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Magazine

weir minerals engineered for endurance

Issue 37 2020

World Mining


ACHIEVE THE LOWEST COST-PER-HOUR INNOVATIVE ENGINEERING

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Shearography Technology Advanced inspection process for detection of separations in the casing, blisters, or undercuring

S2 compound: cut resistant S3 compound: heat resistant

Casing Design Tough casing construction enhances performance and durability for maximum productivity

Minimal Road Disturbance Wide, square footprint distributes load evenly

DISCOVER MORE AT MAXAMTIRE.COM

Technology and Quality Control Comprehensive lab and field testing Latest technology and state-of-the-art equipment Seamless procedures and strict quality control for every tire


SETTING THE NEW STANDARD

Reinventing the mining industry Every MAXAM product delivers top quality and undeniable value through countless hours of extensive research, global field testing and proven engineering efforts

MS401

Deep grooved tread design for maximum road grip and high site TKPH/TMPH

MS402

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MS403

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BUSINESS SOLUTIONS PROVIDER


the editor

Dow Jones season

Editor

The

Martin Ashcroft

C

ompanies love benchmarks, and none more so than ones that begin with ‘Dow Jones’. It’s mid-to-late November when I start receiving the celebratory press releases. For the tenth year in row, XYZ Ltd has appeared on the Dow Jones …… Index. For the mining industry, it’s the sustainability index that everyone looks out for now. It was not always so. Back in the 1990s, sustainability was viewed with suspicion in the mining sector. It was seen as a cost, not a benefit. More hoops to jump through. More pressure on the bottom line. Few companies were willing to disclose information about social issues or their impact on the environment, but investors (and, consequently, financial analysts) were beginning to think there was more to measuring a company’s performance than monetary matters alone, so Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) was founded in 1995 to focus exclusively on sustainable investing. The information they were looking for was hard to come by, but eventually, the annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) was created. A powerful partnership was formed between the founders of SAM and the Dow Jones Indices (now S&P Dow Jones Indices) and the world’s first ever global sustainability benchmark, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, was born in 1999. The first official definition of sustainability was provided

by the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations in 1987, summed up by the oft-quoted sentence, “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It’s still a valid overarching definition, but the elements contained within it have expanded exponentially. Terminology has had to evolve to keep pace with the diversity of measurements, so we now have ESG (environmental, social and governance) criteria, too. Each year, new CSA topics are added and the scoring methodology is enhanced to ensure it stays current. In the beginning, just 280 companies provided SAM with their data, with 228 of them being selected for inclusion in the first index. Twenty years on, the Corporate Sustainability Assessment and the DJSI have become the best-known sustainability barometers for companies around the world, with almost 1,200 companies actively participating for inclusion in the DJSI. The idea that long-term investors would flow more capital into the leading sustainability performers within the DJSI was a key selling point to create the world’s first sustainability benchmark more than 20 years ago in New York City. Congratulations to those of you who are listed on it, including the ones who sent me press releases. Keep up the good work! World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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Contents Cover story weir minerals: engineered for endurance Page 8 Page:

5 8 20 50

64 • 67 • •

69 • 73 • 75 • 79 • 81 • •

• • • •

83 • • 85 •

The Editor: Dow Jones Season Weir Minerals: Engineered for endurance MAXAM TIRE: Setting the new standard Rio Tinto: Global operations for the modern world Open Autonomy: Why mining is on the brink of an autonomous revolution Thiess awarded A$340 million contract extension at Mt Owen OceanaGold advances Waihi District opportunities in New Zealand Alltype Engineering to build Rio’s Gudai- Darri mine Donlin Gold completes 2020 drilling program PowerOre becomes QC Copper and Gold Pilbara Minerals enters conditional agreement to acquire Altura Lithium E3 Metals discovers new lithium enriched aquifer Global lithium demand forecast to double by 2024 Barrick’s Kibali Mine continues to deliver Twiga pays maiden dividend Sandvik signs long-term agreement with Glencore Queensland Metals

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ADVERTISERS 2 Maxam Tire 4 Austin Engineering 18 Weir Minerals 62 Foth 65 Truflo Pumps 66 Tamrotor 68 Canary Systems 70 THEJO 72 Applied Fiber 74 Sai Deepa Rock Drills 76 Mobilaris 78 Flowrox 80 MoistTech Corp 82 VEI Group 84 Yale Cordage 86 Marland Clutch (Altra Industrial Motion) 98 ALMEX Group 110 Goodyear off-the-road 112 Applanix Corporation 127 NI USA Corp 128 Pumps 2000 129 World Mining Directory 131 Shaw Development 132 Resemin Asia


news Page 67

bhp: A diversified portfolio Page 99

87 • Battle North Gold starts exploration at Red Lake • Azimut and SOQUEM start drilling on Pikwa property 88 • ALMEX GROUP: Solutions for detecting rips in conveyor belts 99 • BHP: A diversified portfolio 106 • Midroc AB: The future of mining is remote 111 • Newmont Corporation: Adapting to change 122 • Techenomics International: Liquid assets

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

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

Editor

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

Sales

sales@ogsmag.com sales@worldminingmagazine.com

Design and Artwork

artwork@ogsmag.com artwork@worldminingmagazine.com

Managing Director Simon Ward

Advertising Rates

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.

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

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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Weir Minerals

B

jorn Dierx, global product manager for High Pressure Grinding Rolls (HPGRs) at Weir Minerals, tells Martin Ashcroft why the Enduron® HPGR is the perfect solution for today’s comminution conditions.

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Engineered for endurance G & J Weir, a marine engineering company founded in Scotland in 1871 by brothers George and James, developed groundbreaking inventions such as the direct-acting feed pump for steam ships, helping support the rapid growth of transatlantic trade. Their innovations led to significant gains in efficiency and reliability, and meant Weir’s products and services were soon in demand all over the world. The company has since grown to become one of the world’s leading engineering businesses serving mining, infrastructure and, until recently, oil and gas customers in more than 50 countries. Announcing the recent sale of its oil and gas division to Caterpillar, the company said it was transforming itself into a ‘premium mining technology pure play’. This strategic decision underlines the importance of mineral resources to global economic development, while recognising the opportunities available to help miners extract and process them more efficiently and sustainably. Not long ago, miners were driven by a desire to maximise production. A number of influences have come together in recent years to change the mining mindset, however, involving criteria commonly collected under an umbrella known as ESG (environmental, social and governance). With ore grades declining and new mineral deposits also becoming harder to find, miners are feeling the pinch. Weir is particularly well placed to respond to these new drivers, as its engineers are experts in solving problems. With a tradition of innovative engineering stretching back 150 years, Weir believes it can play a crucial role in helping its mining customers make their operations safer, more efficient and more sustainable.

“With a tradition of innovative engineering stretching back 150 years, Weir can play a crucial role in helping its mining customers make their operations safer, more efficient and more sustainable” World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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“Requiring fewer process stages, the HPGR reduces overall circuit energy use, as well as grinding media consumption and wear cost”

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Introducing the HPGR One of the many ways that Weir is addressing the new mining momentum is through its Enduron® HPGRs (High Pressure Grinding Rolls), the latest generation in crushing and grinding technology. Mining is an ancient industry and the business of breaking rocks has been fundamental to mineral recovery for centuries. In modern terminology,

Engineered for endurance to break the particles up.” Crushing and grinding technologies have come a long way since early man first broke rocks by striking them with repeated blows. “Advances in technology led to mechanisation and the

up to 80mm, tertiary and quaternary crushing stages can be combined into a single operation, and they can also take-over part of the ball mill grinding task. Requiring fewer process stages, the HPGR reduces overall circuit energy use, as well as grinding media consumption and wear cost.

www.global.weir comminution refers to the process through which solid materials are reduced in size through crushing, grinding and screening, before being passed through further mill circuit processes where copper, iron ore and other minerals are refined into raw commodities. In minerals processing, different combinations of crushers and mills can be deployed in the comminution process circuit, dependent, for example, on ore characteristics including rock size, hardness and moisture content. “Comminution in mining usually means crushing or grinding,” says Bjorn Dierx, global product manager for HPGRs at Weir Minerals. Crushing and grinding both break material into smaller pieces, but although most of us use these words interchangeably, they are not quite the same to an equipment manufacturer. “Crushing involves the application of sudden sharp blows,” explains Dierx, “while grinding uses consistent pressure

introduction of steam and electricity,” explains Dierx, “so roll crushers, tube mills, hammer mills and jaw crushers became the standards for crushing and grinding equipment.” In modern times, he says, the jaw crusher became the inspiration for the cone crusher and the ball mill, but more recently still, an increased awareness of flaws in conventional methodology has stimulated a need for a new technology to streamline the transition from crushing to grinding. Weir Minerals engineers and manufactures its Enduron® HPGRs in Venlo, the Netherlands, and has supplied HPGRs for a range of applications for mine sites around the world. A comminution circuit can involve several stages, depending on the size of the original rocks and the desired size of the final particles. By using HPGRs, which can be fed with particles

“It’s almost impossible to eliminate feed variance and segregation completely. This has posed a critical challenge for HPGR operators in the past – but dynamic skewing, as featured in the Enduron® HPGR, maintains optimal pressure across the entire feed”

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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Saving energy Comminution is an energy-intensive process. HPGRs, often in combination with secondary cone crushers, are therefore seeing increasing acceptance in the mining industry as a replacement for the conventional SAG mill, because they offer significant benefits in energy consumption and consumable parts - as well as superior crushing performance. “The conventional blueprint for copper/gold grinding circuits using

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“In September last year Weir was awarded a £100m order to provide energy saving solutions to the Iron Bridge Magnetite Project, including Enduron® High Pressure Grinding Rolls and GEHO® pumps”

SAG and ball mill combinations,” says Dierx, “is known as an SABC circuit,” (semi-autogenous ball mill crusher). “One of our key copper/gold customers shared some figures with us from a copper project we worked on for them. These figures showed that overall circuit energy was reduced by up to 30 per cent by using HPGR, saving them around $8.4 million US dollars in a year, as well as saving 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. So, the savings are huge and bring a return on the


investment in the increased CAPEX in less than two years.” With their excellent throughput capacity, low maintenance requirements and energy efficiency, HPGRs are fast becoming a go-to solution for greenfield projects looking to maintain their margins, despite commodity price pressures and declining ore grades. One such is the Iron Bridge Magnetite Project, a joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group Ltd subsidiary FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd and Formosa

Engineered for endurance “The HPGR is a flexible comminution tool which accepts a larger feed size than conventional mills but yet still produces a fine product. As the roll speed and pressure can be changed online, it can also readily adapt to changing throughputs and ore characteristics” Steel IB Pty Ltd, 145km south of Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. In September last year Weir was awarded a £100m order to provide energy saving solutions to the project, including Enduron® High Pressure Grinding Rolls and GEHO® pumps, which together will reduce energy consumption and wet tailings waste by more than 30% compared to traditional mining technologies. Responding to the award of Weir’s largest ever mining contract, Group CEO Jon Stanton said, “Fortescue challenged us to help create one of the most energy and cost-efficient magnetite ore processing facilities in the world. Our engineers have worked relentlessly to design a solution that is truly innovative – delivering significant energy, water and cost savings. This is a great example of working in close partnership with an ambitious customer who shares our passion for using innovative engineering to make mining more productive and sustainable.” When you’re designing a comminution circuit from scratch on a greenfield site, the use of HPGRs has become a no-brainer, but it’s also becoming more of an attractive proposition in brownfield sites, too. “We definitely see interest when the existing installation is aging,” says Dierx, “or when there is a desire to increase capacity. From a financial point of view, it could also be that the energy costs of the existing site are causing losses. “It’s also the case with the older mine sites which are now processing harder rocks, that a large amount of the pebbles generated are treated as waste. In South America there are mines with massive stockpiles of pebbles which, with an efficient technology like HPGR, would become viable again to extract valuable material from. So, essentially, we can turn waste into cash for the miners.” World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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“One of our key copper/gold customers shared some figures with us from a copper project we worked on for them. These figures showed that overall circuit energy was reduced by up to 30 per cent by using HPGR, saving them around $8.4 million US dollars in a year, as well as saving 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions”

How it works An HPGR basically consists of two counter rotating rollers, which draw the feed material from the top and into the working gap between the rollers. It sounds fairly simple, but, of course, it’s anything but. While the beauty of the Enduron® HPGR may be in its apparent simplicity, anything that works as smoothly as this is inevitably the result of a great deal of sophisticated engineering.

“As there is no need to disassemble the feed chute and hopper to exchange rollers, the tyres can also be replaced within a 24hour shutdown”

The reason the HPGR is called a grinder, rather than a crusher, is that the ore material is not actually crushed by the working surfaces of the machine. With one roller fixed and the other floating, high-force hydraulic cylinders press against them. In the operating gap (the distance between the rolls), the particles experience extremely high pressures which exceed the compressive strength of the ore, so the material undergoes a process called inter-particle grinding. “In simple terms,” explains Dierx, “the ore is grinding itself, which gives a higher degree of efficiency compared with the cone crusher, where there is a single point of contact. “The HPGR is pressure controlled, not gap controlled, which means that the gap will be a function of the ability of the material to handle the pressure and therefore self-adjusts the gap to cater for the characteristics of the ore,” Dierx continued. This dynamic movement is called ‘skewing’. The HPGR is a flexible comminution tool which accepts a larger feed size than conventional mills but yet still produces a fine product. As the roll speed and pressure can be changed online, it can also readily adapt to changing throughputs and ore characteristics. In the last ten years, the HPGR has sparked a lot of interest and has been accepted

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into the market, with a growing number of new machines installed around the world. The Enduron® HPGR has been designed to eliminate problems often experienced by other HPGRs. Dynamic skewing, for example, solves a number of them. “In a perfect world,” explains

Dierx, “the ore feed would be consistent, evenly distributed, with a common hardness, grade and moisture. But in the real mining world there are changing ore bodies, changing grades and uneven feed, including oversized material which can impact the operation of the machine. That’s why skewing is an essential feature


of the HPGR. The Enduron HPGRs are the only machines designed to support the roll-skew required to handle those changing conditions.” In order for particles to be crushed effectively, the pressure on the particle

Engineered for endurance side of the conveyor belt, the operating gap needs to be wider at that side than

challenge for HPGR operators in the past – but dynamic skewing, as featured in the Enduron® HPGR, maintains optimal pressure across the entire feed.” As well as uneven ore feed, tramp metal such as steel balls from ball mills can also enter the operating gap, which can cause substantial damage to the roller surface. The risk of damage is significantly reduced with a skewable HPGR. There are other HPGRs on the market, but the Enduron® HPGR is the only one capable of delivering dynamic skewing reliably, because of its innovative bearing arrangement. In an Enduron® HPGR the bearings stay aligned with the shaft when it skews, as the bearing housings are designed to skew with the shaft. “We see a lot of bearing failures with competitors’ machines,” says Dierx. “It’s a global problem with HPGRs, but our design mitigates that issue. It’s one of the great strengths of the Enduron HPGR. “Some competitor HPGRs are prone to bearing wear because the shaft skews within the bearing itself, which introduces a very high load in the bearing and results in unreliable shafts. These bearings have lead times over 52 weeks. There’s a huge global shortage of large engineered bearings so for our customers it’s very important that the machine has high availability and they don’t need to keep expensive stock on site. Our unique bearing design ensures that.”

needs to exceed the compressive strength of the material. In the perfect world of even feed conditions, where the particles are spread uniformly across the width of the belt, the operating gap can be the same along its whole length and the particles will be crushed evenly. But if the rocks are loaded more on one

the other, so a wedge-shaped operating gap is formed. This is referred to as the roll-skew, and it’s this that ensures a consistent grind, as all the ore particles experience the same pressure. “It’s almost impossible to eliminate feed variance and segregation completely,” says Dierx. “This has posed a critical

“The multi-faced integrated locking system features tungsten carbide studs, embedded into the base material of the tyre, permanently securing the edge stud” www.global.weir World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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Value-adds Another value-add built into the Enduron HPGR is the design of the lateral walls. These retain the ore particles to ensure they are kept in the operating gap. The lateral wall is the sealing plate, which, combined with the tyres, are the main wear components of an HPGR. “The Enduron HPGR’s lateral walls have a spring-loaded design,” explains Dierx, “which adjusts their position relative to the tyres, a particularly important factor with a skewable design philosophy. This assures a tight seal, where others have a static design with a larger distance between the tyre and the lateral walls. “We use a patented tyre technology, which works in conjunction with the lateral walls,” he continues, “bringing another high value-add to the machine.” The multi-faced integrated locking system features tungsten carbide studs, embedded into the base material of the tyre, permanently securing the edge stud. Edging can be problematic with poor feed presentation and maintenance practices, but the Enduron® HPGR’s edging studs remain in place where others might become dislodged. Still on the subject of edges, HPGRs are subject to a so-called ‘edge effect’ at the end of the roller, which gives a lower grind as a result of the lower pressure there. The length of the edge effect area is related to the operating gap between the rolls, which is a function of the diameter of the roll. The bearing design of an Enduron® HPGR facilitates a compact roller design, keeping the roll diameter as small as possible but with wider rolls. The Enduron® tyre’s Length (L) to Diameter (D) ratio therefore delivers a higher grinding efficiency at a single pass, as the edge effect is diminished with wider rolls. “The L/D ratio can also have a big impact on a circuit’s CAPEX,” points out Dierx. “Longer rolls can be fed with a wider hopper, which reduces the height of the hopper, which in turn reduces the height of the building which houses the

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“Fortescue challenged us to help create one of the most energy and cost-efficient magnetite ore processing facilities in the world. This is a great example of working in close partnership with an ambitious customer who shares our passion for using innovative engineering to make mining more productive and sustainable” HPGR, and that is directly reflected in lower structural costs. Furthermore, a lower HPGR building reduces the length of the conveyors, and that impacts on the plant’s footprint, which means a big reduction in investment as well.”

Weir continues to work on technology development, too. “Wear life improvement is another big value-add for our customers,” says Dierx, “and here we are focusing on improving the roller surfaces, so the wear life can remain


high in the face of increasing ore hardness. “The Covid-19 pandemic has also created a need to support customers remotely, so we’ve developed digital systems which enable remote monitoring of all our HPGRs. And we are working on an automatic tyre wear management system so we can monitor the condition of the tyres without stopping the machine. So, the remote support will help with optimisation and also predictive maintenance.” Another advantage of the Enduron® HPGR is its high degree of availability – 95 per cent is not uncommon. Its unique design enables the rollers to be replaced quickly, reducing downtime and releasing personnel and lifting

Engineered for endurance “The Covid-19 pandemic has also created a need to support customers remotely, so we’ve developed digital systems which enable remote monitoring of all our HPGRs” tools during a planned shutdown. As there is no need to disassemble the feed chute and hopper to exchange rollers, the tyres can also be replaced within a 24-hour shutdown.

www.global.weir

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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www.global.weir


Summary As crushing and grinding machinery are energy-intensive, optimising efficiency can save a lot of money. In a conventional SAG mill, oversized feed wastes energy because some of the material is recycled continuously through the machine. Being pressure controlled, rather than gap controlled, gives the Enduron® HPGR several advantages over conventional machinery. Interparticle grinding increases efficiency, as pressure is transferred to the particle via multiple directions. By applying the right pressure for the specific material, final product size can be determined by controlling the pressure. The HPGR therefore streamlines the transition between crushing and grinding by accepting a larger feed size than a ball mill and producing finer sized particles than a cone crusher. The unique control philosophy of the Enduron® HPGR, facilitated by the bearing design, transfers the energy equally to all ore particles across the width of the tyre, creating self-adjusting

Engineered for endurance metal rolls, and ensures that the ore is kept in the operating gap at all times, even during roll-skew. The optimised roller surface technology derives from over 25 years of operational experience. Thanks to their premium tungsten carbide studs, Enduron® HPGR tyres last longer than the competition. Optimised for load bearing and promoting an autogenous layer to absorb wear, the Enduron® HPGRs come with a guarantee of a specified minimum life. Combined with the unique bearing assembly that reduces the risk of failure and the wear reduction associated with skewing, the Enduron® HPGR is expertly engineered for endurance. “The market drivers for HPGRs are very compelling,” concludes Dierx. “Ore grades are declining, ore is harder and can be more difficult to liberate. Energy is a huge cost for the mining industry but all miners are now under huge pressure to reduce their carbon footprint

as well. And then, ore scarcity means that new mines tend to be located in increasingly arid areas, so water is at a premium or not available at all. “Against this backdrop HPGR brings essential benefits,” he continues. “It doesn’t need additional water for fine grinding, as we saw in Iron Bridge. This also leads to substantial reduction in wet tailings. So, the cost of ownership compared to a SAG circuit is greatly reduced, driven by high uptime and relatively long wear life. And, of course, the massive energy savings.”

“The cost of ownership compared to a SAG circuit is greatly reduced, driven by high uptime and relatively long wear life. And, of course, the massive energy savings”

www.global.weir World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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Setting the New Standard

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Visit MAXAMTIRE.COM

M

AXAM Tire North America, a division of Sailun Group, designs, manufactures and distributes off-the-road specialty tire products globally. As a major global specialty tire manufacturer and distributor, MAXAM has a strong reputation for market leading quality, reliability and delivered value. To ensure superior product quality, the organization’s foundation is centered around world-class engineering and has the most advanced manufacturing platforms within the industry. As a rapidly growing global organization, MAXAM invests heavily in our people, progressive engineering processes and our manufacturing facilities to ensure unique business solutions are delivered to customers worldwide. MAXAM MINING GROUP (MMG), a dedicated global group under MAXAM Tire, specifically focuses on the mining segment. The MMG’s core value is to provide superior support on all MAXAM products through partnerships with high-level dealers in conjunction with support from MAXAM MINING GROUP. Our goal is to ensure the best product performance and the highest level of overall customer satisfaction, while reducing the enduser’s operating costs.

The MMG has built a team of members across multiple continents responsible for serving regional market demands. Each member is an industry leading expert dedicated to providing the best customer experience and continuous improvement of market solutions. Innovative engineering, extensive testing, research and state-ofthe-art manufacturing differentiates the MAXAM MINING GROUP from our competitors.

“the organization’s foundation is centered around world-class engineering and has the most advanced manufacturing platforms within the industry.” World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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Who We Are and Our History

S

ailun Group, the parent group of MAXAM Tire, was the first “A” listed private tire company in on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and is located at the hub for the National Rubber and Tire Engineering Technology Research Center. Founded back in 1990, Sailun Group was established to develop the intellectual capital to build tires for global market demand and to build machinery facilities for the largest manufacturers in the world. Centering its mission in being a leading provider of global value solutions with unsurpassed product in the value segment and delivering the best customer service in the tire industry, Sailun Group set a significant precedent for MAXAM Tire on forming its mission of being a business solutions provider.

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With true vertical integration from raw materials, factory development, R&D, tire building machinery to global customer support, Sailun has achieved rapid growth in the past two decades. As of 2020, Sailun is now the 18th largest tire company globally and is sold in over 167 countries worldwide. Being a global major manufacturer, Sailun boasts a full range of products in the passenger tire, truck tire and off-the-road tire industries with 19 categories in total. In the past decade, Sailun Group increased its investment further by expanding radial off-the-road (OTR) products, building patented manufacturing processes and utilizing

automated equipment, along with investing in the MAXAM team. Most recently, Sailun Group has furthered MAXAM manufacturing in Asia to meet the increasing demand and to elevate product performance and quality. Today, MAXAM Tire has become a top-tier manufacturer under Sailun Group’s innovation, leadership and investments.

“Centering its mission in being a leading provider of global value solutions with unsurpassed product in the value segment and delivering the best customer service in the tire industry, Sailun Group set a significant precedent for MAXAM Tire on forming its mission of being a business solutions provider.”


Technological Forefront and Philosophy

S

ailun insists on technology R&D as the main driving force behind company development. Guided by the company’s technological advancements, Sailun has positioned itself at the forefront of tire technology and the exploration of tires striving to build a technology-based enterprise. Their R&D center concentrates on the many attributes that affect product performance: compounding, synthetic rubber technology, competitive analysis, tire design and simulation modeling. With equipment and building capabilities that match tier one global manufacturers, Sailun boasts multiple well-established R&D centers globally: China (R&D Center HQ), Vietnam, Europe and Canada. Each dedicated R&D center provides a deeper understanding of the local user’s needs and utilizes cutting-edge technology to form a global R&D system. Sailun’s individual R&D centers also cover market research, product planning, formula development and process

SETTING THE NEW STANDARD “Sailun and MAXAM believe in continuous product testing and review inspiring new products, development and techniques. As the automotive, trucking and specialty equipment manufacturers continue to evolve”... development systems, from structural design to product verification testing, each with independent research and development capabilities. As the specialty tire division of Sailun, such support and commitment of the R&D team also emanates throughout MAXAM Tire. Under Sailun’s groundbreaking vision, all engineering and R&D teams are fully integrated with factory Quality Assurance and product development operations to optimize quality and

performance. Centering around intelligent and advanced manufacturing, Sailun ensures its standardized quality management in strict and strategic processes with professional finished equipment, complete transparency on quality including procurement reports and digital production management. In addition to a strict process on quality management, Sailun schedules routine internal quality audits and certification management to meet global compliances and protocols. Sailun and MAXAM believe in continuous product testing and review, inspiring new products, development and techniques. As automotive, trucking and specialty equipment manufacturers continue to evolve, Sailun pushes for innovation and takes quantum technology leaps by designing tire building equipment and machinery that streamlines manufacturing with automation. It is this philosophy that allows Sailun to continue growing and accelerating its position as a global leader.

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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MAXAM OTR Achievements and Success

SETTING THE NEW STANDARD

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ith years of proven performance, MAXAM Tire has built a strong reputation in the off-the-road and specialty tire market through leading-edge quality, reliability and exceptional value. Our team’s commitment to product quality, reliability and value has been acknowledged by some of the top original equipment manufacturers, including CATERPILLAR®. MAXAM has multiple OTR products that have been certified by CATERPILLAR® on medium wheel loaders and are recognized as one of the best performing tires for their equipment. One of the key accomplishments in this certification is MAXAM’s 875/65R29 MS405, validated and approved for CAT® 982M Medium Wheel Loaders. Featuring a deep E4/ L4 lug pattern that combines excellent grip, stability and performance, the MS405 provides users a solution that meets all harsh demands. Developed with a cut-resistant tread compound and robust undertread, the puncture resistant MS405 allows superior productivity and minimal downtime.

Thoughtfully designed to minimize vibration at higher cycle speeds, the MS405 provides loaders, graders and earthmovers the lowest cost-per-hour. In addition, MAXAM’s MS302 is also approved as a factory fitment option on CAT® 950GC, 950L, 950M, 962L and 962M in certain regions. The MAXAM MS302 features a rugged E3/ L3+ heavy duty design for maximum traction and high heat resistance on loaders, graders and earthmovers. The MAXAM MS302 aims to minimize vibration at haul speeds and provide the lowest cost-per-hour, while the durable cut and tear resistant rubber compound eliminates the constant threat of downtime due to tire damage. The rigorous validation process to achieve OEM approval is part of MAXAM’s commitment to continue bringing quality solutions to various specialty tire markets. Furthermore, MAXAM has the support of the over 1,800 strong and growing Global Dealer Servicing Network, allowing for ease of access to the full product line.

“MAXAM Tire has built a strong reputation in the off-the-road and specialty tire market though leading-edge quality, reliability and exceptional value”

Innovative Engineering & Our Quantum Leaps

A

s mining applications continue to evolve, our innovative engineering team continuously develops new products utilizing leading technology that focuses on performance, safety standards, reliability and quality. By leveraging extensive research and testing in multiple mine locations around the world, our engineering team pays specific attention to tire compounding and casing design in order to exceed site requirements and enhance durability and performance.

Understanding the customer’s needs is of paramount importance to MAXAM’s core philosophy of being a leader in advanced technology. One aspect of MAXAM’s advancement is its dedication to engineering robust compounds for specific applications. Superior rubber compounding combined with world-class manufacturing technology will result in significant performance enhancements to the MAXAM radial product lines. The MAXAM engineering team has a dedicated rubber compound research group to continue its advancement in this sector. Working directly with the

sales team, who provide customers and product performance feedbacks, the rubber compound research engineers are constantly developing new ways to increase energy and savings in mixing and polymer structure advancement. The goal of our engineering team is to have better dispersion of the element in the compound, less agglomeration and high level of polymer interaction, resulting in superior performance of each type of compound. Available in standard, heat resistant, cut resistant and ultra-cut resistant compounds, MAXAM MINING GROUP has radial open pit mining tires fitted at multiple mine sites that deliver maximum TKPH/TMPH and lowest cost-per-hour.

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Superior Compounding

C

onstant innovation and technological advancement are the keys that drive our business and our customer’s success. Using leading engineering, industry knowledge, customer and performance feedback and data, MAXAM engineers and R&D teams are always finding new ways to create revolutionary designs and processes to predict performance characteristics before production. As mining and construction machinery continues to advance in delivering faster speeds, greater payloads and technological controls, so too must the tires. The pace of change in mining applications is ever-increasing, presenting new challenges to the tire manufacturers. At MAXAM, we take such formidable challenges as a push to continue our innovation and improvement on product performance with uncompromised value and costper-hour. One of the pillars that established MAXAM’s reputation and standards on innovation is its compounding technology and process. Behind its compounding production, MAXAM works closely with EVE Rubber Research Institute (EVERI), a renowned rubber institute that collaborates with the largest research centers in polymer materials. EVERI is dedicated to the development and recycling of new types of rubber such as functional and green rubber, as well as employing ATCM technology (Advance Technology for Compound Manufacturing). Founded

in 2013, EVERI serves as an important platform of innovative development. EVERI has established several mature research areas including new rubber materials, environmentally friendly processing technology and tires, as well as research into new functions for rubber. EVERI owns close to 600 large-scale, sophisticated equipment patents including rubber mixing and processing equipment, vulcanized rubber testing equipment, material analysis and detection testing equipment etc. More than 120 experts from different fields work in EVERI, covering multiple areas including fundamental research, material research, product development, equipment research, technical service, and analytical testing.

With its rigorous innovations and pioneering vision, EVERI has obtained dozens of patents in the rubber and tire field. Several of its achievements have now become the industry standard. According to reports from the Spain IDIADA (the EU authoritative testing institution) and USA SMITHERS lab (the U.S. authoritative testing institution), EVERI has reached an internationally advanced level in the field of developing sustainable technology in manufacturing and providing functional rubber materials. EVERI is the first scientific institution satisfying the BB level of the EU tire label. Recently, EVERI announced a joint technology agreement with Versalis, a major producer in the polymers

“MAXAM’s tire compounds pass through rigorous quality control measures ”

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SETTING THE NEW STANDARD

State-of-the-Art Manufacturing

T and elastomers industry, developing a production technology for advanced elastomer compounds designed for the tire market. By leveraging top-class technology and processes, the EVERI and Versalis partnership changes the landscape in the tire industry and allows MAXAM‘s tire production to set the new standard in manufacturing and innovation. With capabilities to elevate product quality and to add value to the supply chain, such technological innovation in the elastomers industry plays a fundamental role in ensuring MAXAM’s leading compounding position in the marketplace. After production, MAXAM’s tire compounds pass through rigorous quality control measures. This control also applies to the testing of raw materials before entering the production process.

o meet our engineering team’s advanced innovation, the MAXAM MINING GROUP invests heavily in our state-of-the-art manufacturing process. With five fully owned and operated factories that have proprietary and patented manufacturing processes, MAXAM continues to pioneer advances in technology across all processes. All MAXAM radial tires are built in positive crown drums that build the tires in a shape closer to its finished profile, ensuring components are minimally disturbed during the curing process. To further ensure accuracy in the manufacturing process, MAXAM also uses Electron Bead Processing to increase molecular cross-linkage for improved component accuracy and stabilization during the manufacturing stage. The process also includes laser contour scanners and automated strip winders for absolute precision and consistency in all MAXAM tires. MAXAM’s technical excellence is supplemented using premium materials. MAXAM owns its natural rubber processing plant in Asia to fully

“To further ensure accuracy in the manufacturing process, MAXAM also uses Electron Bead Processing to increase molecular crosslinkage for improved component accuracy and stabilization during the manufacturing stage” control the quality of our rubber in addition to working with the top-tier raw material suppliers. Combined with its highly skilled workforce, MAXAM manufactured radial tires perform well even in the toughest applications and site requirements. “Quality that drives productivity” is one of the fundamental beliefs at MAXAM and this belief is applied on every level, from manufacturing and logistics, to planning and distribution. The quality of the customer’s experience is of paramount importance to MAXAM and their satisfaction is what drives the company and its success. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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Visit MAXAMTIRE.COM

Raw Materials and Mixing Equipment

A

s a technological leader and innovator, MAXAM invests heavily in raw materials and mixing equipment as these processes play a vital role in product consistency and compound uniformity. To minimize errors and maximize productivity, MAXAM has created numerous patented automation and intelligent systems for our mixing processes. In one MAXAM factory alone, there is an operation with over fifteen mixers with different volumes (150-430 liters) capable of various mixing speeds. A key mixing process that contributes to our product’s final quality is intelligent mixing, an automatic weighing and production system with bar code scanning, small chemical weighing and raw rubber cutting system. This advanced automation ensures: • improved uniformity of final product • tracing the material by bar code scanning • lower discharge temperature of the rubber compounds • increased accuracy and high-speed dosing of each chemical component • shorter mixing time and higher efficiency Working with the R&D and engineering team, MAXAM manufacturing was also able to advance its raw material process significantly. MAXAM has created several systematic methodologies in perfecting its compounding and overall quality: • liquid rubber mixing phase (high-tech process of rubber mixing), providing masterbatch produced with continuous liquid phase. Mixing with natural rubber latex and carbon black slurry • high styrene content of SBR rubber for improved cutting resistance • customized carbon black for improved wear resistance and balanced tread compound heat generation • tear resistant resin for improved tear resistance for cut resistant tread compound

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“All MAXAM product specifications, processes and tolerances are established and controlled by its group in all manufacturing facilities, ensuring product consistency”


SETTING THE NEW STANDARD

Strict and Rigorous Quality and Testing

E

very MAXAM MINING GROUP product goes through comprehensive lab and field testing with seamless procedures that feature strict quality control. All MAXAM product specifications, processes and tolerances are established and controlled by its group in all manufacturing facilities, ensuring product consistency. MAXAM’s quality assurance standards are maintained through technologically advanced equipment and skilled technicians. Utilizing advanced shearography technology, all MAXAM utilizes EBP (Electron Beam Processing) as part of the testing process. MAXAM mining tires go through a rigorous quality EBP is used for increased molecular cross-linkage for improved component inspection process, eliminating the chances of trapped accuracy and stabilization during the manufacturing process). air in the casing, blisters or undercuring. MAXAM also utilizes EBP (Electron Beam Processing) as part of the MAXAM mining tire goes through a meticulous process to testing process. EBP is used for increased molecular crossensure quality that includes a visual inspection for uniformity linkage for improved component accuracy and stabilization and defects, x-ray for tire integrity validation, shearography for during the manufacturing process. internal construction confirmation and ultrasonic measurement Another important aspect of quality is physical testing. for construction conformity. At MAXAM, we stand behind every MAXAM ensures its mining products’ top-tier performance product with guaranteed performance as every tire instills the by conducting TKPH tests, tread endurance and bead MAXAM core value of “quality that drives productivity”. endurance tests. During the TKPH test, heat buildup in the tire is measured using advanced technology, Using X-ray technology to examine steel belts, every radial tire must pass strict tolerances ensuring that every product is built to during the production process as part of quality control protocol. withstand heat buildup at a site. The tread endurance test qualifies the integrity of tread pattern and compound. The bead endurance test inspects the integrity of the carcass and bead package. All the components in every tire’s physical tests play a key role in ensuring MAXAM’s tierone products’ optimum performance and quality. Using X-ray technology to examine steel belts, every radial tire must pass strict tolerances during the production process as part of quality control protocol. Every

MS402 Example

Every MAXAM tire goes through a rigorous quality check. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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A Team that Goes Above and Beyond for Customers

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AXAM prides itself in being a business solutions provider that’s committed to the quality of the customer experience. With the mining segment as one of the toughest and most demanding industries, a team of experts with leading market knowledge is a necessity in order to provide the best customer experience and solution. The MAXAM MINING GROUP is a team of dedicated and knowledgeable experts that not only have decades of experience in the field but the ambition and drive to exceed expectations. MAXAM has appointed the best global talent to meet the highest standards of customer experience. Each MMG team member has at least fifteen to twenty years of experience in the off-the-road tire industry with a proven record of delivering accelerated business performance and growth to our customers’ businesses. Each MMG sales member has years of experience working for top-tier tire manufacturers and dealers with the ability to provide knowledgeable support to our customers in every aspect of the mining business. To provide the best business solutions for the industry, MAXAM has selected Matt Johnson to lead the team as Vice President of MAXAM MINING GROUP. As a highly qualified and experienced leader in managing a diverse leadership team and supply chain management, Matt believes that having the right people is the key to success. A passionate and enthusiastic leader, he focuses on building a group of worldclass teams that raise the bar for the industry. “We pride ourselves on providing solutions with the lowest cost-per-hour/ton while continuing our assistance to our customers with other cost saving recommendations and actions. We believe in fostering long-term, mutually beneficial business relationships with our customers,” says Matt.

“MAXAM MINING GROUP sets its foundation and philosophy on centering customer’s needs and the requirement of each mine site. Every MAXAM MINING GROUP specialist works with the engineering team by learning each mine site’s requirements and goals”

Matt Johnson is Vice President of MAXAM MINING GROUP, a subgroup of MAXAM Tire, with responsibility for sales and support strategy implementation for MAXAM MINING GROUP globally. Matt has been with MAXAM Tire since October 2019. Prior to MAXAM Tire, he has held various field and management positions within two decades of his career in the tire industry. Matt began his career as a tire technician in a retail mining business in 1993 and advanced through multiple sales and management roles. In the past decade, Matt led Purcell Tire’s Global Mine Group as Vice President delivering high profit and growth to the business. He has proven to be a commercial expert who leads his teams strategically for sustainable growth. His past colleagues appreciate his ability to drive global turnaround and business development initiatives that raise sales and profit. A highly qualified and experienced leader in managing a diverse leadership team and supply chain management. Matt believes that having the right people is the key to success. A passionate and enthusiastic leader, he focuses on building groups of world-class teams that raise the bar for the industry. Matt continues drive to help build extraordinary organizations has been proven through many successes in previous leadership roles.

MAXAM MINING GROUP sets its foundation and philosophy on addressing customer’s needs and the requirements of each mine site. Every MAXAM MINING GROUP specialist works with the engineering team by learning each mine site’s requirements and goals. A strategic plan with specific products and compounds, along with expected performance and hours, is then proposed to customers for their consideration. Once a customer accepts MAXAM’s proposal and initial product placements, the company continues to make frequent visits to monitor its

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products for maximum assurance. Every site visit is concluded and submitted back to the customer with a data review and maintenance tips. The onsite review, proposal and monitoring demonstrates MAXAM’s commitment to its customers along with its ambition to earn their confidence. Many customers see MAXAM as more than a supplier focused on placing tires, but instead a trusted partner that delivers guaranteed performance and dedicated support. The MAXAM MINING GROUP shares the same core values of

MAXAM Tire, centering around innovation, business solutions and the commitment to provide an exceptional customer experience. In continuation to developing their long-term mutual beneficial business relationships with customers, its sales team is there during the entire journey: from in-depth site evaluations, GPS study reports, performance tracking to maintenance visits. These reports and performance evaluations are then shared with R&D and the engineering team to enable further improvements on product performance. The MAXAM MINING


GROUP’s core value in providing the relevant and ideal business solutions is applied to every aspect of its business, from sales, customer service, R&D, engineering, distribution, supply chain to manufacturing. Customer experience and feedback are the core that drives the MAXAM MINING GROUP’s innovation and advancement in performance and growth. To differentiate themselves from other suppliers, every MAXAM MINING GROUP member is trained to gather the right information onsite. Followed up by sharing this information with the customer and strategizing an action plan, MMG has proven to be a knowledgeable supplier with “boots on the ground” experts, achieving daily established goals that the sites need.

SETTING THE NEW STANDARD Generally, mines have about 90 to 120 days of inventory on the ground. If the hauls change from a short haul to a longer haul, the ton-kilometer-perhour (TKPH) will most likely increase. Therefore, higher TKPH rating requires a cooler compound in the tire and/or a cut resistant compound for a lower TKPH rating. Similarly, shorter hauls require a cut resistant compound with a lower TKPH rating. The correlation between TKPH and changes in the hauls is critical when placing the correct tire with the appropriate compound. Running the incorrect compound could lead

to overheating in tires from a longer, faster haul. Similarly, the tires could also chunk out if a softer compound is placed in a harsh underfoot condition.

“The process on site review, proposal and monitoring demonstrates MAXAM’s commitment to its customers along with its ambition to earn their confidence”

MAXAM MINING GROUP working with customers at a site visit, performing evaluations and performance tracking. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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SETTING THE NEW STANDARD

TKPH

M

AXAM MINING GROUP follows the criterion below when understanding each site’s specific TKPH requirement: 1 2 3 4 5

Round trip distance Number of cycles per shift Shift duration, including all breaks Average high temperature Grades, uphill or downhill laden loads being hauled

Once this information is collected with the help of a GPS or V-Box, the numbers can be entered into the TKPH spreadsheet or the MAXAM Tire App. The TKPH requirement for both the front and rear axle will be produced and determine the best compound to be placed. Every tread pattern will have a different number depending on the design (for example, lug to void ratio and depth of the tread will determine an E3, E4 or E4+ pattern for extra tread depth). Today, there are many options available to track tires and analyze hauls to obtain cycle data. Understanding the site and its potential development and changes in the future plays a vital role in selecting the right compound for the tire and matching the haul cycle requirements. MAXAM Tire believes that a proper tire maintenance program and training for its customers will provide maximum productivity and tire longevity. MAXAM has developed many tools and performs constant site visits to ensure a consistent and effective maintenance program. One of the helpful tools they’ve developed is the Tire Life Indicators Chart. Each component serves a check point discussed at the driver’s monthly meetings. Acting on any one of these key indicators can positively impact the life of the tire and increase a site’s overall productivity.

“MAXAM MINING GROUP offers various tire sizes to fit trucks up to 400 tons”

“MAXAM has developed many tools and performs constant site visits to ensure a consistent and effective maintenance program. One of the helpful tools they’ve developed is the Tire Life Indicators Chart. Each component serves a check point discussed at the driver’s monthly meetings”

Product that Delivers the Lowest Cost-Per-Hour with Uncompromised Performance

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he latest open pit mining series tires have been in development for the past six years and are the result of extensive research and testing. With a dedicated team to focus on offering full support for the open pit mining product range, MAXAM MINING GROUP offers various tire sizes to fit trucks up to 400 tons. MAXAM offers a variety of compounds and up to five tread patterns (depending on the tire size) to meet specific mining site applications. As an innovative group, MAXAM’s engineers and R&D team are working on an enhanced compounding series to further optimize higher TKPH/TMPH values, improving overall performance with maximum heat resistance, cut resistance and abrasion resistance. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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Mining Support Equipment

E2/G2/L2

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s mine sites continue to develop and evolve, numerous factors go into having an inclusive maintenance program in order to achieve optimum productivity each day. Having a staff of knowledgeable experts to perform proper daily pre-shift checks is a must in addition to tires that deliver the performance each application requires. As a full range tire supplier that has achieved significant performance and accomplishments in the off-the-road industry, MAXAM offers quality products for all other mining support equipment, providing a comprehensive program for mine sites across the world.

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E3/L3

E4/L4

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SETTING THE NEW STANDARD L5

SKID STEER

OTHERS

“As a full range tire supplier that has achieved significant performance and accomplishments in the off-the-road industry, MAXAM offers quality products for all other mining support equipment” World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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YOUR #1 OFF-THE-ROAD CHOICE FOR MINING SUPPORT EQUIPMENT TIRES

MS906 Deep R4 tread pattern designed for skid steer, backhoe and telehandler applications.

MS302 Heavy duty E3/L3+ lug pattern combines excellent traction and high resistance to wear and cutting. Specifically designed to minimize vibration at haul speeds & provide the lowest cost-per-hour.

MS301 Standard E3/L3 rock lug pattern combines excellent traction and high resistance to wear and cutting.

MS405 Heavy duty E3/L3+ lug pattern combines excellent traction and high resistance to wear and cutting. Specifically designed to minimize vibration at haul speeds and provide the lowest cost-per-hour.

MS202

For loaders, graders, telehandlers and articulated dump trucks operating in soft underfoot conditions. Ideal for use in dirt, mud, snow and ice.

MS406 Deep E4/L4 lug pattern combines excellent traction and high resistance to wear and cutting. Specifically designed to maximize traction in loader applications and provide the lowest cost-per-hour.

MS501 For use in the most severe applications where traction and long tread life are required.

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SETTING THE NEW STANDARD

MS907 Extra deep, aggressive L5 tread pattern designed for skid steer, backhoe and telehandler applications.

MS706 Premium 3-stage solid tire ideal for the most extreme OTR and construction applications. Extra deep tread allows for 3 to 5 times longer tire life vs pneumatic. 3-stage, 100% rubber construction.

MS503 Extra deep, open lug L5T traction pattern combines excellent traction and high resistance to wear and cutting. Specifically designed to maximize service life in the harshest applications.

MS904

MS502 Extra deep, open lug L5T traction pattern combines excellent traction and high resistance to wear and cutting. Specifically designed to maximize service life in the harshest applications.

Modified R4 tread pattern for applications combining high off-road traction and excellent roading performance.

MS801 Designed for use in multiple applications, the MS801 offers excellent traction and protection from punctures, as well as, improved stability

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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MAXAM Performance vs. Competition

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n order to improve upon our products’ performance, MAXAM’s engineering and sales team are working together on every field visit to track data better. Based on much of the tracking data, MAXAM MINING GROUP’s products have provided the lowest cost-per-hour while maintaining exceptional performance on a par with tier-one competitors. “The reality for mine sites is that our tires are just on a par with the top tier-one manufacturers in performance – we have seen 9,200 to 9,500 hours versus their 10,000 plus hours. Since our tires cost less than theirs, we are providing a significant increase in value and giving mine sites incredible savings,” says Matt Johnson, Vice President of MAXAM MINING GROUP. Below is some of the comparative performance data from mines using MAXAM mining products. Such data is based on wear rate with cost-per-hour calculation provided.

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SETTING THE NEW STANDARD

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In-Depth Mine Site Study

O

ver the past few years, MAXAM MINING GROUP has been tracking every tire’s performance since its placement at mining sites around the world. Many customers have been pleased with the performance and value that MAXAM’s products have provided. One MAXAM customer, a large mine site located in Canada, has been achieving consistent performance and unbeatable value with the lowest cost-per-hour in the past several years. MAXAM has been tracking one specific tire pattern, the MS402, since the first tire placement back in 2015 on the two front positions. When the program was initiated, MAXAM’s target was to reach 4200 hours. Within the first nine months of initial placement, MAXAM’S tires have been proving their performance, according to customers, while competing against leading manufacturers in the mining tires industry at the same site. Based on the data gathered in the first nine months, MAXAM’s results were within 15-20% of tier-one manufacturers’ performance but at much lower cost-per-hour. In the first two years of placement, MAXAM has received excellent feedback and has positioned an additional 124 tires (112 units of the MAXAM MS402 and 12 units of the MAXAM MS401). By August of 2017, MAXAM MINING GROUP held approximately 75% of the entire CAT® 777 fleet in this mine. Below is a brief data summary that shows MAXAM’s product vs. competitors.

“MAXAM’s target was to reach 4200 hours. Within the first nine months of initial placement, MAXAM’S tires have been proving their performance, according to the customers, while competing against leading manufacturers in the mining tires industry at the same site”

PERIOD

BRAND/PATTERN

COMPOUND

# OF SCRAP TIRES

AVG. HOURS

S/HOURS

January 2016 September 2016

Competitor 1A

Cut Resistant

11

4972

2.85

Competitor 1A

Cut Resistant

6

3611

2.81

Competitor 1A

Cut Resistant

1

2748

3.82

Competitor 2

Cut Resistant

18

3404

4.65

MAXAM MS402

S2 (Cut Resistant)

5

3687

2.33

MAXAM MS402

S2 (Cut Resistant)

113

6175

1.38

2015 - 2020

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SETTING THE NEW STANDARD Based on the data provided above, below is the calculated result on cost-per-hour comparison.

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Based on the data provided, below is the result on average scrap tire percentage.

Below indicate reasons of tire removals at the site from September 2015 to February 2020.

In conclusion, MAXAM has delivered products that performed beyond its customers’ expectations and continues to provide superior value to the mine with the lowest cost-per-hour. Overall, MAXAM’s products have reached 11,310 hours, delivering performance and tire life well beyond the initial 4200 target hours. There are no tires removed from service due to product issues. In addition, the nine installed tires are still in service, providing an average of $1.38 costper-hour, lower than any other manufacturer’s products. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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MS401

MS402

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MS403

MS440

MS453


SETTING THE NEW STANDARD Why Choose MAXAM MINING GROUP

I

n today’s competitive market, mining customers are looking for other viable large haulage tire options. With only a few tire manufacturers dominating the global haulage wheel segment, entry for a new player in the industry can be challenging. Upon initiating its mining program with prospects and customers, MAXAM MINING GROUP is focused on building confidence and trust in its partnerships by providing a full-scope analysis on each site’s requirements. With such a detail-oriented and dedicated team focused on fostering successful business relationships, along with guaranteed performance and products that deliver the lowest costper-hour, many MAXAM customers have turned to MAXAM MINING GROUP as another viable option for haulage and loading tires. MAXAM MINING GROUP is currently working with many mining, aggregate and construction companies globally. By conducting in-depth site studies to ensure proper compound and product placements, following up with frequent monitoring and data performance, MMG is earning the respect from a broad customer base. They have positioned MAXAM as a trusted supplier and advisor that does more than deliver products with guaranteed performance - MAXAM is a true business solutions provider. With a full range of off-the-road and other specialty products, MAXAM MINING GROUP specialists are always finding solutions to maximize customer’s savings on all the support equipment. While larger haulage tires remain an expensive investment, the expense and maintenance on the support tires can be far greater than the cost of larger haulage tires. The MAXAM team is trained to look for potential solutions to address any tire

application, from big equipment to forklifts in warehouses. One example was at a mine site that runs ash trailers. They were changing out tires about three times a year per wheel position, making the ash trailers’ tires one of the highest cost-per-hour investments. After analyzing the operation, MAXAM’s proposed solution was to change out the existing tire and rim and replace with a different size tire and rim. The customer accepted the proposal after the confirmation was made by the trailer manufacturer and that the trailer performance would remain steady. Since this change two years ago, the customer has projected a span of at least three years without removing the trailer tires. This move has dramatically decreased the ash trailer’s cost-per-hour and increased the site’s overall productivity. Providing solutions to customers with quality tires and knowledgeable technical support are just a sample of the key differentiators that make MAXAM Tire a viable choice for the mining industry. MAXAM Tire is a global specialty tire supplier with a full range of products for construction, material handling, agricultural, forestry and other specialty segments. MAXAM boasts 14 haulage and support equipment models that have applications across multiple

industries, bringing relevant and innovative solutions to customers in all segments. Innovative engineering, extensive testing, research and stateof-the-art manufacturing differentiates MAXAM from its competitors. At MAXAM, core values are centered around innovation and commitment to provide an exceptional customer experience. As a rapidly growing global organization, MAXAM invests heavily in its people, advanced engineering and manufacturing facilities to ensure unique business solutions are delivered to customers worldwide. As the MAXAM MINING GROUP continues to expand globally, its customers’ satisfaction remains the foundation of MAXAM, so it continues to innovate in all aspects of the tire business. At MAXAM, it is its culture and people that truly differentiate it from its competitors. Driven by core values that are centered around innovation and commitment to create an exceptional customer experience, MAXAM’s people are committed to continued advancement and to exceed expectations. It is what makes the MAXAM difference – being your business solutions provider.

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Rio Tinto www.riotinto.com

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Global operations for the modern world R

io Tinto is a global mining and metals group with operations on six continents, focused on finding, mining, processing and marketing the earth’s mineral resources to provide consumers and industry with what they need. Here we summarize the company’s most recent projects and achievements around the world. Rio Tinto’s mining operations produce raw materials including copper, iron ore, bauxite, diamonds, and industrial minerals including titanium dioxide, salt, gypsum and borates. The company also processes some of these materials, with plants dedicated to processing bauxite into alumina and aluminium, and smelting iron ore into iron. Other metals and minerals are produced as by-products, including gold, silver, molybdenum, sulphuric acid, nickel, potash, lead and zinc.

Copper “Rio Tinto’s Weipa operations in north Queensland include three bauxite mines, processing facilities, ship loaders, an export wharf, two ports, power stations, a rail network and ferry terminals”

Rio Tinto’s very first mine was a copper mine on the banks of the Rio Tinto river, in Andalusia, Spain – purchased by auction from the Spanish government in 1873 by a British-European investor group. Following this purchase, the Rio Tinto Company was launched in March 1873. The Spanish assets have long since been divested, but Rio Tinto has become a world leader in copper, with operations in the United States, Chile, Mongolia and most recently, Australia. Today, its copper operations around the world are at various stages in the

“Rio Tinto’s very first mine was a copper mine on the banks of the Rio Tinto river, in Andalusia, Spain” mining lifecycle, from exploration to rehabilitation. In Arizona in the United States, exploration is under way at the Resolution Copper Project, a joint venture with BHP, which reached a significant milestone in 2019 with the release of a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS), paving the way for the development of one of the world’s most significant copper deposits. By contrast, the Kennecott mine in Utah is a long-standing world-class, integrated copper mining operation which also produces gold and silver as bi-products. In 2019, after 75 years of operation, Kennecott retired its coal-fired power plant in Magna, Utah, replacing it with power from renewable energy certificates purchased from Rocky Mountain Power – primarily from wind and solar resources. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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Rio Tinto also has a 30% interest in the Escondida mine in the northern Atacama Desert in Chile, although the mine is managed by BHP which owns 57.5%. From mid-2021, the power supply at Escondida will also be largely sourced from renewable energy. Still being developed is Oyu Tolgoi, in the South Gobi region of Mongolia, home to one of the largest known copper and gold deposits in the world. When the underground mine is complete, it will be one of the world’s largest copper mines. Oyu Tolgoi is jointly owned by the government of Mongolia (34%) and Turquoise Hill Resources, which owns 66%. Although not a direct shareholder in the mine, Rio Tinto owns 50.8% of Turquoise Hill Resources and manages the operation on behalf of the owners. Open pit mining began at Oyu Tolgoi in 2011 and the copper concentrator, the largest industrial complex ever built in Mongolia, began processing mined ore into copper concentrate in 2013. Current infrastructure at Oyu Tolgoi will allow the mine to operate for decades to come. The vast majority of resources lie underground, and Rio Tinto achieved

a significant milestone at Oyu Tolgoi in late 2019 with the completion of Shaft 2, enabling the acceleration of work on the Oyu Tolgoi Underground Project, but subsequent development has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and other difficulties, including arrangements for a permanent power supply. In the summer of 2020, agreement was reached between Rio Tinto, Turquoise Hill and the Government of Mongolia on the preferred domestic power solution for Oyu Tolgoi, paving the way for the Government to fund and construct a state-owned power plant at Tavan Tolgoi. More recently, Rio Tinto and Turquoise Hill Resources entered into a memorandum of understanding to provide a clear pathway for completion of the underground project, but delays and cost-overruns continue to cause difficulties in the relationship between the partners. In December 2020 the Government of Mongolia and representatives of Canada’s Turquoise Hill called for a special board committee to be set up to conduct an independent review of the project. In late 2017, Rio Tinto discovered

“Oyu Tolgoi, in the South Gobi region of Mongolia, is home to one of the largest known copper and gold deposits in the world. When the underground mine is complete, it will be one of the world’s largest copper mines”

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copper-gold mineralisation at its 100% owned Winu project in the Yeneena Basin in the Paterson Province of Western Australia. A significant programme of work has continued since, including reverse circulation and diamond drilling to define the mineralisation extent and continuity. In July 2020 the company announced the maiden resource at Winu.


Global operations for the modern world www.riotinto.com Study work suggests the copper mineralisation supports the development of a relatively shallow open-pit mine, combined with the industry-standard processing technology used at other Rio Tinto sites. The project team is working with regulators and local Nyangumarta and Martu traditional owners to progress the agreements and approvals required for any future development. First production is targeted for 2023, subject to all necessary approvals.

“In Arizona in the United States, exploration is under way at the Resolution Copper Project, a joint venture with BHP, which reached a significant milestone in 2019 with the release of a draft environmental impact statement”

The discovery of a new zone of gold dominant mineralisation approximately 2km east of the Winu deposit, as well as a number of other encouraging drilling results in close proximity to the maiden Winu Resource, indicates the potential for the development of multiple ore bodies within one system. Other activity at Winu includes cultural heritage surveys and the commencement of construction of a gravel airstrip for emergency response purposes, given the exploration camp is located approximately 200 kilometres by gravel and sand track from the Great Northern Highway and a seven hour drive from Port Hedland.

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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Iron ore Rio Tinto is also one of the world’s leading producers and exporters of iron ore, operating a world-class, integrated network of 16 iron ore mines, four port facilities, and a 1,700-kilometre rail network and related infrastructure in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

“The discovery of a new zone of mineralisation approximately 2km east of the Winu deposit, as well as a number of other encouraging drilling results in close proximity to the maiden Winu Resource, indicates the potential for the development of multiple ore bodies within one system”

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On the other side of the world, the Iron Ore Company of Canada – a joint venture between Rio Tinto (58.7%), Mitsubishi (26.2%) and the Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Income Corporation (15.1%), operates a mine with five pits, a concentrator and a pelletising plant near Labrador City, Newfoundland and Labrador; a port and stockpile in Sept-Iles, Quebec; and a 418 kilometre railway that joins these two parts of the operation. Rio Tinto is currently expanding

its operations in the Pilbara to epic proportions, while at the same time introducing next generation technologies to deliver greater efficiency, lower production costs and improve health, safety and environmental performance, including artificial intelligence, automation and robotics. The company’s AutoHaul™ train system is the world’s first fully autonomous, long-distance, heavy-haul rail network – one of the world’s largest robots. In July 2019, the company approved


“Rio Tinto operates a world-class, integrated network of 16 iron ore mines, four port facilities, and a 1,700-kilometre rail network in the Pilbara region of Western Australia”

a A$1 billion investment in its existing Greater Tom Price operations (100% owned) to help sustain the production capacity of its world-class iron ore business in the Pilbara of Western Australia. The investment in the Western Turner Syncline Phase 2 (WTS2) mine will facilitate mining of existing and new deposits and includes construction of a new crusher as well as a 13-kilometre conveyor. The new conveyor system will help lower greenhouse gas emissions from the mine by 3.5 per cent compared to road haulage. First ore from the crusher is expected in 2021. As part of the investment, the haul truck fleet at the mine will be fitted with autonomous haulage system (AHS) technology, which has been proved to deliver significant safety benefits as well as enhancing productivity and reducing costs at the company’s existing Pilbara operations. In August 2019 Rio Tinto awarded contracts worth more than A$250 million to leading Western Australian suppliers BGC Contracting and Monadelphous Group, for work on the Robe River Joint Venture’s West Angelas iron ore mine in the Pilbara. Rio Tinto owns a 53 per cent interest in the Robe

Global operations for the modern world

River Joint Venture, Mitsui 33 per cent and Nippon Steel 14 per cent. The epic investment, however, is the $2.6 billion earmarked to create Rio Tinto’s first ‘intelligent mine’, GudaiDarri, approximately 35 kilometres northwest of its Yandicoogina mine site, and about 110 kilometres from the town of Newman. After working closely with the traditional custodians of the land, the project, formerly known as Koodaideri, will now be pronounced and spelt in the Banjima language as Gudai-Darri, following a request from Banjima Elders. All set to be the company’s most technologically advanced mine, the 100% owned Gudai-Darri has more than 70 design innovations, in addition to technology already in use across Rio Tinto, such as autonomous trucks, trains and drills. The project will incorporate a processing plant, associated infrastructure and a 166-kilometre rail line. Significant innovations include a digital replica of the processing plant, accessible in real time by workers in the field and at the remote operations centre, fully integrated mine automation and simulation systems, and an

www.riotinto.com

automated workshop. In February 2020, Rio Tinto approved a $98 million investment in a new solar plant at Gudai-Darri, as well as a lithium-ion battery energy storage system to help power its entire Pilbara power network. The 34-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant is expected to supply all of the mine’s electricity demand during peak solar power generation times and approximately 65 per cent of its average electricity demand. The plant will comprise an estimated 100,000 panels, covering an area of 105 hectares. Construction is due to be completed in 2021. Complementing it will be a new 12MWh battery energy storage system in Tom Price that will provide spinning reserve generating capacity to support a stable and reliable network. In November 2020 Rio Tinto opened Australia’s newest airport at GudaiDarri. The facility can accept a range of different aircraft including Boeing 737s, A320s, F100s and King Airs. The airport is expected to handle more than 600 workers in a day at peak operating times.

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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Aluminium Rio Tinto is also a global leader in aluminium, with largescale, high-quality bauxite mines and alumina refineries producing some of the highest quality, lowest-carbon footprint aluminium in the world. The Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region in Canada is an important hub for Rio Tinto’s aluminium business, responsible for close to half of its global production. Its operations in the area include an alumina refinery, four wholly owned smelters, six hydropower plants, the Arvida Research and Development Centre (ARDC), the Aluminium Operational Centre, a rail network and one port. In 2018 Rio Tinto launched ELYSIS, a joint venture with Alcoa, and supported by Apple and the governments of Canada and Quebec, dedicated to developing a breakthrough aluminium smelting technology with no direct greenhouse gas emissions. Also in Canada, Rio Tinto’s BC Works operation in Kitimat, British Columbia, comprises a newly modernised aluminium smelter and the Kemano Powerhouse, a hydropower facility

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supplied by the Nechako reservoir. From Canada’s west coast, products are transported by ship and rail, primarily to customers in Japan, South Korea and the United States. In 2019, BC Works was certified by the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) for producing aluminium to


Global operations for the modern world “In 2018 Rio Tinto launched ELYSIS, a joint venture with Alcoa, and supported by Apple and the governments of Canada and Quebec, dedicated to developing a breakthrough aluminium smelting technology with no direct greenhouse gas emissions” the highest internationally recognised standard for responsible environmental, social and governance practices. Back across the world to Australia again, Rio Tinto’s Weipa operations in north Queensland include three bauxite mines, processing facilities, ship loaders, an export wharf, two ports, power stations, a rail network and ferry terminals. Here the company’s newest

mine, Amrun, will extend the life of the company’s Weipa bauxite operations by decades, building on its 55-year history on the Western Cape. The $A2.6 billion Amrun bauxite mine, plant and export facility were approved in 2015, with a targeted start date of 2019. Rio Tinto made Amrun’s first shipment to its Yarwun alumina refinery in December 2018, six weeks

ahead of schedule. At full production, Amrun will have capacity of 22.8 million tonnes a year, with options to expand. The mine and associated processing and port facilities will replace production from Rio Tinto’s depleting East Weipa mine and increase annual bauxite export capacity by around 10 million tonnes, at a time when higher-grade bauxite is becoming scarcer globally.

www.riotinto.com www.riotinto.com World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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Diamonds Until the closure of its Argyle diamond mine in November 2020, Rio Tinto was one of the world’s major producers of diamonds, with a diamond mine in Canada as well as Australia. The Argyle ore body in Western Australia was discovered in October 1979. Alluvial operations began in 1983, open pit mining began in 1985 and the mine became a fully underground operation in 2013. Over this period of time the mine has produced more than 865 million carats of rough diamonds, becoming the world’s largest producer of coloured diamonds and virtually the sole source of a very small but consistent supply of rare pink diamonds. The technologically sophisticated underground operation at Argyle was the first block cave mine in Western Australia, a method involving undercutting the ore body and allowing it to break up or ‘cave’ under its own weight. The closure process is expected to take some five years to decommission and dismantle the mine and undertake rehabilitation, followed by a further period of monitoring.

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“At the Diavik mine, Rio Tinto has developed world class engineering technology and techniques to hold back the waters of Lac de Gras to reach the diamond-bearing pipes at the bottom of the lake” Rio Tinto’s Diavik diamond mine is in the Northwest Territories of Canada, half a world away in geographical terms, and vastly different in conditions. Around 200 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle, Diavik operates in an icy tundra, where Argyle enjoys the savannah-like conditions in remote Western Australia. While Argyle operated underground, Diavik comprises four diamond-bearing pipes that are mined using a combination of open pit and underground mining, although underground, in this instance, also means under water. Rio Tinto has developed world class engineering technology and techniques to hold back the waters of Lac de Gras to


Global operations for the modern world

“The technologically sophisticated underground operation at Argyle was the first block cave mine in Western Australia, a method involving undercutting the ore body and allowing it to break up or ‘cave’ under its own weight”

reach the diamond-bearing pipes at the bottom of the lake, building an embankment to create a pool of water within the lake, then pumping millions of litres from this pool back into the lake, monitoring water quality and fish stocks. The Diavik Diamond Mine is managed by Rio Tinto but owned by a joint venture between Diavik Diamond Mines (2012) Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto (60% ownership) and Dominion Diamond Diavik Limited Partnership, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dominion Diamond Mines (40% ownership). All mines have a finite life cycle and Diavik has planned for its closure from the outset. The buildings on site have been designed to be removed without a trace. When mining ends, the embankments will be reclaimed and lake water will flow back into the open pit.

www.riotinto.com

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Minerals

most of it to customers in Asia and the Middle East.

Rio Tinto has thriving operations in the minerals sector, too, where it produces salt, borates, titanium dioxide and one of the most highly demanded minerals of the modern age, lithium.

Deposited millions of years ago, borates are crystallised salts that contain boron, a mineral used in fertilisers, but also in high tech applications such as the heat-resistant glass for smartphones and materials for renewable energy – for both wind and solar projects, in wood protection and fiberglass insulation.

The company’s Dampier Salt operation in Western Australia is the world’s largest exporter of seaborne salt – salt produced from evaporating seawater, as opposed to being mined as a solid mineral. The shallow evaporation flats at Dampier have the potential to produce salt almost indefinitely. The operation relies on evaporation over an area equivalent to 27,900 soccer fields to transform seawater into salt, predominantly used for industrial purposes. Rio Tinto exports more than five million tonnes of salt every year,

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Commercially viable quantities of this rare and versatile mineral have been found in a very few places in the world. One is in California’s Mojave Desert, where Rio Tinto started mining over 100 years ago, first in Death Valley and then moving, in 1927, to Boron, California, from where the company supplies approximately 30% of global demand for refined borates.

Titanium dioxide is a brilliant white, opaque compound, used as a pigment in paints, plastics and paper, and also to produce toothpaste, sunscreen and cosmetics. The 70-year-old Rio Tinto Fer et Titane (RTFT) operation in Quebec, Canada, pioneered the process of removing iron and titanium from


Global operations for the modern world titanium dioxide slag; the company also produces the higherpurity 95% titanium dioxide product rutile as well as pig iron and zircon, from the vast mineral rich sands of the northern KwaZulu-Natal province. On the island of Madagascar, QIT Madagascar Minerals – a joint venture between Rio Tinto (80%) and the government of Madagascar (20%), also produces ilmenite, rutile and zircon. The raw material is shipped to the Rio Tinto Fer et Titane operation in Canada and processed into titanium dioxide.

ilmenite. The RTFT Havre-Saint-Pierre mine in eastern Quebec is home to the largest ilmenite deposit in the world. The ore is transported from there to the Sorel-Tracy metallurgic complex, just over an hour from Montreal, for processing into iron and titanium.

“The company’s Dampier Salt operation in Western Australia is the world’s largest exporter of seaborne salt – salt produced from evaporating seawater, as opposed to being mined as a solid mineral”

When it is smelted and processed into metallic form, titanium is light, resilient and corrosion-resistant. Most of Rio Tinto’s production is used in the automotive industry, to manufacture complex mechanical parts. In South Africa, Rio Tinto holds a majority interest in Richards Bay Minerals, launched in 1976 and now the country’s largest mineral sands producer and a world leader in heavy mineral sands extraction and refining. RBM’s principal product is titanium dioxide in the form of an 85% pure

www.riotinto.com

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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From Concept Environmental Engineering and Consulting for the Mining Industry Strategic Consulting Feasibility & Permitting Development Construction Management u Operations u Closure

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Lithium Few minerals have the economic potential of lithium, an important component in batteries for electric vehicles, energy storage facilities and consumer electronics. The Jadar Project in western Serbia is a worldclass lithium-borate deposit discovered by Rio Tinto in 2004. This is a unique deposit containing jadarite - a new lithium sodium borosilicate mineral found nowhere else in the world. Jadar has been ranked as one of the most significant, high-grade lithium deposits in the world, with the potential to supply a significant amount of lithium and boric acid. Rio Tinto completed the detailed exploration of the Jadarite deposit in February 2020. At the end of July 2020, the project moved into feasibility study, with an investment of almost

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Global operations for the modern world “Rio Tinto is currently expanding its operations in the Pilbara to epic proportions, while at the same time introducing next generation technologies to deliver greater efficiency, lower production costs and improve health, safety and environmental performance” $200 million on a scope that includes detailed engineering, land acquisition, workforce and supply preparation for construction, permitting and the early infrastructure development. The feasibility study is expected to be complete at the end of 2021 and, if approved, construction could take up to four years. As recently as 10 December 2020, Rio Tinto disclosed to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) a maiden ore reserve and updated mineral resource at Jadar. Pre-feasibility studies showed that the project has the potential to produce both battery grade lithium carbonate and boric acid. The deposit is located on the doorstep of the European Union, one of the fastest growing electric vehicle markets in the world, and has the potential to provide lithium products into the EV value chain for decades. In parallel, Rio Tinto has also started work on the commissioning of its lithium demonstration plant in the United States, which is extracting lithium from waste rock at its Boron mine in California. This plant could potentially produce 10 tonnes per year of lithium-carbonate. As a pioneer in mining and metals, Rio Tinto maintains a portfolio of materials in demand around the world. Having disposed of its coal interests, the company now concentrates on iron ore for steel, aluminium for cars and smartphones, copper for wind turbines, electric cars and the pipes that bring water to our homes, not to mention borates for agriculture, titanium for paint, diamonds for glamour, and the resource of the future, lithium. With a history approaching 150 years, Rio Tinto looks set for the next century and beyond.

www.riotinto.com

“Rio Tinto has also started work on the commissioning of its lithium demonstration plant in the United States, which is extracting lithium from waste rock at its Boron mine in California” World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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open autonomy

WHY MINING IS ON THE BRINK OF AN AUTONOMOUS REVOLUTION By Richard Jinks, Oxbotica VP Commercial

T

he perpetual challenge facing mine operators is how to move valuable raw materials in the most efficient way. Unequivocally, autonomy is a major part of that solution, and the form of that technology is changing. While other industries are looking at autonomy as a ‘nearfuture technology’, mining has already started to adopt it and reaped the benefits, helping to improve safety, boost production and increase operational efficiency in mines around the globe. Vehicles with various degrees of autonomy have been active since the early 2000s and current technology is helping to reduce the number of incidents in mines, with transportation accounting for around 30% of all safety issues[1]. While less than three percent of vehicles in mines around the world are autonomous, those that are in operation are reaching important industry milestones[2]. Autonomous operations typically increase the effective utilisation for a manned fleet from 60% to around 75%[3]. The autonomous trucks at Rio Tinto’s mines are estimated to have operated for 700 hours longer than conventional trucks during 2017, with a 15% reduction in load and haulage costs[4]. The mining industry is now on the cusp of another autonomy transformation with the next generation of technology beginning to be deployed. What makes this revolution different is that it’s driven by software. Software that

makes machines smart and supports a diversity of vehicles in a diversity of places. Oxbotica’s autonomy software platform can be installed onto any vehicle, in any setting, to make it drive autonomously. The software platform is able to span across all domains, so technology deployed in mines would benefit from the software’s learnings in other environments such as moving people or goods on-road or in off-road environments such as warehouses, ports, airports. We call this Universal Autonomy. To fully benefit from the long term productivity gains - forecasted to be up to 80%[5] - the industry will have to embrace a new way of thinking about autonomy and by doing so, harness the transformative power of software. An Open Autonomy software platform An Open Autonomy software platform enables companies to integrate autonomy strategically as a horizontal across their business, enabling all vehicles, irrespective of size or type, to have the same autonomy system. This

in turn means that a mine can be orchestrated in a way not currently available - utilising intelligent vehicles, with a single autonomy system free from the dependence of external infrastructure. Oxbotica and Wenco International Mining Systems are developing an Open Autonomy software platform for the mining industry, with the aim of providing customers with complete flexibility and efficiency, allowing them to deploy autonomy using any vehicle in their existing fleet. Our Open Autonomy strategy allows our partners to choose their preferred technologies independent of their vehicle or primary system decisions. In addition, we will have the capability to provide rapid technology advancements via software updates, without the need for vehicle renewal. The technology is capable of working in the most challenging weather conditions, underground or overground with zero dependence on external systems or reliance on GPS and/or third-party mapping. The modular architecture allows customers to use the full software stack or individual solutions, for example localisation or obstacle detection, with any combination of vision, radar and/or cameras. The open APIs mean we can be completely flexible when engaging with customers. This brings huge benefits to the industry and will be transformational. This is the true power of Universal Autonomy.

[1] https://www.icmm.com/en-gb/news/2019/safety-data-2018 [2] https://clareo.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Clareo-TWIN-Autonomy-Whitepaper-0619.pdf [3] https://www.rfcambrian.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/RFCA-NTI-Report-2-Autonomous-Mining-Equipment-May-2019.pdf [4] https://www.constructionweekonline.com/products-services/169830-autonomous-trucks-vehicles-and-machines-show-benefits-for-worlds-largest-miningcompanies [5] https://www.mes-insights.com/who-are-mining-vehicle-market-leaders-a-955269/

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news OceanaGold advances Waihi District opportunities in New Zealand OceanaGold has invested in extensive exploration programs in New Zealand over recent years, resulting in significant increases to mineral reserves and resources at its Macraes and Waihi operations. “Despite the five-week cessation of development related to the COVID-19 restrictions, the Martha Underground remains firmly on track for first production in the second quarter of 2021,” said Michael Holmes, president and CEO. “Exploration activities continue at Martha Underground with four drill rigs and WKP [Wharekirauponga] with two drill rigs targeting resource conversions and extensions. We continue to advance each of the Waihi District opportunities as part of our plans to realise the significant value potential of Waihi.”

OceanaGold operates the highgrade Waihi Gold Mine on the North Island of New Zealand and the largest gold mine in the country at the Macraes Goldfield on the South Island. In the United States, the company operates the Haile Gold Mine, a top-tier, longlife, high-margin asset in South Carolina.

Thiess awarded A$340 million contract extension at Mt Owen

“For more than 25 years we have delivered industryleading, specialised mining techniques at Mt Owen, leading to higher resource recovery, increased plant efficiency and reliable material movement for our client”

C

IMIC Group’s global mining services provider, Thiess, has been awarded an 18-month contract extension by Glencore worth A$340 million, to provide mining services at Mount Owen in the Hunter Valley, Australia. Thiess will continue to provide mine planning, design and execution, drill and blast, overburden removal and coal mining services at the mine, where it has operated since 1994. “For more than 25 years we have delivered industry-leading, specialised mining techniques at Mt Owen, leading to higher resource recovery, increased plant efficiency and reliable material movement for our client,” said Thiess managing director Douglas Thompson. “Our team looks forward to continuing our long association with Glencore and the Hunter Valley community.” Thiess has a strong presence in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, where it provides mining services at three mines. The Mount Owen contract extension will commence in July 2021. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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“The support of our new owner, WestStar Industrial, allows the group to execute larger contracts previously constrained by working capital”

A

Alltype Engineering to build Rio’s Gudai-Darri mine

lltype Engineering, an engineering contractor business acquired by WestStar Industrial last year, has won a A$6m contract to deliver an iron ore mining plant at Rio Tinto’s Gudai-Darri project in Western Australia. Alltype Engineering will complete the phase 1 structural, mechanical and piping (SMP) package for the mine project, as well as procurement, fabrication, surface protection, pre-assembly and modularisation. “Alltype Engineering undertook a significant strategic shift in direction in 2017, focusing on multi-discipline construction solutions, technology partnerships with OEMs and leveraging off the well-established industry exposure developed over 35 years of operation,” said managing director, Kelvin Andrijich. “This strategy continues to unfold with our established local fabrication capability and by building upon successive projects delivered of increasing scale and complexity with existing and new clients. “The support of our new owner, WestStar Industrial, allows the group to execute larger contracts previously constrained by working capital, as well as start to expand the operational footprint to the east coast of Australia where there is further market opportunity for this offering.” Around 35 km northwest of the Yandicoogina mine in the East Pilbara mining region, Koodaideri is a greenfield, open-cut mine development being developed by Rio Tinto. First production is expected in late 2021. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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news

Donlin Gold completes 2020 drilling program “A comprehensive geological understanding of any orebody is a foundational step that few companies in the gold industry do well”

D

onlin Gold, owned 50/50 by Barrick Gold and Novagold Resources, has announced the successful completion of its 85-hole drilling program totalling approximately 23,400 metres. The holes were drilled in both the ACMA and Lewis deposit areas of the Donlin Gold project in Alaska, the second largest gold-producing state in the United States. The primary objective of the 2020 drill program, the largest such campaign at Donlin Gold since 2008, has been to validate and increase the confidence in recent geologic modelling concepts. Once complete, it is expected to drive an update of mining schedules and life of mine business plans. Results to date continue to exceed modelled grade-thickness, with higher grades observed over narrower intervals, particularly in sedimentary rocks. “A comprehensive geological understanding of any orebody is a foundational step that few companies in the gold industry do well,” said Mark Bristow, president and CEO of Barrick. “With an orebody the size, scale, and

quality of Donlin Gold it is of even greater importance in order for the project to successfully deliver maximum value for all our stakeholders. Building on the last two decades of exploration, the results continue to highlight Donlin’s world-class potential.” Greg Lang, Novagold’s president and CEO, said: “With the industry burning through reserves, and grades continuing to decline, great drill results with even higher than modelled grades are exciting for any mining company — and we believe that to be particularly true for Donlin Gold at this late stage of development. The data from the 2020 drill program will be incorporated into an updated model, which could be further verified with additional drilling in 2021. Understanding the optimized geological model will form the basis for determining the best approach for the development of Donlin Gold.” The Donlin Gold project is in the historic Kuskokwim Gold Belt of Southwest Alaska, where it enjoys strong Alaska Native Corporation and community partnerships. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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news

PowerOre becomes QC Copper and Gold

P

owerOre Inc has changes its name to QC Copper and Gold Inc, with effect from 28 September 2020. “There are no other fundamental changes to our business except for a new name and a refocused message and brand,” said CEO Stephen Stewart. “We felt the name QC Copper and Gold better reflects the evolution of our company. QC represents our focus within Quebec, while copper & gold are the commodities which are most prevalent within our Opemiska Project, but also the Chibougamau district at large.” The Opemiska Copper Complex is located adjacent to the town of Chapais, Quebec, within the Chibougamau region. Opemiska is also within the

Abitibi Greenstone belt and within the boundaries of the Province of Quebec’s Plan Nord, which promotes and funds infrastructure and development of natural resource projects. The Opemiska property hosts four past producing underground mines in Springer, Perry, Robitaille and Cooke, previously operated by Falconbridge from 1953 to 1991. Power Ore conducted a 23-hole, 3,300 metre drill program on the Springer Mine in 2019 which showed excellent near surface and long mineralized intervals, along with disseminated potential at Springer. The project has excellent in place infrastructure including a power station and direct access to Highway 113 and the Canadian National Railway.

“QC represents our focus within Quebec, while copper & gold are the commodities which are most prevalent within our Opemiska Project” World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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news

Pilbara Minerals enters conditional agreement to acquire Altura Lithium

L

ithium miner Pilbara Minerals has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire Altura Mining’s lithium project for about $175 million, after Altura went into administration recently. The Altura Project is a producing hard rock spodumene concentrate operation located on an adjoining tenement package immediately to the west of Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora LithiumTantalum Project. The operation is part of the same mineralised system that underpins the Pilgangoora Project and uses similar open-pit mining methods, processing flowsheets and mining equipment. The acquisition of the Altura Project would provide Pilbara Minerals with a unique opportunity to realise tangible operational synergies by consolidating the two neighbouring projects into a single integrated operation. Pilbara Minerals has agreed to pay an upfront cash payment of US$155 million and deferred consideration of

approximately US$20 million for the shares in Altura Lithium Operations Pty Ltd, upon the successful completion of the transaction. “This potential acquisition represents a logical consolidation of two neighbouring operations to unite the greater Pilgangoora orebody, unlocking tangible synergies in both the short and long term,” said Pilbara Minerals’ managing director, Ken Brinsden. “If successful, the acquisition will cement Pilbara Minerals’ position as the largest pure-play ASX-listed lithium company by enterprise value and will provide strong leverage to the expected recovery in lithium prices, driven by the increasing demand for electric vehicles and energy storage applications evident across the world. “We believe this will help safeguard jobs in the Western Australian lithium sector and ultimately create some exciting new growth opportunities that will deliver a range of benefits for the local economy.”

“This potential acquisition represents a logical consolidation of two neighbouring operations to unite the greater Pilgangoora orebody”

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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news Global lithium demand forecast to double by 2024

E3 Metals discovers new lithium enriched aquifer

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ith the annual production of electric vehicles set to grow from 3.4 million in 2020 to 12.7 million in 2024, and battery production growing from 95.3GWh to 410.5GWh over the same period, demand for lithium is expected to rise from a forecasted 47.3kt in 2020 to 117.4kt in 2024 at a 25.5% compound annual growth rate, according to data and analytics company GlobalData. Global demand for lithium will be driven by growth in battery manufacturing facilities, particularly in China - where lithium-ion battery manufacturing capacity is expected to increase from an estimated 388.2GWh in 2020 to 575.3GWh in 2024. “Lithium metal production is expected to reach 134.7kt versus 58.8kt in 2020,” said Vinneth Bajaj, senior mining analyst at GlobalData. “Lithium production over the next four years will be

mainly supported by output from existing Australian mines such as Mount Cattlin and Pilgangoora. Other major mines include Mount Marion, Salar de Atacama and Salar del Hombre Muerto located in Australia, Chile and Argentina, respectively.”

C

anadian lithium developer and extraction technology innovator, E3 Metals, has announced the discovery of lithium enrichment in the Nisku Aquifer, within the company’s permit area in south-central Alberta, with sampled lithium grades ranging up to 75.0 mg/L.

well as the Leduc brine from available oil and gas production wells as part of its ongoing exploration and development. A total of 17 samples were collected across the Nisku and all have demonstrated the presence of higher-grade dissolved lithium within the formation brine.

“We may be able to produce lithium enriched brines from both aquifers from the same well” The Nisku lies above the Leduc Aquifer, in which E3 Metals holds 6.7 million tonnes of LCE1 inferred mineral resource. The Nisku stretches across E3 Metals’ entire permit area, where the company owns the metallic and industrial mineral rights, which include the rights to the lithium within the Nisku. The Nisku has similar geological properties to the Leduc, and as such, it has a comparable propensity for high brine flow rates that may support the production of commercial quantities of lithium. E3 Metals sampled Nisku brine as

“The discovery of lithium in the Nisku expands the known lithium brine volumes and may offer operational benefits,” commented Chris Doornbos, president and chief executive officer of E3 Metals. “The Nisku is laterally extensive across our permit area and has similar aquifer properties to the Leduc, so it will produce brine in much the same way. Wells drilled to access the Leduc intersect the Nisku first, which may allow us to produce lithium enriched brines from both aquifers from the same well, potentially increasing operational efficiencies in the future.” World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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news

Barrick’s Kibali Mine continues to deliver

Twiga pays maiden dividend

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wiga Minerals Corporation, the joint venture between the Tanzanian government and Barrick Gold, has paid a maiden interim cash dividend of $250 million in line with Barrick’s commitment to generate value for all stakeholders through the 50/50 partnership. When Barrick took over the former Acacia Mining’s assets in Tanzania just over a year ago, Twiga Minerals Corporation was

B formed to manage the Bulyanhulu, North Mara and Buzwagi mines (Twiga is the Swahili word for giraffe, Tanzania’s national symbol). Since then, Barrick has paid approximately $205 million to the government in taxes, royalties and dividends in addition to the first payment tranche under the two parties’ agreement to settle pre-Barrick disputes.

“Twiga is the Swahili word for giraffe”

arrick Gold Corporation’s Kibali mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo is on track to deliver at the upper end of its 2020 guidance, according to president and chief executive Mark Bristow. Kibali was the first underground gold mine in the DRC and is one of the largest in the world. It is a global leader

is led by a predominantly Congolese management team in line with our policy of employing and advancing host country nationals.” A tier one mine is one capable of producing at least 500,000 ounces of gold annually for at least 10 years at the lower end of the industry’s cost profile. Bristow said brownfields exploration

“We use automation as an opportunity to further upskill our workers and to reduce our need for expatriate specialists” in automation and continues to improve efficiency and productivity through ongoing technological innovation. In the third quarter it set a new ore delivery record from underground, exceeding nameplate for the first time since the shaft was commissioned in 2018. “Automation is often associated with reduced employment but we use it as an opportunity to further upskill our workers and to reduce our need for expatriate specialists,” said Bristow. “It is worth noting that Kibali – one of Barrick’s elite corps of tier one mines –

was extending Kibali’s life by replacing reserves depleted by mining. Barrick’s exploration teams are also hunting for the next Kibali elsewhere in the DRC. During the past quarter, battery technology was successfully integrated into the Kibali power grid to augment the mine’s three hydropower stations and offset the cyclical load of the winder. In line with Barrick’s global move to cleaner energy sources, the new technology will further reduce the mine’s carbon footprint and use of thermal power. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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news

Sandvik signs long-term agreement with Glencore Queensland Metals

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andvik has recently announced a deal to supply Glencore’s underground mobile mining equipment and aftermarket parts. The agreement, valued at SEK 1.4 billion (A$249 million) over six-years, will see Sandvik become the key provider of drills, loaders and trucks for Glencore’s metalliferous mines in Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. Sandvik will also provide parts, service, rock tools, and digital and automation technology for the new Sandvik fleet. The agreement was signed earlier this year, with Glencore placing an initial equipment order worth SEK 300 million (A$47 million), which was reported in the second quarter report, with a Sandvik DD421 development drill the first piece of equipment supplied under the deal on 1 September 2020. The deal follows more than a year of negotiations after Glencore issued a heavy mining equipment tender in 2018. “We spent nearly a year working

closely with the Glencore team to identify exactly what was needed for the long-term success of their assets,” said Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology’s global account manager for Glencore, Tim Redmond. “Our solutions enabled us to optimise the upfront capital costs and provide a competitive supply of aftermarket services moving forward.” The agreement will see all heavy mobile mining equipment at Glencore Queensland Metals’ sites being supplied by the one original equipment manufacturer, instead of multiple suppliers. “This innovative partnership with Sandvik will help us improve the way we operate and maintain mobile equipment in our underground mines by providing us with a real reduction in the total cost to operate our primary fleet, an important factor in enabling a sustainable future for our mining operations,” said Simon Pope, Glencore Queensland Metals General Manager − Mining.

“This innovative partnership with Sandvik will help us improve the way we operate and maintain mobile equipment in our underground mines”

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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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.

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news Azimut and SOQUEM start drilling on Pikwa property

Battle North Gold starts exploration at Red Lake

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zimut Exploration has started a minimum 2,000-metre (12-hole) maiden diamond drilling program on the Pikwa Property in the James Bay region of Quebec. Following a recently completed ground geophysical survey, the objective is to test a major 10-kilometre-long coppergold target (the Copperfield East target) defined by several spatially coincident features. The Pikwa Property is part of

the James Bay Strategic Alliance between Azimut and SOQUEM, a subsidiary of Investissement Québec. Azimut is the operator for the Alliance. The property was acquired in 2016 following systematic gold predictive modelling over the James Bay region. The Pikwa Property is 40 kilometres long by 17 kilometres wide and provides a controlling position over a major polymetallic target. It is located 303 kilometres east of the Cree community of Wemindji in an area serviced by excellent infrastructure, including permanent roads, power grids and airport facilities. The Trans-Taiga Road, a major gravel highway in the region, crosses the property, as do two power lines.

B

attle North Gold has commenced regional exploration work on its Red Lake properties in northern Ontario, with emphasis on the highpriority targets of McCuaig, East Bay, Slate Bay/DMC and Sidace Lake. “Our Red Lake properties contain several high-potential exploration targets that have shown signatures of high-grade mineralization from historical exploration drilling,” said president and chief executive officer George Ogilvie.

Gold Project is on the verge of completion, so the company will be intensifying exploration efforts on its vast Red Lake Properties. Battle North owns more than 28,000 hectares of prime exploration land in Red Lake and believes that the thorough exploration of these Red Lake Properties could unlock organic growth opportunities outside of the Bateman Gold Project and the nearby String of Pearls exploration targets. The company has budgeted C$10

“The initial review of our Red Lake properties positions us to commence exploration drilling in early 2021” “We believe there is the potential for a major discovery on our Red Lake properties and the targets we have identified are within trucking-distance of our significant infrastructure at the Bateman Gold Project. “The initial review of our Red Lake properties and the historical exploration work completed, positions us to commence exploration drilling in early 2021.” The maiden feasibility study for the 100% owned, shovel-ready Bateman

million for exploration work for completion by 31 December 2021. Battle North Gold Corporation was previously known as Rubicon Minerals Corporation until July this year, when it formally changed its name, ‘to reflect the company’s culture of perseverance, determination, tenacity and resilience, as part of the Northern Ontario community of Red Lake’. The company also changed the name of its flagship Phoenix Gold Project to the Bateman Gold Project. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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Solutions for Detecting Rips in Conveyor Belts Andrew I. Hustrulid, PhD, PE

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onveyor belts rip longitudinally, primarily by being impinged by foreign objects such as drill steel, rock bolts, steel liner plates or rock slabs that penetrate through the belt and become lodged in the impact bed structure or surrounding steel. The majority of time the rip occurs at the tail or loading point of the conveyor, but occasionally does occur elsewhere along the conveyor.

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Steel cord belts are particularly susceptible to belt rips as they have no, or limited, rip resistance strength. Once a foreign object penetrates the belt there is nothing to force the object free, so it is not uncommon to see the entire belt length rip into two pieces. Belts carrying primary crushed ore are occasionally fitted with an additional fabric or metal breaker layer to provide

additional impact resistance. This can provide some additional protection against damaging the steel cords but only offers limited protection against rips. The consequences from a rip in a steel cord belt are significant. Rips are generally long and make the conveyor essentially inoperable. These belts are often the lifeline of the mine, carrying

the ore from the primary crusher a long distance to the processing plant or coal up the steep slope out of an underground mine. Steel cord belts are only made to order and typically have a multi month lead time to be manufactured. The costs of the belt and the replacement service can also be substantial. Vulcanized repairs and/or installing mechanical clips offer temporary, but marginal, results in returning to operation. Frantic calls looking for used steel cord belt around the world are not uncommon following the rip of a steel cord belt. For these reasons it is not uncommon for mining companies or their insurance companies to require that rip detection systems are installed and in operation on critical steel cord conveyors. Fabric conveyor belts are less impacted by rips. Due to their multiply woven nature foreign objects are less likely to penetrate the entire carcass. When an object does penetrate the carcass the strength of the carcass may dislodge the object from the belt and/or the rip will migrate out the side of the belt, limiting damage to a limited portion of the entire length. Straight warp fabric designs have historically performed well in high impact and potential rip applications. Fabric belts are also commonly held as spares, stocked at distributors, or available with a lead time of a few weeks from the manufacturer, limiting the necessity for rip detection in fabric belts. Over the last five decades a few different types of rip detection systems have been developed. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

 

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loop based systems

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he most common systems in use today are two different loopbased systems where an inductive loop is placed in the conveyor during manufacturing and later read with a transmitter and receiver in the field. If a loop is expected, but not found, the controller concludes that the loop has been cut and the conveyor is stopped. The transmitter and receiver to detect the loop are generally placed a short distance following the load point. The general principal is that a transmitting coil generates an electromagnetic field (EMF) at a relatively low frequency of approximately 56.5 kHz. If the coil in the belt is intact, a current is induced which then generates a second EMF that is detected by a receiving coil mounted on the opposite side of the conveyor. If the coil in the belt is not intact, the receiving coil should not receive a signal. However, due to their relatively close proximity of only the belt width, one challenge is when the transmitter and

“The system knows that a loop is there and not some other object when the signal reverses”

receiver “couple” to each other when no loop is present. This can be caused by the positioning of the sensor heads, high gain and/or sensitivity settings, a splice in the belt or other metallic objects on the belt. Two methods have been employed to avoid the coupling issues: • When using the “Figure 8” loops the signal detected by the receiving antenna is reversed or inverted when the loop is present. The system knows that a loop is there and not some other object when the signal reverses. • The systems with the rectangular loops take a completely different approach. The transmitter and receiving heads have a polarization in their electromagnetic fields. When they are positioned approximately perpendicular to each other their fields do not interact. Here the word approximate is used because there is some fringing of the fields and they are not perfectly polarized. The long transmitting coil creates a current in the end of the loop and the receiving coil picks up the current from the wires that cross the belt width. These systems have worked over the years but many mines and service technicians report that they can be difficult to maintain and can have false nuisance trips that are costly to follow up

Figure 1 - Figure 8 Loop with Sensor Configuration

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on, lead to unplanned down time and may eventually lead to the system being turned off completely or not believed when an actual rip does occur. Better understanding of the systems, improved software, user interfaces and remote monitoring have improved the usability of these systems. Typical difficulties that have been experienced over the years are:1. Physical damage to the systems. 2. Poor or intermittent reading of the loops. 3. The system not knowing where it is in the revolution of the belt. Operating in a mining environment it is not uncommon for the systems to be physically damaged. Types of damage experienced are severe corrosion due to the corrosive mine environment, sensors position being changed or completely dislodged due to impact from material falling off the belt, and sensors or control boxes being flooded in wet mining environments. To overcome these challenges, control boxes are available in stainless steel or hard plastic cases, sensors are encased in epoxy or secondary hard plastic cases, and it is recommended that the customer carry spares of all components mounted on or near the conveyor. The principal of these loop systems is an inductive loop, installed in the


“The transmitter and receiving heads have a polarization in their electromagnetic fields. When they are positioned approximately perpendicular to each other, their fields do not interact. Here the word approximate is used because there is some fringing of the fields and they are not perfectly polarized” conveyor. Reliable reading of the loops, while also seeing a false loop when one isn’t present, is a challenge. The loop can be installed in either the top or bottom cover. Installing the loop in the bottom cover provides additional protection from impacting material and will place the loop closer to the transmitter and receiver without the steel cords of the belt between the two. However, often a thicker pulley cover is required to accommodate the thicknesses of the loop. Typical minimum cover thickness to accommodate the loop is 6mm. The wire used in the loops is carefully selected to resist fatigue and corrosion. Typical constructions are a copper core enclosed in stainless steel shielding. The solder joint of the two ends of the wire is a potential failure point so cable splices are typically done with individual strand ends staggered at up to seven unique locations around the loop. Additional attention needs to be paid to the rubber compounds used to encapsulate the antennae to ensure they do not react with the core metal or the shielding. The figure 8 sensors are shown in Figure 1. The transmitting coil is supplied with 15 volts. When a loop is not present the transmitter can couple with the receiver. Antennae on the surface of the PCB act to align the rf waves.

Solutions for Detecting Rips in Conveyor Belts

The current generated by the transmitter can be seen moving in the opposite direction as it passes over the receiver in the Figure 8 Loop. Systems using the rectangular loops use transmitters and receivers with polarized linear radio frequency fields. The system operates at 12 volts and a frequency of 56.5 kHz and the long transmitter generates a current in the wire at the end of the loops nearest the belt edge. The receiver is placed perpendicular over the wires crossing the belt picks up the signal. The signal in the receiver changes direction as the sensor passes under the middle of the loop. The rectangular loop configuration is shown in Figure 2. Figure 2 - Rectangular Loop with Sensor Configuration

One byproduct of the close integration between the sensor types and the loop design is that different sensors don’t necessarily work well with alternate loop types. The linear sensor heads can usually read the figure 8 loops, but the cylindrical sensor heads cannot read the rectangular loops. This can lead to replacement belt sales tied into a particular belt manufacturer. Several different belt manufacturers utilize the rectangular loops. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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operating modes

I

n the simplest operating mode, the controller keeps track of the maximum time expected between each loop. The PLC informs the system that the belt is running and if a loop is not detected within a set number of seconds the system flags that the belt has been ripped. By adding a speed sensor to the system, the control unit can keep track of the position of the belt as it moves around the system. Instead of the basic time between loops, the system can now keep track of the distance between loops. Knowing the position of the belt as it rotates around the conveyor system is critical. The speed sensor is typically measured on a non-driven pulley in case there is belt slippage. Modern systems use two encoders detecting targets on the pulley shaft or the pulley rim. Dual encoders are required to pick up not only belt speed but the direction of rotation. As the belt starts or stops a pulley may temporarily run backwards. With only one proximity probe this may look like additional space in the belt which causes problems. Additional recommendations are to use industry standard speed measurement devices, dual output sensors to reduce the number of sensors required on the pulley, and for systems mounted near the head of the conveyor system the speed detection should be mounted on the same side of the take-up as the sensor heads, and finally the speed targets on the pulley should be equally spaced. More advanced operating modes learn the pattern of loops in the conveyor and then, based on either a short or long loop spacing, can identify a starting position in the belt. While the system is either learning the loops spacing or looking for the start of the pattern it will operate in the maximum loop spacing mode. In practice this model can be problematic as weak loops may or may not be picked up during training, short (or long) loop spacings may be similar in the belt, and

“By adding a speed sensor to the system, the control unit can keep track of the position of the belt as it moves around the system. Instead of the basic time between loops, the system can now keep track of the distance between loops” the system must be retrained when there are any changes to the conveyor such as adding or changing a splice. Starting in 2005 manufacturers started installing RFID chips adjacent to the rip panels. These chips, picked up by a separate sensor, each had a unique ID associated with them, enabling the system to immediately know where it is in the belt revolution once the first RFID chip passes the sensor. This improved the availability of the rip detection systems significantly. The RFID chips can either be installed at the time of manufacture or retrofit into existing systems in the field. It is also common to install, at a minimum, one RFID chip in the conveyor so that the system can find at least one unique start point. RFID chips are being used in conveyor belts for other purposes. Examples include marking the splice locations and details and marking distances from just before to after the splice in an effort to monitor splice stretch, which may indicate impending failure. RFID readers may also read the chips as they pass on the belt going in the opposite direction. For example, an RFID sensor monitoring the carry run of the belt may also pick up the RFID chips as they pass on the return run on the opposite side of the conveyor. It’s critical to not only return that an RFID chip was present but also the ID number of the chip.

Problems with Belt Mistracking

T

he performance of the system is dependent on the sensors in the belt properly positioned over the transmitter and receiving heads. If the belt mistracks this causes the relative position of the loops to the sensor heads to shift and the read loop strength may decrease. With the rectangular loops the allowable mistracking is limited by the length of the transmitter which passes over the end of the loop. In 2002 the transmitter length was increased from 250mm to 400mm to allow for more mistracking. This should allow the belt to track +/- 200 mm. The figure 8 loops initially had two smaller circular loops that were designed to pass over the transmitter and receiver. This permitted minimal mistracking. Over time the pattern has changed to two elongated loops. The length of these loops is dependent on the belt width. For a 1524mm wide belt the permitted mistracking is approximately +/- 160 mm. The size and placement of the loops in the belt is also critical. If the loops are not located consistently across the belt width, or a smaller loop is inserted, sporadic problems with the reading of the loops can occur, leading to false trips. Belt lift off during starting or running at the location where the sensor heads are, may also lead to false trips. When the belt lifts off the loops are farther away from the sensor heads, decreasing the signal strength, and potentially resulting in a missed loop. For optimum reliability with the loop system the belt should track consistently over the transmitter and receiving heads, all of the belt loops should be the same size and consistently located across the belt width and the belt should maintain positive contact with the adjacent idlers at all times.

“The EMSYS system has two RF tags mounted in the belt, one on each side, connected by two wires. These are referred to as Smartwires”

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The Next Generation of Rip Detection

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FID technology has significantly advanced since 2005. The chips are now amazingly small, can be read from further distances and can also include sensing and measurements. There is significant commercialization of RFID chips beyond conveyor belts which has led to industry wide standardization and significant development. There are three common frequency ranges used with RFID that are summarized in Table 1.

Solutions for Detecting Rips in Conveyor Belts

Table 1 - Industry Standard RFID Frequencies

STRENGTH

RANGE

FREQUENCY

Low Frequency

Ability to penetrate metal surfaces

8 Inches to 6 feet

125 – 134 kHz

High Frequency

Medium to high water content

Inches to a couple of feet

13.56 MHz

Ultra-High Frequency

Good for transmitting data

Up to 50 ft

433 and 860-960 Mhz

Figure 3 - Smart Wire and Sensor Head

E

MSYS is the first company to fully incorporate these technologies into belt rip detection. Instead of a large antenna inserted into the belt, the EMSYS system has two RF tags mounted in the belt, one on each side, connected by two wires. These are referred to as Smartwires. The two chips operate at industry standard RFID frequencies of HF and UHF. One chip draws power from the external transmitter and powers the other chip that is picked up by the receiver. If the connection between the two chips is lost, due to a belt rip, then the receiving RFID tag reports that the power antennae is cut, and the belt is shut down. To keep the transmitter and receiver from interfering with each other they are operated at different industry standard frequencies. Smartwires are constructed of a Kevlar® braided core for impact resistance and strength. They are made of a silver coated copper wire wound around the Kevlar® core which is then stitched in a z pattern to breaker fabric for resistance to breakage. The solder joints and RFIDs are encased in epoxy to prevent breakage and ensure the longevity of the signal. Each Smartwire has a power tag and an antenna RFID and the tags can be programed with information such as: Unique ID codes

to map to the position in the belt, the date of installation, maintenance dates, etc. Smartwires are warrantied for 1 year and will not impact the performance of the belt or lead to belt failures. Smartwires are placed within the belt, during manufacture or as a 35-minute retrofit for existing conveyor belts, at regular intervals for monitoring the

length of the belt. Smartwires are also manufactured in house at Almex facilities and have short lead times. They do not require special shipping or handling such as refrigeration, because they don’t contain any uncured rubber and are flexible by design. In fact, they can be delivered by courier due to the flexibility and lightweight construction. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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The Path to the Future

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here is a large installed base of rip detection systems in the market. It is unreasonable to expect an end user to replace, at one time, all of their existing loops with Smartwires. However, the end user will still want to take advantage of this new technology. The EMSYS transmitter and receiving heads are designed to read both the existing figure 8 and rectangular loops in the field as well as the new Smartwires. Installing an EMSYS system as a secondary system or replacement system on an existing conveyor with rip detection will expose the additional software advances in the EMSYS system and as loops are gradually replaced with smart wires the overall system reliability will improve.

“The EMSYS transmitter and receiving heads are designed to read both the existing figure 8 and rectangular loops in the field as well as the new Smartwires”

Figure 4 - Replacing Smartwires in the Field

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Maintenance of failed loops in the field

T

he antenna loops do fail. They may fail due to material impact, fatigue, cuts into the conveyor covers or a manufacturing defect. As the loops begin to fail, they may just weaken in their signal strength or show up sporadically – sometimes active and other times not active. These failing loops are a significant contributor to false and nuisance trips with rip detections systems. To reduce the issues with these failing loops it is typically possible to program the controller to ignore specific loops or not look for a loop during specific segments of the belt. Failed loops do not need to be physically removed from the belt, but they should be physically cut and approximately a 25 mm section of the wire removed from the belt, so they are completely inactive. Where the loop is cut can be repaired with a quick curing urethane type compound. When a loop fails, that segment of the belt now has a longer unprotected length. If the original loop spacing was 30 meters, that segment of belt, is now unprotected for 60 meters. To return to the original protection level a new loop needs to be installed. For antenna style loops this requires that the belt is stopped at the correct location, the

“The Smartwires with RFID Tags are much smaller at only 100mm wide. With a specialized grooving device and small, lightweight press, they can be quickly replaced in under an hour with two people” conveyor is appropriately locked and tagged out, a section of the top or bottom cover is removed, the new loop and covers are installed and the rubber vulcanized with a press approximately 800 mm wide. Once cooled the belt can be removed from service. This process, after the belt is tagged out, should typically take an experienced crew about four hours. The antennae are typically supplied from the belt manufacturer in a rubberized panel compatible with the belt rubber. The Smartwires with RFID Tags are much smaller at only 100mm wide. With a specialized grooving device and small, lightweight press, they can be quickly replaced in under an hour with two people. This technique is shown in Figure 4.


Solutions for Detecting Rips in Conveyor Belts

Belt Installation

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he coordination of the manufacture of a large steel cord belt with the steps for the planned installation onsite is often overlooked. The OEM or customer orders a new steel cord belt with specified loops spacing of, for example 30 meters. The belt manufacturer makes the belt with a loop spacing of 30 meters, but due to the way steel cord belts are manufactured the roll lengths have minimal variations in length. If all the rolls are installed exactly in the direction and order they were manufactured in, then the loop spacing on the installed belt will be correct. However, this is often overlooked, and the belts installed in a random order which results in significant variations in the loops spacings around the splices. Some being shorter than expected and others longer. Even less ideal is when a few, possibly half, of the belt rolls get installed in the opposite direction than the remainder. This can lead to tracking problems which is detrimental to rip detection, and a big problem in the case of RFID tags where there is a specific edge of the belt that needs to be over the reader.

World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

 

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Recommendations Recommendations for rip detection system:.

1 2 3 4 5 6

Transmitter and receiving heads are located on the conveyor system and in close proximity to the belt. The devices, connections and mounting bracket should be rugged enough to survive in the mining environment. The control system is mounted near the conveyor system. It too should be rugged enough for the mining environment. At the location where the transmitter and receiver are mounted the tracking of the belt should be as consistent as possible and maintain constant contact with the adjacent idlers. The system should be capable of working with different loop styles and RFID chips from various belt manufacturers. The system should report and record the strength and history of each loop, tag or panel so that their life can be monitored over time. The system should be accessible remotely, either in the office at the mine site, or over the internet to reduce the required access to the controller located at the conveyor system.

Rip Detection Based on Belt Width

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ystems that do not require antennae or panels to be installed in the conveyor belt are also desirable. Companies have tried ultrasonic systems, camera systems, and even simple systems that look for material spillage as an indication of a belt rip. A new system in this class based on mapping and measuring the width of the belt, the WRS has been developed by

EMSYS. A single RFID chip is installed in the belt to identify a start position, a proximity sensor on the pulley is used to record the distance and a mechanical system is used to measure the belt width as it travels past a fixed point on the conveyor. Any changes in the belt width compared to the stored pattern raises a belt rip alert and the conveyor is stopped. This creates an additional benefit of edge damage detection. The WSR compares the conveyor belt to

“A new system in this class based on mapping and measuring the width of the belt, the WRS has been developed by EMSYS. A single RFID chip is installed in the belt to identify a start position, a proximity sensor on the pulley is used to record the distance and a mechanical system is used to measure the belt width as it travels past a fixed point on the conveyor” stored data and changes in the edge profile are detected. If the edge of the belt is newly damaged, changing the belt width, the conveyor will also be shut down. To measure the belt width the positions of both the left and right edge are compared. This cancels out the belt tracking, as well as records the tracking signature of the conveyor.

Figure 5 - Belt Width Rip Detection System (WSR)

When a conveyor belt is ripped due to a foreign object it will exhibit one of two different states – spreading or shearing. The WSR System utilizes an offset idler in front of the system to amplify these actions and accurately detect a rip.

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Solutions for Detecting Rips in Conveyor Belts

Figure 6 - Belt Spread and Shearing

Direction of conveyance

spreading (positive belt width change)

Direction of conveyance

shearing (negative belt width change)

Because the width-based system does not rely on antennae, it will detect a rip immediately after it begins, due to the change in the width of the belt. As a result, less belt will be ripped with a width-based system than one with loops spaced intermittently throughout the belt.

Conclusion

A

dvances in technology have improved the solutions for detecting rips on conveyor belts. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology can now be applied to not only identify the location of a panel in the belt but also report on the condition of the antennae. This eliminates the need for large low frequency panels in the belt. The smaller size of the RFID based Smartwires significantly reduces the field installation time for new installations and replacements. To help end users transition to the new Smartwire technology the transmitter and sensor heads are designed to read both the figure 8 and rectangular loop styles common in the marketplace. For belts not initially manufactured with loops, operators looking to add rip detection to their systems should consider the modern width-based system, the EMSYS WRS.

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Conveyor Belt

Management

REDEFINED

• RFID BASED RIP DETECTION • BELT POSITION MONITORING • AUTOMATED BELT TRACKING • EDGE DAMAGE DETECTION • THERMAL IMAGING • TONNAGE AND SPEED • SPLICE AND CABLE DAMAGE DETECTION • REMOTE MONITOR I CONTROL I SCAN

EMSYS puts it all in the palm of your hand PAY MONTHLY I TEXTILE OR STEEL I RETROFITABLE I CONVEYOR BELT WARRANTY

Email us at info.emsys@almex.com for a presentation and to hear more


bhp a diversified portfolio BHP’s diversified portfolio and high quality assets, together with a strong balance sheet, have made the company resilient in the face of the ongoing market uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic

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M

ining is an uncertain and risky business at the best of times, and the last six months have not been the best of times, by a long way. The global economy has been seriously compromised by COVID-19, with demand for resources collapsing as industries were put on hold. Mining activities have been curtailed in some countries, while those that continued mining have had to find new ways of operating to protect their workforce and local communities. The pandemic is far from over, of course, and it would be rash to suggest that anything will ‘return to normal’ in the near future, but considering the speed at which the virus spread and the measures that had to be taken to limit its impact, BHP has shown remarkable

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resilience in terms of production at the end of its financial year. In its Operational Review for the year ended 30 June 2020, BHP attributes its strong performance to “the commitment of our workforce, our disciplined controls and financial strength,” which “enabled us to continue to safely operate through the COVID-19 pandemic.” Some mining jurisdictions were affected more severely than others, and the company’s performance reflects that, but BHP still managed to meet its full year production guidance for iron ore, metallurgical coal and its operated copper and energy coal assets. Production was lower than guidance at the Antamina copper and zinc mine in Peru and at the Cerrejón coal mine in Colombia, following the temporary

“Mining activities have been curtailed in some countries, while those that continued mining have had to find new ways of operating to protect their workforce and local communities”


bhp a diversified portfolio

suspension of operations due to COVID-19, but both operations are now ramping back up. Amazingly, record production was achieved at Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO), and at Queensland Coal’s Caval Ridge and Poitrel mines, despite impacts from wet weather and COVID-19. Record coal was also mined at Broadmeadow in the Bowen Basin and in Chile, record average concentrator throughput was delivered at the Escondida copper mine.

Copper

With higher production at Escondida and Olympic Dam offset by lower production at Antamina, BHP reported group copper equivalent production for the 2020 financial year broadly in line

with the previous year, but volumes are expected to be slightly lower in 2021. In Australia, Olympic Dam copper production increased by seven per cent to 172 kt, supported by solid underground mine performance, record grade and the prior period acid plant outage. This was partially offset by the impact of planned preparatory work undertaken in the September 2019 quarter related to the replacement of the refinery crane and unplanned downtime at the smelter during the March 2020 quarter. The physical replacement and commissioning of the refinery crane is expected to be completed in the March 2021 quarter. Underground development into the Southern Mine Area progressed to plan over the year, and provided access to higher copper grade ore. Production for the 2021 financial year is expected to increase to between 180 and 205 kt. Production for the 2022 financial year is expected to be lower as a result of the major smelter maintenance campaign planned for the first half of the year. For the majority of the June 2020 quarter, BHP’s Chilean assets operated with a reduction in their operational workforces of approximately 35 per cent to incorporate measures in response to COVID-19. The company expects the operating environment to remain challenging, with workforce reductions likely to remain at a similar level during the September 2020 quarter. Nevertheless, Escondida copper production increased by four per cent to 1,185 kt, with record June 2020 quarter concentrator throughput of 382 ktpd lifting annual concentrator throughput to a record 371 ktpd. This offsets the impact of a three per cent decline in copper grade, stoppages associated with the social unrest in Chile and the reduced workforce. BHP said the new records were achieved through continued improvements in operational and maintenance practices leading to increased availability and utilisation at the site’s three concentrators. Also in Chile, Pampa Norte consists of two wholly owned operations in the Atacama Desert – Spence and Cerro Colorado. Here copper production decreased by two per cent to 243 kt, with strong operating performance offset by grade decline of approximately

14 per cent. Production for the 2021 financial year is expected to be between 240 and 270 kt, reflecting the reduced operational workforce due to COVID-19, the start-up of the Spence Growth Option Project and expected grade decline of approximately seven per cent. Cerro Colorado is adjusting its mine plan to meet operational requirements for the remaining period of its current environmental licence, which expires at the end of 2023. The adjustment to the mine plan will result in reduced operations and reduced headcount. The resizing measures will be implemented over the next four months. Cerro Colorado is, however, also exploring development options that could allow mining operations to continue beyond the end of 2023, including the preparation of new environmental studies required to apply for new permits. In accordance with BHP’s water stewardship commitments, any continuation of production beyond 2023 would be performed using seawater as a replacement for freshwater usage.

Iron Ore

With Brazilian operations at Samarco suspended after the failure of the Fundão tailings dam and Santarém water dam on 5 November 2015, all of BHP’s iron ore has been produced in Australia. Operational readiness activities for Samarco’s restart have been slowed by a reduction in the workforce, as part of the COVID-19 response. Restart can occur when the filtration system is complete and Samarco has met all necessary safety requirements, and will be subject to final approval by Samarco’s shareholders. In FY20, total iron ore production increased by four per cent to a record 248 million tons. BHP expects production of between 244 and 253 Mt in the 2021 financial year. Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) is an integrated system of four processing hubs and five mines, connected by more than 1,000 kilometres of rail infrastructure and port facilities in the Pilbara region of northern Western Australia. At each mining hub – Newman, Yandi, Mining Area C and Jimblebar – ore World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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from mines is crushed, beneficiated (where necessary) and blended to create high-grade hematite lump and fines products. WAIO’s performance included record production at Jimblebar and Yandi. Weather impacts from Tropical Cyclone Blake and Tropical Cyclone Damien were offset by strong performance across the supply chain, with significant improvements in productivity and reliability following a series of targeted maintenance programs over the past four years. This enabled WAIO to produce at a record annualised run rate above 300 Mt during the June 2020 quarter.

Coal

BHP’s Australian coal assets are in

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Queensland and New South Wales. Metallurgical coal production was down three per cent to 41 Mt in FY20 as a result of significant wet weather events in the prior quarter and geotechnical constraints at South Walker Creek. Production is expected to be between 40 and 44 Mt in the 2021 financial year. Queensland Coal comprises the 50/50 BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) and BHP Mitsui Coal (BMC) assets in the Bowen Basin in Central Queensland. BMA is Australia’s largest coal producer and supplier of seaborne metallurgical coal. It is owned 50:50 by BHP and Mitsubishi Development. BMA operates seven Bowen Basin mines (Goonyella Riverside, Broadmeadow, Daunia, Peak Downs, Saraji, Blackwater and Caval Ridge) and owns and operates the Hay

“Some mining jurisdictions were affected more severely than others, and the company’s performance reflects that, but BHP still managed to meet its full year production guidance for iron ore, metallurgical coal and its operated copper and energy coal assets”


bhp a diversified portfolio

Point Coal Terminal near Mackay. With the exception of the Broadmeadow underground longwall operation, BMA’s mines are open-cut, using draglines and truck and shovel fleets for overburden removal. BMC owns and operates two open-cut metallurgical coal mines in the Bowen Basin – South Walker Creek Mine and Poitrel Mine. BMC is owned by BHP (80 per cent) and Mitsui and Co (20 per cent). South Walker Creek Mine is located on the eastern flank of the Bowen Basin, 35 kilometres west of the town of Nebo and 132 kilometres west of the Hay Point port facilities. Poitrel Mine is situated southeast of the town of Moranbah and began open-cut operations in October 2006. At Queensland Coal, strong underlying

operational performance, including record underground coal mined at Broadmeadow and record annual production at Caval Ridge and Poitrel, was offset by planned major wash plant shutdowns in the first half of the year and significantly higher rainfall during January and February 2020 compared with historical averages. Blackwater, the company’s largest mine, was the most severely impacted by flooding, with mining operations stabilised during the June 2020 quarter and a return to full capacity expected towards the end of the September 2020 quarter. Technology has played an enormous role in recent operations by allowing several mine sites to work remotely in response to the challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak. Some of the specialised equipment and computer programs required to carry out the work were too large and complex for conventional laptops, which had previously restricted remote working. In March, BHP’s Resource Engineering team launched the Technical Computing Environment (TCE) project to make some of these programs available off site by hosting them in an online data centre that the teams could access remotely. This proved a game changer for the mine scheduling teams across the Queensland Coal business. Hayden Bachmann, the Scheduling Manager at BMA’s Blackwater coal mine in Queensland, says the transition from site to remote working has been seamless. “We have access to the TCE from home which gives us access to the programs we need to do our jobs,” he said. “The team has set up their home offices which include large monitors and ergonomic work stations as most of the design work they do requires a large monitor to fit the design work on. Absolutely no one works from the kitchen table.” Jonathan Regan, the Mine Scheduling Manager at BMA’s Caval Ridge coal mine, manages a team of around 20 engineers and has been impressed with how they’ve taken to remote working. “We’re still in regular contact with the execution teams on the ground,” he said. “The move to working from home hasn’t impacted the performance of the team at all. I think they’ve taken it as an

opportunity to show that there’s a way of being flexible on the frontline.” Energy coal production decreased by 16 per cent to 23 Mt in 2020. Production is expected to be between 22 and 24 Mt in the 2021 financial year, while NSWEC production decreased by 12 per cent to 16 Mt as a result of the change in product strategy to focus on higher quality products and unfavourable weather impacts from December 2019 to February 2020. This was partially offset by a strong performance in the June 2020 quarter driven by record truck utilisation. Production is expected to be between 15 and 17 Mt in the 2021 financial year. New South Wales Energy Coal (NSWEC) consists of the Mt Arthur Coal open-cut energy coal mine in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, Australia, which produces thermal coal for domestic and international customers in the energy sector. Earlier this year Reuters reported that BHP was looking to reduce its exposure to fossil fuels by trying to find a buyer for the Mt Arthur operation. In Colombia, production at Cerrejón decreased by 23 per cent to 7 Mt due to a temporary shutdown during the June 2020 quarter in response to COVID-19, as well as a focus on higher quality products, in line with the mine plan. The temporary shutdown lasted for approximately six weeks and allowed for completion of COVID-19 control measures to meet the Colombian Government’s regulations. Production is expected to be approximately 7 Mt in the 2021 financial year. Cerrejón is owned in equal parts by subsidiaries of BHP, Anglo American and Glencore.

Nickel

All of BHP’s nickel operations (mines, concentrators, a smelter and refinery) are located in Western Australia, where Nickel West is a fully integrated mineto-market nickel business. Nickel West production decreased by eight per cent in FY20 to 80 kt due to the major quadrennial maintenance shutdowns at the Kwinana refinery and the Kalgoorlie smelter, as well as planned routine maintenance at the concentrators in the December 2019 quarter. Operations ramped back up to full capacity during the March 2020 quarter World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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and ran at full capacity during the June 2020 quarter. With the major planned maintenance and the transition to new mines now complete, total nickel production is expected to increase to between 85 and 95 kt in the 2021 financial year. In June this year BHP agreed to acquire the Honeymoon Well Nickel Project comprising the Honeymoon Well development project and a 50 per cent interest in the Albion Downs North and Jericho exploration joint ventures from MPI Nickel Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel Australian Holdings BV. BHP Nickel West is already a 50 per cent shareholder in the Albion Downs North and Jericho Joint Ventures. The combined tenement package is located

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in the northern Goldfields region of Western Australia, approximately 50 kilometres from BHP’s Mt Keith mine and 100 kilometres from its Leinster concentrator. “This is an exciting opportunity to enhance our world-class nickel resource base in Western Australia,” said BHP’s Nickel West Asset President, Eddy Haegel. “Proximity to our existing facilities makes us the natural owners of these deposits, and provides potential options to bring the undeveloped resources to market.” “Nickel continues to be an essential input into new technologies that will improve the battery storage needed for renewables and electric vehicle manufacturing. Consistent with our strategy to invest in future facing

“Operations at Nickel West ramped back up to full capacity during the March 2020 quarter and ran at full capacity during the June 2020 quarter”


bhp a diversified portfolio

commodities, this transaction gives us access to explore and develop these prospective nickel sulphide tenements.”

Development projects

At the end of the 2020 financial year, BHP had several major projects under development in copper, iron ore and potash. The Spence Growth Option Project in Chile is continuing to progress on budget, with the overall project 93% complete, but as a result of measures put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the first copper production is now expected between December 2020 and March 2021. After a reduction in the on-site workforce, the desalination plant will be commissioned in the first half of the 2021 financial year.

BHP holds various exploration permits and mining leases for the Jansen Potash Project, covering 9,600 square kilometres in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. Jansen’s abundant resource allows for it to be developed in stages, with anticipated initial capacity of four million tonnes per annum. The service shaft and production shaft are 1,005 metres and 975 metres deep, respectively. In March this year, final shaft lining work on the two shafts was restricted to one shaft at a time, with reduced crews, as part of the company’s COVID-19 response plan to reduce the on-site interprovincial workforce. Work was resumed on both shafts, however, in June. Timing for completion of the shafts continues to be under review while BHP assesses the impacts of COVID-19 and the temporary reduction in construction activity. Potash is a potassium-rich salt, mainly used in fertiliser to improve the quality and yield of agricultural production. As such, it is a vital link in the global food supply chain. With demands on that supply chain intensifying as the global population rises, the strains on finite land supply mean sustainable increases in crop yields will be crucial. Potash fertilisers will therefore be critical in maintaining soil quality. Construction began in July 2018 on BHP’s US$3.6 billion South Flank iron ore project in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia. When operational, South Flank will be one of the largest iron ore processing hubs in the world. The project will include a crushing and screening plant, an overland conveyor system and rail-loading facilities. The overall project is 76% complete and remains on schedule for first production in the middle of the 2021 calendar year. It is expected to produce 80 million tonnes per annum, replacing volumes from Yandi which will reach the end of its economic life in the earlyto-mid 2020s. As at the end of March 2020, approximately 80 per cent of the contracts awarded are being performed in Australia, of which 95 per cent is within Western Australia. Some interstate employees have relocated to Western Australia to help with the project delivery. Over the life of the

project, it is expected that more than 9,000 people will be engaged in the South Flank work force. The project is using modular construction techniques to speed up the build and the modules are some of the biggest ever delivered into the Pilbara. Around 1500 units of all shapes and sizes are arriving into Port Hedland, but with many up to 15 metres wide, and the largest weighing 354 tonnes, getting them 350 kilometres from Port Hedland to South Flank is a highly complex road transport job involving two years of planning. The modules are assembled into convoys on heavy-lift sleds at Boodarie by transport specialist Mammoet. They travel to site at 40 kilometres per hour, but anything more than 8.5 metres wide has to move at night. In July this year, with ore already being hauled and stockpiled, the mine’s massive primary crushers were slotted into the cliff-like walls of the two run-ofmine (ROM) pads. Over 26 kilometres of high-tech overland conveyors, designed and built in WA, stretch away from each crusher across the undulating Pilbara landscape. In the Operational Review for FY20, BHP’s Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry, summed up the company’s approach to a difficult year. “BHP safely delivered a strong operational performance in the 2020 financial year,” he said, “achieving record production in a number of our operations, and an improved cost base. This performance, achieved in the face of COVID-19 and other challenges, is a result of the outstanding effort of our people and the support of our communities, governments, customers and suppliers. “We continue to focus on becoming even safer, delivering exceptional operational performance, maintaining disciplined capital allocation, creating and securing more options in future facing commodities and building social value. We have learned new ways of working, both internally and with others, through the COVID-19 pandemic. We will seek to embed these in a way that helps to reinforce these priorities.”

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The future of mining is remote “Tomorrow’s winning strategywas invented 40 years ago”

I

n recent decades, the single most talked-about issue in the mining business is no doubt “automation”. A word that immediately makes us think of increasingly sophisticated information and communication systems.

Ultimately, the real key word here is rather “integration” and, in one sense, there is nothing new about

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that. To meet the ever-present need for productivity and workplace safety, especially underground, the world’s mining operators have always strived to optimize their production processes. Which, in turn, have always called for the bird’s-eyes point-of-view. And an integrated outlook, ensuring that every step along the production process contributes to a smooth, integrated workflow. The world’s most sophisticated automation systems and processes

are, to a great extent, built on decades of more or less universal mining challenges, and a wealth of hands-on experience. A true pioneer in both automation and integration is LKAB in northern Sweden. Over the past 40 years or so they have paved the way for modern methods, combining the never-ending chase for competitive productivity with environmental awareness and innovative solutions for workplace safety.


Midroc ab the future of mining

largest underground mines. LKAB Sweden hired Midroc for efficient logistics at the transport level at 1365. This assignment paved the way for Midroc also being hired by the world’s largest gold mine in Indonesia – Grasberg. MIDROC’S operations in automation have been developed for more than a decade. The customer base is wide, from pharmaceutical industries to process industries and mines. Midroc performs electrical design, programming, and systemization regardless of which platform the customer uses for its control.

Kiruna - Sweden

Simplicity from A to Z

During the pioneering years of automation, LKAB made the most of the digital technology available at the time – which, by today’s standards, was anything but impressive. Since then, information and communication systems have developed way beyond anybody’s wildest expectations, and the world’s suppliers of mining automation systems are continually integrating new functions and features to simplify the operators’

workday. The one remaining challenge for many operators has been to make the systems provided by different companies talk freely with each other. True end-to-end integration of best-in-class equipment. And now we are getting there, one step at a time.

Midroc Remote Mining

Midroc Automation has been responsible for train control and parts of process control in some of the world’s

When LKAB planned for a new main level in the Kiruna mine, a goal was far-reaching automation for high productivity. Seven driverless trains on the main level would transport the ore from 38 loading points. Midroc was hired to deliver the process control system Siemens PCS7 and the train control system Interflo 150. Midroc was responsible for all control from the trains being loaded at a drop, emptied automatically in emptying mode, even the ore being crushed. All this is managed from the control room on surface enabling LKAB to optimize the transports, with the video systems and screens that are the operators’ work tools.

Indonesia

The solutions in Kiruna were so good that they inspired the operators of the Grasberg mine when the open pit mine was to be replaced by an underground mine, located in Papua, Indonesia. Representatives from the Grasberg mine visited Kiruna for inspiration and really liked the solution. World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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“We were contracted to develop a similar solution as in Kiruna,” says Magnus Emanuelsson, the senior project manager, who previously was the project manager for the commitments in Kiruna. “In addition to eleven trains, the ore is transported by truck underground and we have built systems to load and optimize truck transport as well. Every day, 240,000 tons of ore are mined, 2.5 times more than in Kiruna, that is.” Midroc has designed three control rooms located outside the mine for Freeport. With joy sticks, the operators remotely handle both loading and rock breaking. The train dispatchers control the driverless trains. The communication is via fiber and wireless. Not least, the camera systems are very extensive,

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where everything that is controlled is also monitored, from loading all the way to the conveyor belt towards the concentrator. “The systems we have delivered also include traffic systems for all trucks, cars and buses that drive shift teams in and out of the mine. Ventilation on demand, gas and air quality monitoring in the mine is also included in the control,” says Magnus Emanuelsson. The Grasberg mine is the world’s largest gold mine and the third largest copper mine. Midroc Automation is happy to take on assignments for everything from small problem solutions to large turnkey deliveries including hardware. “The global technical competence from several industries and several system platforms is one of our strengths,” Magnus concludes.


Midroc ab the future of mining

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newmont corporation adapting to change Resilient in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Newmont continues to lead the gold mining industry with its unmatched assets and award winning environmental, social and governance practices.

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newmont corporation adapting to change

N

ewmont, the world’s largest gold company and also a producer of copper, silver, zinc and lead, has a world-class portfolio of assets in favourable mining jurisdictions in North America, South America, Australia and Africa. Newmont is the only gold producer listed in the S&P 500 Index and is widely recognized for its environmental, social and governance practices. Newmont was ranked 13th overall in 3BL Media’s (formerly Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s) 100 Best Corporate Citizens list for 2020, moving up from 20th on last year’s list. It was the sole mining company in the top 20 and one of only two miners to make the 21st annual list. Newmont has also been recognised

for its ESG performance by several other independent organizations in the past twelve months, including the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI) which named the company the top gold miner for the fifth year in a row in 2019. Newmont was also the top mining company in FORTUNE’s 2020 list of the World’s Most Admired Companies, and Newsweek included Newmont on its first-ever list of America’s Most Responsible Companies for 2020. It’s a legacy to be proud of and a contributory factor, no doubt, in the company’s resilience in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Origins

Colonel William Boyce Thompson founded The Newmont Company in

1916 in New York, as a holding company to invest in worldwide mineral, oil and related companies. According to company legend, the name is a portmanteau of New York, where the founder made his money, and Montana, where he was raised. Now confined to mining, the company produces gold, copper, silver, zinc and lead. Reincorporated as Newmont Corporation in 1921, the company has grown steadily by acquisition and diversification to become, as it approaches its 100th anniversary, the largest gold producer in the world. Listed on the New York stock exchange in 1925, Newmont is one of a select few companies to be listed continuously since that time. Now headquartered in Colorado, Newmont’s operations were World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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initially focused within North America, but the company’s success has led inevitably to global expansion and today Newmont has mining operations in North and South America, Australasia and Africa. The acquisition of Goldcorp in 2019 elevated the company to the no 1 position, only a few months after Barrick Gold had assumed the title with its acquisition of Randgold Resources for $6.5 billion. Joint ventures have been a

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characteristic of the company’s strategy over the years, culminating last year in the creation of Nevada Gold Mines, a JV with Barrick Gold in which Newmont owns 38.5 per cent. Newmont added the word Mining to its name in 1925 and spent a few months recently under the title of Newmont Goldcorp, but in January 2020 it reverted to Newmont Corporation. “We successfully completed two historic transactions in 2019, which

“Now headquartered in Colorado, Newmont’s operations were initially focused within North America, but the company’s success has led inevitably to global expansion”


newmont corporation adapting to change the next 100 years in Newmont’s long and proud legacy of operating discipline, profitable growth, environmental stewardship, and developing the industry’s best talent.”

Nevada Gold Mines

have transformed Newmont into a truly international organization with an unmatched portfolio of assets and prospects in top-tier jurisdictions around the world,” said Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer. “As this company has done many times in the past, Newmont has demonstrated its ability to adapt to change, which is truly a hallmark of our success over the last 100 years. Updating our brand represents a natural step as we approach

Prior to the joint venture with Barrick, Newmont had been mining gold, copper and silver in Nevada for over 50 years, from multiple locations along a 100mile corridor in the northern part of the state. On 4 May 1965, Newmont poured its first gold bar from the Carlin Mine in Nevada, marking the beginning of what has become one of the largest and most productive gold mining districts in the world. Newmont Carlin Trend operations have since generated millions of ounces of gold, created thousands of jobs and helped the communities of northern Nevada grow and thrive over the last five decades. The combined assets of Nevada Gold Mines now comprise 10 underground and 12 open pit mines, two autoclave facilities, two roasting facilities, four oxide mills, a flotation plant and five heap leach facilities. The new JV will rank as the largest gold producing complex in the world by a wide margin, with three of the world’s top 10 tier one gold assets (Barrick’s Cortez; the combination of Barrick’s Goldstrike and Newmont’s Carlin; and Barrick’s Turquoise Ridge with Newmont’s Twin Creeks). Identified synergies are expected to deliver up to $500 million per year over the first five years from 2020, then stepping down over time. These will come mainly from integrated mine planning, optimized mining and processing, cost reductions and the combination of Turquoise Ridge and Twin Creeks into a single mine. Carlin’s integrated mining operations consist of three open pits and four underground mines. The open pits include the Emigrant pit and the Gold Quarry pit in the South end of the Carlin Trend and the Silverstar pit at the North end of the Carlin Trend. The underground mines include Leeville, which is a shaft mine, along with Chukar, Pete Bajo and Exodus, which are portal mines. The Phoenix property comprises the Phoenix and Lone Tree operations.

Phoenix, an open pit operation acquired through the Battle Mountain Gold merger, began operations in 2006. The open pit Lone Tree was acquired through the Santa Fe merger and began operations in 1991. Long Canyon is an open pit mine that began operations in 2016.

Other North America

Newmont also has a mine in the US state of Colorado – the Cripple Creek & Victor Mine (CC&V) in Teller County, southwest of Pikes Peak. CC&V was formed as an operating company for mining operations in 1976, with mining in its Cresson Project starting in 1995. CC&V’s modern, high-tech operations allow for surface mining of various ore types. The majority of the ore is processed in a zero-discharge, valleytype, leach pad to recover gold and silver. In 2015 CC&V commissioned a rod, ball, and flotation mill which processes CC&V’s higher grade, nonoxidized ore. Through the acquisition of Goldcorp, Newmont became the owner four producing mines and three development projects in Canada. The Porcupine operation in Timmins, Ontario, is in one of the world’s great gold producing camps. The Red Lake Mine, one of the world’s largest gold mines, is in another prolific gold district, approximately 150 miles northwest of Dryden, Ontario. Red Lake was sold this year to Evolution Mining for $375 million, plus future contingent payments of up to $100 million tied to new resource discoveries. Musselwhite mine is a fly-in/fly-out operation in northwestern Ontario, 300 miles north of Thunder Bay, while Éléonore is a major new mine in an exciting gold-producing district in the James Bay region of Quebec. Éléonore is a world-class, state-of-theart facility that is among the largest gold mines in Quebec. Its first gold pour was on 1 October 2014, and commercial production was achieved on 1 April 2015. On 23 March 2020, the operation was placed into care and maintenance after consultation with the local First Nation communities, to mitigate the risk of transmission of the coronavirus to the remote northern communities and to comply with the Quebec government’s World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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restriction on non-essential travel within the province. The Quebec government lifted restrictions on 13 April and Newmont engaged with the Cree First Nation Grand Council and the Cree Health Board to determine an acceptable path forward to protect its workforce and communities. Éléonore began rampingup operations in early May and the mill restarted shortly afterwards. Newmont recently opened another new mine, Borden, near Chapleau, Ontario, which achieved commercial production in September 2019. The mine features state-of-the-art health and safety controls, digital mining technologies and processes, and low-carbon energy vehicles. At 1,000 square kilometres, Borden’s land package represents

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additional exploration up-side as the deposit remains open at depth in a favourable mining jurisdiction. Ore from Borden is processed at the existing mill at Porcupine in Timmins, profitably extending operations at the gold mining complex. At Musselwhite, a materials handling project has been undertaken to improve material movement from the mine’s two main zones below Lake Opapimiskan. An underground shaft will hoist ore from the underground crushers, reducing haulage distances and ventilation costs. The project is 95 per cent complete and will be ready for a full system test once the conveyor is installed. The conveyor installation was approximately 65 per cent complete before the site was placed on care and

“Joint ventures have been a characteristic of the company’s strategy over the years, culminating last year in the creation of Nevada Gold Mines, a JV with Barrick Gold in which Newmont owns 38.5 per cent”


newmont corporation adapting to change Production at Peñasquito was further disrupted this year, however, as a result of blockades by local community protesters over land use, water availability, infrastructure and social investments. In April, Peñasquito reached a definitive agreement with the San Juan de Cedros community (one of 25 neighbouring communities) in Zacatecas, Mexico, which resolves all outstanding disputes between the two parties and also includes access to more than 10,000 hectares of the Cedros Ejido’s land for exploration, mineral production and other operational purposes. The agreement expressly states that any future disputes will be resolved through dialogue and free of blockades. The Cedros General Assembly ratified the agreement on 20 August 2020. “This world-class asset already has reserves of approximately 26 million gold equivalent ounces,” said Robert D. Atkinson, Executive VP & COO, “but the significant exploration potential in this prospective district will allow us to extend the value delivery for decades to come. We are very pleased with the outcome of the agreement and believe it is the best path forward for both parties to develop a long-term partnership to create value and improve lives, shifting the dynamic from confrontation to cooperation.”

South America

maintenance in late March. All the parts for the conveyor installation are now in Thunder Bay, and installation will be the first thing to ramp up after a decision is made to resume operations. In Mexico, Goldcorp brought to the new entity its 100 per cent owned Peñasquito mine. Located about 780 kilometres northwest of Mexico City and the country’s largest gold producer, Peñasquito also produces silver, lead and zinc. On 12 April 2020 the operation was placed into care and maintenance to comply with the Mexican government’s response to COVID-19 – the temporary suspension of all non-essential activities. Peñasquito began to ramp up activities again on 18 May and production has now recommenced.

In Peru, Newmont has a 51.35 per cent stake in Yanacocha, the largest gold mine in South America. The other stakeholders are Minas Buenaventura (43.65%) and Sumitomo (5%). Yanacocha, in the province and department of Cajamarca, approximately 800 kilometres northeast of Lima, is situated between 3,500 and 4,100 metres above sea level. It poured its first gold ore bar on 7 August 1993. In October 2018, Newmont’s board of directors approved full funding for Quecher Main, a new open pit which achieved commercial production on 31 October 2019. This extends Yanacocha’s oxide mine life to 2027, and also serves as a bridge to future growth options, including development of Yanacocha’s extensive sulphide deposits. The Yanacocha Sulphides project involves expanding open pit and underground operations, producing gold and copper

from sulphide and oxide material. Newmont expects to make a decision on Yanacocha Sulphides in 2021, with a three-year development schedule for first production in 2024. If approved it has the potential to extend operations to 2041. On 17 March this year, the Yanacocha operation ramped down in response to travel restrictions imposed by the Peruvian government. Limited personnel remained on-site to perform essential work, including security, water treatment, environmental protection, and gold production continued from leach pads. In early May, the operation began remobilizing following the confirmation that Peru’s economic reactivation plan allowed surface mining. Mining and milling operations restarted shortly afterwards. Also in South America is the Merian mine in northeastern Suriname, approximately 150 km southeast of the capital city of Paramaribo. Merian is owned by Suriname Gold Project CV, a partnership between Newmont Suriname (75 per cent) and the state-owned oil company Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname (25 per cent). Newmont Suriname operates the mine on behalf of the limited partnership. Construction of the Merian mine began in August 2014, and commercial production was achieved on 1 October 2016. A significant milestone was reached a mere two years later with the pouring of the one millionth ounce of gold. In 2018, the second phase of the Merian project was completed safely, on time and within budget with the construction of a primary crusher to process harder ores being recovered as the mine gets deeper. Newmont’s Cerro Negro mine sits 600 metres above sea level on the low Patagonian plains in southern Argentina, in the province of Santa Cruz. It’s a two-hour drive south from the closest community, Perito Moreno, and a six-hour drive southwest from Comodoro Rivadavia, where the closest commercial airport with flights to Buenos Aires is located. Newmont Cerro Negro has three highgrade underground operating mines, Eureka, Mariana Central and Mariana Norte, and two underground deposits being developed, Emilia and San World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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Marcos, as well as five other deposits in late-stage evaluation for development to expand the existing operations in the Marianas Complex and establish operations in the Eastern District. The extensive Cerro Negro complex has several other deposits and exploration targets, including an open-pit mine known as Vein Zone and one cyanide leach processing facility with Merril Crowe recovery yielding gold recoveries of 90 to 97 per cent. On 23 March this year, the operation was placed into care and maintenance due to travel restrictions imposed by

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the Argentinian government. Essential personnel remained on site to maintain infrastructure, provide security and continue environmental management and ground control activities. In early May, the operation began implementing a safe restart plan. Newmont also has a 40 per cent stake in the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic. Located 100 kilometres northwest of Santa Domingo, Pueblo Viejo produces gold, silver and copper. One of the largest gold assets in the world, it began commercial production in 2013. Pueblo Viejo is

“Newmont has demonstrated its ability to adapt to change, which is truly a hallmark of our success over the last 100 years. Updating our brand represents a natural step as we approach the next 100 years”


newmont corporation adapting to change

operated by Barrick Gold Corporation, which owns 60 per cent.

Australia

Last December, less than a month after Barrick Gold agreed to sell its 50 per cent share of Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (known as the ‘super pit’) to Saracen Mineral Holdings, Newmont followed suit and announced the disposal of its half of the KCGM JV to Northern Star Resources Limited for $800 million. “This transaction generates exceptional value and further strengthens our

financial position by increasing proceeds from our 2019 asset sale agreements to more than $1.4 billion,” said Tom Palmer, president and chief executive officer. “Australia remains a core operating region for Newmont, and the sale of KCGM allows us to focus on investing in profitable growth and long-term value creation at our top-tier Tanami and Boddington complexes, in addition to our active exploration campaigns across the region.” At Boddington in Western Australia, a 3-year stripping campaign in the South Pit is progressing, which is expected to

reach higher grade late this year and continuing through 2021. Newmont approved an autonomous haulage system in February this year and its investment of $150 million began in April with an order for 29 new CAT 793 haul trucks, along with plans to retrofit seven existing CAT 793Fs. The investment will enhance safety and improve productivity to generate significant value over a 14-year reserve life. Boddington is Western Australia’s largest gold producer, delivering 703,000 ounces of gold and 77 million pounds World Mining Magazine www.ogsmag.com

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of copper in 2019. The mine directly employs approximately 2,000 people and is located 135 kilometres southeast of Perth. The Tanami mine is a fly-in, flyout (FIFO) operation in one of Australia’s most remote locations, 540 kilometres north west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Its closest neighbours are the Aboriginal community of Yuendumu. The mine

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first produced gold in 1983 and has been fully owned and operated by Newmont since 2002. Newmont is committed to the continuous improvement of its safety performance and uses technology to do this where appropriate. One example is the industry-leading robotic technology for diamond rig drilling being deployed at Tanami, which removes employees from the line of fire when drilling, and

“The Tanami Expansion 2 project will secure the mine’s future as a long-life, low cost producer, with potential to extend mine life to 2040 by adding a 1,460 metre hoisting shaft”


newmont corporation adapting to change be maintained by Australian Gas Infrastructure Group, while the power stations were constructed and will be operated by Zenith Energy. The successfully completed project is expected to provide the Tanami gold mine a safe and reliable energy source while lowering power costs and carbon emissions by 20 per cent. Completion of the project coincides with Tanami pouring its 10 millionth ounce of gold on the back of record production of 500,000 ounces last year. Tanami is Australia’s second largest underground gold mine and one of the most cost competitive gold producers in the world. The Tanami Expansion 2 project will secure the mine’s future as a long-life, low cost producer, with potential to extend mine life to 2040 through the addition of a 1,460 metre hoisting shaft and supporting infrastructure to achieve 3.5 million tonnes per year of production and provide a platform for future growth. The expansion is expected to increase average annual gold production by approximately 150,000 to 200,000 ounces per year for the first five years beginning in 2023, and is expected to reduce operating costs by approximately 10 per cent. Capital costs for the project are estimated to be between $700 million and $800 million.

Africa

removes the fatality risk associated with equipment entanglement. During 2020, robotic rigs are being added to the global fleet. In March last year Newmont announced the completion of the Tanami Power Project. This included the installation of two power stations, a 66kV interconnected power line, and a 275 mile natural gas pipeline. The pipeline was built and will

Newmont has two operations in Ghana, Ahafo and Akyem. Both continued to operate as the teams responded quickly to ensure preventive controls were in place for COVID-19. The Ahafo mine is located approximately 307 kilometres northwest from the capital city of Accra. It has two primary ore zones, Ahafo South and Ahafo North. Ahafo began commercial production in 2006 and operates both surface and underground mines. In November 2018, Subika, a new underground mine, achieved commercial production, adding highergrade, lower cost gold production at Ahafo south. Akyem is not far from Ahafo. Newmont obtained the mining lease in 2010, began construction in 2011 and achieved commercial production on schedule and below budget in October 2013. The operation currently employs

more than 1,900 direct employees and contractors. In 2017, the Ghana Investment Promotions Center (GIPC) named Akyem the best company in Ghana for the second consecutive year. After delivering a record 2019, Newmont announced that the region would have lower production levels in 2020, while investment continued in the future of the Ahafo operation. Progress stripping continued at Awonsu and Subika open pits, along with underground development for the updated mining method at Subika Underground. At Ahafo North, project work is advancing remotely, with a full funds decision still expected in 2021. At Akyem, solid throughput and mill recoveries helped to offset lower grades due to sequencing during the first quarter of 2020. The site continues to drive improvements at both the mine and mill. On 30 July 2020, Newmont published its results for the second quarter of 2020, highlighting the company’s resilient operating model. “In the second quarter we delivered solid financial performance with $984 million in adjusted EBITDA and $388 million in free cash flow, both substantial increases over the prior year quarter,” said Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our focus remains on ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of our workforce and neighbouring communities as we manage through the Covid pandemic. I am very proud of our workforce for the agility and resolve that they have demonstrated during these challenging times. “We safely and efficiently executed restart plans at our mines previously in care and maintenance and Newmont’s world-class portfolio is well positioned to deliver an even stronger second half of 2020. The ongoing favourable gold price environment amplifies our free cash flow generation, yet our discipline around capital allocation will not change as we continue to invest in profitable projects and provide shareholders industry-leading returns while maintaining a strong balance sheet.”

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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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M

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

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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”

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.”

Potential

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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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

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/

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world mining directory process water treatment

software

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.

sump

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

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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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Profile for World Mining Magazine

World Mining Magazine  

Issue 37. Cover Story: Weir Minerals

World Mining Magazine  

Issue 37. Cover Story: Weir Minerals