Tag Archives: Crushing

Miners continue cost control focus amid demand uptick, BME’s Hennecke says

As BME gears up to showcase its explosives and blasting offering to a Mining Indaba crowd in Cape Town, South Africa, that is encouraged by the global energy sector’s appetite for minerals, the company’s Managing Director warns that the mining industry is still focused on reducing its cost base.

The demand for minerals – many of which can be sourced in Africa – is good news for the future of mining, and will no doubt be an important focus at this year’s Investing in Mining Indaba, which runs from February 6-9.

However, the pressure on mines is still all about low-cost production, Ralf Hennecke, Managing Director of Omnia Group company BME, warns. This year, BME will be exhibiting at the event to showcase its mining and explosive solutions, including its flagship AXXIS Titanium™ electronic initiation system.

Hennecke is bullish about the positive impact of the energy revolution on mining, as there is widespread expectation that volumes of battery-related commodities will need to ramp up considerably. Efforts to decarbonise the world economy are relying on energy technologies that are mineral-intensive, he explained.

“The average amount of minerals needed for a new unit of power generation capacity will grow by 50%, according to predictions by the International Energy Agency,” he said. “This is because solar photovoltaic plants, wind farms and electric vehicles generally require more minerals to build than their fossil fuel-based counterparts.”

The typical electric car, for instance, requires six times the mineral inputs of a conventional car, and a wind plant requires nine times more mineral resources than a gas-fired plant. This quickly translates into considerable demand growth in certain minerals.

“In terms of lithium, the largest consumers are now electric vehicles and battery storage applications,” he said. “It is expected that these applications will also be the largest consumer of nickel within less than 20 years.”

While this is good news for Africa, where many battery minerals will be sourced, the continent’s mining sector will always need to be globally competitive, BME says. This means efficiency across the mining value chain, rooted in on-mine productivity and safety.

“As an early-stage activity in the mining cycle, BME recognises the importance of blast design and execution in laying the groundwork for optimal operations,” Hennecke said. “Our technology developments including AXXIS™ and other digital innovations allow quality blasting that raises productivity in energy-intensive phases such as loading, hauling, crushing and milling.”

Only by optimising efficiencies can mines achieve a place in the lowest cost quartile of producers, which in turn enhances their commercial viability and makes them less reliant on commodity price cycles, BME says.

“Given the cyclical nature of the mining industry, Africa’s mineral producers can build a long-term future for the sector by remaining sustainable even through the dips in the cycle,” Hennecke said. “There is a depth of experience and technologies, developed right here on the continent, that can help put them in that advantageous position.”

The AXXIS Titanium system being showcased at Mining Indaba has been trialled and tested in various global mining destinations and conditions.

Pilot Crushtec talks up DoppiaTrac DR400 fully mobile double-roll crusher

Pilot Crushtec says Africa’s only locally manufactured, fully mobile double-roll crusher, the DoppiaTrac DR400, continues to perform well in the field of mobile coal crushing.

The DoppiaTrac DR400 now has a decade of success in the field, according to the company, achieving production rates of 300-400 t/h.

“We designed the DR400 from the ground up to give us the flexibility to produce a truly great crushing solution,” Jorge Abelho, Director, Technical Support at Pilot Crushtec, said. “It has proved itself through its combination of throughput, reliability and economy.”

The machine’s ability to reduce the generation of fines is thanks to the double-roll crusher. While a horizontal shaft impact crusher creates more coal fines due to impact energy, the double-roll crusher forces material through a constant gap, according to the company.

Pilot Crushtec Sales Engineer, Ben Armitage, said: “The crusher uses just enough energy to break the material down to the size of the gap. The DR400 generates less than 5% of 0-6 mm fines, compared to around 12% created by impact crushers – depending on coal hardness and crushing ratios.”

The DR400 boasts a large hopper that is readily fed by loaders or excavators. To increase the average production rate, the unit can be interlocked as part of a crushing train. Connected with a Metso LT106 jaw crusher, the two units can communicate to synchronise the feed rate. This optimises throughput by automatically adjusting the rate of material moving between the machines. The on-board hydraulic rock breaker on the Metso LT106 also allows oversize material to be quickly broken, avoiding blockages and preventing downtime, according to the company.

Crushing efficiency is enhanced by feeding material into the crushing chamber at exactly the same speed that the drums are spinning, Pilot Crushtec explains. This minimises attrition and friction, even at high throughput rates.

Armitage said: “The safety features on the DR400 ensure that it is compliant with demanding safety protocols applied by mining companies. These include full guarding around all moving parts, access points, nip points and crushing points – as well as pull cords and emergency stops to quickly isolate the unit when necessary.”

He explained that the efficient Volvo engine delivers the lowest kW per tonne of any mobile double-roll crusher working in the coal sector. Depending on coal characteristics, the engine’s 160 kW output can convert to a ratio of just 0.4 kW/t.

“The fuel consumption is also a significant factor for operators, and this crusher can run on as little as 17 litres per hour,” Armitage says. “This is achieved with a hydraulic load sensing system and an optimised crusher chamber design, which reduce the power needed to crush the coal.”

The quality and simplicity of the DR400 is demonstrated by the fact that over 25 of these machines are currently in operation around South Africa – one of which exceeds 22,000 hours of operation. Pilot Crushtec says it supports the DR400 through its service levels, stock holding and after-market offerings.

Tungsten West cuts CAPEX with new Hemerdon feasibility study plan

An updated feasibility study on Tungsten West’s Hemerdon project in Devon, England, has brought with it a processing re-optimisation program that includes a complete redesign of the front-end crushing circuit at the mine, a process that, it says, will considerably reduce the capital expenditure associated with this development.

The new study outlined average annual production of 2,900 t of WO3 in concentrate and 310 t of tin in concentrate over a life of mine of 27 years, along with an average steady-state mining rate of 3.5 Mt/y.

The changes to the existing process flowsheet to be implemented at Hemerdon can be categorised into three areas, namely:

  • Front end upgrades – new crushing, screening and ore sorting circuit required for Phase 1 (average of 2.4 Mt/y of granite ore, years 1-2);
  • Existing minerals processing facility modifications – upgrades to existing plant to accommodate production requirements for Phase 1; and
  • Phase 2 (3.5 Mt/y of granite ore, year 3 onwards) crushing and process plant expansion – future upgrades to both crushing and processing plants required for increased production rates, envisaged from year three onwards.

The re-engineering has mainly reduced capital and operating expenses around reduced ore handling costs by the introduction of direct tipping at a newly sited run of mine pad, incorporating the introduction of new semi-mobile primary jaw and secondary cone crushers, new operating parameters for the ore sorting circuit, and, to a lesser extent, changes to the existing dense media separation and fine gravity dressing circuits.

The revised front-end design also includes a significant tactical advantage through the introduction of a secondary crushed ore stockpile ahead of the ore sorters, Tungsten West said. This provides up to circa-40 hours of redundancy capacity to the crushing circuit, thereby de-coupling the front end crushing circuit from the minerals processing facility (MPF) – minimising downtime and maximising availability of the concentrator circuit.

Tungsten West has maintained the ethos of the original feasibility study in continuing to engineer-out as many operational, mechanical, electrical or ESG issues associated with the previous operation as possible and to ensure MPF availability and operability remains a priority, it said.

Back in July, Tungsten West concluded a re-evaluation of the options for bringing the Hemerdon mine back into production, announcing a new development plan that would re-optimise the March 2021 Bankable Feasibility Study. The plan was developed in response to global crises in power and diesel prices and the general inflationary environment for construction materials faced by the company.

The new plan has resulted in a remaining capital expenditure, including EPCM fees, of £31.1 million ($38 million) as of October 1.

Mark Thompson, Executive Vice Chairman of Tungsten West, said: “The feasibility study provides solutions to the energy price challenges and will enable increased operating efficiencies at the project. Key highlights from this study include a revised ore delivery and waste mining strategy, a split-phase approach to operational ramp-up to the full design specification, a new primary and secondary crushing method and location, a re-optimisation of the operating strategy for the X-ray Transmission ore sorters, re-design and re-engineering of the feed preparation, ore sorter buildings and structures, and a re-evaluation of the operation of unit processes and expected recoveries.

“We are build-ready at Hemerdon and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners and stakeholders to bring Hemerdon back into production in the fourth (December) quarter of 2023.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sandvik completes acquisition of Schenck Process Group

Sandvik says it has completed the previously announced acquisition of the mining related business of Schenck Process Group (SP Mining).

SP Mining is one of the market leaders in screening, feeding, screening media and train loading solutions in the industry, according to Sandvik. It also has a strong aftermarket business, which includes application support, screen refurbishment, product engineering design and manufacturing and digital support services.

It will be reported in Stationary Crushing and Screening, a division in Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions (SRP).

The two companies already had a global partnership agreement in place dating from 2016 that brought together Sandvik’s high productivity cone crushers and Schenck Process’ high capacity multislope screens.

In 2022, SP Mining expects revenues of about €200 million ($199 million) of which approximately 70% is aftermarket, and an EBITA margin accretive to Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions’ margin, Sandvik said.

Sandvik announced the planned acquisition of SP Mining back in May.

Iron Bridge Magnetite project progresses with first ore feed milestone

Fortescue Metals Group has reached a new milestone on its majority-owned Iron Bridge Magnetite project in the Pilbara of Western Australia, with first ore fed into the processing plant.

With first production anticipated in the March 2023 quarter, Iron Bridge will see the world’s fourth largest iron ore miner deliver an enhanced product range and create 900 new jobs, it said.

Significantly, it could become one of Fortescue’s first fossil fuel free sites, enabled by the recently announced $6.2 billion decarbonisation investment to reach “real zero” Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.

At a milestone event held at Iron Bridge today, Fortescue’s Executive Chairman, Andrew Forrest, was joined by Chief Operating Officer Iron Ore, Dino Otranto, Fortescue Board members, Elizabeth Gaines and Penny Bingham-Hall, representatives from joint venture partner Formosa, Western Australian Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Roger Cook, along with company executives, valued partners and suppliers.

Traditional Custodians also attended the milestone event to welcome over 100 guests to Nyamal country.

Iron Bridge, 145 km south of Port Hedland, will deliver 22 Mt/y of high grade 67% Fe magnetite concentrate. This product enables Fortescue to enter the high iron ore grade market segment, providing an enhanced product range while also increasing annual production and shipping capacity, it said.

Since the investment decision in April 2019, more than 12.8 million workhours have culminated in the design and construction of the mine, pipelines, village and infrastructure at Iron Bridge. There are currently 3,470 people working across the Ore Processing Facility and pipelines scope of work.

Forrest said: “At Fortescue, we take pride in the fact that we consistently deliver what we say we will, and Iron Bridge is no different. Building on our track record of safely and successfully developing and operating iron ore projects in the Pilbara, Iron Bridge will lead the way for magnetite operations in Western Australia.

“This project demonstrates Fortescue’s commitment to our strategic pillars of investing in the long-term sustainability of our iron ore business, investing in growth, maintaining balance sheet strength, as well as delivering strong returns to our shareholders.

“As we transition to a global green energy, technology and resources company, Iron Bridge is an obvious choice to be considered as one of our first decarbonised, fossil fuel free sites, as we deliver on our target to achieve real zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.”

Otranto said: “The Iron Bridge high grade magnetite product is a significant differentiator for Fortescue, and led by the highly experienced project team, I am incredibly pleased with the significant progress made to achieve first ore feed into the processing plant.

“This is a project that has been delivered during a challenging environment, and despite a global pandemic, rising inflationary pressures and a tight labour market, the Fortescue Values have risen to the forefront and demonstrated our ability to continue delivering this ground-breaking project.”

The nature of the Iron Bridge orebodies and Fortescue’s use of a dry crushing and grinding circuit together contribute to the project’s operational efficiency across energy, water use and cost.

Low cost power will be delivered to Iron Bridge through Fortescue’s investment in the Pilbara Energy Connect project, which includes energy transmission line infrastructure, solar gas hybrid generation and associated battery storage solution.

The Iron Bridge Magnetite project is an unincorporated joint venture between FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd (69%), and Formosa Steel IB Pty Ltd (31%). The joint venture partners are each responsible for their equity share of the total capital expenditure.

Bellevue Gold on its way to achieving ‘holy grail’ with EDL pact

Bellevue Gold Limited says it has taken a pivotal step towards its aspirational goal of becoming Australia’s first ASX-listed gold miner with net-zero emissions by signing an Early Works Agreement with Energy Developments Pty Ltd and locking in long-lead items for its power station, ready for the processing plant commissioning in mid-2023.

The purchasing of the long lead items will see the company continue its carbon mitigation strategy, based off proven technologies with a Tier 1 power supplier, it said.

This agreement is a key step in Bellevue’s strategy to be powered by a forecast average of 80% renewable energy each year using a wind, solar and battery hybrid power solution.

EDL built, owns and operates a similar turnkey power solution at the Agnew gold mine, around 35 km south of the Bellevue gold project.

Bellevue and EDL are currently negotiating a Power Purchase Agreement for the project, which is subject to approval by the boards of both EDL and Bellevue.

Bellevue says its power solution is central to the company’s goal of generating the lowest carbon emissions per ounce of gold produced by any major Australian gold mine, with forecast emissions of between 0.15-0.20 t of CO2e/oz.

“As well as being the lowest emitter on a per ounce basis, the project is forecast to have the lowest total Scope 1 emissions of any major mine in Australia,” it said. “This will give the project the cleanest power supply in Australia based on a greenhouse gas per kilowatt hour basis of power generation.”

By reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with a renewable energy power station and undertaking other sustainable initiatives, Bellevue aims to produce carbon-neutral gold, giving the company a major competitive advantage in global investment markets, it says. This also provides potential for the company to seek a premium for the sale of ‘green gold’, it added.

The power station will prioritise the use of renewable energy and will also include a gas engine configuration, which, it says, will ensure there is sufficient power for the mine, even in the rare absence of solar and wind resources.

EDL will supply trucked LNG to the project to maintain optionality for any future technological innovations in thermal generation alternative fuels. Trucked LNG provides a much cleaner fuel than diesel, which was an important consideration to reduce emissions as far as possible, it said.

At a steady-state production rate of 1 Mt/y, renewable energy is expected to meet up to 80% of the project’s annual electricity needs, taking advantage of the region’s strong solar and wind resources.

Bellevue says it has been modelling the wind speeds and direction with a SODAR unit, which has allowed for the integration of wind turbines to increase the renewable energy penetration rate.

Maximising renewable energy uptake has been a key design consideration for the processing facility. The facility will have the ability to use more power – such as crushing and heating – when increased renewable energy is available, reducing thermal requirements, according to the company.

The planned infrastructure includes an oversized crushing circuit to facilitate a processing rate of more than 1.5 Mt/y (against current throughput rate of 1 Mt/y), allowing the operational flexibility in this area for an optimised match up of the renewable energy demand to the renewable energy resource.

The designed infrastructure will allow Bellevue to have a cost-effective renewable energy supply and optimise the power demand curve to better align with key daytime (solar) and night time (wind) energy peaks and troughs. Through the generation of power from renewable energy sources, it will create the optionality for the crushing circuit to maximise crushing in peak renewable energy generation periods. This will have the potential to offset more than 1 MW in demand on thermal power generation and lead to a direct cost saving and emissions reduction.

Bellevue Managing Director, Steve Parsons, said: “EDL is a leader in hybrid off-grid power stations. Their skills and experience will help ensure we maximise the use of renewable energy at the Bellevue gold project.

“Bellevue is forecasted to be a 200,000 oz a year gold miner with low all-in sustaining costs of A$1,000-A$1,100/oz ($644-$708/oz) powered by circa-80% renewable energy, with a pathway to net-zero emissions as a world-leading company in the race to decarbonise the mining sector.

“Our pre-production carbon mitigation strategy has been strategic and is world leading. It achieves the ‘holy grail’ of lower emissions and a direct cost reduction in power generation.

“The combination of these metrics is expected to will position Bellevue as one of the most sustainable and financially successful Australian gold miners, maximising returns for all stakeholders. It will also underpin the company’s strong appeal to global investors, who demand performance on both financial and ESG measures.”

On the same day as the EDL announcement, the company signed a Native Title Agreement with Tjiwarl (Aboriginal Corporation) RNTBC, being the native title rights and interests holders and traditional owners of the land which hosts the Bellevue gold project.

Rio Tinto and Baowu to invest $2 billion in Western Range iron ore development

Rio Tinto and China Baowu Steel Group Co. Ltd have agreed to enter into a joint venture with respect to the Western Range iron ore project in the Pilbara, Western Australia, investing $2 billion to develop the mine.

Western Range’s annual production capacity of 25 Mt of iron ore will help sustain production of the Pilbara Blend from Rio Tinto’s existing Paraburdoo mining hub. The project includes construction of a primary crusher and an 18 km conveyor system linking it to the existing Paraburdoo processing plant.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2023 with first production anticipated in 2025. The construction phase will support approximately 1,600 jobs with the mine requiring about 800 ongoing operational roles, which are expected to be filled by existing workers transitioning from other sites in the Paraburdoo mining hub.

Rio Tinto’s share of the capital costs are already included in the group’s capital expenditure guidance of around $9-10 billion for each of 2023 and 2024. Both parties will pay their portion of capital costs for the development of the mine, and mine operating costs, plus a nominal ongoing resource contribution fee calculated by reference to Western Range production volumes. There is no upfront consideration being paid by either party.

Rio Tinto and Baowu, which own 54% and 46%, respectively, of the joint venture, have also agreed to enter into an iron ore sales agreement at market prices covering a total of up to 126.5 Mt of iron ore over approximately 13 years. This volume represents Baowu’s 46% interest in the anticipated 275 Mt of production from Western Range through the joint venture.

Rio Tinto has a long history of successfully partnering and investing with customers to develop new mines in the Pilbara. Rio Tinto and Baowu’s partnership in the Pilbara dates back to the 2002 Bao-HI joint venture to develop the Eastern Range deposits in the Hamersley Ranges (Eastern Range) and Western Range, subject to a production cap of 200 Mt. It is now expected the production cap will be sourced entirely from Eastern Range, and this transaction will continue Rio Tinto’s relationship with Baowu through development of Western Range.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Simon Trott, said: “This is a very significant milestone for both Rio Tinto and Baowu, our largest customer globally. We have enjoyed a strong working relationship with Baowu for more than four decades, shipping more than 200 Mt of iron ore under our original joint venture, and we are looking forward to extending our partnership at Western Range.

“The development of Western Range represents the commencement of the next significant phase of investment in our iron ore business, helping underpin future production of the Pilbara Blend, the market benchmark.

“At the same time, Rio Tinto and Baowu continue to work together on low-carbon steelmaking research, exploring new methods to reduce carbon emissions and improve environmental performance across the steel value chain.”

Baowu Resources Chairman, Shi Bing, said: “The signing of the joint venture agreement for the Western Range project is a significant event in the history of cooperation between Baowu and Rio Tinto. We fully appreciate the persistent efforts of both teams in accomplishing the important achievement. The Bao-HI joint venture has been successfully operating for more than 20 years, leading us to a win-win result, and reaping friendship and trust.

“We hope that the two parties will deepen the mutually beneficial and win-win partnership, continue to carry forward the spirit of sincere cooperation and further expand cooperation in more fields and aspects on the basis of working together to operate the project well.”

Rio Tinto has worked closely with the Traditional Owners on whose country Western Range is situated, the Yinhawangka People, to co-design a Social and Cultural Heritage Management Plan for the project, designed to protect signiticant cultural and heritage values in the area.

The plan, which was agreed with Yinhawangka Aboriginal Corporation and announced earlier this year, outlines protocols for joint decision-making on environmental matters and mine planning.

Rio Tinto’s Paraburdoo hub is comprised of three operating mines, Paraburdoo, Channar and Eastern Range. Western Range contains two deposits, 36W–50W and 55W–66W, which are located within the Hamersley Basin of Western Australia. The deposits’ mineralisation is primarily hosted by the Brockman Iron Formation with additional detrital mineralisation present. The 36W–50W and 55W-66W deposits contain a measured resource of 22 Mt at 59.1% Fe, indicated resource of 102 Mt at 61.5% Fe and an inferred resource of 108 Mt at 61.4% Fe. The 36W–50W deposit contains a proven reserve of 109 Mt at 62.1% Fe and a probable reserve of 56 Mt at 61.7% Fe.

FLSmidth to highlight full flowsheet expertise with ShalkiyaZinc project delivery

FLSmidth has signed a contract, valued at around DKK950 million ($130 million), to supply a range of mineral processing equipment to ShalkiyaZinc, the operator of a zinc-lead mine in the Kyzylorda Region of Kazakhstan.

The equipment will transform the plant into a world-class facility that efficiently separates minerals with a minimised environmental impact, the OEM says.

Under the agreement, FLSmidth will supply two underground crushing stations with a materials handling system to the process plant; a full package of comminution and separation equipment, including SAG and ball mills, mill circuit pumps and cyclones; the zinc-lead concentrate flotation and regrinding circuit, including nextSTEP, VXP vertical mills, concentrate thickeners and Pneumapress filters; and reagents preparation and dosing area. Full plant automation is also included, as well as installation and commissioning supervision services.

The new concentrator will be supported from FLSmidth’s new in-country service Supercentre in Karaganda, Kazakhstan.

The equipment delivery is to be completed during 2024, with commissioning to start before the end of that year.

Mikko Keto, Group CEO at FLSmidth, said: “We are excited to receive this first order from ShalkiyaZinc, which highlights our full flowsheet expertise. The wide range of equipment included in the order will help ShalkiyaZinc save on both capital expenditure and operating expenditure; our new nextSTEP flotation technology will improve the quality of the concentrates, the SAG mill will provide more flexibility, while the automation and digital solutions will further enable water and energy savings alongside safer operations.

“We look forward to making this a success on so many levels.”

Assel Rakhimova, Chief Project Director of Tau-Ken Samruk, which owns ShalkiyaZinc, said: “After testing and basic design work executed by FLSmidth, we are pleased to enter this new phase of collaboration with the procurement of critical technologies to improve the productivity and sustainability of our plant. We believe in successful execution and look forward to receiving the ordered equipment according to the schedule for installation and to continue working with FLSmidth on commissioning services and spare parts.”

CMIC’s CanMicro technology wins top prize in Crush It! Challenge

The Canada Mining Innovation Council’s cleantech solution, CanMicro, has been named as the grand prize winner of the Crush It! Challenge, being awarded a C$5 million ($3.9 million) grant to further develop the solution.

CanMicro combines microwave-assisted comminution and multi-sensor ore sorting technology to selectively break particles and sort waste from desired minerals, reducing crushing and grinding requirements. CMIC says the CanMicro technology can provide over 35% energy savings across several commodities.

The Crush It! Challenge was announced in October 2018 by Natural Resources Canada (NRC) with the aim to realise an innovative breakthrough in the mining industry’s most energy-intensive and inefficient processes: crushing and grinding.

The primary objectives of the challenge are to fight climate change by creating innovative technologies that reduce energy consumption and pollution, increase competitiveness by developing world-leading clean technologies, and transform the mining cycle to establish a new “future in mining”.

Semi-finalists (up to 12) received C$10,000 to help them pitch their ideas to the Challenge Jury, with up to six finalists being granted up to C$860,000 to build and test their clean technologies. The winner and innovator demonstrating the most superior energy breakthrough to crush and grind rocks was awarded a C$5 million prize to fully develop and roll out their solution.

The grand prize winner of the Crush it! Challenge was selected through a competitive and rigorous process designed and delivered by NRC.

Crush It! is one of six initial clean technology challenges led by NRC under the Impact Canada Initiative – a government-wide approach to introduce innovative approaches to help solve Canada’s biggest economic, environmental and social challenges. NRCan invested C$75 million in its cleantech challenges: Crush It! Challenge, Charging the Future Challenge, Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative, Power Forward Challenge, Women in Cleantech Challenge and The Sky’s the Limit Challenge.

CanMicro is the only technology to combine microwave-assisted comminution and sorting, according to CMIC. The treatment selectively heats value minerals, resulting in micro-fractures along grain boundaries that help reduce ore competency and increase mineral liberation after grinding. It also generates a thermal signature that can be used to sort ore particles so that only those containing value minerals are subjected to fine grinding.

Aside from the potential energy savings, which the team – made up of CMIC (Project Administrator), Dr Erin Bobicki (Technical Lead), Sepro Mineral Systems (Project Participants), Glencore Canada (Project Participants), COREM (Project Participants) and Queens University (Subject Matter Experts) – believe could be up to 70%, this has significant environmental implications for tailings.