Tag Archives: Canada

Canada Nickel progresses carbon capture and storage test work for Crawford

Canada Nickel Company Inc says the latest test work on material from its Crawford project, in Ontario, Canada, supports the incorporation of carbon capture and storage into the develoment.

The company has devised an In-Process Tailings (IPT) Carbonation process, which, it says, is a novel method for accelerated carbon capture and storage that it believes has transformative potential.

The latest test work conducted at Kingston Process Metallurgy (KPM) confirmed that existing process streams can be used for IPT Carbonation, which the company believes should allow it to be timely and cost effectively engineered and incorporated into the project flowsheet.

Crawford is hosted in ultramafic rock, which naturally absorbs and sequesters CO2, according to the company, with the potential to actively capture and sequester carbon being a key consideration in Canada Nickel’s acquisition of the 42 sq.km of target ultramafic rocks in the Timmins area.

Canada Nickel has developed an active process that uses tailings as generated in the milling process and injects a concentrated source of CO2 for a brief period of time. This process, IPT Carbonation, fixes CO2 geologically while the tailings are still in the processing circuit, rather than after they have been finally deposited.

The company believes that, given its relative simplicity, this process could be scaled up with availability of concentrated (rather than atmospheric) sources of CO2, with the CO2 potentially delivered by downstream processing of Crawford concentrates, a wide range of industrial processing activities, green hydrogen production, or carbon capture facilities.

Canada Nickel said: “The process demonstrates the potential to produce NetZero Nickel™ and NetZero Cobalt™ for the electric vehicle industry, NetZero Iron™ and chromium for the stainless steel industry and generate substantial carbon credits during the process. The company believes that the need for a concentrated source of CO2 for this process and the substantial CO2 capture and storage capacity potential of its ultramafic land position could form the basis for an entire Zero Carbon Industrial Cluster in the Timmins-Cochrane region.”

The latest results from further lab-scale testing at KPM confirmed that a blend of tailings expected to be produced by Crawford and thickened to an expected operating tailings density could be successfully carbonated with the IPT Carbonation process, the company said. This is a significant result to demonstrate the process at higher solids densities as the pulp density and the tailings residence time will be a key driver of the process capital and operating costs, it explained.

The testing also attempted to understand what ultimate carbon capture potential is possible and the test resulted in 37 t of CO2 captured per tonne of nickel – 34 t of that amount was captured within 25 hours. The 37 t figure is believed to represent a potential maximum and there is no certainty that such amount could be achieved in commercial operation, the company said.

As a result of these results, the integrated feasibility study for the project is expected to be delivered in the June quarter of 2023. This delay, the company says, has no impact on the overall timeline to production, with Canada Nickel continuing to target receipt of permits by mid-2025 with construction to follow.

Mark Selby, Chair and CEO of Canada Nickel, said: “We believe the Crawford project has the potential to be a case study in how critical minerals are developed in Ontario and Canada. Crawford is poised to support the energy transition through the large-scale production of critical minerals, including nickel and cobalt, and to become the sole North American producer of chromium, while also supporting the country’s climate objectives through large-scale carbon capture and storage.”

The company believes the successful incorporation of IPT Carbonation could also potentially allow a portion of its project capital expenditures to become eligible for the carbon capture and storage refundable investment tax credits of 37.5% to 60% from 2022-30 and 18.75% to 30% from 2031-40 announced in the 2022 federal budget documents in Canada.

Selby added: “We look forward to continuing our positive momentum in 2023 as we complete this integrated feasibility study for Crawford, continue to successfully advance the Crawford permitting process, work with our recently appointed financial advisors to advance its overall financing package and aggressively advance our recently acquired Texmont property with its potential for near-term production. We are also excited by our successful tests of the regional exploration potential at Reid, Deloro, Sothman and Reaume which, as they are hosted in the same mineralisation as Crawford, offer the same potential for integrated carbon capture and storage – setting the stage for a Zero Carbon Industrial Cluster in the Timmins-Cochrane region.”

BEUMER Group and FAM ‘the right project partner for all challenges’, Hotz says

In June, BEUMER Group completed the acquisition of the FAM Group of Magdeburg, Germany, in the process, increasing its conveyor system and loading technology offering and becoming a significant player in the in-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC) space.

Close to six months after closing, IM put some questions to Stefan Hotz, Director Sales FAM Group, to find out how the integration of the two companies is going and how the transaction should strengthen the enlarged company’s market position in the minerals and mining sectors.

IM: Where – regionally – do you see the most opportunities in the mining sector for the integrated company to gain market share? South America has been a particularly strong market for FAM in the past; do you see this as a big opportunity for the integrated group?

SH: FAM – member of BEUMER Group – is one of the world’s leading full-range suppliers of bulk handling and processing systems. The customers come from more than 80 countries and the solutions are successfully in use everywhere. With BEUMER’s acquisition of the FAM Group, we were able to expand our portfolio to include bulk material handling, crushing technology as well as conveyor technology. Customers receive solutions from a single source with which they can work efficiently. In addition to engineering and project execution competences, FAM also brings the complete value chain, including after-sales service, to the BEUMER Group. This makes us a sought-after partner worldwide.

Of course, South America is a strong market, especially countries with iron ore and copper resources such as Brazil, Chile and Peru. For example, in Peru, the mining companies are transporting iron ore to the stockyards, which are often located at distances of several kilometres from the port. Callao Port, for example, is home to the most modern and largest ship loading terminal in the country. A reliable and safe connection for material transport is required, which at the same time ideally prevents the emission of particles into the atmosphere. Conveyors are the preferred solution here that can be individually adapted to the respective environmental and technical requirements and to the topography, as well as protect the environment from dust emissions.

IM: Are you expecting to increase your manufacturing capacity or acquire new premises to fulfil this demand, or do you have enough capacity to serve these growing markets in the near-to-medium term?

SH: The FAM Group has subsidiaries in Brazil, Chile, China, Canada and India. In addition, there are the numerous subsidiaries and agencies of the BEUMER Group. This means that we are very well positioned worldwide and can optimally serve these growing markets in the short to medium term. In our project business it’s a must to be, on the one hand, close to our customers but, on the other hand, using our global resource network and know-how to balance workloads. But, of course, we expand the network of our subsidiaries if we notice that we cannot serve certain regions with the desired reliability.

IM: Is the company already pursuing mining projects that involve the solutions/expertise of FAM and BEUMER Group? Can you elaborate on what type of projects these are and what solutions they involve (ie overland conveyors, bucketwheel excavators, spreaders, etc)?

SH: Yes, we are already in the process to support our mining clients from one hand, integrating FAM and BEUMER solutions. For example, we are working on one large project for gold extraction, where BEUMER is providing the long-distance overland conveyor and FAM supports the client with spreader technology to dump overburden. We have combined this with an attractive digitalisation and service package to ensure optimisation of the client’s total cost of ownership.

IM: With this transaction the company has effectively become a major player in the IPCC space. Do you see this as a major growth area for BEUMER Group going forward?

SH: In general, with this new setup, we expand our product portfolio and we are significantly strengthening our market position worldwide, especially in the field of large-scale mining equipment. But the most important thing is that we can provide our customers with even more comprehensive support over the whole value chain from pit to port, including digitalisation and service for our projects. Due to our many years of experience, we also support our clients in complex upgrade, lifetime extension and refurbishment jobs for existing machines. This means we avoid interfaces and customers now have only one contact.

IM: Do you see your ability to offer not only the solutions but also the engineering and design expertise underpinning these solutions as differentiating your offering from your competitors in the IPCC market? What other differentiators will serve you well in winning business in this market?

SH: I don’t want to say much about our market competitors, but I am sure that together with FAM we stand out positively from the market, specifically for continuous soft rock and overburden IPCC applications. Furthermore, we have long-term partners with whom we are serving the needs of our clients in terms of mine planning and pre-engineering. This ensures that we are defining  a solution for the client with a focus on CAPEX and OPEX optimisation. Specifically for IPCC applications, we are convinced of adding value during the first months of operation by providing integrated training and service packages to ensure successful implementation of continuous mining systems after commissioning. In doing so, the specialism is characterised in particular by distinctive engineering at a high level.

IM: What other areas of your business do you see growing with the need for mining companies to move away from their reliance on diesel-powered mobile mining equipment for material transport? Are you seeing more interest in your overland conveyor portfolio, for instance?

SH: Our belt conveyor systems are used successfully all over the world. They solve complex transport problems for any bulk material and are suitable in many cases as an economic alternative to truck transport. While the basic task – to transport bulk materials from the mine to the final discharge point – appears very comparable, no two systems are alike. The range of potential materials to be conveyed, alone, requires individual consideration of the components to be used in terms of wear resistance or the maximum permissible gradients of a conveyor. In addition, above all, the mass flow to be transported and the height to be overcome determine the dimensioning of the drive unit of an overland conveyor. Plants at high altitudes pose a further challenge. At altitudes above 4,000 m, as is often the case in the Andes for example, it must be taken into account that the air pressure and, thus, the density of the air decreases with increasing altitude. This reduces both the cooling effect and the insulating capacity of the air. We are the right project partner for all these challenges.

Taseko Mines using innovation to increase production and efficiencies

The Taseko Mines story is indicative of the current environment miners find themselves in – maximise productivity to grow margins at existing operations or invest in innovative new methods of extracting critical metals that come with a reduced footprint.

The Vancouver-based company is pursuing both options at the two main assets on its books – the Gibraltar copper mine in British Columbia, Canada, and its Florence Copper project in Arizona, USA.

Gibraltar, owned 75% by Taseko, initially started up in 1972 as a 36,000 t/d operation. It was shut down in 1998 due to low copper prices before Taseko restarted it in 2004. In the years since, the company has invested over $800 million in the mine, increasing the throughput rate to 85,000 tons per day (77,111 t/d), where it’s been operating at since 2014.

The asset now sits as the second largest open-pit copper mine in Canada – with life of mine average annual production of 130 MIb (59,000 t) of copper and 2.5 MIb of molybdenum.

Stuart McDonald, President and CEO of the company, says the company continues to work on the trade-off of upping throughput – potentially past the nameplate capacity – and improving metallurgical recoveries at the operation.

This became apparent in the latest quarterly results, when Taseko reported an average daily throughput of 89,400 tons/d over the three-month period alongside “higher than normal” mining dilution.

The company believes Gibraltar can improve on both counts – mill throughput and mining dilution.

“We were optimistic coming into the new pit (Gibraltar Pit) that, based on the historical data, we could go above 85,000 tons/d as we got settled in and mined the softer ore,” McDonald told IM. “We still believe there are opportunities to go beyond that level, but, at some point, it becomes an optimisation and trade-off between throughput and recoveries.

“In our business, we’re not interested in maximising mill throughput; we’re interested in maximising copper production.”

On the dilution front, McDonald believes the problem will lessen as the mining moves to deeper benches in the Gibraltar Pit.

“As we go deeper, the ore continuity improves, so we hope the dilution effect will continue to improve too,” he said.

“The dilution rate is still not quite where we want it to be, so it’s a matter of looking at our operating practices carefully and following through a grade reconciliation process from our geological model through to assays from our blast holes, assays into the shovel bucket and all the way through to the mill.”

‘Assays into the shovel bucket’?

McDonald explained: “We do use ShovelSense® technology on two of our shovels, so that helps us assess the grade of the material in the shovel bucket.”

To this point, the company has leveraged most value from this XRF-based technology, developed by MineSense, when deployed on shovels situated in the boundaries between ore and waste. This offers the potential to reclassify material deemed to be ‘waste’ in the block model as ‘ore’ and vice versa, improving the grade of the material going to the mill and reducing processing of waste.

ShovelSense has been successful in carrying out this process with accuracy at other copper mines in British Columbia, including Teck Resources’ Highland Valley Copper operations and Copper Mountain Mining’s namesake operation.

McDonald concluded on this grade reconciliation process: “We just have to make sure we are tracing the material through all of those steps and not losing anything along the way. Gibraltar is a big earthmoving operation, so we must continue to keep the material flowing as well as look at the head grade.”

A different type of recovery

In Arizona at Florence Copper, Taseko has a different proposition on its hands.

Florence is a project that, when fully ramped up, could produce 40,000 t of high-quality copper cathode annually for the US domestic market.

It will do this by using a metal extraction and recovery method rarely seen in the copper space – in-situ recovery (ISR).

The planned ISR facility consists of an array of injection and recovery wells that will be used to inject a weak acid solution (raffinate – 99.5% water, 0.5% acid) into copper oxide ore and recover the copper-laden solution (pregnant leach solution) for processing into pure copper cathode sheets. The mine design is based on the use of five spot well patterns, with each pattern consisting of four extraction wells in a 100 ft (30.5 m) grid plus a central injection well. This mine outline and associated infrastructure comes with a modest capital expenditure figure of $230 million.

The company has been testing the ISR technology at Florence to ensure the recovery process works and the integrity of the wells remains intact.

Since acquiring Florence Copper in November 2014, Taseko has advanced the project through the permitting, construction and operating phase of the Phase 1 Production Test Facility (PTF). The PTF, a $25 million test facility, consists of 24 wells and the SX/EW plant. It commenced operations in December 2018.

Over the course of 18 months, Taseko evaluated the operational data, confirmed project economics and demonstrated the ability to produce high-quality copper cathode with stringent environmental guidelines at the PTF, the company says.

McDonald reflected: “We produced over 1 MIb [of copper] over this timeframe and then switched over from a copper production cycle into testing our ability to rinse the orebody and restore the mining area back to the permitted conditions.

“We’re proving our ability to do the mining and the reclamation, which we think is a critical de-risking step for the project.”

Over an 18-month period, Taseko produced 1 MIb from the ISR test facility at Florence

Taseko says Florence Copper is expected to have the lowest energy and greenhouse gas-intensity (GHG) of any copper producer in North America, with McDonald saying the operation’s carbon footprint will mostly be tied to the electricity consumption required.

“Our base case is to use electricity from the Arizona grid, which has a combination of renewables, nuclear and gas-fired power plants,” he said. “In the longer-term, there are opportunities at Florence to switch to completely 100% renewable sources, with the most likely candidate being solar power.

“At that point, with renewable energy powering our plant, we could be producing a copper product with close to zero carbon associated with it.”

Gibraltar has also been labelled as a “low carbon intensity operation” by Skarn Associates who, in a 2020 report, said the operation ranked in the lowest quartile compared with other copper mines throughout the world when it comes to Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

When it comes to the question of when Florence could start producing, Taseko is able to reflect on recent successful permitting activities.

In December 2020, the company received the Aquifer Protection Permit from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, with the only other permit required prior to construction being the Underground Injection Control (UIC) permit from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

On September 29, the EPA concluded its public comment period on the draft UIC it issued following a virtual public hearing that, according to Taseko, demonstrated strong support for the Florence Copper project among local residents, business organisations, community leaders and state-wide organisations. Taseko says it has reviewed all the submitted comments and is confident they will be fully addressed by the EPA during its review, prior to issuing the final UIC permit.

Future improvements

In tandem with its focus on permitting and construction at Florence, and upping performance at Gibraltar, the company has longer-term aims for its operations.

For instance, the inclusion of more renewables to get Florence’s copper production to carbon-neutral status could allow the company to benefit from an expected uptick in demand for a product with such credentials. If the demand side requirements for copper continue to evolve in the expected manner, it is easy to see Taseko receiving a premium for its low- or no-carbon product over the 20-year mine life.

At Gibraltar, it is also pursuing a copper cathode strategy that could lead to the re-start of its SX-EW plant. In the past, this facility processed leachate from oxide waste dumps at the operation.

“As we get into 2024, we see some additional oxide ore coming out of the Connector Pit, which gives us the opportunity to restart that leach operation and have some additional pounds coming out of the mine,” McDonald said.

Alongside this, the company is thinking about leaching other ore types at Gibraltar.

“There are new technologies coming to the market in terms of providing mines with the opportunity to leach sulphides as well as oxides,” McDonald said. “We’re in the early stages of that work, but we have lots of waste rock at the property and, if there is a potential revenue stream for it, we will look at leveraging that.”

Newmont Porcupine racing towards start up of state-of-the-art water treatment plant

Newmont’s Porcupine mine has hoted Ontario Premier, Doug Ford, on site, alongside members of his cabinet, to announce its new state-of-the-art water treatment plant at the Canadian mine.

Throughout 2021 and 2022, Newmont made a $160 million investment into the new plant, which will benefit the entire ecosystem and surrounding watershed through the collection, treatment and return of impacted water. Provincially, this plant will have among the lowest effluent discharge limits within the mining sector, the company claims.

The investment, Newmont says, demonstrates how industrial and environmental interests can be aligned, and is a strong example of the company’s commitment to sustainable and responsible mining.

Newmont anticipates that construction of the plant will be completed before year end and begin discharging in 2023. Once operational, the plant will return up to 13 million cu.m of treated clean water to the Mattagami, Frederickhouse and Upper Kapuskasing watersheds.

The company said: “After more than a century of mining in Timmins, the next phase of operations at Porcupine is an opportunity to support regreening the region, significantly improve site water management and support the local watersheds while maintaining employment and economic benefits for Northern Ontario communities, local First Nations and the government.”

Since 1910, the historic Porcupine mining district has produced more than 67 Moz of gold, with the modern Porcupine mine being the largest employer in Timmins, with more than 1,200 employees and contractors, the company says.

Dawid Pretorius, General Manager for Newmont Porcupine, said: “Investments like the new water treatment plant that we are announcing today are only made possible by the steadfast commitments of our employees, all levels of government and our Indigenous communities and partners. I would like to thank all involved for their dedication to upholding our reputation as an industry leader in safe, sustainable and responsible mining.”

Bolting head upgrade gives Sandvik DS300 drills new life at New Afton mine

A like-for-like Sandvik Bolting Head (SBH) upgrade at the New Afton mine, in British Columbia, Canada, is delivering a significant productivity boost at the New Gold-owned operation, according to Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions.

Launched over a decade ago, New Afton’s now ageing Sandvik DS300 drill rigs are being given a new lease of life, thanks to an upgrade that sees a current generation bolting head fitted in a like-for-like replacement. Not only is maintenance more straightforward and spare parts easier to source, the new bolting head is delivering a remarkable productivity increase – of 25% – Sandvik claims. In fact, so successful has the mine’s 2021 upgrade been that New Gold has recently confirmed a second of its Sandvik DS300 drill rigs will be given the treatment.

Bolting rigs are used to stabilise hanging and side walls in underground mine applications.

“The upgraded SBH bolting head fitted to the Sandvik DS300s is the business end of the drill and features the latest RD300 series rock drill,” Francois Nell, Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions’ Head of Rebuilds and Upgrades, says. “This makes it perfect for rock reinforcement in underground mines with small-and-medium cross sections. Different bolt type and length configurations are available, providing an extensive bolt selection, while a full bolt carousel ensures the DS300 is capable of installing up to 15 bolts, ranging from 1.6-3 m in length. Bolt types include cement grouted, resin grouted, anchor point and friction bolts.”

There are several benefits of adding new technology to ageing drills, according to Nell.

“The new SBH is already proven in the field and gives an instant performance boost, thanks to the RD314’s much improved penetration rates,” he explained. “Added to that is the convenience of being able to source readily available current parts more easily, as well as increasing mine’s parts commonality across more drills.

“Also, the new SBH doesn’t put the rest of the D300 under additional strain; in fact, due to the lighter RD314 drifter compared to the drill it replaces, machine strain is, if anything, reduced.”

The SBH upgrade itself is straightforward, coming in kit form, and can be conducted by a mine’s in-house technical teams using the instruction manual the SBH comes with, according to Sandvik. Taking at most a couple of shifts to complete, customer feedback regarding the installation process has been universally positive, the OEM says.

With several hundreds of Sandvik’s Lyon, France-built D300s still working around the world, Sandvik says it expects that this SBH upgrade will be as popular with other mines as it is at New Afton.

Epiroc and Rokion battery-electric machines reduce costs at Evolution’s Red Lake ops

Evolution Mining’s efforts to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 are already being witnessed at its Red Lake Operation (RLO) in Canada, where the company is pursuing fleet replacement and energy efficiency gains through deepening its partnerships with Epiroc and Rokion.

The pacts with the two battery-electric vehicle (BEV) service providers also extend to operational changes Evolution is making via fan timers for underground ventilation at RLO.

In partnership with Epiroc, Red Lake has taken the opportunity to leverage its offering of conversion kits to transform diesel-powered loaders easily and seamlessly to battery-electric driven operation, it said. RLO has ordered two of the converted diesel-powered Scooptram ST1030 machines for deployment underground with the first one delivered at the start of December 2021. The site has also ordered two Scooptram ST14 battery-electric loaders that are designed based on the diesel ST14 version, which are scheduled for delivery in 2022. This order was announced last year by Epiroc.

The Red Lake team has also purchased three Rokion electric light vehicles – two R100s and an R400. They have been risk assessed in the field, have dedicated charge stations and are capable of online data capture and storage, the company said.

Rokion says the R100 series includes a four-passenger crew truck and a two-passenger utility truck, with both models built on the same frame dimensions and available in ramp-ready configurations. The R400 platform, meanwhile, is able to accommodate three passengers in a utility vehicle setup or up to 12 in a passenger crew variant.

“The electric fleet brings the opportunity to save on maintenance, cooling and ventilation costs with reducing expenditures related to diesel and power usage,” Evolution Mining says.

“This cost saving and energy efficiency has similarly been seen in the recent changes to the underground ventilation fan timers, which are vital in clearing the drives, post blasting of headings. After assessing the timer programming, the functionality of the fan timer switch was altered so that operators can run them when needed rather than running automatically at irrelevant times.”

Redpath opens mobile equipment repair facility in North Bay

Redpath, on the day it celebrated its 60th anniversary, has inaugurated a new state-of-the-art mobile equipment repair facility at its North Bay facility in Canada.

The new facility represents an C$8.5 million ($6.2 million) investment in the company’s North Bay infrastructure and shows Redpath’s continued confidence that the Ontario city is the ideal location for its global headquarters, it said.

The 15,600 sq.ft (1,449 sq.m) building consists of six repair bays, two inspection bays, along with welding and washing bays. Thanks to the new shop, Redpath will be able to handle the complete life cycle of any piece of equipment from its underground mining fleet in-house, it said.

The new building incorporates environmentally conscious features including solar-powered auxiliary power units, heated floors, wastewater collection and recycling, and recirculated air for ventilation.

Redpath said: “It was 60 years ago that Jim Redpath started the company with the commitment to provide superior contracting services to the mining industry. From a mere four employees in the early 1960s, Redpath today employs over 6,000 people in projects all over the world.”

Sandvik expands Val-d’Or presence on rapidly growing mining market in Quebec

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions is growing its footprint in Québec, Canada, with the opening of its newly expanded Val-d’Or facility on October 20, 2022.

Spanning more than 5,100 sq.m, the strategic investment effectively doubles the building’s size and includes significantly increased parts warehouse space, an expanded workshop, facilities for automation support, customer service and rock tools shop, the company said.

Securing a larger parts warehouse and service centre was a priority to support a rapidly growing mining market in Québec and to expand local support capacity for customers, Sandvik says.

“We’re very pleased to announce the official opening of this newly expanded facility in Val-d’Or, Québec,” Peter Corcoran (centre), Vice President of Sales Area Canada at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said. “This is not only an opportunity to bring more jobs to the area, but it also allows us to further expand our aftermarket capabilities and meet the rapidly changing demands of the Québec market.”

Sandvik celebrated the grand opening of the facility with an open house earlier this month.

Val-d’Or Mayoress, Celine Brindamour (left), who participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the occasion, said: “This is the perfect opportunity to discover an innovative and flourishing company that has chosen Val-d’Or to pursue its growth. Through its investments, Sandvik contributes to the fact that Val-d’Or is an essential service hub for the mining industry.”

The Val-d’Or facility expansion project is one step in a more comprehensive evaluation of Sandvik’s network across Canada, it said.

BQE Water to provide plant operations services for Minto Mine water treatment plant

BQE Water has entered into an Operating Services Agreement with Minto Metals Corp to provide plant operations services for an existing water treatment plant at Minto Mine, some 240 km northwest of Whitehorse, Yukon, through to 2024.

Under the agreement, BQE Water will be responsible for clean water production at the Canadian mine where the final effluent must meet stringent requirements not only for metals but ammonia, nitrite and nitrate to protect the aquatic life in the receiving environment. Included in the operations services provided by BQE Water will be on-site technical supervision, coordination with Minto’s environmental and metallurgical team to maximise the volume of water discharged into the environment, operator training, and on-site and off-site engineering support.

BQE Water’s compensation will be composed of a base monthly fee and a supplemental fee for the volume of water treated that meets discharge specifications. It is estimated the plant will treat and discharge 400,000 cu.m of mine water for the remainder of the year and approximately 750,000-1,000,000 cu.m of mine water in each subsequent year of the current contract.

“We are highly appreciative of the responsiveness and technical proficiency provided by BQE Water to address the concerns we had with our water treatment plant,” Loralee Johnstone, the VP of Environment and Social Governance for the mine, said. “The transition to their operations has been systematic and transparent, with the resulting operational work surpassing our expectations.”

David Kratochvil, BQE Water’s President & CEO added: “We value the opportunity to help Minto achieve its environmental and social governance goals. We also look forward to collaborating with the Selkirk First Nation to achieve sustainable and transparent water management at the mine.”

As part of its role at Minto, BQE Water has engaged in discussions with the mine and the Selkirk First Nation about creating an active role for the local community to participate in clean water production at the site to ensure the continued protection of land and water for countless generations in the future.

The Minto mine has been in operation since 2007 with underground mining commencing in 2014. The current mine operations are based on underground mining, a process plant to produce high-grade copper, gold and silver concentrate and all supporting infrastructure associated with a remote location in Yukon.

Teck to deploy first electric tug boats in Canada at Neptune Terminal

Teck Resources has announced an agreement to deploy two electric tug boats at the Neptune Terminal in Vancouver, British Columbia, in support of Teck’s climate goals.

This marks the first electric tugs operating in Canada as a full tugboat package for harbour assist and tug services, according to Teck.

Under the agreement, SAAM will furnish two ElectRA 2300 SX tugs commencing operation during the second half of 2023, which are expected to eliminate over 2,400 t/y of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to emissions reductions, using electric tugs will also reduce underwater noise, benefitting marine life in the harbour.

“Working with SAAM Towage to further reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation of our products is another step forward in achieving our climate goals and contributing to global climate action,” Jonathan Price, CEO of Teck, said. “Collaborating with transportation providers to develop green transportation corridors is part of our climate action strategy and supports our goal of net zero emissions by 2050.”

Sander Bikkers, President, SAAM Towage Canada, added: “With Teck and Neptune Terminals, SAAM Towage has found value aligned partners who want to drive sustainable environmental change through innovation. This partnership is based on a shared commitment to do our part to address the global challenge of climate change by reducing our carbon footprint.”

The ElectRA Tugs are designed by Vancouver-based Robert Allan Ltd and will be built at Sanmar Shipyards in Turkey.

Neptune is owned by Canpotex Bulk Terminals Limited, a Canpotex affiliate, and Teck Coal Partnership, a subsidiary of Teck Resources.

This announcement builds on Teck’s progress to work with partners to reduce emissions across its supply chain and achieve a 40% reduction in shipping emission intensity by 2030.

Teck previously announced an agreement with Oldendorff Carriers to employ energy-efficient bulk carriers for shipments of Teck steelmaking coal from the Port of Vancouver, reducing 45,000 t/y of CO2, equivalent to removing nearly 10,000 passenger vehicles from the road, according to the company.

Teck has also announced a pilot of a fully electric on-highway transport truck to haul copper concentrate between Teck’s Highland Valley Copper Operations in south-central BC and a rail loading facility in Ashcroft, BC.

Teck’s climate action strategy also includes goals to reduce carbon intensity across operations by 33% by 2030 and be a net-zero operator by 2050.