Tag Archives: Barrick Gold

MSALABS to drive productivity improvements at Nevada Gold Mines complex with new contract

MSALABS, a global provider of geochemical laboratory services for the exploration and mining sectors, has cemented a major, five-year new contract with Nevada Gold Mines in the US that will see the majority-owned subsidiary of Capital operate a state-of-the-art hybrid laboratory on the gold miner’s behalf. The lab will incorporate both Chrysos PhotonAssay™ technology and traditional fire assay methods as well as full multi-element assaying capabilities.

This represents the largest contract award in MSALABS’s history, anticipated to generate some $140 million over the five-year term, with annual revenues of circa-$30 million once fully operational. Capital expenditure for the project is expected of circa-$7 million in 2024.

Phase one of the project will commence towards the end of the first half of 2024 with the commissioning of two Chrysos PhotonAssay units and a capacity of 80,000 samples per month. Phase two will commence at the end of 2024 with the third Chrysos PhotonAssay unit along with the full geochemical laboratory bringing capacity to 120,000 samples per month as well as associated multi-element testing.

The Nevada Gold Mines contracts represents a significant beachhead for MSA in the US market, entrenching the company’s presence in the Americas, both operationally given the full suite of services across preparation, PhotonAssay, fire assay and multi-element chemistry at a major operation, and also geographically, expanding its footprint in the Americas from its multiple laboratories across Canada and South America, it said.

It also comes alongside Capital’s recently-awarded drilling contract at NGM, which encompasses a wide array of drilling services including underground reverse circulation and diamond, both surface and underground, in addition to Capital announcing former BME and Orica team member Aaron Austin as CEO of the Americas.

Stuart Thomson, MSALABS CEO, said of this contract award: “We are thrilled to have been awarded this material contract, adding to our existing PhotonAssay contracts with Barrick at Bulyanhulu and Kibali. This contract reflects not only the proven advantages of the innovative PhotonAssay technology but also the trusted capabilities of MSALABS across traditional fire assay and multi-element analysis.

“This state-of-the-art hybrid laboratory will be the first of its kind in the USA and, with MSALABS’ holistic approach to laboratory design, will help drive productivity improvements to the Nevada Gold Mines complex.

“These three new PhotonAssay units mark the start of a broader partnership agreement with Barrick Gold, with trials underway for a possible 10 further PhotonAssay units by the end of 2025 across multiple of Barrick’s other operations.”

Lycopodium engaged by Barrick for Lumwana copper expansion study

Lycopodium has been awarded a contract from Barrick for the feasibility study and basic engineering for the expansion of its Lumwana copper mine in Zambia.

The study and basic engineering contract is valued at approximately A$19 million ($12.5 million), with the project having a capital cost investment of almost $2 billion. Work has commenced, with the accelerated development program targeting completion of the feasibility study by the end of 2024 and expanded process plant production anticipated in 2028.

The expansion of the mine will increase Lumwana’s annual production from 150,000 t of copper at a 26-28 Mt/y process plant production rate, to an estimated 240,000 t of copper at a 50 Mt/y process plant production rate, with an estimated 36-year mine life.

Lumwana is a conventional open-pit (truck and shovel) operation, about 100 km west of Solwezi in Zambia’s Copperbelt. Lumwana ore, which is predominantly sulphide, is treated through a conventional sulphide flotation plant, producing copper concentrate.

Lycopodium Limited’s Managing Director, Peter De Leo, said: “The expansion of Lumwana within Zambia’s world-class copper region supports the country’s commitment to its copper industry, and we are very pleased to have the opportunity to continue our partnership with Barrick and be part of this significant development that will have a material impact on the Zambian economy.”

This engagement follows the award earlier this year of the feasibility study and basic engineering contract for Barrick’s Reko Diq copper-gold project in Pakistan.

Fleet Space’s new EXOSPHERE features to enhance agility, accuracy of customers’ exploration efforts

Fleet Space Technologies, a leading Australian space company, has announced three innovative features to its mineral exploration technology, EXOSPHERE BY FLEET®, each purpose-built to enhance the agility and accuracy of data-driven exploration efforts worldwide.

Starting today, for all in-progress or future surveys, exploration customers will be able to download several new data intelligence assets on-demand from the ExoSphere platform that will deliver greater insights into ambient noise conditions, data quality and confidence levels across different parts of their 3D model, the company says.

Leveraging Fleet’s constellation of low Earth orbit satellites and the latest advances in passive seismic array technology, EXOSPHERE has rapidly disrupted the mineral exploration industry by reducing the time it takes to receive an actionable 3D model of a survey area from months or years to a matter of days – with near-zero environmental impact, Fleet says. Over 30 global exploration companies have used the technology to conduct surveys on a variety of commodity types across 5 continents, including Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold and Core Lithium, among many others.

Flavia Tata Nardini, CEO of Fleet Space Technologies, said: “We have arrived at an inflection point in humanity’s journey towards renewable energy. The mineral exploration industry is on the brink of unprecedented transformation as shallow discoveries are exhausted and demand for critical minerals needed for the energy transition continue to intensify. Fleet’s space-enabled EXOSPHERE technology has demonstrated a path to scale critical mineral exploration globally while also helping to reduce environmental impact, which is the only approach that will enable humanity to reach its net-zero ambitions over the coming decades.”

Traditionally, data acquisition and processing from geophysical surveys can take years or months before they can be leveraged as part of any exploration campaign. This has made it difficult for field teams to make quick operational decisions on-site and home in on new waves of discoveries. As global demand for critical minerals intensifies, advances at the intersection of space technology and geophysics are helping the exploration industry to become more data-driven and agile in a rapidly changing landscape, the company says.

Fleet brings together the benefits of satellite connectivity, remote geophysical data acquisition, and near real-time data processing to deliver actionable 3D models of the Earth’s subsurface for customers around the world, it says. With today’s announcement, Fleet has added several new features to its ExoSphere platform which include the Sensitivity Model, Data Processing Report, and Source Data Pack.

Customers can now access a Sensitivity Model (pictured above) to help them visualise and quantify confidence levels for every 3D model that is generated. This will provide customers with a relative indicator of the likely resolution and quality across different parts of the model, highlighting areas on a spectrum from higher to lower confidence. Ultimately, the Sensitivity Model will give customers an enhanced view into the confidence levels about potential subsurface findings in addition to areas of the model that would benefit from further surveying.

Featuring 14 technical charts, data processing parameters, and an explanatory narrative, the Data Processing Report is designed to give customers enhanced insight about the ambient noise conditions of the survey, data quality, and the steps taken to generate their 3D model.

Edge-processed data from the passive seismic sensors, called Geodes, used within a customer’s survey area will be downloadable on-demand from the ExoSphere platform as a Source Data Pack. This will enable customers to re-process the data using different geophysical tools or update their existing 3D velocity model with additional insights they unlock as part of their exploration efforts in the future.

Hemant Chaurasia, Chief Product Officer at Fleet, added: “Space-enabled technologies in the field today will profoundly shape the future of mineral exploration. With over 150 EXOSPHERE surveys completed across five continents, it’s clear that near-real time access to 3D velocity models, combined with these new EXOSPHERE features announced today, are unlocking new data-driven approaches that reduce the time, resources, and trial-and-error needed to build valuable subsurface insight and accelerate mineral discovery. This will be critical for the mineral exploration industry as we work towards the renewable energy future that our world so desperately needs.”

Nevada Gold Mines kicks off construction of 200 MWAC TS Solar Facility

Nevada Gold Mines (NGM) says it is building a 200 MWAC (Megawatt, alternating current) photovoltaic solar facility to accelerate its decarbonisation program in line with Barrick’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Roadmap.

NGM, majority owned and operated by Barrick Gold Corporation, hosted a celebratory groundbreaking ceremony this week, marking the commencement of construction of its TS Solar Facility. The facility is adjacent to NGM’s TS Power Plant near Dunphy, Nevada.

The solar array will be constructed in a single phase with commercial production expected in the June quarter of 2024.

NGM is partnering with three Nevada-based contractors to complete the civil, solar substation and mechanical construction. Domestically-sourced steel piles are arriving on site in preparation for module foundation construction and tracker installation. At peak, the project is expected to employ approximately 250 people.

NGM Executive Managing Director, Peter Richardson, said: “At NGM, we embed the principles of partnership and sustainability into every decision we make. We continually seek opportunities to source materials and labour as close to our projects as possible. The TS Solar Facility is a great example of how we can partner with local resources on a project that not only benefits the environment, but also provides sustainable long-term social and economic benefits.”

Upon completion, the project will supply renewable energy to NGM’s operations and realise 254,000 t of CO2-equivalent emissions reduction per year, according to NGM. This will result in an 8% emission reduction from the company’s 2018 baseline.

NGM has committed to a 20% carbon reduction by 2025, which will be achieved through the TS Solar facility and the modification of NGM’s TS Power Plant, providing the ability to use cleaner burning natural gas as a fuel source.

Barrick is targeting an overall 30% reduction in emissions by 2030 with the goal of achieving net-zero by 2050.

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.”