Tag Archives: CEMI

CEMI launches new Canadian mineral processing portal to accelerate innovation

As part of its partnership with Natural Resources Canada, the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) has launched the Canadian Mineral Processing Ecosystem Innovation Portal.

The CMPIP (www.cmpip.ca) is a moderated online platform that will support the community of innovators and end-users in the Canadian mineral processing innovation ecosystem, CEMI said. The portal is aimed at helping mobilise innovators to create a cleaner, more productive, and globally competitive Canadian mineral processing industry.

The purpose of the CMPIP is to support and accelerate innovation and to help build the capacity of the Canadian Mineral Processing Innovation Ecosystem, CEMI said. It will help achieve this by targeting and connecting mineral processing ecosystem members from the private and public sectors around an innovation dialogue. Members from academic institutions, research centres and private enterprise (start-ups, SMEs, large companies, plant operators).

“This platform aims to be the go-to place to find out the latest and most current dialogue around innovation in the mineral processing ecosystem,” CEMI said.

The moderated platform environment offers the following features and services that are aimed at enhancing innovation and dialogue in the mineral processing ecosystem:

  • Current innovation and mineral processing news;
  • Relevant upcoming ecosystem events and external links;
  • Forums with categories: feed, mill, operations, liberation;
  • Ability to submit articles on topics relevant to innovation in the sector;
  • Ability to submit new innovations and challenge requests;
  • Twenty-nineteen Canadian mineral processing ecosystem map; and
  • Ability to sponsor articles, postings or events.

Lost Dutchman Mine ready to tell its metal separation tale

A company out of Arizona, USA, believes it has come up with a density separation technology that could upgrade heavy metal concentrates without the need for water or chemicals.

Lost Dutchman Mine (LDM), named after the legend of a rich Arizona gold deposit discovered by an elusive Dutch prospector, never since located, is the company in question. Being supported along the way by the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) out of Sudbury, Ontario, the firm is looking to find a way into the mining sector at a time when environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns have reached a new high.

Mark Ogram, one of three Co-founders of LDM, explained the company’s aim and name, saying: “We’ve been able to find gold where people could not find it.

“We have now come up with a solution that requires no chemicals or water to purify a gold ore.”

While gold is the company’s initial focus, the process can be applied to most heavy metals including silver, copper and tungsten, according to Ogram. Some encouraging results have also been seen removing sulphides from gold ore ahead of further processing, in addition to ‘cleaning’ coal, he added.

A gravity separation process that uses air flow rather than water to separate these materials by density, the obvious comparisons are with Knelson concentrators or other separation technologies – all of which tend to use water or another medium for their processes. Ogram says Knelson concentrators are also for free gold, not refractory gold, the latter of which the LDM technology can cope with.

allmineral’s allair® technology also comes to mind as a comparison. This is a process that leverages many of the functions of the water-operated alljig® technology but, instead, uses air as the pulsating medium. So far, allair’s applications have been confined to mostly coal and other minerals.

Like many of these technologies, it is feed preparation that will prove decisive for the application of LDM technology, with ore crush size and moisture content the two key factors.

“We don’t think we would need ball mills to get the feed down to the right size,” LDM Co-founder Ken Abbott said. “A standard crushing and screening setup should be suitable.”

While test work to date has been with material in the 30-60 mesh range, Abbott is confident the technology will work with material from 100-200 mesh.

“It will be a little more of a sensitive process, but it does work should people require it,” he said.

When it comes to moisture content, a drying process will most likely be needed ahead of feeding to the LDM unit.

“The material needs to flow freely to work well,” Abbott said.

In-field test work involved the company using a tumble-type continuous screener/dryer to reach the appropriate moisture content, but a more ‘industrial’ process will be required in commercial applications.

The best results are likely to be achieved when both factors are consistent, according to LDM.

“The system requires a steady and uniform distribution in the feed cycle that includes surge capacity and automated material flow to ensure a steady feed rate,” the company says.

Dale A Shay, a consultant with RIMCON advising LDM, said vat leaching operations were already producing material at the appropriate size for the LDM technology to be tested. “They are also reducing the moisture content to an appropriate level,” he said.

Despite this, the company feels tailings applications may be the most suitable place to start with. This harks back to the ESG concerns miners are feeling – some of which revolves around tailings impoundment areas – as well as the fact the ‘conservative’ mining industry is generally more comfortable testing new technologies on material they already consider to be ‘waste’.

For the technology to prove out, the company will have to scale up its testing.

LDM has, to date, carried out benchtop, laboratory scale and in-field tests on low-grade material, but it has only reached a 1 ton (0.9 t) per hour rate.

“We would put in a tonne and get a few grams out,” Ogram said. “That is how we developed the technology.”

Despite there being a linear progression of recoveries from benchtop to lab to the field, LDM will need to go bigger to find the widescale applications it is after.

Yet, its potential entry into the market is well timed.

Removing the use of chemicals and water in a process that will most likely come after initial crushing could prove cost-effective, as well as environmentally sound.

Yes, the air flow component and feed drying will consume power on mine sites, but this ‘upfront’ operating cost will pay off further downstream as not as much material will be transported to make its way down the process flowsheet. It is more likely to go straight to tailings or backfill material feed.

Abbott explains: “The technology drastically reduces the material that will move onto final concentration, which substantially reduces material movement on site.”

For new developments, there is a knock-on benefit for permitting; the regulatory boxes are much more likely to be ticked when the words ‘water’ and ‘cyanide’ are absent from applications.

LDM Co-founder, Wayne Rod, sums this up: “Although from a cost perspective, it is expected to be competitive with other concentration technologies, the real savings will come on the ESG front and being able to reduce any environmental issues you may have.”

This is a message Rod and the rest of the LDM team are taking to the headquarters of major mining companies, where executives and board members are treating ESG challenges like a ‘cost’ they need to reduce to stay viable.

“As that ESG issue becomes even more prevalent, I see technology becoming a much bigger focus area,” Rod says. “Taking water and chemicals out of the concentration process will help alleviate some of that pressure.”

CEMI to bolster underground mining network with help of Mayhew Performance

Canada’s national Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) has welcomed Mike Mayhew’s Mayhew Performance Ltd as a CEMI Associate.

Mike Mayhew and Mayhew Performance bring over 28 years of mining experience and a wide network across Canada to CEMI, the centre said.

“In particular, CEMI will leverage Mayhew Performance Ltd’s network and underground operations industry connections,” CEMI said. “Mayhew Performance Ltd has a proven track record of bringing to market small to medium sized enterprises driving innovation in the areas of battery-electric vehicles all the way to adoption by mining companies.”

Mayhew Performance is currently working with Stacktronic to repurpose and electrify a personnel carrier for use in the underground mining sector ahead of the MINExpo conference in September.

Mike Mayhew said: “I am excited to be part of the CEMI Associate team as we continue to expand battery-electric vehicles to achieve my personal goal of ‘zero emissions’ in underground mining. The CEMI team offers a solid platform and a wide range of industry experience, knowledge and skills that complement Mayhew Performance Ltd as a strategic partner.”

Charles Nyabeze, VP Business Development and Commercialisation at CEMI, said: “Onboarding organisations like Mayhew Performance Ltd into our network allows CEMI to increase its capacity to better serve the global mining innovation and technology development ecosystem. In addition, CEMI believes in leveraging local assets. We see Mayhew Performance LTD as a strategic addition to how we deliver value to all our clients.”

CEMI lends support to Chile I’MNOVATION open innovation program

Having recently launched its I’MNOVATION open innovation program in Chile, ennomotive has attracted the support of Canada’s Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) in furthering ACCIONA’s sustainable and renewable energy goals with the project.

ACCIONA has been present in Chile for over a decade and has more than 3,000 professionals that develop large infrastructure, water, industrial, and service projects.

The goal of the I’MNOVATION program is to transform the mining, energy, and construction industries to become more sustainable in Chile, according to CEMI. In this sense, eight challenges have been identified in areas with big potential for growth for ACCIONA, related to digital transformation and the fight against climate change in Chile, CEMI said.

One key area of this program is sustainable mining, where ACCIONA intends to provide solutions for Chile mining companies to make their operations safer and more environmental-friendly.

The second area is renewable energy where there are many ongoing projects in Chile and ACCIONA is one of the global leaders in this sector, according to CEMI. The company is looking for solutions to improve the efficiency of distributed generation grids, optimise the operation and maintenance of thermal solar plants and scale up renewables to isolated construction works to reduce the carbon footprint.

The third area focuses on Smart Cities and mobility, the use of electric vehicles in big cities and airports like the one in Santiago de Chile.

ACCIONA is looking for startups to provide technological solutions to solve these challenges. The best proposals will be awarded $25,000 to build a real-life pilot on site in Chile, with such pilots executed in collaboration with ACCIONA and going on for a three-month period.

Under the renewable energy challenges, ACCIONA is looking for management and network stability services through the control of consumption and renewable generation; energy sustainability in temporary, isolated construction works; and efficiency in operation and maintenance of a CSP and solar power plant using real-time weather and market data.

Its sustainable mining challenges include one around the efficiency and digitalisation of the copper leaching process; safety and health monitoring for on-site workers; and monitoring of piping systems for both tailings and copper concentrates.

The deadline to participate in the challenges is the October 28. See www.ennomotive.com/startup-competitions-mining/ for more details.

CEMI looks to strengthen Thunder Bay innovation ties with CEDC MoU

In an effort to help strengthen collaboration across Ontario and leverage resources within the mining innovation ecosystem, the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) and the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

Doug Murray, CEO of CEDC, said: “Mining and further mining innovations are important aspects for the continued growth of the Northwestern Ontario Economy and thus appreciate CEMI’s support to make this happen.”

His words aligned with CEMI’s President, Douglas Morrison (pictured), who said: “CEMI has always undertaken to help promote mining activity in the north-west of Ontario, and this is another way to recognise our collaborative relationship.”

The purpose of the MoU is to promote a collaborative strategic approach to all aspects of mining, through mining research, technology development and the commercialisation of mining innovation, CEMI said. The agreement will serve as a model for bilateral collaboration between the CEDC and CEMI and, “wherever possible, the expansion of multilateral relationships with local and foreign academic institutions, researchers, mining companies, mining supply and service sector and government agencies”, CEMI said.

The organisation continued: “CEMI would like to acknowledge that the effort to build the capacity of its network and extend its service delivery capacity has been supported by the Government of Canada’s Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) through funding from the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor).”

The formalisation of this relationship is another step in CEMI’s effort to develop a national mining ecosystem so innovations in the service and supply companies in Canada can have a greater impact on domestic and global markets, it explained. “CEMI is leading the development of a program called the Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator. The national ecosystem will be built upon a network of collaborative regional mining clusters across the country, each cluster defined by the companies in each region. As each of the regional clusters expand their network of MoUs and co-operation agreements with organisations across the country and internationally, the national ecosystem will be strengthened.”

CEMI’s objective is to help the mining sector achieve a step-change improvement in performance by accelerating the commercial adoption of innovations in mines and by increasing the innovation capacity of the mining service companies that deliver techniques and technologies to the industry. It works through networked solutions teams to accelerate the commercialisation of mining innovations.

Incorporated in December 2006, CEDC is an arms-length Community Development Corporation, led by an independent board with core funding from the City of Thunder Bay.

“The mandate of the CEDC is to operate in a way that is: project-based, business-led, partner-driven and community supported,” CEMI said. CEDC receives formal proposals on projects that will contribute to economic development and responds quickly to new opportunities and initiatives to attract direct financial involvement from government and private sectors, CEMI added.

The Electric Mine charges on to Sweden

Following the success of the inaugural Electric Mine event in Toronto, Canada, in April, International Mining Events has wasted no time in confirming the 2020 follow up; this time in Stockholm, Sweden.

Taking place at the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel on March 19-20, 2020, The Electric Mine 2020 will be even bigger, featuring new case studies from miners implementing electrification projects and presentations from the key OEMs and service suppliers shaping these solutions.

A leading hub in Europe for mining equipment and innovation, Sweden was the obvious choice for the 2020 edition of the event. Miners including Boliden and LKAB have already made electric moves above and below ground, and the north of the country is set to host Europe’s first home-grown gigafactory, the Northvolt Ett lithium-ion battery cell facility.

Sweden and Finland also play host to Europe’s major mining OEMs such as Epiroc, Sandvik, Metso and Outotec (soon to possibly be Metso Outotec Corp), and the Nordic region has a rich mining innovation legacy.

Capacity crowd

The announcement of the 2020 Electric Mine edition comes hot on the heels of a hugely successful debut in Toronto.

With the Radisson Admiral, on Toronto Harbourfront, filled out to capacity, the circa-150 attendees were treated to more than 20 world-class papers from miners Vale, Goldcorp (now Newmont Goldcorp), Kirkland Lake Gold, Boliden and Nouveau Monde Graphite; OEMs Epiroc, Sandvik, Caterpillar, Volvo CE and BELAZ; and equipment and service specialists Siemens, ABB, GE Transportation (a Wabtec company). Presentations from Doug Morrison (CEMI), Marcus Thomson (Norcat), David Sanguinetti (Global Mining Guidelines Group), Erik Isokangas (Mining3) and Ali Madiseh (University of British Columbia), meanwhile, provided the R&D angle delegates were after.

The event was a truly global affair, attracting delegates and exhibitors from Africa, Australasia, Europe, North America and South America, all eager to hear about developments across the sector.

Bigger and better

International Mining Events is upping the ante for 2020, increasing the event capacity to 200 delegates and making plans for a possible site visit to witness electric equipment in action.

Talks from several miners, as well as global international companies, will again underpin the 1.5-day conference program, which will also expand to cover the use of renewable/alternative energy within the field.

There will, again, be opportunities for sponsorship and exhibiting, with several companies already in discussions about booking the prime opportunities for the event.

If you would like to know more about The Electric Mine 2020, please feel free to contact Editorial Director, Paul Moore ([email protected]) or Editor, Dan Gleeson ([email protected]).

In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you in Stockholm!

The Electric Mine logo

The Electric Mine conference shifts gear

With just under four months to go, The Electric Mine conference is charging up to full capacity.

IM has been able to assemble a world-class speaker line-up covering the entire mine electrification process – from R&D and power infrastructure, to battery charging and electrified equipment.

The conference, to take place on April 4-5, 2019, in Toronto, Canada, will host the great and the good in this fast-evolving sector and hear case studies from real mine trials or applications.

This includes a presentation from Kirkland Lake Gold, which is currently running one of the largest in-production underground battery-electric fleets in the industry at its Macassa gold mine in Canada.

Just last month, IM heard that some 33 units were active underground at the deep and high-grade mine in Ontario and Andrew Schinkel, Senior Electrical Engineer of the Macassa Mine Complex, will most likely be able to add to that number, as well as comment on the fleet’s productivity, come conference time.

The soon-to-be-in-production Borden gold project, also in Ontario, will be under the spotlight at the event, with the involved OEMs and mining company collaborating on stage as they have during mine development.

Maarten van Koppen (pictured, left), Senior Project Engineer at Goldcorp Porcupine Mines, Jeff Anderson, Senior Mechanical Designer, MacLean Engineering, and a Sandvik Mining co-speaker (to be confirmed), will present: ‘The Borden Gold Project – lessons learned from the ‘mine of the future’ and the crucial role of partnerships in building an all-electric underground mine’.

The major mining representation does not end there.

Samantha Espley, Director of the Technology & Innovation Centre for Mining and Mineral Processing, Vale Base Metals Operations, will chart the mining company’s roadmap to underground electrification in Sudbury during her talk; expect the OEMs in the room to ask questions about the future fleet for the Creighton deep zone!

Caterpillar’s Product Manager for Underground Technology Solutions, Jay Armburger, is also set to take to the stage at the Radisson Admiral. The focus of his talk will be on heat generation, comparing battery and diesel LHDs underground. A few passing references to the proof of concept R1300G LHD trials it ran not all that long ago at an underground mine in Sudbury, Canada (pictured, right), are likely.

We’ll also hear about developments above ground.

A joint presentation from Karl Trudeau (Nouveau Monde Graphite), Michel Serres (ABB Canada) and David Lyon (MEDATECH) will shed some light on what it will take to create an all-electric open-pit mine able to produce 100,000 t of graphite concentrate at NMG’s Matawinie project in Quebec, Canada.

Those three speakers could be in the front row for Per-Erik Lindström’s talk on The Electric Site project in Sweden.

Lindström, Vice President Global Key Account Management for Volvo Construction Equipment, has seen first hand how battery-electric equipment can move the needle in terms of cost and emissions at the Skanska Vikan Cross quarry, just outside of Gothenburg, and there are more than a few miners interested in the prototype machines (pictured, left) the OEM has manufactured for this purpose.

These presentations will be complemented by a talk from Heather Ednie, Managing Director, Global Mining Guidelines Group, on the second edition of the group’s Battery Electric Vehicle guideline; an opening keynote from Ali G. Madiseh, Canada Research Chair in Advanced Mine Energy Systems, Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering, University of British Columbia, titled: ‘The Electric Mine: a new norm in mine energy systems’; Erik Isokangas, Program Director, Mining3, discussing the value proposition for autonomous electric haulage; and Doug Morrison, President and CEO, Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), looking at electrification to maximise productive capacity.

Meanwhile, Justin Bain, Chief Executive Officer, Energetique (Energy/Mobility), will fly in from Australia to pronounce the death of diesel Down Under – his firm has recently been involved in the conversion of diesel utility vehicles to battery-electric drive.

Along similar lines, Paul Miller, of Miller Technology, will talk about what goes into developing an innovative fully-electric light utility automobile, designed for continuous underground operation.

IM then has two behemoths in the mine power sector, Siemens and Schneider Electric, looking at the all-important infrastructure that goes into electrification.

Dr Bappa Banerjee, General Manager, Mining Equipment, GE Transportation, will look at the electric future for load and haul in his keynote, Mathieu Bouffard, Project Manager, Adria Manufacture, will cover battery charging and power management of battery-electric vehicles, and Don Duval, CEO of NORCAT, will showcase some of the new technologies that have come out of the organisation’s Underground Centre in Sudbury.

This speaker line-up is only set to improve as we move into the New Year, with IM in advanced discussions with more OEMs and miners looking to present.

The first global event on mine electrification continues to charge ahead…

If you’d like to hear more about The Electric Mine conference – including presenting and sponsorship opportunities – please feel free to get in contact with Editorial Director Paul Moore ([email protected]) or Editor Dan Gleeson ([email protected]).

To view the full speaker line-up, venue details and to take advantage of the soon-to-expire Early Bird attendance rate, please visit the event homepage here.

Canada Government asks miners to ‘Crush It’ with new challenge

Canada’s government, through Natural Resources Canada, has challenged the mining industry to come up with a new clean technology solution that cuts energy consumption for crushing rock.

The C$10 million ($7.6 million) “Crush It! Challenge” is aimed at tackling the disproportionate amount of energy used in mining to extract valuable minerals, NRC said, while helping the country transition to a low-carbon economy.

The process of crushing mined rock has not fundamentally changed in more than a century; consumes more than 50% of the total energy used in a mining operation; is the industry’s largest operational cost; and is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions from mining, according to the NRC.

“Finding and advancing innovative solutions that reduce energy use for crushing and grinding mined rock will reduce pollution, improve productivity and help our mining industry become more competitive,” the NRC said.

The 25-month Crush It! Challenge, will see up to 12 semi-finalists selected to pitch their concept at Goldcorp’s #DisruptMining event in March 2019 – an event that coincides with the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada convention. A ‘Challenge Jury’ made up of key experts from the Canadian mining sector will select the top six finalists, who will each receive up to C$800,000 to build and test their cleantech solution. The Challenge Jury will, ultimately, choose the best breakthrough clean technology and award the winner a C$5 million prize grant.

“This initiative will mobilise new ideas from inside and outside the mining industry to modernise an important energy consuming process and will grow the cleantech sector to enhance Canada’s mining innovation ecosystem as part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to transition to a low-carbon economy,” the NRC said.

For this challenge, the NRC will be collaborating with Goldcorp and the Centre of Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), two industry champions who will spread the word on this unique initiative and enable its success.

The Crush It! Challenge is the fourth of five clean technology challenges under the NRC’s Cleantech Impact programme, part of Impact Canada. It is part of the government’s commitment to deliver meaningful results for Canadians through measurable economic, environmental and social outcomes. Cleantech Impact will invest C$75 million over four years in the five challenges.