Arianne Phosphate, a development-stage phosphate mining company, advancing the Lac à Paul project in Quebec’s Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, has announce significant advancements in the design of its future tailings facility. Arianne partnered with the Quebec Center of Geomatics (CGQ), to advance research and development on a new method for the design and future monitoring of the Company’s tailings operations. This work will use geomatic and remote sensing tools combined with artificial intelligence that should greatly improve the safety aspects of Arianne’s operations.
The Lac à Paul project consists of the operation of an open-pit phosphate mine in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, located in Quebec, Canada. Every day, 55,000 t of ore will be processed in order to produce 3 Mt of phosphate concentrate (apatite) per year. Approximately 1,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created for the 26-year life of mine.
“The Lac à Paul mine is projected to be one of the most environmentally friendly phosphate mines in the world,” said Jean-Sébastien David, COO of Arianne Phosphate. “From the project’s onset, Arianne’s design process had the goal of constructing a mine using best environmental practices and, the integration of technology was vital in this regard. Further, our reliance on renewable hydro-electricity will allow us to greatly diminish our production of greenhouse gases [GHG] with the goal of ultimately being GHG neutral. Our most recent endeavours have also added to the safety and structural integrity of our tailings facility.”
Brian Ostroff, CEO of Arianne Phosphate added, “we take seriously our responsibilities surrounding environmental and safety issues. We know that many challenges surrounding mining operations stem from failures at their tailings facilities and, our work here goes a long way towards reducing these threats. Arianne will produce a high-purity, low-contaminant phosphate concentrate that provides for society’s needs but, in as safe and effective manner as possible.”
Arianne partnered with the Quebec Center of Geomatics (CGQ), a group within the College of Chicoutimi, in the Province of Quebec, to develop a new way to use geomatic and remote sensing instruments and monitor this information through a solution that uses artificial intelligence. It is during the construction process that sensors will be built in throughout the tailings dam that will measure, in real-time, data points such as moisture and pressure and, make adjustments as necessary to allow for smooth and safe operations, allowing for greater safety.
The research project was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) through its Partnership Engage Grants.