Tag Archives: Canada

Epiroc Canada strengthens Quebec, Nunavut presence with ACE partnership

Epiroc Canada says it is partering with ACE Services Mécaniques for parts and services in Quebec and Nunavut, Canada.

The new partnership reinforces Epiroc Canada’s commitment to strengthen its presence in the Quebec region through strategic partnerships to expand its parts and service offerings, it said

Quebec’s mining industry has been achieving sustained growth and Epiroc expects this trend will continue. “Our objective is to continue supporting these operations, so they reach their productivity goals safely and efficiently,” the company said.

ACE’s reputation as a mechanical labour services supplier complements Epiroc’s customer first approach and was a deciding factor in choosing the organisation as Epiroc’s aftermarket parts and service provider in the area, the company said.

“Epiroc’s goal in this partnership with ACE Services Mécaniques is to continue to further accelerate our ability to meet and surpass customer needs on site,” Andre Bertrand, Business Line Manager Parts & Services division Canada, Epiroc, said. “Quebec and Nunavut are important regions, and we continue to increase our presence in these areas. Epiroc has already prioritised expanding our presence in the region through completing the strategic acquisitions of Fordia and Meglab, as well as our Epiroc branch in Rouyn-Noranda (Cadillac).”

Steve Ethier, General Director, ACE Services Mécaniques, said: “After several months of work and discussions with our new partner Epiroc, we are proud to lay the foundation for us being the cornerstone of Epiroc’s aftermarket service in Abitibi and Nunavut.”

Sedgman formally awarded EPC contract for Artemis’ Blackwater gold project

CIMIC Group’s mineral processing company, Sedgman, has been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to deliver services for Artemis Gold at the Blackwater gold project in British Columbia, Canada.

The EPC contract, which supersedes the temporary interim service agreement announced on May 2, 2022, will generate revenue for Sedgman of C$318 million ($245 million).

Sedgman will design and construct the processing and non-processing infrastructure for a 6 Mt/y carbon-in-leach gold plant at the project.

Even before this announcement, Sedgman had made good headway on the project, executing an agreement with Metso Outotec to secure supply and delivery of crushing and grinding equipment for the processing plant.

The project schedule as laid out by Artemis supporting the EPC contract with Sedgman includes the following assumptions:

  • Receipt of the BC Mines Act and related permits in the Fall of 2022;
  • Construction mobilisation and major works preparations commence in the March quarter of 2023 with process plant bulk earthworks scheduled to be completed prior to the start of major works;
  • Commissioning activities of the process facility to commence in the firts half of 2024; and
  • First gold pour expected in the September quarter of 2024.

CIMIC Group Executive Chairman, Juan Santamaria, said: “Sedgman and Artemis have already commenced initial design and procurement work at the project, helping Artemis to unlock the value of this key gold project and work towards its first gold pour in 2024.”

Sedgman Managing Director, Grant Fraser, said: “We are pleased to be working with Artemis Gold on this exciting project and look forward to continuing our strong working relationship to ensure successful outcomes for both Sedgman and Artemis.”

Work is expected to be completed in the September quarter of 2024.

Artemis has said previously that Stage 1 development at Blackwater should lead to the building of a 6-9 Mt/y operation (6 Mt/y in years 1-4 and 9 Mt/y in year 5) able to produce around 312,000 oz/y of gold.

Aggreko brings in virtual pipeline power for Labyrinth’s exploration project

Aggreko, a leading provider of mobile and modular power solutions, has successfully deployed a remote power project at an exploration project in Canada using its virtual pipeline power approach.

The solution enabled Labyrinth Resources Limited to complete a challenging mining exploration project while reducing CO2 emissions and fuel costs, according to the company.

Labyrinth needed remote power for a five-month gold mining exploration project. The site is in a remote location on the Quebec–Ontario border, where no grid power is currently available. Temperatures in the region fall as low as -30°C. In addition to extremely low temperatures, the high cost of diesel fuel was also a concern. Labyrinth needed a portable power solution that would operate in the site’s harsh environment using a better fuel source.

Aggreko assessed the need and conditions and recommended a virtual pipeline power system to deliver compressed natural gas (CNG). The company set up a CNG power plant by installing two 300 kW natural gas generators and a 60 kW diesel generator to deal with peak loads. The virtual pipeline approach facilitated smoother delivery of CNG by way of 48 ft (14.6 m) containers trucked to the mine site.

During its five-month operation, the Aggreko virtual pipeline power solution reduced CO2 emissions by approximately 75 tons (68 tonnes) versus diesel generators, reduced NOx emissions by 10 tons, and saved over $300,000 in fuel costs. This allowed the customer to put more resources into the mining exploration itself, with a significant reduction in emissions to meet local regulations and avoid fines, Aggreko says.

“We appreciate the support of the Aggreko team,” Matt Nixon, CEO of Labyrinth Resources, said. “The selection of a lower-emission fuel source for our power requirements aligns with Labyrinth Resources ESG policies and reinforces that sustainable solutions for our operations are decision drivers, as opposed to afterthoughts.”

Geoff Bland, Product Manager for Power Generation and Energy Storage at Aggreko, said: “At Aggreko, we have deep experience in powering remote locations and providing clean CNG power. Our equipment and engineers were fully capable of dealing with harsh conditions and reducing emissions.”

Steve Stafford, Sales Leader for Manufacturing and Mining at Aggreko North America, added: “The mining industry is undergoing an energy transition as it moves towards integrating renewable and alternative fuel solutions. The Aggreko virtual pipeline power solution allowed the customer to get the job done faster, more cost-effectively, and with a significant reduction in emissions.”

Labyrinth is an Australia-based resource company with projects in Western Australia and Canada. The company is focused on Labyrinth and Denain gold projects that are some 230 km apart along highway 117 and situated in a mining jurisdiction hosted by the Abitibi Greenstone Belt. The Denain project is 60 km east of the town of Val d’Or and comprises 13 claims across a tenure area of 360 ha at the eastern abutment of the Cadillac-Larder Lake Fault, which also hosts the Canadian Malarctic gold mine. The mineralisation at Labyrinth gold project is hosted within east-west trending quartz veins that can be traced for at least 1.4 km along strike and run parallel with the trend lithology.

Newcrest’s Brucejack mine set for full fleet battery-electric transition in Q4

Newcrest’s Brucejack gold-silver mine in British Columbia, Canada, is set for a full battery-electric fleet transition by the end of the year, the gold miner said in its financial year 2022 results.

Following a successful site trial, seven underground battery-electric trucks are being commissioned at Brucejack, replacing the existing diesel fleet and abating approximately 65,000 t of CO2 emissions through to 2030.

The new fleet will improve truck productivity, lower unit costs and enhance operational efficiency from planning to production, according to Newcrest. Three of the Sandvik 50-t-payload Z50 battery-electric trucks are already in production, with the full switch over expected to be completed in the December 2022 quarter, it noted.

Sandvik and Pretivm previously noted that seven Z50 haul trucks would be supplied to the operation as part of the planned fleet transition.

The project is being partly funded thanks to a C$7.95 million ($6.1 million) investment from The CleanBC Industry Fund.

Brucejack, which became wholly owned by Newcrest when the acquisition of previous owned Pretivm Resources completed earlier this year, is currently the subject of Newcrest’s EDGE program, which aims to drive a culture of innovation, high performance and continuous improvement. The program has identified additional opportunities of approximately C$15-$25 million/y, with improvements in stope turnaround time and more efficient mine operations as the initial focus areas, the company said.

Run-rate benefits from this effort are expected to be fully realised by the June 2024 quarter, Newcrest says.

Newcrest said in the financial results that it was also assessing ore sorting technology at the mine, which aims to classify and separate mineralised material from non-mineralised material to deliver more consistent mill feed grades and increase operational flexibility.

Pre-production mining fleet starts to arrive at Greenstone gold project

Equinox Gold Corp says it is making good headway on its 60%-owned Greenstone project, in Ontario, Canada, with four Cat 793 haul trucks delivered to site and the first Komatsu PC-5500 excavator set for assembly this quarter.

The Greenstone project is being developed as a 60/40 partnership, respectively, by Equinox Gold and Orion Mine Finance Group, and is billed as being one of the largest gold mines in Canada, producing more than 400,000 oz/y of gold for the first five years and more than 5 Moz of gold over its initial 14-year mine life.

The project is now 35% complete and on schedule to pour first gold in the first half of 2024, Equinox says. As of June 30, 2022, 56% of total capital costs had been contracted and Greenstone had spent $315 million (26%) of its $1.23 billion construction budget (100% basis).

The earthworks were 48% complete, with plant site earthworks 76% complete, tailings storage facility (TSF) earthworks 29% complete and the Highway 11 realignment earthworks 39% complete. Structural concrete was 37% complete and structural steel 21% complete.

The company says pre-production mining should commence in the December quarter with the four Cat 793s (250-t) payload haul trucks and the first Komatsu PC-5500.

Equinox has also committed to mobile equipment lease financing of $78 million for the project, deferring approximately $53 million of initial capital spend, it says.

The Greenstone Mine plan contemplates construction of a 27,000 t/d processing facility and open-pit mining operation for the Hardrock deposit. The process plant consists of a crushing circuit, grinding circuit, pre-leach thickening and leaching, carbon-in-pulp circuit, carbon elution and regeneration, electrowinning and gold refining, and tailings disposal, with overall gold recovery of 91.2%. Mining will use conventional open-pit blast, load and haul techniques, with the 2020 technical report also including the potential for automated blasthole drilling.

Christian Milau, CEO of Equinox Gold, stated: “The Greenstone team has done great work staying on schedule and on budget, despite the challenges of starting construction during COVID and dealing with inflationary and supply chain issues. The independent quantitative risk assessment of our schedule and construction budget has provided additional comfort that we’re on track to deliver the project as planned in the first half of 2024.

“Excellent earthworks progress during the winter months means we can focus on concrete foundations and steel structures during the summer and fall and enclose the majority of buildings before year end, which will allow us to maintain productivity during the winter months.”

Upcoming construction milestones include:

  • Delivery and assembly of pre-production fleet of four trucks and excavators: Q2-Q3 2022;
  • Permanent water effluent treatment plant ready for use: Q3 2022;
  • Commence installation of gensets in power plant, power building enclosed: Q3 2022;
  • Start of pre-production mining: Q4 2022;
  • Truck shop, warehouse, process plant (HPRG, crushing and main buildings) ready to enclose: Q4 2022;
  • Leach tanks installed: Q4 2022;
  • Ball mills received: Q1 2023;
  • Crushers installed: Q3 2023;
  • TSF complete: Q4 2023;
  • Highway 11 realignment complete: Q4 2023
  • Commissioning: Q1-Q2 2024; and
  • Gold pour: Q2 2024.

Alamos upgrades expansion plans for Island Gold mine, targeting 2,400 t/d

Following further exploration success, Alamos Gold Inc has upgraded its expansion plans for the Island Gold mine in Ontario, Canada.

In the results of the Phase 3+ Expansion Study for Island, the company outlined a larger, more profitable and valuable operation than the Phase III Expansion Study released in 2020. This 2020 iteration looked to expand throughput to 2,000 t/d, from 1,200 t/d, through a shaft and paste plant build, costing $1.07 billion. It would result in output rising to 236,000 oz/y starting in 2025 at mine-site all-in sustaining costs of $534/oz.

Based on the results of the P3+ Expansion Study, the company says it is now proceeding with an expansion of the operation to 2,400 t/d.

This development would see average annual gold production of 287,000 oz, starting in 2026 upon completion of the sinking and equipping of a 1,373-m-deep shaft. This represents a 22% increase from the previous study and a 121% increase from the mid-point of 2022 production guidance of 130,000 oz.

While the growth capital of $756 million and sustaining capital of $777 million are both up from the 2020 study – reflecting the expansion, a larger mineable resource, and industry-wide inflation – the total capital intensity associated with the new plan has decreased 4% to $344/oz reflecting the larger mineable resource with increased ounces per vertical metre.

This infrastructure was all incorporated into the 2020 study with several scope changes to accommodate the 20% increase in production rates to 2,400 t/d including a larger mill expansion and paste plant, as well as accelerated development to support the higher mining rates. The Phase 3+ Expansion also includes 30% more development over the mine life to accommodate the 43% larger mineable resource.

Following the completion of the expansion in 2026, the operation will transition from trucking ore and waste to skipping ore and waste to surface through the new shaft infrastructure, driving production higher and costs significantly lower.

With no significant capital expected to be spent on the company’s other development project, Lynn Lake, until the P3+ Expansion is well underway, Alamos said it is well positioned to fund the expansion internally while generating strong free cash flow over the next several years.

John A McCluskey, President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Island Gold continues to grow in every sense with our planned Phase 3+ Expansion driving the value of Island Gold to $2 billion at current gold prices. Mineral reserves and resources have increased to 5.1 Moz, supporting the Phase 3+ increase in production rates, which will create a bigger, longer-life, more profitable and valuable operation.

“As a producing mine with a well-understood cost structure, this expansion is low risk from an execution perspective, and has a significantly reduced carbon footprint. The exploration story continues to unfold with a mineral reserve and resource base that has nearly tripled over the past four years, and with the deposit open laterally and down-plunge, we expect Island Gold will be one of the lowest cost and most profitable mines for decades to come.”

Teck to trial carbon capture utilisation and storage tech at Trail Operations

Teck Resources has announced a Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) pilot project at its Trail Operations metallurgical complex in southern British Columbia, Canada, in support of its Net-Zero Climate Change Strategy.

The CCUS pilot is expected to begin operation in the second half of 2023 and is expected to contribute to the company’s aim of reducing the carbon intensity of its operations by 33% by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

“This carbon capture pilot is an important step towards our knowledge building for the application of carbon capture, utilisation and storage as an emissions reduction solution, as we work to evaluate pathways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our operations and achieve our net-zero goal,” Don Lindsay, President and CEO, said. “The pilot also provides us with a technical platform to assist our steelmaking coal customers in materially reducing the carbon intensity of their steel production.”

The pilot plant will capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from the acid plant flue gas at Trail Operations at a rate of 3 t/d. The pilot project will also evaluate options for the utilisation and/or storage of the captured CO2 at Trail Operations, Teck says.

If successful, the project could be scaled up to an industrial CCUS plant with the potential to capture over 100,000 t/y of CO2 at Trail Operations, the equivalent emissions of more than 20,000 cars.

Teck acknowledged the support of the CleanBC Industry Fund for its funding contribution towards the CCUS Pilot Plant Feasibility Study, which was an important step in advancing the pilot. The CleanBC Industry Fund highlights the alignment between industry and government in achieving Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, it said.

SGS aims to ease lab sampling burden for exploration companies with MSPU offering

With the mining industry dealing with a backlog of sending their samples to labs for test results over the past year, some companies are turning to Mobile Sample Preparation Units as a solution, with SGS’ MSPU offering coming to the fore.

The turnaround times associated with sampling are especially important in the early stages of exploration for companies requiring reliable testing data in real time to make important investment decisions to advance their projects.

Matador Mining realised that there were issues in addressing the realities of exploring in remote areas like its Cape Ray project in an isolated area of Newfoundland, Canada, SGS said.

In April 2021, SGS started working with Matador Mining to build a Mobile Sample Preparation Unit (MSPU) in one of the most remote areas of Newfoundland. Sitting on the edge of the ocean in Port-aux-Basques, many were sceptical about the feasibility of building a lab there, SGS said. The site is a two-and-a-half-hour drive away from Deer Lake and the closest regional airport linking to the rest of Canada.

Cindy Collins, Director of Sales and Business – Geochemistry SGS Natural Resources, said: “The goal of the project was to find a way to more easily execute the testing that Matador Mining needed while staying mindful of the possibilities and problems associated with a location as remote as this one. We felt that if we could come up with a mobile lab, then we could staff it with local talent and replicate it across the world.”

Collins says there are great benefits from MSPUs when it comes to sustainability. Instead of building bricks and mortar, the mobile unit runs on its own power and prepares samples for on-site analysis.

Having their data faster allows clients to continue or even modify drill program strategies based on data they’ve already received. Once the program is finished, the MSPU is transported by truck to its next client, SGS explained.

A year later, the MSPU (lab) provides an excellent case study for exploration companies around the world about what is possible. Instead of having to ship 100,000, 3-5 kg samples across the country to its analytical facility in Burnaby, British Colombia, only 250 grams per sample are sent while the remaining materials remain with Matador on site in Newfoundland. This means major carbon footprint reduction and cuts to CO2 emissions and points to the kind of positive mitigating effect on sustainability that investors and stakeholders are demanding, SGS said, in addition to tangible action and accountability when it comes to corporate social responsibility.

Collins is optimistic for the future of the MSPU, saying that the company has three units in Canada and several globally.

“By my projections we should have several more across the continent by next field season with more to be commissioned this year,” she said. “And, for context, since 2004, we have had 35 MSPUs in places like PNG, Peru, Congo, West Africa, Mexico and Kazakhstan. Since 2011, there are about 20 active MSPUs across the globe.”

Rio Tinto to provide Salzgitter with iron ore for hydrogen direct reduction steelmaking trials

Rio Tinto and the Salzgitter Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together towards carbon-free steelmaking by studying optimisation of Rio Tinto’s high-quality Canadian and Australian iron ore products for use in Salzgitter’s SALCOS® green steel project in Germany.

Under the MoU, the two companies will explore optimisation of iron ore pellets, lump and fines for use in hydrogen direct reduction steelmaking. The two companies will also explore the potential for greenhouse gas emission certification across the steel value chain.

Rio Tinto produces iron ore pellets and concentrate at Iron Ore Company of Canada and iron ore lump and fines in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. The partnership will focus on the potential use of these products in the SALCOS – Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking – program, which is targeting virtually carbon-free steel production, starting step-by-step in 2025 using hydrogen direct reduction.

Rio Tinto Chief Commercial Officer, Alf Barrios, said: “We welcome the chance to work with Salzgitter on ways to accelerate green steelmaking, in keeping with our commitment to reduce emissions across the steel value chain.

“Salzgitter has one of the world’s most advanced green steelmaking projects. Rio Tinto is excited at the opportunity of supplying our product and combining our technical expertise with that of Salzgitter to help advance the SALCOS project.”

Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH Chairman of the Management Board, Ulrich Grethe, said: “With this alliance, we want to combine the knowledge of both companies to make further progress with low-carbon steel production.

“In this context, the Salzgitter Group is relying on strong partners, as set out in our ‘Salzgitter AG 2030’ Group strategy, in line with its motto of ‘Partnering for Circular Solutions’.”

The agreement follows a similar technical cooperation pact signed with LKAB last week, which could see the Europe-based iron ore miner supply high-quality iron ore pellets to Salzgitter for its SALCOS project.

Rio Tinto says it is committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and is targeting a 15% reduction in Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 2025 (from a 2018 baseline) and a 50% reduction by 2030. Rio Tinto’s approach to addressing Scope 3 emissions is to engage with its customers on climate change and work with them to develop the technologies to decarbonise.

Under the SALCOS program, Salzgitter’s carbon-based blast furnace route will gradually be replaced from the middle of this decade by direct reduction plants, initially operated by natural gas and then with a steadily increasing proportion of hydrogen.

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.