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barrick gold A miracle never to be repeated

Issue 25 2018

World Mining

the editor

A good read




ike all the best mining companies, World Mining Magazine brings you a balanced portfolio this month, with news of a broad range of metals and minerals from all jurisdictions. We have lithium in Australia and Canada and cobalt in the United States. We have record-breaking mining machinery, award winning environmental programmes, and news of an innovative aluminium smelting process. And we have gold. Lots of it. With Barrick Gold featuring as our cover story, it was a timely coincidence this month when I came across a recent publication by the World Gold Council, entitled Gold 2048: The next 30 years for gold. This is a collection essays by industry insiders, and I recommend it to you as ‘a good read.’ The World Gold Council was established in 1987 and the industry has seen many changes in the 30 years since. Some of these changes could not have been foreseen, but some trends may have been already evident then, prompting the organisation to look 30 years ahead. Contributing authors include senior economist George Magnus, who provides a thought-provoking overview of global economic trends between now and 2048. Rick Lacaille, global chief investment officer of State Street Global Advisors, considers global investment patterns over the next 30 years,

Martin Ashcroft

encompassing all major asset classes. All agree that the expanding middle class in China and India, combined with broader economic growth, will have a significant impact on gold demand. Another contributor is Michelle Ash, chief innovation officer at Barrick Gold, who suggests that environmental, social and governance issues will play an increasing role in re-shaping mining production methods, with surface mining becoming increasingly unpopular and governments looking for larger stakes in their countries’ resources. New technologies will need to be developed, she says, to automate underground mining, including the introduction of underground processing methods. “The next 30 years will no doubt bring significant changes - some we anticipate, some that none of us predict,” said Aram Shishmanian, CEO of the World Gold Council. “I am delighted that in Gold 2048 we have brought together a stellar set of contributors - economists, investment managers, leaders in the mining industry, as well as our own specialists - to consider the global trends and dynamics that will drive this fascinating market forward.” If you can tear yourself away from the FIFA World Cup, Gold 2048 would be a good read – after this magazine, of course. World Mining Magazine


Contents Cover story barrick GOLD:

a miracle never to be repeated Page 6

Page: 3 • The Editor: A good read 6 • Barrick Gold: A miracle never to be repeated

23 • First Cobalt announces $9 million program for Iron Creek

• Missouri Cobalt set to be largest cobalt mine in North America 27 • BHP approves $2.9 billion South Flank • BMA to sell Gregory Crinum Mine in central Queensland

29 • Goldcorp signs agreement with Ontario First Nations 31 • CAT produces 1000th 797 ultra-class truck

• Caterpillar produces 5000th CAT 793 truck 33 • Alcoa and Rio Tinto announce carbon-free aluminium smelting process

• Copper Mountain completes acquisition of Altona Mining

35 • Altura approaches first production from Pilgangoora

• Dredging under way at Karumba Port facility

39 • SEMAFO selects AUMS for underground services in Burkina Faso • Pan African Resources ahead at Elikhulu 41 • New mines to boost Nunavut and Yukon

  World Mining Magazine


ADVERTISERS 2 Resemin Asia 8 Epiroc 10 THEJO 11 Digital Control Lab 12 MOBILARIS 16 TEADIT 17 Axis Mining Technology 18 Cenerg Global Tools 20 ADRIA 21 THEJO / Phoenix Conveyor Belt Systems 24 WeatherSolve Structures 25 Irwin Car and Equipment 26 Rammer: Sandvik Mining and Construction 28 Megatraction Equipment Inc 30 Canary Systems 32 Flowrox 34 Altra Industrial Motion 36 A-1 Industrial Supply 37 Sai Deepa Rock Drills 38 Montabert 40 Dynapower 42 Shaw Development 44 CPK Automotive 46 Applied Fiber 48 Volvo Construction Equipment 54 spliethoff / Summit Truck Equipment 58 Smith Power Products 59 GIW Minerals 62 Komatsu Equipment 68 Westfield Drill Contractors 70 THEJO / CAT Financial / Apex 72 Rammer: Sandvik Mining and Construction 73 PMP: Prairie Machine & Parts 84 Royston Lead 85 Scania Mining 86 World Mining Directory 89 ABB 90 MOS Mobile Screener 91 Hilliard Brake Systems 92 Rockwell Automation


kinross GOLD Page 64

43 • South32 to acquire half share in Eagle Downs 45 • Bonanza Goldfields enlarges Nevada footprint

• Inca One increases production at Chala One

47 • Vision Lithium starts drilling in Quebec

• Vale wins environmental award in Sudbury 50 • Rio Tinto: Pioneering progress 64 • Kinross Gold: Golden opportunities 74 • Towhaul: From lowboy to ‘towboy’

news & features Page 23

World Mining Magazine Contacts, Advertising Rates & Information News & Features Editor: Martin Ashcroft Editor Vanessa Ward Sales General email contact Design and Artwork Managing Director Simon Ward

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Double Page £6000.00 Full Page £4895.00 Half Page £2450.00 Quarter Page £1450.00 Full Page (inside cover) £6000.00 Lead Article + Front Cover £19,995.00 All advertisement rates include design free of charge. The magazine is printed in A4 format on 250gsm gloss laminated cover and 170gsm matt internal pages. The magazine is both a printed hard copy magazine and distributed electronically. Currently our global readership is approximately 93,000.

World Mining Magazine 2018 World Mining Magazine is published by Worldwide Business Media Limited, London, EC1V 2NX United Kingdom. Registered No. 6809417 England/ Wales. VAT No. 972 7492 76. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or any part without written permission is strictly prohibited. Liability: while every care has been taken in the preperation of this magazine, the publishers cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information herein, or any consequence arising from it. All paper used in this production comes from well managed sources.

Worldwide Business Media Limited, London. EC1V 2NX United Kingdom. Tel: +44(0)203 5751249

World Mining Magazine


  World Mining Magazine


barrick gold a miracle never to be repeated

The death of its founder earlier this year has not distracted Barrick Gold from its vision to be the No. 1 gold miner in the world. Innovation, exploration and automation come together in the pursuit of this ambition. World Mining Magazine


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barrick gold a miracle never to be repeated


eter Munk, the iconic Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded Barrick Gold, died on 28 March 2018, at the age of 90. He was a rare individual. Born to be a businessman, Munk employed fellow students to sell Christmas trees in Toronto while still an undergraduate himself. Munk won design awards in the 1950s for his custom-made hi-fi equipment, before diversifying into a hotel empire in the South Pacific, then having a little dabble in oil and gas. In his late-fifties, when others might be thinking of early retirement, Munk bought a gold mine. He then grew Barrick into the world’s largest gold mining company in less than 25 years. As he said himself, Barrick is “a miracle not to be repeated. It will go down in the annals of business history.” In 1986, the purchase of the Goldstrike Mine in Nevada set Barrick on a

trajectory to international expansion, with the subsequent acquisition of mines in South America, Africa and the Australia Pacific region seeing it become, for a while, the largest gold producer in the world. But largest is not the end game for Barrick Gold. It simply wants to be the best. Over the past three years, the company has optimized its portfolio by divesting high-cost, non-core operations. The proceeds of these divestments have been used to reduce total debt by more than 50 per cent, from $13.1 billion at the end of 2014, to

$6.4 billion at the end of 2017. Although it still has assets on other continents, the company’s portfolio is now focused on high-margin, long-life gold operations in core districts throughout the Americas. The overriding objective continues to be growing free cash flow per share over the long term. To this end, Barrick has put together a business plan that involves the pursuit of three strategic goals over the next five years. The first is to drive industry-leading margins through operational excellence and consistent execution. The second is World Mining Magazine


to manage its portfolio and allocate capital with discipline and rigour, and the third is to leverage top talent and the company’s distinctive partnership culture as competitive advantages, building partnerships based on trust with host governments, local communities, NGOs, indigenous people, and others.

Operational update

Barrick is constantly pushing to reduce costs by being the best for productivity and efficiency. While it may produce fewer ounces than in recent years, it generates significantly more free cash flow per share. In 2017, Barrick’s operations produced 5.32 million ounces of gold, at a cost of sales of $794 per ounce, with a particularly strong performance from Barrick Nevada. This compares to production of 5.52 million ounces of gold in 2016, at a cost of sales of $798 per ounce. Lower production in 2017 primarily reflects the sale of 50 per cent of the Veladero mine on 30 June, and lower production from Acacia as a result of Tanzania’s concentrate export ban. Barrick outlined its strategic

  World Mining Magazine


“Barrick Gold’s breadth of operations spans the globe. Its key sites include the Cortez District and Goldstrike in Nevada, Hemlo in Ontario, Pueblo Viejo in the Dominican Republic, Lagunas Norte in Peru, and Kalgoorlie in Western Australia”

framework in its 2017 annual report. Operational excellence, it said, would be driven “through a continuous cycle of optimization, pushing our mines to achieve greater levels of efficiency and productivity, while working to mitigate increasing costs associated with more complex ore types and a shift to more underground mining. This will be aided by investments in digital technology and innovation, which will allow us to identify and accelerate further operational improvements across our portfolio.” Barrick Gold’s breadth of operations spans the globe. Its key sites include the Cortez District and Goldstrike in Nevada, Hemlo in Ontario, Pueblo Viejo in the Dominican Republic, Lagunas Norte in Peru, and Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, a 50/50 joint venture with Newmont Gold. Barrick Nevada is an integrated gold mining operation that combines the Cortez and Goldstrike properties. The operation employs both open pit and underground mining methods, and hosts a range of processing facilities including heap leaching, roasting, autoclaving, conventional leaching and

barrick gold a miracle never to be repeated thiosulfate (cyanide-free) leaching. Pueblo Viejo is located in the Dominican Republic, approximately 60 miles northwest of the capital city of Santo Domingo, and is operated by the Pueblo Viejo Dominicana Corporation (PVDC), a joint venture between Barrick (60%) and Goldcorp (40%). Barrick’s share of gold production in 2017 was 650,000 ounces, at a cost of sales of $699 per ounce. Gold production in 2018 is forecast to be 585,000-615,000 ounces (Barrick’s share). As of 31 December 2017, Barrick’s share of proven and probable gold reserves at Pueblo Viejo was 7.2 million ounces. In May this year Barrick announced the conversion of the Pueblo Viejo power plant from heavy fuel oil to natural gas, which is expected to reduce the mine’s average cost of sales by approximately $54 per ounce over the life of the mine, supported in part by higher margins on the sale of excess power to the national energy grid. Barrick is currently advancing prefeasibility-level studies for a plant expansion at the Pueblo Viejo mine that has the potential to significantly increase throughput at the operation. Conversion of the power plant to natural gas is likely to strengthen the economics of the project. The Hemlo property in Canada consists of Williams, an underground and open pit mine, located approximately 220 miles east of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Previous underground production also came from the Golden Giant and David Bell mines which are now closed. Hemlo produced 196,000 ounces of gold in 2017. Proven and probable mineral reserves as of 31 December 2017 were 1.77 million ounces of gold. Underground mineral reserves at the Williams Mine are projected to sustain underground operations until 2021, while open pit mineral reserves have the potential to support operations until 2027. The Veladero mine in the San Juan Province of Argentina is located at elevations of 4,000 to 4,850 meters above sea level, approximately 230 miles northwest of the city of San Juan. Operations include open pit mining of gold-silver ore, two-stage crushing, and extraction of precious metals using

valley-fill heap leaching and MerrillCrowe recovery. In April 2017 Barrick sold a 50 per cent interest in the Veladero mine to Shandong Gold Mining Co for $960 million. The formation of a 50/50 joint venture at Veladero is the first of three steps outlined in a strategic cooperation agreement. In keeping with the second step in the agreement, the two companies formed a working group to explore the joint development of the Pascua-Lama deposit. As a third step, Barrick and Shandong will evaluate additional investment opportunities on the highly prospective El Indio Gold Belt on the border of Argentina and Chile. The Kalgoorlie operation in Australia consists primarily of the Super Pit openpit mine, located along the Golden Mile ore bodies which were previously mined from underground. The mine is located adjacent to the town of Kalgoorlie, approximately 350 miles east of Perth, Western Australia. The mine is a 50/50 joint venture with Newmont Mining Corporation. Kalgoorlie is an open-pit, truck-andloader operation. Barrick’s share of gold production in 2017 was 368,000 ounces. Its share of proven and probable reserves as of 31 December 2017 was 3.858 million ounces of gold (99.0 million tonnes, grading 1.21 grams per tonne), and its share of gold production in 2018 is expected to be 390,000-440,000 ounces. The Porgera Joint Venture is an open

pit and underground gold mine situated at an altitude of 2,200-2,700 meters in the Enga Province of Papua New Guinea. The operation is roughly 80 miles west of Mount Hagen and 375 miles northwest of the capital, Port Moresby. Barrick (Niugini) Ltd. is the 95% owner of the Porgera Joint Venture and is the manager of the operation. Barrick Gold Corporation and Zijin Mining Group each own 50% of Barrick (Niugini) Ltd. The remaining 5% interest in the Porgera Joint Venture is held by Mineral Resources Enga and is divided between the Enga Provincial government (2.5%) and local landowners (2.5%). Barrick’s share of gold production in 2017 was 235,000 ounces, and its share of proven and probable mineral reserves at 31 December was 2.0 million ounces of gold (13.3 million tonnes, grading 4.78 grams per tonne). In 2018, Barrick’s share of gold production is expected to be 230,000-255,000 ounces. Although predominantly focused on gold, Barrick has some copper interests, too. The Jabal Sayid copper operation is located 200 miles northeast of Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It’s a 50/50 joint venture operation with Saudi Arabian mining company Ma’aden. The first shipment of copper concentrate was made in December 2015, and the mine commenced commercial production in July 2016. Jabal Sayid produced 43 million pounds of copper in 2017 (Barrick’s share), at a cost of sales of $1.90 per World Mining Magazine



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pound, and all-in sustaining costs of $2.30 per pound. Barrick’s share of proven and probable copper reserves at the end of 2017 was 626 million pounds (11.8 million tonnes, grading 2.40%). Its share of production in 2018 is anticipated to be 40-55 million pounds. The Lumwana copper mine in Zambia sits in one of the most prospective copper regions in the world. Lumwana ore, which is predominantly sulphide, is treated through a conventional sulphide flotation plant, producing copper concentrate for smelting. Lumwana produced 256 million pounds of copper in 2017, and had proven and probable copper reserves of 5.014 billion pounds as of 31 December 2017 (401 million tonnes, grading 0.567%). Production in 2018 is anticipated to be 230-265 million pounds.

Projects update

Barrick continues to advance a pipeline of high-confidence projects at or near its existing operations, with the potential to contribute more than one million ounces of annual production at costs well below its current portfolio average. Goldrush has the potential to become Barrick’s newest underground mine in Nevada, with first production expected as early as 2021, and sustained production by 2023. The prefeasibility study estimated average production of approximately 450,000 ounces of gold per year, at an average cost of sales of $800 per ounce, and average all-in

sustaining costs of $665 per ounce. Goldrush currently has proven and probable gold reserves of 1.5 million ounces, and measured and indicated gold resources of 9.4 million ounces, with significant potential to identify additional resources once underground access to drill the deposit is established. Ongoing surface drilling in the Red Hill zone of the deposit in 2018 is also expected to support additional resource conversion. The Deep South project at Cortez will expand underground mining below currently permitted levels, and is on track to contribute average underground production of more than 300,000 ounces per year between 2022 and 2026. The prefeasibility study anticipated a cost of sales of $840 per ounce for mining in the Deep South zone. Optimization work has identified a number of opportunities to reduce these costs, including through the use of autonomous loading with a smart conveyance system, compared to a traditional conveyor system contemplated in the prefeasibility study. Permitting was initiated in 2016 and is expected to take approximately three to four years, including the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement. A Record of Decision on the EIS is expected in the second half of 2019, followed by two years of construction, with initial production from Deep South in 2022. The construction of a third shaft at Turquoise Ridge in Nevada has the

potential to roughly double annual production to more than 500,000 ounces per year. The contract for shaft sinking was awarded to Thyssen Mining in the first quarter of 2018 and procurement of long lead-time items has begun. Initial production from the new shaft is expected to start in 2022, with sustained production from 2023. At 15.56 grams per tonne, Turquoise Ridge has the highest average reserve grade in the company’s operating portfolio, and among the highest in the gold industry. The Lagunas Norte operation in Peru produced 387,000 ounces of gold in 2017, at a cost of sales of $617 per ounce. Production in 2018 is anticipated to be 230,000-270,000 ounces of gold, at a cost of sales of $780-$910 per ounce. Proven and probable gold reserves as of 31 December 2017 were 4.0 million ounces. Barrick is evaluating a phased project to extend the life of the Lagunas Norte mine by approximately 10 years. The first phase would be to install grinding and carbon-in-leach processing, and the second would involve installation of a flotation and pressure oxidation circuit, allowing the company to optimize the timing of capital expenditures. Barrick also maintains a portfolio of greenfield projects that represent significant long-term value. Donlin Gold in Alaska, a 50:50 joint venture with NOVAGOLD, contains 19.5 million ounces of measured and indicated gold resources (Barrick’s share). Barrick is working in

barrick gold a miracle never to be repeated collaboration with NOVAGOLD to optimize the project, including the potential for staged development, while reducing upfront capital and mitigating development risk. The final Environmental Impact Statement was published by the US Army Corps of Engineers in April 2018, with a Record of Decision expected in the second half of the year. The company anticipates decisions on most of the federal and state permits by early 2019.

Exploration update

“In May this year Barrick announced the conversion of the Pueblo Viejo power plant from heavy fuel oil to natural gas, which is expected to reduce the mine’s average cost of sales by approximately $54 per ounce over the life of the mine”

Barrick has a track record of creating value through exploration. Approximately 80 per cent of Barrick’s total exploration budget of $185-$225 million is allocated to the Americas and is spread between high-quality brownfield projects, greenfield exploration, and emerging discoveries that have the potential to become profitable mines. The company added 8.0 million ounces of gold reserves in 2017 through mine exploration drilling, proving that even well established operations can still yield exploration results. In these cases, the discoveries can often be quickly incorporated into mine plans, driving improvements in production, cash flow, and earnings. Barrick drilled more than 18,000 metres at Goldstrike in 2017, adding 1.3 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves, and 1.5 million ounces of measured and indicated resources. This drilling identified a host of high-grade extensions to known lodes that will be a focus for further drilling in 2018.

Proven and probable gold reserves were also increased by 2.1 million ounces at Turquoise Ridge. Other significant additions included 1.4 million ounces at Cortez, 1.3 million ounces at Goldstrike, 397,000 ounces at Hemlo and 392,000 ounces at Lagunas Norte. Over 9.0 million ounces of measured and indicated gold resources were added as a result of the formation of Norte Abierto (a 50/50 joint venture with Goldcorp in Chile), net of resources divested at Cerro Casale and Veladero. Roughly 14.0 million ounces of measured and indicated resources were also added as a result of the reclassification of Pascua-Lama reserves to resources. Barrick’s 2018 greenfield exploration program will focus on the prolific Cortez district in Nevada and the Frontera District on the El Indio Belt in Argentina and Chile. The Fourmile exploration project, just north of the Goldrush deposit, is the focus of attention in Nevada. Drilling to date has intersected mineralization well above the average grade of the measured and indicated resources at Goldrush. Barrick is increasingly confident that Fourmile and Goldrush form part of a seven-kilometre-long mineralized system, similar in length to the mineralization at Goldstrike. The company plans to drill 24 holes at Fourmile in 2018. The Alturas project, located in Chile on the El Indio Belt, is a Barrick greenfield discovery with 6.8 million ounces of inferred gold resources as of 31 December 2017. Following completion of a scoping study for a conventional open pit heap leach operation at Alturas, Barrick is now carrying out further studies to evaluate potential enhancements to the project design, while undertaking additional drilling to improve orebody knowledge and grades. The company has also cultivated partnerships with a number of junior exploration and development companies as it seeks to identify potential new core mineral districts. These partnerships are with ATAC at the Orion project in the Yukon, with Osisko at the Kan property in northern Québec, and with Premier Gold at Cove McCoy in Nevada. World Mining Magazine


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barrick gold a miracle never to be repeated Digital future

As technology advances, new ideas arrive and new ways of working begin to take hold, even in the mining industry, not renowned as an early adopter of new trends. Barrick, however, understands the potential of the digital world and is committed to exploiting it to the full. During 2017, the company laid the foundation for its digital transformation through a series of pilot projects primarily focused at its Cortez mine in Nevada. This allowed it to validate the viability of digital solutions and their potential economic returns in a controlled environment. In 2018, Barrick’s digital strategy will focus on completing version one of the Barrick Data Fabric, an enterprisegrade, big data analytics platform which will provide a unified data environment for the company’s leaders and operators to identify variability and trends, generate real-time data, predict failures and take action to address problems quickly, or even before they arise. The company is planning the implementation of other digital projects including expanded use of automated processing systems, combined with the introduction of artificial intelligence, implementation of short interval control in open pit, underground and processing areas, expanded implementation of digital work management and predictive maintenance systems, and expanded use of automation, including an autonomous open pit trial, and the implementation of automated underground drills. While tele-operated mining equipment is a new thing for most of Barrick, one mine has been using it for more than a decade. The Hemlo mine in northern Ontario began using the technology in April 2007. To begin with, the underground mine operations at Hemlo had two autonomous trucks, one chute, (an inclined passage for transporting ore) and one rock breaker, operated from surface thousands of feet above from a single tele-remote chair. Today, the system has three trucks, a scoop loader, three chutes, two rock breakers and underground conveyor belts that can be operated from surface. The benefits of the system are clear. With tele-remote, an operator safely controls the work from a chair on the

“During 2017, the company laid the foundation for its digital transformation through a series of pilot projects primarily focused at its Cortez mine in Nevada”

surface. Autonomous vehicles at Hemlo are isolated from vehicles operated by people and the vehicles are programmed to avoid other autonomous trucks. In 10 years, there have been no incidents or injuries at Hemlo related to the autonomous fleet. There are benefits in reliability and efficiency, too. Mechanical maintenance is lower on the autonomous trucks than on manually operated trucks, and time is saved by removing the need to clear the mine of blast smoke or wait for people to come up from underground at crew change-out. While people were initially worried about their jobs, the company’s strategy is to move more tons with the same number of people, rather than moving the same number of tons with fewer people. Jon Laird, mine operations superintendent at Hemlo, understands the wariness, but a decade into the experiment, the technology has expanded and fears of job losses have subsided. “Even I had to be able to digest it before I could see the benefits,” he says. “Once I did, there was no question in my mind that it was the right thing to do. As we bring more automation into the mine, we’re trying to help people understand the real change autonomous technology brings. It’s not the number of jobs, but the nature of work.”

World Mining Magazine

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First Cobalt announces $9 million program for Iron Creek


irst Cobalt Corp has announced a $9 million work program for the Iron Creek Project in Idaho, USA, which it acquired on June 4, 2018. The company intends to publish a mineral resource estimate by October 2018 and complete an additional 30,000 metres of drilling designed to double the mineralized zone along strike beyond the area drilled in 2017. “First Cobalt acquired US Cobalt because we believe that Iron Creek is one of

a great mining jurisdiction. Today’s budget and work program is a testament to our

“We believe that Iron Creek is one of the most prospective and advanced projects in North America” the most prospective and advanced projects in North America,” said Trent Mell, president & chief executive officer. “With a historic resource estimate, patented land and 600 metres of underground development, Iron Creek is a prized highgrade primary cobalt asset in

conviction about this cobaltcopper project’s ability to be expanded and ultimately fasttracked for future production in North America.” In 2017, US Cobalt commenced a drill program designed to confirm a historic estimate (noncompliant with NI 43-101)

of 1.3 million tons grading 0.59% cobalt and 0.3% copper completed in 1980 by Noranda Inc. The 40-hole, 10,700 metre drill program covered a 460 metre strike length and the results of this are the basis for the above mineral resource estimate. The Iron Creek property is located in the prolific Idaho Cobalt Belt and consists of mining patents and exploration claims with significant infrastructure already in place, including an all-weather road connecting the project to a state highway. All permits are in place for the 2018 drill program.

Missouri Cobalt set to be largest cobalt mine in North America


issouri Cobalt, LLC, a company set up by St Louis businessman Stacy W Hastie and financier J Randall Waterfield, has acquired land and operational control of 1,800 acres of a former mine operation in Madison County, Missouri from Anschutz Mining Corporation of Denver, Colorado.

Between proven and inferred reserves, the Missouri Cobalt mine holds an estimated 35 million pounds of recoverable cobalt, likely making it the largest such reserve in North America. The company anticipates obtaining a mining permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR)

within six months but expects to begin producing an existing cobalt product on-site in three to four months. The full Missouri Cobalt operation, including on-site cobalt processing, will follow within two years. The site also contains an estimated 51 million pounds of nickel and 65 million pounds of copper.

The former Anschutz site is part of The Madison County Mines Superfund Site on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priorities List. Another Hastie/Waterfield company, Environmental Risk Transfer (ERT), will perform the environmental remediation closure on the recently acquired site.

World Mining Magazine


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BHP approves $2.9 billion South Flank project


he BHP Board has approved capital expenditure of US$2.9 billion (BHP’s share) for the South Flank iron ore project in the central Pilbara, Western Australia. BHP President Operations, Minerals Australia, Mike Henry, said the South Flank project will fully replace production from the 80 Mtpa Yandi mine which is reaching the end of its economic life. “South Flank is a capital efficient project which offers attractive returns, and which was approved following a thorough evaluation under BHP’s capital allocation framework,” Henry said. “The project will create around 2,500 construction jobs, more than 600 ongoing operational roles and generate many opportunities for Western Australian suppliers. It will enhance the average quality of BHP’s Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) production and will allow us to benefit from price premiums for higher-quality lump and fines products.” The South Flank project involves

“The South Flank project will fully replace production from the 80 Mtpa Yandi Mine which is reaching the end of its economic life” construction of an 80 Mtpa crushing and screening plant, an overland conveyor system, stockyard and train loading facilities, procurement of new mining fleet and substantial mine development and pre-strip work. First ore from South Flank is targeted in the 2021 calendar

year, with the project expected to produce ore for more than 25 years. BHP has an 85% interest in the South Flank project, with ITOCHU Minerals and Energy of Australia and Mitsui Iron Ore Corporation collectively owning the remaining 15 per cent.

BMA to sell Gregory Crinum Mine in central Queensland


HP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) has agreed to sell the Gregory Crinum Mine in central Queensland to Japan-based Sojitz Corporation for A$100 million. Gregory Crinum is a hard coking coal mine some 60km north east of Emerald in the Bowen Basin. The site comprises the Crinum underground mine, Gregory open cut mine, undeveloped coal resources and on-site infrastructure including a coal handling and preparation plant, maintenance workshops and administration facilities. Gregory Crinum Mine was placed into care and maintenance in January 2016. It had a capacity of six million tonnes of hard coking coal per annum

“This is a great outcome for the parties to the transaction and for the region”

before production ceased. BMA made the decision to sell the mine after a detailed review concluded that there was potential for another party to realise greater value at the mine. “This is a great outcome for the parties to the transaction and for the region,” said BMA asset president Rag Udd. “This will provide further employment in Emerald, and additional royalties and taxes to the people of Queensland. We wish Sojitz well in its plans to recommence production at the site.” In addition to the sale of the mine to Sojitz, BMA will be providing appropriate funding for rehabilitation of existing areas of disturbance at the site, with all rehabilitation liabilities transferred to Sojitz. World Mining Magazine




Goldcorp signs agreement with Ontario First Nations


he development of Borden Gold, Canada’s first all-electric underground mine, is a step closer after Goldcorp signed an impacts and benefits agreement (IBA) with three First Nation communities; Brunswick House First Nation, Chapleau Cree First Nation and Chapleau Ojibwe First Nation.

and they require sincere commitment from all involved,” said Marc Lauzier, mine general manager at Goldcorp’s Porcupine Gold Mines, responsible for the development of Borden. “I’m pleased with the work accomplished by the group and I feel very proud that Goldcorp is the first mining company to partner with the

“Borden Gold will be Canada’s first all-electric underground mine” The Borden mine is situated near the town of Chapleau in northern Ontario. The formal signing of the IBA is a milestone for the three First Nation communities, marking the first time they have been involved with a mining project. “Successful relationships are built on trust, mutual respect, meaningful engagement,

Brunswick House, Chapleau Cree and Chapleau Ojibwe First Nation communities.” The IBA outlines provisions for environmental and health protections, using modern technology to develop Borden Gold into Canada’s first ‘all electric’ underground mine, eliminating the use of vehicles powered by fossil fuels. The agreement

also includes provisions for employment and training, and business and contracting opportunities, along with a framework for regulatory permitting. “This is our first partnership in mining, and although our relationship is young and still evolving, we are hopeful for the future of the project and for the opportunities that it will create,” said Chief Lisa VanBuskirk of Brunswick House First Nation. “We appreciate the efforts of Goldcorp and are thankful for them recognizing our connection to the land and for their commitment to protecting it while in their care.” The Borden project will soon be starting a bulk sample extraction of up to 30,000 tonnes, with the first sample expected by the end of the summer. Commercial operation of the mine is anticipated to begin in 2019.

World Mining Magazine



CAT produces 1000th

797 ultra-class mining truck


aterpillar is celebrating the manufacture of the 1000th Cat 797 mining truck. With 400 tons (363 tonnes) payload capacity, the 797F model is Caterpillar’s largest truck and the largest mechanical-drive mining truck in the world. It is also the first in its size class to reach the 1,000 milestone. The first 797 placed in a mining operation was commissioned in 1999 and is still in service—with more than 130,000 hours working

America and Australia. Caterpillar assembled the 1000th 797 (and all of its predecessors) at its Decatur,

“The 797 has proven its ability to deliver high production in the most challenging conditions” in Canadian oil sands. In the last 20 years the breadth of applications has grown to include copper, coal and iron ore mines, with the largest populations working in North America, South

Illinois facility in the United States, where all its large mining trucks are assembled. “The 797 has proven its ability to deliver high production in the most challenging conditions,

from the extreme cold and soft underfoot conditions of the Canadian oil sands to high altitude, deep pit copper applications in South America,” said Sudhanshu Singh, global product manager, large mining trucks. “In a broad range of applications, the 797F sets the production standard for ultra-class mining trucks. That’s a big reason why there are double the number of 797s at work today compared to the total number of all competitors’ trucks in the size class.”

Caterpillar produces 5000th CAT 793 mining truck


et another milestone for Caterpillar is the assembly of its 5000th Cat 793 mining truck, 27 years after the model was launched. First produced in 1991, the 793 is now in its fifth generation, having sold more than any other brand of 250 ton truck. “The 793 mining truck is the core of Cat surface mining vehicles,” said Jean Savage, Caterpillar vice

president with responsibility for the surface mining & technology division, during a ceremony in Decatur, Illinois. The largest populations of 793s operate in Australia, North America and South America where they are used

to mine iron ore, copper, coal, gold and other minerals. This one is destined for a mining customer in Australia. The most recent generation, the 793F, has been the truck of choice for autonomous

operation. More than 100 793F trucks are now operating via Command for Hauling, the autonomous truck operations system which is a part of Cat MineStar. Interest in autonomous haulage continues to grow, as autonomous trucks have delivered productivity increases of more than 20 per cent while improving safety and reducing costs.

World Mining Magazine


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Alcoa and Rio Tinto announce carbonfree aluminium smelting process Apple, which uses a significant amount of aluminium in its products, will also provide an investment of C$13 million to the first phase of the project, and has agreed to provide technical support. The patent-protected technology, developed by Alcoa, is currently producing metal at the Alcoa Technical Center, near Pittsburgh in the United States, where the process has been operating at different scales since 2009. The joint venture intends to invest up to C$40 million in the United States, which

“The name Elysis derives from a process at the centre of aluminium smelting, the electrolysis of alumina”

Photo courtesy of Alcoa


lcoa and Rio Tinto have joined forces to develop a revolutionary aluminium process that produces oxygen and eliminates all greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional smelting process. The technology, which represents the culmination of decades’ worth of research and development, has been hailed as the most significant innovation in the aluminium industry in more than a century. To advance the development and commercialization of the new process, Alcoa and Rio Tinto have formed a joint venture, Elysis, to pursue a C$558 million two-phased project. The name derives from a process at the centre of aluminium smelting, the electrolysis of alumina. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an investment of C$60 million in support of Elysis. The Government of Quebec will contribute a matching investment, becoming a limited partner in the joint venture with a 3.5 per cent equity stake. The remaining ownership will be split evenly between Alcoa and Rio Tinto.

would include funding to support the supply chain for the proprietary anode and cathode materials. Elysis will be headquartered in Montreal, with a research facility in Quebec’s Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region to develop and license the technology so it can be used to retrofit existing smelters or build new facilities. The Government of Canada’s investment comes from the Strategic Innovation Fund, a C$1.26 billion program a program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments in Canada.

Copper Mountain completes acquisition of Altona Mining Copper Mountain Mining Corporation has closed its acquisition of Altona Mining Limited, bringing on board the Cloncurry project and development-ready Eva Copper Project in the highly prospective Mt. Isa inlier area in Queensland, Australia. Cloncurry currently has a measured and indicated mineral resource containing over 2 billion

pounds of copper. Copper Mountain’s flagship asset is the Copper Mountain mine in southern British Columbia, Canada, near the town of Princeton. CMMC has a strategic alliance with Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, which owns 25% of the mine and purchases 100% of its copper concentrate under a life of mine offtake agreement.

World Mining Magazine



Altura approaches first production from Pilgangoora

“Following the successful start of crushing in May, Altura’s commissioning team has delivered a series of significant milestones towards commissioning the wet plant”


ltura Mining is moving closer to first production from its 100% owned Altura Lithium Project. Following the successful start of crushing in May, Altura’s commissioning team has delivered a series of significant milestones towards commissioning the wet plant. Despite some disruption from the heavy rain that occurred in the region in the past month, Altura has completed work on the ball mills and has also commissioned the flotation circuit and energised the project’s power station. The reverse osmosis plant has been commissioned, the on-site laboratory is operational and now testing first samples, and the commissioning and performance testing of the crushing circuit is complete. The product storage shed in Port

Hedland has been constructed and is ready to receive spodumene concentrate for shipment. Offtake partner Lionergy will take the first shipment of Altura spodumene concentrate. Lionergy’s lithium conversion plant is located in Ulanqab, Inner Mongolia – an autonomous region of China approximately 350km north-west of Beijing. The Altura senior management team has spent time in China in recent weeks finalising product pricing, cargo sizes and delivery schedule. Altura Mining and Pilbara Minerals hold adjoining tenements at Pilgangoora and are rivals to become the first lithium producer in the region. Despite the rivalry the two companies have executed a mutual access agreement and MoU to cooperate at their boundaries, sharing access roads and pipeline routes.

Dredging under way at Karumba Port facility D

redging has begun at the Port of Karumba in the Gulf of Carpentaria off the coast of northern Queensland, as part of the scheduled operational restart of the Century Zinc Mine. The dredging program aims to bring the channel back to a depth of 3.2m, allowing shipment of zinc concentrate from Karumba to bulk cargo export vessels 20km offshore. The $6.8m dredging program is being funded entirely by New Century and represents the first dredging activities to be undertaken at Karumba since early 2016. The program will also provide significant benefits to third party users of the Karumba Port area, allowing expansion of existing cattle

export and commercial fishing operations. The dredging program is scheduled for completion in July 2018. The restarting of mine operations and zinc concentrate exports from the Century Zinc Mine remains on track for Q3 operations, with first production scheduled for August. The previous owner of the mine, MMG, ceased processing operations in early 2016 following depletion of the ore reserves. New Century acquired it in March 2017, recognising that it held significant zinc reserves well-suited to a smaller producer. The restart of the Century Zinc Mine is based solely on processing the site’s tailings deposit. World Mining Magazine



SEMAFO selects AUMS for underground services in Burkina Faso


EMAFO, a Canadian-based mining company with gold production and exploration activities in West Africa, has contracted African Underground Mining Services (AUMS) to provide turnkey mining services for the Siou Underground Mine in Burkina Faso. The Siou development is 20km from SEMAFO’s flagship Mana mine, which has produced 1.8Moz since its first gold pour in 2008. The contract has an estimated value of US$211 million. It is expected to start in Q3, 2018 and to continue for a seventy-month term. AUMS will supply

“The Siou development is 20km from SEMAFO’s flagship Mana mine”

all underground mining services for the Siou Underground Mine, including the mining fleet and a skilled labour force, production and auxiliary services. SEMAFO will provide technical services including geology and engineering, as well as leveraging the existing surface infrastructure at its nearby Mana Mine. Production from Siou underground is expected in early 2020. African Underground Mining Services is a 50:50 joint venture between Ausdrill Limited and Barminco Holdings Limited.

Pan African Resources ahead of schedule at Elikhulu


onstruction remains ahead of schedule at Pan African Resources’ fully permitted Elikhulu project in eastern South Africa, with first gold production expected in August 2018, and full commissioning at the end of September 2018. Pan African Resources began the construction of its R1.7 billion Elikhulu tailings retreatment project in Evander, Mpumalanga, in August 2017. The plant is expected to produce an average of 50,000 ounces of gold per year for the next 13 years. Elikhulu’s capacity will be increased by 200,000

tonnes to 1.2 million tonnes per month with effect from December 2018, by incorporating the existing Evander Tailing Retreatment Plant (ETRP) throughput with the associated economies of scale and enhanced recovery benefits. The increase in processing capacity will not affect the original construction schedule or first gold production expectations. In conjunction with the ETRP throughput, these two surface operations, once in full production, are expected to produce more than 70,000 ounces per annum.

World Mining Magazine


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New mines to boost Nunavut and Yukon economies

Agnico Eagle’s Meliadine Mine


trong economic growth is expected in Nunavut and Yukon this year, while the economic outlook for the Northwest Territories is more muted. Growth is expected to average 1.9 per cent in the three territories in 2018 and 3.1% in 2019, according to The Conference

Conference Board of Canada. “In the Northwest Territories, fewer developments in mining and declining diamond production are expected to weigh on economic prospects.” The last few years have been difficult for the Yukon economy, as depressed

“With many new mining projects on the horizon in Nunavut and Yukon, growth is expected to take off over the next five years” Board of Canada’s latest Territorial Outlook. “The territories’ mining sector has wind in its sails, but economic growth is uneven across the regions. With many new mining projects on the horizon in Nunavut and Yukon, growth is expected to take off over the next five years,” said Marie-Christine Bernard, director, provincial and territorial forecasting, The

markets for metal mining discouraged any major mining developments and led to mines shutting down. Economic prospects in the territory should begin to improve this year, as the life of its only remaining mine has been extended and three new mines are scheduled to open over the next 10 years. Construction will also be an important contributor to Yukon’s economy over the

next few years. With Victoria Gold’s Eagle project coming online and a slower ramp up in construction on Goldcorp’s Coffee project, construction output is expected to fall in 2019, but grow by almost 40 per cent per year in 2020-21. Nunavut’s economy is on the cusp of an unprecedented growth spurt. Real GDP is expected to grow by 4.4% in 2018 and 9.1% in 2019, spurred by new gold production at Meliadine and three active mine construction sites in 2018. This should make up for a decline in government investment spending. Diamond production will begin to fall in the Northwest Territories this year and all three operating mines are set to shut down operations by 2035. There are two metal mines scheduled to open in the early 2020s, but they will not be enough to compensate for the maturing diamond industry.

World Mining Magazine


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South32 to acquire half share in Eagle Downs


outh32 Limited has signed a conditional agreement with a subsidiary of China BaoWu Steel Group to acquire a 50 per cent interest in, and assume operatorship of, the Eagle Downs metallurgical coal project in Queensland’s Bowen Basin. The remaining 50 per cent will continue to be held by Aquila Resources Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of BaoWu.

funded from the Group’s cash reserves and is expected to close in the first half of FY19. “This acquisition embeds an attractive development option within our growing operating footprint and puts our strong balance sheet to work in a disciplined manner,” said South32 chief executive officer Graham Kerr. “This high quality metallurgical coal

“This high quality metallurgical coal project benefits from prior investment which has the potential to support its accelerated development” South32 will make an upfront payment of approximately US$106 million upon completion of the acquisition and a deferred payment of US$27m after three years. A coal price linked production royalty will also be payable and is capped at US$80m. The acquisition will be

project benefits from prior investment which has the potential to support its accelerated development and deliver significant value to both South32 and Aquila.” Eagle Downs is a large, high quality and fully permitted metallurgical coal development project

located approximately 15 miles south-east of the town of Moranbah and immediately adjacent to and down dip of BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s Peak Downs mine. The project has site infrastructure including water supply and high voltage systems, office buildings and water and sediment dams, but was placed under care and maintenance in late 2015. Prior work undertaken by Aquila has indicated that Eagle Downs has the potential to export 4.5mtpa of coal (on average) from one longwall over the first 10 years of full production. After completion, South32 plans to commence a final feasibility study which will seek to optimise the mine’s design and development. Subject to the findings of that study and requisite approvals, the partners intend to construct a multiseam underground longwall metallurgical coal mine and processing plant with a dedicated rail spur and train load-out facility.

World Mining Magazine



Bonanza Goldfields enlarges Tonopah, Nevada footprint “The Tonopah Belmont Mine produced over two million tons of ore from 1906 to 1940”


onanza Goldfields has agreed to acquire Mizpah Mines, which has an option to purchase the Sparrow patented mining claim at Tonopah, Nevada. Also known as the Mizpah Extension Mine, the property contains substantial mine dumps from the Tonopah Belmont Mine, one of Tonopah’s major past silver and gold producers. Initial dump sampling at the Mizpah Extension Mine has indicated anomalous gold and silver values. Tonopah is a well-known Nevada

mining district discovered in 1900. Second only to the Comstock Lode in Nevada historical silver production, Tonopah and nearby Goldfield were together responsible for restoring Nevada’s mining industry in the early 20th century. The Mizpah Extension mine was last worked by the Tonopah Belmont company under lease. The Tonopah Belmont Mine produced over two million tons of ore from 1906 to 1940. In addition to the mineral potential

believed to exist in the property’s dumps, Bonanza Goldfields is looking to establish a permanent base of operations on its own private property at Tonopah in support of its nearby Thunder Mountain Gold project. The company will be evaluating the Mizpah Extension property (as well as other available sites in Tonopah) in the coming months. Tonopah is located midway between Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada and is conveniently accessed by US Highway 95 and US Highway 6.

Inca One Gold increases production at Chala One


anadian mineral processing company Inca One has announced gold production in April 2018 of 1,224 ounces, an increase of 44% year-over-year, and an increase of 7% from the prior month of March 2018. Inca One produces gold and silver at its Chala One milling facility in Chala, Southern Peru, from minerals it purchases from government registered small-scale mining producers. The company’s supply of gold-bearing

material for processing has continued to increase at a healthy pace. Mineral received in April 2018 was 2,805 tonnes,

or approximately 94 tonnes per day. This represents an increase of 58% on a year-over-year basis. Ore stockpiled for processing at the Chala One plant is currently sitting at approximately 1,800 tonnes. Peru is the 6th largest producer of gold in the world and the Peruvian government estimates the smallscale mining sector accounts for a significant portion of all Peruvian gold production, estimated to be valued approximately US$3 billion annually.

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Vision Lithium starts drilling in Quebec “Our first drilling program will include several twin-holes designed to validate the historical results and provide samples for future metallurgical work”


ision Lithium (previously known as ABE Resources until March this year) has started an initial drilling program on its 100% owned Sirmac Lithium Property, acquired from Nemaska Lithium in December 2017. The Sirmac Property consists of 194 mining claims in an area of over 10,000 hectares, and is located 180 kilometres by road north west of Chibougamau, Quebec.

”Our first drilling program will include several twin-holes designed to validate the historical results and provide samples for future metallurgical work,” commented Yves Rougerie, president and CEO of Vision Lithium. “In addition, several holes will be drilled to test the extensions of the #5 Dyke zone along strike and down-dip below cover. These holes are accretive to the historical work already completed on

the property. Lithium is primarily derived from two main sources, hard rock and brines. Vision Lithium’s Sirmac project is a hard rock source of lithium, similar to those currently being mined in Australia. About 50% of the world’s lithium compound production comes from hard rock sources with the balance coming from brine sources, mainly in South America.

Vale wins environmental award for Sudbury operations


he Mining Association of Canada has presented Vale’s Sudbury Biodiversity Program an Environmental Excellence Award at an awards gala during the 2018 CIM Convention in Vancouver in May. Vale’s biodiversity work in Sudbury focuses on regreening and reclamation efforts – transforming historically stressed lands and waterways back to their natural states after more than a century of mining activities. To improve biodiversity within the community, Vale undertakes a number of activities, including: • Growing more than 300,000 trees annually in its greenhouses for planting throughout the City of Greater Sudbury.

• Investing $250,000 and donating 50,000 tree seedlings annually to the City of Greater Sudbury’s Biodiversity Action Plan. • Promoting pollination by raising bees on its smelter property and planting milkweed for monarch butterflies, which are great pollinators. • Seeding hundreds of acres

each year by air through an aerial seeding program that has reclaimed approximately 8,000 acres since 1990. • Raising and releasing more than 100,000 fish to date into local waterways through a comprehensive fish-stocking program. “We congratulate Vale for their outstanding projects,” said Pierre Gratton, President and CEO, MAC. “They showcase what best practice looks like in our sector, whether it be spurring local economic development and entrepreneurship in communities where they operate or adopting innovative methods to restore mining areas back to nature.” World Mining Magazine



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RIO TINTO Pioneering progress Rio Tinto has been pioneering progress for 145 years, delivering value for its shareholders over the short, medium and long term. Right across the business, from mine to market, Rio Tinto looks to add value, not just cut costs, by harnessing productivity initiatives.

â&#x20AC;&#x201A;â&#x20AC;&#x201A;World Mining Magazine


rio tinto pioneering progress

World Mining Magazine



io Tinto’s value-over-volume approach and an increase in prices for some of its commodities combined to deliver higher company margins and cash generation in 2017. Since 2012, the company has reduced its costs by US$8.3 billion and last year it committed to a five-year, $5 billion productivity agenda, focused on four areas: • securing gains through best practice approaches; • working with partners; • harnessing automation opportunities; and • using the power of data to lift the use of equipment and assets. “Rio Tinto prides itself on its pioneering approach to new technologies, to deliver faster and better processes, cleaner and greener outcomes,” said chief executive JeanSébastien Jacques in the 2017 Annual

  World Mining Magazine


Report. “There are many examples, from automated trucks and trains, to remote operated drills and drones. In exploration with indicator minerals, to construction with 3D modeling for new projects, to the many proprietary technologies in our Canadian smelters delivering efficiency, productivity and a competitive cost profile.”

Productivity agenda

A recent joint venture announcement illustrates two of the above productivity criteria, as Rio Tinto has joined forces with Canada’s Alcoa to develop a revolutionary aluminium process that produces oxygen and eliminates all greenhouse gas emissions from the

traditional smelting process. The technology, which represents the culmination of years of research and development, has been hailed as the most significant innovation in the aluminium industry in more than a century. To advance the development and commercialization of the new process, Alcoa and Rio Tinto have formed a joint venture, Elysis, to pursue a C$558 million two-phased project. The name derives from the process at the centre of aluminium smelting, the electrolysis of alumina. In May this year Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced an investment of C$60 million in support of Elysis. The Government of Quebec

rio tinto pioneering progress

“Alcoa and Rio Tinto have formed a joint venture, Elysis, to develop a revolutionary aluminium process. The name derives from the process at the centre of aluminium smelting, the electrolysis of alumina”

will contribute a matching investment, becoming a limited partner in the joint venture with a 3.5 per cent equity stake. The remaining ownership will be split evenly between Alcoa and Rio Tinto. Apple, which uses a significant amount of aluminium in its products, will also provide an investment of C$13 million to the first phase of the project, and has agreed to provide technical support. The patent-protected technology, developed by Alcoa, is currently producing metal at the Alcoa Technical Center near Pittsburgh in the United States, where the process has been operating at different scales since 2009. Elysis will be headquartered in Montreal, with a research facility in Quebec’s Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region to develop and license the technology so it can be used to retrofit existing smelters or build new facilities. Back home in Australia, Rio Tinto took a huge step along the route to automation in May, as its rail operation AutoHaul was given accreditation by Australia’s Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator, approving the automation of trains transporting iron ore in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Rio Tinto operates about 200 locomotives on more than 1,700 kilometres of track in the Pilbara, transporting ore from 16 mines to four port terminals. The company says it will take a phased approach to deploying autonomous trains across the network in the lead up to full commissioning,

which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018. This will be the world’s first heavy haul, long distance autonomous rail operation, unlocking significant safety and productivity benefits for the company. Trains started running in autonomous mode (accompanied by a driver onboard to monitor operations) in the first quarter of 2017. The first fully autonomous journey was completed in October. The pilot run from Wombat Junction to Paraburdoo, nearly 100 kilometres, was completed successfully without a driver on board, making it the first fully autonomous heavy haul train journey ever completed in Australia. Rio Tinto started its Mine of the Future programme in 2008. Automated trucks entered the vocabulary long before driverless cars. But automation requires data, and Rio Tinto, along with every other major miner, faces a monumental task in managing this data to optimise its benefits. “Each of our haul trucks is fitted with 45 sensors and generates about five terabytes of data every day,” said Bold Baatar, chief executive of Rio Tinto’s Energy & Minerals Division at the Natural Resources Forum in London last July. “That is 4,500 terabytes across the Rio Tinto fleet of 900. Each processing plant has another 20,000 to 30,000 sensors. Our trains, loaders and ships many more. Properly exploiting and integrating this volume of Big Data has a huge impact on productivity and can provide a significant competitive World Mining Magazine


rio tinto pioneering progress

advantage. “Productivity is about sweating our assets,” he continued, “bringing them to peak performance. We can only do this if we understand where our performance is best in class so we can replicate it. We have put together a team of experts who have begun to work across the Group to focus on data intelligence and analytics, integrating it into our operational processes. There is a lot of work ahead, but the early returns are promising.” Bataar was referring to the Analytics Excellence Centre in Pune, India, launched in 2015, where data scientists use predictive mathematics, machine learning and advanced modelling to identify problems before they occur, thus reducing maintenance costs and production losses from unplanned breakdowns.

Iron ore

“Australia’s Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator has approved the automation of trains in the Pilbara. Rio Tinto operates about 200 locomotives on more than 1,700 kilometres of track in the Pilbara, transporting ore from 16 mines to four port terminals”

In the Pilbara region of Western Australia, Rio Tinto operates the world’s largest integrated portfolio of iron ore assets. Already the world’s largest autonomous truck operator and a leader in automated mining technologies, the Pilbara iron ore business is expanding to epic proportions. In May last year Rio Tinto approved an investment of $30.9 million to complete the project feasibility study on its Koodaideri iron ore deposit in the Pilbara, which could be its next major mining development in Western Australia. The study will focus on obtaining necessary consent and permits, increasing the company’s understanding of the orebody and technical elements, and providing the data necessary to validate the project. Pre-feasibility study information for the project was released in an World Mining Magazine


investor seminar in November 2016, which included a 40Mtpa capacity dry crushing and screening plant, non-process infrastructure, product stockyards, rail loop and load-out and a 170 kilometre rail link to the main line. It suggested a capital requirement of approximately US$2.2 billion, with potential for construction to commence in 2019. The final decision on the progression of the Koodaideri iron ore development is expected shortly. Also in the Pilbara, Rio Tinto officially opened its Silvergrass iron ore mine at the end of August. The US$338 million project is the 16th mine in Rio Tinto’s iron ore operations in the region and will produce low-phosphorous ore crucial to maintaining its premium Pilbara Blend product. “Silvergrass is a great example of our value-over-volume approach in action, as the mine will deliver the high-quality, low-cost ore used to maintain the worldclass premium Pilbara Blend product our customers love so much,” said Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques, at the opening ceremony. “Silvergrass is a further demonstration of our longstanding commitment to the Pilbara region in Western Australia where we’ve invested more than US$20 billion over the past decade.” The brownfields expansion project will lower mine operating costs as a result

  World Mining Magazine


of the construction of a nine-kilometre conveyor system to replace traditional road haulage routes linking Silvergrass to the existing processing plant at Nammuldi. In May this year Rio Tinto announced its intention to almost double its fleet of autonomous production drills in the Pilbara to create a safer working environment and boost productivity. Automated drilling has increased productivity by increasing the number of hours the machine operates as well as the numbers of metres the drill achieves per hour. The drills are monitored remotely in Rio Tinto’s operations centre in Perth, more than 1,500 kilometres away, and to date have operated injury free. Rio Tinto has seven autonomous drills at the West Angelas mine in the Pilbara, and four additional drills, retrofitted with autonomous drilling system (ADS) technology, were recently deployed at its Yandicoogina mine. Rio plans to deploy a further nine drills by the end of this year, bringing the total fleet to twenty.


Building on more than a century of experience and expertise, Rio Tinto is also a global leader in the aluminium industry. Its business includes highquality bauxite mines, large-scale alumina refineries, and as we have

already seen, some of the world’s lowestcost, most technologically-advanced aluminium smelters. Rio Tinto’s world class Yarwun alumina refinery is situated just northwest of Gladstone in central Queensland. Bauxite is transported from the company’s mining operations in Weipa on Western Cape York to be processed into alumina at the Yarwun refinery, where recent expansions have more than doubled production to 3.4 million tonnes per year, making Rio Tinto Aluminium one of the world’s leading alumina producers. Yarwun’s alumina is shipped to customers in Australia and overseas, including the Middle East. Rio Tinto (originally as Comalco) has mined and shipped bauxite from Weipa since 1963, but the original 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 when the Rio Tinto Board approved funding for a US$2.6 billion investment 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.

rio tinto pioneering progress

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. Over 1000 Australian businesses have been directly and indirectly involved with the project including more than 700 Queensland companies. Goodline, a company founded in Weipa, was awarded a contract to deliver the Hey River Terminal, including the barge and ferry berths, and the accommodation village. A key commitment at Amrun has been to provide opportunities for local and indigenous businesses and for community members to benefit from the project. To this point, 17 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses

have been engaged at the project.


“We have put together a team of experts who have begun to work across the Group to focus on data intelligence and analytics, integrating it into our operational processes”

Before we leave Australia, it’s worth mentioning that Rio Tinto owns and operates the Argyle diamond mine in the remote East Kimberley region of Western Australia. It is the world’s largest supplier of natural coloured diamonds and the world’s only supplier of rare pink diamonds. 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 World Mining Magazine


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24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, although the mine is scheduled to close in 2020. Rio Tinto also 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. It is expected to continue to produce high quality gems to 2023 and potentially beyond. In the same country Rio Tinto Exploration Canada has an option to earn up to a 60% interest in Star Diamond Corporation’s Star-Orion South Diamond Project in the Fort à la Corne diamond district of central Saskatchewan. In May this year it was announced that RTEC had arranged for the manufacture and supply of a 30 tonne per hour bulk sample plant to process the kimberlite recovered by the next phase of bulk sample drilling on the project. The technical report for the preliminary economic assessment

  World Mining Magazine


has also been filed recently. The PEA estimates that 66 million carats of diamonds could be recovered in a surface mine over a 38-year project life.


Although Rio Tinto may list most of its assets in Australia and Canada, its copper interests are focused elsewhere, particularly in Mongolia. One of the most exciting mining developments for years, Oyu Tolgoi contains reserves and resources that make it one of the 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, 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. Until now, all of Oyu Tolgoi’s concentrate has been produced using open pit mining. However, the majority of its value, up to 80 per cent, lies deep underground. In May 2015, Oyu Tolgoi’s

shareholders agreed upon a plan to progress the next stage of underground development, using block-caving mining techniques to extract the ore and transport it to the surface to the concentrator. Block-caving, while technically challenging, is one of the safest and most cost-effective methods of mining ore from deep below the ground. Fourteen kilometres of lateral tunnels have already been constructed at Oyu Tolgoi, and over time, up to 200 kilometres of tunnels, at depths of up to 1,300 metres, will be built to allow safe mining of the deepest parts of Oyu Tolgoi’s ore body. The 2017 Annual Report revealed that construction of the underground development was proceeding at pace and first copper production is due in 2020, although discussions are currently ongoing with the government of Mongolia to resolve a number of issues, including taxes and the construction of a new power plant to supply the mine. 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

rio tinto pioneering progress

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 current US annual demand for copper for 40 years. Resolution Copper is located near the town of Superior, 65 miles east of Phoenix, Arizona, in an area known as the ‘Copper Triangle’ with abundant historic mining activity. Some of the region’s mines have now closed, as their orebodies had become uneconomic, but the Resolution Copper project offers an opportunity to reinvigorate the area’s economy with an industry the state and its people know well. 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. In South America, Rio Tinto has a 30 per cent interest in Escondida,

“The underground development at Oyu Tolgoi is proceeding at pace and first copper production is due in 2020”

in Chile, which is managed by BHP Billiton. 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. Rio Tinto also has an interest in Grasberg, in the province of Papua in Indonesia, one of the world’s largest copper and gold mines in terms of ore reserves and production. The Indonesian government has taken a tough line on foreign owned mining assets, however, and Rio Tinto is poised (at the time of writing) to sell its stake to Indonesian state-owned company Inalum.


The lightest metal on Earth, lithium is in great demand as it is used in a vast array of products, most notably batteries for hybrid and electric cars. Rio Tinto Borates’ Jadar project in Serbia is a World Mining Magazine




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K O M AT S U E Q . C O M


rio tinto pioneering progress

significant, world-class lithium-borate resource. Rio Tinto discovered Jadar in 2004. It is a unique deposit near the town of Loznica, in Western Serbia, some 160 kilometres from its capital Belgrade. The deposit contains Jadarite, a new mineral unique to Serbia, which has not been found anywhere else in the world. Jadar has been ranked as one of the largest lithium deposits in the world. If developed, it is said to have the potential to supply more than 10% of global demand for lithium. Borates are essential building blocks for heat resistant glass, fibreglass, 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. Rio Tinto has recently elevated Jadar to become its most likely growth project, revealing that if it gets approvals and the economics support it, it will start construction in 2020 and reach first production in 2023. In July last year Rio Tinto signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Serbia relating to the implementation of the Jadar Project. The MOU will enable the formation of joint working groups

“Rio Tinto has elevated Jadar to become its most likely growth project. If it gets approvals and the economics support it, construction will start in 2020 and reach first production in 2023”

between the government and the company to progress the Jadar Project through the study and permitting phases. Under current plans, Jadar will be an underground mine, with the opportunity for future expansion if demand warrants it. Rio Tinto released its figures for the first quarter of 2018 a few weeks ago, reporting that its major growth projects remained on track. “The Silvergrass iron ore mine continues to ramp up, Amrun is on schedule for first bauxite shipment in the first half of 2019 and construction of the first drawbell at Oyu Tolgoi Underground is expected in mid-2020.” Chief executive J-S Jacques commented to the press, “We delivered a solid operational performance across most commodities in the first quarter of 2018. Our world-class Pilbara iron ore assets continue to demonstrate flexibility and the benefits of increased productivity, and production at our bauxite and copper assets was also higher. “By continuing to advance our mineto-market productivity programme, whilst maintaining our focus on the disciplined allocation of cash, we will continue to deliver superior returns to our shareholders.” World Mining Magazine

World Mining Magazine


kinross gold golden opportunities Celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this year, Kinross Gold is now the sixth largest gold producer in the world, having built a solid foundation of assets, people and culture to deliver value to all its stakeholders.

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kinross gold golden opportunities

World Mining Magazine



eadquartered in Toronto, Canada, Kinross Gold was founded by Robert M Buchan in 1993. Today, through organic growth and acquisition, Kinross is a leading global gold producer with a 9,000-strong workforce with operations in North America, Brazil, Russia and West Africa. Central to the Kinross portfolio are its North American operations – Fort Knox in Alaska, Round Mountain and Bald Mountain in Nevada. These, together with Kinross’ Paracatu mine in Brazil, form the bedrock of the company’s production. Kinross also has ownership of two West African operations, Chirano in Ghana and Tasiast in Mauritania. Also in its portfolio are the Dvoinoya and Kupol mines in Russia.

Fort Knox, Alaska

Fort Knox is one of Kinross’ largest producing mines and a centre of excellence for the company as one of the few cold weather heap leach facilities in the world. In 2016, the site poured its seven millionth ounce of gold,

  World Mining Magazine


20 years into its mine life. Fort Knox is an open-pit gold mine located near the city of Fairbanks, Alaska in one of the state’s largest gold producing areas. It is mined by conventional open-pit methods, with ore processed at a mill and heap leach facility. The mill has a capacity of up to 45,000 tonnes per day, with large volumes of lower grade ore and mineralized waste materials processed in the heap leach. Production from the heap leach began in late 2009, which increased mine life and helped to lower costs. Just this month, Kinross announced that it is proceeding with the Gilmore expansion project at Fort Knox, after gaining mineral rights in December 2017. The expansion is expected to extend the life of the mine to 2030. Early

construction work is expected to begin in Q3 2018 and initial production from Gilmore is expected in early 2020. This initial Gilmore expansion contemplates the first two phases of a potential multiphase layback of the existing Fort Knox pit and construction of a new heap leach pad. With additional potential beyond the Gilmore project, Kinross will continue to explore prospects within the Fort Knox area.

Round Mountain

Round Mountain is an open-pit mine located in Nevada, one of the best mining jurisdictions in the world. It uses conventional open-pit mining methods and processes ore by mill and heap leach. Since January 2016, Kinross has had 100% ownership of Round

kinross gold golden opportunities

Mountain, which is now one of its best run and established mines. The company continues to advance promising initiatives to optimize the operation and potentially extend estimated mine life. Kinross began operating the mine in 2003, and it has since become a continuous improvement leader in the company’s portfolio. In September last year, Kinross announced that it will be proceeding with the Phase W Expansion, which is expected to extend mining by five years and increase life-of-mine production by 1.5 million Au oz. Phase W includes a layback of the current pit, construction of a new carbon in column (CIC) plant and heap leach pad, additions to the mining fleet and equipment, and relocation of some existing infrastructure. Construction and relocation of infrastructure is expected to be completed by Q2 2019, and initial low grade Phase W ore to be encountered in mid-2019.

Bald Mountain

Situated along the southern extension of the prolific Carlin trend, Bald Mountain is an open-pit mine with a

“Fort Knox is an open-pit gold mine located near the city of Fairbanks, Alaska in one of the state’s largest gold producing areas”

large estimated mineral resource base located in Nevada, and was acquired by Kinross in January 2016. It is the largest mine site by area in the United States. The mine is a strong fit with Kinross’ portfolio and provides opportunities to leverage Kinross’ open-pit heap leach expertise. The company expects to continue to develop Bald Mountain’s significant upside potential. At yearend 2016, Kinross doubled the mine’s estimated gold reserves to extend mine life. With more than three million ounces of estimated gold resource and a significant pipeline of high-quality targets, the company is exploring further opportunities for additional resource conversions and exploration success.


Paracatu is the largest gold mine in Brazil and one of the largest in the world. A long life, cornerstone operation located in Brazil’s Minas Gerais region, Paracatu is an open-pit mine and is expected to process approximately 55 million tonnes of ore per year, with mining operations expected to conclude in 2030. The mill is expected to continue processing stockpiled ore until 2032. World Mining Magazine


kinross gold golden opportunities

A focus on continuous improvement is embedded in Paracatu’s operations. For example, the mine’s Santo Antonio tailings reprocessing project is expected to continue adding low-cost gold ounces to the mine’s production.


Kupol is a high grade underground mine located in the Chukotka region of the Russian Far East. It is the leading gold mine in Russia and has one of the lowest operating costs in Kinross’ portfolio. Kupol’s consistently strong operating results make it a model for successfully operating in a remote region, with the nearest major city approximately 200 kilometres away. Supplies and equipment are transported to the mine from around mid-January to early May via a 380-kilometre winter road. Dvoinoye is also in the Chukotka region of Russia, approximately 100 kilometres north of the Kupol operation. Commercial production began at the underground mine in October 2013. Ore from Dvoinoye is transported to the Kupol mill for processing via an all-season road and at peak production the company expects to process 1,200

“Kinross is proceeding with the Gilmore expansion project at Fort Knox, after gaining mineral rights in December 2017. The expansion is expected to extend the life of the mine to 2030”

tonnes of Dvoinoye ore per day. The Kupol mill was expanded in 2013 from 3,500 to 4,500 tonnes per day to process the additional ore. At the Dvoinoye Zone 1 deposit, mine development has commenced, including earthworks and construction of the portal entrances. As a result of continued exploration success at Kupol and engineering optimization work at Dvoinoye, scheduled mill production at Kupol has been extended by one year to 2022.


The Tasiast mine is an open-pit operation in north-western Mauritania, approximately 300 kilometres north of the capital Nouakchott. This operation processes ore via an 8,000 tonne per day mill and dump leach. Kinross is continuing work to enhance the performance of the existing mill and optimize the operation. The Phase One expansion project at Tasiast is on schedule and on budget and is expected to increase mill throughput capacity from the current 8,000 t/d to 12,000 t/d by the end of June 2018. Phase One is expected to significantly reduce operating costs and increase World Mining Magazine


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production. In September 2017, Kinross announced that it will be proceeding with Phase Two of the Tasiast expansion to increase mill capacity to 30,000 t/d. The project is expected to generate strong cash flow and transform Tasiast into a large, world-class mine with lower costs. The Phase Two project is expected to generate significant positive economic benefits for Mauritania and its people through additional taxes, duties, wages and locally supplied goods and services. Phase Two commercial production is expected to begin late in 2020.


Chirano is an open-pit and underground operation located in south-western Ghana, approximately 100 kilometres southwest of Kumasi, the country’s second largest city. In 2016, the site transitioned from mining the Akwaaba deposit to the Paboase underground deposit. Chirano ore is processed at the mine’s mill, which has capacity of approximately 3.5 million tonnes per year.

“The Phase One expansion project at Tasiast is expected to increase mill throughput capacity from the current 8,000 t/d to 12,000 t/d by the end of June 2018”

The exploration strategy remains focused on incremental additions to the mine life, which is currently expected to end in 2020. In 2017, the priorities were assessing the potential for depth extensions of the Akwaaba and Paboase underground mines and determining open pit potential in the gap between the Mamnao Central and South pits.


Kinross continues to deliver strong and consistent operating results from its portfolio of mines in its three core regions, having met its production and cost guidance for six consecutive years. Added to this, Kinross has exciting organic growth projects that are expected to bolster long-term growth. It is very proud to reach and celebrate a significant 25-year milestone and is looking forward to accomplishing its goals through hard work and dedication over the next 25 years.

World Mining Magazine

World Mining Magazine


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“Equipment mobility has become extremely important because mining is all about squeezing out efficiencies to reduce cost per ton. If you can move your equipment five times faster on a lowboy than by tramming it, that translates to the bottom line”

  World Mining Magazine


towhaul from lowboy to ‘towboy’

In the struggle to reduce costs, the TowHaul removable gooseneck is quickly becoming the most versatile piece of equipment on a mine site. Vice president Chris Friedel describes how the principles of the founder have guided the company’s development of innovative equipment mobility solutions.

Miners are under increasing pressure to improve productivity as energy prices rise and the regulatory environment becomes ever more demanding. A consistent response to this pressure is to introduce bigger mining equipment every year. The drive to carry more ore with fewer trucks is easy to understand, but along with that comes the challenge of keeping the machinery working by moving it around the mine site as quickly as possible. Downtime is expensive, and the bigger the machine, the more expensive it is. “One of the key factors behind our growth is the size of the mining equipment,” says Chris Friedel, Vice President of TowHaul Corporation. “We have continued to provide a mobility solution for our customers, even as the equipment grew bigger, by keeping up with ultra class trucks and

larger excavators. We have been the leader in the towing of haul trucks since the early ’90s when our founder, Frank Smith, invented the towing gooseneck,” he continues, “and we have been able to keep up with the Caterpillar 797s and the Komatsu 980s, etc. Mining conditions can be very challenging at times, so when they have a failure or get stuck, they turn to us to help them recover those vehicles.” TowHaul owes its existence to Frank Smith, the engineer/ inventor who started it all in the 1970s. “Frank is the original inventor of this type of equipment,” says Friedel. Born in British Columbia, Smith spent much of his early career in the Canadian forestry industry, designing and building off-road equipment. He established Smith Sanders Ltd in 1973 and began to forge a reputation for innovation by making sand spreaders for the logging industry. World Mining Magazine


“Our multi-purpose gooseneck is essentially a hitch for the trailer. The real beauty of this equipment is that once you disconnect it, you’ve got a hitch that can be used for other things, the main one being haul truck recovery”


Word spread along with the sand. A few years later Smith designed and manufactured a spreader to mount on a haul truck for a British Columbian mine. Then in 1977 he designed (and patented) his first 100-ton lowboy trailer and began to focus on the needs of the mining industry. By listening carefully to customers he was able to design and build exactly what they needed, equipment that was rugged, reliable, versatile, cost-effective and simple to operate – qualities that TowHaul equipment continues to deliver today. In the 1980s, Smith started to manufacture tow hooks that would allow mines to recover their own disabled trucks. In 1985 he created Smith Equipment USA to serve the growing US market, and moved the company to Bozeman, Montana in 1990. Then, while trying to puzzle out a way to haul a 230 ton load on a trailer with an 85-ton truck, he had a ‘eureka moment’ – why not use the gooseneck as the tow hook? The result was the Removing Gooseneck, which he patented in 1992. In 1994, Smith renamed his company TowHaul Corporation dba [doing business as] Smith Equipment USA, and branded his product ‘TowHaul’. The mining industry is not renowned as an early adopter of new technology, and it was hard work at first to convince miners that they needed a lowboy trailer, because they had to dedicate one of their trucks to pull it. “When Frank

  World Mining Magazine


started it was a ‘nice to have’ piece of equipment,” says Friedel. “He would offer to fit it onto the oldest, worn out truck they had on the mine site, then put an old axle underneath it to save money. Now this equipment has become a ‘must have’. Equipment mobility has become extremely important because mining is all about squeezing out efficiencies to reduce cost per ton. If you can move your equipment five times faster on a lowboy than by tramming it, that translates to the bottom line.” Some mines cover large areas and it’s not uncommon to have a strike length of 25 miles or more, Friedel points out. “If you have a dozer that’s 25 miles from the shop and it’s got to come back all that way on its own tracks at under two miles per hour, it would be exceptionally expensive and inefficient, not to mention incredibly tedious for the operator!” Lowboys have been used for many years in different industries to move equipment around, and although there may have been some initial caution in the mining environment, customers rarely need convincing from a justification point of view these days, says Friedel. “Most of our customers justify the purchase of this equipment based on drills and dozers, because these are moving all the time. For this reason, customers often find that the equipment pays for itself in 12 to 18 months.” Once they have a lowboy

towhaul from lowboy to ‘towboy’

in their fleet, however, they find all kinds of additional uses for it. “When I visit a mine site, it’s amazing what I see being hauled on a lowboy. They carry tyres, shovel buckets, dump bodies, you name it.” Customers often underestimate their usage when they order a lowboy, too. “We’re seeing a lot of customers buying their second TowHaul trailer because the first one is being used so much,” observes Friedel. “They also want a degree of redundancy. The equipment has become so important to their operation that they can’t afford to have it down if the truck needs to be brought in for maintenance, for instance, so many of our customers have therefore purchased a second or even third unit.” The versatility of the equipment is another key feature, for which the company is indebted once more to Frank Smith. The gooseneck is permanently mounted on a host truck, or prime mover, as it’s known, but this detaches from the trailer so it can be used for other purposes. “Our multi-purpose gooseneck is essentially a hitch for the trailer,” says Friedel. “We mount it on a sub frame, right onto the frame rails of the haul truck. The real beauty of this equipment is that once you disconnect it, you’ve got a hitch that can be used for other things, the main one being haul truck recovery. “Mines used to ask us to put a TowHaul gooseneck on an old truck that was due for retirement from the fleet,”

he continues, “but more recently we’re seeing brand new haul trucks being used for this purpose. Almost all of our clients in Australia are now using brand new trucks for this equipment. That shows how important it is to them.” When a customer commits a million dollar truck to a TowHaul gooseneck, it makes sense to be able to do several different jobs with it. In addition to the lowboy, TowHaul also makes specialty trailers, including one for hauling dragline buckets as well as a water tank carrier. The growth in the size of mining equipment brings another advantage to the trailer side of the business. “The power that the haul truck OEMs are putting into the new ultraclass haul trucks gives us more flexibility,” explains Friedel. “Using one of these as the prime mover we can make larger capacity trailers without having to make major changes to the propulsion system, such as powering the axles on the trailer itself.” TowHaul now makes a variety of trailers in different sizes and configurations, but is always willing to produce a oneoff if the customer needs something out of the ordinary. “In our early history many of our trailers were one-offs,” says Friedel. “Nowadays we have standard lengths – 42, 48 and 56 feet (load space) – based on the equipment that’s in the market. Then we have standard widths of 20, 22 and 24 feet, and that combination captures 98 per cent of the equipment that we’re hauling on a regular basis.” So we are talking about extremely large equipment, but we’re not talking about extremely large numbers – yet. “We build around 12 to 14 units per year,” says Friedel. “We buy plate steel in 40’ x 8’ sheets, directly from US mills. We have our own cut table so we cut all of our own parts and fabricate them. During the final stages of one we’re starting to cut out the next one. It takes about a month on the cut table for a full trailer and about 8 – 10 weeks on the shop floor, so there’s a bit of an overlap.” Responding to the boom in the mining industry from 2009 to 2012, TowHaul increased the footprint of its Bozeman facility by around 40 per cent and added more employees to reduce its lead time. “We’re also trying to improve our throughput by improving our processes,” says Friedel, “so we can keep up with customer demand. We’ve sold out through this year and a bit into next year already. The market’s definitely heating up again. Our recent sales have been in South America, Africa, the United States and Australia, so we’re all over the map.” There are over 240 TowHaul units working in the field today, in 27 different countries, and operating in some of the most extreme environments on earth – up to 50 degrees Celsius in Australia, down to minus 40 in the Arctic diamond mines, and at high altitude in the Andes. Almost every unit TowHaul has ever made is still in use somewhere, even if not always in the first mine it went to. Longevity is one of the strengths of the TowHaul range. World Mining Magazine



TowHaul continues to look for process enhancements or design modifications to save cost and improve throughput. One of the biggest challenges is the manoeuvrability of the components. Inevitably, when you make equipment large enough to accommodate bigger and heavier machinery, your own products end up bigger and heavier, too. TowHaul made this challenge more manageable with the ‘modular’ lowboy. This design benefits the manufacturing process and has also helped grow TowHaul’s global presence by simplifying shipping and handling for the end user. It also allows easier access to remote mine sites. The TowHaul modular lowboy fits together with pins instead of being welded and can be assembled in less than a week. “Even with the modular units, some of these components will weigh in excess of fifteen tons,” says Friedel, “and the weight is not the only issue because it’s a large, awkward shape that can be up to 50 feet long.” There is now also a rear-loading lowboy aimed at customers who need to haul smaller tracked equipment. This trailer offers a simple, robust design that combines a low-profile loading angle with exceptional ground clearance, and it can be powered by a variety of prime movers. While there is some repeatability in the manufacture of trailer sections, everything is customised at the front end. “If the

  World Mining Magazine


customer wants a 200-ton trailer to connect to a Komatsu 830E or a CAT 793, we have to customise for those particular trucks,” says Friedel. Another enhancement attracting investment is a new brake actuation system. “Our current system is air over hydraulic but many of the modern haul trucks have all-hydraulic braking systems,” explains Friedel. “Air systems are becoming a thing of the past, so we’re field testing an electric over hydraulic actuation system right now.” More exciting, perhaps, is the development of a wireless system to eliminate connections between the gooseneck and the lowboy. “We’re still field testing the wireless but once we roll it out fully in conjunction with the electric over hydraulic braking system there will be just a single Anderson plug connection between the gooseneck and the lowboy instead of two air lines, an Anderson connection, and one or two Deutsch connectors, depending on the configuration. Eliminating most of those connections is a big improvement for our customers.” TowHaul has also introduced some telematics for monitoring the equipment remotely. “The introduction of new technology is a balancing act,” says Friedel, “because one of Frank’s founding principles was the simplicity of the equipment, and we want to maintain that.

towhaul from lowboy to ‘towboy’

“Most of our customers justify the purchase of this equipment based on drills and dozers, because these are moving all the time. For this reason, customers often find that the equipment pays for itself in 12 to 18 months” World Mining Magazine


Keeping it simple in the mining environment can be very important. We’re trying to balance adding technology (and therefore complexity) for those that want more of it, with the needs of those that want to keep the equipment simple and straight forward.” Another recent development is a distribution agreement for the US and Canada with Finnish equipment manufacturer Sleipner. It might seem odd to link up with a competitor, but Friedel believes the Sleipner system is a good fit. “We have customers come to us who have lots of dozers and drills to move, but because they also have a large, 600-ton excavator, they think they need a 600-ton lowboy. However, a machine capable of carrying that payload needs a lot of adaptations to be able to carry the weight, which means that it becomes much more difficult to load smaller equipment - the things that you’re moving all the time. “For some, it might be better to buy a smaller lowboy, that doesn’t need a big ultra class truck as a prime mover, but

  World Mining Magazine


“Being able to perform multiple tasks on a mine site with a single piece of equipment is very powerful. There have been a lot of improvements over the years but the overall operation has not changed. The way the grab hook engages with the trailer has not changed. We want to maintain that simplicity because it works and our customers like it”

towhaul from lowboy to ‘towboy’

that can easily carry your dozers, drills, mid-size excavators and wheel loaders on an every day basis. For the large excavator that is not going to move as often, the client can add a Sleipner system that doesn’t require a dedicated truck. We want to offer our customers a total mobility solution so they can carry everything on their mine site between the TowHaul and the Sleipner system, and also have the ability to recover their haul trucks.” TowHaul is still a family owned business and has already more than doubled in size since Friedel joined in 2005. “When I started there were only 32 people, and now we have 66,” he says. Frank Smith has retired but the current CEO is his daughter, Kim Wild. A lot of things have changed, but the philosophy of the company remains the same. It’s Frank’s philosophy, along with his patented innovations, that have defined the brand. Over the last 40 years TowHaul has become the Kleenex of mining equipment mobility. “Whatever brand of tissues

people have in their house, they still reach for a Kleenex!” says Friedel. “It’s the same with TowHaul. We are often imitated, but no-one can duplicate a TowHaul. “We sometimes get phone calls from people who want to order parts or even repairs, only to find when we get down to details that their trailer is not a TowHaul at all. There is only one TowHaul, and it is designed and manufactured in Montana, USA.” What characteristics, then, encapsulate TowHaul’s competitive advantage? “I think you can boil it down to the versatility of the gooseneck, and how easy it is to operate,” Friedel concludes. “Being able to perform multiple tasks on a mine site with a single piece of equipment is very powerful. There have been a lot of improvements over the years but the overall operation has not changed. The way the grab hook engages with the trailer has not changed. We want to maintain that simplicity because it works and our customers like it.” World Mining Magazine


MORE THAN 90 YEARS... With more than 90 years experience and hundreds of thousands of units delivered, you can be confident that Royston Lead understands how to produce anodes for your tank house. Our team of experienced technicians has manufactured anodes for customers worldwide. We have a well deserved reputation for product quality, performance and longevity and are happy to work with clients, to ensure that the right product is supplied for their specific operating environments. As part of the 2IM Group our high purity alloys are produced internally to strict environmental and quality standards. Whether you require new, refurbished or recycled; for Copper, Zinc, Cobalt or Nickel, our anodes will help your process prosper. CONTACT US: +27 82 414 5572 +44 1226 770 110

world mining directory the directory for the global mining industries drilling & blasting

electrical equipment

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

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.

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.

drivetrain solutions

mining equipment

Swanson Industries is a leading provider of

hydraulic cylinder new manufacturing, remanufacturing, aftermarket service and repair, and distribution services for the global underground and aboveground mining markets. ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■

Custom Cylinder Design Cylinder Exchange Program OEM Authorized Service and Repair Center Mining Equipment Rebuilds Single-Source Supplier and Distributor Industrial Chrome Plating Multiple Surface Restoration Technologies Friction and Arc Welding

2608 Smithtown Road Morgantown, WV 26508 // Tel: +1 800 327 6203 4 - 26 Verulam Road Lambton NSW 2299, Australia // Tel: +61 2 4941 1000 Lapizlazuli 425 Sector La Chimba, Antofagasta // Tel: +56 5 5255 7644

swa n s o n i n d u st r i e s.c o m

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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

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.

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

mineral processing

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.

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

Motors, drives, mechanical power transmission â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 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

With a MOS H3 series working in-pit, the customer will not need to install and operate other equipment at the feeding hopper installation. Rock breaker booms, rollers screener and rock crusher are no longer necessary. For existing conventional feeding hopper: The installed rock breaker boom, roller screen and rock crusher can be switched off. The dumper material is sent directly from the apron feeder to the installed vibrating screen. All the OPEX expenses for these machines (electrical energy, operators, maintenance and so on) will be economized. Since the oversized waste material is already removed in-pit, the OPEX for waste disposal system will be cut. Moreover the feeding hopper will produce less noise and less vibrations, extending its operating life. For installation of a new feeding hopper: with the MOS H3 series working in-pit, the related CAPEX expenses will be optimized and significantly reduced. Rock breaker booms, rollers screen and rock crusher are no longer necessary. Also the reduction of the waste size material results in less disposal equipment.



MOS S.R.L. Via Stra’ 3/B 35015 Galliera Veneta, PD, +39 335 1804452 For all mining equipment rentals visit Italy +39 389 1199643

For all mining equipment rentals visit

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

World Mining Magazine  

Issue 25. Cover Story: Barrick Gold

World Mining Magazine  

Issue 25. Cover Story: Barrick Gold