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Glencore Strength in diversity

Issue 35 2020

World Mining




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The new normal



Martin Ashcroft


hesitate to say anything for certain in times as uncertain as this, especially about the state of an industry like mining, or the price of its commodities. When demand for resources declines, prices usually do the same, but at the moment, supply can be inconsistent, too. Even if demand falls, given the current unpredictability, supply may fall even faster. I’ve never been much of a gambler, but I wouldn’t want to bet on commodity prices today. After I started writing something about iron ore a few days ago, a local court in Brazil ordered Vale to suspend all activities in the Itabira mining complex, after 188 workers tested positive for Covid-19, taking out about 10 per cent of the company’s iron ore output at a stroke. I find it ironic in the extreme that what climate change campaigners failed to do after years of banging their drums, Covid-19 achieved in a matter of weeks – closing down our industries and stopping us from flying around the world for meetings and holidays. It’s also added some new terminology to our lexicon. A handful of new words enter the language every year, but this year has seen a glut. Who had heard of social distancing before? Self-isolation used to refer to anti-social hermits. Mining companies around the world have ‘enjoyed’ mixed

fortunes, depending on the priorities of their governments. Restrictions imposed have forced them to adapt the way they operate – if they can operate at all. Some countries recognised mining as an ‘essential activity’ from the beginning, which allowed operations to continue as long as they could be redesigned to comply with social distancing restrictions and regular sanitising of surfaces and equipment. As an editor, I dislike clichés, but I’m willing to make an exception for ‘new normal’. Whatever happens after this pandemic is over, the normality we once knew has gone forever. Health and safety has long been at the top of mining companies’ mission statements, but it’s going to be more important than ever from now on. Process automation, remote controlled equipment and autonomous vehicles have been increasing in recent years, and these look likely to become established practice in the new normal. A consultancy group calling themselves The Board of Innovation have coined the phrase ‘low touch economy’ to describe how businesses have been forced to operate to cope with Covid-19. Those that succeed will be those that follow business models based on this new normal, while keeping everyone as safe as possible. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


Contents Cover story glencore: Strength in diversity Page 14 Page: 5 • The Editor: The new normal 8 • Techenomics International: Liquid assets 14 • Glencore: Strength in diversity 28 • PhotoSat: The spy satellites that came in from the Cold War 38 • Sleipner Transport Systems boost equipment utilization rate 45 • Argonaut Gold and Alio Gold announce friendly at-market merger 47 • Purepoint Uranium updates Hook Lake JV exploration program • Newmont sells stake in Continental Gold for $260 million 49 • Body upgrade for haul trucks 51 • Construction continues at TVI Pacific’s Philippines project • Pueblo Viejo expansion will boost Dominican economy • Automation tech supports port bulk handling operation 53 • West African Resources pours first gold at Sanbrado • Teranga Gold acquires Senegal assets from Barrick 55 • Revitalized Veladero poised for new future

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ADVERTISERS 2 MAXAM Tire 4 Austin Engineering 18 Real Time Instruments 19 Stebbins 20 Derrick 22 Driver Industrial 42 THEJO 44 Truflo Pumps 46 Applied Fiber 48 Canary Systems 50 Marland Clutch (Altra Industrial Motion) 52 Sai Deepa Rock Drills 54 Flowrox 56 AME Intl 58 MoistTech Corp 60 VEI Group 62 Yale Cordage 64 Pumps 2000 65 World Mining Directory 67 Shaw Development 72 Mobilaris 78 Rockwell Automation 79 Hilliard Brake Systems 80 Resemin Asia

news Page 45

photosat Page 28

57 • Monarch Gold increases size of McKenzie Break with new mineral claims 59 • Newmont brings first autonomous haulage fleet to gold mining industry • Canada Cobalt name change 61 • Northern Vertex approved for Moss Gold Mine expansion 63 • Goliath expansion drilling intersects high grade 68 • South32: Developing nature’s resources

World Mining Magazine Contacts, Advertising Rates & Information News & Features Editor

Martin Ashcroft martin@ogsmag.com martin@worldminingmagazine.com


Vanessa Ward editor@ogsmag.com vanessa@worldminingmagazine.com


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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 2020 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.

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Techenomics International liquid assets

Chris Adsett, CEO, and Jason Davis, Australian Operations Manager for Techenomics International, tell Martin Ashcroft how they help customers extend the life and improve the efficiency of their equipment

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World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com



ining is a capital intensive business and in order to maximise their returns on investment, miners continually strive to improve the performance of their machinery and equipment. Downtime is expensive, not only for the intrinsic cost of maintenance or repairs, but the consequential loss from a piece of machinery being taken out of production. Techenomics International, a company specialising in condition monitoring and fluid analysis, is dedicated to helping its customers maximise equipment performance by resolving lubrication problems. “We’ve been in business for thirty odd years,” says CEO Chris

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“When we do somebody’s fluid analysis, we look to provide them with a total end result – a potential solution or a sign-off ”

Adsett. “Our core business is condition monitoring, based on oil analysis and fluid analysis.” Condition monitoring and fluid analysis help miners optimise asset performance and consequently save money, by highlighting lubrication problems which can cause equipment to underperform or even fail altogether. Oil analysis provides a detailed picture of the lubricant’s properties, including measurements of any suspended contaminants and wear debris. The oil carries tell-tale signs of potential problems or failures, but so too do the coolant, grease and fuels. Techenomics uses a number of testing methods and procedures to analyse these lubricants. Performed during routine preventive maintenance, this kind of analysis provides accurate information on the condition of the machine. Huge amounts of money can be saved by reducing downtime and diverting resources to other, more pressing maintenance requirements. To maximise the potential of condition monitoring and fluid analysis, however, you must provide more than a simple

techenomics international liquid assets

set of results. If you can interpret them and offer solutions, you can help the customer understand what to do next. “Traditionally, an oil analysis laboratory will produce a pathology report,” says Adsett, just like when you have a blood test. We put a lot of emphasis on the interpretation of those results, because nobody has a blood test for the sake of doing it. You’re looking for a maintenance platform, either in the human body or with your machinery. So, it’s the interpretation that’s important, rather than just handing the results over.” To evaluate an oil sample, Techenomics’ laboratory chemists investigate and report on the lubricant’s fundamentals and ability to perform its duties. Results and comments are then viewed by the chief chemist and evaluated by the mechanical failure analysis team. Once they are in agreement, a report is sent to the client via email. This is then uploaded to the company proprietary online software platform, Blue Oceans, where clients can view historical data anytime they like. The combination of the laboratory chemists and the knowledge of the maintenance engineers provides clients with highly detailed insight information into the sample results that can reduce

“We analyse the sample to detect things like the wear of metals and the depletion of additives” downtime on their equipment, achieve a higher and more effective availability rate and save companies huge amounts of money.

Blue Oceans

In their classic book, Blue Ocean Strategy, published in 2004, Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne coined the terms ’red ocean’ and ‘blue ocean’ to describe market dynamics. Blue ocean strategy is characterised as the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost, to open up a new market space and create new demand, making the competition irrelevant. “We named our online platform, Blue Oceans, after that,” says Adsett. “McDonalds is often quoted as an example of Blue Ocean Strategy. It’s

low cost and universal, and it gives an ordinary person the opportunity to have a restaurant experience at a much lower cost than a traditional restaurant. “Our Blue Oceans software program provides a marketplace where we combine the equivalent of a physiotherapist, a specialist, a GP and the pathology laboratory all in one. When we do somebody’s fluid analysis, we look to provide them with a total end result. We use the oil analysis or the fluid analysis data but provide a potential solution or a sign-off. “Most customers send samples in, then we do the analysis and provide them with their data on the Blue Oceans software, which is interactive. They can log on, they can look at the entire history, they do a bit of analytics. It’s continually being updated. At the moment it’s on the Microsoft Azure platform and we’re adding bells and whistles on it for continuous improvement all the time.” The standard oil sample size is only about 100ml. “We analyse the sample to detect things like the wear of metals and the depletion of additives,” says Jason Davis, Operations Manager for Australia. “As these wear off the quality of the oil deteriorates. We also test viscosity, which is the thickness of the World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


lubricant. Then there are particles in the oil, so we measure particle size and shape. There’s quite a lot involved.” Techenomics can customise the package to suit customer requirements. “They’re not always the same,” explains Davis. “It depends on the equipment and what they’re monitoring.” Another development has been a customer trend towards predictive maintenance. “Preventative maintenance has been around a long time,” says Davis, “but people are moving towards predictive maintenance now. We’re trying to establish predictive methods so we can predict failures before they happen. “We can already do that to a certain extent,” he adds. “When it comes to water and fuel dilution. That obviously gives some prior warning that something is going to happen, but when it comes to component replacement, that’s what we’re looking to achieve in the future.”

Liquid tungsten

Another component in the company’s portfolio comes in the shape of the nano additive tungsten disulphide (WS2), sometimes called liquid tungsten. Added to a lubricant, the nano particles roll between the metal surfaces of engines, components and hydraulic equipment like tiny ball bearings, reducing friction by up to 30 per cent.

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“When you put liquid tungsten into the lubricant it reduces the friction within the component by coating the metal surfaces and ensuring they don’t come into contact with each other. In our results we can actually see the iron drop a minimum of about 25 per cent. Some of our customers have temperature sensors on their equipment, and after the liquid tungsten has been added, the temperature drops by around 18 per cent”

Lower wear leads to longer component life and lower operating temperatures, allowing for greater productivity, while lower contaminants extend oil life. WS2 additives, manufactured by US company NIS, are available through Techenomics to suit mining, construction, industrial, energy generation, marine and transport purposes. There are WS2 additives to suit most oils and fluids, including engine oils, gear oils and greases. “We have the distribution rights for WS2 in Australia and for mining globally,” says Davis. “We’re still doing trials to find where its capabilities end. So far they seem endless. The idea of the liquid tungsten is that you put it into the lubricant and it reduces the friction within the component by coating the metal surfaces and ensuring they don’t come into contact with each other. In our results we can actually see the iron drop a minimum of about 25 per cent. Some of our customers have temperature sensors on their equipment, and after the liquid tungsten has been added, the temperature drops by around 18 per cent.” Followers of Formula One may remember advertising for a similar lubricant last season, manufactured by a German company. The additive in that case was molybdenum disulphide (MOS2), abbreviated to liquid moly.

techenomics international liquid assets “Molybdenum and tungsten are somewhat similar, except that tungsten is a superior material in terms of heat transfer and metal wear,” says Chris Adsett. “It’s suitable for a large mine truck engine, it’s suitable for gearboxes, it’s suitable for the crushing circuit, for power station gearboxes, all sorts of things where you have lubricants, where there’s a level of wear, where you can reduce the wear, reduce the temperature. Oil lasts longer, components last longer and you reduce costs.”


The company has traditionally focused on the mining industry, but its reach stretches further. “The type of equipment employed varies from sector to sector and from mine to mine,” says Jason Davis, “but our customers include anyone who uses high volumes of oil. We recently acquired a large contract with a bus company which has a fleet of about 2000 buses. It can be anything from locomotives to tug boats,

“Molybdenum and tungsten are somewhat similar, but tungsten is a superior material in terms of heat transfer and metal wear” passenger cars up to mining equipment, drag lines or large ships.” The company has been spreading geographically, too, over the last few years. “We’re very well represented in Australasia and we’re now operating in

South East Asia, Northern Asia and are just beginning to open up in Africa,” says Adsett. “We’ve got three labs in Indonesia because we’re trying to service different mining areas, so we’ve got a lab in each one for a faster turnaround. “We’re currently talking to a large OEM with operations in Russia,” he continues. “They’re unhappy with their current provider and we’re talking about them sending their samples to us either in Mongolia or Thailand and then we’ll provide them with their service online. So we don’t necessarily need to be down the road. The closer we are, obviously, the faster the turnaround. We aim at a one to two day turnaround but if it takes us a day or two to get the sample it means turnaround time’s a little bit longer. “So the message is, we are very active in the fluid analysis, condition monitoring space, we’ve been there a long time and we’re developing new online tools to enable the customer to get more than just a set of results.”

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glencore strength in diversity Glencore is one of the world’s largest global diversified natural resource companies and a major producer and marketer of more than 60 commodities. The Group has a footprint in over 35 countries with operations comprising some 150 mining and metallurgical sites and oil production assets.

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t the time of writing, in April 2020, the world as we used to know it has largely been put on hold. Precautions against the spread of coronavirus have been introduced all over the world, but they vary widely from country to country and change like the wind. I can therefore only report what has happened in the short period of the initial global response. Most countries have introduced the kind of measures which require people to stay at home unless their work is considered to be in an ‘essential’ industry. Needless to say, interpretations of this vary, too. In the mining sector, Glencore’s customers are industrial consumers, such as those in the automotive, steel, power generation and battery manufacturing sectors.

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While the majority of Glencore’s operations have not been materially impacted to date, in Canada, Glencore’s Raglan (nickel) and Matagami (zinc) operations in Quebec were initially closed, but when the government of Quebec extended the order for all nonessential businesses to remain closed until 4 May, it then classed mining as an essential activity from 15 April, so the operations started looking at options to restart as soon as they could. The Australian Government has also identified mining as an essential activity. All Glencore sites have riskbased plans to support the health and safety of workers and the continuation of business and the company has pledged to do everything in its power to continue running safe, responsible

“The Australian and Canadian Governments have identified mining as an essential activity”

glencore strength in diversity

and sustainable operations across the country. In Colombia, a 19-day quarantine for the country began on 25 March, and was subsequently extended to 27 April. Prodeco’s mining operations in the country remain on care and maintenance, but the port continues to operate. In Peru, operations were halted at the Antamina mine. During the suspension the company undertook to disinfect the camp and increase protocols for those arriving at/departing from the site. While North and South America have had their interruptions, Africa has had more issues. The South African government extended its nationwide lockdown to 30 April, so Glencore’s ferroalloys and two of its coal

(Middleburg and Graspan) operations were put on care and maintenance. A risk-based approach to lifting restrictions has been introduced from 1 May. The economic climate around the mining industry has been volatile recently, to say the least, in some African countries. Governments are keen to obtain a fair reward in return for the exploitation of their mineral assets, but overly tough measures risk jeopardising the overseas investment they depend upon. In Zambia in early April, Glencore announced its intention to suspend its copper and cobalt operations in the country for three months. Reuters quoted Mopani Copper Mines as saying: “In addition to the impacts of a rapid decline in the copper price, Mopani’s situation has been further impacted by the critical disruptions to international mobility, transportation and supply chains arising from Covid-19.” Mopani (MCM) has underground mines, a concentrator, a smelter and a refinery at the Mufulira mine site, with open pits, a concentrator and a cobalt plant at the Nkana mine site in Kitwe. MCM is 73.1% owned by Glencore, 16.9% by First Quantum Minerals and the remaining 10% by Zambia’s mining investment arm ZCCM-IH. The government reacted angrily to the announcement, claiming the company had not given sufficient notice of its intentions, and threatened to revoke Glencore’s mining licences. Glencore has invested billions of dollars sinking new shafts at MCM to try to increase copper production to 140,000 tons a year. The company obviously believes in the operation. Nevertheless, MCM chief executive Nathan Bullock was forcibly prevented from flying home to see his family in Australia and driven back to the mine from Lusaka airport by police. Shortly after that a videoconference was set up between Glencore and Zambia’s ministers of mines, finance, home affairs, and labour. “The government wants to see a win-win situation and respects investors, but we need to protect the interests of Zambians,” mines ministry permanent secretary Barnaby Mulenga said to Reuters in a telephone interview. “We expect to make a lot of progress in this

meeting.” In early May Mopani Copper Mines announced it would restart mining and provide a 90-day notice period of its intention to place the operations on care and maintenance. During the notice period, the company said, it would discuss “potential solutions to its current challenges” following “constructive discussions” with the Zambian government.

Copper and cobalt

Despite the effects of coronavirus, copper remains an important commodity to Glencore. The company is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of the metal, producing 1.37 million tonnes in 2019, and selling 4.1 million tonnes through its marketing business to a range of customers in the automotive, electronics and construction industries. Glencore mines and processes copper ore in the key mining regions of Africa, Australia and South America, as well as sourcing and recycling copper scrap in North America and Asia. As a major by-product of copper production, Glencore is also one of the world’s largest producers of cobalt, primarily from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Katanga Mining Limited (86.3%) operates a large-scale copper-cobalt mine complex producing copper cathodes and cobalt hydroxide in the DRC. Katanga’s assets include the Kamoto underground mine and KOV open pit mine, providing sulphide and oxide ores respectively; and the Kamoto concentrator and Luilu metallurgical plant for the onsite production of refined copper and cobalt. On 29 April 2019, it was announced that Katanga’s 75% subsidiary Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) had commenced a comprehensive business review targeting mining efficiencies and processing improvements as well as enhancements to product quality realizations and overhead cost reductions. There may be scope for margin improvements in the order of $200-$250 million per annum. KCC has defined business priorities including improved efficiencies, maintenance, labour productivity and production quality, while decreasing the costs associated with procurement, World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


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sourcing and information technology. These improvements are expected to materially increase the cash flow generation of KCC from 2022, when it is projected to achieve targeted life of mine average production of approximately 300ktonnes of copper and 30ktonnes of cobalt. At the end of December last year Katanga announced that Mamoto Copper Company had agreed with La Générale des Carrières et des Mines (Gécamines), its 25% joint venture partner in KCC, to acquire a comprehensive land package covering areas adjacent to KCC’s existing mining concessions. The land includes multiple blocks over the preferred location for construction of a new long-term tailings facility, and multiple other blocks that will enhance KCC’s ability to operate its mines more efficiently. If this agreement is implemented then the risks for KCC’s operations resulting from land constraints described in the company’s

“Kamoto Copper Company has defined business priorities including improved efficiencies, maintenance, labour productivity and production quality, while decreasing the costs associated with procurement, sourcing and information technology”

43-101 Technical Report of 7 November 2019, would be mitigated. Mutanda is another large-scale copper and cobalt producer, also in Katanga province, DRC, producing copper cathodes and cobalt hydroxide. Also in Africa, Mopani Copper Mines Plc is a Zambian registered copper mine owned by Glencore Plc (73.1%) and First Quantum Minerals Ltd (16.9%) with ZCCM-IH owning 10%. In April 2000, Mopani purchased assets of the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Limited (ZCCM) comprising underground mines, a concentrator, a smelter and a refinery at Mufulira mine site and underground mines, open pits, a concentrator and a cobalt plant at Nkana mine site in Kitwe. The company invested in three new shafts: Synclinorium, Mindolo Deeps and Mufurila Deeps. At its design depth of 2 km, Mufulira Deeps will be the world’s second deepest, single-shaft underground copper mine, a shade behind the 2.1kmWorld Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


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glencore strength in diversity

deep Resolution Copper Mine in the state of Arizona, USA, and will add 25 years to the life of the mine. In Australia, Glencore has copper mining and processing operations in Queensland and New South Wales. In North Queensland its copper mining and processing operations include the Mount Isa Mines complex, Ernest Henry Mining near Cloncurry, and copper refinery in Townsville. Operating since 1924, Mount Isa Mines remains one of Australia’s largest industrial complexes, operating two separate mining and processing streams - copper and zinc-lead-silver. The Mount Isa copper operations host two underground mines, including

“At its design depth of 2 km, Mufulira Deeps will be the world’s second deepest, single-shaft underground copper mine”

Australia’s deepest underground copper mine at 1,900 metres. Ernest Henry Mining is a copper and gold mining and processing operation which began production in 1998 as an open pit mine and in 2011 transitioned to underground mining as part of a $589 million life of mine extension project. Copper ore is processed at the on-site concentrator and trucked to Mount Isa Mines for smelting into copper anode. In New South Wales, with a mining history spanning over 140 years, Glencore’s CSA Mine is Australia’s highest grade copper mine, and at 1,600 metres deep, it is also the second deepest underground copper mine in the country. Located in Cobar, Central World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


glencore strength in diversity

Western New South Wales, CSA Mine produces copper concentrate with a silver by-product. The product is then transported via rail to Port Waratah in Newcastle, from where it is shipped to smelters around the world. In 2019 in Australia, own sourced copper production of 194,600 tonnes was 15,800 tonnes (8%) lower than in 2018, mainly relating to weatherrelated disruptions in Q1, the impact of which was caught up over the following quarters.

Zinc and lead

Glencore mines and processes zinc and lead ores in Australia, South America, Kazakhstan and Canada. It also smelts

“Over half of Glencore’s total zinc and lead reserves and resources are located in Australia, where Mount Isa Mines and McArthur River Mine host the world’s No.1 and No.2 zinc resource bases”

and refines zinc and lead at processing operations in Australia, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, the UK and Kazakhstan. In 2019, own sourced zinc production of 1,077,500 tonnes was in line with 2018, reflecting the effects of stronger production (mine restarts) in Australia and Peru, largely offset by reduced own sourced production at Kazzinc for safety reasons and expected lower zinc production from Antamina in Peru, due to mine scheduling. Over half of Glencore’s total zinc and lead reserves and resources are located in Australia, where Mount Isa Mines and McArthur River Mine host the world’s No.1 and No.2 zinc resource bases. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


The North Queensland zinc operations include an integrated supply chain comprising mining, processing, transport and logistics, as well as port facilities. The zinc operations at Mount Isa include the George Fisher underground mine, zinc-lead concentrator, zinc-lead filter plant and lead smelter. Glencore also owns the high-grade Lady Loretta underground mine near Mount Isa, where production was temporarily suspended in 2015 when the price of zinc collapsed. In

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December 2017, after the price had recovered, Glencore appointed Redpath Australia to run the mine on a contract basis for its remaining six year lifespan. Another zinc operation, McArthur River Mine in Australia’s Northern Territory is around 970 kilometres south-east of Darwin. Established as an underground operation in 1995, MRM converted to open pit mining in 2006. MRM produces zinc and lead in concentrates which are transported by road from the mine site to Glencore’s

Bing Bong loading facility on the Gulf of Carpentaria. Current mine life extends to 2036. Zinc production in Australia of 597,600 tonnes in 2019 was 65,100 tonnes (12%) higher than in 2018, reflecting the full-year contribution from Lady Loretta mine, following its 2018 restart, and improved processing rates at McArthur River. Lead production of 213,300 tonnes was 37,500 tonnes (21%) higher than in 2018, mainly relating to Lady Loretta.

glencore strength in diversity

In North America, zinc production of 111,400 tonnes was 10,300 tonnes (10%) higher than in 2018, mainly reflecting higher throughput at Matagami in Quebec, as it accesses a wider section of the deposit. In South America, own sourced zinc production of 93,600 tonnes was in line with 2018, reflecting the recent restart of the Iscaycruz mine in Peru, but offset by challenging mining conditions at Aguilar in Argentina. Own sourced lead production of 32,300 tonnes was 9,600

tonnes (23%) lower than in 2018, mainly relating to Aguilar.


Glencore is a leading producer and marketer of nickel, with assets in Australia, Canada and Europe. Around two-thirds of all nickel is used in the production of stainless steel, with the remainder used for applications including super-alloys, batteries and electroplating. Glencore is one of Australia’s largest

nickel and cobalt producers, and with more than 30 years of nickel reserves, it has one of the longest life of mine reserves. Murrin Murrin is a worldclass hydrometallurgical nickel project located between Leonora and Laverton in the northeastern Goldfields region of Western Australia. Processed nickel and cobalt are transported via rail to Kwinana, south of Perth, for export to customers worldwide. In Canada, Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations (Sudbury World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


INO) include exploration, two underground mines (Nickel Rim South and Fraser), Strathcona Mill and the Sudbury Smelter. The company has been mining nickel-copper ores in the Sudbury area of northern Ontario since 1928. The facilities are spread throughout the 60 kilometre-long, oval-shaped geological formation known as the Sudbury basin. Nickel and copper are the primary metals but cobalt and precious metals, such as gold, silver, platinum and

  World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


“We believe that high-quality coal will continue to be part of the overall energy mix well into the future”

palladium are also produced. Sudbury INO is looking to develop one of the world’s first mines wholly operated by battery electric-powered vehicles (EVs). The Onaping Depth Project, currently under construction and expected to come on-stream in 2023/24, is collaborating with EVproducers to ensure all parties are fully prepared for an all-electric mining operation. Just a few years ago, Sudbury INO was at a point where, without further

glencore strength in diversity production of 120,600 tonnes in 2019 was 3,200 tonnes (3%) lower than in 2018, mainly reflecting a number of maintenance stoppages at Koniambo, including a crane failure in December 2019. Murrin Murrin’s own sourced nickel production of 36,600 tonnes was 1,100 tonnes (3%) higher than in 2018. Own sourced cobalt production of 3,400 tonnes was 500 tonnes (17%) higher, reflecting strong plant performance and higher year-over-year grades.


investment, the site’s mines were expected to reach the end of their life cycle as early as 2023. On the other side of the world, on the South Pacific island of New Caledonia, Koniambo Nickel is a joint venture owned by the Société Minière du Sud Pacifique (51%) and Glencore (49%). The mine and smelter started production in 2014, but production targets have not yet been met due to a series of problems with the smelter. Glencore’s own sourced nickel

While Glencore has its eyes set on the future with its interests in copper, nickel and cobalt, it has not turned its back on a more traditional commodity – coal, despite pressure from the green lobby. The company operates 26 mines in 21 mining complexes across Australia, Colombia and South Africa. Coal production of 139.5 million tonnes in 2019 was 10.1 million tonnes (8%) higher than in 2018, mainly reflecting the full-year effects of the acquisitions of Rio Tinto’s Hunter Valley Operations (May 2018) and Hail Creek (August 2018). Australian coking production of 9.2 million tonnes was 1.7 million tonnes (23%) higher than in 2018, while Australian thermal and semi-soft production of 79.2 million tonnes was 6.5 million tonnes (9%) higher than in 2018, reflecting the fullyear contributions from HVO and Hail Creek. In Colombia, Prodeco’s production of 15.6 million tonnes was 3.9 million tonnes (33%) higher than in 2018, reflecting additional mine development activities carried out in the base period, while Cerrejòn’s 2019 production was constrained by dust emissions control requirements. South African thermal production of 26.9 million tonnes was broadly in line with 2018. Glencore operates four coal complexes there, producing thermal coal for export and domestic power generation. These include the Goedgevonden Complex, an open-cut mine, in a joint venture with ARM Coal. The Impunzi Complex is a large export thermal coal mining operation located 110km east of Johannesburg, while Izimbiwa Coal, through its subsidiaries, owns five mines near Middelburg

and Kendal. Finally, the Tweefontein Complex is thermal coal complex near Johannesburg. Glencore is Australia’s largest coal producer, with 16 mining operations across New South Wales and Queensland. Coal is exported from the ports of Abbot Point, Dalrymple Bay, Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal, RG Tanna coal terminal (in Queensland) and from the Port of Newcastle (in NSW). The company’s interest in coal began with the acquisition in 1998 of the Cumnock and Mount Owen coal mines in Australia. The Cumnock mine is now part of Glencore’s Ravensworth Operations in New South Wales. Its NSW Hunter assets also include mines at Bulga, Liddell, Mangoola, Integra and Mount Owen, while Glencore’s Queensland interests include Collinsville Open Cut, Newlands Coal, Hail Creek, Oaky Creek and Rolleston Open Cut. While stressing the company’s commitment to a low carbon future, CEO Ivan Glasenberg reaffirmed Glencore’s faith in the coal industry in the company’s recent annual report. “Glencore is well positioned to play a key role in aiding the various transitions to a low-carbon economy,” he wrote, “with our responsible approach to producing and sourcing a diversified portfolio of commodities, some of which are absolutely critical in enabling the shift to a low-carbon world. “We also believe that high-quality coal will continue to be part of the overall energy mix well into the future. Population growth, urbanisation and rising living standards are expected to contribute to increased global energy requirements in the coming decades. “The need for affordable and stable baseload power generation is expected to underpin coal demand growth, primarily in Asia, even as it declines in Europe and the US. Our modelling, and indeed that of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Stated Policies Scenario, indicates that thermal coal demand is expected to continue to grow to 2030.”

World Mining Magazine

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com



CORONA Reconnaissance Satellite with the Keyhole camera.

  World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


The spy satellites that came in from the Cold War Gerry Mitchell, president and founder of PhotoSat, tells Martin Ashcroft how photographic images taken by U.S. spy satellites in the 1960s can help the mining industry determine the safety of tailings deposits.


afety is the No1 priority on every mining company’s list of values, and after a series of tragic events over the last few years, mine tailings have risen to the top of the safety agenda. Tailings dams are the most common disposal system for mining waste, and have been employed for over a hundred years to enable large scale and long-term storage of waste from the mineral extraction process. It is an unfortunate and poignant irony that the company we now know as Vale was once called Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, which translates roughly into English as Valley of the Sweet River. Sadly, the sweetness of the Rio Doce, downstream of the Samarco Mineração iron ore mine in Brazil’s Minas Gerais province, was soured on 5 November 2015 after the collapse of the Fundão dam, killing 19 people and spilling millions of gallons of mineral waste into the countryside the dams were designed to protect. The repercussions of this event have reverberated far and wide over the intervening years, not least in the investor community, where a number of influential shareholders launched class action lawsuits. Samarco, jointly owned by Vale and BHP, claimed the dams had been regularly inspected and declared to be safe. Investors began to wonder who they could trust.

Image: Freepik.com

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


Feijão July 2005.

c Vale S.A. Source: www.b1technicalinvestigation.com

A little over three years after the Fundão dam disaster, on 25 January 2019, a tailings dam at the Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine near Brumadinho in Minas Gerais, the same Brazilian state as the Samarco dam, suffered a catastrophic failure, killing over 250 people, many of whom were Vale employees eating lunch in the canteen, downstream of the dam.

Image: Freepik.com

Keyhole 4b, 22 September 1967.

  World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


Investors now began to wonder how they could obtain independent verification of the safety of mine tailings deposits. Just two days after the tragic event, a group of investors led by the Church of England Pensions Board and the Council of Ethics of the Swedish National Pension Funds called upon 727 mining companies to make disclosures about their tailings storage facilities for an independent

“After the Brumadinho disaster there was a huge international reaction, including the Church of England and the Swedish Government Pension Fund, who demanded that mining companies get their act together. The first thing they asked for was a complete inventory of all tailings dams and what the consequence of failure of them would be. A lot of companies have been scrabbling to figure that out”


The spy satellites that came in from the Cold War global database, the Global Tailings Portal. The Investor Mining & Tailings Safety Initiative was subsequently formed and a global review was announced, coconvened by the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), to establish an international standard on tailings storage facilities. “After the Brumadinho disaster there was a huge international reaction,” says Gerry Mitchell, president and founder of PhotoSat, “including the Church of England and the Swedish Government Pension Fund, who demanded that mining companies get their act together. The first thing they asked for was a complete inventory of all tailings dams

and what the consequence of failure of them would be. A lot of companies have been scrabbling to figure that out.” Helping to figure that out is the latest line of business for PhotoSat, which can use satellite images to make astonishingly accurate calculations of the contents of a dam. Mine tailings dams are often huge structures, some of which were built over fifty years ago and added to over time. Many of them do not have accurate engineering records of how they were originally constructed and subsequently developed and extended. Without those initial designs, working out the volume of tailings contained in such a structure can only be guesswork. If only you had some detailed photographs of the site over the course of its development.

Location of the Mufulira, Zambia mine site and tailings dam.

NOTE - Reproduced from the Ordnance Survey Map with the permission of the Controller of H.M. Stationery Office. c Crown copyright licence number 100024244 Savills (UK) Ltd NOTE - Published for the purposes of identification only and although believed to be correct its accuracy is not guaranteed.

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


Maxar’s WorldView-3 satellite imaged the Mufulira mine site and tailings dam on March 23, 2020.

Inactive tailings deposit

Mufulira tailings dam deposition since 1987

c Image copywrite Maxar

“To measure the volume of tailings in dams that have no initial engineering information, we can use the US spy satellite data to get the original topography before the tailings dams were built”

  World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


Vancouver-based PhotoSat was founded in 1993 by Gerry Mitchell after a career as a seismic specialist with oil giant BP. The company specializes in elevation surveying for civil engineering infrastructure projects and the planning and design of resource development projects for clients in mining, oil and gas, engineering and environmental companies and government agencies. PhotoSat’s team of geophysicists, engineers and associated geoscientists has delivered over 1000 survey projects, and has developed a new technology to


The spy satellites that came in from the Cold War

Soviet Long-Range Aviation Airfield 1963

c Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

US Keyhole spy satellite photo showing two regiments of Tupelov bombers at the Dolan, Kazakhstan, Soviet nuclear bomber airfield during the Cold War. U.S. Air Force Archives. produce the world’s most accurate satellite survey data, with better than 20cm elevation accuracy. “We provided a lot of information for the two engineering investigations of the Brazilian dam failures,” says Mitchell. “Initially our contracts were with New York law firms who were working for the engineering companies, or Vale itself.” This information was based on contemporary images, of course, but nobody could give a complete picture without historical data. Then Mitchell remembered using cold war spy satellite images in a civil engineering project in Sudan almost 20 years ago.

Image: Freepik.com

“We started looking at the 1960s American spy satellite data (from the US Keyhole Spy Satellite Program) that was declassified by President Clinton in 1995,” he says. “It’s stereo satellite photo data. I first got into it when I did a job in Sudan about 18 years ago for a Canadian oil company.” At the time, he explained, the original owners had been accused of depopulating the oil basin of Sudan. The accusers claimed there had been two

million people there. Mitchell’s company was engaged to determine how many people had been there in the 1960s and 70s. “It wasn’t possible to tell from modern satellite data, but using this declassified American satellite data we were able to show that where there were now ten thousand people, in 1965 there were about ten huts. It was spectacular data.” Even more spectacular was the discovery that the US spy satellites had taken pictures of the whole world, not just Russian military installations. The US Geological Survey, which now hosts the collection of declassified images on its website, has incredibly high-resolution American spy satellite data that covers the entire DRC copper belt, for instance, as well as the tailings dams that collapsed in Brazil. This is exactly what PhotoSat needs to calculate the volume of tailings in a dam, and help satisfy the demands of the Investor Mining & Tailings Safety Initiative.

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


“We’re finding that almost everywhere we look we can see stereo data from the 60s from these American spy satellites,” says Mitchell. “It’s about one and a half to two metre resolution – and that was in the mid-sixties. We didn’t reach anything like that kind of resolution commercially until 2000. The first commercially available satellite photos from 1979 have probably 1/100th of that resolution. “As far as we can tell,” he continues, “this is the first example of this data being used for engineering applications.” PhotoSat does not have exclusive use of the US spy

Image: Freepik.com

Elevations Red = 1,270 m Blue = 1,210 m

4 km Elevation surface of the current surface of the Mufulira tailings dam derived from a Maxar WorldView-3 satellite image collected on March 23, 2020. satellite images, however. They are available for everyone, but what is exclusive is the technology PhotoSat has created to calculate the volume contained in a dam. “To measure the volume of tailings in dams that have no initial engineering information, we can use the US spy satellite data to get the original topography before the tailings dams were built,” explains Mitchell. “Then we can use the current highresolution satellite data, which is our main business (we survey mine sites all over the world to 15cm accuracy) using Maxar’s WorldView satellite data. When we combine them, we can measure the volume in these tailings deposits.” Armed with the images and the technology, PhotoSat’s current emphasis

  World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


is on independently demonstrating the accuracy and effectiveness of the system, but not on one of the failed Brazilian dams, where the consequences of failure have already been demonstrated. Better to use a current dam and produce a calculation of its contents for international scrutiny. “We have spy satellite data over the two Brazilian dams,” says Mitchell, “but we haven’t published that because we thought it would be better to look at a successful dam rather than a dam break.” They chose instead a tailings dam at the Mufulira Mine in Zambia, part of the Mopani Copper Mines complex, where Glencore is the majority owner. “The Mufulira tailings dam looks like it was very well designed, very well maintained

and is very well managed, as far as we can tell. One of the key features we’re looking at is in the history of the dam; how close did the water come to the embankment? In Mufulira it never came closer than about 200 metres. “Investors and insurers are saying ‘without independent verification, what can we believe?’ So one of our motivations is to be able to produce independently verifiable data that mine owners can use to demonstrate to insurers, investors and regulators how well their tailings dams have been built and maintained.” Conveniently, the Mufulira Dam was commissioned in 1989. “In addition to the satellite photos from 1967, there are 290 cloud free satellite photos from 1988

“We have spy satellite data over the two Brazilian dams,” says Mitchell, “but we haven’t published that because we thought it would be better to look at a successful dam rather than a dam break.”


The spy satellites that came in from the Cold War

New tailings embankment

Pre 1967 tailings deposits

Declassified US Keyhole spy satellite photo of the Mufulira mine site and tailings dams taken on September 22, 1967. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


Image: Freepik.com

An illustration of the recovery maneuver used to capture the CORONA film-return bucket with the Keyhole camera film. to the present,” says Mitchell. “Nobody asked us to do this, so this is a totally independent survey. Without talking to anyone involved, we are demonstrating how much information we can establish.” Altogether, there are 315 archived photos from various satellites over the years. “We can see how the dam was built, and where the tailings pond was throughout the history of the dam,” says Mitchell. “That’s significant because in the two Brazilian failures they let the tailings pond go right up to the embankments. That was a key factor in why the dam embankments were water saturated and ultimately failed. Upstream tailings dam embankments

  World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


need unsaturated sand to be stable. If they’re water saturated, which the two Brazilian dams were, then they’re unstable.” After comparing the satellite images over the years, PhotoSat is able to produce an accurate cross section showing the elevation of the surface of the tailings pond at various stages of its development. Using this data, the company has calculated that the Mufulira dam currently contains 50 million cubic metres of tailings. In its response to the Church of England survey, Glencore had declared this to be 79 million cubic metres. It’s a significant difference. The initial questionnaire to the mining

“One of our motivations is to be able to produce independently verifiable data that mine owners can use to demonstrate to insurers, investors and regulators how well their tailings dams have been built and maintained” companies asked what the consequences of a tailings dam failure would be. Noone can possibly be sure of that unless they know how much the dam contains, and the only way to make an accurate


The spy satellites that came in from the Cold War

2020 The Mufulira tailings dam topographic surfaces for March 23, 2020 and September 22, 1967. Cross section showing the tailings dam topographic surfaces for different years.


1,500 m KH-4B CORONA Reconnaissance Satellite with the Keyhole camera.

volume measurement is to understand the starting surface. For the mines that have no engineering data relating to the construction of their tailings dams, this might never have been possible without the U.S. spy satellite photographs, Maxar’s current, high-resolution satellite imagery and PhotoSat’s unique system of processing the data. “The Global Tailings Review is recommending that every tailings deposit in the world be classified initially as having an extreme consequence of failure,” explains Mitchell, “until the board of directors signs off on a report which says the consequences of failure are less than extreme. To figure out the consequences you need to know the quantity of tailings and water that would potentially flow downstream in the event of a dam break.”

Thanks to the US Keyhole Spy Satellite Program over fifty years ago, combined with PhotoSat’s technology, the level of investor risk is now much easier to establish.

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


Sleipner “Do not forget the importance of training, it improves productivity” -says Sleipner Finland Training Manager Karl Marlow

  World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


Sleipner Transport Systems Boost Equipment Utilization Rate Significantly


eo-Transport & Construction, Inc. is an industrial conglomerate that mines limestone, an important material in the construction industry, to meet the demands of the growing cities of the Philippines. As a pioneer in its industry, the company has used two Sleipner E-Series from 2016 in its two quarries on the island of Cebu and the island Bohol to boost its production and the utilization rate of its equipment.

Solutions for Production Inefficiency Geo-Transport & Construction collaborates closely with its neighboring cement factories by providing them with limestone composite that has an ideal composition for cement production purposes. When the company’s business activities started growing a few years ago, they started looking for solutions to boost their production. The equipment utilization rate, in particular, needed improvement. “Having our equipment in the wrong location generates unnecessary costs. The Sleipner E-Series improve the utilization rate of our excavators by allowing us to move the equipment to where it is

  World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


needed in an agile manner. When using Sleipner E-series to move excavators, we save around 2 hours moving time which means roughly 200 US dollars cost savings for us each time,” says Plant Manager Jacinto Gimena Pacino. The Bohol quarry works include moving 30 tons excavator from equipment yard to the port with a distance of 5 kilometers.

“Having our equipment in the wrong location generates unnecessary costs. The Sleipner E-Series improve Sleipner System Guarantees the utilization rate of our Rapid Transport Operations excavators by allowing us Training helped implement Sleipner to move the equipment to system as part of daily production operations very quickly. The where it is needed in an was effortless as the agile manner. When using implementation experienced excavator operators learned Sleipner E-series to move how to use the Sleipner systems very excavators, we save around quickly. The Sleipner E30 and E50 used in Geo-Transport & Construction’s quarries 2 hours moving time which can be used to transport excavators by pulling them behind a tipper truck. The means roughly 200 US distance covered in one hour improved dollars cost savings for us from 2 to 15 kilometers. each time.” “Our quarries and sites are far apart. The Sleipner system allows us to move excavators between different locations in a quick and agile manner. Sleipner systems are fully compatible with our operations even though they are not used

sleipner transport systems to boost equipment utilization

basis, which is why we also invest in improving our efficiency. The Sleipner systems have been invaluable to our efforts.”

on a daily basis. We work according to tight schedules, and saving time generates significant cost savings for us.”

Sleipner System in Every Quarry Geo-Transport & Construction has generated major savings by improving the mobility of its equipment at its quarries. Improving the efficiency of excavator transport operations can save dozens of hours of working time every month, which can then be allocated to more productive tasks. The same capacity can be achieved with fewer excavators. The most recently opened quarry is now beginning to use Sleipner E90, a system larger than the previous ones, which can be used to transport even larger equipment. “Our mission is to provide highquality construction materials for the infrastructure and construction projects in our cities to support the local businesses and people. We want to develop our operations on a constant

“Geo-Transport & Construction has generated major savings by improving the mobility of its equipment at its quarries. Improving the efficiency of excavator transport operations can save dozens of hours of working time every month, which can then be allocated to more productive tasks.”

Geo-Transport & Construction Ltd. in brief: • Head office in Cebu, the Philippines • CEO: Bryan Chona • Founded in 1976 • Employs 500 people • Uses three Sleipner Systems / E30, E50 and E90 to boost the mobility of their equipment

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


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Argonaut Gold and Alio Gold announce friendly at-market merger A

rgonaut Gold and Alio Gold have agreed to join forces to create a diversified intermediate producer with assets in Canada, the US and Mexico. “This is a transaction which makes sense for both sets of shareholders,” said Pete Dougherty, President & CEO of Argonaut. “Combining complementary assets into one larger, more relevant company generates significant synergies. With a solid production base of over 235,000 gold equivalent ounces expected this year, a strong balance sheet and strong cash flow generation at current gold prices, we will be well positioned to evaluate and execute on growth opportunities from within the combined company’s development asset portfolio.” Argonaut Gold owns the La Colorada mine in Sonora, Mexico, and the El Castillo and San Agustin mines, which together form the El Castillo Complex in Durango, Mexico. It also has advanced exploration projects including the Cerro del Gallo project in Guanajuato, Mexico, the San Antonio advanced exploration project in Baja

“This is a transaction which makes sense for both sets of shareholders”

California Sur, Mexico and the Magino project in Ontario, Canada. Alio Gold’s major asset is the 100% owned Florida Canyon Mine in Nevada, USA. The company also owns the development stage Ana Paula Project in Guerrero, Mexico. “This transaction is very positive for Alio Gold shareholders, as it maintains meaningful exposure to the turn-around underway at the Florida Canyon gold mine and the potential of the Ana Paula project, while removing the substantial risk that is inherent in a one-mine company,” said Mark Backens, President and CEO of Alio Gold. “The combination with Argonaut benefits our shareholders through participation in a larger, well-funded, and more diverse company that has the ability to invest in high-return projects across the portfolio to unlock a significant value re-rating. Pete and the Argonaut team have a long track record of delivering value from mines very similar to Florida Canyon and we have no doubt that success will continue to benefit all stakeholders.” World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com




P: 850-539-7720 | E: sales@applied-fiber.com | www.applied-fiber.com/miningsystems


Purepoint Uranium updates Hook Lake JV exploration program


urepoint Uranium has reported on this winter’s exploration program at the Hook Lake Project, a joint venture between Cameco Corporation (39.5%), Orano Canada Inc. (39.5%), and Purepoint (21%) in the Patterson Uranium District, Saskatchewan, Canada. Purepoint is the operator of the project, which lies on the southwestern edge of Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin and is adjacent to and on trend with recent high-grade uranium discoveries, including Fission Uranium’s Triple R Deposit and NexGen’s Arrow Deposit. The Hook Lake JV Project is considered one of the highest quality uranium exploration projects in the Athabasca Basin due to its location along the prospective Patterson Lake trend and the relatively shallow depth to the unconformity. A focus of the 2020 exploration program included follow-up north of encouraging hole HK19-105, an area

“Our priority is now considered to be initial drill testing of the new Sabre Target area EM conductor picks” referred to as the Sabre Target. This year’s geophysical survey was conducted over the Sabre Target area and consisted of five lines of stepwise-moving loop electromagnetic (EM) surveying spaced 800 metres apart. Interpretation of the EM results has revealed that the previously identified “W” conductor is actually two continuous parallel conductors of variable strength, associated with previously unknown, sub-parallel conductors. The presence of numerous EM conductors in this

area is thought to be reflecting highly prospective structural complexity. Plans for the follow up program will include significant drilling along this 3.5 kilometre stretch of conductive rocks. In addition to the geophysical survey, five target areas were tested this winter by seven diamond holes for a total of 3,659 metres of drilling. “Our greatest success this year was returned from the Sabre Target area where the recent EM survey delineated parallel conductors between last year’s HK19-105 drill hole and our most recent hole HK20-115, approximately 3.5 kilometres to the north,” said Scott Frostad, Purepoint’s vice president of exploration. “Both these holes encountered strong hydrothermal alteration within the Sabre area that was known to be associated with favourable airborne geophysical survey results. Our priority is now considered to be initial drill testing of the new Sabre Target area EM conductor picks.”

Newmont sells stake in Continental Gold for $260 million


ewmont Corporation has completed the sale of its 19.9 per cent equity stake and convertible bond in Continental Gold for $260 million in cash. The sale was part of a contractual arrangement to support Zijin Mining Group’s acquisition of Continental. “Selling our Continental stake into a strong bid allowed us to generate $260 million in cash that will support our disciplined approach to capital allocation, including strengthening our investment grade balance sheet, investing in our highest returning projects, and returning excess cash to our shareholders,” said Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Combined with the sale of our interests in Continental and KCGM, once we complete the sale of Red Lake this quarter, we will have generated more than $1.4 billion in asset sales in less than a year since closing the Goldcorp acquisition last April.” World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com







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Body upgrade for haul trucks

program is underway to further optimise and maximise haul fleet payloads at one of Western Australia’s key gold mines. New Ultima truck bodies by Austin Engineering are being trialled on a number of the mine’s 240t haulers with the potential for a fleet-wide body upgrade to continue the program started in 2014, when Austin fitted their JEC bodies and increased payload by more than 20 tonne per load. The new Ultima body will take the payload up to 240 tonnes per load and further maximise the haul fleet’s availability and productivity. The JEC bodies were fitted to the haul fleet after the mine identified a series of production-oriented challenges – including weight of the OEM bodies, the high cost of maintaining the bodies (and subsequent non-availability of the haul truck) and non-achievement of target payloads - impacting on performance and productivity of the load-haul fleet. Initially eleven bodies were ordered and ultimately the mine’s load-haul fleet was retro-fitted. The customised bodies lifted payload capacity to 230 tonne per load – an increase of around 20 tonne per load over the OEM bodies – an outcome of the weight differential between the OEM tray and the JEC body. Along with increased payload the body change-out improved haul fleet availability and performance – the result of less frequent

unscheduled body repairs, an outcome of the replaceable floor in the JEC body which eliminated the need for heavy, maintenance-intensive wear line plates. Now, depending on the outcome of the trial, the long-serving JEC units are in line to be replaced by the unique Ultima bodies which, due to further advances in the payload capacity v body weight equation, will lift payload to 240t per load and still meet all OEM dump truck specifications. The Ultima haul truck body has the potential to be a significant gamechanger in haul fleet operation due to its advanced steel and design technologies. A lighter-weight module design, it features improved structural integrity for superior impact and wear resistance, extended fatigue life and

“Ultima haul truck body by Austin Engineering has the potential to be a significant gamechanger in haul fleet operation”

lower maintenance costs – all targeted to maximised payload, improve cycle efficiency and significantly reduce total cost of ownership. A ‘V’ profile floor, designed to actively channel the load to the centre of the tray, improves machine stability and safety. The floor design also reduces dump cycle times (empty is achieved at 3/4 tipping). Although the new tray is lighter and stronger than current OEM bodies which translates to a 10-15% weight saving without sacrificing payload - its design reduces overall tray wear which significantly increases availability and improves productivity of the mine’s load-haul cycle. The miner’s expectation of the Ultima body is for 240 tonnes per load and, according to the manufacturer, when matched with the appropriate loading tool - such as the 32m3 bucket on the mine’s shovel excavator - this load figure will be consistently and efficiently achieved. Just as it did for the JEC units, Austin will maintain a condition monitoring program for the new bodies and advise the mine on any maintenance issues. The miner is also using Austin bodies in their other operations around the world. Specialised hauler bodies have been customised to add significant value and reduce operational costs in underground mining operations. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


NEW MONITORING SYSTEM PROVIDES REMOTE ACCESS TO BACKSTOP OPERATING CONDITIONS Marland Clutch recently introduced the Smart Marland Monitoring System that provides up-to-the-minute access to critical backstop operating conditions including vibration, temperature and oil level. The IoT solution allows users to remotely monitor the condition of their equipment from anywhere using a computer or cell phone. The system can monitor up to 6 backstops from a single gateway. Users can perform statistical analysis to identify maintenance and repair needs, set desired report intervals and receive alarm notifications. System reporting capabilities include current measurements, historic trending and vibration analysis.

Industrial Internet of Things

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or visit www.marland.com


Construction continues at TVI Pacific’s Philippines project TVI Pacific has reported that construction is continuing at the Balabag gold and silver project in Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines. Balabag is 100% owned by TVI Resource Development Phils, a Philippines corporation in which TVI holds a 30.66% interest. After the implementation of precautionary measures to safeguard staff against the coronavirus pandemic, project development has continued with the ongoing construction of the processing plant, including construction of the cyclone building, installation of the conditioner, flotation cells, catwalk, stairs/railing at the flotation building and ongoing erection of the CIL tanks. Works are ongoing related to power supply, including the switchgear room and troubleshooting/synchronization testing of three gensets transferred from Canatuan. Delivery of another two new gensets is expected soon.

Pueblo Viejo expansion will boost Dominican economy


he proposed expansion of the Pueblo Viejo gold mine will extend its life until 2040 and beyond, make a significant contribution to the Dominican Republic’s economy, Mark Bristow, president and CEO of Barrick Gold told local media and businessmen in early March, He said the project would require

long-term value for all our stakeholders, especially the governments and people of our host countries,” he said. “Without this project mining at Pueblo Viejo would have ceased in the next two years.” The expansion will enable the mine to exploit the lower grades in the orebody and is not intended to process ore from outside the current concession area.

“Without this project mining at Pueblo Viejo would have ceased in the next two years” an initial investment of $1.3 billion to expand the process plant and the tailings facility. Extending its life would unlock the mine’s potential to increase exports by $22 billion and generate more than $4 billion in taxes at a gold price of $1,500 per ounce. “Our aim is to continue contributing to the social and economic development of the Dominican Republic by applying our sustainability philosophy to create

In the meantime, Bristow noted, the conversion of the mine’s Quisqueya 1 power plant to natural gas had successfully been commissioned. This will cut greenhouse gases by 30% and nitrogen oxide by 85%, further reducing Pueblo Viejo’s impact on the environment. An agribusiness project is also planned as an additional benefit for the communities impacted by the expansion.

Automation tech supports port bulk handling operation


echnology solutions provider RCT has finalised an automation project with port, logistics and infrastructure specialist Qube Bulk at the Whyalla Port in South Australia. Qube Bulk approached RCT to develop a safer and more productive way to remove bulk cargos – such as coal, dolomite and limestone – from bulk vessels to support the Whyalla steelworks operation. RCT installed and commissioned its ControlMaster Line of Sight automation solution as well as a single camera Teleremote solution onto a Liebherr R920 Excavator. Machine operators now stand at a safe distance and use the automation technology to carry out the same functions they would have used when sitting in the cab of the machine. RCT account manager Phill Dean said the project has been a complete success. “Our ControlMaster solution interfaces seamlessly with the excavator’s systems and offers operators the exact same functionality available to them under the original equipment manufacturers’ guidelines,” he said. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com



West African Resources pours first gold at Sanbrado On Wednesday 18 March West African Resources poured first gold bars weighing 23.9 kg (768 troy oz) at its Sanbrado Gold Project in Burkina Faso. Construction and commissioning activities are complete in all areas and the project has recently passed 3,000,000 hours worked without a lost time incident. The process plant mill throughput is already meeting nameplate capacity. “This is a major milestone for West African Resources and marks the beginning of a new phase in the WAF story,” said executive chairman Richard Hyde. “To successfully transition from an exploration company to a gold producer is without doubt a great achievement for all involved. I would like to thank WAF’s owners’ team and all consultants, contractors and other stakeholders for their hard work and support over the last four years to bring Sanbrado from discovery into production.” Open-pit mining has ramped up mining activities and continues at both the M5 and M1 South pits, with double day/night shifts ongoing. Currently there are 250,000 tonnes of oxide ore on the ROM pad at an average grade of 1.5 g/t gold, which is reconciling well with grade control models. Underground development continues to progress to schedule. The first development crosscut on the 2120 level (300m below surface) has intercepted visible gold north of the mine plan. Some 1,200t of underground ore has been mined and stockpiled ready for processing.


Teranga Gold acquires Senegal assets from Barrick

eranga Gold Corporation has completed the previously announced acquisition of a 90% interest in the Massawa Gold Project from a wholly-owned subsidiary of Barrick Gold Corporation and its joint venture partner, Compagnie Sénégalaise de Transports Transatlantiques Afrique de l’Ouest SA (“CSTTAO”). The Government of Senegal holds the remaining 10% interest in Massawa. With the receipt of Massawa’s exploitation license and residual exploration license, as well as formal consent to integrate Massawa into Teranga’s nearby Sabodala mine, all of the closing conditions for the transaction are now satisfied. “Now that the transaction is complete, we are turning our focus to integrating the high-grade Massawa deposits into our mine plan and leveraging our existing infrastructure at Sabodala,” said Richard Young, President and CEO. “The combination of the two assets results in significant capital and operating synergies and creates a toptier gold complex.” The transaction is in line with Barrick’s strategy of focusing on tier one assets. Barrick president and chief executive Mark Bristow said Massawa was one of the largest unexploited gold deposits in West Africa and its legacy company Randgold Resources had developed this over a period of years to the point where its value could now be optimally realized

“Sabodala’s combination with Massawa is expected to deliver significant synergies”

for the benefit of all its stakeholders. “Teranga is best placed to achieve this as it already owns the nearby Sabodala mine and Sabodala’s combination with Massawa is expected to deliver significant synergies. Barrick will participate in the upside of the combined asset through the 11% interest it is acquiring in Teranga through this transaction,” he said. The upfront consideration of $380 million consisted of approximately $300 million in cash and an aggregate of approximately $80 million in Teranga common shares issued to Barrick and CSTTAO. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


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Revitalized Veladero poised for new future T

he life of the Veladero gold mine in Argentina has been extended to at least 10 years following a comprehensive review of its strategy and business plan. Barrick president and CEO Mark Bristow briefed an Argentinian audience of local media, government authorities and local business and community leaders by video conference to comply with the Covid-19 related travel restrictions imposed by Argentina. “Our review included the reinterpretation of the mine’s geology and an ongoing infill drilling campaign,” he said. “We established exploration and resource management teams to identify satellite orebodies with the potential to deliver an increase in resources and reserves. Our aim is to extend Veladero’s life of mine beyond 2030 and elevate it to a Tier One asset.” Barrick defines

“Our review included the reinterpretation of the mine’s geology and an ongoing infill drilling campaign”

a Tier One mine as one that produces in excess of 500,000 ounces of gold per annum and has a life of at least 10 years. Bristow said the next step in Veladero’s transformation would be to connect the mine to cleaner, cheaper power from the grid in neighbouring Chile. Once commissioned in the second half of this year, this could halve the mine’s carbon footprint and potentially reduce its cut-off grade, creating an opportunity to further increase the mineable reserves. Projects related to revitalizing Veladero, such as the leach pad expansion, have created new employment opportunities, with the number of direct employees and contractors rising by 1,400 to almost 5,000 since January 2019, and the number of local suppliers increasing almost threefold. In line with Barrick’s local employment policy, 99% of the workforce are Argentinian. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com



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Monarch Gold increases size of McKenzie Break with new mineral claims

onarch Gold has acquired 91 mineral claims surrounding the McKenzie Break property, 25 kilometres north of Val-d’Or, Quebec, from a group of private companies and prospectors. The company has also acquired 33 mineral claims by staking, meaning that the McKenzie Break property now consists of 134 mineral claims. The newly defined property boundaries cover an area approximately 14 times the size of the original property. “It was important for us to secure these additional claims around McKenzie Break, especially in light of the excellent results obtained since the property

“The drill results to date indicate that the McKenzie Break property has excellent exploration potential in all directions and at depth”

was acquired and particularly from the last drilling program,” said Jean-Marc Lacoste, president and CEO of Monarch. “The drill results to date indicate that the McKenzie Break property has excellent exploration potential in all directions and at depth.” Monarch Gold Corporation is focused on becoming a 100,000 to 200,000 ounce per year gold producer through its large portfolio of high-quality projects in the Abitibi mining camp in Quebec, Canada. The company owns four other advanced projects, namely the Beaufor, Croinor Gold, Fayolle and Swanson projects, all located near its wholly owned, Camflo and Beacon mills. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


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Newmont brings first autonomous haulage fleet to gold mining industry


ewmont Corporation is to invest $150 million in an autonomous haulage system at its Boddington mine in Western Australia. The investment will enhance safety and productivity, while also extending mine life. Once fully operational in 2021, the fleet of autonomous CAT 793F mining trucks will be the first autonomous haulage system in an open pit gold mine in the world. “Not only does Boddington continue to deliver strong performance, our investment in autonomous haul trucks will generate an internal rate of return greater than 35 per cent with a more controlled and efficient haulage

“Our investment in autonomous haul trucks will generate an internal rate of return greater than 35 per cent”

operation,” said Tom Palmer, president and chief executive officer. “We are also uniquely positioned in the gold sector to support effective implementation and operation of the fleet thanks to the technical capabilities and previous experience of leaders in our business. Simply put, Boddington will be a safer, more productive world-class gold mine in a top-tier jurisdiction.” Boddington is Western Australia’s largest gold producer, delivering 709,000 ounces of gold and 77 million pounds of copper in 2018. The mine directly employs approximately 2,000 people and is located 135 kilometres southeast of Perth.

Canada Cobalt name change


hareholders of Canada Cobalt Works Inc have voted 99.92% in favour of changing its name to Canada Silver Cobalt Works Inc. The company said the new name will better reflect its immediate and longer-term direction, but there will be no change in the company’s stock symbol. “Work continues at Castle East, with all necessary precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic,“ explained Matt Halliday, VP exploration, “and we look forward to a major ramping up of activity this quarter as we further position CCW as the leading silver-cobalt company in Canada’s silver-cobalt heartland.” Canada Cobalt’s flagship Castle mine and 78 sq km Castle Property feature strong exploration upside for silver, cobalt, nickel, gold and copper in the prolific past producing Gowganda high-grade Silver District of Northern Ontario. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com



Northern Vertex approved for Moss Gold Mine expansion G olden Vertex Corp, the wholly owned Arizona subsidiary of Northern Vertex Mining, has received final federal permitting approval for the Phase III expansion at the Moss Mine. By allowing the company to expand its current operations from its patented claims onto its surrounding unpatented claims on federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed public lands, the expansion is expected to significantly extend the life of the Moss Mine. “The expansion is a very important milestone for the company as it is expected to increase efficiencies that will significantly reduce operating costs at the mine,” said Kenneth Berry, president & CEO of Northern Vertex.

“The expansion allows for exploration drilling to be carried out”

“In addition, the expansion also allows for exploration drilling to be carried out in order to expand the current mineral resource and extend the mine life.” On 18 March 2020, the BLM issued a Decision Record announcing the completion of the environmental review of the expansion at Moss Mine with a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). This is a review required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) whenever public lands are involved. Northern Vertex Mining Corp is focused on low cost gold and silver production at its 100% owned Moss Mine in NW Arizona. Its corporate goal is to become a mid-tier gold producer with over 200,000 ounces of gold production annually.

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com




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Goliath expansion drilling intersects high grade T

reasury Metals has announced additional assay results from its expansion drilling at the Goliath Gold Project in north-western Ontario. The results demonstrate further delineation of the developing new C Zone East shoot approximately 200 metres from the easternmost Main Zone shoot. Drilling to date has intersected 7 holes above 10 g/t in an area now spanning 200 metres along strike by 150 metres down dip. The Eastern C Zone area has the potential to lead to new resources and increased production profile in the underground because of its close

“The Eastern C Zone area has the potential to lead to new resources”

proximity to the Main Zone. The company is presently reviewing the impact of the mine schedule and will establish additional drill targets. Results from the Main Zone expansion drilling designed to extend the main zone shoots will be reported as they become available. The company is approximately 6,000 metres into the 15,000 metre program. The Goliath Gold Project consists of the construction, operation, decommissioning and remediation of an open-pit and underground gold mine and associated infrastructure located 20 kilometres east of the city of Dryden, Ontario. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com



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mining equipment rentals

GEA Group Peter-Müller-Str. 12 40468 Düsseldorf Germany Tel +49 211 9136-0 chemical@gea.com 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 www.unitedminingrentals.com

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: sales@saltercyclones.com Web: www.saltercyclones.com


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. www.minpro.com

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: info@adrokgroup.com Website: http://adrokgroup.com/

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


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GEA Group Peter-Müller-Str. 12 40468 Düsseldorf Germany Tel +49 211 9136-0 chemical@gea.com 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 info@canarysystems.com www.canarysystems.com

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: sales@saltercyclones.com Web: www.saltercyclones.com

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 Brad.Fryburger@rinstrum.com +1 248 680 0320 Website: www.rinstrum.com

  World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


IVAC Industrial Vacuum Systems Ltd. 35-111 Chartrand Avenue, Logan Lake, BC V0K 1W0 Canada Phone 604-628-3367 Email zereko@zereko.com http://industrialvacuumunit.com

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  World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


south32 developing nature’s resources Born out of BHP Billiton in 2015, South32 is a Perth-based mining and minerals company with operations in Australia, South Africa and South America. It maintains a globally diversified mining and metals portfolio producing bauxite, alumina, aluminium, energy and metallurgical coal, manganese, nickel, silver, lead and zinc.

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com



ey to South32’s business is its supplier relationships. In Australia South32 is committed to building strong relationships with its suppliers locally, domestically and globally to seek innovative solutions with a focus on safety, quality and cost. Across the Africa region local procurement is a key focus area for South32. It believes in empowering local communities to be able to provide for as much of its supply chain as possible. Its Enterprise Development programme provides selected local entrepreneurs with the necessary infrastructure and skill sets to develop into viable enterprises, who should be able to feed into the supply chain. South32’s Supplier

  World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


Development programme grooms key local suppliers to meet supply chain demand, while continuing to provide quality products and services.

Australian Operations CANNINGTON

Cannington mine in North West Queensland, is one of the world’s largest producers of silver and lead. The deposit was first discovered as an anomaly in an aerial survey of the region, nearly 30 years ago. Production at the mine has been underway for 20 years. In that time South32’s Cannington operation has grown to become the world’s largest and

lowest cost producer of lead, producing seven per cent of the world’s lead, for use mostly in batteries and increasingly as a power source for electric vehicles. Its silver mining operations account for six per cent of the world’s silver.


South32’s Groote Eylandt Mining Company operation (GEMCO) is located on an island in the Gulf of Carpentaria off the Australian coast and produces high-grade manganese ore. Mining starting here more than half a century ago, with a processing plant commissioned on the island not long after. Since then the plant has gone through several expansions, with the

south32 developing nature’s resources

most recent one completed in 2013. It is currently the largest and lowest-cost manganese ore producer in the world, which South32 holds a 60 per cent share in, the remaining 40 per cent being held by Anglo America Plc.


Illawarra Metallurgical Coal in New South Wales produces high-quality metallurgical coal used for steelmaking, which is shipped around Australia and around the world. Steeped in coal mining history dating back more than 150 years, the region’s first coal mines opened in the early nineteenth century. Soon after, collieries were developed

to mine coal for the growing local steel industry and labourers settled into the area, bringing their families with them. Roads, schools and hospitals followed, and communities flourished. Over the years South 32 has modernised coal mining at Illawarra Metallurgical Coal making it safer and more efficient. Its underground mines at Appin and Dendrobium produce high quality metallurgical coal used for steelmaking. Everything is processed at West Cliff and Dendrobium plants before being transported by road and rail down to Port Kembla in Wollongong. From there it is shipped off around Australia-and the world.


The Tasmanian Electro Metallurgical Company (TEMCO) operation produces ferromanganese, used for steel making, which is exported to customers in Asia and North America, as well as to steel producers in Australia and New Zealand. For more than half a century TEMCO has been processing manganese at its alloy plant in northern Tasmania. Over time the company has seen many changes as technology has advanced, improving performance by making its furnaces operate at higher loads. TEMCO uses ore shipped from South32’s Groote Eylandt Mining

Company operations in the Northern Territory and produces ferromanganese, which is used in the making of steel. Most of the alloy produced is exported to customers in Asia and North America, with the remaining sold to steel producers in Australia and New Zealand.


South32 holds an 86 per cent interest in Worsley Alumina, while Japan Alumina Associates (Australia) Pty Ltd owns 10 per cent and Sojitz Alumina Pty Ltd owns four per cent. Bauxite is mined near the town of Boddington, 130 kilometres south-east of Perth. It is transported by overland conveyor to the alumina refinery near Collie and turned into alumina powder, before being transported by rail to Bunbury Port. It is then shipped to smelters around the world, including South32’s Hillside and Mozal aluminium smelters in Africa. Interest in bauxite mining in the South West of Australia stretches back to the 1960s. However, mining and refining the ore didn’t get underway until the 1980s. At the time, building the mine, conveyor belt and processing plant was Australia’s most expensive capital project, costing AUD$1.2 billion and employing 3500 people. Over the past three decades production has increased World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


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four-fold, making Worsley Alumina one of the largest and lowest-cost alumina producers in the world.

South African Operations SOUTH AFRICA MANGANESE

South32’s South African manganese mines are found in the manganese rich Kalahari Basin, in the country’s northern cape, which is home to 80 per cent of the world’s manganese ore body. This manganese business is made up of two manganese mines and an alloy smelter. The open-cut Mamatwan mine started operating more than half a century ago, with the underground Wessels

  World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


mine following a few years later. The Metalloys alloy smelter was built by industry pioneer Dr H J van der Bijl back in 1939 in the city of Vereeniging, before being relocated to a site near Meyerton, where it still operates today. The Metalloys alloy smelter is one of the largest smelters in the world, producing high and medium carbon ferromanganese alloy. The smelter has the capacity to process up to one million tonnes a year of the HMM’s manganese products. The two mines are part of the Hotazel Manganese Mines (HMM) consortium, in which South32 holds a 44.4 per cent interest; the remaining is held by Anglo America Plc and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment entities. The Wessels mine has vertical and incline

“South32 began construction of the Mozal operations nearly 20 years ago and included a new berth at the nearby port of Matola, access roads and a bridge. Not long after the smelter opened in late 2000 expansion plans were already underway to double its capacity”

south32 developing nature’s resources the name eMalahleni translating to ‘place of coal’. On 30 April 2018, SAEC became a stand-alone business to be managed separately from the rest of the South32 Group. SAEC includes four coal mining operations, Khutala Colliery, Klipspruit Colliery, Middelburg Colliery and the Wolvekrans Colliery, as well as three processing plants, producing energy coal for the domestic and export market. The Khutala Colliery is an underground bord and pillar operation while the Klipspruit, Middelburg and Wolvekrans collieries are opencast mines using dragline, as well as truck and shovel operations, to extract coal. South32 owns 92 per cent of South Africa Energy Coal, with the remaining eight per cent held by a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment consortium, led by Phembani Holdings.


shafts and uses the mechanized bord and pillar mining method. While the Mamatwan mine uses the terrace mining method. About 3,000 people - both full-time employees as well as contractors - work on South African manganese projects.


Located in the coalfields of Mpumalanga, SAEC includes four collieries and three processing plants, producing energy coal for the domestic and export market. The SAEC operations are located near the towns of eMalahleni (previously known as Witbank) and Middelburg, in the coalfields of Mpumalanga. Coal mining has long been part of this region, with

The Mozal Aluminium operation is made up of a smelter and transport infrastructure, just west of the Mozambique capital city Maputo. The land where the smelter sits was originally farming land and through negotiation, the farmers agreed to be relocated with compensation and new dwellings. Mozal Aluminium is the largest industrial employer in the country, making a significant contribution to the local economy. More than half a million tonnes of aluminium are produced here every year and recently South32 also started supplying Mozambique’s first downstream aluminium business. Developing this downstream industry will boost the local economy. South32 began construction of the Mozal operations nearly 20 years ago and included a new berth at the nearby port of Matola, access roads and a bridge. Not long after the smelter opened in late 2000 expansion plans were already underway to double its capacity. Backed by a US$2 billion investment, the smelter was the largest private investment in the country and the first large, direct foreign investment, helping rebuild Mozambique after a period of unrest. South32 owns 47.1 per cent of Mozal Aluminium, while Mitsubishi Corporation Metals

Holding GmbH holds 25 per cent, Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited owns 24 per cent and the Government of the Republic of Mozambique holds 3.9 per cent (through preference shares).


Hillside Aluminium is a smelter in Richards Bay using alumina imported from South32’s Worsley Alumina operation in Australia and produces high-quality, primary aluminium. To support the development of the downstream aluminium industry in South Africa, a portion of liquid metal is supplied to Isizinda Aluminium which in turn supplies aluminium slab to Hulamin, a local company that produces products for the domestic and export markets. Aluminium is made by crushing and refining bauxite - an aluminium ore - into a white alumina powder then smelting the white alumina powder into aluminium metal. The smelter uses alumina predominantly imported from Worsley Alumina in Australia to produce high-quality, primary aluminium for the export and domestic markets. Hillside’s capacity of 720 kilotonnes a year makes it the largest producer of primary aluminium in the southern hemisphere.

South American Operations CERRO MATOSO

South32 operates one of the world’s largest producers of ferronickel, located in Northern Colombia, the Cerro Matoso open-cut mine. For more than 30 years South32 has operated in Cordoba, but nickel was first discovered in the region way back in the 1950s. Cerro Matoso is an important driving force of the local economy and the mine has helped to shape the region. Since mining began at Cerro Matoso South32 has improved and expanded its operations. The nickel laterite mine and smelter is a major producer of ferronickel and nickel iron alloy which is used to make stainless steel used in everyday household items. An impressive 95 per cent of water used in the mining operations is recycled. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com



At its Brazil Alumina operation South32 is involved in each stage of aluminium production, including bauxite mining, refining bauxite into alumina and smelting alumina into aluminium metal. For nearly 40 years bauxite mining has been underway at the Mineracao Rio do Norte (MRN) mine, in Porto Trombetas, in northern Brazil. Ore produced at the MRN mine is supplied to South32’s Alumar refinery and smelter in Sao Luis, north-eastern Brazil, which has been operating since the mid-eighties. MRN’s open-cut strip mine produces 18 million tonnes of bauxite a year, supplying the Alumar refinery (capacity of 3.5 Mtpa) and smelter (440 kilotonnes a year).

Development and Exploration Alongside this established portfolio of operations, South32 is continually seeking new growth opportunities. It is investing in exploration activities inside

  World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


“Our declaration of a Mineral Resource for the Taylor Deposit for the first time in accordance with the JORC Code represents a key milestone as we progress one of the most exciting base metals projects in the industry”

and outside of its portfolio, helping the company to keep growing and diversifying. Exploration activities are carefully selected to have a high chance of success and are spread around the world, including places South32 has not operated in before. It looks to partner and invest with junior miners, allowing access to attractive opportunities while reducing operational risk.


In September 2018 South32 completed the acquisition of a 50 per cent interest in the Eagle Downs metallurgical coal project and assumed operatorship with the other 50 per cent interest in the project held by Aquila Resources, a subsidiary of China’s largest steel producer, BaoWu. Located approximately 25 kilometres southeast of the town of Moranbah in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, the project is an attractive development option within the company’s growing portfolio. South32 is planning to commence a

south32 developing nature’s resources

final feasibility study which will seek to optimise the mine’s design and development. Subject to the outcome of the feasibility study and receipt of requisite approvals, the intention is to construct a multi-seam underground longwall metallurgical coal mine and processing plant with a dedicated rail spur and train loadout facility.


In August 2018 South32 completed the acquisition of Hermosa in the Patagonia Mountains, about 80 kilometres southeast of Tucson, Arizona. Hermosa comprises two major mineral deposits, Taylor and Clark. The Taylor deposit is a greenfield development option that has a reported resource of 155

million tonnes, averaging 3.39% zinc, 3.67% lead and 69 g/t silver. Hermosa strongly complements South32’s existing portfolio and provides an opportunity to leverage the underground mining and processing methods used at its Cannington operation in Queensland, Australia. Recently, South32 carried out the first blast at the twin exploration declines to welcome in a new phase of development which will allow it to drill test extensions and enhance its understanding of the Project’s existing high-grade resource. This milestone comes as South32 works towards further optimising the design and development of Hermosa. South32 Chief Executive Officer, Graham Kerr, said, “Our declaration of a

Mineral Resource for the Taylor Deposit for the first time in accordance with the JORC Code represents a key milestone as we progress one of the most exciting base metals projects in the industry. The ongoing drilling program, and the resampling and relogging activity undertaken since our acquisition of the Taylor Deposit has significantly derisked our investment, increased our confidence in the project and confirmed its ability to deliver strong returns to our shareholders over many decades. We expect to conclude our pre-feasibility study for the project before the end of the 2020 financial year.”

World Mining Magazine

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com


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