Tag Archives: Barrick Gold

Chrysos Corp adds Britannia Mining, Kibali to PhotonAssay customer base

Chrysos Corp continues to expand the reach of its PhotonAssay™ technology, with the company set to provide new units to Britannia Mining Solutions, Intertek and Barrick Gold’s Kibali gold mine.

This brings the total number of deployed or contractually committed units to 38, up from the previous total of 33 units, with the new lease contracts increasing Chrysos’ total contract value by A$108.6 million to A$559.8 million ($386.8 million).

Two five-year leases (with five-year renewal options) have been signed with new customer Canada-based Britannia Life Sciences to deploy PhotonAssay units across its newly formed North American subsidiary, Britannia Mining Solutions. The contract specifies the deployment of an initial two PhotonAssay units while providing the opportunity for further expansion of the agreement in the future.

Two other new lease contracts highlight Chrysos’ growing relationship with international testing, inspection and certification company, Intertek (ITK). The association, which started with the installation in 2021 of two PhotonAssay units at ITK’s Minerals Global Centre of Excellence in Perth, Western Australia, has since expanded to include another already-operating unit in Perth and the upcoming deployment of two new units on a five-year plus five-year-option contract basis for the ITK business in Ghana.

Chrysos says one recently commissioned PhotonAssay unit is now operating in Val d’Or, Canada, with MSALABS, and another unit is now fully operational in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, with ALS, it added.

Furthermore, Barrick Gold is expanding its adoption of PhotonAssay technology, with one of MSALABS’ already-committed PhotonAssay units to be deployed to Barrick’s Kibali gold mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Barrick, in partnership with MSALABS Ltd, installed a Chrysos PhotonAssay laboratory at the Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania last year.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dirk Treasure, said: “This is an exciting time for our business as we continue to execute our expansion plans and focus on key international mining hubs.

“With increasing demand, a strong pipeline of blue-chip customers and our global market penetration continuing at pace, we feel the business is well positioned to meet its ongoing strategic and operational objectives.”

PhotonAssay, Chrysos says, delivers faster, safer and more accurate analysis of gold, silver and complementary elements by non-destructive measurement of larger and more representative samples in as little as two minutes, enabling rapid turnaround of critical operational information that drives optimisation throughout the mining value chain.

The system, originally developed at Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, provides an environmentally friendly, chemical-free, more sustainable replacement for traditional fire assay methods, significantly reducing CO2 emissions and hazardous waste.

Chrysos went public on the Australian Securities Exchange earlier this month following a successful, fully underwritten IPO, raising A$183.5 million at A$6.50 per share.

Chrysos PhotonAssay lab up and running at Barrick’s Bulyanhulu

Barrick Gold, in partnership with MSALABS Ltd, has successfully installed a Chrysos PhotonAssay™ laboratory at its Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania – the first in Africa and in its global operations.

This new technique, Chrysos says, delivers faster, safer and more accurate analysis of gold, silver and complementary elements by non-destructive measurement of larger and more representative samples in as little as two minutes, enabling rapid turnaround of critical operational information that drives optimisation throughout the mining value chain.

The system, originally developed at Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, provides an environmentally friendly, chemical-free, more sustainable replacement for traditional fire assay methods, significantly reducing CO2 emissions and hazardous waste, according to Barrick.

Introducing the new system to media at the mine, Barrick President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow said it was part of the group’s continuing drive to harness technological innovation in the service of operational excellence, occupational safety and environmental care.

Bulyanhulu is in northwest Tanzania and is a narrow-vein gold mine containing gold, silver and copper mineralisation in sulphides.

The unit, which is also the company’s first deployment directly to a mine site, is part of a collaboration with MSALABS, a subsidiary of Capital Ltd, which will see at least seven Chrysos PhotonAssay units installed across the globe over the next 18 months, Chrysos says.

Dirk Treasure, Chrysos Corporation Chief Executive, said: “We are confident that PhotonAssay’s faster, safer and environmentally-friendly process not only aligns with Barrick’s focus on operational excellence through technology adoption, but also reflects and enhances its global reputation as a leader in sustainable mining and exploration.”

He added: “Our ambitious plan is to deploy 80 PhotonAssay units over the next five years. At that point, with each unit capable of processing up to 480,000 samples per annum, we will be helping our customers reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 18,000 t and decrease hazardous waste by approximately 12,000 t every year.”

The company anticipates further acceleration of demand over the coming years in a worldwide market with room for approximately 350 units.

Charge On Innovation Challenge sparks more miner interest

The organisers of the Charge On Innovation Challenge have reported an overwhelming response to the preliminary phase, which closed on July 31, with 21 mining companies joining as patrons, over 350 companies from across 19 industries registering their interest as vendors, and more than 80 organisations submitting expressions of interest (EOI).

The challenge, a global competition, is expected to drive technology innovators across all industries to develop new concepts and solutions for large-scale haul truck electrification systems aimed at significantly cutting emissions from surface mining. It also aims to demonstrate an emerging market for charging solutions in mining, accelerate commercialisation of solutions and integrate innovations from other industries into the mining sector.

BHP, Rio Tinto, and Vale, facilitated by Austmine, launched the Charge On Innovation Challenge in May of this year, initiating the EOI process on May 18. Since the initial launch, Roy Hill, Teck, Boliden, Thiess, Antofagasta Minerals, Codelco, Freeport McMoRan, Gold Fields and Yancoal came forward as patrons by early July.

The latest release has highlighted another nine miners to join as patrons. This includes Barrick Gold, CITIC Pacific Mining, Evolution Mining, Harmony Gold, Mineral Resources Ltd, Newcrest Mining, OZ Minerals, South32 and Syncrude.

The patrons, supported by Austmine, will assess the proposals over the next month and select a shortlist of vendors who will then formally pitch their challenge solutions.

At least one of these proposals has come from ABB, which confirmed earlier this month that it had submitted its ideas for the challenge using its mine electrification, traction and battery system eand charging infrastructure expertise.

At the end of the pitch phase, the challenge patrons will look to select the most desirable charging concepts identified as having broad industry appeal and application, as well as providing a standard geometry that enables chargers to service trucks from different manufacturers. The first concepts could be ready for site trials in the next few years, according to the organisers.

BHP’s Charge On Innovation Challenge Project Lead, Scott Davis, said: “The Charge On Innovation Challenge is a great example of the current collaborative work being done by the mining industry in seeking solutions to decarbonise mining fleets. The challenge received interest from companies based in over 20 countries, showing the truly global reach of the opportunity to help reduce haul truck emissions.”

John Mulcahy, Rio Tinto’s lead for the Charge On Innovation Challenge, said: “Twenty-one mining companies, all focused on lowering carbon emissions, have joined as patrons. Together we’re encouraging technology innovators to help us introduce large-scale haul truck electrification solutions. The sooner we bring these technologies to market, the sooner we can introduce them to our fleet, and reduce emissions.”

Vale’s Charge On Innovation Challenge Project lead, Mauricio Duarte, said: “We are very happy with the results of the first phase of the project. It´s still early to talk about the success of the challenge, but it is clear that the industry has reached a new level: we worked together on a common sustainability agenda and we will work collectively to reach our goals, gaining safety and speed on our way to low carbon mining.”

Barrick Gold’s Artisan Z50 battery-electric trial paying off at Turquoise Ridge

Barrick Gold’s decision to carry out a three-year production trial using Artisan Z50 battery-electric vehicles at the Turquoise Ridge gold mine looks to be paying off, with underground tonnage mined at the joint venture operation increasing during the most recent quarter.

Back in November, Sandvik and Barrick confirmed the signing of a partnership agreement for trailing and enhancing battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) for underground hard-rock mining. This would see a three-year production trial take place where Sandvik would deploy four Artisan Z50 BEV trucks at the Turquoise Ridge gold mine, part of the Nevada Gold Mines joint venture where Barrick is the 61.5% owner and operator.

In the company’s just-released June quarter results, Barrick reported that Turquoise Hill gold production in the June quarter was 15% lower than the prior quarter mainly due to an extended planned maintenance shutdown at the Sage autoclave. It noted that upgrades to the autoclave during the shutdown were expected to deliver improved reliability and performance in the second half of 2021.

And, while total tonnes mined decreased 12% compared with the prior quarter – driven by lower open-pit production – underground tonnes mined improved 11% quarter-on-quarter it said.

In this three-month period, Turquoise Ridge benefitted from “efficiency gains from the Sandvik Z50 electric haulage trucks at Turquoise Ridge” and higher tonnes mined from the Vista underground after remediation efforts were completed in the March quarter of 2021 following the previously disclosed fall of ground, it said.

While the use of the Z50s benefitted tonnage mined in the quarter, Barrick did not in its follow-up quarterly presentation that it was “working with Sandvik to address ongoing issues with batteries”.

Still on Turquoise Ridge, Barrick reported that shaft sinking on the Third Shaft at the mine had advanced to its final depth of 989 m below the collar in the quarter.

Construction of the Third Shaft, which has a hoisting capacity of 5,500 t/d, continues to advance according to schedule and within budget, it noted, with commissioning in late 2022. The focus of the project is now shifting from sinking activities to equipping in the September quarter.

Together with increased hoisting capacity, the Third Shaft is expected to provide additional ventilation for underground mining operations as well as shorter material haulage distances, according to Barrick.

As at June 30, Barrick had spent $201 million (including $17 million in the June quarter) out of an estimated capital cost of around $300-$330 million (100% basis).

Thyssen Mining is carrying out the shaft sinking project at the Third Shaft.

Delta Drone to use LiDAR-equipped UAVs at Barrick’s Mali operations

Delta Drone International is expanding its operations into Mali with a contract to deliver “advanced LiDAR services” to Barrick Gold.

For the first time in the region, the drone-focused company will use advanced light detection and ranging (LiDAR) solutions to examine mining site expansion options through its mining specialist brand, Rocketmine, it said. It will do this through a fleet of mining-specific drones and expert mining pilots.

Barrick operates the Loulo-Gounkoto mining complex in Mali, which comprises two distinct mining permits, Loulo and Gounkoto, and is situated in the west of the country, bordering Senegal and adjacent to the Falémé River. Both Loulo and Gounkoto are owned by Barrick (80%) and the State of Mali (20%). The complex produced 193,014 oz of gold in the March quarter.

The one-week operation of these drones will deliver Barrick the data required to guide decision making while continuing to focus on day-to-day mining operations, Delta Drone said. Rocketmine will also manage the necessary requirements by Mali’s local civil aviation authority to ensure all services conducted on the site are compliant.

Barrick Gold advances emissions reductions targets after a year of ESG positives in 2020

Barrick Gold has decided to up the ESG ante with a new emissions reduction target to 2030 that makes its goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 that much more achievable.

The company said its ESG strategy delivered tangible results in 2020, included zero Class 1 environmental incidents, a new record of 79% water recycling and re-use by its operations, and the introduction of fully functional community development committees at all its operating sites to guide its social investment programs.

Speaking in a virtual presentation on sustainability this week, Barrick President and CEO, Mark Bristow, said: “At the beginning of last year, we set an emissions reduction target of 10% by 2030 against a 2018 baseline that combined the data from the legacy Barrick and Randgold operations as well as newly acquired assets. Through the year, we worked on identifying further reduction opportunities and this has enabled us to set an updated target of at least 30% by 2030 with an interim reduction target of 15% based on projects already being implemented, while maintaining a steady production profile.”

He added: “Ultimately our aim is to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, achieved primarily through greenhouse gas reductions and offsets for some hard-to-abate emissions,” he said.

Sustainability has long been a strategic business priority for the company, according to Bristow.

“Our strategy is based on four pillars: the creation of economic benefits for all stakeholders; the protection of health and safety at our mines and in their host communities; a respect for human rights; and the minimisation of our environmental impacts. For us, ESG is not a corporate compliance function: it’s integral to how we manage our businesses worldwide.”

In the same presentation, Barrick’s Group Sustainability Executive, Grant Beringer, said all the company’s sites had been certified to the ISO 14001:2015 environmental management standard. Each site had also been empowered to manage its own environmental issues under the oversight of the group’s strategic leadership. There was a particularly rigorous approach to management of tailings facilities, the company added.

Beringer said: “Our tailings and heap leach management standard has been aligned with the recently updated guidelines of the International Council on Mining and Metals, of which Barrick is a member, as well as those of the Mining Association of Canada. The standard sets out six levels of inspection and surety for the safe operation of tailings and heap leach facilities.”

Perenti plants roots in USA on North America contract mining potential

Perenti Group has targeted the North America market for further contract mining growth, establishing a US office in the first half of its 2021 financial year.

The office, thought to be in Denver, Colorado, will help the company make the most of the substantial pipeline it has identified in North America.

The news came during the company’s first half results to the end of December 2020, which showed off revenue of A$1.01 billion ($799 million) and EBITDA of A$201 million.

Noting strong growth in its underground business and a contraction in its Africa surface business (most of which is tied to its AMS subsidiary), the company said it had won A$1.1 billion of new work and extensions since July 1, 2020, while its orderbook was around A$5.5 billion and its pipeline was circa-A$9.2 billion.

Within this global pipeline, A$2.1 billion was in the North America region, Perenti said. This was made up of 14 projects, three of which were at the tendering stage. Overall, 14% of the pipeline was from the US and 9% was in Canada.

The company, through its Barminco subsidiary, won its first “significant” North America contract last year when it signed on to an underground contract mining agreement at Barrick Gold’s Hemlo mine in Ontario, Canada (pictured).

In other news, the company said increased demand for its MinAnalytical mineral sample processing had been registered in the six months to the end of December, with record PhotonAssay processing recorded in December 2020.

The company also said it was “progressing alternative service offerings” during 2021.

Capital bolsters Barrick Bulyanhulu work with laboratory, drilling contracts

Africa-focused mining services company, Capital, says it expanded its operations at Barrick Gold’s Bulyanhulu gold mine in Tanzania with the award of two new contracts for its drilling and geochemical laboratory services divisions.

The contracts include a five-year laboratory services contract for Capital’s MSALABS subsidiary, together with a two-year underground grade control drilling agreement.

Capital commenced operations at Bulyanhulu in February 2020, undertaking a complex deep hole delineation drilling program. The company’s execution of the program resulted in an expansion of services, with two underground rigs added to operations from May, it said. The new contract will expand the underground fleet at Bulyanhulu to four, using two rigs from the existing fleet and including the acquisition of a further two underground rigs.

MSALABS, meanwhile, will undertake initial laboratory design and deliver ongoing laboratory management and analysis services under the laboratory services contract. Analysis capabilities will include fire assay together with new Chrysos PhotonAssay technology that uses X-ray technology to determine the gold content of mineral ores more quickly and accurately than traditional methods.

The contract terms are expected to be finalised imminently for a five-year term, key personnel recruitment and training is now complete and initial commissioning processes are underway, Capital said, adding that the new contracts were scheduled to commence on December 1.

Stuart Thomson, MSALABS CEO, said: “We are excited to commence this new contract with Barrick to manage their on-site laboratory at the Bulyanhulu mine. The use of the ground-breaking new Chrysos PhotonAssay technology will significantly increase assay throughput at Bulyanhulu, while delivering a much faster sample turnaround time for Barrick.”

Capital’s Executive Chairman, Jamie Boyton, said: “We are very pleased to be expanding our services at the Bulyanhulu Gold Mine and continue our valued relationship with Barrick. It is particularly pleasing that our team’s successful execution of the initial deep hole drilling program has contributed to this expansion and we are now delivering multiple services at the site.

“This aligns to Capital’s growth strategy of expanding services with existing customers at established mine sites, with the laboratory services contract to contribute to an increase in the company’s non-drilling revenues.”

Sandvik and Barrick confirm Artisan Z50 trials at Turquoise Ridge gold mine

Sandvik and Barrick have confirmed the signing of a partnership agreement for trialing and enhancing battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) for underground hard-rock mining.

During a three-year production trial, Sandvik will deploy four Artisan Z50 BEV trucks at the Turquoise Ridge gold mine, part of the Nevada Gold Mines joint venture (JV), Sandvik said. Barrick is the operator of the JV, which is the single-largest gold-producing complex in the world, forecast to produce a total of 3.4-3.65 Moz of gold during 2020.

The announcement follows an acknowledgement of such a deal by President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, Henrik Ager, earlier this month.

The Z50 haul truck, with a 50 t payload capacity, is a ground-up design that seamlessly integrates the most capable and proven battery electric powertrain available in the mining industry with the latest and most coveted features of any haul truck on the market today, according to Sandvik.

It is equipped with AutoSwap, a patented self-swapping system for the Artisan battery pack. This makes battery swapping faster and easier with a minimum amount of manual handling: changing the battery only takes about six minutes, and it can be done in a passing bay or old re-muck bay with no overhead cranes or external infrastructure needed.

In phase 1 trials, the Z50 truck already achieved more than 1,400 hours of production with over 1,400 loads, according to Sandvik. It reached production operation of up to 18 hours per day, with speeds of over 10 km/h observed on the ramp to the tip.

Some of the key performance indicators in the new partnership will include the performance of the BEV technology in a production environment, mechanical availability, average lifecycle cost and overall production cost, Sandvik said.

“We are always looking at ways to improve our performance, both in terms of sustainability and operational efficiency,”  Mark Bristow, Barrick’s President and CEO, said. “This partnership with Sandvik is exciting and will give us first-hand experience in BEV technology in our own production environment. It is a significant step to furthering our BEV strategy across the group.”

Ager added: “I am very pleased that Barrick and Sandvik have teamed up to perform these extensive trials in a daily production environment. It gives us the possibility to prove the performance of our BEV technology.

“The purely battery-powered truck helps to reduce heat and emissions underground, helping mines reach their sustainability targets and reduce ventilation costs. This raises the bar for what is possible and enables an all-new level of production and cost reduction for underground hard rock mines.”

A dedicated site project team will be jointly working with the Barrick operations team during the trial period to ensure that all data is captured and the experience from both Sandvik and Barrick is used to ensure the uptime and productivity targets are met, Sandvik said.

Barrick’s digital transformation moves forward with SAP implementation

Barrick Gold says its new transactional system, SAP S/4HANA, has gone live at its 61.5%-owned Nevada Gold Mines company and will be rolled out across the entire group during 2021.

The implementation lays one of the key foundations for the group to reap the benefits of becoming truly digital, and will enable a new level of real-time decision making as well as a more agile and business-led approach to systems and data-driven initiatives, Barrick said in its September quarter results.

“The project stayed on track with a very ambitious timeline despite the obvious challenges presented by the pandemic, with the legacy Newmont sites going live on August 1 and the rest of Nevada Gold Mines on October 1,” the company said.

Back in January, SAP confirmed the gold miner had chosen SAP S/4HANA to future-proof its global business and growth ambitions. SAP calls SAP S/4 HANA a “future-ready enterprise resource planning system with built-in intelligent technologies, including AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics”.

Barrick’s Head of Group Systems Integration, Nico Hoffman, says: “By keeping the global design standardised and focused on getting the basics right, we have set up the rest of the implementations for success and paved the way for them to be completed on time.”

Training adopted a new approach, formulated during Barrick’s strategy sessions earlier this year. This involved identifying particularly talented individuals who were added to a pool of ‘super users’ inside the various business functions.

“These users take up ownership of the system by acting as the first line of support for issues as well as by driving continuous incremental improvement of the core application,” Barrick said. “Almost immediately they began delivering refinements and improvements which will be included in future rollouts.”

Hoffman added: “This project demonstrates the value of having both a very clear end goal and the correct level of executive functional sponsorship on board from the very beginning and we look forward to seeing the results of applying this to future developments.”

The SAP rollout coincides with the start of a number of initiatives including a common global data platform, a new financial reporting and planning system, as well as various operational technology enhancements, rationalisations and unifications, Barrick said. “It also signals the end of siloed local customisations which previously stood in the way of one true global solution.”