Tag Archives: Ausenco

Artemis Gold locks in Blackwater EPC processing plant price with Ausenco

After a competitive bidding process, Artemis Gold has executed a binding memorandum of understanding with Ausenco Engineering Canada Inc providing for a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) for a fixed-price engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to construct a 5.5 Mt/y processing facility and associated infrastructure at the Blackwater gold project in British Columbia, Canada.

The selection of Ausenco as the successful bidder was based on a proposal to engineer and construct the facilities for a GMP of $236 million ($188 million), subject to any technical or commercial changes requested by Artemis.

The MoU outlines the terms under which Ausenco will undertake further detailed engineering, which will form the basis of a final fixed EPC price that will not exceed the GMP. This Ausenco GMP is consistent with capital estimates in the company’s 2020 prefeasibility study on Blackwater.

A fixed price EPC contract on the processing facility and associated infrastructure represents by far the largest single component of the capital cost of Blackwater at approximately 40% of the PFS estimate of C$592 million ($470 million), Artemis says.

Ausenco has already undertaken a significant amount of detailed engineering work on the plant and will be working towards a final fixed-price EPC contract for the facilities scheduled for completion in the September quarter.

Artemis is also conducting a competitive bidding process for a GMP proposal in connection with a fixed price EPC contract for the construction of the electricity transmission line and associated offsite infrastructure, with an expected GMP award in the June quarter, it said.

Steven Dean, Chairman and CEO, said: “The execution of this MoU represents a significant investment of time and effort from management and multiple GMP bidders over the past several months. The Ausenco GMP bid serves as further validation of the initial capital costs estimated in the 2020 PFS with respect to the process plant and associated facilities, further de-risking the development of the project.

“Following a rigorous adjudication process of a number of competitive proposals, we are very pleased to be working with a world-class engineering firm such as Ausenco. Ausenco was also involved in the successful development at Atlantic Gold and the award of the GMP should give investors and potential project debt lenders greater confidence in the proposed schedule and initial capital cost to develop Blackwater on time and on budget.”

The 2020 prefeasibility study on Blackwater envisaged a three-stage development starting at 5.5 Mt/y from years 1-5, shifting to 12 Mt/y in years 6-10 and rising to 20 Mt/y in years 11-23. This would see gold production go from 248,000 oz/y to 420,000 oz/y, to 316,000 oz/y, respectively.

Hochschild’s Inmaculada set for ore sorting pilot plant

Hochschild says it has approved a $7 million budget to construct an ore sorting pilot plant at its Inmaculada gold mine in Peru in 2021.

The investment follows previous test work carried out with both TOMRA and Steinert. This saw the company conduct initial bulk testing in Germany with both companies and a 20-t pilot scale test with Steinert in Brazil.

The company also enlisted the help of Ausenco to carry out a prefeasibility study on applying ore sorting at Inmaculada.

In the company’s 2019 preliminary results presentation back in February, Ramón Barúa, Hochschild Mining Chief Financial Officer, said ore sorting could prove particularly useful at the Millet and Divina veins at Inmaculada.

He said, in addition to consulting with TOMRA, Steinert and Ausenco, the company had been working in-house to improve the sensors and the algorithm that separates the ore from the waste in these sorters, with the technology showing a clean separation between the quartz-based mineralisation and the andesite holding the rock at Inmaculada.

In its latest financial year results released today, Hochschild said of the ore sorting investment: “We believe this project may eventually deliver significant improvements in recoveries at the mine and potentially help to optimise other key projects in Hochschild’s portfolio.”

For 2020, the company recorded overall production of 289,293 oz of gold-equivalent at an all-in sustaining cost of $1,098/oz of gold equivalent. Inmaculada remained the cornerstone of the company, producing 176,086 oz of gold-equivalent.

Ausenco reinforces Australia coal sector focus with QCC Resources buy

Ausenco has announced the acquisition of QCC Resources, a leading coal process and materials handling service provider headquartered in the Hunter Valley, of New South Wales, Australia.

QCC is a globally recognised provider of coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) design and construction services in Australia and key overseas markets, most notably Africa, Canada, Indonesia and Russia, Ausenco says. It has assisted clients over the full project lifecycle from initial concept, prefeasibility and feasibility studies, to innovative CHPP plant design and EPC/EPCM delivery, for over 33 years.

The acquisition supports Ausenco’s position as a premier service provider to the Australia coal industry and will significantly increase the company’s capacity to deliver value-add, future-focused solutions for clients in the industry, the company added.

Ausenco CEO, Zimi Meka, says: “At Ausenco, innovation is in our DNA and we are driven to always seek better solutions. Joining forces with QCC’s deeply experienced team will allow us to drive responsible, sustainable change in the coal industry. I look forward to working with our coal clients to deliver cost-effective solutions that reflect our commitment to having a positive impact on the communities and environments in which they operate.”

Generation Mining readies more ‘aggressive’ Marathon PGM-copper project approach

Generation Mining says it is making headway on the development plan for its Marathon palladium-copper project, in north-western Ontario, Canada, having contracted all the major engineering companies for the study.

The study is expected to take around seven to eight months to conclude, with completion expected in early 2021, it said.

G-Mining Services will carry out the mine plan and mineral reserves, infrastructure scope of work and integration of the costs and economic analysis; Ausenco Engineering Canada is progressing the process facility layout and design based on the metallurgical testing that is currently underway at SGS-Lakefield; and Knight-Piesold is to design the tailings facility and open-pit geotechnical engineering. In support of the feasibility study and environment impact interactions, Stantec and Ecometrix P&E Mining Consultants will be responsible for the mineral resource estimate, the company said.

Jamie Levy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Generation Mining, said: “It is a very impressive team that we have assembled for the feasibility study. I am confident that these firms will optimise the value of the Marathon-PGM property and will continue to de-risk the project.

“Our goal is to maximise the net present value of the project while designing an operation which will minimise environmental impacts and provide economic benefits to the local communities. We see the Marathon project being near shovel-ready and well timed to the buoyant palladium market.”

Generation Mining acquired a 51% interest in the Marathon property from Sibanye Stillwater on July 10, 2019, and can increase its interest to 80% by spending $10 million over a period of four years. As of the March quarter, around $4 million of the $10 million has already been spent.

A preliminary economic assessment on Marathon published earlier this year outlined a 14,000 t/d open-pit operation growing to 22,000 t/d after expansion, with an average palladium output of 107,000 oz/y for 14 years. The open-pit mining would be owner-operated using conventional diesel equipment consisting of 254 mm diameter rotary drills on 10 m high benches, 29 cu.m bucket hydraulic excavators, and 221 t off-highway haul trucks and auxiliary equipment, according to the study.

On the feasibility study, Generation Mining said all groups were “integrating well” through good interactions and frequent communications.

“G-Mining will progress pit designs and sequencing that will prioritise the high-grade palladium values for initial production to bring increased palladium production into the first half of the mine life, and increase copper production in the mine’s later years,” the company said.

“Ausenco’s plant design is expected to update the quality work that was done in prior studies with newer technology, which, in turn, will improve concentrator operability and lower capital costs, while increasing palladium recovery without sacrificing copper recovery. This flowsheet is expected to be validated with the current metallurgical test work that is progressing at SGS-Lakefield.

“Knight-Piesold will be updating the past tailings dam designs to reflect current best available practices and technologies.”

Stantec and Ecometrix are involved in the feasibility study team to help facilitate the update of the Environment Impact Study report addendum and to help inform the critical path regulatory approvals process, the company added.

At this early stage, the work on the feasibility study will consider an optimised processing and mine production rate that is “more aggressive” than outlined in the PEA, the company said, contemplating starting at 5 Mt/y and expanding to 8 Mt/y after five years.

CEEC Medal recipients recognised for pushing lower footprint mineral processing

Two standout research and field work contributions that have the potential to improve environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance across industry have been awarded the highly respected CEEC Medal for 2020.

Attracting a record 23 high-quality nominations from across the globe, the shortlisted Operations and Technical Research papers showcased exciting site improvements and innovative ideas for future technologies, according to the Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC).

Now in its ninth year, the CEEC Medal recognises the best published papers that raise awareness of comminution research findings, alternative comminution strategies and installed outcomes.

CEEC Director and Medal Evaluation Committee Chair, Dr Zeljka Pokrajcic, said this year’s nominations reflected industry trends to install renewables, consider embodied energy and emissions, and the continued embracing of technologies such as pre-concentration and coarse flotation.

“It’s rewarding to see how industry leaders and experts are collaborating to forge improvements that make good business sense and proactively improve efficiency,” Dr Pokrajcic said.

The 2020 recipients are:

Operations

Peter Lind and Kevin Murray of Newmont and Alan Boylston and Isaias Arce of Metso Outotec, (formerly Metso), for their paper titled, ‘Reducing Energy and Water Consumption through Alternative Comminution Circuits’. This was presented at the 7th SAG Conference in Vancouver, Canada, in 2019.

Technical Research

Dr Grant Ballantyne (pictured), for his paper titled, ‘Quantifying the Additional Energy Consumed by Ancillary Equipment and Embodied in Grinding Media in Comminution Circuits’. This was also presented at the 7th SAG Conference in Vancouver.

Dr Pokrajcic said the winning Operations paper from Newmont/Metso Outotec documents a successful miner/vendor collaboration on how to assess the comminution circuit options in a low energy and water environment.

The paper considers a typical case of a low grade, bulk tonnage copper-gold orebody in an arid climate (Chile, South America) with significant energy costs. It brings together important solutions – including energy-efficient comminution, ancillary equipment, preconcentration and flotation – and presents compelling economic comparisons.

CEEC CEO, Alison Keogh, said of the paper: “This global knowledge sharing offers real value for decision-making across the globe. The paper’s practical, systematic technology approach, which incorporates all-important financial analysis, has the potential to accelerate industry’s progress to deliver lower footprint minerals.”

The paper’s co-authors, Lind and Boylston, explained that the work was the result of collaboration between many innovative thinkers, with ideas and approaches built over many years.

“We wanted to make a difference, to bring technologies together to show that you can save energy, save water and save money as well. This was a group effort, not only by our extended teams at Newmont and Metso Outotec, but also involving Steinert and Scantech in working through how to apply technologies,” they said.

The CEEC Medal Evaluation Committee praised the winning Technical Research paper from Dr Ballantyne as being “an impressive approach to capturing and quantifying energy consumption of ancillary equipment and energy used to manufacture and transport grinding media”.

The paper shares insights on embodied energy using data collected from sites and presents results on the CEEC Energy Curves.

“The research presents a broader approach that considers the impacts of not just energy used in particle breakage but also embodied energy in the manufacture and transport of grinding media, and energy used in the operation of ancillary equipment such as conveyors and pumps,” Dr Pokrajcic said.

“Bringing this spotlight to embodied energy has strategic value. Many companies are including investigation of supply chain in their procurement decisions.”

Dr Ballantyne, previously a Senior Research Fellow at the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC), and now with Ausenco, noted that his work started in 2012, building on earlier concepts shared by industry at a CEEC workshop in Australia. These concepts were developed further following industry input at the 2015 SAG Conference in Canada.

“I also acknowledge the inspiration and collaboration of Chris Greet (Magotteaux), Evert Lessing (formerly Weir, now Metso Outotec), Malcolm Powell (formerly The University of Queensland) and Greg Lane (Ausenco) for contributing expert input and data to the work,” Dr Ballantyne said.

“New research ideas and collaboration with industry are key to industry innovation,” he said. “Support and mentoring from these suppliers as well as experts from Ausenco and The University of Queensland ensured these new ideas could be published for industry to progress thinking.”

In addition to the two CEEC Medals awarded in 2020, three publications received High Commendations.

High Commendations – Operations

Ben Adair, Luke Keeney, and Michael Scott from CRC ORE, and David King from Minera San Cristóbal operations, for their paper titled ‘Gangue rejection in practice – the implementation of Grade Engineering® at the Minera San Cristóbal Site’. This was presented at Physical Separation 2019, in Cornwall, United Kingdom.

This paper shares the prediction and outcomes of a Grade Engineering pilot at Sumitomo’s Minera San Cristóbal operations in Bolivia. The work identifies ore amenability and levers to optimise up-front rejection of gangue before processing.

Keogh said: “This approach highlights the scale of the opportunity for mining leaders to invest in unlocking hidden value for shareholders through productivity step-change while significantly reducing impact on the environment.”

High Commendations – Operations (continued)

Malcolm Powell, Ceren Bozbay, Sarma Kanchibotla, Benjamin Bonfils, Anand Musunuri, Vladimir Jokovic, Marko Hilden, Jace Young and Emrah Yalcin, for their article titled ‘Advanced Mine-to-Mill Used to Unlock SABC Capacity at the Barrick Cortez Mine’. This was presented at the 7th SAG Conference in Vancouver.

This work was a collaboration between three organisations: JKMRC at The University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute, Barrick’s Cortez mine and JK Tech. It shares an advanced mine-to-mill approach that unlocks improved SABC production capacity at Barrick’s Cortez mine in Nevada, USA.

Dr Pokrajcic said the article was an excellent review of the dynamic between SAG and ball mills, illustrating how mine-to-mill, with the consideration of blast movement as well as fragmentation, and operation-wide optimisation could empower sites to identify and sustain long-term improvements.

“It highlights the opportunity of operationalising cooperative ore blend control to balance energy use across the milling circuit, reducing specific energy consumption while benefitting from increased production,” she said.

High Commendation – Technical Research

Paul Shelley and Ignacio Molina (Molycop) and Dimitrios Patsikatheodorou (Westgold Resources), for their paper titled ‘SAG mill optimisation insights by measuring inside the mill’. This was presented at the Procemin-Geomet Conference in Santiago, Chile, in 2019.

In a first for industry, this innovative approach aims to collect data from sensors inside the grinding balls within grinding mills, CEEC said. It brings potential application for high frequency measurement of temperature and impacts inside the mill.

Dr Pokrajcic said: “If this early work can be successfully commercialised and scaled up, it could bring new insights that link to operational and energy efficiency improvements.”

Keogh said nominations for the 2021 CEEC Medal were now open, and she encouraged the submission of relevant, ground-breaking articles from online events and industry presentations.

“Because of disruptions to physical events, we have extended the closing date for submissions to October 30, 2021.”

Details of the application process for the 2021 CEEC Medal can be found here.

Ausenco to work on integrating Glencore Kidd concentrator into Monarch’s Wasamac plan

Monarch Gold says it has retained Ausenco Engineering Canada to conduct an upgrading study on the Glencore-owned Kidd concentrator in connection with its potential use to treat ore mined from Monarch’s Wasamac gold project in Quebec, Canada.

The study constitutes “Phase 1” of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) recently signed with Glencore Canada, Monarch said.

Under Phase 1, Monarch is to launch a study on upgrading all or part of the Kidd concentrator and related infrastructure with a view to transporting the ore from the Wasamac property to the concentrator by railway for processing and transformation into doré bars. The upgrading study is expected to be completed by October 2020.

The study mandate calls for Ausenco to execute the study in two distinct phases. Phase one will focus on developing high-level costs and financials for two practical project options, whole ore leach and flotation leach, and phase two will develop the preferred option to a prefeasibility study level.

Located in Timmins, Ontario, the Kidd concentrator was built in 1966 with numerous upgrades over the years. It currently processes metal ore to produce copper and zinc concentrates, with the facility having a design rated capacity of 12,500 t/d. The site has incoming and outgoing rail service via Ontario Northland Railway.

Jean-Marc Lacoste, President and Chief Executive Officer of Monarch, said: “We are excited to be working with an engineering firm like Ausenco, which has produced numerous solid studies and developed successful large mining projects around the globe, including recent and relevant benchmark projects such as Moose River gold (Nova Scotia).

“Ausenco has a strong track record of delivering project studies that go the extra step in optimising the project economics.”

Garry Warren, President North America Project Delivery of Ausenco, said: “Ausenco has a project development ethos centred on cost-effective process and rail design coupled with efficient delivery, driving strong project economics and return on shareholder investment.

“We intend to apply that ethos to provide a differentiated approach for the Wasamac project, one that extracts the maximum value for Monarch and sets the stage to move from the upgrading study into project execution and commercial production.”

The December 2018 feasibility study on Wasamac forecast average annual production of 142,000 oz of gold for 11 years at a cash cost of $550/oz.

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.

Lundin Mining enlists Ausenco for plant expansion optimisation study at Chapada

Less than a year after acquiring the Chapada copper-gold operation from Yamana Gold, Lundin Mining is eyeing up a plant expansion at the Brazil mine.

The company has enlisted Ausenco to carry out a feasibility study to evaluate the optimisation of the current copper-gold processing plant from 24 Mt/y to 26 Mt/y, Ausenco confirmed.

In addition, Ausenco is to undertake trade-off studies to determine optimum plant expansion scenarios for a future expansion.

Prior to Lundin Mining acquiring the mine in July 2019, previous owner Yamana had been studying plant expansion opportunities to increase the processing rate to a range from 28 Mt/y to 32 Mt/y, Lundin Mining says. The relocation of some plant infrastructure to allow the push-back of the pit wall for the development of the Sucupira orebody was also being studied.

The processing facility at Chapada comprises a single-line plant designed to treat sulphide ores at a current capacity of around 65,000 t/d, or 24 Mt/y, with the conventional crush, grind and flotation process producing a gold-rich copper concentrate.

Lundin Mining expects Chapada to produce 51,000-56,000 t of copper in concentrate in 2020, along with 85,000-90,000 oz of gold in concentrate.

Marathon Gold sets sights on first production finish line at Valentine

Marathon Gold has laid out plans for a new open-pit mine in Newfoundland that, it says, could become Atlantic Canada’s largest gold producer.

The prefeasibility study on the Valentine gold project in central Newfoundland outlined a plan for a 12-year operation producing circa-145,000 oz/y of gold at life of mine all-in sustaining costs of $739/oz. This is based on a proven and probable reserves base of 1.87 Moz (41.05 Mt at 1.41 g/t Au).

The initial capital cost to build a 2.5 Mt/y gravity-leaching operation was pegged at $205 million, with Marathon Gold saying it planned on funding an expansion – based on gravity-flotation-leaching – to 4 Mt/y (from year four onwards) from internal cash flow. The post-tax net present value (5% discount) was estimated at $354 million based on a $1,350/oz gold price.

The PFS, completed by Ausenco Engineering Canada as Lead Consultant, contemplates open-pit mining from the Marathon and Leprechaun deposits only.

Each deposit will be developed in three phases, with the Marathon pit achieving a maximum dimension of 1,250 m x 700 m by 294 m deep, and the Leprechaun pit achieving 1,050 m x 650 m by 306 m deep, Marathon said. Life of mine strip ratios will be 6.7 at Marathon, 9.1 at Leprechaun, and 7.6 overall, according to the company.

Benches will be mined by conventional drill & blast/load & haul methods on 6 m bench heights with 8 m wide berms every third bench. Dual-lane haul road allowances will support a diesel-powered mining fleet that will include 32 90 t payload trucks operating between the two open pits, Marathon said.

The study contemplates an initial milling strategy based on grinding to 75 µm followed by gravity concentration and cyanidation of gravity concentrates and tails. Grinding will be by way of a SAG and a ball mill.

The mill will be expanded in year four by coarsening the initial grind to 150 µm and adding flotation and regrinding of the flotation concentrates, followed by cyanidation. No additional grinding equipment will be required for this expansion phase, the company said. Overall gold recovery is estimated at 93% at an average grade of 1.41 g/t Au (85% at cutoff grade and capped at 97%).

The tailings management facility (TMF) will receive thickened tailings from the mill between years one and nine, with the mined-out Leprechaun open pit scheduled to receive tailings starting in year 10, the company said. Effluent and contact water from the TMF, waste rock piles and open pits will be collected and, if necessary, treated prior to release, Marathon explained.

Matt Manson, President & CEO of Marathon, said: “We have taken the approach of identifying the optimum starting point for mining at Valentine, emphasising highest rate of return and lowest risk, while recognising that the large resource inventory and extensive exploration potential along strike and at depth offers plenty of opportunity for mine life extension.

“The Valentine project is expected to be Atlantic Canada’s largest gold producer. Notwithstanding the current COVID-19 challenges, it represents the future of responsible resource development in central Newfoundland.

“With a strong treasury in hand, our attention now turns to the submission of our Environmental Impact Statement, expected later this year, and the commencement of feasibility-level studies.”

The PFS contemplated completion of a feasibility study in the first half of 2021, completion of the environmental assessment and Ministerial Approval by mid-2021, and the commencement of site-specific permitting thereafter. Ground-breaking for site construction is scheduled for January 1, 2022, with a total 18-month construction period and first gold production by mid-2023.

These timeframes have been estimated without consideration of potential impacts from the ongoing COVID-19 challenges, such as disruption to supply chains, labour markets, work practices and permitting, among other factors, the company cautioned.

Mining EPC/EPCM space in transition mode, Ausenco’s Ebbett says

The past 12 months has been an interesting period for the mining EPC/EPCM space with miners looking to offload more risk and leverage new technology to improve design accuracy, reduce cost and shorten the time between construction and production.

Ahead of the annual focus on this sector, to be published in International Mining’s December issue, IM heard from Ausenco’s Vice President of Global Project Delivery, John Ebbert, on the recent trends affecting the project design, construction and delivery market.

IM: In the past 12 months, how has the market for mining EPCM contracts evolved? Do some of the big contract awards to the likes of WorleyParsons (Koodaideri), Bechtel (QBII) indicate a shift in the type of contracts/services some of the big projects/companies are now looking for?

JE: These large project awards are in line with increased mining investment. The market is moving towards a greater level of integration between owners and EPCM service providers with a focus on minimising risks typically associated with mega projects. This is not only the case in the mining sector; we are seeing similar trends in other sectors. This shift reflects the capacity of each contracting party to accept risk. During periods of reduced activity, contractors need to accept greater risk (EPC) to protect their revenue and margins. Conversely in periods of greater project activity, contractors are able to realise similar margins on a risk-free basis (EPCM).

IM: Over the same time period, has automation become more firmly entrenched in mine engineering plans? Are big open-pit mines now being designed to facilitate autonomous equipment or a combination of manned and autonomous equipment?

JE: Automation is considered at all stages of project development. The productivity and efficiency gains afforded by automation and digitisation help de-risk or improve return on investment, something owners always aim to achieve. The level and application of automation ranges from simply reducing dependency on operators, through to the creation of digital twins that support asset optimisation using advanced analysis techniques. Not only are we designing mines that support and enable automation, we are also designing to enable advanced data and analytics processes.

IM: For underground mine design, how has the evolution of mine electrification influenced design? Is the use of this equipment enabling mines to go deeper on ramps than they were previously able to (thanks to reduced ventilation needs)?

JE: The evolution of mine electrification emphasises the need for flexible mine design that will accommodate new and emerging technology predicted to be mainstream in the not-so-distant future. Adequately ventilating underground mines is a challenge due to the sheer volume of power required to move and potentially cool the air. Not only does the shift away from diesel-powered equipment towards electrification have well documented health and environmental benefits, it also allows greater flexibility in development cycles, mining at greater depths and increased productivity as ventilation requirements to maintain a safe environment for personnel are lower.

IM: In terms of the project pipeline, what are the big contract awards to look out for in the mining space over the next 12 months?

JE: From a global market perspective, we are expecting continued demand for and investment in metals such as copper, lithium and cobalt in line with the increasing global demand for electric vehicles. Similarly, due to global trade and market uncertainty, gold is likely to remain a strong player in the next 12 months.