Tag Archives: Canada

Milestone Austin 797 haul truck body set for Canada oil sands sector

Only 16 days after opening its newest manufacturing facility in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, Austin Engineering says it has completed the construction of an inaugural massive haul truck body for a client in the region’s oil sands sector.

The Austin designed, built and supported body is a heated 797 model that weighs 48 t and has a payload capacity of circa-370 t.

These Austin truck bodies operate in minus 40°C temperatures for several months of the year, according to the company, with the large red load arrow (pictured) enabling sight of loading in regular blizzard conditions.

Austin says its Fort McMurray facility has more contracted 797 bodies to complete throughout December and beyond.

Back in August, Austin announced it was expanding its North American operations into Canada, signing a 10-year lease on a site with 23,000 sq.ft (2,137 sq.m) of manufacturing facilities in Fort McMurray.

MacLean battery-electric support fleet set for Odyssey gold mine

A fleet of MacLean battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) are set to operate at the Odyssey Mine, one of Canada’s largest underground gold mining projects, after the OEM and Canadian Malartic Partnership agreed on a fleet order.

The mine, currently under construction, is owned 50:50 by Yamana Gold Inc and Agnico Eagle Ltd. The partners have already said it is expected to be one of the most modernised electric underground mines, with all major mobile production equipment (such as trucks, scoop trams, jumbos, bolters, and longhole drill rigs electric powered).

The MacLean BEV fleet at Odyssey Mine will be used for ground support installation, explosives charging, materials transport, and construction and maintenance, the OEM said.

The Odyssey Mine, located near the Town of Malartic in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of northern Quebec, will extract ore from an orebody that lies underneath the historical East Malartic Gold Mines, whose Mine Manager from the late 1930s to late 1940s was none other than ‘Ducky’ MacLean, father of Don MacLean, who founded his namesake mobile equipment company in 1973 and spent close to a decade of his childhood in the Malartic mine camp.

Don MacLean’s son Kevin MacLean now leads the mining vehicle manufacturer, having assumed the role of company President in 2009. He said: “Every fleet order is special but this one has particular resonance because it connects the MacLean family past with the MacLean company future in the form of battery-powered mining vehicles. The underground project of the partnership provides a perfect opportunity for MacLean mobile equipment to return to East Malartic in support of diesel-free operations.”

Don MacLean added: “I’m thrilled to see underground mining coming back to Malartic and grateful that the partnership has put their faith in MacLean BEVs to get the job done safely and productively.”

Tony Caron, MacLean VP of Quebec, Nunavut, and Latin America, said: “The fact that the MacLean fleet in Malartic will represent a return to Don’s childhood roots adds a special dynamic to this story, one that everyone at the MacLean branch in Val-d’Or will keep at heart as we dedicate ourselves to supporting the success of Odyssey Mine.”

The partners approved construction to transform the Odyssey Project into the Odyssey Mine over the coming years in February, spelling out plans to extract 19,000 t of ore at an estimated grade of about 2.75 g/t Au and roughly 5,000 t/d of waste rock during peak operation. It will be accessed by a ramp and a shaft estimated to be 1,800 m deep.

Gekko Systems partners with Quadra Chemicals to expand GoldiLOX leach reach

Gekko Systems says it has entered into an agreement with Quadra Chemicals Ltd to represent its GoldiLOX leach accelerant exclusively in Canada and the USA, and non-exclusively in Mexico.

GoldiLOX is an advanced leach accelerant able to, the company says, increase gold recovery while shortening intensive cyanidation times, making gold production a faster and more effective process. Compatible with all intensive reactors in the marketplace, GoldiLOX is either added as a single manual addition or by an automated chemical dosing system to the intense leach reactor.

“Gekko is pleased to enter an agreement with Quadra Chemicals to provide a cost effective and efficient leach accelerant, GoldiLOX, to our clients in Canada, the USA and Mexico to add further value to their projects,” Andrew Edmondston, CEO of Gekko Systems, said.

Ian Holden, Product Manager, Mining Group of Quadra Chemicals Ltd, added: “Partnering with innovative solution providers to the mining industry, such as Gekko, allows us to continue to provide technologies which will help to ensure our client’s competitiveness in the market. We are excited about this new partnership and look forward to working in collaboration with Gekko.”

Orano and Denison eye uranium mining method alternative with use of SABRE

Orano Canada Inc and Denison Mines Corp, the partners in the McClean Lake Joint Venture (MLJV), have reported the successful completion of a five-year test mining program deploying the patented Surface Access Borehole Resource Extraction (SABRE) mining method on the McClean Lake property in the Athabasca Basin of Canada.

The final stage of a five-year field test was completed from May to September 2021 with four mining cavities successfully excavated to produce approximately 1,500 t of high-value ore ranging in grade from 4-11% U3O8. The program was concluded with no safety, environmental or radiological incidents and confirmed the ability to achieve key operating objectives associated with the test program – including targets for cavity diameter, rates of recovery, and mine production rates, the companies said.

Most of the ore recovered from the test mining program has now been transferred to the McClean Lake mill and is expected to be processed for the MLJV by the end of the year.

SABRE is a non-entry, surface-based mining method that uses a high-pressure water jet placed at the bottom of a drill hole to excavate a mining cavity. The cuttings from the excavation process are then air lifted to surface, separated and stockpiled. SABRE is viewed as a method that could potentially allow for the economic access to relatively small high-grade orebodies in the Athabasca Basin that are either too small or too deep to be mined economically by open-pit and/or underground mining methods.

This test represents an important milestone for the SABRE technology, they said.

Based on the success of the 2021 program, the partners plan to evaluate the potential use of this innovative method for future mining operations at their jointly-owned McClean Lake and Midwest properties. The MLJV is owned by Orano Canada (77.5% and operator) and Denison (22.5%). The Midwest joint venture is owned by Orano Canada (74.83% and operator) and Denison (25.17%).

David Cates, Denison’s President & CEO, said: “With this test result, SABRE has demonstrated that it is capable of mining high-grade uranium ore in the Athabasca Basin region. Orano, as operator of the MLJV, has diligently advanced the necessary R&D efforts as part of a long-term vision for developing a mining method that could benefit our joint venture. We are appreciative of Orano’s efforts to ensure the safe and successful development of this patented technology and look forward to jointly exploring its potential applications in the context of improving uranium markets.”

SABRE, the companies say, is unique in that the mining method can be selective and scalable, which has the potential to provide superior flexibility when compared to conventional mining methods and is, thus, ideally suited to ever changing uranium market conditions – coming with a potentially short production ramp up of months instead of years.

“The SABRE method is considered environmentally friendly as a result of its less intrusive nature and potentially smaller surface footprint when compared to conventional open pit or underground mining methods,” they added. “Reduced water usage and power consumption also contribute to potential reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and improved sustainability. Additionally, as a non-entry mining method, radiological exposure for mine workers is minimised.”

ArcelorMittal Mining Canada to add flotation columns at Port-Cartier as part of DRI pellet move

ArcelorMittal Mining Canada is investing in a project using a new flotation system at its Port-Cartier pellet plant in Quebec, Canada, that will allow it to convert its 10 Mt/y pellet production to direct reduced iron (DRI) pellets by the end of 2025.

The announcement was by ArcelorMittal and the Government of Quebec at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, this week.

The C$205 million ($165 million) investment, in which the Quebec government will contribute through an electricity rebate of up to C$80 million, will enable the Port-Cartier plant to become one of the world’s largest producers of DRI pellets, the raw material feedstock for ironmaking in a DRI furnace, ArcelorMittal said.

The implementation of the flotation system (see graphic below) will enable a significant reduction of silica in the iron ore pellets, facilitating the production of a very high-quality pellet, according to the company. It will also include new tailings and concentrator thickeners and new additives for the grinding process.

“The project will deliver a direct annual CO2e reduction of approximately 200,000 t at AMMC’s Port-Cartier pellet plant, equivalent to over 20% of the pellet plant’s total annual CO2e emissions,” the company added. This reduction in CO2e emissions will be achieved through a reduction in the energy required during the pelletising process.

A DRI plant uses natural gas to reduce iron ore, resulting in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions compared with coal-based blast furnace ironmaking.

In Hamburg, Germany, ArcelorMittal is trialling replacing natural gas with hydrogen to make DRI, with its industrial-scale pilot project anticipated to be commissioned before the end of 2025.

The DRI installations the company has announced it is developing in Belgium, Canada and Spain are all being constructed to be hydrogen-ready, so as and when green hydrogen is available in sufficient quantities at affordable prices the company can produce DRI with near zero-carbon emissions.

Approximately 250 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase of the project in Port-Cartier, which is scheduled to be begin mid-2023 and complete before the end of 2025.

Quebec Premier, François Legault, said: “We are positioning our regions at the heart of the green economy of tomorrow. My message to companies looking for a place to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions is come and see us. We’ll help you carry out your projects promptly. Quebec is the best place in the world to invest in the green economy. To build together a greener, more prosperous and prouder Quebec.’’

Aditya Mittal, ArcelorMittal CEO, said: “This project has an important role to play in our efforts to reduce our group’s CO2e emissions intensity by 25% by 2030, and our longer-term ambition to reach net zero by 2050. Not only does it deliver a significant reduction in our emissions at AMMC, but it also expands our ability to produce high-quality DRI pellets, which we will need in significant volumes as we transition to DRI-EAF steelmaking at our steel plants in Canada and Europe.

“I am grateful to Premier Legault and his government for the support it is providing in realising this project. It is the first significant decarbonisation project we have announced for our mining business and fitting that we are able to make this announcement at COP26 as it exemplifies the transformational change we need to deliver this decade as we move towards becoming a carbon-neutral business.”

Mapi Mobwano, CEO, ArcelorMittal Mining Canada, added: “This investment will see us become one of the biggest direct reduction pellet producers in the world, thereby propelling ArcelorMittal Mining Canada into the forefront of mining and steel decarbonisation. From 2025 onwards we will have the capacity to produce 10 Mt of very high-quality iron oxide pellets, with low silica content and high iron density, which will be highly strategic in the years ahead.”

TOMRA XRT ore sorting test work delivers the goods at Kutcho’s copper-zinc project

Higher head grades and recoveries, a reduction in run-of-mine material reporting to the milling and flotation circuit, a smaller tailings management facility, and lower power and water demand are just some of the benefits to have come out of ore sorting test work at Kutcho Copper’s copper-zinc project in British Columbia, Canada.

Recent bulk sample test work was conducted to determine the effectiveness of using ore sorting technology from TOMRA Sorting Mining to improve the processed grade and reduce the mill feed tonnage of mineral resources at the project.

ABH Engineering Inc and TOMRA were commissioned to undertake this work to establish the amenability of Kutcho’s Main and Esso deposits to ore sorting using an X-ray Transmission (XRT) sensor. Two phases of test work, including a representative 0.75 t bulk sample derived from drill core, were undertaken at TOMRA Sorting Mining in Germany under the supervision of ABH Engineering.

“The ore sorting process helps concentrate the metals of commercial interest from the Kutcho deposit, which are principally associated with high density sulphide minerals,” Kutcho explained. “Rocks are individually scanned, and low grade (low density) waste material is selectively diverted away from downstream processing using compressed air jets. Preliminary test work on the sensitivity of the ore to a XRF sensor was also undertaken.”

The bulk sample tests conducted on a production-scale XRT ore sorter indicate that approximately 17% of the ROM material will be <12.5 mm in size and would therefore bypass the ore sorter and report directly to the milling and flotation circuit. Of the >12.5 mm feed, some 15% of the material reporting to the ore sorter was detected by the XRT sensors as being low grade or waste and will be rejected by the ore sorter, thereby reducing run-of-mine material reporting to the milling and flotation circuit by 13%. The overall recovery of metal (copper, zinc, silver and gold) reporting to the ore sorter is in the order of 99% (ie less than 1% of the metals of interest will be rejected by the ore sorter), Kutcho said.

Pre-sorting of the run-of-mine material by the ore sorter has the potential to reduce milling and flotation operating costs corresponding with the 13% rejection of low-grade material, it says. The commensurate increase in the head grade of the ore reporting to the flotation circuit has the potential to also result in improved metallurgical recoveries in the flotation circuit.

Additionally, it is anticipated that potential savings in capital and operating costs related to the smaller milling and flotation circuit will offset the costs associated with the ore sorter, according to the company. Savings will also be achieved by a reduction in the size of the tailings management facility. The optimally sized ore sorter reject waste material could be used as cemented rock backfill in the underground mines at both the Main and Esso deposits, resulting in further potential cost savings, Kutcho said.

Environmental benefits accruing to the project because of the introduction of ore sorting technology include a lower power and water demand, and a smaller tailings management facility, the company concluded.

Earlier this month, Kutcho said in a feasibility study progress report that it was considering open-pit mining for the majority of the Main deposit at Kutcho, allowing the company to capitalise on the high-grade, near-surface mineralisation, resulting in lower operating costs than underground mining. The remainder of the Main deposit and all the Esso deposit will continue to be evaluated assuming underground extraction by longitudinal longhole open stoping, it said.

The ore sorting test work was also being incorporated into the feasibility study design.

Certified Mining & Construction Sales & Rentals to represent Aramine in western Canada

Certified Mining & Construction Sales & Rentals has become the exclusive distributer for Aramine for Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta in Canada.

This partnership will bring cutting edge, battery-powered, heavy-duty equipment and parts to the mining industry in western Canada, the company says.

Certified Mining & Construction Sales & Rentals (CMC) is a Saskatoon-based sales and rental company that offers specialised equipment to the mining and construction industries in North America.

The company says: “This partnership with Aramine will only serve to build on both the rental options and the offering for the sales side. With Aramine’s offering on the battery-powered, mine-specific heavy equipment, we will be able to partner with our clients to work towards lowering emissions without lowering productivity.”

Aramine has designed an innovative and unique range of small and medium section machines, including the L140B battery-powered mini loader.

Komatsu and Vale’s DynaCut Garson collaboration to be highlighted at MINExpo

Komatsu and Vale are set to reveal more about their underground hard-rock mechanised cutting technology collaboration at the upcoming MINExpo 2021 event next month.

The companies, through the Canada Mining Innovation Council, have been engaged on a project to advance the future of underground hard rock excavation through optimising use of Komatsu’s DynaCut mechanical cutting technology.

The technology was previously tested at the Cadia underground mine in New South Wales, Australia, operated by Newcrest Mining, which IM revealed last year as part of an exclusive interview with Vale’s Luke Mahony, Head of Geology, Mine Engineering, Geotechnical and Technology & Innovation for the Global Base Metals Business; and Andy Charsley, Project Lead and Principal Mining Engineer, Technology & Innovation.

Vale and Komatsu will start trialling DynaCut’s capabilities on Komatsu’s new MC51 machine at Vale’s Garson Mine in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, shortly, working together to increase the pace at which the innovative technology will be available to the larger market.

The machine is set up at Garson and expected to start cutting in the next month, IM understands.

“True innovation requires effective collaboration between the end user and suppliers to ensure the technology meets the needs of the industry,” Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer of North Atlantic Operations and Asian Refineries for Vale, said. “This partnership is that first step to really prove and understand the technology, while meeting our high standards for safety.”

Through more than 10 years of research and development, Komatsu says it has determined how to break rock continuously and precisely through a fully-electric system that outputs zero emissions. By automating and controlling processes so the machine can be operated remotely via line of site, Komatsu customers can move their operators further from the cutting face and from harm’s way leveraging DynaCut technology and the MC51 machine, it said.

Rudie Boshoff, Director of Hard Rock Cutting Systems at Komatsu, said: “We’re excited to be trialling this new machine and technology because it offers the potential to really change the way our customers mine. Not only does the DynaCut technology provide a very controllable way of cutting rock – within 50 mm accuracy to plan – the machine itself, the MC51, is designed to advance more sustainable mining methods by reducing the amount of equipment required to get to the orebody.”

Komatsu and Vale will be co-presenting about their partnership to drive innovation on September 13, 2021, on stage at the Komatsu booth in Las Vegas.

Just this week, Hillgrove Resources said it was set to trial the DynaCut technology on an MC51 machine to develop a portal and underground decline at the Kanmantoo mine in South Australia following a A$2 million grant from the South Australia Government.

Nouveau Monde files US patent for thermochemical purification anode tech

Nouveau Monde Graphite has submitted a patent application for its proprietary thermochemical purification technology to the US Patent and Trademark Office that could see it gain intellectual property over a “greener” and more sustainable alternative process to that currently used in the traditional anode material production.

Leveraging Québec’s abundant, clean and affordable hydropower, the company’s technology avoids using hydrofluoric acid in favour of high temperatures and the addition of chlor-based reagent, it says.

Tests in labs and at third-party facilities have already demonstrated the technology’s performance and the products’ high purity, reaching 99.95% and over, according to the company.

Its Phase 1 purification facilities are in the final stages of commissioning, prior to starting production, process optimisation and material qualification with potential customers. At the same time, Nouveau Monde is carrying out its definitive feasibility study for the Phase 2 plant in Bécancour, Quebec, Canada.

The company’s 200,000 sq.m industrial site, adjacent to the Phase 1 location, is intended to consolidate manufacturing facilities for the production of 42,000 t/y of lithium-ion battery anode material and 3,000 t/y of purified flakes for specialty applications. The plant will process material from the Matawinie mine.

In addition to energy applications, Nouveau Monde’s thermochemical process has shown to be effective at purifying larger particle sizes that are expected to allow the company to supply high-purity, carbon-neutral graphite flakes for bipolar plates used in fuel cells, foils for heat dissipation in electronics, expandable graphite for fire retardant applications and other specialty products, it said.

Arne H Frandsen, Chairman of Nouveau Monde, said: “Research and development is a critical component of our business model. The filing of this important patent application is a tangible manifestation of our commitment to sustainable development and the success Nouveau Monde has already achieved from its Center of Excellence in Québec.”

Eric Desaulniers, Founder, President and CEO of Nouveau Monde, added: “I believe there is much appetite in the marketplace for alternatives to China’s dominant chemical-heavy processes. We have developed a technology that takes full advantage of Québec’s green hydroelectric asset and operates in a closed loop with our chemical supplier to minimise the environmental footprint of our purified products. This patent application reiterates our engagement towards R&D, innovation, and environmental stewardship to drive greater sustainability into the battery value chain.”

Trevali to test out FLSmidth’s Rapid Oxidative Leach tech on Caribou material

Trevali Mining has announced the commencement of a pilot plant testing program using Caribou run-of-mine and milled material at FLSmidth’s Rapid Oxidative Leach (ROL) process testing facility in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The program expands on previous laboratory test work and is aimed at demonstrating the potential to recover zinc, lead, copper, gold and silver as a precipitate or metal and additional zinc and lead from Caribou ore and mill tailings.

The leach test program is targeting an improvement to zinc, lead, copper, gold and silver metal recoveries, the potential to produce a precipitate or metal on site replacing the current ore concentrate that is produced at Caribou – which, if implemented, would lead to savings on transport costs and offsite treatment costs – and the opportunity to process historic mill tailings, which include gold and copper metals, in addition to run of mine ore. The latter would increase revenues and reduce closure liabilities, Trevali said.

Trevali says the use of FLSmidth’s ROL technology also provides the potential to reduce Trevali’s carbon footprint at Caribou and extend Caribou’s mine life and treat lower-grade deposits in the Bathurst camp of Canada.

FLSmidth says ROL leaches 97-99% of copper directly on-site in six to eight hours, from concentrates as low as 5% Cu. In gold, ROL has the potential to unlock the value of undeveloped refractory gold deposits with less than 3 g/t gold head grade, it says.

Unlike other refractory processing techniques, the ROL process uses the application of mechanical energy coupled with oxidation under atmospheric conditions. The process relies on stirred media reactors to accelerate the oxidation of sulphide minerals. This eliminates the need for ultrafine grinding, high temperatures and high pressure which makes it energy saving and very cost-effective, according to the mining OEM.

Trevali said a successful pilot plant test program using ROL may allow Trevali to replace the existing flotation circuit at Caribou with atmospheric leach vessels and potentially an SX/EW train, introducing the possibility of producing base and precious metals on-site and thereby save transport costs and offsite treatment costs.

Conceptual objectives of the program include:

  • Recovery of metals/minerals that are not recoverable using the current technology at Caribou (precious metals and magnetite); and
  • Improved payables/selectivity of the traditional flotation process using new and emerging technologies.

Ricus Grimbeek, President and Chief Executive Officer of Trevali, said: “FLSmidth’s ROL metallurgical technology has the potential to transform the Caribou mine and the wider Bathurst Mining Camp.

“This next phase of the testing program is an essential step in evaluating the suitability and economic viability of a processing solution with the potential to enhance the value of the in-situ material and tailings at Caribou as well as the surrounding deposits in the Bathurst region. The positive results to date support further study and analysis given the potential implications for the Bathurst Mining Camp in general and Trevali in particular.”

Beyond quantifying the ability to recover additional metal values, the objective for the pilot plant test program is to determine the various kinetic factors, mass and energy balance and engineering data to support future engineering on a preliminary economic assessment for potential processing of the Trevali mill feed and mill tailings and produce metal on site.

Continuous pilot plant trials commenced in June 2021 (Phase 1) to tune the pilot plant and provide material for precious metal leach tests in late July, followed by a test program at the Caribou Mine site that is planned for September 2021 (Phase 2). Leach data and results are expected to verify that batch testing results can be achieved in a continuous operation.