World Mining Magazine

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metals of the future

Issue 42

World Mining

the editor

The lithium race



Martin Ashcroft


s the world goes gung-ho for lithium, 2022 will be an interesting year for miners and their customers. Now it has been decided that the way to solve global warming is to electrify everything, manufacturers can’t make electric vehicles fast enough, battery makers can’t keep up with demand and miners can’t produce enough raw material to keep everyone supplied. Luckily, lithium is a relatively abundant metal, but the highpurity lithium chemicals used by battery makers are not so common because lithium extraction, either from brines or hard-rock, involves a series of complex operations that slow production rates and add cost. My inbox pings almost daily with announcements of lithium discoveries, feasibility studies, drill results and funding rounds. In December alone, ACME Lithium reported that it had acquired 27 claims in the pegmatite fields of the Bird River Greenstone Belt in south-eastern Manitoba, Canada. American Lithium Corp announced that initial exploration drilling has been launched at TLC North near Tonopah, Nevada. First Energy Metals announced the results of drilling at its Augustus Lithium Property in Quebec, Canada. Neo Lithium Corp announced positive results from a National Instrument 43-101 Feasibility Study for the production of lithium carbonate from its wholly owned Tres Quebradas lithium

brine project (3Q Project) in Catamarca Province, Argentina. And so it goes on. But the availability of lithium is not the issue. The challenge lies in finding scientific and chemical solutions to enable the production of battery-grade lithium at the necessary scale, at an acceptable price, and, since the ultimate goal is to save the planet, in a sustainable manner. That is why the global mining industry is rapidly electrifying its own machinery, too, of course, ironically adding to the demand for its own materials. Extracting lithium by evaporation from brine is a slow process, but it’s cheap. By contrast, extraction from spodumene and pegmatite is quicker, but expensive. The race is on to speed up the extraction and production of batterygrade lithium compounds, in an environmentally friendly fashion, much more cheaply than we do now. The ultimate goal for manufacturers is to come up with a better battery that holds its charge longer, and is cheaper to produce. This will require serious breakthroughs in extraction and processing of the raw material. Without giving too much away, it might be worth keeping an eye on Medaro Mining, a Canadian junior lithium explorer with extensive properties in Ontario and Quebec, and a proprietary technology which claims to lower spodumene processing costs by up to 50%. It promises to be an interesting race. World Mining Magazine


Contents Cover story glencore: metals of the future Page 8 Page: 5 • 8 • 20 • 30 • 64 • 76 • 90 • 95 • 97 • • 101 • • 103 • • 109 • 111 • •

The Editor: The lithium race Glencore: Metals of the future Caterpillar: Brand building MAXAM TIRE: Driving business forward Newmont Corporation: First among equals BHP: Performance & development Brain drain in the mineral sector spells trouble for critical industries ABB unveils ABB Ability™ eMine to fast- track transition to all-electric mines Otso Gold returns to production and pours first gold Mistango announces 5,000 metre phase 2 drill program at Kirkland West American Eagle engages drill contractor at Golden Gate Project DOE approval for Enertopia lithium research project Nevada Gold Mines in asset exchange with i-80 Gold Corp Rock Tech engages Niigaani Drilling at Georgia Lake IoT set to become No1 technology in mining Loulo-Gounkoto’s new underground mine ramps up Nickel Rock updates exploration program in British Columbia

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2 MAXAM Tire 4 One Eye Industries 13 Elphinstone 25 Envirotech Fire Systems 27 technical translation services, ltd 65 ULTRATECH 68 KCA (Kappes, Cassiday & Associates) 69 THEJO 73 Major Drilling 79 Midroc Remote Mining 81 Graham 92 GDD Instrumentation 93 Goodyear off-the-road 94 Tamrotor (Ingersoll Rand) 96 Canary Systems 98 VEI Group 99 THEJO 100 drytech 102 Vulkan Drive Tech 104 RST Instruments 105 Measurand 106 Hamilton Equipment Company (HEC) 107 Aegion 107 NFP 107 Pivotal Solutions 108 MoistTech Corp 110 KCA (Kappes, Cassiday & Associates) 112 Vigil Anti-Slip 114 Truflo Pumps 116 Major Drilling 118 Pumps 2000 119 World Mining Directory 121 Resemin Asia 122 Derrick 123 Driver Industrial 124 Weir Minerals

news: Page 90

113 • • 115 • 117 • •

caterpillar: brand building Page 20

Uranium potential at Arctic Fox and Isbjorn Properties in Australia St James Gold reports on drilling at Florin Project, Yukon Inomin starts drilling at Beaver-Lynx Nickel-Cobalt Property Akobo Minerals signs contract with MIDROC for a second core-drilling rig BHP delivers first crystals from Kwinana nickel sulphate plant

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

Martin Ashcroft


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glencore Metals of the future Glencore is focusing its capital investment on the metals of the future, but not turning its back on coal

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fter a turbulent year characterised by Covid-19 restrictions, volatile commodity prices and the retirement of both the company’s CEO and Chairman, Glencore is on course to deliver encouraging results in the 2021/2022 financial year. Gary Nagle was appointed as CEO on 1 July 2021, the day after Ivan Glasenberg retired. Both men are South African born, although Glasenberg is now a Swiss citizen. Both also qualified in accountancy at the University of the Witwatersrand and cut their teeth in Glencore on the coal side of the business. Glasenberg became CEO in 2002, and over the next 19 years he guided Glencore’s development from a commodities trader to the fourthlargest mining company in the world,

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“Ivan Glasenberg guided Glencore’s development from a commodities trader to the fourth-largest mining company in the world, a diversified £57 billion multinational natural resources business”


metals of the future however, coal could soon be considered a liability rather than an asset. As investors and policymakers exert pressure on mining companies to tackle climate change, owners of coal mines must find a strategy to satisfy a range of conflicting demands. As part of its long-term commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, Glencore has committed to cutting its carbon dioxide output by 50% from 2019 levels by 2035, mainly by running down its existing coal mines. Where others have sought to divest their coal assets, Glencore’s approach is exemplified by its decision to purchase its JV partners’ shares in the Cerrejón mine in Colombia.

Coal in South America

a diversified £57 billion multinational natural resources business. Nagle joined Glencore in 2000 in Switzerland as part of the coal business development team. After working for five years (2008-2013) in Glencore’s Colombian coal operation, Prodeco, he moved to South Africa to become head of the company’s alloys assets (20132018) and then to Australia as head of its coal assets there. The retirement of Ivan Glasenberg was followed within a month by that of chairman Tony Hayward. Kalidas Madhavpeddi was appointed as the new chairman on 30 July 2021. Hayward joined the board at the time of the company’s IPO in May 2011 and was appointed chairman in 2013. Madhavpeddi joined the board in February 2020. He has over 40 years’ experience in the international mining

industry, including being CEO of China Molybdenum International (China Moly) from 2008 to 2018. Speaking on the release of the company’s third quarter production report, new CEO Gary Nagle said: “The asset base has largely performed in line with our expectations and our full year production guidance remains unchanged. Notably, as energy markets have improved, we are recovering from the market-driven production cuts initiated within our Australian coal portfolio in H2 2020.”

COAL Glencore has a huge portfolio of coal assets in South Africa, Australia and South America. With opposition to fossil fuels spreading from environmental activists to governments and powerful institutional investors,

Cerrejón is an open-pit coal-export mining operation which plays an important role in the Colombian economy and in the region of La Guajira, where it operates the mine, a railroad and port facilities. Hitherto an equal joint venture between Glencore, BHP and Anglo American, when the partners offered to sell their entire shares in the Cerrejón mine, Glencore agreed to acquire their respective 33.3% interests. “Glencore has been involved with Cerrejón for more than 20 years,” said then CEO Ivan Glasenberg when the deal was announced. “We know the asset well and believe that we are the most responsible steward for Cerrejón at this stage of its lifecycle. “Disposing of fossil fuel assets and making them someone else’s issue is not the solution and it won’t reduce absolute emissions. “We are confident we can manage the decline of our fossil fuel portfolio in a responsible manner that is also consistent with meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, as demonstrated by our strengthened total emission reduction targets.” By contrast, Glencore’s other coal World Mining Magazine


assets in Colombia, the La Jagua and Calenturitas mines, owned by subsidiary Prodeco, have been on care and maintenance since March 2020 as they were no longer economical to operate. In a recent development, Colombia’s National Mining Agency (ANM) has accepted Prodeco’s previously-denied request to hand back its licences. The mines will remain on care and maintenance until the formal process of relinquishing the contracts is complete.

Coal in South Africa Glencore has been mining in South Africa since 1988 and has a strong presence in both the coal and ferroalloy sectors. The company operates four coal complexes and produces thermal coal for export and domestic power generation. These include the Goedgevonden Complex, a joint venture

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“Disposing of fossil fuel assets and making them someone else’s issue is not the solution and it won’t reduce absolute emissions”

with ARM Coal in which Glencore owns 74%, the iMpunzi Complex, a large export thermal coal mining operation located 110km east of Johannesburg, Izimbiwa Coal, owner of five mines near Middelburg and Kendal and the Tweefontein Complex, a thermal coal complex near Johannesburg.

Coal in Australia Glencore is one of Australia’s largest producers of coal for export, with 17 operational mines concentrated in two major coal regions, the Hunter Valley in New South Wales and the Bowen Basin in Queensland. The company operates a mixture of open cut and underground coal mines and in 2020 managed the production of about 100 million tonnes of saleable thermal and coking coal. Its NSW assets include mines at Bulga, Liddell,


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Mangoola, Integra, Mount Owen and Ravensworth, while its Queensland interests include Collinsville Open Cut, Newlands Coal, Hail Creek, Oaky Creek and Rolleston Open Cut. In 2018, as Rio Tinto sought to divest itself of its entire Australian coal portfolio, Glencore picked up its 82% interest in the Hail Creek coal mine and adjacent coal resources in Queensland, as well as its 71.2% interest in the Valeria coal resource in central Queensland for a total of US$1.7 billion. Located in the Upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales, 20 kilometres north of Singleton, the Mt Owen/Glendell Operations produce thermal and semi-soft metallurgical coal. The complex contains the Mt Owen, Ravensworth East and Glendell mines. The integration of these operations enables the sites to use a single coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) and infrastructure at Mt Owen Mine.

Coal development projects Glendell Mine is seeking approval to continue current open cut mining to the north of its existing operations through the Glendell Continued Operations Project, which would extend mining to around 2044 on land almost completely owned by Glencore. Another project under development in New South Wales is the Mangoola Coal Continued Operations (MCCO) Project. Glencore’s existing Mangoola Open Cut operation produces thermal coal suitable for export and domestic use. The intention is to continue open cut mining adjacent to the north of the existing mine. The project will involve continued use of existing Mangoola infrastructure, including coal washing and train loading, workshops and administration facilities, construction of a haul road overpass to allow the Wybong Road to remain open, and construction of water management infrastructure. The New South Wales Independent Planning Commission approved the development application in April this year, with some conditions. The Valeria Coal Project in the Bowen Basin, central Queensland, is currently undergoing State assessment processes as part of its potential development into an open cut metallurgical and thermal coal mine.

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metals of the future

“Glencore is continuing to assess the feasibility of developing the Aurukun Bauxite Project into a new open cut bauxite mine in western Cape York, Australia”

The project involves a metallurgical and thermal coal resource capable of producing up to 20 million tonnes per annum run of mine coal over a life of 35 years. Options are being investigated for infrastructure corridor(s) to support associated rail and road transport, electricity, water and communications connections. Environmental, social and economic assessments have commenced, to identify the values of the area, potential impacts of the project, and measures to mitigate and manage those potential impacts. These assessments will be used to support the approvals process currently underway for the project. The Wandoan Coal Project in Queensland’s Surat Basin has been granted all the necessary approvals for its various mining leases. It was placed on hold in September 2013,

however, while Glencore continues to undertake studies and assess options for its development based on market and economic criteria. The company has indicated that it would only bring on new production volumes if the market environment supports adding additional tonnage and does not materially add to any market oversupply. Clearly, coal is still an important part of Glencore’s global commodity portfolio. About 85% is exported, the majority to countries where coal continues to play a leading role in power generation. The remainder is used in domestic power generation in Australia and South Africa.

COBALT, COPPER, ZINC AND NICKEL While coal continues to be a valuable ‘old world’ resource, and a viable World Mining Magazine


substitute has yet to be found for it in the production of steel, Glencore is prioritising its capital investment to grow production of copper, cobalt, nickel and zinc - commodities that underpin the transformation of mobility and energy supply in the modern world.

Minerals in Australia Glencore is one of Australia’s largest nickel and cobalt producers, and with more than 30 years of nickel reserves, it has one of the longest life of mine reserves. Murrin Murrin is a world-class hydrometallurgical nickel project in the northeastern Goldfields region of Western Australia. It is the country’s largest producer of cobalt and second-largest producer of nickel. Operated by Minara Resources, wholly owned by Glencore, Murrin Murrin uses high pressure acid leach technology to recover nickel and cobalt from laterite ore. Processed nickel and cobalt is transported via rail to Kwinana, south of Perth, for export to customers worldwide. Glencore’s Queensland Metals business mines copper and zinc in Northern Queensland. Operations include the Mount Isa Mines complex, Ernest Henry Mining near Cloncurry, and the refinery in Townsville. A globally renowned, premium copper product known as ISA Brand copper cathode is produced. Ernest Henry Mining includes a shaft underground mine and copper concentrator producing a copper-gold concentrate that is transported to Mount Isa Mines for smelting. Mount Isa Mines is one of the world’s largest underground mining and processing operations, producing copper anodes, silver/ lead bullion and zinc concentrates. It is one of the world’s largest zinc resource bases, with mining operations at George Fisher and Lady Loretta underground mines. Glencore’s CSA Mine is an underground copper mine located in Cobar, Central Western New South Wales. One of Australia’s highest grade copper mining operations, it is also the second deepest copper mine in Australia, at 1.75 kilometres. The mine is also one of Australia’s longest operating copper mines with a history stretching back almost 150 years. CSA stands for ‘Cornish, Scottish and Australia’, after the nationalities of its first owners.

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metals of the future

The McArthur River Mine (MRM) is a zinc and lead operation about 970 kilometres south-east of Darwin. Holding the world’s second largest zinc and lead deposit, the operation includes an open cut mine and processing facilities. Zinc, lead and silver are mined and processed there and exported to customers all over the world from the Bing Bong loading facility on the Gulf of Carpentaria. Glencore is also continuing to assess the feasibility of developing the Aurukun Bauxite Project into a new open cut bauxite mine in western Cape York, Australia. In March 2021 Glencore entered into an agreement for Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd to become a 30 per cent joint venture partner in the project. Glencore will retain 70 per cent ownership and full management.

Comprising an open-cut nickel mine and a pyrometallurgical plant, Koniambo Nickel Project in the North Province of New Caledonia was officially inaugurated in November 2014. It is one of the world’s biggest and highestgrade undeveloped nickel laterite deposits, with the capacity to make New Caledonia one of the main nickel producers in the world. The operation is a JV partnership between Glencore (49%) and Société Minière du Sud Pacifique (SMSP 51%). It includes a pyro-metallurgical nickel smelter, power station and 11km overland conveyor, seawater desalination plant and other infrastructure.

Nickel Operations (Sudbury INO) include exploration, two underground mines (Fraser and Nickel Rim South), Strathcona Mill and the Sudbury Smelter. Sudbury is one of the most geologically rich areas of the world, with a 60-kilometre-long formation called the Sudbury basin, which is brimming with nickel, copper, cobalt, gold, silver, platinum and palladium deposits. The future of Sudbury INO is deep mining. Since receiving full approval for further development of the Onaping Depth project in late 2017, Glencore has been working on its development and finding ways to power the ‘mine of the future’. When completed, the deep mine project will provide a significant new source of high-grade nickel ore beyond year 2035 – a metal critical to electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries, solar panels and wind turbines. Onaping Depth represents a complete break from the traditional idea of underground mining. The digital age will be on full display with real-time remote management, monitoring, and control from surface. Technology will be integrated into the operation with the goal of removing workers from hazardous areas and out of the mine completely with remote and autonomous technologies, wherever possible. The mine will feature wireless communication between employees and from underground to surface. The entire fleet of mining equipment will feature battery-powered electric vehicles, eliminating diesel emissions and reducing heat and noise pollution. New technology will also be applied to critical ventilation and cooling systems where the ambient rock temperature can reach 40°C at depth.


Raglan Mine

Glencore also has nickel operation in Canada, where its Sudbury Integrated

Also in Canada is Raglan Mine, a nickelcopper operation in the Arctic region at

New Caledonia

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the extreme limit of northern Quebec. Established in Nunavik since 1997 the mine hosts one of the world’s purest series of nickel deposits. Raglan Mine has four active underground mines and a concentrator. Because it is remotely located and offgrid with no access to public utilities and services, Glencore has built the infrastructure normally found in a small municipality in order to support operations, such as lodging, a water treatment plant, a power generating station and an airport. Roads are kept open year-round to link the mining complex to the warehouses and seaport facilities at Deception Bay. Sivumut, an Inuktitut word meaning ‘moving forward’, is the name of a twophase project to extend Raglan Mine’s current activities to 2040 and beyond. Phase II will see the expansion of the currently active Qakimajurk Mine and

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the opening of a new underground mine called Mining Project 14. Phase III will include three new underground mines (Mining Project Donaldson, Boundary Area and West Boundary Area).

Minerals in Africa and South America Glencore also has copper and zinc operations in South America and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Katanga complex in the DRC includes the Kamoto underground mine, KOV open pit mine, the Kamoto concentrator and Luilu metallurgical plant for the onsite production of refined copper and cobalt, as well as a number of other mines and processing plants. On June 4, 2020, Katanga Mining Limited became a 100% Glencore group owned company and ceased to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Both Katanga and Mutanda Mining are large-

scale copper-cobalt operations in the country’s Katanga province, producing copper cathodes and cobalt hydroxide. In South America, Glencore has interests in Peru, Chile and Argentina. Antapaccay is in the south of Peru, 4,100 meters above sea level. This mine has a modern sulphide plant that produces copper concentrates. Also in Peru is Antamina, an open pit copper and zinc mine 4,300 metres above sea level in which Glencore owns a 33.75% interest. Antamina’s concentrator is considered to be one of the world’s largest polymetallic processing plants, treating ores containing copper, zinc, molybdenum, silver and lead. Collahuasi (44% Glencore) is a largescale copper mine in northern Chile, producing copper concentrates and cathodes. One of the world’s largest copper operations, Collahuasi’s deposits


metals of the future

“Our company is ideally positioned in terms of commodity mix and business model and I look forward to working with all our stakeholders to realise our ambition of meeting the expected resource needs of the future, while creating sustainable longterm value” are located on the plateau of northern Chile’s Atacama Desert, 4,400 metres above sea level. Altonorte is a custom copper smelting operation located near the port of Antofagasta in northern Chile. The Glencore operation has the capacity to process 1.6 million tonnes of copper concentrate from third parties per year. Also in northern Chile is the Lomas Bayas open-pit copper mine which produces copper cathode on site. In Argentina, Glencore once held a 50% stake in the Alumbrera copper–gold mine, before it reached the end of its life, but the partners have created a new joint venture to integrate Yamana Gold’s Agua Rica project with the Minera Alumbrera plant and infrastructure. Yamana owns a 56.25% controlling interest in the new JV, with Glencore holding 25%, and Newmont the remaining 18.75% stake. Acknowledging the achievements of his predecessor and mentor, CEO Gary Nagel is confident about the future of the company he now leads. “The strength of Glencore’s enviable portfolio today reflects Ivan’s persistent pursuit of value creation and his vision in unlocking the enhanced benefits and synergies from combining a large diversified suite of industrial assets with related marketing activities. Our company is ideally positioned in terms of commodity mix and business model and I look forward to working with all our stakeholders to realise our ambition of meeting the expected resource needs of the future, while creating sustainable longterm value.”

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caterpillar brand building

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Caterpillar offers more equipment for mining than any other manufacturer. Its legacy of almost 100 years of knowledge and expertise combines with the latest in innovative technologies, wall-to-wall services, financing and a legendary dealer network, to produce a unique mix of solutions to meet sitespecific needs. Martin Ashcroft finds that when customers choose Caterpillar, they get more than the iron. World Mining Magazine



aterpillar Tractor Company was created in 1925 by the merger of The Holt Manufacturing Company and CL Best Tractor. With sales and revenues of $41.7 billion in 2020, Caterpillar Inc is now the world’s largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment. The Cat® brand itself was not registered for another 25 years, but it has since become the cornerstone of the Caterpillar brand portfolio. The best brands have a universal quality, yet they also make a personal, emotional connection. Everyone knows Caterpillar. Tough, reliable, rugged, state-of-the-art, are words that immediately spring to mind. But why? I’ve never driven a dozer or a dump truck, let alone operated underground machinery, yet I perceive them to be such. How do they do that? Cat® is literally everywhere. You see the logo on clothing and items of personal adornment, not to mention phones, watches and toys. Licensed Cat brand products are sold in 150 countries and it’s said that over 50 million Cat items are purchased globally every year. Cat products can be purchased online from branded websites or in over 100 dedicated Cat brand stores as well as 100,000 other retail outlets. The Caterpillar brand of mining equipment is geared towards total cost of ownership or the promise of ‘total life cycle value’. Cat products are designed to be reliable, durable, and of superior quality, allowing for multiple rebuilds, ease of serviceability, reparability and outstanding support, provided almost exclusively by Cat dealers – a network crucial to the brand’s sustainability. Caterpillar offers machines, engines, components, services and solutions to meet the unique needs of a variety of industries and customers around the world. Cat® is the flagship brand for products and services, but other brands include Progress Rail, Solar Turbines, Turner Powertrain and SEM. They’re made all over the world, too, from Brazil to China, from Europe to Australasia. The UK is one of the largest bases for

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caterpillar brand building

“Everyone knows Caterpillar. Tough, reliable, rugged, state-of-the-art, are words that immediately spring to mind”

Caterpillar outside the US. Its first overseas plant was opened in Scotland in 1958 to manufacture parts for Caterpillar products being used in Europe. After playing a major role in the construction of American infrastructure, the company itself has become part of that infrastructure, with more than 60 primary locations in 25 states and dealers from coast to coast. Several of its US facilities are single source manufacturing locations for all global sales, including: • Large track-type tractors (East Peoria, Illinois) • Large mining trucks (Decatur, Illinois) • Large motor graders (North Little Rock, Arkansas) • Gas turbines (San Diego, California) • Smallest track-type tractors (Athens, Georgia) Over the years, other brands have been gathered under the Caterpillar umbrella, including Perkins in the UK, a leading provider of diesel and gas engines, acquired by Caterpillar in 1998. In 1996 Caterpillar purchased a 49% interest in FG Wilson, the Northern Ireland genset and power system manufacturer, before acquiring the remaining 51% in 1999. In Russia, Caterpillar has been operating a fully owned manufacturing facility in Tosno, near Saint Petersburg, since March 2000. The Tosno plant manufactures two models of offhighway mining trucks, two models of excavators and components for machines and equipment, which are exported to Caterpillar factories in Europe. Caterpillar has been in China for more than 45 years. Core products manufactured there include hydraulic excavators, track-type tractors, wheel loaders, soil compactors, motor graders, medium and large diesel engines and generator sets. Several Chinese facilities also manufacture components.

Branding is big business, but no brand would last long if the product failed to live up to its reputation. Many elements must combine for a brand to succeed, not least of which are the parts that come together to assemble a piece of machinery.

Suppliers In common with many manufacturers, Caterpillar has increasingly contracted its component production to third parties. The supplier base now contains something like 27,000 names. This has many advantages, including the encouragement of competition, which drives up quality and drives down prices. It also adds layers of risk, however, from supplier financial viability and business continuity to misuse of intellectual property and any number of practical difficulties which could cause business disruption, such as the ability to increase or decrease production levels in line with demand, maintain quality control and on-time delivery. For Caterpillar to remain world class, its suppliers must be world class, too, so the company takes a great interest in promoting continuous improvement in its supply base. Caterpillar actively encourages a partnership relationship with its key strategic suppliers, recognising their progress with an award under its Supplier Quality Excellence Program (SQEP). Caterpillar created the certification program to recognize those suppliers who demonstrate their commitment to excellence and drive a zero defects culture within their organizations. Suppliers are certified by meeting or exceeding stringent performance standards, including product quality and on time delivery.

Automation There’s more to Caterpillar equipment than size and strength, of course. Its machines are also getting smarter. Automation is changing the way World Mining Magazine


caterpillar brand building

stations load and dump material under tele-remote control. Then, their load-haul-dump machines steer autonomously during hauling, preventing accidental contact with mine walls. Productivity is also improved through improved equipment utilization, uninterrupted by shift changes or, in underground operations, the need to evacuate areas for ventilation after blasting.

Global footprint

mines and quarries operate, and Caterpillar now offers equipment from fully autonomous haulage systems to remote control dozers to automation technologies that can be retrofitted to competitors’ machines. Miners are keen to adopt automation. Taking operators out of hazardous areas reduces the risk of accidents, which is not only important for the people who might otherwise have been hurt – it reduces downtime, too. Mine sites that put autonomous technologies to work have experienced a number of valuable benefits, including increased productivity, higher equipment utilization and less machine damage.

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Cat MineStar™ System is a comprehensive suite of mining technology products, consisting of a number of configurable capability sets for both surface and underground mines that allow customers to scale the system to their needs, from material tracking to sophisticated real-time fleet management, machine health systems, autonomous equipment systems and more. On surface mine sites, autonomous trucks help make cycle times more consistent while ensuring that equipment operates within prescribed parameters. Underground, operators based in remotely-located control

Caterpillar’s global reach and presence is unmatched in the industry, serving customers in more than 180 countries with more than 300 products. More than half of the company’s sales are outside the United States, and it operates over 500 locations worldwide if you count manufacturing, marketing, logistics, service, R&D and related facilities. Cat products may be manufactured around the world, but they are all assembled in Caterpillar owned facilities, following the same stringent Cat Production System at every location to ensure consistent quality. Caterpillar established its first major facility outside the United States more than 60 years ago in the UK. Today, the company employs more than 10,000 people there in 20 major facilities. The UK is one of the largest bases for Caterpillar outside the US, and its UK businesses export a significant portion of their manufactured products to a wide variety of customers and markets. The company soon opened facilities in a number of other countries in the EAME region such as Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Russia, Poland, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. The EAME Region is an important manufacturing base and the largest Caterpillar distribution division outside of the United States with approximately 25,000 employees, of whom most are in the European Union within 36 manufacturing locations.

caterpillar brand building Caterpillar’s presence in the Asia Pacific region includes Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Thailand. Nearly 20 per cent of Caterpillar’s employees and nearly 30 per cent of its global dealers are located in the Asia Pacific area. Caterpillar manufactures medium wheel loaders for the North American market in Aurora, Illinois, but also produces them in Japan, Brazil, India and China. Large wheel loaders are manufactured exclusively in the United States on three separate assembly lines in Aurora, Illinois. Caterpillar has four major plants in the Peoria area: the Mapleton Foundry, where diesel engine blocks and other large parts are cast; the East Peoria factory, which has assembled Caterpillar tractors for over 70 years; the Mossville engine plant, built after World War II; and the Morton parts facility. Major facilities in Europe include Grenoble and Echirolles in France, where track type tractors, track type loaders, wheeled excavators and undercarriage components are made. A facility in Hungary handles fabrications and buckets, and in the UK, mini excavators are made in Leicester, articulated dump trucks at Peterlee and Perkins engines in Peterborough. Cat underground products are made in four key locations: Luenen, Germany; Zhengzhou and Langfang, China, and Rayong, Thailand. Caterpillar has made significant investments in its manufacturing footprint in Thailand in recent years. The Underground Mining Facility started production in October 2012, while Caterpillar’s Rayong Tractor Facility started production in May 2013, mainly for export to global customers. Roof supports for underground coal mining are designed by an experienced team in Germany, from where the castings are also sourced. The roof supports are subsequently built and assembled by a skilled team in Zhengzhou, China. As weld quality is critical on roof supports, to ensure

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“Taking operators out of hazardous areas reduces the risk of accidents, which is not only important for the people who might otherwise have been hurt – it reduces downtime, too”

consistent high quality, the leadership team in Zhengzhou created a welding school within the facility.

Sustainability As befits an industry leader, Caterpillar places great emphasis on sustainability. The company has been named to the 2021 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI), including the World and North America indices, the 22nd time Caterpillar has been included in the DJSI. The annual DJSI process evaluates numerous corporate economic, environmental and social performance

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factors. Caterpillar is actually integrating sustainability into its enterprise strategy by establishing 2030 sustainability goals, tying a portion of executive compensation to environmental, social and governance (ESG) and creating a new leadership position of Chief Sustainability & Strategy Officer. “Sustainability is one of our core values and an important element of our enterprise strategy for long-term profitable growth,” said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby. “We demonstrate our commitment to sustainability in many ways, including through our significant

progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our operations and our continued investment in new products, technologies and services to help our customers achieve their climate-related goals.” The development of zero emission machinery will play a major role in the sustainability of the mining industry. In June 2021, Caterpillar announced an agreement with Nouveau Monde Graphite to develop, test and produce zero-emission machines, with a view to becoming the exclusive supplier of an all-electric mining fleet for deployment at NMG’s Matawinie graphite mining

caterpillar brand building

“Cat underground products are made in four key locations: Luenen, Germany; Zhengzhou and Langfang, China, and Rayong, Thailand”

project in Saint-Michel-des-Saints, Québec, Canada. “The collaboration between Caterpillar and Nouveau Monde marks an important milestone in the mining industry,” said Denise Johnson, Caterpillar Group President. “Through integrated technology, machines and services, the entire Caterpillar team is proud to support Nouveau Monde as they work towards constructing and establishing their first zero emission mine.” Mining trucks are the lifeblood of mine sites around the world – which makes them a key component in plans to achieve sustainability and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions goals. Caterpillar customer BHP has committed to being a net-zero operator by 2050, and has signed a similar agreement, giving it early access to the Caterpillar-developed zero-emissions equipment and input to the developing and testing processes. Caterpillar unveiled its latest advancements in safety, sustainability and technology at MINExpo 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada in September. The exhibit was grouped under three areas: sustainability, technology and automation, and equipment lifecycle management solutions. The three-day expo celebrated Caterpillar’s collaboration with mines and the company’s commitment to its customers with the theme, “Together, We’re Mining Better.” “We look forward to sharing Caterpillar’s latest mining products and services portfolio with our customers. Our advancements extend from equipment, technology and services to helping customers mine more safely and sustainably,” said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby. “We’re committed to providing the solutions to help our customers achieve their climate-related objectives while meeting their requirements for performance, durability and economic value.” Highlights included the new Cat D11

XE electric drive dozer, the world’s largest, most powerful and efficient dozer in the industry, as well as the new Cat® R1700 XE LHD underground loader, featuring 100% battery electric propulsion that generates significantly less heat and noise, while offering a 16.5ton payload and 11.2 mph top speed. A broad range of renewable and storable power solutions featured in the Show, along with a Cat MineStar® stage focusing on Caterpillar’s state of the art technology.”

Services As well as being the world’s leading manufacturer of equipment for the mining industry, Caterpillar is also the leading provider of a number of support products, services, knowledge and solutions that make it a definitive one-stop shop for miners. Its service portfolio includes financing, innovative trade arrangements, and rental and used products to help customers get the equipment they need. It also provides generator sets to help customers power their operations, rail products and services to transport materials around the world, and a line of on-highway and bare chassis trucks that can be customized to meet specific support needs. And then there’s the dealer network, one of the biggest differentiators for the brand. If the Cat product line is unmatched in the industry, when it comes to service and support, the global Cat dealer network is quite unparalleled, too, delivering expert service, integrated solutions, after-sales support, fast and efficient parts fulfillment, worldclass remanufacturing capabilities and more. One of the strengths of the Caterpillar brand, they say, is that they are as committed to the truck you bought yesterday as the one you’ll buy tomorrow. That’s why customers return to Caterpillar in such numbers.

World Mining Magazine

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AXAM Tire believes in being your business solutions provider and ensuring that the highest level of quality customer experience is met. This is our organization’s main purpose and core value; it is what differentiates MAXAM Tire from our competitors, making us not just a tire manufacturer, but a true business partner. A division of Sailun Group, MAXAM Tire designs, manufactures, and distributes off-the-road specialty tire products globally. As a major specialty tire manufacturer and distributor, MAXAM has a strong reputation for market-leading performance, reliability, and delivered value. To ensure superior product quality, the organization’s foundation is centered around innovative engineering and has the most advanced manufacturing platforms and technology in the industry. As a rapidly growing global organization, MAXAM invests heavily in our people, advanced engineering processes, and manufacturing capabilities, ensuring exceptional business solutions are delivered to customers worldwide. MAXAM MINING GROUP (MMG), a dedicated and knowledgeable global

group under MAXAM Tire, specifically focuses on the mining segment. The MMG’s core value is to provide support on all MAXAM products through partnerships with high-level dealers. Our goal is to ensure the best product performance and the highest level of overall customer satisfaction while reducing the end-user’s operating costs. Since its establishment, the MMG team has achieved great success in serving regional market demands. With each member an industry-leading expert dedicated to providing the best customer experience, the team has been making continuous improvements with focused market solutions. Advanced engineering, extensive testing, research, and state-of-the-art manufacturing differentiates the MAXAM MINING GROUP from our competitors.

“Advanced engineering, extensive testing, research, and state-of-the-art manufacturing differentiates the MAXAM MINING GROUP from our competitors.” World Mining Magazine


MAXAM Tire’s History


ailun Group, the parent group of MAXAM Tire, was the first “A” listed private tire company 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 products in the value segment and the best customer service in the tire industry, Sailun Group set a substantial precedent for MAXAM Tire on forming its mission of being a global business solutions provider.

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Sailun prides itself in having a vertical integration in every aspect and has achieved rapid growth in the past two decades, from raw materials, factory development, R&D, tire building machinery to global customer support. Each aspect within the vertical integration is meticulously controlled and collaboratively synced to work harmoniously in delivering the best customer solutions and experience. As of 2021, Sailun is currently the 17th largest global tire company, 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-theroad tire industries with 19 categories in total. In the past decade, the Sailun Group has increased its investment by expanding radial off-the-road (OTR) products, building patented

manufacturing processes, and utilizing automated equipment, along with investing heavily in the MAXAM team. Most recently, the Sailun Group has invested over 400 million in furthering MAXAM’s manufacturing in Asia to meet the increasing demand and elevating product performance and quality. Today, MAXAM Tire has become a top-tier manufacturer under Sailun Group’s pioneering vision, leadership, and investments.

“As of 2021, Sailun is currently the 17th largest global tire company, sold in over 167 countries worldwide.”

Being the Forefront of Technology


AXAM Tire insists on having technologically advanced R&D as the main driving force behind the company’s development. Guided by its parent group’s technological advancements, MAXAM Tire has positioned itself at the forefront of tire technology, striving to advance its technologically driven enterprise. MAXAM Tire’s R&D center concentrates in the many attributes that affect product performance: raw materials, compounding, synthetic rubber with equipment and building capabilities that match tier-one global manufacturers, MAXAM Tire boasts multiple wellestablished R&D centers globally: China (R&D Center HQ), Vietnam, Europe, and North America. Each dedicated R&D center provides an in-depth understanding of the local user’s specific demands and utilizes cutting-edge technology and innovation to form an integrated global R&D system. In addition, MAXAM Tire’s individual R&D centers cover market research, product planning, formula development,

DRIVING BUSINESS FORWARD “...MAXAM pushes for advancement by taking technology quantum leaps, designing tire building equipment and machinery that streamlines manufacturing with automation.” and process development systems. From structural design to product verification testing, each R&D center uses both independent research and cutting-edge development capabilities. Under Sailun’s groundbreaking vision, all MAXAM’s engineering and R&D teams are fully integrated with the factory’s quality assurance and product development operations to optimize quality and performance. Centering around intelligent and advanced manufacturing, MAXAM Tire

standardizes its quality management’s strict and strategic processes with advanced equipment and full transparency on quality, including procurement reports and digital production management. In addition to a strict process on quality management, MAXAM schedules routine internal quality audits and certification management to meet global compliances and protocols. MAXAM believes in continuous product testing to create new quality products, development, and techniques. As specialty equipment manufacturers continue to evolve, MAXAM pushes for advancement by taking technology quantum leaps, designing tire building equipment and machinery that streamlines manufacturing with automation. It is this philosophy that allows us to continue growing and accelerating our position as a global market player and business solutions provider.

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What about MAXAM in the OTR segment?



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, dependability, and value has been acknowledged by some of the top original equipment manufacturers including CATERPILLAR®, as well as China’s heavy machinery manufacturers such as XCMG Group, SANY Heavy Industry, and the Beizhong Group. Specifically, MAXAM has multiple OTR products that have been homologated 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 homologation 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 under tread, 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. Other global OEM fitment of MAXAM mining and mining supporting tires include 241 mining tires for XCMG, a Chinese multinational state-owned heavy machinery manufacturing company with headquarters in Xuzhou, Jiangsu, China. It is ranked fifth largest in the world’s construction machinery industry. MAXAM also provides mining support equipment, a smaller E3 16.00R25 product, the MS306, for the organization. SANY is another large-sized OEM partner MAXAM has secured. Ranked the third largest heavy machinery manufacturer in the world, SANY is reputable in producing reliable applications. MAXAM’s partnership with SANY marks a huge global success in saturating the OE marketplace. With over 60 27.00R49 MS401 tires on SANY’s rigid haul trucks, MAXAM Tire is serving mine sites across Asia, from smooth haul roads to aggressive terrains. The rigorous validation process to achieve global OEM approvals is part of MAXAM’s commitment to continue bringing quality solutions to various specialty tire markets. Furthermore, MAXAM has the support of the Global Dealer Servicing Network with over 1,800 strong and growing, 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 through leading-edge quality, reliability, and exceptional value.”

Knowledgeable and Innovative Engineering


s mining equipment continues to evolve, our global engineering teams continuously research and develop new products by 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 teams always pay specific attention to tire compounding and casing design that deliver superior performance no matter the region. Our goal is 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 and constant improvement. One aspect of MAXAM’s advancement is its dedication to engineering robust compounds for specific applications. Superior rubber compounding combined with worldclass manufacturing technology will result in significant performance enhancements to the MAXAM radial product lines. To continue our advancement in the sector, the MAXAM engineering team has a dedicated rubber compound research group. Working directly with the sales team, who provides customers

and product performance feedback, 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 a high level of polymer interaction, resulting in the 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/km.

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Superior Compounding


onstant innovation and technological advancement are the mechanisms that drive our business and customer’s success. Using leading engineering, industry knowledge, customer feedback, performance feedback, and data, MAXAM’s 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 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 tire manufacturers. At MAXAM, we take such formidable challenges as a drive to forward our innovation and improvement on product performance with uncompromised value and costper-hour/km. What established MAXAM’s reputation and standards on innovation is its compounding technology and process. Behind the compounding production, MAXAM works closely with EVE Rubber Research Institute (EVERI), a prominent rubber institute that collaborates with the largest research centers in polymer materials. EVERI is committed 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 pioneer platform in the development process. EVERI has established several mature research areas including new rubber materials, environmentally friendly and sustainable processing technology, 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 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. To highlight one of its major achievements, EVERI’s recently entered a joint technology agreement with Versalis, a major producer in the

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

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Sophistication in Manufacturing

T polymers and elastomers industry, to develop a technology production of advanced elastomer compounds designed for the tire market. By leveraging top-ofthe-class technology and processes, the EVERI and Versalis partnership changed the landscape in the tire industry and further 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 revolution 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 the engineering team’s innovation and inspiring vision, MAXAM Tire invests heavily in our state-of-the-art manufacturing. With five fully owned operated factories that have proprietary and patented manufacturing processes and equipment, MAXAM continues to forge advancements in technology across all manufacturing developments. All MAXAM large mining and some radial OTR 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 secure 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’s tires. MAXAM’s technical excellence is supplemented using premium

“The quality of the customer’s experience is of paramount importance to MAXAM, and their satisfaction is what drives the company and its success. ”

materials. MAXAM owns its natural rubber processing plant in Asia to fully control the quality of our rubber in addition to working with the top-tier raw material suppliers. Combined with its highly skilled workforce, MAXAM manufactures radial tires that 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



Raw Materials and Automated Mixing Equipment


s a technological leader and innovator, MAXAM invests heavily in raw materials and mixing equipment as these procedures play a crucial role in product consistency and compound uniformity. To minimize errors and to maximize product consistency, MAXAM has created numerous patented automation and intelligent systems for our mixing process. 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 weighting and production with bar code scanning system, 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 treat compound heat generation • Tear-resistant resin for improved tear resistance for cut resistant tread compound

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“MAXAM has created numerous patented automation and intelligent systems for our mixing process. In one MAXAM factory alone, there is an operation with over fifteen mixers...”


Meticulous and Rigorous Quality and Testing


very MAXAM product goes through comprehensive lab and field testing with seamless procedures that feature strict quality control. All MAXAM’s 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 Bead 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 undercurring. MAXAM also utilizes EBP (Electron Bead Processing) as part of Every MAXAM mining tire goes through a meticulous process the testing process. EBP is used for increased molecular crossto ensure 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 product’s top-tier performance product with guaranteed performance as every tire instills the by conducting TKPH/TMPH tests, tread endurance, and bead MAXAM core value of “quality that drives productivity”. endurance tests. During the test, the heat buildup of 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 even at the most demanding sites. The tread endurance test then qualifies the integrity of tread pattern and compound. The bead endurance test further inspects the integrity of the casing and bead package. All the components in every tire’s physical test play a key role in ensuring MAXAM’s tier-one product’s 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 the quality control protocol.

MS402 Example

Every MAXAM tire goes through a rigorous quality check World Mining Magazine


A Team that Goes Above and Beyond for Customers


AXAM prides itself on being a business solutions provider that is committed to providing quality customer experience. With mining as one of the toughest and most demanding industries, a team of experts with leading market knowledge is vital to providing the best customer experience and solution. MAXAM MINING GROUP is a team of dedicated and knowledgeable experts that not only have decades of experience in the field but also the ambition and drive to exceed expectations. MAXAM has appointed talents globally to meet the highest standards of customer experience. Each of the MMG team members 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 business. 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. Under MMG’s Vice President, Matt Johnson, the group has been driving business forward effectively with years of experience and knowledge. As a highly qualified 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 leader, he focuses on building a group of world-class teams that raise the bar for the industry. “We pride ourselves in delivering solutions with the lowest cost-per-hour/ton while continuing our assistance to 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 is a team of dedicated and knowledgeable experts that not only have decades of experience in the field but also the ambition and drive to exceed expectations.”

Matt Johnson is the Vice President of MAXAM MINING GROUP (MMG), a subgroup of MAXAM Tire, with responsibility for sales and support strategy implementation for MMG globally. Matt has been with MAXAM Tire since October 2019. Prior to MAXAM Tire, he has held various field and management positions for over two decades of his career in the tire and mining industry. Matt began his career as a tire technician in a retail mining business in 1993 and advanced through multiple sales and management roles with his proven dedication and passion. Under Matt’s management, the group has been driving business forward effectively with years of experience and knowledge. As a highly qualified 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 leader, he focuses on building a group of world-class teams that raise the bar for the industry.

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 first. 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 products, along with providing any helpful maintenance tips to maximize

World Mining Magazine


tire life and operation. Every site visit is completed and submitted back to the customer with data review. The process on site review, proposal, and monitoring demonstrates MAXAM’s commitment to our customers along with our ambition to earn their confidence. Many customers see MAXAM as more than a tire supplier, but a trusted partner that delivers guaranteed performance and dedicated support. The MAXAM MINING GROUP shares the same core values of MAXAM Tire, centering around implementing reliable business solutions and providing exceptional customer experience. In continuation

to developing long-term mutual beneficial business relationships with customers, our 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 further improvements on product performance. MAXAM MINING GROUP’s core value in providing the relevant and ideal business solutions is applied to every aspect in our business, from sales, customer service, R&D, engineering, distribution, supply chain to manufacturing. Customer

DRIVING BUSINESS FORWARD experience and feedback is the core that drives the MAXAM MINING GROUP’s advancement in performance and growth. To differentiate ourselves 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. Generally, mines have about 90 to 120 days of inventory on the ground. Our

boots-on-the-ground team pays close attention to such inventory. If the hauls change from a short haul to a long haul, the ton-kilometer-per-hour (TKPH) will most likely increase. Therefore, a 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. Constantly monitoring customer’s sites and working closely with them are some of the key examples of MAXAM MINING GROUP fostering a long-term partnership.

“The process on site review, proposal, and monitoring demonstrates MAXAM’s commitment to our customers...”

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




AXAM MINING GROUP follows the criterion below when understanding each site’s specific TKPH/ TMPH 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 to determine the best compound. 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.

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Understanding the site and its potential development and changes in the future play a vital role in selecting the right compound for the tire and matching the haul cycle requirements. Helping customers succeed is paramount to MAXAM Tire’s core value. To ensure that customers achieve maximum productivity, safety, and tire longevity, MAXAM Tire invests heavily in a proper tire maintenance program and training. In addition to MAXAM’s exclusive “MAXAM University” training, which was developed during

the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 to offer support to all our global dealers and customers, MAXAM has developed many tools and performs constant site visits to ensure a consistent and effective maintenance program. One of the helpful tools we have developed is the Mining Operator Awareness Guide. Each component serves as a checkpoint 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 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”

World Mining Magazine


The latest success – expanding the 63-inch line


he latest open pit mining series tires have been in development for the past seven years and are the result of extensive research and global 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. Our 57-inch line has been expanded and MAXAM is currently expanding its 63-inch line. MAXAM’s first-ever 63” tire, the MS453, has been fitted in multiple mine sites globally and are surpassing expectations according to customers feedbacks in Asia and Nevada U.S. Aimed at large haulage trucks, the MS453 features an aggressive, unique tread design with reinforced sidewall to handle the most severe challenges on haul roads. The tire went through development for over a year-and-a-half as MAXAM understands that it plays an integral part in being a player in the mining industry. With only a few manufacturers capable of producing the largest and most aggressive 57 to 63-inch open pit mining tires, MAXAM understands that these tires play an integral part in the mining industry’s operation and future. To meet this challenge and to deliver a solution that meets our vision, MAXAM spent over a year creating a world-class tire building machine that was designed using the latest innovative technologies and capabilities. In addition, these tires undergo an extensive testing period in global mine sites during the validation phase before the final release. Combined with continuous improvement on R&D, state-of-the-art manufacturing, rigorous Q&A, and extensive field testing, MAXAM is confident that our largest open pit mining tires perform on par with other tier-one tires with a more competitive price and value.

World Mining Magazine


The new MS453 is available in size 53/80R63.

MAXAM offers a variety of compounds and up to four 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.

“With only a few manufacturers capable of producing the largest and most aggressive 57 to 63-inch open pit mining tires, MAXAM understands that these tires play an integral part in the mining industry’s operation and future.”

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Mining Support Equipment


s mine sites continue to develop and evolve, numerous factors go into having an inclusive maintenance program in order to achieve optimum daily productivity. Having a team of knowledgeable staff 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 globally.




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skid steer


“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


MAXAM Performance vs. Competition


o improve upon our products’ performance, MAXAM’s engineering and sales team collaborate on a regular basis on every field visit to better track data. Based on much of the tracking data, MAXAM MINING GROUP’s products generally have provided the lowest cost-per-hour while maintaining exceptional performance on par with tier-one competitors. “Our tires are performing on par with the top tier-one manufacturers, 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 are some of the comparative performance data from global mines using MAXAM mining products. Such data is based on wear rate with cost-per-hour/cost-per-km calculation provided.

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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 positions, entry for a new player in the industry can be challenging. Upon initiating our mining program with prospects and customers, MAXAM MINING GROUP is focused on building confidence and trust in our partnerships by providing a full-scope analysis of each site’s requirements. With such a detailed-oriented and dedicated team focused on fostering successful business relationships, along with guaranteed performance, and products that deliver the lowest cost-per-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 trust from a broad customer base. They have positioned MAXAM as a reliable supplier and advisor that does more than delivering 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 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 it 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 providing an exceptional customer experience. As a rapidly growing global organization, MAXAM invests heavily in their people, advanced engineering, and their manufacturing facilities to ensure unique business are delivered to customers worldwide. As the MAXAM MINING GROUP continues to expand globally, our customer’s satisfaction remains the foundation and therefore we continue to improve in all aspects of the business. At MAXAM, it is our culture and people that truly differentiate us from our competitors. Driven by core values that are centered around innovation and commitment to create an exceptional customer experience, MAXAM’s people are committed to exceeding expectations. It is what makes the MAXAM difference – being your business solutions provider.

Visit MAXAMTIRE.COM World Mining Magazine


newmont corp first among equals


elebrating its centenary as a corporation, the world’s No 1 gold miner negotiated the obstacles of the global pandemic to deliver a remarkable performance in 2020 Newmont Corporation announced its full year and fourth quarter 2020 results in February this year. After a year of unprecedented challenges, including social distancing measures, government-imposed mine closures, travel restrictions, and all the rest, the company managed to meet its fullyear guidance, generate a record $4.9 billion of cash, and increase quarterly dividend to $0.55 per share. On the softer side of the measurement criteria, Newmont was recognized as the top-ranked gold miner for the sixth consecutive year in the DJSI Index, announced industry-leading climate targets for greenhouse gas emissions and achieved the best safety performance in the company’s history.

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“In 2020, Newmont achieved record performance including $3.6 billion of free cash flow and ending the year with over $5.5 billion of consolidated cash. These results enable Newmont to lead the industry in shareholder returns, invest in organic growth and maintain financial flexibility,” said Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer. “While generating record value for shareholders, we also achieved record safety performance with the lowest injury rate in company history. As we complete our 100th year, we will remain focused on delivering superior operational performance whilst creating value and improving lives through sustainable, responsible mining.” During the year, Newmont completed the divestment of the Red Lake Complex in Canada, and the company’s 50 per cent ownership interest in Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines in Australia, along with its investment holdings in Continental Gold. From an operations point of view,

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“As we complete our 100th year, we will remain focused on delivering superior operational performance whilst creating value and improving lives through sustainable, responsible mining”

attributable gold production for the fourth quarter decreased 11 per cent to 1,630 thousand ounces from the prior year quarter, primarily due to the sale of Red Lake and Kalgoorlie, as well as lower production at Cerro Negro in Argentina while it managed Covid-19 restrictions. For the year, attributable gold production decreased 6 per cent to 5,905 thousand ounces from the prior year, primarily due to Yanacocha and Cerro Negro being placed into care and maintenance in response to the Covid pandemic, lower ore grade mined at Ahafo and the above-mentioned sales. These reductions in production were partially offset by a full year of operations from assets acquired in April 2019 with the Goldcorp merger.

Portfolio improvements Portfolio improvements achieved during the year included the completion of materials handling projects at

newmont corp first among equals

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“Portfolio improvements achieved during the year included the completion of materials handling projects at Musselwhite and Éléonore in Canada, the progression of the autonomous haulage system at Boddington and the Tanami Expansion 2 project in Australia”

Musselwhite and Éléonore in Canada, the progression of the autonomous haulage system at Boddington and the Tanami Expansion 2 project in Australia. Tanami Expansion 2 secures Tanami’s future as a long-life, low-cost producer with potential to extend mine life beyond 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

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five years and is expected to reduce operating costs by approximately 10 per cent. Capital costs for the project are estimated to be between $850 million and $950 million with a commercial production date in the first half of 2024. 2020 also saw a mining method change at Subika Underground in Ghana, while advanced study work at Ahafo North (Ghana) and Yanacocha Sulfides (Peru) continued, with both projects expected to reach full funds approval in 2021. Ahafo North expands Newmont’s existing footprint in Ghana, with four open pit mines and a stand-alone mill located approximately 30 kilometres

from the company’s Ahafo South operations. The project is expected to add 300,000 ounces per year with all-in sustaining costs between $600 to $700 per ounce for the first five full years of production (2024-2028), with estimated capital costs of between $700 and $800 million. Ahafo North is the best unmined gold deposit in West Africa with approximately 3.5 million ounces of reserves. With over a million ounces of measured and indicated and inferred resources there is significant upside potential to extend beyond Ahafo North’s current 13-year mine life. Yanacocha is South America’s largest gold mine, located between 3,500 and

newmont corp first among equals

4,100 metres above sea level in the province and department of Cajamarca, approximately 800 kilometres northeast of Lima. The operation is a joint venture between Newmont (51.35%), Minas Buenaventura (43.65%) and Sumitomo Corporation (5%). Yanacocha Sulfides will develop the first phase of sulfide deposits and an integrated processing circuit, including an autoclave to process gold, copper and silver feedstock. The project is expected to add 500,000 gold equivalent ounces per year with all-in sustaining costs between $700 to $800 per ounce for the first five full years of production (20262030).

The first phase focuses on developing the Yanacocha Verde and Chaquicocha deposits to extend Yanacocha’s operations beyond 2040 with second and third phases having the potential to extend life for multiple decades. In the United States, Newmont’s operations in the state of Nevada have been combined with those of Barrick Gold since 1 January 2019. Identified synergies are expected to deliver up to $500 million per year over the first five years, 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. Production, CAS and AISC for the company’s 38.5 per cent ownership interest in Nevada Gold Mines is as provided by Barrick Gold Corporation. In Canada, in December 2020, Newmont announced the successful completion of two key projects at its Musselwhite mine at Lake Opapimiskan, Ontario, with the full commissioning of the mine’s conveyor system and the material handling project. “I am extremely proud of the work that has been completed by the team at Musselwhite to safely deliver these two critical projects, whilst managing through the unprecedented challenges World Mining Magazine


newmont corp first among equals

caused by Covid-19,” said Tom Palmer. “Musselwhite is an important part of our North America region, and with the commissioning of these two projects is positioned to contribute to Newmont’s portfolio for many years to come.” The conveyor system and the material handling systems work in association to efficiently move material from deeper mine levels to the surface. Haul distances are reduced as the ore crushed at depth will be hoisted from the underground crushers to the conveyor system and brought to the surface for processing.

Covid-19 response

The year’s achievements cannot obscure the effects of the pandemic, however. In addition to its normal operating costs, Newmont incurred incremental Covid specific costs of $92 million during 2020 for activities such as additional health and safety procedures, increased transportation and community fund

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“Tanami Expansion 2 secures Tanami’s future as a long-life, low-cost producer with potential to extend mine life beyond 2040”

contributions. On 9 April 2020, Newmont announced the establishment of a US$20 million fund to help host communities, governments and employees combat the Covid-19 pandemic. The company continues to maintain wide-ranging protective measures for its workforce and neighbouring communities, including screening, physical distancing, deep cleaning and avoiding exposure for at-risk individuals. Newmont has also been working closely with local governments, medical institutions, charities and non-governmental organizations to direct funds towards the greatest needs, targeting three key elements, employee and community health, food security and local economic resilience. “Our purpose to create value and improve lives through sustainable and responsible mining is more relevant now than ever before,” said CEO Tom Palmer. “The strength of our portfolio

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of world-class assets across top tier jurisdictions underpins the financial flexibility to take care of our employees, communities and shareholders. I am proud of the way our employees have responded to these challenging times.” The Peñasquito mine in Mexico is a good example of what he means. Newmont established infrastructure very early in the pandemic to keep employees and the surrounding communities safe, providing thousands of cleaning kits for health clinics and families, tens of thousands of reusable masks and thousands of books for distance learning. Across the 18 testing sites the company established throughout Mexico, Newmont’s teams performed over 50,000 Covid-19 tests, testing people when they arrive at the site and also when they leave, so they can return to their families and communities safely. In Ghana, elementary schools closed in March 2020, disrupting the education of many children. For some, due to limited access to digital devices and the internet, virtual learning has not been an option. As part of Newmont’s Global Community Support Fund, and through the Gold-4-Gold Reading Program (a literacy initiative launched in 2019), Newmont Ghana rolled out a reading program in partnership with United Way Ghana and the Ghana Library Authority, designed to minimize the

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educational impacts of Covid-19 on children in the Ayawaso District of the capital city, Accra. Another way of supporting communities is by local procurement. Plans have long been in place to optimize procurement and employment opportunities for key stakeholder groups by promoting local employability and skills development, diversity of the workforce, small business development for locals and sustainable business opportunities. Developing and maintaining good relationships with suppliers is essential to Newmont’s overall success, so the company follows a sourcing strategy that utilizes only the highest performing suppliers for any type of good or service acquired. Its Supplier Code of Conduct sets out the minimum standards of conduct expected from all suppliers wishing to do business with, or on behalf of, Newmont, one of which is to embrace the company’s local procurement and employment philosophy, too.

Outlook Newmont announced its 2021 outlook in February, with attributable gold production guidance of 6.5 million ounces and AISC (all-in sustainable costs) of $970 per ounce. Attributable gold production is expected to be between 6.2 and 6.7 million ounces

per year in 2022 and 2023, increasing to between 6.5 to 7.0 million ounces in 2024 and 2025, with improving costs. Newmont’s outlook reflects increasing gold production and ongoing investment in its operating assets and most promising growth prospects. The company has included Ahafo North and Yanacocha Sulfides in its outlook for the first time as the development projects are expected to reach execution stage in 2021. “Newmont’s outlook remains strong and stable as we apply the rigour and discipline of our proven operating model across our world-class portfolio,” said Tom Palmer. “Our five-year outlook reflects improving production and costs as we continue to deliver value from superior operational and project execution. Our strong financial position allows us to continue investing in profitable, organic growth while simultaneously returning cash to shareholders through our industry leading dividend framework.” The outlook for Africa shows production improving in 2021 with Subika Underground delivering higher tonnes at Ahafo, while Akyem benefits from higher grade. CAS (cost of sales) per ounce remains steady with higher grade at Akyem, offset by slightly higher costs at Ahafo due to stockpile processing and stripping from the Subika open pit. Subika Underground should continue

newmont corp first among equals

to deliver higher tonnes through 20222023 while Subika open pit reaches higher grade, partially offset by mine sequencing at Akyem. AISC increases in 2022 with sustaining capital spend for the tailings storage facility at Ahafo. Ahafo North then begins to ramp up in 2023, contributing to the higher production and improving unit costs. In North America, Newmont foresees increased production in 2021 after a full year of operations at Peñasquito in Mexico, and Éléonore and Musselwhite (Canada). Peñasquito is expected to reach slightly higher grade and sustain ‘Full Potential’ improvements in the mill. Porcupine (Canada) will benefit from higher underground and open pit tonnes mined, partially offset by lower leach pad production at Cripple Creek and Victor (Colorado, US). Unit costs are also expected to improve with higher production from a full year of operations at Peñasquito, Éléonore and Musselwhite. Through 2022 and 2023, Éléonore, Musselwhite and CC&V will deliver steady production while Porcupine benefits from higher grades in the Borden underground and the Hollinger open pit mines (in 2022) before Hollinger begins to ramp down in 2023. Peñasquito is, by then, mining lower grade, harder ore from the Chile Colorado pit while stripping the next phases of the Peñasco pit from 2022 to 2024.

Unit costs impacted by mine sequencing at Peñasquito, Éléonore, CC&V and Porcupine will be partially offset by improved productivity and efficiencies at Musselwhite, with the completion of the new conveyor system and lower mine material handling system. In South America, a full year of production in 2021 from Cerro Negro is likely to be partially offset by Merian (Surinam) transitioning to harder rock and Yanacocha transitioning to a primarily leach operation while developing the first phase of the sulfide resources. Unit costs remain steady with higher production and improved productivity at Cerro Negro, offset by lower production at Yanacocha. Production is forecast to improve through 2022-2023 with higher ore tonnes mined from Full Potential productivity improvements and mining from five to six ore sources at Cerro Negro. Yanacocha and Merian are expected to be impacted by slightly lower production due to mine sequencing. In Australia, production will benefit in 2021 from Full Potential improvements at Boddington to sustain mill throughput at greater than 40 million tonnes per annum, while the site also benefits from higher grade in the South Pit. Tanami continues to deliver solid performance with 500,000 ounces of production while advancing the Tanami

Expansion 2 project. AISC includes sustaining capital spend at Boddington to advance Autonomous Haulage, which is expected to reach commercial production in 2021. Production at Boddington benefits from higher grade and improved efficiency from autonomous haulage beginning in 2022 before transitioning to stripping the next layback in 2023. Tanami will partially offset Boddington’s lower production in 2023 as Tanami Expansion 2 begins to ramp up. Unit costs improve with higher grade and efficiency at Boddington and improved underground efficiencies at Tanami as the second expansion comes online. Newmont has been careful to point out that its 2021 and longerterm outlook assumes operations continue without major Covid-related interruptions. The company continues to maintain wide-ranging protective measures for its workforce and neighbouring communities, including screening, physical distancing, deep cleaning and avoiding exposure for at-risk individuals. If continuing operations pose an increased risk to the workforce or host communities, Newmont says it will reduce operational activities up to, and including, care and maintenance and management of critical environmental systems. World Mining Magazine


bhp performance

& development


HP has emerged from a difficult year with a strong safety performance, operations enhanced by automation and reduced carbon emissions, and development projects on track using local suppliers

In his introduction to the operational review for the nine months ended 31 March 2021, BHP Chief Executive Officer Mike Henry highlighted a strong safety and operational performance, with record year-to-date production at Western Australia Iron Ore, the Goonyella Riverside metallurgical coal mine in Queensland and concentrator throughput at Escondida in Chile. Major projects are being ramped up, he said, bringing on new supply in copper and iron ore, with the Spence Growth Option producing copper in Chile and Samarco in Brazil recommencing iron ore pellet production at one concentrator in December 2020. The South Flank iron ore project in Australia is on track to begin production in the middle of the year. One of BHP’s other growth projects, the Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan, Canada, remains on track for a final investment decision in mid-2021.

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performance & development

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IRON ORE Despite restrictions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) achieved record production in FY2020 and again in the nine months to 31 March 2021. 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. The reserve base is relatively concentrated, allowing development to be planned around integrated mining hubs connected to the mines and satellite orebodies by conveyors or spur lines. This approach enables the value of installed infrastructure to be maximised by using the same processing plant and rail infrastructure for a number of orebodies. WAIO consists of four main joint ventures: Mt Newman, Yandi, Mt Goldsworthy and Jimblebar. BHP’s interest in each of the joint ventures is 85 per cent, with Mitsui and ITOCHU owning the remaining 15 per cent. The joint ventures are unincorporated, except Jimblebar. At each processing hub – Newman, Yandi, Mining Area C and Jimblebar – the ore is crushed, beneficiated (where necessary) and blended to create

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“To meet border controls introduced by the Western Australian Government, more than 900 employees and contractors in businesscritical roles were temporarily relocated to Western Australia, including train drivers and train load out operators”

high-grade haematite lump and fines products which are then transported along the Port Hedland–Newman Rail Line to the Finucane Island and Nelson Point port facilities at Port Hedland. WAIO continues to focus on operating safely, implementing a series of preventive measures designed to minimise the spread of Covid-19. To meet border controls introduced by the Western Australian Government, more than 900 employees and contractors in business-critical roles were temporarily relocated to Western Australia, including train drivers and train load out operators. Construction began in July 2018 on the South Flank iron ore project in the Pilbara region. 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. Commissioning activities for South Flank are expected to commence in the June 2021 quarter and the mine is expected to produce 80 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa), replacing volumes from Yandi as it reaches the end of its economic life in the early-to-mid 2020s. The project is expected to create 2,500 construction jobs, more than 600 operational roles and generate


performance & development

opportunities for Western Australian suppliers. The mine is expected to produce iron ore for more than 25 years.

COPPER BHP mines for copper in Chile and Peru, as well as Australia. For the nine months to March 2021, its Chilean assets experienced a substantial reduction in their operational workforces as a result of Covid-19 restrictions, a situation which is expected to continue for the remainder of the financial year. Copper production at Escondida decreased by eight per cent to 821 kt, as record concentrator throughput was offset by the impact of lower concentrator feed grade and lower cathode volumes. Concentrator throughput continues to be prioritised over cathode production as a result of the reduced operational workforce and to prioritise yield of ore. Copper production at Pampa Norte, also in Chile, decreased by 21 per cent to 149 kt, largely due to planned maintenance at Spence as well as the impact of a reduced operational workforce as a result of Covid-19 restrictions.

Olympic Dam BHP’s flagship copper operation, Olympic Dam, located 560 kilometres World Mining Magazine



performance & development

north of Adelaide in South Australia, is one of the world’s most significant deposits of copper, gold, silver and uranium. Olympic Dam consists of underground and surface operations, with a fully integrated processing facility from ore to metal. The underground mine contains more than 450 kilometres of roads and tunnels. Ore mined underground is hauled by an automated train system to crushing, storage and ore hoisting facilities. Olympic Dam copper production increased by 25 per cent to 155 kt in the nine months ending 31 March 2021, reflecting improved smelter performance and stability. Production for the March 2021 quarter itself was 55 kt, the highest quarterly production rate in five years. Production in the 2022 financial year is expected to be lower as a result of the major smelter maintenance campaign planned for

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the first half of the year.

“Commissioning for South Flank commenced in the June 2021 quarter and the mine is expected to produce 80 million tonnes per annum, replacing volumes from Yandi as it reaches the end of its economic life”

Late last year BHP decided against proceeding with a planned $2.5 billion expansion of Olympic Dam after studies of the ore body revealed weaker than expected results. The complex has a range of future growth options, however, from incremental debottlenecking through to large scale investments. A third phase of exploration drilling on the Oak Dam project has been completed with additional geotechnical and geo-metallurgical data collected to assist in the understanding of the deposit. Preparations are also well advanced for the next Smelter Campaign Maintenance to be executed early in FY2022. Downer EDI Ltd has recently announced that its Asset Services business has been awarded a major contract to provide maintenance and shutdown services at Olympic Dam as part of the Smelter Campaign Maintenance 2021 Project (SCM21).

“South Flank is expected to create 2,500 construction jobs, more than 600 operational roles and generate opportunities for Western Australian suppliers. The mine is expected to produce iron ore for more than 25 years”

Downer will deliver two work packages, involving specialist welding, boiler engineering and planning and scheduling services. The project is expected to run for approximately eight months until December 2021, with the major shutdown commencing in August. BHP has also awarded a $15 million contract to Boom Logistics for the supply of cranes, rigging and engineering services. “During the SCM21 shutdown, Boom Logistics will have 40 cranes and approximately 150 crew on site at Olympic Dam,” said CEO and managing director Tony Spassopoulos. “Shutdowns

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are an essential part of mining maintenance, contributing to safe and effective production and productivity improvement.” This year’s mobilisation of equipment will begin in June and will run from August to November 2021.

Newman East BHP has copper operations in Western Australia, too. The company announced in February 2020 that it intended to introduce 20 autonomous trucks at its Newman East mine in WA by the end of the year, creating more than 40 new jobs and generating more than $33 million in contracts for Western Australian

businesses. “We recognise how important it is for BHP to partner with local and small businesses, particularly as we move into a post-Covid economic recovery phase,” said Marie Bourgoin, BHP’s Newman Operations General Manager. “We are pleased to have been able to offer A$33 million in contracts to WA vendors for a range of work packages including autonomous conversion kits, trailers, training content development, and a number of engineering and construction packages.” Home to BHP’s Innovation Centre, the Newman East mine will be the second of the company’s Western Australian


performance & development

mines to transition to fully autonomous haulage. By November last year, 22 autonomous trucks had been fully deployed. BHP has operated a fullyautonomous truck fleet at its Western Australian Jimblebar iron ore mine since 2017. Bourgoin said there were no redundancies as part of the transition and more than 300 people in the Newman operations workforce were undergoing training and upskilling to work on an autonomous haulage site. “We have created new control centre roles, which many of our truck operators have transitioned into, as well as new opportunities in truck maintenance and

fuelling,” she said.

South America By the end of the current financial year, BHP expects to complete a trial of autonomous haul trucks at the Escondida copper mine in the Antofagasta region, and in April this year it was announced that the copper and zinc mine Antamina, (a joint venture in Peru in which BHP owns 33.75%, Glencore 33.75%, Teck 22.5% and Mitsubishi 10%) would do the same. “We are going to make a progressive conversion, with trucks with capacity of 380-400t,” said Antamina president

Víctor Gobitz in a webinar. Antamina is currently focusing on bottlenecks in the crushing area and on new tailings management options. The company has obtained authorization from the environmental certification service for sustainable investments (Senace) to carry out US$180m worth of work to optimize equipment and modify auxiliary components in the mine’s concentrator plant. Antamina is among Peru’s largest copper and zinc producers but also mines molybdenum, silver, bismuth and lead. BHP owns 57.5 per cent of, and operates, the Escondida mine in the Atacama Desert in northern World Mining Magazine


“In September last year BHP signed a renewable power purchasing agreement to meet half of its electricity needs across its Queensland Coal mines from low emissions sources, including solar and wind”

Chile. Escondida’s two pits feed three concentrator plants, as well as two leaching operations (oxide and sulphide). The Centre of Integrated Operations (CIO) was inaugurated in July 2019 in BHP’s Santiago office and has since provided remote control services to the mine and process areas of Escondida and Spence. The CIO enables an operation that is safer and more productive by reducing people on-site and allowing them to work in a collaborative space. The Escondida Water Supply Expansion (EWSE) project was completed on time and budget in

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December 2019. Following the completion of the project, Escondida has eliminated water drawdown from aquifers for operational supply 10 years ahead of its FY2030 target. Also in Chile, Pampa Norte consists of two wholly owned operations in the Atacama Desert – Spence and Cerro Colorado – producing high-quality copper cathodes through leaching, solvent extraction and electrowinning processes. Pampa Norte copper production for FY2020 decreased by 2 per cent to 243 kt, mainly due to a 14 per cent decline in stacked ore grade. 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. The Spence Growth Option (SGO) achieved first copper sales in March 2021, following first copper production in December 2020. The ramp-up to full production capacity at SGO is on track and is expected to take approximately 12 months from first production, following which Spence is expected to average 300 ktpa of over the first four years. The BHP Operating System deployment at Spence started in January 2020 and is expected to continue during FY2021. Similar to Escondida, Spence


performance & development

will be undertaking studies on various material handling technologies, such as automated trucks, trolley assistance and in-pit crushers and conveyors to increase mine productivity and improve cost competitiveness.

COAL BHP mines for coal in Colombia and Australia, where its operations are split between Queensland and New South Wales.

Queensland Coal Queensland Coal comprises the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) and BHP Mitsui Coal (BMC) assets in the Bowen

Basin in Central Queensland where it enjoys key infrastructure including a modern, multi-user rail network and its own coal-loading terminal at Hay Point, near the city of Mackay. BMA is Australia’s largest coal producer and supplier of seaborne metallurgical coal. It is owned 50:50 by BHP and Mitsubishi Development and operates seven Bowen Basin mines (Goonyella Riverside, Broadmeadow, Daunia, Peak Downs, Saraji, Blackwater and Caval Ridge) and owns and operates the Hay Point Coal Terminal. 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.

Autonomous trucks are being implemented at two of these sites, 34 at Daunia and 86 at Goonyella Riverside. Deployment at both sites is expected to be completed early in CY2022. 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. World Mining Magazine


In the nine months ending 31 March 2021, Queensland Coal achieved record underground coal mined at Broadmeadow and record annual production at Caval Ridge and Poitrel. In September last year BHP signed a renewable power purchasing agreement to meet half of its electricity needs across its Queensland Coal mines from low emissions sources, including solar and wind. The agreement will help BHP reduce emissions from electricity use in its Queensland operations by 50 per cent by 2025, based on FY2020 levels. The agreement, with Queensland’s state-owned clean energy generator and retailer CleanCo, will run for five years from 1 January 2021. The agreement is the first of its kind signed by BHP in Australia and follows the company’s shift to 100 per cent renewables in its Chilean operations at Escondida and Spence from the mid-2020s. It will also support the development of new solar

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and wind farms in Queensland – the Western Downs Green Power Hub due for completion in late 2022, and Karara Wind Farm due for completion in early 2023.

in the short term, but overall increased realised value. Truck productivity improvements were delivered in the second half of FY2020, enabling a step-change improvement across the company’s mining fleets.

New South Wales Energy Coal

BHP is seeking approval for the Mt Arthur Coal mine to continue operating beyond 30 June 2026, when the current open-cut approval expires. As well as a new mining lease, New State Significant Development (SSD) and Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act approvals are required for operations to continue beyond 30 June 2026.

New South Wales Energy Coal consists of the Mt Arthur Coal open-cut energy coal mine in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, which produces coal for domestic and international customers in the energy sector. Operated by Hunter Valley Energy Coal Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of BHP, Mt Arthur Coal is approximately five kilometres south of the town of Muswellbrook, with workforce of around 2,000 people who predominantly live in the region. During FY2020, NSWEC transitioned to a strategy of optimising product quality, which resulted in a reduction in volumes and an increase in unit costs

The multi-year approval process will involve comprehensive assessment and review, and broad engagement to enable the local community and other key stakeholders to provide input. As announced in August 2020, however, BHP is


performance & development

assessing options to divest its thermal coal assets, including Mt Arthur Coal, to focus its portfolio on higher quality metallurgical coal, which means Mt Arthur Coal’s ownership or operating control could change before the continuation project is fulfilled.

Cerrejón BHP recently sold its one-third interest in Cerrejón to Glencore. Cerrejón is one of the world’s largest open-cut export energy coal mines, located in the La Guajira province of Colombia. Cerrejón also owns and operates integrated rail and port facilities through which the majority of production is exported to European, Asian, North and South American customers. Production at Cerrejón decreased by 50 per cent in the nine months to 31 March 2021, largely as a result of a 91-day strike in the first half of the year and subsequent delays to the restart of

production, as well as the impact of a reduced operational workforce due to Covid-19 restrictions.

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. Low-grade disseminated sulphide ore is mined from Mt Keith, a large openpit operation. The ore is crushed and processed on-site to produce nickel concentrate. High-grade nickel sulphide ore is mined at Cliffs and Leinster underground mines and Rocky’s Reward open-pit mine. The ore is processed through a concentrator and dryer at Leinster. Nickel West’s concentrator plant in Kambalda processes ore and concentrate purchased from third parties.

The three streams of nickel concentrate come together at the Nickel West Kalgoorlie smelter, which uses a flash furnace to smelt concentrate to produce nickel matte. Nickel West Kwinana then refines granulated nickel matte from the Kalgoorlie smelter into premium-grade nickel powder and briquettes containing 99.8 per cent nickel. Nickel matte and metal are exported to overseas markets via the Port of Fremantle. Over 75% of BHP’s nickel is now sold to global battery material suppliers. Nickel West is expected to complete construction soon of a nickel sulphate plant at the Kwinana nickel refinery, with first product due in the second half of FY2021. Nickel sulphate is used in the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles. The Nickel West resource transition, involving the construction of three new mines, continued to progress during FY2020, with two of these mines now in World Mining Magazine


full production. The Mt Keith satellite mine (Yakabindie) entered production in December 2019 and is now the primary source of feed to the Mt Keith concentrator. The Venus underground mine transitioned to full production in September 2019, with ore hoisted to the Leinster concentrator. Leinster B11 (the first block cave to be developed by BHP, located beneath the Leinster underground mine) is expected to commence the undercut phase during

World Mining Magazine


the first half of FY2021, providing increasing quantities of ore to the Leinster concentrator as the project progresses to full caving. Nickel West signed an agreement to acquire the Honeymoon Well development project on 19 June 2020 and the remaining 50 per cent interest in the Albion Downs North and Jericho exploration joint ventures, located approximately 50 kilometres from Mt Keith. Nickel West production increased by

“BHP has announced its intention to reduce emissions from electricity use by up to 50 per cent at the Nickel West Kwinana Refinery”


performance & development

19 per cent to 67 kt as a result of major quadrennial maintenance shutdowns in the prior period and strong performance from the new mines. Production for the March 2021 quarter was impacted by the planned maintenance undertaken at the Kwinana refinery during the quarter. Guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged at between 85 and 95 kt. BHP announced its intention in February this year to reduce emissions from electricity use by up to 50 per cent

at the Nickel West Kwinana Refinery. A 10 year renewable power purchasing agreement has been signed with Risen Energy to supply up to 50 per cent of its electricity needs at the Kwinana Refinery from Merredin Solar Farm. “We have established significant renewable power supply agreements for our Kwinana nickel refinery, Queensland Coal operations, and Escondida and Spence copper mines,” said Mike Henry. “With our focus on keeping our people safe, costs down and

productivity up, we are well positioned to finish the year strongly and continue delivering the essential products the world needs.”

World Mining Magazine

World Mining Magazine


Brain drain in the mineral sector spells trouble for critical industries

With a growing demand for critical minerals, the mining industry is looking for solutions to access additional resources with a limited workforce By Greg Rankin


he ‘metals of the future’ are deeply reliant on a robust mining sector. Everything from space travel and transportation, to electronics and power storage, even communications and medical applications rely on critical minerals such as aluminum, platinum, lithium, as well as gold, silver and copper. There is a major roadblock ahead, however - a lack of talent needed to drive the industry forward. “We’re tapped out at this moment in time,” says William Sattlegger, P. Geo, a geoscientist with more than 35 years in the resource industry and the Executive Director of the Redefining Electrical Metals Conference. “What I’ve seen over the last several years is a deficiency of talent. We just don’t have enough experienced people: technical staff, service providers, operational services, equipment, labour, period.” Unfortunately, he says, the problem is getting worse. In his opinion, it starts at the academic level where there are simply not enough university students seeking a career in the mineral sector. This comes on the heels of a report by the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics

World Mining Magazine


that says the industry will need to increase its workforce by at least 4% over the next decade. Critical minerals There are far-reaching implications if the dearth of talent persists. In 2018, a number of governments began compiling lists of minerals that were considered critical for economic and

“With today’s technology, we should be getting 90% recovery or more” national security. These lists varied slightly by locale, but typically included dozens of minerals such as lithium, platinum group metals and aluminum. While many governments are working to increase domestic mining of these minerals, it becomes much more difficult if people are not entering the

industry at a sustainable rate. “It is ironic that you have all these highly talented young people going into the tech industry, aerospace, electric vehicles, but without these critical metals, they won’t be able to produce that technology,” adds Sattlegger. Mining for options There are a number of solutions that the industry could focus on to help align itself with the imminent shortfall in talent. As an example, instead of committing large investments into the exploration of new properties, the mining industry needs to shift to extracting the resources that were previously left behind in known deposits because at the time they were simply not economical. “Historically, when miners found something, they would only be able to pull about 60% of the precious metal out of the ground,” explains Sattlegger. “Thankfully, with today’s technology, we should be getting 90% recovery or more, utilizing extraction processes which are less detrimental to the environment.” Additionally, mining operations

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should be developing more than just the most valuable or primary commodities within a known deposit. Since these key minerals occur together naturally, mining operations should be extracting not just the gold and silver, but all the associated minerals which are technically feasible. By focusing on underdeveloped properties, companies can also dramatically reduce the time it takes to get from the exploration phase to production. “We are seeing this business model work more and more,” says Sattlegger. “It is easier to finance and becomes more attractive for investors.” He believes that junior mining operations are better positioned to take advantage of these opportunities, however. A better mousetrap Element79 Gold Corp (CSE: ELEM, FST: 7YS), a junior mining company with a growing list of properties globally, is a prime example of this strategy. The company’s mission is to take its acquisitions and develop them using state-of-the-art technology. The

intent of its business model is to turn those assets into proven resource values and then cashflow-positive operations in under two years. “We have the flexibility to be nimble, acquire multiple properties, and at the same time take advantage of the latest and greatest technologies,” says James Tworek, CEO of Element79. “While we obviously work with great contractors, we don’t necessarily need a massive workforce under our wing.” While mining traditionally depends on tested-and-true methodologies and technologies, Element79 is not against breaking the mould when it comes to the utilization of bleeding-edge technologies. This could include the use of AI systems to analyze geological and geophysical data from existing drillholes and regional analogs. Additionally, the company may look to incorporate everything from satellitebased geophysics to high-resolution imaging of in-ground resources. Both AI and satellite geophysical technologies utilize supercomputers to crunch and render data for improved results when setting new targets for future drill plans.

Element79 has also recently deployed drone-based magnetic resonance to generate higher quality hits on properties instead of helicopter recon. “Old technologies often require a dozen or more workers onsite to operate,” adds Tworek. “A major benefit of new tech is that in some cases you can get equal, if not far better, results with fewer humans. So, if people are becoming scarce in this industry across North America, then that is a good thing.” Technological advances can also improve the recovery of resources on the backend as well. “What was previously uneconomical for miners in the past can become profitable to more innovative miners today, with smaller teams, harnessing newer technology and equipment,” explains Tworek. “With the global population growing along with developing economies, there will always be more demand for resources.” Author: Greg Rankin is a Houston-based freelance writer with more than 20 years’ experience writing for the energy, mining and resource industries. World Mining Magazine


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ABB unveils ABB Ability™ eMine to fast-track transition to all-electric mines


BB has launched ABB Ability™ eMine, a portfolio of solutions aimed at accelerating the move towards a zero-carbon mine. ABB also unveiled the piloting of ABB Ability™ eMine FastCharge, a powerful charging system designed to interface with all makes of electric haul trucks. eMine™ comprises a portfolio of electrification technologies which makes the all-electric mine possible from mine to port and is integrated with digital applications and services to monitor and optimize energy usage. It can electrify any mining equipment across hoisting, grinding, hauling and material handling. From 2022, it will include new ABB

“The global mining industry is undergoing one of the most significant and important transformations of our generation”

Ability eMine FastCharge which provides high-power electric charging for haul trucks and is currently in pilot phase. It also incorporates the ABB Ability eMine Trolley System which can reduce diesel consumption by up to 90 per cent, significantly lowering energy costs and environmental impact. “The global mining industry is undergoing one of the most significant and important transformations of our generation – and that is to become zero-carbon,” said Max Luedtke, global head of mining at ABB. “ABB Ability eMine is an exciting milestone to help convert existing mining operations from fossil fuel energy to all-electric. Mines can become even more energy efficient with vastly reduced levels of CO₂ emissions, while at the same time staying competitive and ensuring high productivity.” eMine FastCharge is a flexible and fully automated solution, designed for the harshest environments. It can be installed anywhere and can charge any electric truck without human intervention at up to 600kW, the highest power available today, to minimize the downtime of mobile assets. Charging time will depend on the battery capacity onboard the haul truck and the operational profile, but ABB claims that in many instances a suitable state of charge can be reached within 15 minutes. World Mining Magazine


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Otso Gold returns to production and pours first gold


tso Gold Corp has announced the restart of production and completion of the first gold pour at its wholly owned Otso Gold Mine near the town of Raahe in Finland. The restart of production and the gold pour marks the completion of all the preparatory works and the hiring and training of over 140 full time staff now on site, with a further 128 contractors

retained to provide permanent services to the mine. The company is currently processing approximately 4,000 tonnes of ore a day and blasting ore in mining areas four times a week, ramping up towards name plate capacity of 6,000 tonnes of ore a day. The company has also completed a further 6,000 meters of grade control

reverse circulation drilling during the past month to underpin detailed mine planning. “This is a major milestone for the company and represents the dedication and commitment of the team,” said CEO Brian Wesson. “We look forward to continuing towards long term, sustainable commercial production over the following weeks.”

Mistango announces 5,000 metre phase 2 drill program at Kirkland West


anadian-based exploration and development company Mistango River Resources has announced the start of a Phase 2 drilling program at its 100%-owned Kirkland West Gold Project, adjacent to Kirkland Lake Gold’s Macassa Mine in Ontario. The Phase 2 program in the Baldwin Zone will include 5,000 metres of drilling and is designed to test exploration targets hosted by

geological and structural environments that are determined to be highly prospective, based on comparison with gold deposits in the adjacent Kirkland Lake mining camp. New interpretations of geological and structural environments and exploration drill targeting in the Baldwin Zone are informed by the results of new 3-D inversion models of aeromagnetic and gravity data that are

constrained by available geological data. Mistango is confident that the application of constrained modelling of geophysical data is the best approach to exploration drill targeting at the scale of the project area and will allow the company’s exploration program to advance most efficiently towards discovery at the Kirkland West Gold project.

World Mining Magazine


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American Eagle engages drill contractor at Golden Gate Project


merican Eagle has engaged Major Drilling for the company’s initial drill program at its Golden Gate Project within the Cortez Trend of Nevada. Drill permits have been received from the Bureau of Land Management and drilling is expected to begin in November. The exploration team utilized geochemistry and geophysics to delineate two initial drill target zones on the Cortez Fault zone, south of Barrick’s Cortez Hills mine. The campaign will begin with a 3,000-metre program, with 3 – 4 drill holes focused on the Northern Cortez and Southern Cortez target zones. The goal of the program is to intercept lower plate rocks and identify deep alteration and mineralization analogous to Barrick Gold’s Gold Rush and Cortez

“The Cortez trend has been an incredibly fertile ground for gold, and we believe we are well-positioned for discovery” Hills projects next door. Results of the drill program will help the exploration team delineate a second drill campaign to vector into a discovery of an orebody.

“American Eagle Gold has taken great care in completing the appropriate groundwork to maximize the potential outcome of this upcoming drill program,” said Anthony Moreau, CEO for American Eagle Gold. “Our team understands the challenges that discovery brings, but being located within the Cortez Trend, adjacent to world-class orebodies owned by Barrick and Newmont provides us valuable information and insight on the gold system we believe travels through the Golden Gate property. “Also, being led by Mark Bradley, who discovered Barrick’s Gold Rush deposit, gives us great confidence in our exploration team. The Cortez trend has been an incredibly fertile ground for gold, and we believe we are wellpositioned for discovery.”

DOE approval for Enertopia lithium research project


nertopia Corporation, a lithium focused exploration and development company with a 160 acre project claim in the Clayton Valley of Nevada, has been selected for funding by the US Department of Energy, for the development of critical materials. The DOE announced more than $50 million in funding for 15 projects focused on field validation and demonstration, as well as next-

generation extraction, separation and processing technologies, for critical materials. Enertopia is employing modern technology to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate from brines or the creation of a synthetic brine from the project. The project is in partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Moselle Technologies, and four other companies. The partnership

will be using magnetic core-shell nanoparticles technology to recover lithium from unconventional sources. Critical materials are used in many products important to the American economy and energy technologies, such as rare-earth elements used to manufacture high-strength magnets for offshore wind-turbine generators and lithium and cobalt in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. World Mining Magazine



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Nevada Gold Mines in asset exchange with i-80 Gold Corp “An asset not being utilized by NGM has become a transformational asset for i-80”


evada Gold Mines has agreed with i-80 Gold Corp to consolidate the South Arturo property in exchange for Lone Tree and Buffalo Mountain properties. NGM currently owns 60 per cent of the South Arturo Joint Venture, and will acquire the remaining 40 per cent, along with a low-cost option to acquire the adjacent Rodeo Creek exploration property, in exchange for the Lone Tree and Buffalo Mountain properties and infrastructure which are currently in care and maintenance. The exchange transaction will have an effective date of 1 June 2021.

“This is a win-win transaction for both Nevada Gold Mines and i-80,” said Greg Walker, executive managing director of NGM. “Through the acquisition of Lone Tree, an asset not being utilized by NGM has become a transformational asset for i-80. In return, NGM’s acquisition of i-80’s 40% of the South Arturo Joint Venture secures additional ounces with both open-pit and underground optionality for our Carlin operation. We are excited for the opportunities and growth this deal will bring to both parties which will strengthen the mining industry in Nevada, providing benefits for all.”

As a condition to closing the exchange agreement, i-80 Gold will assume the environmental liabilities for Lone Tree and Buffalo Mountain and will be responsible for securing replacement closure bonding and a release of NGM’s existing bonds. Similarly, NGM will assume the environmental liabilities and bonding obligations for South Arturo and Rodeo Creek. Nevada Gold Mines is operated by Barrick Gold Corporation and is a joint venture between Barrick (61.5%) and Newmont (38.5%) which created the single largest gold-producing complex in the world.

Rock Tech engages Niigaani Drilling at Georgia Lake


ock Tech Lithium has engaged Niigaani Drilling to complete a drill program at the company’s Georgia Lake lithium project in Ontario. The objective of the program is to confirm the delineated mineral resource, forming the basis for a prefeasibility study. The program is targeting a total of 7,800 metres over five deposits: Main Zone North, Main Zone South West, Conway, Harricana and Line 60.

“We are pleased with the progress at the Georgia Lake Project in the first half of 2021 and have commenced a Pre-Feasibility Study which is expected to be concluded in Q1 2022,” said Bob MacDonald, General Manager of the Georgia Lake Lithium Project. “We have engaged Niigaani Drilling to complete our 2021 drill programme with the focus on upgrading our confidence in the five main pegmatite dykes hosting spodumene in our

northern land package. We are continuing to take all the necessary steps to advance the Georgia Lake Project.” Dirk Harbecke, Rock Tech CEO, said the company was “on time to achieve our goal to deliver our first battery-grade lithium hydroxide in 2024 and be part of the electric revolution that will transform the mobility sector in the coming decade.”

World Mining Magazine


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IoT set to become No1 technology in mining


esearch commissioned by Inmarsat, the global, mobile satellite communications provider, has found that investment in Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) technology in mining is set to overtake cloud computing, next generation

report Industrial IoT in the Time of Covid-19 focuses on measuring the IoT maturity of global industry during the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise of digitalised production and supply chains. It analyses a number of key themes such as adoption, connectivity,

“Mining respondents reported plans to invest the greatest proportion of their IT budget on IoT projects over the next three years” security, big data analytics and other Industry 4.0 technologies. Mining respondents reported plans to invest the greatest proportion of their IT budget on IoT projects over the next three years. While IoT accounted for an average of 7.5 per cent of a typical mining organisation’s IT budget between 2017 and 2020, businesses are planning to spend 10.4 per cent of their IT budgets on IoT projects over the next three years. Planned investments in IoT are notably higher than those earmarked for other Industry 4.0 technologies, including cloud computing (8.6 per cent), big data analytics (7.5 per cent), next generation security (7.5 per cent) and machine learning (5.6 per cent). The Inmarsat Research Programme

data, skills, security and investment. The report is based on interviews with 450 global respondents across the agriculture, electrical utilities, mining, oil & gas and transport & logistics sectors in early 2021, a year after the start of the pandemic. Respondents from businesses with at least 250 employees from the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific responsible for delivering IoT initiatives at their respective organisations were surveyed. As part of the research, Inmarsat is also offering businesses the opportunity to measure their IoT readiness versus the respondents in the survey, using a free IoT maturity tool. To use the IoT Maturity tool and download the full report, visit: World Mining Magazine



Loulo-Gounkoto’s new underground mine ramps up “Loulo-Gounkoto is one of the world’s greatest gold mining operations and it continues to confirm its status as a member of the industry’s elite Tier One club”


uccessful exploration is keeping Barrick Gold’s Loulo-Gounkoto mine in Mali on track to increase mineral reserves net of depletion for the third successive year, according to Barrick president and chief executive Mark Bristow, with promising results from the Yalea Ridge and GounkotoFaraba targets reaffirming the potential for further life-of-mine extensions. Speaking at a media briefing, Bristow

said Loulo-Gounkoto was on track to meet its annual production guidance, with its new underground mine at Gounkoto — the complex’s third underground operation — ramping up production. “Loulo-Gounkoto is one of the world’s greatest gold mining operations and it continues to confirm its status as a member of the industry’s elite Tier One club, as well as the largest private sector

contributor to Mali’s GDP,” said Bristow. Loulo-Gounkoto is maintaining its commitment to the employment and advancement of host country nationals, in line with Barrick’s global policy, and people from the nearby Kenieba village have been successfully trained to operate key equipment at the new Gounkoto underground mine. The complex is almost entirely staffed and managed by Malian citizens.

Nickel Rock updates exploration program in British Columbia


ickel Rock Resources has announced that the second phase of its initial exploration program has been completed on its nickel exploration claims in northern British Columbia, Canada. The BC Nickel Exploration Project consists of four non-contiguous mineral claims groups held through three separate agreements. The exploration stage project is in the Trembleur Lake area of central British Columbia, partially adjacent to FPX Nickel Corp’s Decar Nickel Project. Nickel Rock has optioned out an 80% interest on two of its four mineral

claims within the group, the Hard Nickel 4 and Nickel 100 exploration claims, to Surge Battery Metals in order to concentrate on its exploration efforts on the Nickel Group Claims directly adjacent to the FPX Nickel Corp Baptiste Nickel Deposit. “We are very pleased with the results from our initial exploration program on the Hard Nickel and Nickel 100 claim group and specifically with the work completed during phase 2 of this initial exploration program,” said Robert Setter, company president and CEO. “So far, we have recorded some

relatively high Ni readings measured via portable XRF on the Nickel S block, as mentioned in our news from June 28, 2021, and our geological team suspects these ultramafic rocks have potential to host awaruite mineralization. This second phase of exploration includes both soil and rock sampling, technical report writing, mapping and assay work, with the remaining work to be done on trenching, geological, geochemical and geophysical surveying. Completion of this remaining work will fulfil our flowthrough exploration work program commitments for 2021.” World Mining Magazine


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uranium potential at Arctic Fox and Isbjorn Properties in Australia


egawatt Lithium and Battery Metals Corp has decided to accelerate the development of the uranium potential at its Arctic Fox and Isbjorn Projects in Australia’s Northern Territory. This follows the receipt of an interim report from the geology team, highlighting the significant uranium potential within both properties. The board has decided that developing the uranium and rare earth element potential of both properties concurrently can potentially create significant incremental shareholder value. Moreover, the decision coincides with rapidly improving fundamentals for the uranium sector which has propelled the contract price to multiyear highs. The Northern Territory has some of Australia’s best-known and highgrade uranium deposits. Moreover, the Northern Territory government has a long history of allowing uranium mining, which commenced in 1953. The Arctic Fox property is contiguous to Arafura Resources’ world-class Nolans Bore Deposit, a rare earth element-phosphorus-uranium fluorapatite vein system. This deposit will encompass a mine, process plant and critical infrastructure, with commissioning slated for 2022.

“The fundamental outlook for uranium has improved significantly this year” Within the Isbjorn property there are assayed alluvial and stream sediment samples at five locations which are all significant and require further on-site follow up. “Following the receipt of the geology

team’s interim report, the board decided to accelerate developing the uranium potential of the Arctic Fox and Isbjorn Projects,” said CEO David Thornley-Hall. “Clearly, both properties are prospective for uranium mineralization, evidenced by numerous high-grade surface samples that reconcile with the observations from the recent field trip. In addition, the fundamental outlook for uranium has improved significantly this year, while the properties are located in a region with first rate infrastructure and jurisdiction which is pro-uranium mining.”

St James Gold reports on drilling at Florin Project, Yukon


t. James Gold Corp has announced that its 2021 campaign has been directed towards drilling further mineralization in order to increase the overall 2.47Moz gold inferred resource at the Florin Project in the Yukon. The program has focused on areas adjacent to the existing inferred resource in areas where anomalous gold results have been returned from soil sampling in previous seasons.

In parallel, a prospecting drive has started to map sites of historic artisanal mining identified next to dumps that have yielded gold-bearing grab samples. These areas are under investigation to better understand the mechanisms that concentrate higher grades of mineralization in and around the Florin intrusion. In the meantime, satellite imagery has been ordered to guide prospecting, mapping and sampling to better

understand the distribution of mineralization in and around the Florin intrusion. “We are pleased with the startup progress on the Q3 2021 core drilling campaign at the Florin Project which is targeting areas adjacent to known gold mineralization with the intention of adding ounces to the existing inferred Resource figure of 2.47Moz Au,” said CEO George Drazenovic. World Mining Magazine


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Inomin starts drilling at Beaver-Lynx Nickel-Cobalt Property “The company recently acquired additional mineral claims to join the Beaver and Lynx claim blocks into a single property”


nomin Mines has started drilling at the company’s 100 percent owned Beaver-Lynx Nickel-Cobalt property in the Cariboo region of British Columbia. Approximately 1,200 metres of diamond drilling is planned to test for nickel mineralization within a 5 – 6 kilometre-long area covering the Spur and North Lobe zones. This large exploration area has been defined by MINE’s summer 2021 ground magnetic survey and limited previous drilling. The Beaver-Lynx project is 15 –

25 kilometres east and southeast respectively of Taseko Mines Ltd’s Gibraltar Mine. Initial exploration and metallurgical studies at Beaver, including geophysical surveys and diamond drilling programs during 2013 – 2014, demonstrated the property’s potential to host large areas of nearsurface, disseminated sulphide nickel and cobalt, amenable to conventional extraction methods. The company recently acquired additional mineral claims to join the Beaver and Lynx claim blocks into a

single property (Beaver-Lynx). Mineral claims were also acquired in the Lynx area to cover a strong magnetic target. Magnetic surveys have proven very effective at delineating magnetiteserpentinite rocks hosting nickel-cobalt mineralization. At Beaver, airborne and ground magnetic surveys have identified five magnetite-serpentinite zones with a cumulative strike length of approximately 10 kilometres. Historic drilling at these zones intersected strongly magnetic shallowdipping serpentinites hosting nickel mineralization in sulphide form. Given the positive drill results related to areas of significant magnetite-rich serpentinite rocks, Beaver displays potential to host multiple zones of large, disseminated, sulphide nickel. Cobalt occurs with nickel mineralization ranging from 0.009% to 0.012% cobalt. The Beaver-Lynx project is situated in relatively flat terrain and easily accessible via all-season roads, as well as a network of forestry roads providing access to most of the property. Other important nearby infrastructure includes electricity (hydro-power) and railroad. Skilled workers, contractors, and supplies are available locally from the city of Williams Lake situated about 20 kilometres south of Lynx. World Mining Magazine


The worldwide leader in specialized drilling Major Drilling maintains field operations and offices in Canada, the United States, Mexico, South America, Asia, Africa and Australia.

We are one of the world’s largest surface and underground drilling services companies primarily serving the mining industry.


Akobo Minerals signs contract with MIDROC for a second core-drilling rig “Core drilling is a critical step in the extension and advancement of mine planning at Segele”


kobo Minerals, a Norway-based gold exploration company with exploration and smallscale mine development in southwest Ethiopia, will soon be working with a total of three core drilling rigs, including one company owned drill rig. After the performance of the first drill rig from MIDROC Geo/Exploration Services met expectations, a contract amendment has been signed for a

second drill rig to be engaged. This allows for much faster development towards mining and extension of the Segele mineral resource. Core drilling is a critical step in the extension and advancement of mine planning at Segele. So far Akobo Minerals has produced a total of 9,400 metres of drilling. With the third drill rig in operation a production rate of 90 - 120 metres per day is expected.

The additional core drilling capacity will allow the company to perform extension drilling and infill drilling simultaneously at Segele, while also advancing the scout drilling program at Joru. MIDROC Geo/Exploration Services PLC is a subsidiary of MIDROC - Mohammed International Development Research and Organization Companies.

BHP delivers first crystals from Kwinana nickel sulphate plant


HP has produced the first nickel sulphate crystals from its nickel sulphate plant in Kwinana, south of Perth in Western Australia. The plant will produce 100,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate per year when fully operational. “BHP’s nickel sulphate plant is the first of its kind in Australia, and will produce enough premium nickel sulphate to make 700,000 electric vehicle batteries each year,” said BHP Nickel West Asset President, Jessica Farrell.

“Our investment to upgrade the refinery to produce high purity nickel sulphate, along with nickel powder and briquettes, will enhance Nickel West’s position as a supplier of choice for the growing global electric battery market.” Demand for nickel in batteries is expected to increase by 500 percent in

the next decade. Over half of the plant was fabricated in Western Australia using local skills and suppliers. This included the steel work, fibreglass leach vessels and stainless steel tanks. The plant consists of leaching tanks, purification technology, a crystalliser and dryer and an automated packaging system. Nickel from BHP’s mines is processed at the Kalgoorlie nickel smelter.

World Mining Magazine



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

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