Tag Archives: AGP Mining Consultants

Sandvik to deliver ‘biggest BEV fleet to date’ for Foran’s McIlvenna Bay

Foran Mining has selected Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions to supply a fleet of 20 battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), including trucks, loaders and drills, for its McIlvenna Bay project in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Set to be one of the world’s first carbon-neutral copper development projects, McIlvenna Bay will be powered by clean hydroelectric power and designed to take advantage of Sandvik’s latest technological advances in sustainable mining, the OEM says.

Sandvik’s biggest BEV fleet to date will include seven Sandvik 18-t-payload LH518B loaders (pictured dumping into a TH550B), six Sandvik 50-t-payload TH550B trucks, four Sandvik DD422iE jumbo drill rigs, two Sandvik DL422iE longhole drills and one Sandvik DS412iE mechanical bolter. Delivery of the equipment is scheduled to begin next year and continue into 2025, Sandvik says.

Sandvik will also provide on-site service support and Battery as a Service by Sandvik at the underground copper-zinc mining project located in east-central Saskatchewan.

Jakob Rutqvist, VP Strategy and Commercial for Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions’ Battery and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (BHEV) Business Unit, said: “This record contract is the culmination of a year-long collaborative effort between Foran Mining and Sandvik and demonstrates a shared vision that electrification will drive the future of sustainable mining. BEVs have enormous potential to reduce a mining operation’s carbon footprint, and Canada continues to be the epicentre for mining electrification and a blueprint for what to expect in other major mining regions very soon.”

Copper and zinc are critical metals for the transition to a low-carbon future as essential elements of electrical grids, solar panels, wind turbines and batteries. The McIlvenna Bay project intends to supply those minerals in a way that will not only be carbon neutral but ultimately have a net positive impact on the climate, according to Sandvik.

Dave Bernier, Chief Operating Officer of Foran Mining, said: “This is a very exciting period for Foran as we continue to execute on our initiatives to permit, construct and operate McIlvenna Bay. Sandvik is a global leader in industrial battery technology and we look forward to working together on our project. Utilising battery-electric equipment with semi- and fully-autonomous capabilities can help us achieve carbon neutral targets and provide a safer working environment, which is part of our Net Positive Business strategy as we look to deliver critical metals essential for global decarbonisation in a responsible and socially-empowering way.”

Foran Mining conducted a thorough analysis during its 2020 prefeasibility study to determine the investment case for BEVs compared with diesel. The company determined that BEVs would deliver better financial results at McIlvenna Bay when considering the savings generated through lower ventilation capital and operating costs.

That report, authored by AGP Mining Consultants Inc, envisaged the potential use of 7 Sandvik LH517i LHDs and 11 Artisan Vehicles (Sandvik) Z50 battery electric trucks for a 3,600 t/d of polymetallic ore operation.

Stefan Widing, President and CEO of Sandvik, said: “I am very pleased that Foran Mining has chosen Sandvik to deliver our leading battery-electric solutions for the pioneering McIlvenna Bay project. We see very strong momentum for our mining electrification offering, which offers great potential in driving more sustainable mining, helping customers to boost productivity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve workers’ health.”

A dedicated on-site project team will be jointly working with the mine’s operations team to ensure the products and services in the delivery scope support the alliance on Foran’s journey towards more productive, efficient and sustainable mining, Sandvik said.

“Battery as a Service by Sandvik will enable McIlvenna Bay to get the most out of its battery-electric equipment by relying on unrivaled expertise to manage the capacity and health of batteries and chargers throughout their long lives,” it added.

Skeena Resources signs up Ausenco, SRK and AGP for Eskay Creek PFS

Skeena Resources is to commence a prefeasibility study (PFS) on its Eskay Creek gold-silver project in the Golden Triangle of northwest British Columbia, Canada.

The goal of the PFS is to de-risk Eskay Creek, while developing an appropriate execution strategy to ensure fast-tracked development towards commercial production, Skeena says.

Given the success of the team that developed the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for Eskay Creek, Skeena says it will once again partner with Ausenco Engineering Canada, SRK Consulting, and AGP Mining Consultants to complete the PFS. The target completion date for the PFS is summer 2021.

This PEA envisaged a high-grade open-pit mine producing a life of mine average of 236,000 oz/y of gold and 5.81 Moz of at all-in sustaining costs (including by products) of $615/oz gold recovered. It would involve a 6,850 t/d mill and flotation plant producing a saleable concentrate.

Shane Williams, Skeena’s new Chief Operating Officer, said: “I am very excited to be joining the Skeena team at this transitional stage in the company’s history. The PFS is the next step in the evolution of Eskay Creek as we move this high-grade, open-pit project towards development and through to commercial production.”

A key work program as part of the development of the PFS will be an extensive infill drilling program to convert a large portion of the inferred resources into the measured and indicated category and following completion of the PFS, declare maiden reserves for Eskay Creek, Skeena said.

The company said: “Following the completion of the Eskay Creek PEA in 2019, several areas were identified that could be optimised and enhanced with further work. This includes optimising the metallurgy and the concentrate quality and to better optimise the flowsheet.

“Another focus area will be to gain a better understanding of the geotechnical characteristics in the open pit, which will allow for further pit optimisation studies. Preparations and planning for these work programs are ongoing.”

Subject to the agreement with Barrick, upon exercise of the option to acquire a 100%-interest in Eskay Creek, the company will enter the permitting process for the expanded Eskay Creek project, it said.

Skeena has already begun the environmental studies that are required for permitting and has initiated community engagement and consultation with Indigenous Nations.

Filo del Sol copper-gold-silver blueprint includes autonomous haul truck fleet

Filo Mining has released the results of a prefeasibility study, carried out by Ausenco, on its Filo del Sol copper-gold-silver project on the borders of Chile and Argentina.

The PFS envisages average annual production of approximately 67,000 t of copper, 159,000 oz of gold, and 8.65 Moz of silver at a C1 cost of $1.23/lb ($2,712/t) copper-equivalent.

It also contemplates the use of an autonomous haul truck fleet, which allows the company to take advantage of the technology’s proven productivity improvements and operating cost savings, Filo Mining said.

Filo Mining is the second development-focused company in the past few months to make plans to incorporate autonomous haulage from the off. In November, NGEx Resources said it assumed its Josemaría project in Chile would use the latest in autonomous haul truck technologies.

The Filo del Sol study contemplates open-pit mining, with conventional drilling, blasting and loading performed on 12 m benches and is based off an initial probable reserve of 259 Mt at 0.39% Cu, 0.33 g/t Au and 15 g/t Ag.

Pre-production capital was pegged at $1.27 billion (excluding costs prior to a construction decision) and the company estimated a 14-year mine life with copper cathode, gold-silver doré and a high-grade copper precipitate produced. Filo said the post-tax net present value (8% discount) was $1.28 billion at copper, gold and silver prices of $3.00/lb, $1,300/oz and $20/oz, respectively.

Filo del Sol hosts a high-sulphidation epithermal copper-gold-silver deposit associated with a large porphyry copper-gold system. The project is in the Andes Mountains on the border of Chile and Argentina, approximately 140 km southeast of the city of Copiapó.

From the open pit, ore would be trucked to a conventional two-stage crusher, designed to process 60,000 t/d of ore. Crushed ore would be treated by sequential heap leaching, to extract copper and subsequently gold and silver from the ore followed by hydrometallurgical processing to produce copper cathodes and gold-silver doré. A portion of the barren leach solution, following zinc precipitation, would be treated to avoid a build-up of recirculating copper and cyanide through the gold circuit. This treatment is based on the SART process, which produces a copper sulphide precipitate (with grades of around 65% Cu) and recovers cyanide for use in the heap leach.

Groundwater for the process plant would be supplied from nearby aquifers to the plant site, and power would come from a 127 km of power line construction to connect to the Chilean national grid.

The PFS was prepared and managed by Ausenco Engineering Canada, with input from AGP Mining Consultants, BGC Engineering, Knight Piésold, Advantage Geoservices Limited, Merlin Geosciences and SRK Consulting.