Tag Archives: Colorado

DST to help Newmont go cyanide-free with CLEVR agreement

Dundee Sustainable Technologies has entered into a Technology Transfer Licensing Agreement with Newmont for the use of DST’s cyanide-free gold extraction technology, known as the CLEVR Process™.

DST has been in ongoing discussions and technology review with Newmont regarding its CLEVR gold extraction process to evaluate and quantify its applicability on projects selected by Newmont.

Following a successful test work program in the March quarter of this year, Newmont expressed its interest in the execution of such an agreement allowing Newmont to conduct laboratory CLEVR leaching tests in its technical facilities in Englewood, Colorado.

The method used by DST uses no cyanide, produces no toxic liquid or gaseous effluent, and the solid residues are inert, stable and non-acid generating, according to the company.

David Lemieux, President and CEO, said: “We are very pleased to announce this agreement with Newmont which is the culmination of much work and dialogue between our companies. Our collaboration with a global gold producer is the result of years of continuous efforts in developing an innovative and technically sound process for the industry.”

He added: “Today’s announcement is further validation of DST’s CLEVR Process as one of the leading cyanide-free alternatives for the gold industry, and it represents an important milestone in the early-stage adoption and understanding of our technology by a world leading gold company.”

As part of the agreement, DST and Newmont, agreed to:

  • A two-year, non-exclusive licence for the utilisation of CLEVR at the laboratory scale in its Colorado technical facilities with an option to renew, for an additional two-year period under the same terms;
  • Technology implementation support by DST, including all technology laboratory protocols in addition to technical training sessions to initiate and support the technology transfer and practical operations;
  • Ongoing technology support and for DST to review the laboratory test plans, execution, and results conducted by Newmont; and
  • Any process scaling-up requirements, resulting from positive applications of CLEVR, will be conducted jointly with Newmont at DST’s technical facilities in Canada and/or on-site using DST’s technology and engineering group expertise.

The objective of the agreement is to facilitate the adoption, understanding and application of CLEVR on various gold projects being, or to be, developed by Newmont. The agreement was executed on November 25, 2020.

Epiroc USA moves headquarters to ‘Denver technology hub’

Epiroc has relocated its US headquarters from Commerce City to Broomfield within the Denver, Colorado, metropolitan area, in the process joining a dynamic business community in a tech corridor known as the ‘Rocky Mountain Silicon Valley’, it said.

“The move to a technology hub is a natural one for Epiroc, a global company that provides innovative drill rigs, rock excavation and construction equipment and tools, along with service products and solutions,” the company said. “Epiroc focuses on delivering world-class technology solutions for automation and interoperability.”

Broomfield is situated halfway between downtown Denver and Boulder in the US Highway 36 technology corridor of the northwest Denver metro area. Epiroc’s headquarters is located at 8001 Arista Place, alongside notable neighbors from the technology, manufacturing and packaging sectors, it said.

“The new space was built to embody who Epiroc is — innovative, focused and future-forward — and to enable the company to better facilitate customer events,” it said. Epiroc also expects the relocation to help with employee recruitment, provide better access to amenities, and offer transportation efficiency for more than 70 people who work at the location.

Jon Torpy, President and General Manager of Epiroc USA, said: “The city of Broomfield is a perfect fit for Epiroc. While our company dedicates efforts to innovation and new developments in autonomous mining, teleremote drilling and interoperability, it is ideal for us to join a community that embodies growth and collaboration. The move will only help us become a better partner for our customers.”

Peabody and Arch Coal to merge Powder River Basin and Colorado assets

Peabody and Arch Coal announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to combine the companies’ Powder River Basin and Colorado assets, in the US, in what they call “a highly synergistic joint venture” aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of coal against natural gas and renewables.

The joint venture is expected to unlock synergies with a pre-tax net present value of approximately $820 million, according to the companies, with average joint venture synergies projected to be approximately $120 million/y over the initial 10 years. The joint venture will be 66.5% owned by Peabody and 33.5% owned by Arch.

Among other assets, the joint venture will combine two productive and adjacent US coal mines – Peabody’s North Antelope Rochelle mine (NARM) and Arch’s Black Thunder mine, which share a property line of more than 11 km – into a single, lower-cost complex.

Peabody says it has the lowest-cost position among major Powder River Basin producers, while Arch has some of the highest-quality coal in the PRB. Arch is contributing its low-cost, higher-margin West Elk Mine that enhances Peabody’s Twentymile mine in Colorado. Further PRB synergies are expected from the integration of the Caballo, Rawhide and Coal Creek mines, which have some of the best overburden-to-coal ratios in the world, the companies claim.

Together with NARM and Black Thunder, these PRB assets represent five of the 10 most productive mines in the US, they said. The inclusion of the Colorado assets will lead to additional synergies and offer the ability to better serve domestic customers while preserving seaborne coal optionality.

In 2018, on a combined basis, the assets shipped 206 million tons (187 Mt) of coal. The assets are operated by a workforce of approximately 3,300, with combined proven and probable reserves totalling 3.4 billion tons (3,084 Mt) as of December 31, 2018.

Peabody President and Chief Executive Officer, Glenn Kellow, said: “The Peabody/Arch joint venture is an extraordinary example of industrial logic targeted to strengthen the competitive position of our products and create significant value for multiple stakeholders in a low-cost combination with exceptional physical synergies.

“The transaction unites two strong, culturally aligned workforces with a commitment to core values such as safety and sustainability. We believe this joint venture allows us to offer enhanced products and security of supply for customers, increased value for shareholders, greater efficiencies for railroads, long-term opportunities for employees and strength for the communities in which we operate.”

Arch Chief Executive Officer, John W Eaves, said: “We are excited about this transaction’s potential to enhance the value of Arch’s top-tier thermal coal assets. This new joint venture should allow us to realise the full potential of our valuable assets in the Powder River Basin and Colorado and benefit our customers in the process. The significant operating synergies will enhance the competitiveness of these assets, and also enable us to continue to generate long-term, sustainable returns for our shareholders. We look forward to completing this transaction in a timely manner.”

Governance of the joint venture will consist of a five-member board of managers appointed by Peabody and Arch. Each party will have voting rights in proportion to its ownership percentage, with certain items requiring supermajority approval. As the operator, Peabody will manage all activities including the marketing of coal. Peabody and Arch will share profits, capital requirements and cash distributions of the joint venture in proportion to ownership percentages.

Aggregated synergies are expected to enable the joint venture to significantly reduce costs well beyond what each company could achieve alone, the companies said, adding: “A lower cost structure enables coal to better compete against other energy sources for electricity generation and create value.”

Expected substantial synergies include, among others:

  • Optimisation of mine planning, sequencing and accessing otherwise isolated reserves;
  • Improved efficiencies in deployment of the combined equipment fleet;
  • More efficient procurement and warehousing;
  • Enhanced blending capabilities to more closely meet customer requirements;
  • Improved use of the combined rail loadout system and other rail efficiencies;
  • Reductions in long-term capital requirements, and;
  • Leveraging Peabody’s shared services.

Kellow said: “For Peabody, the creation of the joint venture is a clear demonstration of the company’s US thermal strategy to optimise our lowest-cost, highest-margin operations in a low-capital fashion to maximise cash generation.

“The transaction fully aligns with our stated investment filters, further enhances our financial strength and enables continued commitment to our shareholder return program, in which we are committed to returning an amount greater than our free cash flows to shareholders in 2019.”

Peabody and Arch will continue to operate the assets independently until closing of the transaction. Closing is subject to regulatory approval and satisfaction of usual closing conditions.

Herrenknecht brings boxhole backreaming to shaft sinking market

Herrenknecht expects to install one of its new boxhole backreaming machines in a mine in Asia later this year, one of the company’s Mining Project Managers, Alexander Frey, told attendees at an SME technical presentation, in Denver, Colorado, last week.

Looking to produce a system able to develop ore passes with simultaneous drilling and lining, the company has adapted boxhole boring machines it has been working on for the past nine years – which use an adapted form of the pipe jacking method – and come up with the boxhole backreaming machine.

This new machine can stabilise the shaft with thrust pipes and a steel liner, which avoids collapses of the shaft or a rework, while reducing the amount of activities in the upper level during mine development.

Herrenknecht has already built one machine and tested it at a mine in the Black Forest of Germany, Frey said. This testing saw the company sink an ore pass with a 2.8 m diameter and 22 m length at an angle of 19°. During this test work in 150 MPa Gneiss rock, Herrenknecht achieved reaming rates of up to 1.3 m/h, Frey said. According to Frey, the machine, which is equipped with a cutterhead like those employed on raiseborers, can cut really hard rock.

He added that the machines would likely be used for safely and efficiently sinking ore passes with a maximum 70 m shaft length and 3 m diameter, but it could also find other industry applications.

BHP teams up with NREL to clean up legacy mining impacts, develop biomass

BHP says it has partnered with the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to work with local universities to find a sustainable way to both clean up legacy mining impacts and develop biomass to be used as feedstock for biofuels from these impacted lands and water.

The company said: “BHP’s commitment to putting health and safety first, being environmentally responsible, and supporting our communities extends to mine sites that are no longer operating, including those BHP acquired after mining was completed.

“In many cases, historical practices at these sites have resulted in environmental impacts. BHP works hard to address these site-based concerns in collaboration with regulatory agencies and local communities.”

The collaboration between BHP, universities, and research institutes will study species of plants and algae that can be used to aid in cleanup of impacts from uranium mining in the soil and water through phytoremediation, and then produce biodiesel and other value-added products from these brownfield sites in arid climates, BHP said.

This first 24-month programme will identify and test native and other compatible species of algae and plants for their phytoremediation capability and metal uptake as well as safe and efficient ways to process the harvested phytoremediation crops into useful bioproducts. The laboratory and field studies will build on current literature and peer studies, according to BHP.

“The planned programme also intersects with existing work at BHP to accelerate the development of carbon capture systems in a range of applications, noting that many of the nature-based options to remediate land also remove CO2 from the atmosphere,” BHP said. Synergies between these development programmes will be sought, including the potential to enhance CO2 removal rates and accelerate CO2 use “pathways”, it said.

NREL, located in Golden, Colorado, is DOE’s premier National Lab devoted to research and development of renewable energy and materials technologies, according to BHP.

“It focuses on creative answers to today’s energy challenges. These include breakthroughs in fundamental science and new clean technologies to integrated energy systems that power our lives. Through their work, NREL researchers are transforming the way the nation and the world use energy,” BHP said.

The universities involved in this study are the Nuclear Sciences department at Oregon State University, the Sustainable Trades and Advanced Technologies department at Santa Fe Community College, and New Mexico State University Departments of Plant & Environmental Sciences and Chemical & Materials Engineering.