithium to acquire strategic Argentine tenements • Alpha Natural Resources sells Kentucky coal assets


• Uranium Energy Corp receives aquifer exemption


• Leagold acquires Los Filos gold mine • SLAM acquires copper-lead-zinc mine in Canada


• Analysis: Trends facing Canadian mining sector


• Analysis: S&P’s Annual World Exploration Trends

  World Mining Magazine



Page 2 Eriez Floatation Division 8 Doran Manufacturing LLC 10 Hawk Measurement 12 Canary Systems 14 GEA 16 Polar Mobility Research 18 Greenfield Handlers 20 Industrial Vacuum Systems 28 Northern Strands Group 30 PacStar 32 HMC Gears 33 CAB Products 34 GPM 36 Cenerg Global Tools 38 ATC Williams GDD Inc. 40 CUDA Tools Inc. 41 Protan 42 THEJO 44 Volgaburmash 45 Bullseye Distributors 50 IDS GeoRadar 51 Kentz/ SNC Lavalin 52 Blue Rock 73 Sandvik Mining and Construction 85 BAT Construction Ltd 98 FLSmidth 104 ABB 108 Rockwell Automation 109 Seeing Machines 112 Expander Systems 113 Dok-Ing 114 Puritech 118 World Mining Directory 121 University of Maryland 122 United Mining Rentals 124 Dyno Nobel



• Fluidmesh Networks: Wireless communication for mining automation


• Rio Tinto: Global footprint


• Blue Rock One: Business resilience


• Bullseye Distributors Ltd: Mining meal solutions delivered at Oyu Tolgoi


• Anglo American: Refining assets


• Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology: The right breaker boom for every job


• De Beers: In pursuit of brilliance


• Caterpillar: Hard rocking


• FLSmidth: Next steps in flotation technology


• ABB: Big data in mining and minerals


• AxleWEIGHr: Weighs truck at the job site


• Expander Systems: Expansive list of standard pins

Blue Rock one: business resilience Page 53

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World Mining Magazine


Have a news story or press release you would like to be considered for publication in the next Word Mining Magazine? Please contact Martin Ashcroft at





oldcorp has agreed with Barrick Gold to merge their interests in the Maricunga Gold Belt in the Atacama Region of northern Chile, through a 50/50 joint venture. The transaction comprises a number of elements, including the acquisition by Goldcorp of Kinross Gold Corporation’s 25% interest in Cerro Casale and 100% interest in the Quebrada Seca exploration project.

Goldcorp will also acquire Exeter Resource Corporation and take over its 100%-owned Caspiche

is located in the heart of Chile’s northern mining district,” said David Garofalo, President and

“The Caspiche project is located in the heart of Chile’s northern mining district” project, approximately 10 km to the north of Cerro Casale. Caspiche will then be entered into the joint venture. “The Caspiche project

Chief Executive Officer of Goldcorp. “With the acquisition of Caspiche and 50% of Cerro Casale, we envisage the two deposits

being jointly advanced with Barrick, similar to our existing arrangement with Teck Resources at NuevaUnión. “This joint venture structure with Barrick has the potential to allow us to consolidate infrastructure to reduce costs, reduce the environmental footprint and provide increased returns compared to two standalone projects. With our combined technical and financial strength, we see significant potential to increase net asset value per share and deliver value for all partners and stakeholders.” The Exeter arrangement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of Goldcorp and Exeter and will be subject to, among other things, the favourable vote of 662/3% of Exeter shareholders at a special meeting to be held no later than May 31, 2017. The Exeter and Cerro Casale transactions are not conditional on the completion of the other.


has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Rose Petroleum plc, a multi-asset natural resource business, to purchase the San Dieguito de Arriba Mill in the State of Nayarit, Mexico, for US$1.5 million. The SDA Mill is an operating flotation plant with a precious metals leach circuit. Included in the sale are associated assets, licenses and agreements. The

mill’s normal operation is based on sales of flotation concentrates to smelters, and payment for precious metals content. The mill has operated for ten years and is currently engaged in toll milling for third party ore producers. “This exciting acquisition will transform Magellan into a production company, which we believe will attract significant

attention in today’s junior mining market,” said Pierce Carson, CEO. “Our strategy, following the acquisition, will be to build production through expansion of our own resources within the regional gold belt where the mill is located.” The company said in a statement that the acquisition is subject to conditions, so there can be no assurance that the purchase will be completed.

World Mining Magazine




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TRONOX TO ACQUIRE CRISTAL TiO2 BUSINESS T ronox Limited has agreed to acquire the titanium dioxide business of Cristal, a privately held global chemical and mining company, for $1.673 billion in cash and Class A ordinary shares. At the same time, Tronox said it intended to sell its Alkali business, which will help to fund the Cristal acquisition. The combination of the TiO2 businesses of Tronox and Cristal creates the world’s largest and most highly integrated TiO2 pigment producer with assets and operations on six continents. The combined company will operate 11 TiO2 pigment plants in eight countries with a total capacity of 1.3 million metric tons per annum and will have titanium feedstock operations in three countries with a total capacity of 1.5mmt p/a. “We are pleased to announce the highly synergistic combination of the TiO2 businesses of Tronox and Cristal that will bring significant value to our shareholders, our customers and our employees,” said Tom Casey, Tronox Chairman and CEO. “Because we don’t expect to take on new debt, we project a 50 per cent reduction in our net leverage ratio. EPS accretion of more than 100 per cent is expected in year one and we believe that between 2018 to 2021 our

projected pro forma EPS, EBITDA and free cash flow growth rates will improve by approximately 70 per cent, 30 per cent and 60 per cent, respectively, versus

opportunity to build a global leader that will offer the best results to customers, shareholders, creditors and employees. “Our intent to sell Alkali comes at

“This combination presents an extraordinary opportunity to build a global leader that will offer the best results to customers, shareholders, creditors and employees” Tronox standalone. We believe this combination presents an extraordinary

an attractive time as the global market for natural soda ash is recovering and prices are improving,” added Casey. “Alkali has continually sold every ton of product it produces. The caliber of the Alkali workforce and their commitment to safe, high-quality production are unmatched in the natural soda ash industry. I thank the leadership team and all Alkali employees for their contributions to Tronox.” The acquisition has received the unanimous approval of the Tronox and Cristal boards of directors. The transaction is subject to the approval by Tronox shareholders, as well as regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Closing is expected to occur before the first quarter 2018. Tronox expects to complete the Alkali sale in the second half of 2017. World Mining Magazine


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eepGreen Resources is to partner with Maersk Supply Service to recover polymetallic nodules from the Clarion Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean. DeepGreen’s wholly owned subsidiary Nauru Ocean Resources Inc. (NORI) is advancing the NORI Area D Project in cooperation with the Republic of Nauru. As part of the project, Maersk Supply Service has committed one Anchor Handler Tug Supply (AHTS) Vessel and one Subsea Support Vessel (SSV) for a total of five marine campaigns from 2017 through 2019. The AHTS vessel

“Polymetallic nodules are mineral precipitates formed of concentric layers of iron and manganese hydroxides around a core”

will support environmental studies of the seabed reaching a water depth of 4000+ meters and the SSV will use its deck capacity and crane capabilities for testing the nodule harvester prototype. Maersk Supply Service’s contribution of approximately US$25 million will convert to DeepGreen common shares. During the campaigns, DeepGreen’s offshore team will undertake baseline studies required to complete a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment. DeepGreen will also collect polymetallic nodules for metallurgical test work and undertake trials of its

nodule harvesting technology. DeepGreen Resources is a private Canadian deepsea minerals company pursuing the commercial harvesting of high grade seafloor polymetallic nodules in the Pacific Ocean. Polymetallic nodules are mineral precipitates formed of concentric layers of iron and manganese hydroxides around a core. These potato sized nodules occur over extensive areas of the sediment-covered abyssal plains of the ocean, sitting on the seafloor ready to be ‘harvested’. The nodules lie in water depths of approximately 4000-5000 meters.

IAMGOLD COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF MERREX GOLD IAMGOLD Corporation has completed its previously announced acquisition of all of the remaining shares of Merrex Gold Inc. not already owned by the company, by way of a court-approved plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia). Merrex is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of IAMGOLD. “With the acquisition of Merrex, we now own 100% of the Siribaya-Diakha project in Mali and its gold resource, which is estimated to be in excess of one million ounces as reported in our annual reserve and resource news release of 22 February 2017,” said President and CEO of IAMGOLD Steve Letwin. “This transaction consummates eight years of excellent

work and partnership with the Merrex team that led to the discovery of the Diakha deposit. This project, along with the ongoing exploration and evaluation of our nearby Boto Gold project in Senegal, gives us a significant footprint from which to advance our 2017 goal to expand our current resources in this prolific region of West Africa.” IAMGOLD is a mid-tier mining company with four operating gold mines on three continents. A solid base of strategic assets in North and South America and West Africa is complemented by development and exploration projects and continued assessment of accretive acquisition opportunities.

World Mining Magazine





ealth Minerals has initiated an extensive lake-brine sampling and project evaluation program at the Laguna Verde Lithium Project in Chile. The project comprises 23 exploration mining concessions and is located in Region III, northern Chile, 15 km west of the border with Argentina. The work program will include a detailed bathymetric (water depth) survey and lake-brine sampling, as well as an independent resource calculation and the preparation of a NI 43-101 technical report. In addition, Wealth has retained Tenova Advanced Technologies to complete laboratory testing on the Laguna Verde lake-brine in order to develop recommendations for process design. A detailed bathymetric survey is currently underway to determine water depth at Laguna Verde and to map the lake floor in detail. Previous operators reported that the lake was up to 60m in depth with a mean depth of 33m. The bathymetric survey will map the depth to the lake floor and the resulting data will allow the total volume of water to be accurately calculated. Historical water sampling in Laguna Verde was completed only to a maximum depth of 15m due to technical limitations of the sampling method used. Historical resources were extrapolated

“The project offers a unique opportunity to apply known technologies to a comparatively less complex lithium deposit” to the mean depth of 33m. Wealth will complete water sampling on a 1,000m by 1,000m horizontal grid and at depth intervals of 15m below surface to the base of the lake. This work will provide a better understanding of the vertical lithium grade distribution throughout the lake, including the portion from below 15m to the maximum reported depth of 60m, which has never before been sampled. In a conventional aquifer-brine deposit, lithium grade is determined by sampling drill holes. At Laguna Verde, sampling does not require drilling so the process is considerably simpler, has a lower regulatory threshold and is much less expensive. While the sampling is being completed,

Wealth will also take continuous measurements of conductivity, temperature and pH from water surface to the lake floor. This data can be easily and inexpensively collected in a lake setting and collection of multiple vertical profiles through the lake will provide early indications of potential lithium grade distribution vertically. “It is extremely exciting to have initiated this comprehensive project evaluation program at Laguna Verde,” said Henk van Alphen, Wealth’s CEO. “We believe that the project offers a unique opportunity where known technologies can be applied to a comparatively less complex lithium deposit.” Wealth Minerals has also filed an NI 43-101 technical report on another lithium project in Chile: NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Atacama Lithium Project El Loa Province Region II Republic of Chile. The Salar de Atacama hosts more than 15% of the world’s known lithium reserves, yet exploration and production has occurred only in the southern portion of the salar. The proximity of the project to existing producers strongly suggests that exploration potential is good for the discovery of brines in the northern portion of the salar, underlying the project. World Mining Magazine


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LSC LITHIUM TO ACQUIRE STRATEGIC ARGENTINE TENEMENTS “LSC’s portfolio of properties is in close proximity to Enirgi Group’s planned regional processing facility at Salar del Rincón”


SC Lithium Corporation (formerly Oakham Capital Corp) has entered into two strategic agreements with lithium producer Orocobre Limited and lithium explorer and developer Advantage Lithium Corporation to increase its land package on the Salinas Grandes Salar in Argentina. The acquisitions will bring LSC’s total holdings up to approximately 295,000 hectares of lithium bearing tenements, making it one of the leaders in lithium exploration and development in Argentina. On completion of the transactions, LSC’s Salinas Grandes tenements will total approximately 79,031 hectares and cover 87% in the centre of the Salinas Grandes Salar in the Salta province and 45% in the Jujuy province. LSC’s portfolio of properties is in close proximity to Enirgi Group’s planned

regional processing facility at Salar del Rincón. LSC and Enirgi Group are strategically cooperating on lithium development in northern Argentina pursuant to a relationship agreement whereby, among other things, the parties will examine the most economic solution to process LSC’s brines which may include supplying LSC’s brines for processing at Enirgi Group’s planned facility. LSC anticipates brine samples from the various projects will be available for initial metallurgical test work at Enirgi Group’s demonstration plant on the Salar del Rincón, following its anticipated commissioning. LSC plans to conduct two separate exploration and development programmes in both Salta and Jujuy provinces as each province has its own regulatory framework. Since it will be the largest owner of tenements in Salinas

Grandes, LSC anticipates that once approvals have been given to explore and exploit the very large lithium deposits in Salinas Grandes that it will be positioned to become the sole operator. The initial exploration program for tenements on the Salta side of Salinas Grandes is budgeted at $750,000 over the next 12 months. The budget for the initial exploration work on the Jujuy side of Salinas Grandes is estimated at $600,000, also over the next 12 months. LSC sees the Salinas Grandes Salar as a very important strategic asset as it continues to consolidate the highly fractured ownership of tenements in this very large lithium rich basin. LSC anticipates that Salinas Grandes will be a core developmental asset of LSC along with its tenements in the Salars of Pozuelos, Pastos Grandes, Rio Grande and Jama.

ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES SELLS KENTUCKY COAL ASSETS “The divestiture of the Coalgood mining complex

Alpha Natural Resources has announced the divestment of substantially all of its affiliated mining assets in Harlan County, Kentucky, to JRL Coal LLC of Marietta, Georgia. The Coalgood assets include a permitted surface mine operation that has been idle since 2012 and nearly 12-million tons of high quality thermal coal reserves, and JRL has indicated its plan to operate the assets.

represents our ongoing dedication to our strategic plan regarding idled assets, which has been to identify nonstrategic properties for divestiture, thereby allowing Alpha to reduce its footprint,” said Alpha CEO David Stetson. “In this case, we will transfer six permits, reduce bonding by $6 million and also reduce our ARO in future years by a significant amount.” World Mining Magazine


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he US Environmental Protection Agency has approved an aquifer exemption request for Uranium Energy Corp’s Burke Hollow Project in South Texas. Burke Hollow is the third project to be developed as part of the company’s hub-and-spoke strategy that is designed for low-cost in-situ recovery (ISR) production to be processed at the

The project’s 11,000-acre mine area permit was approved in December 2016 by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Two additional disposal well permits were also issued in July 2015 to make up three of the four major permits required for the project. The last major approval is the radioactive material license, which

related Goliad Lower B trends which will constitute Burke Hollow Production Area 1. The two Lower B trends have been proven to extend over a distance of 1.7 miles. The northwestern side of the orebody remains open-ended and only lightly explored, with good potential for extension for up to an additional 3,000 feet.

nearby Hobson plant. An aquifer is an underground body of rock that contains or can transmit groundwater. An aquifer exemption allows energy and mining companies to use an aquifer for oil or mineral extraction if it does not currently and will not in the future serve as a source of drinking water, amongst other criteria.

remains under technical review with the TCEQ. The company’s 2017 drilling campaign at Burke Hollow commenced in early April, with two contracted drill rigs and plans to drill up to 100 delineation and exploration holes. The primary objective is to complete the exploration and delineation drilling phase of two closely-

Uranium Energy Corp’s fully-licensed Hobson processing facility is central to all of its projects in South Texas, including the Palangana ISR mine, the permitted Goliad ISR project and the development-stage Burke Hollow ISR project. The company also controls a pipeline of advanced-stage projects in Arizona, Colorado and Paraguay.

“Uranium Energy Corp’s fully-licensed Hobson processing facility is central to all of its projects in South Texas”

World Mining Magazine



LEAGOLD ACQUIRES LOS FILOS GOLD MINE “We continue our search for additional acquisition and growth opportunities in Latin America as we seek to grow into a multi-mine operator”


eagold Mining Corporation has completed the acquisition of the Los Filos Gold Mine in Guerrero State, Mexico for US$350 million from Goldcorp. The purchase price consists of US$279 million in cash and US$71 million in common shares of Leagold. Russell Ball, Goldcorp’s CFO and EVP Corporate Development, has joined Leagold’s board of directors as Goldcorp’s nominee. Concurrent with this appointment, Jay Sujir has resigned from the board.

“Today marks a strong beginning for Leagold with the Los Filos mine becoming our platform for growth,” said CEO Neil Woodyer. “We have transformed into a low-cost gold producer in Mexico and we will immediately focus on optimizing the mine and progressing the drilling programs and related preparation work for the development of a new underground mine at Bermejal. “We look forward to working with the Los Filos management team, the

Los Filos workforce, and our local community partners as we develop and expand Los Filos for long-term success. In addition, we continue our search for additional acquisition and growth opportunities in Latin America, as we seek to grow into a multi-mine operator and create the next intermediate gold producer.” Leagold is based in Vancouver, Canada and is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the trading symbol LMC.

SLAM ACQUIRES FORMER PRODUCING COPPER-LEAD-ZINC MINE SLAM Exploration Ltd has acquired the former producing Wedge Mine property in the Bathurst Mining Camp of New Brunswick, Canada. The Wedge is 18km west of the former producing Brunswick No.12 mine owned by Glencore and 22km south of the Caribou mine owned and operated by Trevali Mining Corp. The Wedge was operated by Consolidated Mining and Smelting (Cominco) from 1962 to 1968 when it produced 1,500,000 tonnes grading 2.88% copper, 0.88% lead and 1.75% zinc. Cominco maintained the mineral claims until 1992, when it was acquired by Noranda Exploration Company Ltd. A historical estimate published by Noranda in 1993, reported a mineral resource of 545,000 tonnes grading 1.75%

copper, 5.21% zinc 1.71% lead. This was based upon the results of 356 drill holes provided to Noranda by Cominco. SLAM considers the historical estimate as reliable based upon the following assumptions: the drilling was supervised and the drill logs were completed by the professional staff of Cominco, a well-established multinational mining company; the historical estimate was completed by the professional staff of another large multinational company, Noranda, which was operating two large mines in the area. A qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as current mineral resources or mineral reserves, however, and the company is not treating it as such.

World Mining Magazine


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MAKING A COMEBACK Leading mining sector consultancy, CSA Global, highlights trends facing the Canadian mining sector

and the same thing is happening in the Canadian market. So we believe the stage is set for the Canadian mining industry to once again move into a period of prosperity.” With increased commodity prices, CSA Global is currently experiencing strong demand for resource estimation, mine planning and corporate services as companies seek to re-evaluate their Suncor’s Edmonton Refinery mineral assets and reconsider their game plan. The demand for expertise for mine site technical services and operational support has also surged. The company has recently witnessed a change from a

“The stage is set for the Canadian mining industry to once again move into a period of prosperity”


ne of the emerging trends in the global mining industry is the resurgence in exploration, particularly with precious and base metals projects, but increasingly for a wide range of minerals used in the battery market, for example, graphite, lithium, nickel, and cobalt. CSA Global has observed a strong uptick in project acquisition activity. “The increase in exploration and deal activity is further evidence that the market is moving beyond the recovery

phase,” says Stan Wholley, CSA Global, President – Americas. “The prices of many mineral commodities are up, access to capital has significantly improved, and there is much more positive sentiment. “There is strong investment interest in exploration and mining stocks on the Australian market (ASX), several exploration IPOs have already been completed, and more are in the queue. We have seen growing interest in the London markets for mining investments

cost-cutting mentality to an investment approach. Mining companies are improving their operating margins through the adoption of technology and integrating more geoscience into mine planning. CSA Global recently acquired ACA Howe International, one of Canada’s oldest and most respected independent mining consulting companies. “We believed the time was right to invest in ACA Howe International in Toronto to complement our existing business in Vancouver,” says Wholley. “We are aiming to build on the combined expertise of both companies in Canada and are excited to introduce additional capabilities to the Canadian market.” CSA Global provides services to mining clients from its offices in Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Singapore, South Africa, Russia and the United Kingdom. World Mining Magazine



Mining exploration is recovering from its 2016 low, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence report. Despite a 21% decline in worldwide nonferrous metals exploration budgets in 2016, activity increased as the year progressed


he World Exploration Trends (WET) report is based on S&P Global Market Intelligence’s 27th Corporate Exploration Strategies (CES) study, which calculated that the mining industry’s total budget for nonferrous metals exploration was just $7.2 billion in 2016, compared with the record $21.5 billion budgeted in 2012. Despite the steep plunge in annual exploration budgets, the past three quarters have brought signs of optimism for a long-struggling industry. Since last March, exploration companies have increasingly been able to raise funds and restart focused programs. The steep plunge in exploration budgets can be attributed to investor wariness of exploration and a significant reduction in spending by producing companies as they sought to improve profit margins. The exploration estimate for 2016 is based on information collected from more than 2,000 mining and exploration companies worldwide, of which almost 1,600 had exploration budgets of at least $100,000. These reported budgets

  World Mining Magazine


amounted to $6.89 billion, with a further $310 million estimated to have been budgeted by companies for which data was unavailable, including estimates of budgets that could not be obtained, exploration by companies spending less than $100,000 and private companies that do not report their data. The average 2016 exploration budget among the surveyed companies was $4.4 million, the lowest since 2009, and the median budget was $800,000, which is the smallest in more than a decade. At the individual company level, Freeport-McMoRan had the largest budget decrease, down 49% from $102 million actually spent in 2015. Brazilian major Vale SA recorded the secondlargest budget decrease in 2016, with an exploration allocation that was $46 million less than its actual exploration spending in 2015. South Africa-based Gold Fields registered the largest budget increase in 2016, up 22% from the $102.7 million budgeted in 2015 (only $97.6 million was actually spent). About 55% ($68.8 million) of the 2016

budget was for near-mine exploration, almost entirely in Australia, with a small amount allocated to Ghana.


Although all regions showed lower allocations in 2016, Latin America’s share, driven partly by a continuing focus on near-mine exploration, remained at 28% of the global total. Six countries—Chile, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia—accounted for 92% of the Latin American exploration allocation, and, for the second year in a row, gold was the continent’s top exploration target, with 44% of the total. The share devoted to base metals was down to 38% from 40% in 2015. Canada was the most popular national target, accounting for 14% of the global total. Ontario accounted for 23% of the overall Canadian exploration budget, followed by Quebec with 18%. Despite a 19% fall in its dollar allocation, gold still accounted for 50% of the Canadian budget. Planned spending for base

ANALYSIS metals was down more than 33% from 2015, lowering its share of Canada’s total budget to 14% from 17%. Africa posted the second-largest percentage decline of all regions in 2016, accounting for only 13% of total allocations. The most significant African exploration destinations included Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Africa, Burkina Faso, Mali and Tanzania. A continued focus on West Africa (Burkina Faso in particular) gave gold the continent’s largest allocation in 2016, with the metal’s share of overall African budgets jumping to 51% from 43% in 2015. Australia accounted for 13% of the global exploration budget in 2016, with


Globally, gold remained the topexplored commodity last year, with the yellow metal accounting for 48% of the global exploration budget, matching the record high of 2011. In dollar terms, gold exploration declined to its lowest level since 2006, dropping $643 million, or over 16%, to $3.30 billion. Base metals was a distant second with 31% ($2.11 billion) of the total, followed by ‘other’ targets with $828 million, or 12% of the total. Allocations for diamonds and uranium each accounted for 4%, while platinum group metals accounted for just over 1%. Australia overtook Canada as the top gold exploration destination for the

budget of more than $849 million, or 26% of the total gold budget. Within Latin America, Mexico attracted the largest gold allocation, followed by Chile, Peru and Colombia. In terms of prices, the mining sector saw a significant mid-year shift in sentiment, with attention turning from precious metals to industrial metals and minerals. In the six months to the end of June, gold had risen almost 25% to $1,321/oz, but subsequently retreated to around $1,135/oz, an increase over the whole year of just 7%. This scenario was reversed for three of the most important industrial commodities. Iron ore was up an impressive 26% at the mid-year point, but did even better during the second

“Australia overtook Canada as the top gold exploration destination for the first time since 2003” its total allocation down just 16% from 2015. Western Australia was again by far Australia’s most popular exploration destination, with 62% of the country’s total, and gold remained the top exploration target. Although allocations were virtually unchanged in 2016, gold’s share of Australia’s total budget jumped to 57% from 48% in 2015. The strong showing was mainly due to a 39% decrease in the base metals budget, whose share of the total fell to 25% from 35% in 2015. The US showed the sharpest pullback in exploration last year, with its budgets falling more than 30%, although gold and copper exploration helped the country account for a 7% share of the global total. Nevada had the largest share (47%) of the US budget, with two other states, Arizona and Alaska, together accounting for a further 22% of the total.

first time since 2003, with a budget of $510 million in 2016, which represented a rare increase over 2015 among countries. The focus on minesite exploration was even more prominent in Australia, with 52% of the country’s gold total targeted for exploration at and near existing mines. Despite this emphasis on existing gold mines, Australia was again the top destination for grassroots gold exploration, attracting 16% of the global grassroots budget. By contrast, Canada’s gold exploration declined by nearly $10 million to $487.2 million in 2016, while its overall share of minesite exploration decreased substantially to 24% from 42% in 2015. Canada’s gold exploration focus shifted to late-stage projects, increasing from 38% in 2015 to 53% in 2016. Latin America remained the top regional destination for gold, with a

half, to end 2016 up 79%. Thermal coal had risen 17% by end-June and 69% at year-end. Similarly, copper was up 3% at the mid-year point but gained ground during the second six months to end the year up 17%. After a dire 2015, the other major metals improved steadily throughout 2016. Aluminium, for example, was up 10% and 14% at the six and twelve month stages respectively, with nickel improving 7% and 13%, and zinc rising 32% and a highly impressive 61% at the mid- and end-year points. 2016 was a year of two-halves for the mining industry, but with the second being stronger than the first, S&P Global Market Intelligence expects a small uptick in the majors’ exploration budgets in 2017. All figures are reported in US dollars, and historical exploration figures represent dollars of the day, without adjustment for inflation.

Photo credit: Goldcorp World Mining Magazine


Wireless Communication for Mining Automation


luidmesh technology offers miners the fastest, most reliable connectivity for their automated vehicles

While driverless cars are still a dream for the automotive industry, driverless trucks have been in operation on mine sites around the world for some time – another step in the advancement of the Internet of Things. The mining industry is renowned as an early adopter of new technology, but internet connectivity for moving vehicles at a mine site is a different proposition from static objects. Clearly, the network must have some sophisticated technology to be effective

  World Mining Magazine


and reliable in those conditions. “Fluidmesh wireless mesh networks are specifically designed to be easily deployed, managed and maintained in harsh conditions,” says Cosimo Malesci, co-founder of Fluidmesh Networks. “The basic concept of a mesh is that there is no single point of failure. All mesh nodes are able to communicate with each other, ensuring redundancy and reliability.” Traditional wireless solutions used in mining are based on a wi-fi approach, he explains, “but wi-fi technology was developed for different applications; downloading emails, surfing the web, connecting your tablet. It’s not designed for reliable, mission critical vehicle communication.”

Fluidmesh was founded in 2005 by a team of researchers and visionaries from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Politecnico of Milan, Italy. “We started with wireless mesh based solutions for video surveillance,” explains Malesci, “and about six years ago we expanded the business by creating a new division to focus on vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicleto-ground communications. Connecting vehicles presents a set of challenges that are not present in traditional static wireless networks, so we have developed dedicated technology to address those challenges.” The network has three components, he explains. The first is a radio fitted to the vehicle itself. There can be up to four

fluidmesh wireless communication for mining automation

“If you have a vehicle without a human being on it, you want to be able to control it very carefully.”

of these. The radios connect the vehicle to the wayside network, an array of radios deployed around the pit, fitted on trailers or along an underground tunnel. The third component is the backbone, which connects the wayside radios to the main network. “Our radios are engineered with no moving parts, so we can handle stress agents like vibration, humidity and dust on the jobsite. That’s why many leading mines and oil and gas companies trust our radios.” The big advantage of the Fluidmesh network is that it uses an MPLS wireless solution (multi-protocol label switching). “This is a technology that was developed some time ago for fibre networks but we have applied it to wireless networks,” explains Malesci. “We have patents out on it. By applying MPLS to wireless communication we are able to solve a lot of the challenges that traditional wireless mesh networks have had in delivering communication and connectivity to vehicles.” One of those challenges, he explains, is latency – the delay between information being sent and received. “As soon as you put automation on a vehicle, latency plays a key role,” says Malesci. “If you have a vehicle without a human being on it, you want to be able to control it very carefully.” Clearly, if there is any delay in receiving information, even for a fraction of a second, the vehicle is out of control. “The second problem we have solved is hand-off time,” he continues. The haul truck stays connected to the network as it moves around the pit by ‘roaming’ from one trailer or wayside radio to the next. The time it takes to hand off from one to another has an impact on the stability and availability of the network. “It’s a very common issue in wireless systems,” says Malesci. “We have been able to solve that problem with MPLS. A wi-fi system has a hand-off anywhere

between 200 and 500 milliseconds. That may sound like a small amount of time, but when you apply that to controlling a machine, streaming video or sending data, it has an impact on the operation of the system and by extension, on the productivity of the mine. We are the only wireless solution that has no handoff. We can deliver a zero millisecond hand-off.” Malesci says that Fluidmesh delivers ‘five 9s of reliability’, meaning the network is 99.999% reliable. “This means your network is always up,” he insists. “That has an impact on equipment availability which then relates to productivity. If you look at most mines today they get a connectivity of about 93 or 94 per cent. This is mostly because they are using wireless solutions which are not fit for the application. By designing a solution specifically for the vehicle, we are filling that gap in connectivity.” Another string to the company’s bow is the development of antennas specifically for the mining environment. “MPLS allows us to use multiple radios on a vehicle,” says Malesci, “which means we can use directional antennas to create what some people call a beam forming approach, where the vehicle automatically selects the best radio, the best antenna to talk to the wayside. That improves the range of communication, so we can provide a lot more coverage. And it also improves the RF noise in a pit where you can have 30 or 40 vehicles all talking at the same time. By going directional we control that traffic a lot better.” The Fluidmesh network has clear advantages over traditional wi-fi solutions, but there is one we haven’t mentioned yet – bandwidth. When you remove human beings from machines and put them in air-conditioned offices, you need a tremendous amount of data to be able to do what the driver used to do. “We have the capacity to deliver up to 500 megabits per second on a vehicle,” says Malesci, “which is a massive amount of bandwidth, and that helps us support the cameras used in tele-remote operations. And we do teleremote operations underground as well as in the open pit.” The technology is very scalable, too, he concludes, so it’s equally applicable to major, intermediate and junior miners. “Anybody can use it.” World Mining Magazine


  World Mining Magazine


rio tinto global footprint

With operations on six continents, Rio Tinto is a global mining and metals group focused on finding, mining, processing and marketing the earth’s mineral resources. Here, we offer an opportunity to follow its operations around the world.

World Mining Magazine


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he company was incorporated in 1873 and named after Spain’s Rio Tinto (Red River), where it reopened ancient copper mines acquired from the Spanish Government. It has since grown through a series of mergers and acquisitions to play a leading role in the production of many commodities, including aluminium, iron ore, copper, uranium, coal and diamonds.

Although primarily focused on the extraction of minerals from both open pit and underground mines, Rio Tinto’s businesses also include, mills, refineries, smelters and power stations, as well as a number of research and service facilities. It also owns and operates infrastructure that takes its products to its customers, including railways, ports and ships. The company has joint head offices in London, England and Melbourne, Australia, and although it has operations on six continents, it is mainly concentrated in Australia and Canada. Under its Group-wide organisational structure, its four product groups – Aluminium, Copper & Diamonds, Energy & Minerals and Iron Ore – are complemented by its Growth & Innovation group.


Australia is home to around half of Rio Tinto’s global assets, where it produces bauxite, aluminium, iron ore, thermal and metallurgical coal, uranium, diamonds and salt from more than 30 operating sites and processing plants around the country.


Rio Tinto is a global leader in aluminium, one of the world’s most widely used metals. Active in the sector for more than 110 years, today it operates large-scale, high-quality bauxite mines and alumina refineries, and has the world’s most modern and competitive aluminium smelters portfolio. Bell Bay Aluminium is situated on the mouth of the Tamar River, World Mining Magazine


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rio tinto global footprint

“As well as open pit and underground mines, Rio Tinto’s businesses also include, mills, refineries, smelters and power stations, as well as a number of research and service facilities”

approximately five kilometres from George Town and 45 kilometres from the city of Launceston in Tasmania. Bell Bay Aluminium has been in operation since 1955 and was the first aluminium smelter built in the southern hemisphere. The smelter produces around 180,000 tonnes of aluminium each year and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Its main metal products are ingot, rolling block and T-bar. Boyne Smelters Limited (BSL) is the largest aluminium smelter in Australia. Located approximately 20 kilometres south of Gladstone at Boyne Island on the central Queensland coast, BSL produces in excess of 570,000 tonnes of aluminium per annum. Ten kilometres northwest of Gladstone is Rio Tinto’s world class Yarwun alumina refinery. Construction began in 2002 and the first shipment of alumina was made in late 2004. The refinery was the first greenfield refinery to be built in the western world in 20 years. Rio Tinto owns and operates the Weipa bauxite mine on Western Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. The mine exports over 27 million tonnes of bauxite annually. The Weipa operations consist of two continuous mining operations at East Weipa and Andoom, two beneficiation plants, 19 kilometres of railway to transport mined bauxite to the port area, two stockpiles and two ship loaders. Rio Tinto also owns and operates two diesel engine power stations, which supply the mine, Weipa town and the neighbouring community of Napranum. While some product is shipped to international customers, the majority of Weipa bauxite is supplied to the Queensland Alumina Limited and Rio Tinto Aluminium Yarwun refineries, both located in Gladstone. These refineries produce alumina as feedstock for Australian aluminium smelting operations and for sale on the international market. Rio Tinto (formerly Comalco) has mined and shipped bauxite from Weipa since 1963, but the original bauxite reserves are gradually being depleted and with continued demand for bauxite, the business has identified significant reserves south of the Embley River. A key milestone for the future of the

Weipa operations was reached with the Rio Tinto Board approving funding for the Amrun project in late 2015. The project includes the construction of a range of infrastructure including a processing plant and port near Boyd Bay, a dam, tailings storage facility, roads and a ferry terminal on the Hey River to transport workers from Weipa to the mine. Construction on the project is well under way with first shipment planned for the first half of 2019. Once operational, Amrun will replace production from Rio Tinto’s existing East Weipa mine and increase annual bauxite exports. Planned initial output is 22.8 million tonnes per year with a range of options for future expansions up to 50 million tonnes per year.

Iron ore

In the Pilbara region of Western Australia, Rio Tinto operates the world’s largest integrated portfolio of iron ore assets with industry-leading margins. Operations include a worldclass, integrated network of 15 iron ore mines, four port facilities, a 1,700 kilometre rail network and related infrastructure, but Rio Tinto is currently expanding its operations in the Pilbara to epic proportions while at the same time introducing next generation technologies to deliver greater efficiency, lower production costs and improve health, safety and environmental performance. The Pilbara infrastructure expansions were completed in mid-2015, delivering expanded port and shipping capacity at Cape Lambert, increased rail network capacity, improved power and fuel supply and distribution, as well as expanded and improved accommodation and town facilities in the Pilbara. In December 2016 Rio Tinto awarded contracts for A$90 million to Western Australian-based construction and engineering firm Decmil, for the design, construction and commissioning of new facilities at the existing Nammuldi central mine services and at the Silvergrass mine services area in the Pilbara, along with the Amrun bauxite project in northern Queensland. “The Decmil contracts are yet another example of how Rio Tinto partners with local suppliers to deliver economic World Mining Magazine



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  World Mining Magazine


rio tinto global footprint benefits for Australia above and beyond taxes, royalties and direct employment,” said Rio Tinto Growth & Innovation group executive Stephen McIntosh.


“Australia is home to around half of Rio Tinto’s global assets, where it produces bauxite, aluminium, iron ore, thermal and metallurgical coal, uranium, diamonds and salt from more than 30 operating sites and processing plants around the country”

Rio Tinto owns and operates the Argyle diamond mine in the remote East Kimberley region of Western Australia. It is one of the world’s largest suppliers of diamonds and the world’s largest supplier of natural coloured diamonds, including the highly coveted rare pink diamonds. The Argyle diamond deposit, located in the AK1 pipe, was mined using conventional alluvial and open pit mining from 1983 to 2013. Over this period more than 800 million carats of diamonds were mined. In 2013 a new era of underground mining of the AK1 pit took over to access the pipe at further depth. Block cave mining techniques – where the ore body is undercut, allowing it to break up and ‘cave’ under its own weight – are now being employed to extend the life of the Argyle mine until at least 2020. The block cave is expected to generate on average 20 million carats per year. The Argyle underground mine is a challenge both in size and complexity. There are around 40 kilometres of tunnels. The main thoroughfares in the underground network are four tunnels – two to carry vehicles, one for ventilation and one for moving ore. There are two large underground crushers and conveyor belts transport the ore from deep in the mine to the surface. When Argyle was first established, it became apparent that purposedesigned processing machinery would be needed to recover and sort the high volume of characteristically small stones produced by the mine. This included the development of sophisticated X-ray sorting technology to assist in the efficient identification and collection of the small diamonds. Today, the Argyle processing plant is one of the most efficient in the world. It is capable of processing up to 11 million tonnes of ore per annum operating 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Argyle produces diamonds in a range of colours, including white, champagne and pink gems. The majority of

Argyle’s diamonds are sold as “rough” or uncut diamonds. These are sorted and prepared for international sale by Rio Tinto’s sales and marketing team in Antwerp, Belgium. The majority of customers are Indian based companies and the Indian cutting industry has been an important platform for developing the market for the small, coloured diamonds that characterize the Argyle production.

Energy & Minerals

Rio Tinto’s Energy & Minerals group includes a diverse portfolio of highquality mining, refining and marketing operations and projects that contribute to the daily lives of people around the world. Its energy assets in Australia include four thermal and coking coal operations and a uranium operation. Uranium and thermal coal are a cost-effective and abundant energy source for electricity, and coking coal is a critical component in the steel-making process. Rio Tinto Coal Australia is one of Australia’s leading mining organisations with a highly successful record in developing and managing world-class coal operations. It is a wholly-owned member of the Rio Tinto Group. Rio Tinto Coal Australia produces both thermal and coking coal from four operations, two in Queensland and two in New South Wales. In Queensland, Rio Tinto Coal Australia operates the Hail Creek and Kestrel mines in the Bowen Basin region. Together the mines supply more than 10 million tonnes of coking and thermal coal for export annually. Hail Creek Mine is an open cut mine, using a dragline, truck and shovel method, and is located 120 kilometres southwest of Mackay in central Queensland, supplying international markets with hard coking and thermal coal. Kestrel Mine is an underground operation located 40 kilometres north-east of Emerald in central Queensland, supplying world markets coking and thermal coal. Rio Tinto Coal Australia manages the operation on behalf of the joint venture partners, Queensland Coal Pty Limited (80 per cent) and Mitsui Kestrel Coal Investment (20 per cent). In New South Wales, Rio Tinto Coal Australia also currently manages World Mining Magazine


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rio tinto global footprint

“The Amrun project includes the construction of a range of infrastructure including a processing plant and port near Boyd Bay, a dam, tailings storage facility, roads and a ferry terminal on the Hey River to transport workers from Weipa to the mine”

Coal & Allied’s operations at Mount Thorley Warkworth and Hunter Valley Operations, but not for much longer. Coal & Allied Industries Limited is the holding company for Rio Tinto’s thermal coal business in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, but Rio Tinto reached a binding agreement in January this year for the sale of Coal & Allied to Yancoal Australia Limited for up to $2.45 billion. Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said, “This sale delivers outstanding value for our shareholders and is consistent with our strategy of reshaping our portfolio to ensure the most effective use of capital. Our world-class assets, strong balance sheet and relentless focus on cash will ensure that we deliver superior returns for our shareholders. We are confident that Coal & Allied will continue to contribute to the New South Wales economy and the communities of the Hunter Valley under a new owner.” Rio Tinto will continue to benefit from earnings and cash flow generated by Coal & Allied until completion of the transaction. The Coal & Allied operations will also continue to use Rio Tinto Marine freight services following completion of the transaction.

Dampier Salt

Also part of Rio Tinto’s Energy & Minerals group, Dampier Salt Ltd is a joint venture between Rio Tinto (68 per cent), Marubeni Corporation (22 per cent) and Sojitz (10 per cent). Located in the hot, dry climate of northern Western Australia, with headquarters in Perth, Dampier Salt has three salt operations located at Dampier, Port Hedland and Lake MacLeod. The sales, marketing and logistics activities are carried out in Singapore. The Dampier operation was the first DSL site and was established in 1967. This site is currently the largest producer of the three sites with a capacity of 4.2 million tonnes per annum. The first shipment was to Japan in 1972. The Lake MacLeod site was acquired in 1978 and has the greatest potential for expansion of the three sites with a current production capacity of 2.9 million tonnes per annum. The Port Hedland operation was acquired in 2001 and has a current production capacity of 3.2 million tonnes per annum.

Rio Tinto’s approach to salt production involves extracting seawater (the primary resource for Dampier and Port Hedland) or naturally occurring underground brines (at Lake MacLeod) and then using the evaporative power of the sun and the wind to crystallise pure sodium chloride salt in a series of ponds called crystallisers. Sun and wind energy comprise around 99 per cent of the total energy required to grow, process and ship the salt. Operations at Lake MacLeod and Port Hedland have been harvesting salt for over 40 years, and the demonstrated sustainability of this approach suggests that they will continue well beyond the next 40 years.

CANADA With around 15,000 people working across 35 plus locations, Rio Tinto is the biggest mining and metals company operating in Canada, and its business is as interesting and diverse as the country and its people. The company hires local people, partners with leading Canadian business and community organizations and works hard to be good neighbours. Its aluminium smelters are among the cleanest and most energy-efficient in the world and Rio Tinto is Canada’s biggest private producer of renewable hydroelectric energy. The company operates several ports, two major railways, and its research & development centres are pioneering some of the industry’s most important innovations.


Rio Tinto’s global aluminium business is headquartered in Montreal. Across Quebec and in British Columbia, in a variety of partnerships and joint ventures, the company operates an alumina refinery, a network of hydroelectric plants, and aluminium smelters with some of the lowest carbon footprints in the world. Vaudreuil, in Saguenay, Quebec, is considered one of the world’s cleanest, most energy-efficient refineries. It transforms bauxite to alumina, and supplies the majority of Rio Tinto’s smelters in the region. Alouette, in Sept-Iles, Quebec, is the largest smelter in the Americas and one of the world’s World Mining Magazine


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rio tinto global footprint

“In December 2016 Rio Tinto awarded contracts to Western Australian-based construction and engineering firm Decmil, for the design, construction and commissioning of new facilities at the existing Nammuldi central mine services and at the Silvergrass mine services area in the Pilbara”

most efficient. Rio Tinto has a 40 per cent stake in the independent company that owns and operates Alouette. The Grande-Baie (Saguenay, Quebec) smelter produces aluminium that is cast into many shapes, destined for specialized applications around the world. The smelter is recognised as a leader in innovation, and health and safety across the global aluminium industry. Rio Tinto also owns 25.1 per cent of the Bécancour smelter, which is operated by Alcoa. Bécancour was the first Quebec company to become an elite member of Hydro-Québec’s Écolectrique network. Rio Tinto has had a major presence in British Columbia for 60 years. The Kitimat smelter in northern British Columbia opened in 1954. Positioned on the west coast of Canada, the smelter is located alongside a deep-water port immediately south of the community of Kitimat – well placed to serve the rapidly growing demand for aluminium in the Asia-Pacific and to serve the North American market. The Kitimat site is one of the largest manufacturing complexes in the province of British Columbia and is a significant contributor to economic and community sustainability in northern BC. Kitimat is powered by the Kemano Powerhouse, which to this day, remains the largest high pressure hydro generation facility in North America, an efficient means of generating power using the smallest amount of water. With the recent completion of a multibillion dollar modernization program, the Kitimat smelter is now one of the most efficient, greenest and lowest-cost smelters in the world. The modernised Kitimat smelter uses the company’s proprietary AP40 smelting technology. The new smelter began production in 2015 and it will effectively halve the smelter’s overall emissions.


Rio Tinto owns a 60 per cent interest in, and operates, the Diavik Diamond Mine in Canada’s remote Northwest Territories, 220km south of the Arctic Circle. The design, construction and operation of the Diavik mine is an epic saga of success on a grand scale in the most forbidding of places. Diavik

commenced production in 2003 and has an annual production of some 6-7 million carats of predominantly large, white gem-quality diamonds.

Iron ore

The Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) is a leading Canadian producer of iron ore concentrate and iron ore pellets that serves customers worldwide. The company operates a mine, a concentrator and a plant that produces iron ore pellets – the raw material used to make steel – in Labrador City, Newfoundland and Labrador. The company also operates a 418 kilometre railroad that links the mine to the port of Sept-Îles, inn Quebec.


Although Rio Tinto may list most of its assets in Australia and Canada, its copper interests are focused elsewhere. Grasberg, in the province of Papua in Indonesia, is one of the world’s largest copper and gold mines in terms of ore reserves and production. It is owned and operated by Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), a subsidiary of US-based FreeportMcMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. Rio Tinto has a joint venture with FCX for a 40 per cent share of production above specific levels until 2021, and 40 per cent of all production after 2021. The Grasberg underground block cave project will come online in 2017 when the current open pit mine is expected to be depleted. This will transition the mine from primarily an open pit to a fully-underground operation. It is expected to ramp up to full capacity by 2022, reaching 160,000 tonnes per day of ore. In addition, Grasberg has begun construction on the Deep Mill Level Zone block cave mine, which will produce an additional 80,000 tonnes of ore per day at full capacity, expected in 2021. Together, these two projects will supply ore to the mill at 240,000 tonnes per day by 2022.

And then there’s Oyu Tolgoi

One of the most exciting developments in copper and gold mining for several decades, Oyu Tolgoi contains reserves and resources that make it one of the World Mining Magazine


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world’s largest known copper and gold deposits. The project is expected to be a significant contributor to Mongolia’s economic development. Situated in the southern Gobi desert of Mongolia, approximately 550 kilometres south of the capital Ulaanbaatar, and 80 kilometres north of the Mongolia-China border, Oyu Tolgoi is jointly owned by the Government of Mongolia (34 per cent) and Turquoise Hill Resources (66 per cent, of which Rio Tinto owns 51 per cent). Since 2010, Rio Tinto has also been the manager of the Oyu Tolgoi project. After decades of exploration and drilling, the first major discoveries at Oyu Tolgoi were made in 2001, leading to several years of further exploration which revealed the impressive scale of the deposit. While exploration continues, even with the reserves

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currently identified, Oyu Tolgoi is expected to operate for over 50 years. To this point, all of Oyu Tolgoi’s concentrate has been produced using ore mined from the surface using open pit mining. However, the majority of the value of Oyu Tolgoi, up to 80 per cent, lies deep underground. To access this part of the resource, underground mining techniques will be used at depths of more than 1,300 metres. In May 2015, Oyu Tolgoi’s shareholders, Rio Tinto, Turquoise Hill Resources, and the Government of Mongolia, agreed a plan to progress the next stage of underground development at Oyu Tolgoi. In the United States, Rio Tinto Kennecott is a fully integrated mining operation located just outside Salt Lake City, Utah. Kennecott is a wholly

owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto. For more than 110 years, Kennecott has been mining and processing minerals from the rich orebody of the Bingham Canyon Mine. In 1989, Rio Tinto acquired the Bingham Canyon Mine and other facilities in the Salt Lake Valley. Kennecott produces copper, molybdenum, gold, silver and sulphuric acid to be shipped around the world. In Arizona, the Resolution Copper Project is a proposed world-class copper mine that is said to have the potential to supply 25 per cent of the US copper supply, or about 1 billion tons annually. Resolution Copper Mining (RCM) is a limited liability company owned 55 per cent by Resolution Copper Company, a Rio Tinto PLC subsidiary, and 45 per cent by BHP Copper, a BHP-Billiton PLC subsidiary. In 2014, resource drilling continued,

rio tinto global footprint the project completed construction of the #10 mine shaft to a final depth of almost 7,000 feet, and saw the passage of Federal legislation that will help advance the project. Resolution submitted its Mine Plan of Operations to the United States Forest Service in November 2013, kicking off the formal permitting process. In Chile, Rio Tinto has a 30 per cent interest in Escondida, which is managed by BHP Billiton, giving it regular input on strategic and policy matters. The Minera Escondida copper mine in Chile’s Atacama Desert is the world’s largest copper-producing mine. In 2012 it accounted for five per cent of global copper production and around 15 per cent of Chilean copper production. Escondida produces copper concentrate, through a flotation process of sulphide ore, and copper cathodes, using a leaching process of oxide and sulphide ore.

Iron ore

“One of the most exciting developments in copper and gold mining for several decades, Oyu Tolgoi contains reserves and resources that make it one of the world’s largest known copper and gold deposits”

In Guinea, in West Africa, the Simandou Project is currently the largest planned integrated mining and infrastructure development contemplated in Africa, with an expansive scope representing integrated mine, rail, port and ancillary infrastructure. Simandou provides Rio Tinto access to one of the world’s largest untapped high-grade iron ore resources, and is expected to sustain a mine life in excess of 40 years. The Simandou Project includes three key components: • The Mine: An iron ore exploration and mining project located towards the southern end of the 110-kilometre-long Simandou mountain range, 550 kilometres southeast of Guinea’s capital city Conakry. It is to be a conventional open pit mine with an expected capacity of 100 million metric tonnes of iron ore per annum. • The Infrastructure: Includes a new 650-kilometre trans-Guinean railway line to transport iron ore from the Simandou mine to a new deep-sea port, located south of Conakry on the Morebaya River. Both rail and port will be available for use by third parties, on prescribed terms.

Ancillary infrastructure: Access roads, accommodation, power generation and water systems to directly support the Simandou Project. The Simandou iron ore mine will be developed and operated by Simfer SA, a joint-venture ultimately owned by the Government of Guinea (7.5 per cent), Rio Tinto (46.6 per cent), and a consortium of Chinese State-owned enterprises. A third-party infrastructure consortium will fund, build and own multi-purpose, multi-user rail and port infrastructure. Rio Tinto’s investment will be in the mine only, and as such, it will not be an investor in the infrastructure consortium.

Energy & Minerals

Also in Africa, the Mutamba titanium dioxide feedstock project is in the Inhambane Province of southern Mozambique. This mineral sands deposit was discovered by Rio Tinto Exploration, and contains the titaniumbearing mineral ilmenite. Rio Tinto Exploration began the project in 2002, and handed the discovery over to the Energy & Minerals product group evaluation team in 2008. Rössing, in Namibia, is the world’s longest-running open pit uranium mine. Operating since 1976, Rössing has produced the most uranium of any single mine. Rio Tinto manages and owns a 68.58 per cent stake in the mine. It is located 12km from the town of Arandis, which is 70km inland from the coastal town of Swakopmund in Namibia’s Erongo Region. Walvis Bay, Namibia’s only deep water harbour, is 30km south of Swakopmund. Uranium was discovered in the Namib Desert in 1928, but it was not until intensive exploration in the late 1950s that much interest was shown in the area. Rio Tinto secured the rights to the Rössing deposits in 1966. Ten years later, Rössing Uranium, Namibia’s first commercial uranium mine, began operations. Rössing produces and exports uranium oxide from Namibia to nuclear power utilities around the world. Rio Tinto owns 74 per cent of Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) in South Africa, which produces ilmenite from mineral sand deposits. A leading mineral sands World Mining Magazine


producer, RBM extracts heavy minerals from the dune sands situated north of Richards Bay in Zululand, in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. The presence of the heavy sands minerals on the north coast of KwaZuluNatal was first reported in the 1920s, but it was not until 1971 that the Industrial Development Corporation began a detailed investigation of the Richards Bay area. RBM was formed in 1976 to mine the vast mineral-rich sands in the coastal dunes that extend in a two kilometre wide strip for 17 kilometres from just north of Richards Bay. Operations commenced in 1977. In 1985 the company acquired the mining rights to additional ore reserves situated both north and south of the original deposit with mining of the Zulti North deposit commencing in 1987. The largest major

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investment in capacity took place during early 1992, increasing RBM’s titania slag capacity to one million tons per year and iron production to 555,000 tons per year. The heart of Rio Tinto Borates’ business is the open-pit mine in Boron, California, one of two world-class borate deposits on the planet. Company founders began mining borates in 1872. What began as an underground mine was transformed into an open pit mine in 1957. Rio Tinto Borates mines approximately three million tonnes of borate ore every year from the Boron mine. It produces nearly half of the world’s supply of refined borate products. More than 80 different minerals are found at this geologically unique site, including the four boron based minerals in greatest

demand by industry: tincal, kernite, ulexite and colemanite. Rio Tinto Borates’ Jadar project in Serbia is a significant, world-class lithium-borate resource. The company is investing in technical, economic, and social and environmental studies to prepare for responsible development. Due to its high lithium and boron concentrations – and an assessed geological resource of more than 200 million tonnes - Jadar has been ranked as one of the largest lithium deposits in the world. If developed, it has the potential to supply more than 10% of global demand for lithium. The lightest metal on Earth, lithium is used in a vast array of products, most notably, batteries for hybrid and electric cars. The deposit also contains borates, which are essential building blocks for heat resistant glass, fibreglass,

rio tinto global footprint

“RBM extracts heavy minerals from the dune sands situated north of Richards Bay in Zululand, in the South African province of KwaZuluNatal”

ceramics, fertilisers, detergents, wood preservatives and many other household and commercial products. They are used in insulation that makes buildings energy-efficient, and to produce TV, computer and smartphone screens. The project is currently in prefeasibility stage. Rio Tinto Marine was established in 1996 to provide ocean freight services to the Rio Tinto Group. Headquartered in Singapore, Rio Tinto Marine is a critical supply chain partner to Rio Tinto’s mining businesses, adding value by providing global shipping services and acting as the central repository of maritime expertise for the Group. Rio Tinto Marine has a growing fleet of vessels which are managed and crewed by Anglo Eastern (UK) Limited and ASP Ship Management Limited. These move

a broad range of commodities including iron ore, coal, bauxite, industrial minerals, aluminium, concentrates and metal. The Growth & Innovation group operates through the entire life cycle of Rio Tinto’s mines and assets, creating value through exploration, project development and technical excellence. Growth & Innovation works in close partnership with Rio Tinto’s product groups, and is accountable for finding, shaping, developing and delivering a portfolio of options for Tier 1 assets. It also focuses on finding safer, smarter and more efficient ways to manage Rio Tinto’s resources and operations. The group was formed as part of a reorganisation of Rio Tinto’s company structure and executive team in July 2016, designed to help drive efficiency and optimise performance. World Mining Magazine






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blue rock one As you probably understand all too well, today’s business environment is characterized by rapid, unpredictable change. Some changes bring opportunities for your business, while others bring challenges and sometimes even threats. In the United States alone, a disaster occurred every 3.5 days on average in 2016. But no matter what, your business has to be responsive and resilient, seamlessly taking advantage of opportunities while mitigating risks.

World Mining Magazine



According to a global insurer, there is an 80% chance that a business will experience a disaster in its lifetime. Research found that of those businesses that were impacted, 43% closed following the disaster and never reopened; An additional 29% of businesses would close permanently within 2 years. Of those who didn’t close, many saw long-term consequences such as a drop in stock prices, damaged reputations, and a loss in production. Preparing for and mitigating the effects of a coming disaster is the purpose of business resilience. We must protect our greatest asset, our people, and the industry that our livelihoods and communities depend on. Preparedness and resilience efforts have proven to return the

  World Mining Magazine


investment made by organizations by as much as 208 times. Your teams want to confidently deliver outstanding response and recovery efforts - they need leadership, good training, and simple systems to achieve this. A company like Blue Rock can give you that return on your investment.


Blue Rock, an international consulting firm based in Colorado, USA, has been collaborating with both large and small mining operations in business resilience for over a decade. They provide expertise in all aspects of disaster planning and management. “Hope is not an action plan” according to Ken Rost, Principal of Blue Rock One. He adds “Business resilience is a collaborative effort to join our people,

plans, and preparedness activities together to effectively rebound from events that may or may not be under our control.” Today, getting to a place of preparedness is a time and resource intensive effort. The challenge of becoming a resilient organization requires measured preparedness activities that build the framework for managing a disaster. You must develop plans that allow you to stay on course to achieve your goals and objectives. Continuity is the knowledge, skills, and preparation that allows you to recover quickly. So, how do we measure the resilience of an organization that may not have experienced a large-scale disaster? Standards, policies, legislation, practice, and smaller scale responses can give us a hint. Try to think of some of the standards this way: You use a map

blue rock one to get from “here” to “there”, but do you know where “here” is? Assessments by companies such as Blue Rock are an ideal way of finding this location. Armed with this information, getting to “there” is the collaboration between Blue Rock and the mine, choosing a path to resiliency.


The percent of businesses closed following a disaster


Quite often the term business resilience is used interchangeably with emergency response. As a low-frequency, highrisk activity in many organizations, this requires explicit skills and training. There is no doubt emergency response is a critical component of any business resilience plan. Think of business resilience as a bridge, with emergency response representing only a section of the bridge. While other sections are just as important, all are needed to navigate safely from one side to the other. Preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery create our sound bridge structure; The Resilience Bridge. Failing to build or maintain all sections of this bridge, plunges us into what lies below: Injury, fatality, environmental disasters, reduced production, reputational damage, and even complete closure. Businesses that fail to prepare for disasters are many times more likely to go out of business. As a responder during Hurricane Katrina, Ken Rost witnessed firsthand that most businesses

who failed to prepare, never recovered.


There are many challenges to business resilience. Resources, budgets, and time all present seemingly insurmountable hurdles to business resilience activities. So, let’s ask another question, does your organization have insurance? Your answer is probably yes but, is this a resource that can be implemented to prevent injury, save lives, and get back to production in an effective manner? Consider disaster and emergency response planning, training, and exercises as crisis insurance. If I asked you to think about the word ‘risk’, you would probably think of a chart depicting consequences and likelihood but, what would you think if asked about the word ‘resilience’? The answer is often met with another question. “Isn’t Business Resilience just good risk management?” And; “aren’t we already doing this?” Business Resilience planning gives organizations a better framework for qualifying risks and being better prepared for disasters that can bring a whole organization to its knees. We heard Blue Rock Principal, Ken Rost say earlier “Hope is not an action plan”; whereas an objective based strategy or course of action, is a plan. Now, being resilient does not mean a business will not experience difficulty or distress, but it does mean you’ll be better prepared for it and recover quicker.

“Blue Rock are trusted partners and excellent teachers in my business, they are committed to their clients and are dedicated to expanding the application of the life-saving and property conserving skills which excellent Business Resiliency and Emergency Response Teams provide” – Mining Operations Manager World Mining Magazine



The percent of businesses that will close permanently within 2 years following a disaster.

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blue rock one


One low-cost, low-risk way of building a better business resilience plan is through disaster exercises. Those who have experienced these know they play a vital role in preparedness by enabling stakeholders to test and validate plans and capabilities, and identify areas for improvement. A well-designed exercise provides a low-risk environment to test capabilities, familiarize personnel with roles and responsibilities, and foster meaningful communication across an organization. Blue Rock furthers this mission by ensuring their mission reflects that of their clients. Goals and objectives are centered on the risks that mining clients face and the stakeholders they serve. During emergencies, you will respond how you are trained. To effectively serve those who aid their facilities during a crisis, Blue Rock conducts exercises in the most realistic and relevant way possible. As experienced professional responders, team members at Blue Rock can ensure goals and objectives are in line with risk and capabilities. Your facility, your risks, your plans, your capabilities. This can never be forgotten in exercise design, evaluation, and planning.


The Blue Rock Team is comprised of experienced and trusted experts in their respective fields including business resilience, emergency and disaster management, safety, emergency response training, and continuity. All aspects of the Resilience Bridge can be built through partnerships with Blue Rock. Assessments, critical incident planning, emergency response plan development and implementation, disaster management plans and exercises, individual and team training, technical and professional emergency response skills and strategies, are just some of the many collaborations.

Contact us at:

815 South Perry Street #110 Castle Rock, Colorado 80104 Phone: 720-389-9410 Email:

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  World Mining Magazine


bullseye distributors ltd MINING MEAL SOLUTIONS DELIVERED AT OYU TOLGOI Of all the logistical tasks in managing a modern mining operation, getting a constant supply of quality nutritious food to fuel the appetites of thousands of miners isn’t the first problem which normally springs to mind. But no mining company should ever underestimate the importance in morale and performance of getting good food - on time, day after day - to those who do one of the toughest jobs on the planet.

World Mining Magazine


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bullseye distributors ltd



aced with the fact that meal delivery to mining teams was at best a low-tech part of an otherwise meticulously planned high-tech operation, one British company saw an opportunity to put the experience it gained in the UK social care sector to the test by offering mining operations the chance to switch to a simple but highly effective meal delivery system. And now the system has been proven across the globe at giant operations such as Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia and Ambatovy in Madagascar. Bullseye Distributors works closely alongside mining management and their contracted catering operations to provide tailored meal delivery solutions based on its sustainable sealed tray system. It not only gives protection and sealed-in nutrition for meals delivered to remote operations but it also reduces food wastage and eradicates spillage along the way. But the company goes further by including kitchen team training on how to get the best out of their system as well as advising and implementing every part of the process - and even resolving packaging and food waste issues in some of the most ecologically sensitive areas of the world.


“Regular, nutritious food delivery is essential. We believe our system will significantly contribute to the mine’s efficiency and productivity”

At its first mining site operation, Bullseye’s close working relationships resulted in a revolution in food quality and service on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar at the Ambatovy mining project. It came about because the operation demanded that there was minimal down time around the lunch break, which meant that pack meals were essential. However, the workforce was very dissatisfied with the existing system. In addition, those behind Ambatovy were committed to contributing to sustainable development in Madagascar – a unique eco system - far into the future and long after they have left. This commitment dovetailed perfectly with Bullseye’s philosophy even down to the smallest detail in adopting ecofriendly meal trays for the 1,700 workers there who need a healthy, nutritional meal three times a day. And now the same proven approach has taken off at the Oyu Tolgoi mine in the remote Gobi Desert in Mongolia. Bullseye meal trays are made from eco-friendly paper pulp and the separate compartments are sealed with film lids by purpose-designed Bullseye machines. This means that food such as a typical three course lunch of meat with rice, vegetables and salad and dessert or fruit can be delivered to even the remotest parts of the mine without affecting quality and presentation. Before these new trays were introduced it was not possible to include sauces or juices with the meals as these would run into other foods in transit. Now the meals, which are freshly made and packed under clinical conditions in a central kitchen, can be sealed, stacked and shipped to workers without the problems of the past and with the big advantage of reducing the need to transport workers to central feeding points. The system also brings flexibility of scaling up food delivery at times of workforce expansion or during the construction of new facilities at the mine. Bullseye has even designed and produced tailored, thermallyinsulated, delivery bags to transport each consignment directly from the kitchen and helped design the labelling and tracking system necessary to ensure prompt personalised food delivery World Mining Magazine


even to the remotest parts of the mine. And at the end of the process, the used paper pulp trays and food residues can be collected and separated afterwards for recycling or beneficial recovery. As Peter Prior of Bullseye, which developed the packed meal system for social care meal deliveries, explains: “When we were first approached to resolve a meal delivery problem in the mining sector, we identified a number of issues preventing not just a sustainable meal delivery but also affecting the quality of food and presentation. The old-fashioned polystyrene food boxes they were using not only meant meals got cold quickly but were also difficult to transport and food quickly became messy and mixed together, losing its appeal. The polystyrene was also not environmentally friendly and so contributed to waste disposal problems. Throughout the day, miners work hard and deserve good food and our system allows this. At Oyu Tolgoi by 2021, around 6,000 workers will extract nearly half a million tonnes of copper and 425,000 ounces of gold every year. For them, regular, nutritious food delivery is essential. We believe our system will significantly contribute to the mine’s efficiency and productivity.” The Bullseye trays also allow the full range of cooking and storage options as they can be frozen to minus 40°C and heated to 205°C in conventional or microwave ovens. But the new thinking in food packaging and delivery also brought other advantages. It allowed the site catering team the freedom to reconsider the possibilities of new ingredients and sauces. On this basis, they were able to create a new range of menus with greater choice and appeal. Since he launched his range of food trays and associated

  World Mining Magazine


bullseye distributors ltd MINING MEAL SOLUTIONS DELIVERED AT OYU TOLGOI equipment in the UK in 2009, Peter Prior has captured markets in sectors ranging from care homes and meals-on-wheels to prison cells and the production sites of environmentally conscious ready-meal makers. But the global reach of his simple web site is what led to the enquiry for a solution in Madagascar and, more recently the Bullseye reputation spread to Oyu Tolgoi. Now the interest goes even further as Bullseye took the big step to exhibit at MINExpo 2016 in Las Vegas Nevada, USA. As Peter says, “The interest in what we offer was phenomenal with many saying that food delivery is an area that is one of their biggest headaches. Because mining in remote and highly sensitive areas attracts attention in the media and elsewhere, being at MINExpo convinced us that even the giant corporate operations have to pay attention to the finest detail in every aspect of the impact they make. Now it is clear from our discussions that they are seeking the greenest route to feeding their employees and helping improve food quality into the bargain. Just as importantly, by using our eco tray system, we can help ensure there is no residual food and packaging waste problem left behind as a nasty taste in years to come.” Bullseye can be contacted on + 44 1525 863911 or in the UK on 0800 011 2311. The email address is info@ and the web site is

“Even the giant corporate operations have to pay attention to the finest detail in every aspect of the impact they make”

World Mining Magazine


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anglo american: refining assets Anglo American celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. After a year of austerity, its return to profitability heralds the next century in style

World Mining Magazine




alking about Anglo American’s end of year results for 2016, Chief Executive Mark Cutifani reflected on a tough but successful year. “We got there. We delivered it,” he said, with relief and pride in equal measure.

While austerity has become a way of life in some European economies, Anglo American set out a plan at the beginning of 2016 to become fitter and leaner over the course of one year – and they did it. When investors questioned whether the company could survive the downturn in metals prices, Anglo scrapped its dividend and decided to shrink the business by selling assets, to concentrate

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on three core commodities: copper, diamonds and platinum. “The decisive and wide-ranging operational, cost, capital and portfolio actions we set out in 2016 – to sustainably improve cash flows and strengthen the balance sheet – have enabled us to reduce net debt by 34% to $8.5 billion,” said Cutifani, “significantly below our $10 billion target. “The $1.5 billion sale of the niobium and phosphates businesses further supported our balance sheet recovery goal and, combined with the sale of a number of coal and platinum assets during the year, we received $1.8 billion of disposal proceeds in 2016.” Anglo American put a number of other major assets up for sale in 2016, but despite strong interest, its reluctance to let them go cheaply meant that some prospective transactions were not

completed. The company is now in a position, however, where it no longer needs to make disposals to reduce debts.

Iron ore

Among the businesses previously considered non-core are Anglo American’s iron ore mines in South Africa. Anglo business unit Kumba Iron Ore, the fourth largest iron-ore producer in the world and the largest in Africa, owns the Sishen mine (through its subsidiary Sishen Iron Ore Company). Sishen is the company’s flagship operation and one of the largest open pit mines in the world – some 14km long. Located in central South Africa in the Northern Cape, Sishen produces a high quality lump ore and a premium fine ore, with sufficient reserves to sustain a 19-year life of mine. Mining is by opencast methods and the ore is

anglo american refining assets

“Iron ore is transported from the Sishen and Kolomela mines to Saldanha Bay along an 861km rail system linking the Sishen mine to the dedicated deepwater port and bulk loading facilities”

transported to the beneficiation plant where it is crushed, screened and beneficiated. The jig plant at Sishen mine is the largest of its type in the world. Kumba Iron Ore also owns 51.5% of the Kolomela mine. Located around 90km south of the Sishen mine, near Postmasburg in the Northern Cape Province, the name means ‘to dig deeper’ or ‘to persevere’. Kolomela lump iron ore is in demand because of its excellent physical strength and high iron content. Kolomela exceeded expectations in 2016, producing 12.7Mt, benefitting from increased throughput as a result of further plant optimisation. The mine, which was originally designed to produce 9Mtpa, is on track to produce between 13Mt and 14Mt in 2017 without significant additional capital expenditure. The mine is targeting a 20% improvement in fleet efficiency for 2017 to offset cost inflation. Kolomela’s life of mine decreased from 21 to 18 years, however, as a result of the planned ramp-up in production. Over the past two years Kumba implemented key interventions to reset the cost base and preserve cash. This entailed moving from a volume to a value based strategy by reconfiguring the mines to reduce the amount of waste mined and to reduce costs in all operational areas. A substantial workforce restructuring was completed and some 2,500 full-time employees and contractors left the company. The strong set of results delivered in 2016 reflects not only the benefit of higher iron ore prices, but the progress made in the execution of this strategy. “It has been a successful year for Kumba, despite challenging and volatile iron ore markets,” said Themba Mkhwanazi, CEO of Kumba Iron Ore. “We acted quickly to restructure the business, reset the cost base and stabilise operating performance. “The rise in prices and realising full value for Kumba’s premium product, together with our cost reductions, resulted in improved margins and strong cash flow generation. With total production of 41.5Mt, both Sishen and Kolomela exceeded operational guidance following a successful restructuring. Controllable costs were

reduced by 34% lowering our average cash breakeven price to $29/tonne. “This year’s excellent performance has enabled us to build a strong balance sheet and a net cash position of R6.2bn. This will support a conservative capital structure and place us, as a single commodity miner, in a strong position to deal with potential further market volatility.”


Every day of the week, iron ore is transported from the Sishen and Kolomela mines to Saldanha Bay along an 861km rail system linking the Sishen mine to the dedicated deepwater port and bulk loading facilities, which are among the most efficient and advanced logistical systems in the world. The port at Saldanha Bay is the only dedicated iron ore export facility in South Africa and is larger than the country’s other four major ports combined (Durban, Cape Town’s Table Bay, Richards Bay and Port Elizabeth). The system is owned and operated by Transnet (the South African parastatal transport company) and is regarded as a model of integrated planning and cooperation between the public and private sectors in South Africa. Massive trains weighing 34,200 tonnes leave the mines every nine hours, each train having five to six locomotives and 342 wagons containing iron ore. The wagons are offloaded at the Saldanha port, and from there the ore is transported via conveyor belt to stockpiles, onto a vessel waiting in the harbour, or to the ArcelorMittal South Africa Saldanha stockpile. The ore quay at Saldanha has two berths where two vessels of 310,000 deadweight tonnage can simultaneously tie up at the iron ore jetty. The terminal operates 24/7 and has the capacity to offload 10,000 tonnes per hour onto a vessel. From arrival to departure an ore vessel carrying 170,000 tonnes will be in Saldanha Bay for just 24 hours.


As well as South Africa, Anglo American also mines iron ore in Brazil. Minas-Rio, in Minas Gerais state, was one of the world’s largest iron ore projects when it was developed, and is now a fully integrated export iron ore World Mining Magazine


operation, with the mine, beneficiation plant, 529km slurry pipeline and dedicated export facility at the port of Açu. Anglo owns 100% of Minas-Rio, and 50% of the port facility. First ore on ship (FOOS) was achieved on 25 October 2014, ahead of schedule and with total project capital expenditure expected to be $0.4 billion below the revised budget of $8.8 billion. Also in Brazil is Anglo American’s nickel business unit, comprising two operating assets, Codemin and Barro Alto, both ferronickel producers in the state of Goiás. Barro Alto’s processing plant was built at a capital cost of $1.9 billion and commissioned in 2011. Located about 170km northwest of Brasilia, and 150km from the Codemin operation, Barro Alto produced 30,000 tonnes of nickel in 2015.

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The Barro Alto nickel deposit was discovered in the late 1960s and Anglo American completed its purchase of the deposit for $35 million in 2002. The company began to mine in Barro Alto in 2004, initially transporting the nickel to the Codemin plant for processing, before the Barro Alto plant was built. Barro Alto’s two furnaces were rebuilt in 2015 to address certain design flaws. Following the successful rebuild the nickel business achieved a production record in 2016 of 44,500 tonnes, an output increase of 47% compared to 2015. At Codemin, production was in line with 2015 at 9,000 tonnes.


While coal did not fit in Anglo American’s strategic portfolio in 2016, work nevertheless continued on its prestigious Grosvenor project in

Australia. The project was approved for development at the end of 2011, and delivered its first coal from its underground longwall in May last year, seven months ahead of schedule and more than US$100 million below budget. The $1.95 billion Grosvenor longwall project site is located approximately 190 kilometres south-west of Mackay, Queensland, adjacent to Anglo American’s existing Moranbah North facility. The project involved developing a greenfield underground coal mine, producing up to 5 million tonnes per annum of coking coal for export, and is the first underground coal mine in Queensland to use a tunnel boring machine to develop the drifts, or access tunnels. At full capacity, the Grosvenor longwall is capable of producing 7.5

anglo american refining assets

“Our priority for 2017 is to deliver further productivity improvements while maintaining capital and cost discipline in order to be in a position to resume dividend payments”

million saleable tonnes per year, and has an anticipated mine life in excess of 30 years. Metallurgical coal is an essential ingredient in blast-furnace steel production and accounts for around 70% of global steel output. Emerging markets, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, continue to drive demand for metallurgical coal — for infrastructure, housing and consumer goods. “We have delivered the Grosvenor metallurgical coal project ahead of schedule and below budget, with an outstanding safety record and in line with our environmental obligations,” said Seamus French, CEO of Bulk Commodities for Anglo American. “The Grosvenor mine project has taken more than seven million man hours to construct, with almost 6,000 personnel inducted onto the project. We

began the installation of the longwall just 24 days before its first shear and production of coal – a truly remarkable feat and a result of the team’s technical expertise and the modular approach we have taken to our underground longwall operations in Australia. We look forward to shipping the mine’s high quality product to our steel customers across Asia as production begins to ramp up in the months ahead.”


Copper is one of Anglo American’s core commodities, and the company has interests in four operations in Chile, producing copper concentrate, copper cathode and associated by-products such as molybdenum and silver. In Chile, Anglo has a 50.1% interest in the Los Bronces mine, which it manages and operates, and a 44% share in the World Mining Magazine


Collahuasi mine; Anglo also manages and operates the El Soldado mine and Chagres smelter (50.1% interest in both). In Peru, the company has an 81.9% interest in the Quellaveco project. Copper’s unique properties make it a vital material for urban and industrial growth. Around 60% of total global demand is for electrics – wire, cables and connectors, including in vehicles and consumer electronics. 20% is used in construction: water pipes and roof sheets benefit from copper’s resistance to corrosion. Copper’s thermal conductivity is also useful in air conditioning and refrigeration.


Anglo American is the leading primary producer of platinum group metals (PGMs), providing the world with around 40% of all newly mined

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platinum. All of its operations are located in the Bushveld Complex in South Africa, with the exception of Unki mine on the Great Dyke formation in Zimbabwe. Anglo is optimising and reconfiguring its PGM portfolio, which when complete will give it a ‘best in class’ core operating footprint at the Mogalakwena and Amandelbult mines in South Africa and Unki in Zimbabwe, alongside its joint venture interests in Bafokeng-Rasimone, the Mototolo mine and Modikwa mine in South Africa. Also in South Africa, Anglo owns smelting and refining operations which treat concentrates from its joint venture partners and third parties as well as its wholly owned mines. Mogalakwena, located in Limpopo, South Africa, is the world’s largest openpit platinum mine, covering an area

of 137 square kilometres, with a life of mine expected to extend at least until 2040. Amandelbult consists of Tumela and Dishaba, two underground mines located between the towns of Northam and Thabazimbi in Limpopo, on the northwestern limb of the great Bushveld mineral complex.


Anglo American owns 85% of De Beers, the world’s leading diamond company. The remaining 15% is owned by the Government of the Republic of Botswana (GRB). Through De Beers and its partners the company produces about a third of the world’s rough diamonds by value, employing more than 20,000 people around the world. Anglo’s diamond mines are located in four countries: Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. In Botswana,

anglo american refining assets

the company works in partnership with the GRB through a 50:50 mining joint venture, Debswana, with operations including Jwaneng, one of the world’s richest diamond mines. In Canada, De Beers has operations at Victor in Northern Ontario and a 51% interest in the Gahcho Kué project, also in the Northwest Territories. In Namibia, De Beers operates in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Namibia through Namdeb onshore and offshore through Debmarine Namibia. In South Africa, De Beers’ mining takes place through De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) in which its partner, Ponahalo Holdings, has a 26% shareholding. The majority of its South African production comes from Venetia mine, located in Limpopo, and South Africa’s largest producer of

diamonds. An underground mine is currently being developed beneath the existing open pit to extend the life of Venetia beyond 2040. In Canada, Gahcho Kué, the world’s largest new diamond mine in the last 13 years, officially began commercial production on 2 March 2017. The mine, a joint venture with De Beers Group (51%) and Mountain Province Diamonds (49%), is expected to produce approximately 54 million carats of rough diamonds over its lifetime. Anglo American’s performance in 2016 seems to have preserved its reputation as a diversified miner, which it might have lost had it sold off all its non-core assets. “Overall, it’s clear that as a result of our decisive actions in 2016, and the results delivered by our people across the company, Anglo American is now more

robust, with a stronger balance sheet and more competitive cost structure around a world class diversified asset base,” said Mark Cutifani. He also had a warning, however. “Despite our significant progress, it is critical that the lessons of recent years are applied and, although there is confidence in the long-term outlook for our products, the balance sheet must be able to withstand expected price volatility in the short to medium term. We will continue to refine our asset portfolio over time to ensure our capital is deployed effectively to generate enhanced returns. “Our priority for 2017 is to deliver further productivity improvements while maintaining capital and cost discipline in order to be in a position to resume dividend payments for the end of 2017, and to restore an investment grade credit rating.” World Mining Magazine


sandvik mining and rock technology the right breaker boom for every job

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology is a leading supplier of equipment and tools, service and technical solutions for the mining and construction industries. Its comprehensive range of rock breakers and breaker booms enhances the safety, productivity and profitability of crushing operations in mines and quarries around the world.   World Mining Magazine


World Mining Magazine



breaker boom plays a critical role in a hard rock mining process. It’s the crusher’s job to reduce the size of the ore for further processing, but a rock breaker may be deployed to keep the crusher feed moving or to reduce oversized material into suitably sized pieces. In a high throughput operation, any delay to crushing can cause supply issues downstream, so there is a strong incentive to minimise downtime and interruptions to production to avoid a significant loss of revenue. Efficient use of breaker booms is an important factor

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in improving the efficiency of crushers. A breaker boom is a hydraulic manipulator consisting of a boom assembly and a hydraulic breaker. The boom looks like an arm with three or four joints, with hydraulic cylinders acting as the muscles (a common boom structure shared by every excavator). In July 2016, Sandvik merged its Mining and Construction operations into one business area – Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, which has a complete range of crushers, screens, drills, loaders, LHDs, etc, and also has unique expertise in breakers. “Sandvik is a global leader in complete turnkey systems for the mining industry,” says Kaj Koskela, Vice President, Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology – BU Breakers. “A very important element

of this is the breakers and the breaker booms.” Every mine site is different, and while there is some truth in the old adage that a bad workman blames his tools, it’s becoming more important in modern mining to have the right tool for the job. Sandvik’s product offering includes breaker booms under its own brand as well as the historic Rammer brand, which it owns. “When it comes to the booms, the breaker offering that Rammer and Sandvik have can cover every application on a mine site,” says Koskela, “whether it’s a gyratory, grizzly, or whatever kind of a crusher they have. We have a full package of booms, from under one tonne up to 22 tonnes. It’s a complete product offering with more than 50 models.” Sandvik provides a

sandvik mining and rock technology the right breaker boom for every job turnkey package here, too, with power packs optimised for the breaker and the boom, and options for lubrication and fire suppressants. The horizontal and vertical reach of the booms ranges from around 5 metres in the smallest versions, up to 14 metres in the largest. Compact booms are used on small range, light breakers for applications in mobile crushing plants and impact crushers. These feature a low-profile design that maintains the crusher’s low transportation height, so are also suitable for small grizzlies with limited headroom. The hydraulic power for compact range booms can be obtained either by the crusher’s hydraulics or by a Sandvik power pack. Medium range booms are typically used in quarry and mining applications to enhance the productivity of stationary crushers by feeding material to the crushers and raking the hopper area. These are designed to withstand tougher duty cycles and can also be used in more demanding applications like underground grizzlies. Large range booms are the most common boom range in heavy duty mining, and feature a shock absorbing pedestal mounting and Sandvik full electrification. Suitable breakers for the large boom range starting on BR3288, designed using a revolutionary operating principle that combines stroke length, blow energy and Sandvik’s idle blow protector, which allows the breaker to be modified to match individual

applications, thus improving hydraulic efficiency and safety. The breaker delivers massive impact energy and high blow frequency for an exceptional power-to-weight ratio. Enhanced lubrication allows for longer service intervals, reducing operating costs, and heavy-duty housing also lowers operating costs by providing improved wear life. As a global market leader in breakers, demolition tools and booms, Sandvik has also designed and produced a full range of rock breaker accessories, parts and tools to keep customers’ machinery running in optimal condition. Its huge range of breaker accessories includes automatic lubrication systems and highly efficient dust suppression systems, as well as all the parts and tools needed to carry out on-site maintenance, reducing downtime and maximising efficiency. Standardised production in state of the art facilities means that even though there are a lot of versions and varieties, the core product is essentially the same. “In some applications the breakers are in use 24/7, but in others they are only used when there’s an oversized boulder for a crusher,” says Koskela. “We have the right breaker boom for every need.” Understanding what customers need is an important factor in product development. “We keep in touch with customer needs by having a number of customer forums every year,” says Koskela. “We listen to customers and

“It’s becoming more important in modern mining to have the right tool for the job”

World Mining Magazine


sandvik mining and rock technology the right breaker boom for every job

end users about what they really need, and we try to deliver our product offering to match those needs. It’s important that we are not developing things that customers don’t really need!” One of the enhancements developed over recent years has been automation. “When we visited MinExpo last year it was ‘automation, automation, automation’ everywhere,” says Koskela, “for safety and productivity reasons. Our offering now includes tele-remote, so one operator can operate multiple booms from an office 30 kilometres away from the mine site. One person can operate five or six booms with HD quality video and the latest sound

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systems.” Automation may be all the rage, but it’s still in its infancy, Koskela believes. “I think we have just scratched the surface with automation,” he says. “The imagination is the limit. There is much more to come from the Internet of Things in terms of what can be automated, and we have many interesting projects going on in Sandvik. I think there will be some product launches before the end of the year and more coming in 2018.” The modern mining customer is concerned about total cost of ownership, and this is where the strength in depth of a leading organisation pays

dividends. As part of its commitment to the highest standards in quality, environment, health and safety, Sandvik is certified in accordance with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. Every boom is built to the customer’s specifications, with lead times from two to twelve weeks, depending on the size of the machine. The equipment is manufactured for easy installation and commissioning, and every breaker is backed by a comprehensive support and spare parts service. With more than 3000 units in operation in 82 countries, expert help and advice is always close at hand through Sandvik’s extensive global dealer and distribution network.

BREAK THE LIMITS Designed and manufactured to the highest of standards, the new 9033 is the most powerful, durable and reliable hammer to ever join Rammer’s line up. Starting with its heavy duty housing, which features a reinforced and wear resistant lower boot, the 9033 also features all the key traits for which professional users have come to expect from Rammer.

Sandvik Mining and Construction Oy / Lahti, Finland / +358 205 44 151 / /

de beers in pursuit of brilliance De Beers, the name synonymous with diamonds, is investing in the future with a series of multi-million dollar projects designed to boost diamond production and benefit the communities in the areas in which it operates. Join us for a glimpse into its sparkling future.

  World Mining Magazine


World Mining Magazine



he history of De Beers dates back to its foundation by Cecil Rhodes in South Africa in 1888. Run by the Oppenheimer family for most of the 20th century, De Beers is recognized internationally as the industry leader.

Now owned jointly by Anglo American (85 per cent) and the Government of the Republic of Botswana (GRB –15 per cent), De Beers is dedicated exclusively to the exploration for, and mining and marketing of rough diamonds, and is the world’s largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in

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Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Canada. Diamonds are usually found in kimberlite pipes formed millions of years ago under intense pressure and high temperature, deep below the earth’s surface. Volcanic eruptions propel the diamonds upwards, embedded in the rock, which was named kimberlite after the first recognized diamond deposits were found in Kimberley, in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa in the 1870s.

South Africa

While the original ‘Big Hole’ in Kimberley is now a museum, De Beers’ flagship property in South Africa today is the Venetia Mine in Limpopo Province, the country’s largest producer of diamonds. The diamond-bearing ore at the current Venetia Mine is expected to

be depleted by 2021, so De Beers is currently investing over US$2 billion (R20 billion) to convert the open pit mine into an underground operation to extend production well into the 2040s. The underground mine is De Beers’ biggest single investment in the country’s diamond industry, and is scheduled to begin production in 2021, climbing to full production in 2025, when it will treat about 132 million tonnes of ore containing an estimated 94 million carats. The project was approved in 2012 by the De Beers and Anglo American Boards. Environmental authorisation was granted in July 2012, and the Environmental Management Plan was approved by the Department of Mineral Resources in October of that year. The final outstanding regulatory clearances were obtained in February 2013, clearing the way for excavation

de beers in pursuit of brilliance work to begin in the year that De Beers celebrated its 125th anniversary. Two vertical shafts, each seven metres in diameter, are being sunk to a depth of 1,080 metres, an operation that will take until 2018. The tunnel decline from the surface providing access to the underground mine has reached more than 1,000 metres in length. “The development of the underground mine at Venetia is a massive financial commitment in our operational capabilities, and a major investment in the safety of our people,” said Head of Venetia Underground Project Kevin Botha at the time. “It is a huge undertaking, and while we’ll need to bring in certain specialist skills from both Canada and Australia, we’ll be recruiting locally to meet the bulk of our labour requirements. We’re expecting to have more than 1,000 people from the surrounding Limpopo region employed on the project.”


“While the original ‘Big Hole’ in Kimberley is now a museum, De Beers’ flagship property in South Africa today is the Venetia Mine in Limpopo Province”

Diamonds were discovered in Botswana in 1967, barely a year after the former British Protectorate of Bechuanaland gained its independence. In 1969, De Beers and the GRB (Government of the Republic of Botswana) formed the De Beers Botswana Mining Company, a 5050 joint venture which became known as Debswana. Fifty years later, Botswana is the second-largest diamond producing country in the world by value and third largest by volume. Debswana is the single largest contributor to the country’s gross domestic product, export earnings and government revenues, and is the largest private employer in Botswana. Debswana has diamond mining operations at four sites: Orapa, Letlhakane, Damtshaa and Jwaneng. These four mines have contributed significantly to the economic growth of Botswana, as well as producing revenues responsible for lifting the country from one of Africa’s least developed to an international development success story. Orapa itself is an open pit mine and is the largest diamond mine in the world by area. It is the oldest of the four mines operated by the company, having begun operations in July 1971. The mine is located on two kimberlite pipes that converge near the surface, covering 1.18

square kilometres at ground level. The mine was expanded in 1999, doubling its previous capacity, and now produces approximately 11 million carats (2200 kg) of diamonds a year. The processing plant at Orapa also processes the ore produced at the Letlhakane and Damtshaa diamond mines. It is in the expansion of Jwaneng, however, one of the world’s richest diamond mines by value, in which De Beers is currently investing. The name means place of small stones but Jwaneng is one of the world’s richest diamond mines and generates up to 70% of De Beers’ revenue in Botswana. Jwaneng has been expanded seven times since it opened in 1982, which is why the latest development is known as ‘Cut-8’, a project which will extend the life of mine to at least 2033. Cut-8 is expected to become the main source of ore for Botswana’s Jwaneng mine in 2018. This latest expansion will increase the depth of the mine from 400 metres to 650 metres, making the pit 2.7km long and 1.8km wide. The expansion will elevate the mine to ‘super-pit’ status, making it one of the largest open pit mines in the world. The new mine is expected to provide access to an estimated 93 million carats of mainly high-quality diamonds from about 84 million tonnes of ore mined. But before a single diamond can be found, about 500 million tonnes of rock surrounding the diamond-bearing ore must be removed. Every day, more than 340,000 tonnes of waste rock and 23,000 tonnes of ore are removed during work on Cut-8.


De Beers has carried out exploration activities in Canada since the 1960s, but it was 2008 before it opened its first mine in the country. The Snap Lake Project, approximately 220 kilometers (roughly 140 miles) northeast of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, just south of the tree line, was De Beers’ first mine outside Africa, but was put into care and maintenance in December 2015. De Beers’ second Canadian mine is Victor, located in the James Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario (the first diamond mine in Ontario), approximately 90 km (55 miles) west of the coastal community of Attawapiskat. World Mining Magazine


“De Beers is the world’s largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Canada”

  World Mining Magazine


World Mining Magazine


Construction of the mine began in February 2006, and the official opening was held on 26 July 2008. Production at Victor continues according to plan, but the current excitement in the country’s diamond industry has been generated by De Beers’ third and largest mine in Canada, Gahcho Kué, located at Kennady Lake, about 280km northeast of Yellowknife. The mine is a joint venture between De Beers (51 per cent) and Mountain Province Diamonds (49 per cent), and is expected to produce approximately 54 million carats of rough diamonds over its lifetime. Gahcho Kué is an open-pit mine, comprising three pits and covering 1,200 hectares. Full construction started in the 2014/15 winter and the mine officially opened on 20 September 2016. Production ramp up began on 1 August 2016 and commercial production was

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officially declared on 2 March 2017. Production is expected to last 13 years, averaging 4.5 million carats a year from around 35 million tonnes of scheduled material. “Today marks a significant landmark for De Beers in Canada as Gahcho Kué becomes an important contributor to the Group’s global production,” said Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group. “That the mine has reached this landmark, on budget and ahead of schedule, is testament to the partnerships that have worked together since construction began. It’s a result of these partnerships that the mine is set to deliver socio-economic benefits of more than C$5 billion to the economy of the Northwest Territories over its lifetime.” In any construction project, delivery of equipment and materials is a challenge to logistical expertise. The construction of a mine in the Northwest

Territories is infinitely more complex than most. Permanent roads would be prohibitively expensive to build, so an ice road was built to enable the delivery of supplies - about 2,500 loads each year of fuel, construction supplies, mining equipment and other materials. Anything the mine required that needed to be delivered by road, had to come up the ice road in an eight week window in the coldest part of the winter. To access the kimberlite deposits at Gahcho Kué, the water level is being lowered in part of Kennady Lake, one of thousands of small lakes in the region. Some sections will be partitioned off and drained to reach the kimberlite by building a series of dykes, ditches, berms and ponds. But, as the water level is lowered, clean water is pumped into another watershed north of the lake. Gahcho Kué, which means place of the big rabbits or hares in the local

de beers in pursuit of brilliance

“Anything the mine required that needed to be delivered by road, had to come up the ice road in an eight week window in the coldest part of the winter”

Chipewyan language, began in 1995 when Mountain Province Diamonds discovered the first kimberlite deposit, known as 5034. Three other deposits were discovered by De Beers Exploration two years later, with two of them, the Hearne and Tuzo kimberlites, having excellent economic potential. Extensive drilling and analysis followed and environmental permits were sought and granted for 5034, Hearne and Tuzo. Canada is the world’s third largest diamond producer by value and the fifth largest by volume. Underpinned by a US$1 billion capital investment, the development of Gahcho Kué between 2006 and 2015 has already provided a C$440 million boost to the NWT economy, according to a recent socioeconomic impact study conducted by EY on behalf of De Beers. More than 90 per cent of Gahcho Kué’s economic impact will be delivered once

the mine becomes fully operational, equivalent to a further C$5.3 billion in Gross Value Added to the North West Territories. Including its supply chain impacts, the mine supported more than 2,700 jobs in 2015, with employment at the site representing more than 10 per cent of employment in the NWT’s extractive industries. 2016 was a busy and significant year for De Beers, and for its CEO Bruce Cleaver. “I have been working closely on the Gahcho Kué project since I joined De Beers a decade ago,” he said, ”and to see it happen so soon after I took the reins as CEO made me very proud. The opening was a very special occasion, with leaders from the First Nations communities who are hosting our mining activities joining us for it. We are a business that relies on partnerships, and our partnerships with communities of this kind are critical.” World Mining Magazine


caterpillar hard rocking

  World Mining Magazine


The Hard Rock Vehicle (HRV) team at Caterpillar talk about their experience at MINExpo and where the group is heading next. On the team are Steve Rich, General Manager for Caterpillar’s Hard Rock Vehicles, Jay Armburger, Product Manager for Underground Mining Technology Solutions, who leads the battery LHD program, and Nathan Wescombe, Commercial Manager for HRV. World Mining Magazine



he MINExpo show in Las Vegas is the Olympic event for the mining industry. At last September’s show, Caterpillar® drew attention to its investment in underground mining. Steve Rich, General Manager for Cat Hard Rock Vehicles, explains what the company is investing in, and why now.   World Mining Magazine


caterpillar hard rocking

“Caterpillar has been serving the hard rock underground mining industry since 2000,” he says. “At MINExpo we celebrated the sale of our 500th AD30 truck, and we have sold over 5,000 underground machines in our history. As underground mining operations continue to expand, Caterpillar has increased its investment to develop new technologies for our customers. “When it comes to hard rock vehicles, we are currently investing heavily in a new generation of our existing machines,” he continues, “as well as developing new models to expand our offering. At the same time, we are driving towards a goal of providing autonomous solutions for all underground miners through additional investment in technology and automation solutions.” Investment in research and development will soon be rewarded by the launch of several new models. Attendees at MINExpo will have seen some of these on display. The R1700K is the signature program for Caterpillar’s new generation of LHDs and represents a significant step change in terms of productivity and performance. “This includes a new generation of Command for Underground, a part of our Cat MineStar™ System,” says Rich. “We are also expanding our product offering with the introduction of a new, smaller size class of truck, the AD22.”

LHD machines

“At MINExpo we celebrated the sale of our 500th AD30 truck, and we have sold over 5,000 underground machines in our history”

After the launch of Caterpillar’s first load, haul, dump truck in 2000, how different is the R1700K from that first generation of LHD machines? “We live by a culture of continuous improvement, so our R1700G is significantly improved over the first model built,” says Rich, “but the K series is a groundup re-examination of the model. “We’re very fortunate at Caterpillar to have an astounding depth of engineering skill and experience, and by collaborating across all Cat® products we can bring the best and proven designs for things like drivetrain components, implement controls, software development, and Tier 4 emission solutions to our LHD product line. As an example, the cab on the R1700K is 100% new. Everything in it, from the shatter proof glass to the controls, has been examined in detail for safety and ergonomic comfort for the operator.” Additional rub railing has been added to the cab (and other areas of the machine) for protection, but other elements will remain close to the original after proving themselves already. World Mining Magazine


“Our frame design is absolutely solid,” says Rich, “and we know this from customers who have had ground up restorations done three, four and approaching five rebuilds with 40 – 50,000 hours on a single frame. That’s not to say that we didn’t put it through strenuous virtual stress testing. We did, and we’ve had to adjust it minimally to accommodate Tier 4 emissions components at the engine end frame. “Something as simple as the bucket design has benefited from not only the new design technologies, but also the combined experiences of our wheel loader and excavator lines. A simple change to the bucket throat angle is bringing about loading performance increases that we’ve been able to prove virtually and is now being proven in the field. With the new bucket, our capacity for this machine has increased to 15 tonnes.” The R1700K program is now in the field follow stage – where pilot machines run in mines around the world – in everything from high altitude conditions to corrosive environments. As the pilot machines acquire hours, Caterpillar monitors the program for any design adjustments and makes those prior to production, which is planned for 2018. “I’ll just say one last thing on the R1700K,” Rich concludes. “Every single improvement that has been made to the machine ties back to a critical customer requirement – either to help lower their owning and operating costs, to improve operating conditions for their labor force, to help improve

  World Mining Magazine


caterpillar hard rocking

the environment their people are working in, or to meet regulations.”

Total cost of ownership

“We live by a culture of continuous improvement, so our R1700G is significantly improved over the first model built, but the K series is a ground-up reexamination of the model”

In the current mining climate, OEMs have been working to lower the total cost of ownership. Nathan Wescombe, as a commercial manager, is on the front line of selling Cat HRV products, so he knows how Caterpillar expects to be a leader in TCO. “To arrive at a TCO number for a customer,” he says, “there are many variables that have to be considered. Materials type, ground conditions, the haul segment of the cycle, financing, insurance, fuel use, tire wear, initial purchase price, for instance.” Caterpillar enjoys a reputation as a premium brand because of the toughness and technology available on its machines – so it’s not likely to be the cheapest option. “The TCO benefits from our machines come from their long term durability and availability over the course of their life time,” says Wescombe, “both of which are the direct result of our proven designs and components and our rigorous development and continuous improvement efforts.” Cat Dealers play a huge role in getting parts and services to the customer quickly and efficiently and are pivotal to machine availability. The company also provides a variety of design incrementals to lower TCO, such as ride control on LHDs to keep production levels high, and simple things like grouped, ground level service bays that shorten the machine’s time away from operation. The bottom line is greater profitability for customers using Cat equipment. “I would also say that as miners go deeper after higher grade ore, the stakes get higher,” says Wescombe. “The cost of getting a machine underground and then keeping it running there represents a substantial investment and commitment by our customers. We recently improved the process of literally cutting apart our machines that have to descend very narrow mine shafts. This is just one example of how we never stop listening to our customers; they are the kingpin around which all of our efforts focus to build better, more cost efficient products.” Caterpillar is helping customers reduce cost in a number of ways. “At its most fundamental, the best thing we can do is to continue to provide seriously tough, hard-working and reliable products,” says Steve Rich. “From there, we can build on solutions to very specific issues like lowering ventilation costs World Mining Magazine


by providing a number of emission controls solutions. “The R1700K is our first Tier 4 machine, but for lesser regulated countries where fuel quality would present a problem for Tier 4, we offer ventilation reduction options for our Tier 3 engines that help reduce particulate matter. As you may have heard at MINExpo, we are pursuing a battery-powered portfolio and are in fact building our first prototype at the Caterpillar Peoria Proving Grounds in January of 2017. Jay Armburger is the lead for this project, and I should let him speak to it.” Caterpillar has not announced much about its battery program yet, so Armburger’s input is significant here. “As you know,” he says, “there are battery LHDs and trucks already available to the market within the smaller size classes. We know that battery solutions will not suit every application, but for those applications where battery powered machines might be the best or potentially only option, we intend to offer solutions that meet all of the reliability and durability requirements expected of a Cat machine.” Caterpillar also intends to improve on the duty cycles that are currently being seen with battery-operated vehicles. “Caterpillar’s vertical integration capabilities provide us with the ability to optimize the system design from power generation to tire rotation,” says Armburger. “Our battery program will start with our smaller LHDs, and our prototype

  World Mining Magazine


caterpillar hard rocking machine currently being assembled for trials in January will be on the R1300 platform. Caterpillar’s work to date has concentrated on designing and validating new structures to optimize the battery layout, as well as software and cab updates required for the new propulsion system. “Caterpillar continues to invest in electric drive and energy storage technology,” continues Armburger. “We’re very fortunate to be able to capitalize on those investments which have been successfully demonstrated on other Caterpillar equipment. For instance, our electric drive haul trucks, the D7E electric drive tractor and some of our electrically driven paving products. The knowledge has always been in house – we’re now applying that knowledge and tailoring the experience into our underground vehicles.” Caterpillar’s energy storage research center continues to test and evaluate various battery chemistries and configurations, and it should not be forgotten that Cat has decades of experience with electric driven underground equipment. “We’re now focusing that experience on our Hard Rock products,” says Armburger. “Our prototype will experience rigorous in-house testing at the Caterpillar Peoria Proving Grounds. We will then partner with our dealer and a customer to get it underground and accruing hours in its arduous but natural operating environment. The results of the prototype will drive the timing and forward progress of our New Product Introduction (NPI) program for the machine. As you can imagine, we are establishing our full portfolio development plans as our customers strive for zero emission mining solutions.”

Product development

“The cost of getting a machine underground and then keeping it running there represents a substantial investment and commitment by our customers”

The R1700K is one machine out of many in Caterpillar’s HRV product line. What else has been going on? “Before we move from LHDs, I should mention that we continue to invest in autonomous solutions for this product,” says Steve Rich. “At MINExpo, we showed the latest generation of simulator for our autonomous LHDs using the Cat MineStar Command for Underground technology.” The need for autonomous or remote operation is driven by safety and the logistical challenges that deeper mines bring to an operation. Command for Underground is the foundational technology for Caterpillar’s underground autonomy journey, offering benefits including continued operation through traditionally lengthy shift changes, returning to work sooner after a blast, and with Caterpillar’s auto tramming capabilities, predictable, repeatable cycle times. “Our customers do not expect us to stop there,” continues Rich. “Deeper site integration, as traditionally found in our surface MineStar products, will provide access to information to drive informed decisions—resulting in real time impacts to productivity. To support this development, we’ve invested in a state-of-the-art testing and training facility in Burnie, Tasmania that caters exclusively to the operation of autonomous machines. In fact, all K Series LHDs will come autonomous-ready from the factory. Stay tuned for future development as world-class machines continue to meet world class technology.” Caterpillar never stands still on its continuous improvement path, making on-going updates to all models. “You asked about World Mining Magazine


the rest of our product line,” says Rich, “and we are expanding our truck line with the addition of the AD22–a 22 tonne capacity truck. This truck will feature a flat body design for easy loading and material ejection, and we’re powering it with the Cat C11 ACERT™ diesel engine that, combined with the Cat transmission, will provide excellent power and performance on grade. This is another program currently under final customer testing and soon heading to production. At first introduction, it will be offered in lesser regulated regions.”

World-class manufacturing

After focusing heavily on products, we should not overlook the investment Caterpillar has made in its new, world-class manufacturing facility in Rayong, Thailand, where it now builds all its hard rock mining vehicles. A video of the factory can be seen on YouTube. “Moving manufacturing to Thailand provides us the advantages of an engaged, knowledgeable and skilled workforce, proximity to our supplier base, and also proximity to quickly reach customers around the world,” says Rich. “As with all Caterpillar facilities, our Thailand operations follow the rigorous Caterpillar Production System that comprehensively covers everything from the quality of parts coming in to the factory to the final pre-delivery inspections that are completed before shipment. We can offer the very best application-driven designs in the industry – but there has to

  World Mining Magazine


caterpillar hard rocking

“We’ve invested in a state-of-the-art testing and training facility in Burnie, Tasmania that caters exclusively to the operation of autonomous machines”

be complementary manufacturing expertise to deliver them. This is a core strength of Caterpillar, and it is the reason our machines are able to perform so well through four and even five rebuilds.” Caterpillar’s theme at MINExpo was “Our Partnership Goes Beyond the Iron”. What does this mean for underground customers specifically? “More than anything, it means that we’re invested in the success of the customer well beyond their purchase or warranty period on a machine,” says Nathan Wescombe. “We have a full suite of products and services to help ensure a mine achieves or sustains profitability. “At the front line are our dealers – who are local, provide parts and service, and have the expertise to rebuild our products. Our Cat dealers are also supported internally by a dedicated underground mining team within Caterpillar. If needed, there are ways Caterpillar can help customers through financing— using the services of Cat Financial to enable rebuilds or lines of credit. Our Job Site Solutions group is solely dedicated to improving an operation’s profitability by being on site, knee deep into the data of an operation, helping them all the way through to profitable results.

World Mining Magazine

World Mining Magazine



Next steps in flotation technology Steve Ware and Asa Weber, from FLSmidth’s Product Line Management Group in Salt Lake City, Utah, tell Martin Ashcroft about a performance breakthrough in flotation technology   World Mining Magazine


FLSmidth Next steps in flotation technology


ith mining companies continuously looking for ways to produce more with less, innovations in process technology can be worth their weight in gold—or copper, if you prefer. While incremental improvements in productivity are always welcome, it’s not every day you come across a step change, but that is exactly what has happened thanks to a new rotor/stator mechanism devised by FLSmidth.

With the addition of Dorr-Oliver and Wemco to its portfolio, FLSmidth is a leading provider of flotation technology. A little over a year ago, the company introduced the patent pending nextSTEP™ advanced flotation mechanism, the latest design for forced air flotation technology which reduces operational costs and improves bubble-particle attachment rates. “The nextSTEP rotor/stator provides a step change in flotation metallurgical performance and energy efficiency,” says Steve Ware, Director, Separation Technology. “It has the lowest operating power of any forced-air flotation mechanism on the market.” The nextSTEP rotor/stator was launched in February last year at the annual Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) conference in Denver, USA. Its benefits are manifold. Customers have experienced 15 - 40% less power consumption, for instance, while maintaining or improving recovery due to dramatic improvements in mineral-bubble attachment rates. The nextSTEP mechanism is standard for FLSmidth’s forced air product line and can be retrofitted to existing flotation equipment as well. Even flow distribution patterns increase the life cycle of the mechanism as the jet exiting the rotor is distributed across a larger surface area. This saves money over the life of the rotor/stator and reduces downtime for repairs or replacements. On top of the even wear patterns, the rotor can also be run in a reverse direction to further increase the life cycle of the mechanism. The nextSTEP rotor/stator technology is applicable across all mineral applications. Initial installations have been sulphide concentrators in general, and copper concentrators in particular. In these types of plants, flotation cells are principally used to process the entire feed stream handling between 50,000 and 250,000 tonnes of ore a day. On this scale, the implications of a 20 per cent reduction in energy costs with the potential of an increase in mineral recovery bonus are a no-brainer. “These plants can have anywhere from ten to a hundred of these units operating in a concentrator,” says Ware. FLSmidth’s nextSTEP rotor/stator technology is the result of extensive fundamental academic studies, laboratory test work and full-scale plant testing. “Flotation machines operate on a series of probabilities,” explains Asa Weber, product manager in the flotation department. “Recovery is a function of collision, adhesion and attachment. In order to improve the probability of collision and adhesion, you control the bubble size, kinetic World Mining Magazine


The next step in energy efficiency Introducing the all-new nextSTEP™ rotor/stator for forced-air flotation machines. This unique, innovative and patent-pending design provides a “step change” in both metallurgical performance and energy efficiency compared to other designs on the market. The superior metallurgical performance of the nextSTEP mechanism shows up to a 5% increase in recovery, resulting from dramatic improvements in mineral-bubble attachment rates. When installed, operators note a 10-15% reduction of power requirements and see better wear distribution for increased rotor/stator life. Upgrade to the nextSTEP™ rotor/stator mechanism in your new or existing forced-air flotation equipment and enjoy a strong positive impact on long-term operating costs. Find out more at

FLSmidth Next steps in flotation technology

dissipation energy, and aeration rate. In the broadest terms, if you decrease bubble size, increase aeration rate, and optimize kinetic dissipation energy you can improve bubble/particle attachment.” Smaller bubbles have proven to have better attachment properties than large ones, but in the normal course of events, an increase in airflow produces larger, not smaller bubbles; so it’s not a straightforward proposition. “In the design of flotation cells, we want to design a machine that produces better air dispersion,” explains Weber. “We want to increase the air volume into the machine and reduce the bubble size at the same time. Unfortunately, as you increase your aeration rate, normally the bubble size increases, so there’s an optimum range where the machine needs to function. Simultaneously, the nextSTEP rotor/stator must create the right amount of turbulence in the machine in order to maximize bubble/ particle contact.” FLSmidth spent four years developing nextSTEP, starting from theoretical first principles, then using computational fluid dynamic models and 3D printed prototypes to optimize the rotor/stator design. “Once we understood the fundamentals of the machine and how the bubble/particle contact occurs, we wanted to improve attachment rate at an optimized power consumption to see if we could improve recovery,” says Weber. So what has changed as a result of this research and development? What is different about the new rotor/stator design that makes it so effective? “The significant changes in design are the blade of the rotor, which has been elongated,” says Weber, “and we also cut slots in the stator for the first time and optimized the geometry of the rotor/stator assembly.” The new rotor is designed to produce ideal flow streams. It

also produces strong enough turbulence to enhance bubbleparticle attachment. The patent-pending slotted stator makes energy dissipation more uniform, which results in a higher probability of bubble particle contact during the flotation process, dramatically improving attachment rates. Matching the shape of the rotor with the shape of the stator has facilitated better pumping performance and ensured more efficient use of energy within the cell itself. The perfect matching of the rotor and stator ensures that the widest possible flow is delivered and the highest area of stator is utilised. “When compared to other forced-air flotation designs, the nextSTEP mechanism exhibits stronger air dispersion near the rotor/stator region, higher air hold-up and a stronger pumping effect below the rotor,” says Weber. “CFD analysis shows that the nextSTEP mechanism generates a preferred slurry flow and positive froth movement pattern near the top of the tank. This improves froth mobility and recovery of coarse particles over other competitive designs.” The lower energy consumption and superior metallurgical performance are an attractive proposition for any mining operation using flotation technology. The nextSTEP design has been engineered to fit all sizes of machines, from the smallest one cubic metre machine up to FLSmidth’s 660m3 SuperCell machine. The mechanism is interchangeable with FLSmidth Dorr-Oliver forced-air flotation mechanisms and can be retrofitted in any forced air flotation cell.

World Mining Magazine

World Mining Magazine


ABB Big data in mining and minerals

  World Mining Magazine




big data in mining and minerals

BB is a world-leading provider for a multitude of industries, including mining and mineral processing, where it offers products, services and solutions to help customers increase availability and lower the lifetime investment costs of their equipment. Leonard A Eros, Global Mining Manager of ABB’s RM Division, tells Martin Ashcroft about the current challenges and trends in the industry

“The RM Division is responsible for motors and generators, mechanical equipment and what we call drives, which are motor control devices, controlling the speed and power of motors,” explains Len Eros (pictured above). Such is the diversity of these product groups that his team is scattered all over the world, depending on where ABB’s various factories are located. There’s a large motors group in Italy, for instance, a low voltage centre in Finland, and a mechanical centre in the US. There’s no doubt that mining has had a few tough years recently, yet the number one priority in the industry remains the same as it has always been—safety. “That comes before World Mining Magazine


anything else,” says Eros, “and it’s becoming more important all the time because society in general is recognising that if you work in the mining industry you don’t need to jeopardise your safety or your health. I think in the past there was an acceptance that if you worked in mining you would be exposed to the risk of injury or accident, but people don’t accept it any more. And they shouldn’t. We have enough technology now so it can be as safe as we choose to make it.” It’s becoming more evident as time goes by that safety and efficiency go hand in hand. Apart from the human cost, accidents disrupt the flow of work. Even taking time to prevent a safety issue affects productivity, so by definition, efficient processes will be safe processes. How does ABB contribute to this trend? “One of the things that modern operations are focusing on is removing people from hazardous situations,” says Eros. “One way of doing that is through the increased mechanisation of mining processes. That takes different forms but one is to move people away from machines. People may still be in proximity to the machine but they may not be in such a hazardous area.” They may begin by using remote controls instead of sitting in a cab. With more advanced systems the operators may not even be at the mine location. Once you have a high level of mechanisation like this, you then require a high level of automation, and ABB plays a big role in fulfilling that need.

  World Mining Magazine


“As you get more automated,” Eros points out, “when people are no longer in close proximity to the machines, you lose that sensory perception that people have when they can feel the vibrations and hear the tone of the engine, so you have to have data to replace what they would have been sensing themselves if they had been there.” This is part of what is called ‘big data’, and what’s driving it, whether it be a huge haul truck or a tiny motor, is that the machines are all collecting data about their operational performance and the conditions they’re operating in; they then transmit the data so it can be processed. “That requires a huge amount of processing capability,” says Eros. “So mechanisation is leading to automation and it’s being driven by the need to have a safer mining operation, and by trying to become more efficient at what we’re doing.” While the global economy has been in the doldrums, the mining sector has suffered along with it. Reduced demand for metals and minerals has brought down prices, and these factors are beyond miners’ control. “They can’t control demand and they can’t control prices,” says Eros, “but they can control the cost of production, so what we’re seeing today is a huge focus on cost reduction through improved efficiency.” Data plays a huge role in the pursuit of efficiency, and is becoming ever more sophisticated in its contribution. It started simply with pieces of equipment monitoring themselves; a

abb big data in mining and minerals

“When people are no longer in close proximity to the machines, you lose that sensory perception that people have when they can feel the vibrations and hear the tone of the engine, so you have to have data to replace what they would have been sensing themselves if they had been there”

motor that monitors bearing temperature or vibration level, for instance. Data being collected now, however, enables whole systems to be monitored to optimise the performance of the complete process. This is where ABB’s innovation comes into its own. “We recently launched a product called a Smart sensor,” says Eros. “It’s a device which can attach to any manufacturer’s brand of motor and it collects data and transmits it into a cloud storage environment so that data can be compared with literally thousands of other motors operating in similar environments. We’ve always focused before on medium voltage motors on big expensive machines, but when you look at mining operations there are far more small low voltage motors than there are large motors, and these tended to be ignored. Now we can take all kinds of parameters and analyse them together, even on small low cost motors, to detect when problems may be occurring. That is on a component level but it’s critical because all components have to work for the system to work.” Another trend that Eros identifies is one towards greater customization. “We are increasingly designing products specifically for the customer’s particular application,” he says. “Motors that are specifically configured for mining industry requirements. What we need in a motor for an underground coal mine is different from a motor we would use in a surface iron ore mine. Our customers are wanting equipment that is more specifically designed to their application as opposed to a one size fits all.” All the best manufacturers build highly efficient motors, he says, “so we are also looking at how we can improve system efficiency through a higher level of controls. A motor may not need to be running at full load,” for instance, “if it’s exceeding the capacity of the system it’s working in.” One new product that is really helping to improve efficiencies in mining is the HES880 Mobile Drive, which has been developed in close co-operation with mining OEMs. It is a modular drive unit that is designed specifically for fullyelectric or hybrid-electric vehicles, such as trucks, front loaders, drill rigs and excavators. The main efficiency benefits come from storing and reusing energy while machine is operating and reducing ventilation in underground mines. With cost saving in mind, customers are also looking for equipment that offers longer life and less maintenance. They want to see their machinery running, not in the shop being maintained. Equipment designed specifically for a particular application tends to run longer with less maintenance, and that lowers the customer’s total cost of ownership. Another aspect of that is how maintenance is planned. “As part of the drive for high efficiency, people want to move from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance,” says Eros. “Instead of changing the oil every six months, for instance, they want to know how many hours the engine has been running, and under what conditions. In order to make that decision you need better data coming in. “So when we’re doing any kind of system, be it a conveyor system or a crusher, a material handling system or any similar system, people don’t want to be told to do maintenance after so many hours, they want to be told when maintenance is really needed.” Safety and efficiency are likely to continue driving mining trends, but social and environmental factors are playing an World Mining Magazine


Motors, drives, mechanical power transmission – all from one supplier.

We have delivered reliable products to the mining industry for decades and being a valued partner with our customers is something we care about very deeply. One way we can help increase reliability is to make sure all the components in your system fit together seamlessly. When you are specifying a power train for your application, we can design and deliver a complete solution with variable speed drives, motors, couplings, bearings, gearing and pulleys. Take your energy efficiency to the next level with the best possible cost of ownership. With our expertise and extensive product and service offering you can ensure safe processes for machines and people. To learn more, call ABB or visit

abb big data in mining and minerals

“They can’t control demand and they can’t control prices, but they can control the cost of production, so what we’re seeing today is a huge focus on cost reduction through improved efficiency”

increasing role, too. “Mining operations need to maintain a social licence to operate,” says Eros. “That’s come into focus now more than ever because communities have a lot more information than they are used to, no matter how remote they are. They know that it’s possible to have a mining operation that doesn’t adversely affect their water supply, and doesn’t contaminate the environment, so the mines have to maintain good relationships and be good neighbours. “Noise reduction is another important issue which can impact the mines relationship with the community so we’re also designing machines with quieter motors and drives with a lower noise output than ever before. And, of course, recognizing the need to reduce our impact on the environment drives our efforts to design products and provide solutions with reduced energy consumption, lower emissions and a reduced carbon footprint.” So some of the top priorities of ABB are to answer the challenge for safer operations through the use of mechanization and automation that allows people to be removed from hazardous environments. Developing the expertise to handle the big data required with that process is also fundamental to its success. And answering the industry’s need to run more efficient operations, take advantage of predictive maintenance and reduce their carbon footprint goes into the design of all its new products and solutions.

World Mining Magazine

World Mining Magazine


NEW PATENT PENDING AXLEWEIGHR IN-MOTION AXLE-SCALE - WEIGHS TRUCK AT THE JOB SITE! Rinstrum’s new In Motion Axle Scale is a fast, accurate and economical way to weigh trucks and verify your net payload. The patent pending precast concrete design is semi portable and can be moved from jobsite to jobsite. Contractors, farmers, and plant managers will find this low cost scale indispensable to their operations. At 1/3 the price of a full length scale Rinstrum’s axleWEIGHr is excellent value Payload:

Always know what payload you are carrying. Roll across the scale at 2-3 mph and the easy-to-use controller will totalize the net payload for each truck as it passes over the scale. Up to 250 different trucks can be stored in memory. A door mounted printer records all transactions and data is captured to digital memory via USB storage drive, or Ethernet connection.

Convenient: The small footprint of this scale easily

integrates into the flow of traffic. No need to stop on the scale. Simply drive across at a constant speed (2-3 mph) and the scale will automatically do the rest.

  World Mining Magazine



Data Driven: The system will record total gross

vehicle weight by truck ID, commodity, time and date. Use the optional truck ID clicker system to identify the truck and select the commodity on the large remote display. Each trucks tare weight is saved in memory and then recalled when the truck crosses the scale for single pass operation. Data can be printed or stored to a convenient USB storage drive for easy transport to the office PC.

Economical: About 1/3 of the cost of a full length


An accident with an overloaded vehicle is serious business. Know your axle weights and your total vehicle weight before you leave the jobsite. Stay under the legal load limit and be safe.

Accurate: On average better than ±0.5% repeatability

can be expected. Company testing as well as extensive field trials have shown that with flat and level concrete approaches ±0.2% or better accuracy can be achieved.

truck scale, the axle scale is great value for the user that does not have legal for trade requirements. Save time and expense by not driving to a faraway truck scale and install the axleWEIGHr at the job site.

About Rinstrum Inc.: Rinstrum has been

designing and manufacturing weighing systems for over 20 years. Our global manufacturing network has facilities in the United States, Germany, Australia and Sri Lanka in addition to an extensive network of dealers, OEM’s and service companies. Our Troy Michigan facility proudly manufactures the axle scale and other weighing products in the United States.

For more information please contact us at: Call Toll Free 1 877 829 9152 or +1 248 680 0320 from outside the United States Rinstrum in-Motion Axle Scale – Proudly made in the USA World Mining Magazine


Are equipment trips slowing down your ore? Operate to constraints to maximize flow. Pavilion8ÂŽ drives your operation to maximum potential The Pavilion8 Material Flow Management application provides real-time visibility of complex multiple conveyor systems in a mining facility. By taking advantage of existing data, the application improves performance by initiating preventive or corrective measures prior to a system trip.

Discover how a Pavilion solution can help you operate your facility at maximum efficiency. Pavilion8 is a registered trademark of Rockwell Automation, Inc. Copyright Š 2015 Rockwell Automation, Inc. All Rights Reserved. AD2015-45-US

Reduce fatigue & distraction events. Save lives.

Seeing Machines’ Driver Safety System (DSS) is proven to dramatically reduce driver fatigue & distraction events. Today, in over 3,000 mine-site vehicles around the world, costly downtime is minimised while safe operations are maximised. DSS supports your fatigue management plans, improving productivity and keeping your vehicle operators safe. Supported globally through the CaterpillarŽ Dealer Network, the Seeing Machines DSS will protect your people and save lives. Learn more at

saves lives

or ask your local CAT dealer.

Expander Systems Expander® System carries expansive list of standard pins in its extensive catalog

Expander’s online CADEX system allows users to input the make and model of their machines and see detailed drawings of pin positions for ease in ordering.

  World Mining Magazine


(Below, main picture) Expander offers a wide range of Expander® System pivot pins for equipment owners. (Right)Expander begins manufacturing orders immediately, providing fast turnaround.


quipment owners in every industry are plagued with the problem of pivot wear. Traditionally, the repair method is a time-consuming process of welding and line boring, which must be done repeatedly during a machine’s life cycle. Expander has been servicing the market with a solution for nearly 30 years. Offering a faster, permanent and more economical solution to machine pivot applications. “The Expander® System decreases downtime, in turn, increasing production time,” said Joakim Hedlund, COO/Business Development Manager. “Once it’s installed, the pivot is like new again and remains that way. Equipment owners’ costs are lowered and profit increases because of reduction in maintenance.” The Expander® System eliminates line boring and welding. It consists of an assembly that includes a pin body that is tapered at both ends, two slotted expansion sleeves, two tension washers and two fasteners. When the fasteners are torqued, the tension washers push the expansion sleeves up the tapered part of the pin, creating full-surface contact even if bores are worn. This permanently eliminates the movement that causes pivot wear and damages bores. It’s designed to be a one-time solution for the lifetime of the machine. The Expander® System eliminates welding and line boring. It consists of an assembly that includes a pin body that’s tapered at both ends, two slotted expansion sleeves, two tension washers along with two fasteners. When the fasteners are torqued, the tension washers push the expansion sleeves up the tapered part of the pin, creating full-surface contact, even if bores are worn. This permanently eliminates the movement that causes pivot wear and damages bores. Its design is a one-time solution that lasts the lifetime of the equipment. The Expander® System comes with a 10-year/10,000-hour function warranty. Expander maintains an extensive catalog of Expander® System assemblies that match virtually any equipment make and model. The company has designed nearly 80,000 standard Expander® System assemblies, so chances are, there is an exact match for your needs. Expander can also offer customized pins. “Customers may call us directly or work with our sales representatives to receive information and access to our online catalog,” said Hedlund. “Once CADEX Online is opened, they can look up their specific machine brand, machine model and part number. They will find detailed drawings of that machine, and can use those drawings to identify the particular part number for the Expander® System assembly needed. The customer can then input the part number and order it online. If a new part number needs to be designed the customer can fill in the specific measurements into the online Pivot Dimension Sheet and request a quote. Once the order is received, Expander begins processing immediately to alleviate costly downtime for customers. “Products typically ship within one to five business days, depending on specifications,” said Hedlund. “If it’s something in stock that doesn’t require additional processes, it’s on the way in about 24 hours.” World Mining Magazine


No More Line Boring


The Expander®System installs directly into worn pivots without the need for costly welding and line boring – even if holes are worn oval. Each assembly is designed to fit your specific machine make, model and position. The assembly pin-body is tapered at both ends, and when the fasteners are tightened, the tension washers force the expansion sleeves into the worn lug holes. The sleeves conform with the wear pattern to permanently eliminate the wear problem, so you get a perfect fit every time. Stop endlessly replacing pins, and opt for a long-term solution that will expand your bottom line – The Expander®System.

See how it works

Contact Expander today to find the perfect-size pins for your mining equipment. The Global Leader in Pivot Engineering

Sweden: Expander System Sweden AB +46-(0)120-299 00

Germany: Expander Deutschland GmbH +49(0)611-97445707

USA: Expander Americas Inc. +1-888-935-3884 WM16

Innovative Solutions


Safety & protection for operators & environment in the most difďƒžcult working conditions

DOK-ING Ltd. Kanalski put 1, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia T +385 1 2481 300 / F +385 1 2481 303



Advanced ION EXCHANGE Technology Why use ION - IX ? TM

ION-IXTM is the ideal new system for: ●

Highest recovery of precious metals Steady product & efluent stream Reduced chemical and water usage Lowest O&M costs

Major benefits of the ION-IXTM System are: ●

Reduced chemical & water usage Lower waste volumes, higher concentration of metals recovered Compact footprint Reduced resin inventory Flow rates of up to 500 m3/h per valve possible

Elution profile with metals separated by ION-IXTM

Dikberd 14 unit 10A ● B-2200 Herentals ● Belgium Tel & Fax: +32 (0) 14 70 50 41 ●

ION-IX Hydrometallurgy TM

Advanced ION EXCHANGE Technology Nickel / Cobalt

Zinc Recovery


Copper Recovery

Nickel Laterite

Rare Earth

What Puritech does... Plant design The engineering of continuous countercurrent ion exchangers CCIX includes: ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

PFD & mass balance Process & Instrument Diagram Technical data sheets 3D design Piping & vessel drawings Electrical & instrumentation Commissioning Start-up

Pilot trials & Process Development Puritech has developed a process design simulation package. This software package allows us to calculate process performance before pilot trials. We have several pilot systems available for: ● ● ● ● ●

Optimising of existing process applications Developing new hydrometallurgy applications Obtaining data for a full size production plant Testing of different types of resin Providing proof of high performance

Copper Recovery Advantages of ION-IXTM System over solvent extraction for copper recovery are: ● ● ● ● ●

Lower capital and operating cost No fire hazards No crud formation or handling Much smaller footprint No strong electrolyte post-treatment

After electrolyse, copper can be extracted from the solution.


What Puritech builds... Nickel Laterite Nickel is a hard, silver white metal. It is mainly used in the manufacturing of stainless steel, steel alloys and superalloys. Nickel laterite can be found in large amounts in the tropics and comprises 73% of the world nickel resources.

Nickel - Cobalt Separation A 200 m3/h Ni/Co Separation plant has been designed and installed in Africa by Puritech. By using a split elution, the Nickel is separated from the Cobalt stream. A double or triple adsorption zone allows removing the desired metal almost completely.

Zinc Recovery The Zinc chloride can be removed from pickling acid. ZnCl2 will form a stable complex which is removed by anion resin. The resin is afterwards eluted with water.

Uranium & Rare Earth Applications Hydrometallurgy is used more and more as the first choice to recover precious metals. Some of the applications are: Uranium Lithium Rhenium Germanium Gold & silver ● ● ● ● ●


world mining directory the directory for the global mining industries communications & data processing

electrical equipment

Doran Manufacturing Lee Demis Director of Business Development 2851 Massachusetts Avenue Cincinnati, OH 45225 Ph: (513) 699-6230 Email: Web:

Formed in 1997, Canary Systems provides integrated geo-monitoring solutions for a broad range of mining applications, including open pit, tailings, SW-EX, and underground. We help clients better manage risk, monitor performance, and increase the safety of their operations by tying together the

Established in 1953, Cincinnati, Ohio based Doran Manufacturing LLC. is a global leader in tire pressure monitoring systems and other transportation safety technology. Doran 360TM TPMS continuously monitor tire pressure and temperature data using wireless valve stem-mounted tire pressure sensors. Doran TPMS data can be integrated with telematics to communicate tire pressure and temperature data off equipment via wifi, gps and more for remote visibility of tire data. LumAware Advanced Photoluminescent safety products include Personal Protective Equipment (PPE – Helmets, Safety Vests) Exit Signage and more that makes workers performing tasks in low light/no light conditions safer, and illuminates exits and escapeways in emergencies.

loose ends: the hardware required for automatic or semi-automatic data acquisition – and the software to collect, store, and analyze data in a simple and efficient way on a single combined powerful platform.


We provide turnkey solutions – including system architecture, hardware and software development, telemetry, and instrumentation – as well as individual components customized to and augmenting existing project needs.

Canary Systems, Inc. Mining Group 4732 Oracle Road, Suite 112 Tucson, AZ 85705 USA Tel: 520.887.9800

drilling & blasting

Formed in 1997, Canary Systems provides integrated geo-monitoring solutions for a broad range of mining applications, including open pit, tailings, SW-EX, and underground. We help clients better manage risk, monitor performance, and increase the safety of their operations by tying together the loose ends: the hardware required for automatic or semi-automatic data acquisition – and the software to collect, store, and analyze data in a simple and efficient way on a single combined powerful

Dyno Nobel 2795 East Cottonwood Parkway Suite 500 Salt Lake City, UT 84121 Phone: 800-732-7534 Fax: 801-328-6452 Email: Customers in the mining industry choose Dyno Nobel for quality products, reliable service and technical expertise. Dyno Nobel is the market leader in North America with facilities in Australia, Canada, the United States, Indonesia, Mexico, South America and Papua New Guinea. With a customer driven focus, Dyno Nobel develops practical products that will benefit customers in real time. Customers can count on real solutions to their pain points of today, helping them to reduce costs and increase production. Renowned for excellent safety performance and innovative explosive products and services, Dyno Nobel continuously delivers groundbreaking performance through practical innovation.

  World Mining Magazine


platform. We provide turnkey solutions – including system architecture, hardware and software development, telemetry, and instrumentation – as well as individual components customized to and augmenting existing project needs.

Canary Systems, Inc. Mining Group 4732 Oracle Road, Suite 112 Tucson, AZ 85705 USA Tel: 520.887.9800

• World Mining Directory mineral processing

GEA Group Peter-Müller-Str. 12 40468 Düsseldorf Germany Tel +49 211 9136-0 GEA is one of the largest supplier for process technology and components for sophisticated production processes for many industries worldwide. Across a broad range of mining and mineral operations, GEA offers technologies, equipment & services in evaporation and crystallization, drying, cooling, calcining and conditioning, classification, thickening and dewatering, crud treatment and solvent extraction and wastewater management.

Salter Cyclones Salter Cyclones specialises in fine solids removal with its own Hydrocyclones and Multi-Gravity Separators. These achieve powerful and precise separations in practical, compact, reliable, operator friendly and economic systems. Salter Cyclones Limited Tel: + 44 1242 697771 Fax: + 44 1242 690895 Email: Web:


MINPRO International have subsidiary offices in 4 countries all of which have the same business, supplying mineral processing equipment and engineering for the mineral processing industry worldwide. Our main products are AKER Flotation Machines; Hydraulic Roller Mills, Semi Mobile Modular Concentrators, Hydro Cyclone Batteries as well as Polyurethane wear parts for the mineral processing industry. We deliver complete new mineral processing installations, renovation and upgrade existing mineral processing plants, retrofitting the AKER flotation mechanisms in existing flotation machines as well as engineering services and consultancy

Tel: +48 515 368 833 Minpro International Sp. z o.o.

Want to advertise in the World Mining Directory for 12 months? • Small Advertisement (12 month placement) Total price: £595.00 • Large Advertisement (12 month placement) Total price: £795.00 For more information please contact mining equipment rentals

United Mining Rentals (UMR) was born out of a specific niche in the market for both short and longer term rentals for both new and used, Sandvik & Getman equipment for both underground & surface mining and also tunnelling applications. Coupled with +35 years of experience in the mining business, UMR provides both sales and rental of new & used mobile equipment for various mining & tunnelling operations across the world. In addition, our sister company, QME Mining Services Division (which operates as an International mining and tunnelling contractor), also operates a large fleet of predominately Sandvik equipment.

Tel. +353 (0)87 149 1945

mining technology

Adrok is a cutting edge service technology company headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, with exclusive global patents to Atomic Dielectric Resonance (ADR) imaging technology. This innovative technology has been developed for use in Oil and Gas, Mining and Civil Engineering sectors. Adrok’s technology has been used in several projects around the world to explore the sub-surface geology and locate accurately and identify precisely the fluids present at great depths providing high resolution without drilling the underground. This subsurface imaging scanner generates ‘virtual borehole’ logs of subsurface geology from the surface. It is lightweight, field rugged and portable, to enable cost-effective mobilisation.

49-1 West Bowling Green Street Edinburgh, EH6 5NX (Scotland, UK) Tel: +44(0) 131 555 6662 Email: Website:

World Mining Magazine


world mining directory process water treatment


GEA Group Peter-Müller-Str. 12 40468 Düsseldorf Germany Tel +49 211 9136-0 GEA is one of the largest supplier for process technology and components for sophisticated production processes for many industries worldwide. Across a broad range of mining and mineral operations, GEA offers technologies, equipment & services in evaporation and crystallization, drying, cooling, calcining and conditioning, classification, thickening and dewatering, crud treatment and solvent extraction and wastewater management.

Formed in 1997, Canary Systems provides integrated geo-monitoring solutions for a broad range of mining applications, including open pit, tailings, SW-EX, and underground. We help clients better manage risk, monitor performance, and increase the safety of their operations by tying together the loose ends: the hardware required for automatic or semi-automatic data acquisition – and the software to collect, store, and analyze data in a simple and efficient way on a single combined powerful platform. We provide turnkey solutions – including system architecture, hardware and software development, telemetry, and instrumentation – as well as individual components customized to and augmenting existing project needs.

Canary Systems, Inc. Mining Group 4732 Oracle Road, Suite 112 Tucson, AZ 85705 USA Tel: 520.887.9800

Salter Cyclones specialises in fine solids removal with its own Hydrocyclones and Multi-Gravity Separators. These achieve powerful and precise separations in practical, compact, reliable, operator friendly and economic systems.


Salter Cyclones Limited Tel: + 44 1242 697771 Fax: + 44 1242 690895 Email: Web:

scales & weighing equipment

IVAC Industrial Vacuum Systems Ltd., manufactures a powerful pneumatic powered vacuum/ delivery system that allows you to pick-up and deliver your most difficult materials. The materials can be wet or dry including gravel, sand, slimes, sludge’s and water. The powerful, virtually maintenance free vacuum system is able to deliver the materials short or long distances, even up too kilometres through a pipeline or hose. Its is ideal for sump & ditch clean-up, tanks, under conveyors, around crushers and mills anywhere shovels, vacuum trucks or water hoses are being used for your clean-ups today!

Contact: Brad Fryburger +1 248 680 0320 Website:

  World Mining Magazine


IVAC Industrial Vacuum Systems Ltd. 35-111 Chartrand Avenue, Logan Lake, BC V0K 1W0 Canada Phone 604-628-3367 Email

What can United Mining Rentals offer your company? At a time when fiscal responsibility is becoming exponentially more important, in an industry where the highest safety standards and productivity must be maintained, providing your operation with the best fleet at a minimal cost is fundamental to any successful and profitable business. United Mining Rentals (UMR) has over 30 years of experience in the Mining & Tunnelling Industry and we are proud to offer rental and ownership opportunities for the full range of new Sandvik and Normet equipment. We trust you will find the product that suits your Mining or Tunnelling operation, backed by the numerous advantages associated with theUMR rental, or rent with an option to purchase models that will reduce cost of ownership and help maintain productivity. Our full range of new Sandvik and Normet products are backed with full Factory Warranty, Technical Support, OEM Parts and a global network of local and regional OEM service centres. With such a robust range of support services, renting with UMR reduces maintenance costs and guarantees availability hence improving productivity for our customers whilst also eliminating rebuild down time. Striving to provide quality at a reasonable price, UMR offers an innovative model of flexible rental or rental/purchase options tailored to suit every kind of end user in the Tunnelling and Mining industries, allowing customers to avoid tying up capital and invest it in the future purchase of rented equipment. Our rental/purchase option offers an attractive allowance for paid rentals against pre-agreed purchase price easing upfront capital spending and is a way of investing in the ownership of the Equipment at a pre-determined date.

For all mining equipment rentals visit

EUROPE United Mining Rentals Ltd. Coolfore Road, Ardbraccan, Navan, Co. Meath, C15 KXY3, Ireland.

NORTH AMERICA United Mining Rentals Ltd. Suite 1200, 220 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5J 2W4, Canada.

Tel: +353 87 1491945 Tel: +1 647 267 8193 Email: Our philosophy at UMR is simple – Downtime costs money. This philosophy inspired our aim to provide solutions to one of the major contributors of downtime in the mining and tunnelling industries: low availability of equipment. To ensure our customers don’t experience any downtime, we offer rentals and rent to purchase plans for new Sandvik and Normet equipment on a global basis, making use of the vast network of Worldwide Service Centres provided by two of the world leaders in Mining and Tunnelling Equipment. We also offer the option of bridging units to keep our customer’s operations running smoothly until their new rental unit arrives. We recognise that each customer has different requirements so we offer very flexible terms. Our first option is rent to purchase which allows for purchase of the equipment following a minimum one year rental period with a percentage of the rental payments deductible from the pre-agreed purchase price. Another option we offer is variable term rental from a minimum of 1 year upwards allowing the customer long term rental, consisting of 2-3 years allowing the customer to return the equipment with no commitment to purchase. We also offer a “Rolling Replacement” option, which allows the customer to return equipment to UMR following a 3 year rental and replace with new equipment for another 3 year term or pre-agreed period.

RENTALS AVAILABLE: Trucks and Loaders Underground Drilling & Bolting Roadheaders Exploration & Surface Drilling Lifting & Installations Scaling & Charging Underground Logistics Spraying

Our business model is designed with Mining Companies & Tunnelling Contractors in mind, who often have short or long term contracts, as well as Start-up mining operations which may wish to defer spending capital on expensive equipment for use in another area until positive cash flow is realized. Fixed rental payments simplify budget planning, and can be 100% Tax deductible against business income. By using a reliable rental provider such as UMR for a long term rental the costs of acquiring, running and maintaining the right equipment for the job can be greatly reduced, as renting equipment can generate significant savings by avoiding depreciation, the total cost of the purchase price, and unnecessary unit and component rebuild costs. UMR Equipment comes with a managed service tailored to each customer’s requirements covering bridging units, full technical support and immediate reaction to warranty issues ensuring availability at all times. Making that vital decision whether to buy or rent is not just a matter of budget, but of business strategy. So weigh up the numbers, and make the right decision for your business.

For all mining equipment rentals visit

World Mining Magazine  

Cover Story: Rio Tinto

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