Tag Archives: Brazil

Metso Outotec to deliver modular crushing station, milling equipment and more to G Mining’s Tocantinzinho gold project

Metso Outotec has been awarded equipment orders by G Mining Ventures Corporation for the company’s flagship asset, the Tocantinzinho gold project, in Para State, Brazil.

The value of the orders is approximately €20 million ($19.7 million).

Metso Outotec’s scope of delivery to the greenfield project consists of a compact aggregates plant and the key process equipment for the beneficiation plant from Metso Outotec’s Planet Positive offering. Included are, for example, a modular FIT™ crushing station, Premier™ SAG and ball mills, an MRM Mill Reline Machine and High Rate Thickeners.

“We are delighted to be part of this important project,” Fernando Samanez, Minerals Sales Director for Metso Outotec in South America, said. “G Mining has a superb team and the Tocantinzinho project is implementing efficient and sustainable technology combined with low operating and life-cycle costs. We are glad to be building another success with our FIT crushing station concept and also delivering the first MRM Mill Reline Machine in Brazil.”

On September 12, the G Mining Board gave official signoff for construction of Tocantinzinho , which, according to an updated feasibility study from earlier this year, will have an average milling rate of 4.6 Mt/y for average annual gold output of 175,000 oz.

SNC-Lavalin to help BAMIN join up mining and rail ops at Pedra de Ferro

SNC-Lavalin has been awarded a C$14.8 million ($11.4 million), two-year contract to provide design and engineering services for the Pedra de Ferro project in northeast Brazil for BAMIN, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ERG.

The Pedra de Ferro project involves an iron ore mining operation in the state of Bahia that extracts and processes two types of ore, hematite and itabirite, and transports it for commercialisation via rail and sea. To help increase capacity and expand production, the company will design and engineer an open-pit mine, a hematite processing plant, an itabirite processing plant, a product storage yard, a cargo loading station and a railway loop that will provide access to the West-East Integration Railroad (FIOL). In September 2021, BAMIN signed a concession agreement with the Brazilian Federal Government to complete and operate a section of the FIOL railway in the country. Once completed, FIOL will be able to carry 60 Mt/y of freight, with BAMIN’s products accounting for a third of this capacity.

“Our integrated pit-to-port approach is present at every level in the mining industry, including greenfield, brownfield, new investments, due diligence and assessment studies,” Cesar Inostroza, SNC-Lavalin Mining & Metallurgy CEO, said. “Whether it’s complementing existing operations or getting new ones up and running, we deliver safely on time and on budget.”

Maria de Lourdes Bahia, SNC-Lavalin Mining & Metallurgy Vice-president, Brazil, said: “This project is extremely important to the Brazilian economy, helping generate thousands of jobs and positioning Bahia to become the third largest iron ore producing state in Brazil. Our commitment to innovation, technology and sustainability enables us to deliver the best solutions with lasting benefits to our clients and the communities in which we work and live.”

ERG has previously flagged that Pedra de Ferro could produce up to 18 Mt/y of iron ore at full capacity.

XCMG 72-t battery-electric trucks start up at Vale operations

Vale says it has become the first major mining company to test 100% electric 72-tonne trucks, with the trial of the XCMG Mining Machinery Co. Ltd vehicles at its Brazil and Indonesia operations.

The trial of the vehicles represent another step in the electrification of the company’s assets, it said, which is part of its wider plans to operate with net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The first electric trucks to be used by a global mining company, tested at Água Limpa, in Minas Gerais, and Sorowako, in Indonesia, emit no CO2, replacing diesel with electricity from renewable sources. They also reduce noise, which minimises the impacts on the communities that live near the operations.

The equipment was produced by XCMG Mining Machinery Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group Co. Ltd, the largest machine manufacturer in China.

Last year, Vale signed an MoU with XCMG Construction Machinery Limited, a subsidiary of XCMG, for the potential supply of mining and infrastructure equipment, including zero-emission and autonomous equipment.

The 72-t electric off-highway trucks, model XDR80TE, are part of the Vale PowerShift program. Their batteries are able to store 525 kWh, allowing them to operate for up to 36 cycles along the established route, just over a day of operations, without the need to stop and recharge, and with the possibility of regenerating energy during descents, reducing the use of mechanical brakes, maintenance work and vibration, in addition to providing more operational comfort to drivers. The machine has temperature control technology, which allows it to adapt to high temperature, humidity and rainy working conditions, and to perform even in extremely cold, high altitude and harsh weather conditions.

Alexandre Pereira, Executive Vice President of Global Business Solutions at Vale, said: “To us, this partnership with XCMG is another important step in our long-term relationship with China and towards more sustainable mining. Our goal is to expand, together with global partners, the development and co-creation of technologies that respect the environment and zero out emissions.”

Dr. Hanson Liu, the Vice President of XCMG Machinery and General Manager of XCMG Import & Export Co., said: “XCMG and Vale have reached a consensus on the green development concept of dedicating to low-carbon mining and realising net zero emissions. The delivery of XCMG’s latest pure electric mining truck, XDR80TE, at this time is a manifestation of the joint efforts of both parties on promoting global environmental protection as well as green and sustainable economic development.”

Currently, emissions from off-highway trucks running on diesel represent bout 9% of Vale’s total scope 1 and 2 emissions.

The Powershift program was created by Vale with the aim of replacing fossil fuels with clean sources in its operations. The program is promoting innovative solutions to electrify the company’s mines and railroads. In addition to the 100% electric truck, Vale’s strategy for the electrification of assets also includes the operation of battery-powered locomotives in the yards of the ports of Tubarão, in Vitória, and Ponta da Madeira, in São Luís. In Canada, the Powershift program has also led to tests with electrical equipment in underground mines – there are currently about 40 that are currently operational.

Vale’s operational equipment electrification strategy also includes a partnership with its peers BHP and Rio Tinto. Last year, the three companies, along with 17 other mining companies, launched the Charge On Innovation Challenge, a global open innovation challenge with the goal of finding innovative solutions to accelerate the safe charging of batteries for future electric off-highway trucks.

Vale brings second Sustainable Sand operation online

Vale has added a second site to its Sustainable Sand efforts, having started industrial-scale production of the by-product at its Viga mine in Congonhas, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

The operation has the capacity to process 200,000 t/y of sand, with 80,000 t slated for 2022 and 185,000 t in 2023.

Obtained from the treatment of iron ore tailings, Sustainable Sand is one of the company’s initiatives to reduce the use of dams in its operations in Minas Gerais. The material can replace natural sand, extracted from river beds, with a wide application in the civil construction market.

Jean Menezes, Operations Manager of the Viga mine plant, said: “Due to the geological characteristics of the mine and the mineral processing technology applied, we developed a coarser sand, with low presence of fine particles in the material, and high purity content, having in its composition between 89% and 98% silica and less than 7% iron.”

The company is already conducting tests of the material with concrete and mortar producers in the Southeast Region, with the Sustainable Sand flowing between the production site and the clients by rail, taking advantage of the existing logistics at the site.

The Viga mine is Vale’s second unit to manufacture Sustainable Sand on an industrial scale, following the same quality controls as for iron ore production. The first was the Brucutu mine, in São Gonçalo do Rio Abaixo, Minas Gerais, which processed 250,000 t of the material last year. The company’s projection is to produce 1 Mt of Sustainable Sand this year, before doubling the volume in 2023.

Each tonne of sand produced represents one tonne less of tailings being placed in piles or dams, Vale says.

Another initiative adopted by Vale to reduce its dependence on dams, and which also favours the production of Sustainable Sand at the mines, is the tailings filtration system. The technology reduces the moisture of the tailings, enabling both dry stacking of the material and the manufacture of sand for the market. Four tailings filtration plants have been implemented in Minas Gerais – one in the Vargem Grande Complex (in 2021), two in the Itabira Complex (between 2021 and 2022) and one in the Brucutu Mine (in 2022).

Vale has already invested more than BRL50 million ($9.7 million) and established partnerships with more than 40 organisations, including universities, research centres and domestic and foreign companies to study applications for material from iron ore processing. The objective is to make Vale’s operations safer and more sustainable, promoting the circular economy and benefiting society.

In March this year, the first road in Brazil to use Vale’s Sustainable Sand in all four layers of pavement was inaugurated. The 425-m-long track at Cauê mine, in Itabira, will be monitored for two years with 96 pressure, temperature, deformation and humidity sensors. Tests carried out during five years in the laboratory indicated that the increase in useful life is of the order of 50% and the cost reduction is 20% when compared with materials more commonly used for road construction, such as sand extracted from the environment. In addition, each kilometer of pavement can consume up to 7,000 t of tailings.

In April 2022, a study released by the University of Queensland (UQ), through its Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI), the University of Geneva (Unige) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) pointed out that the sand from the iron ore production process, called “ore-sand”, can contribute to solve two important environmental issues by reducing both the extraction of natural sand from the environment and the generation of mining waste.

Boston Metal looks to disrupt and decarbonise steel and iron ore industries

Boston Metal is looking to decarbonise the steel-making sector at the same time as helping iron ore producers with their Scope 3 emissions dilemma.

The concept of ‘green steel’ has been widely discussed over the last few years, with LKAB, SSAB and Vattenfall’s HYBRIT project being the most cited case study, thanks to both its advanced stage of development – it has already produced fossil-free steel on a trial basis – and its revolutionary way of introducing hydrogen in place of coke as the iron ore reduction method in the steel-making process.

SSAB and LKAB are leveraging HYBRIT to completely transform their production processes: SSAB is building new hydrogen-based steel making facilities able to match its current base of 8.8 Mt/y of steel by 2030 and LKAB is moving from iron ore pellet production to direct reduced iron (DRI) in line with this.

Tadeu Carneiro, Chairman & CEO of Boston Metal

The ambitions of such a project are impressive, but can such a green steel-making process be applied to the circa-1,900 Mt of steel currently being produced for the world market?

The answer is no, according to Tadeu Carneiro, Chairman & CEO of Boston Metal.

He expands on this: “There are four ways of reducing iron oxides into a metal for steel-making. One is through the use of carbon; another way is through using another metal as a reductant, which is currently not feasible; the third one is with hydrogen, which is possible – as HYBRIT has shown – but is limited to premium iron ores; and the last is through our solution.”

The solution in question is – like HYBRIT – a green option, but – unlike HYBRIT – is applicable to all iron ores, regardless of grade, according to Carneiro.

Boston Metal’s process, which it calls Molten Oxide Electrolysis (MOE), works by adding iron ore to an electrolytic cell and passing electricity through said cell. The electricity both breaks the bonds of the iron oxides present, as well as heats up the whole batch within the cell, creating molten iron that sinks to the bottom of the cell ready for collection (tapping).

During the bond breaking and heating process, MOE produces oxygen as a by-product, with the resultant oxides forming the electolyte and remaining in said electrolyte (floating above the liquid iron).

“Because it is molten, the iron gets separated from the electrolyte and sits in the bottom of the cell,” Carneiro said. “As the molten iron is heavier than the electrolyte, the impurities float to the top and can be tapped separately.”

So, not only do companies using MOE get a molten iron product, they also get a slag by-product that can be used in various applications in the construction industry – all without using coking coal or coke.

“In traditional blast furnace-based steel making, you have to pelletise or sinter the iron ore, you need to process coking coal into coke and you then have to mix the two in the blast furnace and blow air to get pig iron,” Carneiro explained. “This pig iron contains around 4% carbon, which needs to be burnt off through, typically, a process in the basic oxygen furnace to get molten iron.”

Boston Metal’s MOE process gets to this same point using just iron ore and electricity, according to Carneiro.

“All of this is replaced by a battery of cells that, when assembled in significant numbers, can compete with blast furnaces in terms of molten iron capacity,” he said.

Carneiro expanded on what he meant by ‘significant numbers’, offering up an example of 300 MOE modules assembled in two lines of 150 able to produce 1 Mt of steel.

And all of this is in an incremental capital expenditure range within the millions of dollars, instead of the billions of dollars often required to build a traditional steel-making plant.

This puts a green process in the reach of not only steel-makers but iron ore producers, according to Carneiro.

“If you have green electricity at an iron ore mine, you can bring the cells there, melt the iron and ship a metallic product to steel-makers,” Carneiro said.

This pure iron product can be remelted elsewhere and processed into flat and long steel products for the automotive and construction industries.

“This represents a higher value-added product for iron ore miners, enabling them to ship a product that is 40% lighter in terms of weight,” Carneiro explained.

Finding a ‘green’ end-user that brings down a miners’ Scope 3 emissions while holding a molten iron ore product is a lot easier than finding one when shipping iron fines, concentrate or sinter: hence the reason why iron ore miners’ Scope 3 emission goals appear a lot less ambitious than the Scope 1 and 2 targets within their control.

It is no wonder BHP and Vale have been early backers of Boston Metal.

It sounds too good to be true, and there is a reason for that.

From speaking to Carneiro, the company could start producing molten iron through the chosen method today – not at a scale the steel-industry would yet consider commercial, but at a pilot scale at least.

For the commercial process to be considered green, the company would need renewable electricity to do this; and lots of it.

Carneiro doesn’t shy away from this, explaining that MOE will require 4 MWh of electricity per tonne of steel to work at such a scale. This is the equivalent of up to 500 MW for a 1 Mt/y molten iron plant.

The incumbent process Carneiro and his US-based team are looking to take market share from requires 5.5-6 MWh of energy per tonne of steel, while the electric arc furnace (EAF) method of making steel – which uses predominantly scrap metal – has a much smaller electricity requirement.

“If you had 2 billion tonnes of scrap to be melted, the EAF route is the best way to make steel, hands down,” Carneiro admits. “The problem is you don’t have such scrap availability and, in order to increase supply, you would need lots more steel coming from iron ore.”

For reference, the HYBRIT process is expected to require 600 MW of hydrogen electrolyser capacity to 2025 to get LKAB to the 1.3 Mt/y sponge iron (DRI) mark.

Yet, scrap steel is not the only thing in short supply currently. Green electricity is far from abundant, with only the likes of Quebec (hydro power capacity) and some Nordic countries having a plentiful supply – a fact Carneiro acknowledges.

“If you don’t believe that green electricity will be available, abundant, reliable and cheap in the future, you can forget about the MOE process,” he said. “But then you also have to forget about a lot of other processes that are set to use green electricity and the massive amounts of investment the green energy space is seeing on an annual basis.

“Society has decided to go electric and to go electric in a green way, so it is only reasonable to expect that, in the future, electricity will be all of this.”

Carneiro is planning for such a transition, with his company in the process of commissioning a full-size industrial MOE cell at its Woburn, Massachusetts headquarters. This could be ready as early as next month.

It follows a trial of a pilot cell at Brazil-based ferroniobium producer CBMM’s production plant in Araxá, Brazil, where the technology was able to use the same process to turn niobium ore into high-value ferroniobium-based products.

“We were able to prove out the process with CBMM on a smaller scale, which has given us the confidence to make a much bigger cell.”

The company plans to use this bigger cell and, through a subsidiary in Brazil, take advantage of other opportunities to extract value from mining waste using the MOE technology. This could see Boston Metal assemble a battery of MOE cells to manufacture some 5,000-10,000 t of high value-added metals.

While this is deemed ‘pilot scale’ for steel producers, it is sizeable for those producing high value-added products such as niobium, vanadium, tantalum, chrome and others, Carneiro said. And the project will only aide the company’s steel-making ambitions.

“By developing the cell for these high value-added metals, we are finding lots of the answers for the steel-sized cells as well,” he said.

Such groundwork today is preparing the company for a time when steel-makers and iron ore miners have assessed the green electricity landscape and are ready to invest in such technology.

“All the leading steel-making companies have made pledges to be carbon neutral by the 2050s,” Carneiro said. “This means they need to phase out carbon reduction by the mid- to late-2030s. By this point in time, we will be ready to offer our solution on a commercial scale, allowing them to take advantage of the abundance of iron ores – low and high grade – around the world.”

FLSmidth, Metso Outotec, UHT and Inteco awarded Horizonte Araguaia nickel work

Horizonte Minerals says it has awarded all major and long-lead-time process plant equipment contracts for its flagship Araguaia nickel project in Brazil, with FLSmidth, Metso Outotec, Uvån Hagfors Teknologi AB (UHT) and Inteco Melting and Casting Technologies GMBH named as recipients.

Following completion of the competitive tender processes and detailed negotiations, the company has now secured equipment supply and technical support services for the balance of the Araguaia process flowsheet from these leading suppliers, it said. This is in line with the strategy employed for the award of the furnace contract to Hatch Ltd earlier this year.

“The successful completion of these contract awards is a significant de-risking event for the project,” it said. “Importantly it provides more certainty on costs for a material portion of the overall capital expenditure and builds confidence in the project schedule by gaining commitments for the delivery of key equipment on site in the timeframe required.”

To date, the company has awarded contracts totalling $293 million (including the $135 million of process equipment noted above) on budget and on time, according to CEO Jeremy Martin.

The rotary kiln, rotary dryer and associated dust handling equipment supply contract has been awarded to FLSmidth. FLSmidth, Horizonte says, is a market-leading supplier of engineering, equipment, and service solutions, particularly to the ferronickel industry, notably to Anglo American’s Barro Alto and Vale’s Onca Puma nickel operations in Brazil. FLSmidth has a strong track record of providing equipment and technical support services, with extensive experience in processing ore with characteristics similar to Araguaia, it said.

The ore preparation equipment contract involves the provision of primary, secondary and tertiary crushing, as well as the apron feeder that feeds the dryer. A primary dust control system for the reduction and refinery furnace, in addition to the secondary dust removal system, will also be supplied. This contract has been awarded to Metso Outotec, a leader in end-to-end solutions and services for the minerals processing and metals refining industries. Metso Outotec, Horizonte says, has extensive experience in providing equipment for the mining industry, including for operations worldwide with similar processing plants. It has a substantial presence in Brazil to provide ongoing technical support.

Horizonte has also awarded a contract for the supply of metal granulation equipment to UHT and a contract for the supply of the refinery equipment package to Inteco, which will transform the crude ferronickel produced by the electric arc furnace to high grade ferronickel for sale to customers.

The Araguaia project comprises an open-pit nickel laterite mining operation that delivers ore from a number of pits to a central rotary kiln electric furnace (RKEF) metallurgical processing facility. The metallurgical process comprises a single line RKEF to extract FeNi from the ore. After an initial ramp-up period, the plant will reach a full capacity of approximately 900,000 t/y of dry ore feed to produce 52,000 t of ferronickel, in turn containing 14,500 t/y of nickel. The FeNi product will be transported by road to the port of Vila do Conde in the north of the state for sale to overseas customers.

dynaCERT carbon emission reduction engine tech heads to South American open-pit mines

dynaCERT Inc says seven of its HydraGEN™ Technology Units (HG1R, 4C and 6C units) are to be installed at open-pit mines in Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

H2 Tek, dynaCERT’s dealer, focuses on equipping mining companies throughout the globe with dynaCERT’s proprietary patented HydraGEN technology. In conjunction with its partners, H2 Tek has indicated to dynaCERT that the company’s proprietary 4C and 6C HydraGEN Units are very desired by several world-class open-pit mining operations in the Americas, which are owned and operated by some of the world’s largest international mining conglomerates.

Along with other H2 Tek installations, these technologies will be installed in open-pit mines on various equipment, including Caterpillar 793 and 777 haul trucks and a large 4.5 MW diesel generator with a Cat 280-16 engine.

“Global mining companies recognize the immediate imperatives of utilising commercially and readily available technologies to reduce their carbon footprint and welcome and embrace dynaCERT’s patented 4C and 6C HydraGEN Technology, which is particularly suited to the mining, construction and oil & gas industries,” dynaCERT says.

In 2021 and 2022, dynaCERT’s 4C and 6C HydraGEN technology has been redesigned to adapt to the rigourous requirements of the harsh environments of open-pit mining operations, which are commonly located at high altitudes and inclement conditions in remote areas throughout the globe, it said.

David Van Klaveren, Vice President of Global Sales of H2 Tek, said: “Our national and multinational customers appreciate the significant promise of dynaCERT’s HydraGEN technology and look forward to advancing progress for their ESG priorities through its successful implementation.”

Jim Payne, President & CEO of dynaCERT, added: “I am very pleased to now deploy our proprietary HydraGEN technology with global mining companies operating under harsh conditions. Our proprietary and patented HydraGEN technology is designed to reduce fuel consumption in internal combustion engines and reduce carbon and NOx emissions: so important to providing a global solution to reduce pollution. Progressive mining companies are the trailblazers that fight a noble battle against air pollution.”

dynaCERT manufactures and distributes carbon emission reduction technology for use with internal combustion engines. As part of the growing global hydrogen economy, its patented technology creates hydrogen and oxygen on-demand through a unique electrolysis system and supplies these gases through the air intake to enhance combustion, resulting in lower carbon emissions and greater fuel efficiency, it says.

Horizonte enlists Copa Construção SA for Araguaia ferronickel project earthworks

Horizonte Minerals, a nickel development company focused in Brazil, has awarded the earthworks contract for the construction of its 100%-owned Araguaia ferronickel project to Copa Construção SA.

Copa is a leading Brazilian company with extensive experience in mining projects and civil infrastructure, ranging from roads, viaducts, hydroelectric power plants, ports, airports and transmission lines, Horizonte explained. Copa has a portfolio of more than 2,500 cu.m of concrete installed throughout the country and has a quality management certification.

Awarding the earthworks contract is an important step in the construction of Araguaia. The scope of the contract incorporates the process plant and supporting infrastructure components of the bulk earthworks for the ferronickel plant. The contract scope is designed to ensure the site is ready for the civil construction works on completion, and will see Copa levelling the main plant area, creating a series of stepped plateaus that will support the key process equipment packages and buildings, installing initial drainage facilities, as well as the main ramp and crusher platform.

CEO of Horizonte, Jeremy Martin, said: “We are delighted to welcome Copa as a key partner for the construction of our Araguaia Project. With Copa’s strong track record of successfully delivering infrastructure projects across the country, signing this contract enables us to commence construction at the beginning of the dry season this quarter as planned.

“This is another important milestone in our 24-month project construction timeline, with next steps being the award of the civil works, 230 kV powerline and electromechanical construction contracts. We look forward to keeping the market updated on developments at site.”

The Araguaia project comprises an open-pit nickel laterite mining operation that delivers ore from a number of pits to a central rotary kiln electric furnace (RKEF) metallurgical processing facility. The metallurgical process comprises a single line RKEF to extract FeNi from the ore. After an initial ramp-up period, the plant will reach a full capacity of approximately 900,000 t/y of dry ore feed to produce 52,000 t of ferronickel, in turn containing 14,500 t/y of nickel. The FeNi product will be transported by road to the port of Vila do Conde in the north of the State for sale to overseas customers.

Repair, Reuse, Recycle: ERG’s critical minerals reprocessing journey

The Musonoi River Valley in the Katanga region in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has, for some decades, been the site of land degradation resulting from inadequate and ineffective tailings and other waste management systems.

The local water system and surrounding land has been subjected to pollution from more than 83.2 Mt of legacy tailings spread over an area 11-km long and up to 2.5-km wide. Additionally, 41.1 Mt of tailings have accumulated at the Kingamyambo Tailings Dam.

Remediating and mitigating this damage is now a primary goal of Eurasian Resources Group’s Metalkol Roan Tailings Reclamation (RTR), a reprocessing facility dedicated to cleaning up the historic tailings left by previous mining operators in the Kolwezi area of the DRC. By reclaiming and reprocessing copper and cobalt tailings in the region, the company says its approach goes beyond ‘do no harm’, actively addressing a history of environmental degradation and pollution.

The legacy tailings are extracted through hydraulic mining and dredging, reprocessed and then re-deposited into a modern, closely managed and centralised tailings storage facility. This is subject to regular inspection, monitoring and reporting, supported by a dedicated Engineer of Record and an independent laboratory. Currently Metalkol RTR can produce 21,000 t/y of cobalt, which is says is sufficient for three million electric vehicle batteries, alongside around 100,000 t/y of copper, the company says.

ERG also has reprocessing operations outside of Africa, including at Kazchrome in Kazakhstan, which, it says, is the world’s largest high-carbon ferrochrome producer by chrome content.

Established in 2019, ERG Recycling – ERG’s specialised company aiming to become the largest entity to reprocess industrial waste into commercial products in Kazakhstan – has already implemented many projects including the commissioning of a new workshop that reprocesses slag, dust and other fine waste into high-quality briquettes. This program to reprocess Kazchrome’s 14.7 Mt of slag stockpiles has been expanded, now processing over 100,000 t/y of slag.

These operations have been enhanced by the development of new technology. Having completed the first trial in 2020, the Slimes 2 Tailings Reprocessing project at Donskoy GOK has the potential to enhance Kazchrome’s output of chrome concentrate by recovering 55% of the chromium oxide in chrome-oxide bearing tailings using innovative flotation technology, the company says.

In Brazil, at ERG’s integrated project, BAMIN, which produces a premium 67% Fe grade iron ore and is ramping up to become one of the country’s largest standalone iron ore exporters, the company’s transition from an upstream to a downstream tailings model ensured continued compliance with both local regulations and international standards, it said. The group continues to study additional technological enhancements to ensure the construction and operation of a world-class facility.

The environmental benefits of reprocessing projects like these are very significant for the business and critical to local communities, according to the company.

“As more attention rightly turns towards environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, it is crucial that tailings are dealt with and stored properly,” ERG said. “Aside from preventing significant issues, such as dam collapses, by reprocessing and responsibly storing these tailings, we are reducing local pollution risks more generally, increasing air quality and decreasing the likelihood of leaching toxic substances into surrounding habitats and water systems.”

Given the legacy of environmental degradation and serious consequences it poses, it is also necessary for mining companies to explore novel ways of rehabilitating the environment.

For example, ERG has been working with a team of agronomists from the University of Lubumbashi in the DRC to look into the experimental planting of trees and their growing potential at the Kingamyambo tailings dam.

Looking forward, these operations will support the sustainable development of affordable batteries and other clean energy technologies.

By producing critical raw materials, such as cobalt, without the risk and cost of needing to develop new mining projects, ERG says it can help make electric vehicles and other renewable technologies more accessible, helping facilitating the net-zero transition.

Pictured above is Metalkol RTR, ERG’s reprocessing facility in the DRC: the world’s second largest standalone cobalt producer

Yamana ups its climate action ante, considers further use of BEVs, automation

Yamana Gold Inc has announced the outcome of its foundational work on its Climate Action Strategy, raising its climate action ambition by adopting a 1.5ºC target compared to pre-industrial levels and laying the groundwork for the incorporation of more renewable energy sources and battery-electric vehicles at its mines.

The foundational work began in early 2021 and Yamana previously indicated it would complete its work and establish science-based greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement targets by the end of the year. This has seen the company determine base year emissions, emissions forecasts, GHG abatement pathways for Scope 1 and 2 emissions, and physical and transition risks aligned with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

After conducting top-down and bottom-up GHG reduction opportunity assessments at each operation, Yamana has raised its ambition from a 2ºC-aligned target in early 2021 to a 1.5ºC target.

Work has been performed in conformance with evolving international best practice, including the GHG Protocol, Science-based Targets Initiative (SBTi) guidelines, and the Mining Association of Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining Climate Change Protocol.

Based on the company’s analysis of a 1.5ºC temperature scenario, an annual emissions reduction of approximately 4.2% will be required until 2030. Yamana has concluded it will be able to meet these reduction targets by its 2030 target through a focus on efficient, high-grade underground mines and operating in jurisdictions that have a large proportion of available renewable, green electricity.

A newly signed power purchase agreement at its Minera Florida operation (Chile), scheduled to become effective in 2022, will provide 100% renewable electricity over the next five years. When coupled with similar agreements at Jacobina (Brazil, pictured) and El Peñon (Chile), approximately 85% of the company’s gold-equivalent ounces will be produced with renewable energy by the end of next year.

As part of its previously announced growth plans at Wasamac (Canada), Odyssey (Canada) and Jacobina (Brazil), Yamana is evaluating opportunities to further reduce its GHG emissions by investing in battery-electric vehicles, automation and other emerging technologies. Meanwhile, the company’s near-term growth in both Quebec and Brazil will leverage electrical grids that have a high proportion of green, renewable energy. Hydroelectric and other forms of non-fossil fuel energy constituted more than 99.9% of the Quebec grid energy in 2020, it said.

In 2022, the company will continue to refine its analysis and transition to a more operations-focused approach as it continues work to identify and assess additional opportunities to reduce GHG emissions. The company will also begin to define its Scope 3 GHG emissions, including those from its 50% owned Canadian Malartic Mine.