Tag Archives: China

Interact Analysis forecasts slow haul truck electrification uptake in open-pit mining

The electric revolution looks to be well and truly underway in the mining space, with underground mines of all sizes planning, trialling, or ordering various battery-electric machines to help them decarbonise their operations. Yet, the latest report on the off-highway vehicle market from Interact Analysis has indicated the transition above ground will take a little longer than many anticipated.

Homing in specifically on the 85-t-plus global hauler/dump truck market – broadly applicable to the medium-large construction space and the small-large open-pit mining sector – the market research firm laid out estimates for the annual number of new truck deliveries to 2029.

The surprising aspect of this research was the continued dominance of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle deliveries over this time frame.

The team at Interact Analysis expected the adoption rate/market share to go from 100% in 2020 – when 1,330 new vehicles were delivered – to 96.2% in 2029 – when it expected 1,716 units to be delivered.

The growth is slightly extreme in this comparison, but is partially accounted for by a drop off in deliveries in 2020 due to the effects of COVID-19. For reference, in 2019, 2,065 units were delivered.

Included within the ICE stats are biofuel vehicles, which have been gaining prominence in the mining space as miners realise they can both reduce diesel costs and emissions by incorporating biofuels into their operating mix.

Over the same time frame – 2020-2029 – the analysts see “hybrid” trucks commanding zero percent market share, with no sales.

Fully-electric trucks fare better, moving from zero deliveries in 2020 to two in 2021, five in 2022, six in 2023; to 72 in 2028 and 67 in 2029. The fully-electric adoption rate moves from 0% in 2020 to 3.8% in 2029.

Among these new fully-electric dump trucks is an XCMG EDF531 90 t battery-electric truck that was on show at the Bauma China show late last year (pictured below).

Jan Zhang, Senior Research Director at Interact Analysis, based in China, said this dump truck has already been delivered to a customer.

“In fact, quite a few dump fully-electric trucks below 100 t have already been used in China (in Guangdong),” she told IM. “Many of these have payloads of below 60 t, but a few are 90 t, and are in trial runs, and a few have also been exported to New Zealand, using the LiFePO4 battery from CATL.”

There has been much talk about hydrogen haul trucks taking hold in the mining space. This has been catalysed by Anglo American’s plans to test a 291 t fuel cell electric vehicle, a conversion to hydrogen fuel cell and lithium battery operation of a diesel-powered Komatsu 930E, at the Mogalakwena platinum mine in South Africa. If successful, these tests could lead to a rollout of 40 FCEVs across the global miner’s operations, it says.

Despite this, Interact Analysis’ research has no plus-85 t payload hydrogen trucks included in its forecasts to 2029.

Alastair Hayfield, Senior Research Director at Interact Analysis, based in the UK, explains: “Our statistics only look at new builds and not retrofits. My understanding is that the Anglo American vehicles would be retrofit (although there is limited detail at this point).

“Should some be new build, then we would update our forecast accordingly once we have better visibility.”

It’s worth asking the question: what about hydrogen trucks in mining beyond 2029?

Zhang said: “At present, mining trucks are mainly used in medium and large-scale coal and metal mines, and the use scenario is mainly for downhill heavy payload applications. That is to say where mineral resources are situated in a high up location, and it is necessary to load them from the mountain to the conveyor belt or transfer vehicle (the short distance transportation path is generally 2-3 km).”

She said mining truck electrification is mainly driven by two factors, with the first being operational cost advantages.

Jan Zhang, Senior Research Director at Interact Analysis, based in China

“For example, a mine truck with a total weight of 90 t will cost $45,000-75,000 in standard fuel annually, whilst the cost of electricity is only a third of the cost of fuel under the same circumstances, which means that $30,000-45,000 can be saved in the annual cost, not to mention other costs which are also higher for ICE mine trucks such as repair and maintenance,” she said.

The second factor is environmental protection and policy promotion.

“In China, the ‘National Green Mine Construction Specification’, issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources, has been implemented since October 2018,” Zhang explained. “This measure will surely help to grow the market share of hydrogen trucks in China, although the overall percentage will remain small.”

The last category included in Interact Analysis’ research was “Others” in the global hauler/dump truck market for 85-t-plus vehicles.

No deliveries for this category were registered in 2020, but the company anticipates one delivery in 2021, followed by three in 2022 and five in 2023. This gets as high as eight deliveries in 2025, but, by the end of the forecast period (2029), this category still commands 0.0% of the total.

So, what trucks fit into this category?

Hayfield explained: “We’re talking about diesel-electrics that will enter service into a trolley line operation – we essentially have to make an estimate on how we think the vehicle will predominantly be used. This is analogous to what we do in our on-highway research where we have to make estimates on how class 8 trucks are used for different applications ie long haul, distribution, vocational applications.”

This is not to say there will be no trolley assist trucks coming into the mining space, but, as far as Interact Analysis is concerned, these will not be new trucks coming out of the factory destined to head onto trolley lines. They will more likely be AC drive trucks that are retrofitted later for trolley assist operation.

When consolidated, these numbers show an underlying trend.

Back in 2019, there were 2,065 truck units delivered to the market in this 85-t-plus category, but, even out to 2029, this level is not reached, according to Interact Analysis.

Alastair Hayfield, Senior Research Director at Interact Analysis, based in the UK

In 2020, total deliveries dropped to 1,330 and, in 2021, Interact Analysis sees this rising to 1,545 units. A continual rise is expected in the years following, but it only reaches 1,783 in 2029.

What about beyond this timeframe?

Hayfield answered: “You have two fundamental pressures: a growing, resource-intensive population and a need to re-use/cut consumption because of environmental and/or legislative pressure. I suspect we will continue to see the growth of new mines throughout the 2030s in developing regions, fuelling demand for new trucks. However, I suspect we will see increasing pressure in Europe and North America on sustainability and the need to re-use materials and, hence, a slowing in the opening of new mines.”

This means demand for new trucks could start to drop during the 2030s in Europe and North America, he deduced.

This is not an exhaustive look at trends in the open-pit mining dump truck market – it is more of a taster – but Interact Analysis plans a detailed, mining specific study later in 2021. Such analysis could include forecasts for the retrofit market, providing the complete picture mining industry onlookers are after.

Clean TeQ Water to test BIONEX water treatment solution in Inner Mongolia

Clean TeQ Water says it has been awarded a contract to design, procure, deliver and install a BIONEX water treatment plant at a coal mine in Inner Mongolia, China.

Clean TeQ Managing Director, Sam Riggall, said: “We have persisted for a long time to make inroads into the very large Chinese water treatment market. As we move towards the proposed demerger of our water business later this year, it is pleasing to see that we have achieved some initial success in that important market as we continue to make good progress on our goal of growing revenues.”

The BIONEX solution is a combination of the company’s Continuous Ionic Filtration and BIOCLENS (bacteria encapsulated in a protective PVA lens) technologies, which, the company says, has been demonstrated to be highly effective for removal of nitrate from wastewater.

“This market is growing rapidly due to increasingly strict regulation and increasing safety concerns over the disposal of waste waters with even very low levels of nitrate,” CleanTeq said. “Nitrate removal from water effluent is a significant challenge throughout China.”

The plant has been designed to treat and remove nitrate from 12,000 cu.m /d of coal mine in-pit ground water to below 1 parts per million in order to comply with local regulations governing the disposal of mine water.

The contract, which is valued at approximately A$2 million ($1.55 million), has been awarded to the company’s wholly owned Beijing-based subsidiary by Beijing Beihua Zhongqing Environment Engineering Technology Co Ltd. (BHZQ). BHZQ is a subsidiary of Beijing Enterprise Water Group (BEWG).

BEWG is a diversified water company focused on operating water assets throughout China. It is also one of the largest water treatment companies in Asia, CleanTeQ said, adding that BHZQ had expressed an interest in ongoing cooperation once this first BIONEX plant is successfully commissioned.

Once completed, this application will be the company’s first ever large-scale application of BIONEX in China.

BQE Water achieves several firsts with Zhongkuang SART plant operation

BQE Water says it has advanced the SART plant it designed for a gold metallurgical facility owned by Shandong Zhongkuang Group Co Ltd, in China, to full production.

Located in the Shandong Province in eastern China, the plant is now being operated under the ongoing technical supervision of BQE Water.

Implementing SART (sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening) at the site improves both the environmental performance and project economics of the metallurgical facility, BQE said. Specifically, the SART plant eliminates the need for cyanide destruction, recovers copper and zinc as separate sulphide concentrates, and recycles free cyanide recovered by the plant to gold leaching.

BQE was awarded the SART plant contract back in 2019 following the positive outcome of an engineering feasibility study and on-site testing completed by BQE Water earlier in the year.

The Zhongkuang SART plant also represents many firsts, according to BQE:

  • It is the first application of SART globally where the cyanide competing base metals, copper and zinc, are recovered simultaneously from the leach solution as two separate high-grade concentrates that can be sold to generate incremental revenues;
  • It is the first commercial scale application of SART in China;
  • It is the first SART plant where lime is used to control gas emissions to reduce operating costs and control the build-up of salts in the process water; and
  • It is the first SART plant to be integrated into a complex metallurgical flowsheet that combines mineral flotation with cyanidation and SART in a Zero Liquid Discharge metallurgical facility with complete water recycle.

Songlin Ye, Vice President for Asia at BQE Water, said: “We are very proud of our China-based operations team for this significant achievement and that they were able to do so considering the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Zhongkuang SART plant is our flagship project for the China gold sector and other gold producers in the country are taking notice.”

David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, added: “The many firsts associated with the Zhongkuang SART plant demonstrates our leadership in SART technology. And through the unique combination of engineering know-how and operations expertise, the project also shows our ability to reduce risks and achieve predictable outcomes for our clients.”

BHP signs third low-carbon steelmaking partnership

BHP has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China’s HBIS Group Co Ltd, one of the world’s largest steelmakers and a major customer of BHP’s iron ore, with the intention of investing up to $15 million over three years to jointly study and explore greenhouse gas emission reduction technologies and pathways.

Under the partnership, BHP and HBIS Group intend to collaborate on three priority areas: hydrogen-based direct reduction technology, the recycling and reuse of steelmaking slag, and the role of iron ore lump use to help reduce emissions from ironmaking and steelmaking.

The partnership aims to help both companies progress toward their climate change goals and support the steel industry’s role in helping to achieve China’s ambitions to be carbon neutral by 2060.

BHP’s Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant, said: “We view decarbonisation of the steel industry as a complex puzzle that requires multiple technological solutions across the value chain over different time horizons. By forming this third low-carbon steelmaking partnership with HBIS Group, we are focusing on additional components, such as the role our products play in hydrogen-based steel production, that complement our other partnerships and support for endeavours in emissions reduction and capture from the traditional blast furnace route.”

In February, the mining major signed a similar MoU with leading Japanese steel producer, JFE Steel, while, in November 2020, BHP and China Baowu signed a pact that could see up to $35 million invested in tackling greenhouse gas emission reductions in the global steel industry.

BHP’s investment would be drawn from its $400 million Climate Investment Program, established in 2019 to support projects, partnerships, research and development to help reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.

BHP Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry, said: “BHP has a long and trusted relationship with HBIS Group, and we are pleased to establish this strategic partnership to explore new ways to reduce emissions from steelmaking. Global decarbonisation will require collaboration and collective effort, and our work with partners such as HBIS Group will build on our own actions and help reduce emissions right through the value chain.”

Chairman of the World Steel Association, Party Secretary and Chairman of HBIS Group, Yu Yong, said: “The signing of the MoU fully demonstrates the two companies’ commitment to creating a green and low-carbon future across the value chain and a shared sense of responsibility to address climate change together, with a common vision to ‘contributing to a community of a shared future for mankind’. This partnership ushers in a new chapter for the two companies to deepen our strategic cooperation and to achieve collaborative development.”

BHP has also been active in other areas to reduce emissions, including awarding the world’s first LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carrier tender and the first LNG supply agreement for those vessels, and renewable energy supply contracts for BHP’s Queensland coal mines and Nickel West operations.

Metso Outotec’s iron ore pelletising tech heading to BSIET’s ops in China

Metso Outotec has signed a contract with Beijing Shougang International Engineering Technology Co Ltd (BSIET) on the delivery of “environmentally-sound” technology for an iron ore pelletising plant to be built in southwest China.

Metso Outotec’s scope of delivery covers the engineering and design of the indurating system, engineering of the process gas fan system, supply of proprietary and key process equipment, instrumentation and control systems, as well as supervisory services and technical training. The core of the plant is Metso Outotec’s traveling grate pellet indurating furnace with a grate area of 432 sq.m.

Tobias Stefan, Vice President, Ferrous & Heat Transfer business line at Metso Outotec, said: “We are very pleased about this new order, and we are looking forward to working with the customer operating the steel plant and our long-term partner BSIET. This is the second pelletising plant contract we’ve received in China within six months, underlining the strong presence of our traveling grate technology on the Chinese market.”

Pellet production at the plant is estimated to start by mid 2022.

Metso Outotec says its traveling grate technology produces uniform pellets and ensures high performance and quality with low investment and operating costs, as well as low energy consumption and emissions.

Rio Tinto and Dalian Port Company sign iron ore blending MoU

Rio Tinto and Dalian Port Company Ltd have signed a memorandum of understanding that could lead to the development of the miner’s first iron ore blending operation in a bonded area.

The joint development within Dalian port, in China, will blend material to create Rio Tinto Blend Fines from Rio’s high-grade IOC concentrate from Canada and its SP10 from Western Australia. This blend has been a success with customers in China, Rio says.

“The partnership with Dalian Port to blend within a bonded area allows Rio Tinto to offer this product to customers across Asia, using Dalian Port as a trans-shipment hub,” it said. “Establishing portside capabilities at Dalian Port will also allow Rio Tinto to serve portside customers in Northern China.”

Simon Farry, Rio’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Iron Ore, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Dalian Port to establish blending capabilities within the bonded area. Dalian’s location, blending capabilities and willingness to support this initiative makes Dalian Port the right partner for us.

“Establishing a transhipment hub in China, which allows us to offer new blended products in other Asian markets, will enhance our ability to deliver quality and consistent products, and provide innovative solutions to meet our customers’ needs.”

Rio Tinto portside trading operations were established to sell Rio Tinto iron ore directly from Chinese ports. Portside trading of iron ore is transacted in RMB, which allows Rio Tinto to serve new customers who do not participate in the seaborne market, it says.

Multotec expands presence, product line in Asia with new China facility

Bucking global economic trends, mineral processing equipment specialist Multotec says it has opened a new, larger manufacturing facility in China to meet growing demand.

The 3,200 sq.m factory, based in the port city of Tianjin about 100 km southeast of Beijing, is more than double the size of the previous premises, according to Ken Tuckey, Director of Multotec Screening Systems (Tianjin) Ltd. The facility focuses on producing the company’s polyurethane screen panels, including specialised panels for fines dewatering and classification.

“The expanded facility was necessary to increase production capacity, as sales have grown rapidly since Multotec became directly involved in this business in 2017,” Tuckey says. “The investment in China is also an important part of Multotec’s global strategy to get manufacturing operations closer to end-customers wherever possible.”

Multotec had taken over the business from Tema Screening Systems in 2017, which had started up in 2006 and focused mainly on the aggregate and quarry sectors. Multotec’s sales have expanded, mainly into China’s mining industry, but the factory’s increased capacity is also allowing it to produce for other parts of the world.

Running the operation on the ground since 2018 is General Manager, He Pu, a local expert with 20 years’ experience in mineral processing.

“The new factory has taken careful planning over the past year, and had to obtain a range of strict government approvals,” he says. “Even though the COVID-19 pandemic did present some challenges to our schedule, we were still able to move into the new plant in May this year.”

Multotec Screening Systems (Tianjin) Ltd General Manager, He Pu

He Pu highlighted the importance of innovation as a key ingredient for any company looking to break into the Chinese market. This has been vital to the early success of Multotec, which has a range of product advances operating in Africa and other markets. Recent improvements in China’s manufacturing sector has also underpinned the success of the local business, according to He Pu.

“The focus in the mining sector in China has shifted towards increased efficiencies and improved quality,” He Pu says. “Multotec is now well positioned to take advantage of this, especially with the innovative screen panel technology that it can offer the market. This is underpinned by our quality manufacturing processes as well as our excellent local supply chain.”

Multotec’s Chinese company is ISO-accredited with in-house quality control expertise, he says. The number of local staff members has increased and includes a strong sales team with good links to the mining sector. The company also has distributors and agents across China, bringing services and products closer to the mines.

With the new polyurethane moulding machines, the upgraded plant is running double shifts to optimise production levels. The latest technology equipment – combined with Multotec’s experience and ongoing training in factory – ensures a consistently world-class quality of polyurethane panels, it says. Accelerated in-house manufacture is also speeding up the delivery times to local customers.

“The opening of this plant marks the beginning of a new era for Multotec,” He Pu says. “We have ascended to a new level, not only by enlarging the area of the workshop but by adding new equipment.”

BHP to cut iron ore freight emissions with world first LNG-fuelled bulk carrier contract

BHP has awarded what it says is the world’s first LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carrier tender, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30% per voyage.

Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) has been awarded the five-year time charter contract for five 209,000 DWT LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carriers to carry iron ore between Western Australia and China from 2022, BHP said. The LNG bunkering supply contract is expected to be awarded in October.

BHP Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant, said the LNG-fuelled vessels would virtually eliminate SOx (sulphur oxide) emissions and significantly reduce CO2 and NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions.

“As one of the largest dry bulk charterers in the world, BHP recognises the role we play in working with our suppliers and customers to drive actionable reductions in GHG emissions across the maritime supply chain,” Pant said.

“The tender marks a progressive shift for BHP and the broader mining and shipping industry and is a significant step toward lowering GHG emissions in the 1.5 billion tonne iron ore seaborne market.

“We expect the introduction of LNG-fuelled vessels will result in more than 30% lower CO2-e emissions on a per voyage basis compared to conventional fuel along the Western Australia to China route.”

BHP released the LNG-fuelled bulk carrier tender in July 2019 and says it completed a rigorous due diligence process to identify and short list tenderers. Safety, technical and economic factors, as well as a clear demonstration to make a sustainable positive change for the industry, were among the criteria.

Pant said EPS offered a competitive bid and an efficient vessel design with superior fuel efficiency and GHG emissions reductions. The EPS management team displayed a significant alignment of values with BHP, she added.

Pant said: “The LNG bunkering time charter contract, with a total cost of ownership less than a conventionally fuelled Newcastlemax, will enable BHP to manage the fuel supply risk, build LNG operations capability internally and capture operating expenditure benefits through optimisation of voyage operations and fuel utilisation.

“As an established provider of marine transportation to the energy market for 60 years, EPS shares BHP’s commitment to lowering emissions in the maritime supply chain and we look forward to working with them to align with the GHG goals of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).”

EPS CEO, Cyril Ducau, said: “With aligned values and sustainability agendas, we are thrilled to work with BHP on this project. BHP’s commitment to making a positive change for the industry resonated with our decarbonisation mission and our culture of environmental protection. When these vessels deliver in 2022, they will be the cleanest and most efficient in the entire dry bulk shipping fleet and will be IMO 2030 compliant, eight years ahead of schedule.”

Neles aims for environmentally friendly valve production with new tech centre

Neles, the valves focused spin off of Metso, has announced the start-up of operations at its new valve technology centre in Jiaxing, China.

The new plant strengthens Neles’ valve and related products production capabilities and increases availability for customers across various process industries, in China and globally, it said.

This is the first major announcement from the company since it became a new entity with the partial demerger of Metso (into Neles) and the merger of Metso and Outotec to become Metso Outotec.

The greenfield investment in China to respond to the growing demand of reliable valve technologies was announced back in October 2018.

Olli Isotalo, President and CEO of Neles, said: “This is an important strategic addition to Neles’ global manufacturing footprint and good news for our valve customers around the world. With this investment, our target is to further improve our service and delivery capabilities to meet the diverse and evolving needs of our customers.”

Jiaxing’s manufacturing layout is designed with the latest technologies for efficient and environmentally friendly mass production of high-volume standard valve products, Neles said.

Kevin Tinsley, Head of Valve Operations at Neles, said the principle has been to ensure the most reliable and emission-free production processes from the new plant.

“For example, the liquid recycling system at Jiaxing allows reusing 95% of the liquids used in machining or testing processes and thus minimising formation of hazardous substances,” he said.

“Also, the Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer in use allows as much as 99% organic compound free painting process.”

The new plant will produce over 100,000 valves per year, according to the company.

“With access to a variety of competitive logistic options, the products from Jiaxing can be shipped to customers or Neles supply centres around the globe with dramatically improved lead times,” it added.

In addition to Jiaxing, Neles’ valve technology centre in China in the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone in Shanghai continues operations, focusing on highly engineered products.

Neles employs around 400 flow control specialists at four main locations in China, serving all process industries.

Isotalo concluded: “China is an extremely important market for our business. The new technology centre will have a key role in strengthening our R&D capability in China as well as our global footprint and position as a leading provider of reliable flow control solutions.”

Today, Neles has valve technology or production centres around the world in North America, Germany, Finland, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and India.

Metso’s Trelleborg facility to press ahead with mill lining additions

Metso says it is expanding the range, sizes and types of consumable products it manufactures with the help of an “innovative, mega-size compress press”.

The move will develop its consumables product range and production capacity, especially in larger consumables wear sizes, it said.

The press, being installed at its Trelleborg factory in Sweden, can produce products, such as mill lining wear parts, that weigh up to 8 t. Production with the new press will start in May, it said.

The press to be installed is the first in a series of three similar machines with a total value of €10 million ($10.8 million), according to Metso.

Sami Takaluoma, President, Consumables business, Metso, said: “We are continuously developing our operations to improve our flexibility in fulfilling our mining customers’ needs globally.

“For our customers, the ability to acquire and use larger, high-quality consumables in the process enables a longer operating time and reduces the time required for maintenance work. The new press has been developed together with the supplier, and it utilises unique, innovative technology.”

The ongoing COVID-19-related travel restrictions and increased employee safety measures globally created a need to find a sustainable and safe way to install the new machine in the Trelleborg facility, Metso said.

The installation process is monitored remotely by the supplier with dedicated installation support hubs in Australia and China. Through a variety of headsets and video cameras, the installation team has been able to obtain continuous online guidance and instructions.

“In this challenging situation, we found a workable solution to stay on schedule,” Takaluoma said. “Thanks to the continuous support and detailed online guidance provided to the on-site team, the installation work has proceeded as planned and with safety measures maintained.”

Metso is a leading provider of rubber and poly-met mill linings and has a strong service network in all the main mining markets. The Trelleborg unit produces rubber and poly-met wear parts used in the mining industry.

Metso currently operates 11 factories manufacturing synthetic solutions globally, and it will open a new factory for mining consumables wear parts in Lithuania in 2020.