Tag Archives: ERG

NFC China, ERG agree on EPC contract to construct ‘special coke plant’ at JSC Shubarkol Komir

Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) and China Nonferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering and Construction Co Ltd. (NFC China) have signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to construct a “special coke plant” at JSC Shubarkol Komir in Kazakhstan’s Karaganda Region.

The new 400,000 t/y plant will produce a reducing agent that is key to the production of ferroalloys, ERG says.

Under the ЕРС contract, the plant will be constructed on a turnkey basis and is scheduled to be put into operation in 2023. Investments in the project will total about KZT40 billion ($94 million).

Ruslan Mulyukbayev, CEO of ERG Capital Projects, the company responsible for developing and implementing large-scale investment projects in Kazakhstan, said: “The new plant will enable JSC Shubarkol Komir to manufacture a high value-added product and cut the imports of reducing agents significantly. In addition, it should help increase local content in ferrochrome production and meet ERG’s needs by supplying a domestically manufactured product. The plant will use state-of-the-art technological solutions and automation that are fully compliant with all national standards. We plan to create 120 new jobs.”

Qin Junman, President of NFC, said: “The signing of the EPC contract marks another milestone in the long-term cooperation between NFC and ERG. I am fully confident that, with our good track record of successful implementation of a number world-class projects in Kazakhstan, including ERG’s state-of-the-art Aluminium Smelter project, we will be able to deliver another exemplary project of Sino-Kazakh cooperation within schedule, with good quality and with international HSE standard.”

In addition to 400,000 t of special coke, the new plant will produce more than 70,000 t/y of coal tar and oil from Shubarkol Komir’s coal. ERG is also exploring the possibility of exporting these products.

The new enterprise will use technological solutions to enable safe and environmentally friendly production, as well as to increase electricity, heat and water conservation, ERG says. Its ventilation system will be equipped with air purifiers. All water used in the production process, as well as the contaminated wastewater, will be treated and supplied to the water recycling system.

JSC Shubarkol Komir is already home to a special coke plant with a capacity of over 200,000 t/y that was built and put into operation in 2005. The company has implemented a project to equip the plant with the newest, most efficient system for tar removal from coke oven gas, a process which involves five-stages of treatment.

ERG to acquire Hitachi EH4000 AC-3 trucks, EX5600E excavators for SSGPO operation

Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) has signed a cooperation agreement with Eurasian Machinery LLP, the official provider of Hitachi specialised equipment in Central Asia.

The agreement will see 12 Hitachi EH4000 AC-3 dump trucks and two Hitachi EX5600E hydraulic excavators delivered this year to the Kacharsky open pit iron ore mine, part of ERG’s Sokolov-Sarybai Mining Production Operation (SSGPO), in Kazakhstan.

This stands as one of the most significant acquisitions of specialised mining equipment in Kazakhstan’s history, according to ERG.

The new equipment, boasting 220 t lifting capacity, will be used for overburden operations and the transportation of iron ore, and is part of a large-scale reconstruction of the entire Kacharsky site aimed at a considerable increase in iron ore production volumes at SSGPO, ERG says.

The delivery of the specialised equipment will offer remarkable increases in load capacity and provide further advantages when working on a large scale, according to the company.

In addition to delivering specialised equipment, Eurasian Machinery will perform a wide range of maintenance works, including the construction of service infrastructure and the supply of necessary spare parts over the next 10 years. They will also offer specialised simulator training to ERG’s drivers.

As part of the agreement, which will be carried out according to the maintenance and repair contract principles, ERG will purchase up to 50 units of specialised mining equipment.

ERG’s BAMIN signs pact with Brazil Government to complete and operate FIOL railway

Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) says its wholly-owned Brazilian subsidiary, BAMIN, has signed a concession agreement with the Brazilian Federal Government to complete and operate a section of the FIOL (East-West Integration) railway in the country.

BAMIN will advance the construction works, which until recently were carried out by the state-owned railway engineering and construction company Valec.

The sub-concession has been granted for a 35-year period, which includes an allowance of five years for the construction of the railway and 30 years for its operation. BAMIN’s investment into the railroad and the rolling stock will amount to around BRL3.3 billion ($683 million).

In April 2021, BAMIN won the auction on the B3 (São Paulo Stock Exchange) to complete and operate the first 537 km stretch of the FIOL. The concession agreement has now granted BAMIN 120 days to evaluate the progress of the construction and other related works. This preliminary phase precedes the preparation of a plan to resume the construction, which is scheduled for the second half of 2022.

Tarcio Gomes de Freitas, Minister of Infrastructure of Brazil, said: “The importance of this infrastructure project in the state of Bahia cannot be overstated. The project is very well structured and includes an iron ore plant, a railway and a seaport. The railway, which is undergoing construction, will serve the mining industry, as well as the agricultural sector, which is growing at an unprecedented pace, particularly in the west.”

BAMIN has already hired professionals in the rail industry to oversee the management of the FIOL railway. BAMIN will also leverage ERG’s international expertise as the largest transport operator in Central Asia with extensive experience in rail transportation, ERG says. Each year, ERG transports over 50 Mt of freight using 10,000 vehicles, while also maintaining and repairing 2,500 wagons and over 1,000 locomotives.

Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group, said: “All across the globe, railways play a crucial role in urban development, enabling people to gain access to new opportunities. In Brazil, we are confident that FIOL will act as an important connecting point between regions, cities and people, contributing to economic growth, and creating a strong link between the west and the east of the country. The logistics and exportation corridor that BAMIN will create will transport millions of tonnes of iron ore, agricultural products, as well as other goods.”

With the resumption of construction, the project is expected to boost the country’s economic growth at both the federal and the local level: FIOL will strengthen the rail network across 20 municipalities in Brazil, while also boosting foreign trade, ERG says.

BAMIN plans to install over 30 loading stations along the route, creating opportunities for regional producers, enhancing production chains, and helping establish new businesses.

Once completed, FIOL will be able to carry 60 Mt/y of freight, with BAMIN’s products accounting for a third of this capacity. More than 40 Mt of cargo will be made available for other businesses in both the mining and agricultural sector, as well as other industries in the Bahia region.

ERG said: “The importance of the FIOL railway cannot be overstated, as the railway will be part of an integrated logistics project that will connect the Pedra de Ferro mine in Caetité with the Porto Sul, currently under construction in Ilhéus, Bahia. Following the commencement of commercial operations in January 2021, the Pedra de Ferro Mine is expected to produce 1 Mt by the end of this year. Once the South Port and FIOL are completed (expected in 2026), the mine should produce 18 Mt of iron ore per year.”

Eduardo Ledsham, CEO of BAMIN, said: “The Pedra de Ferro mine, Porto Sul, and FIOL projects are an important milestone for the country’s economic development, and a source of pride for the Bahia State and all Brazilians. We are creating a new logistics corridor to integrate the west with the east of Brazil, creating a new, important exportation pathway.

“The state of Bahia will occupy a new and important place in the national economy, becoming the third largest iron ore producer in the country, generating wealth and prosperity, while also increasing the population’s income and improving the quality of life.”

Kazchrome achieves chrome tailings flotation breakthrough

Engineers at the Donskoy Ore Mining and Processing Plant of JSC TNC Kazchrome, in Kazakhstan, have successfully completed trials of a first-of-its-kind industrial flotation technology to increase the enrichment of chrome oxide-bearing tailings, Eurasian Resources Group reports.

Kazchrome, the world’s largest high-carbon ferrochrome producer by chrome content with a total resource base of over 200 Mt of chrome ore, is owned by ERG.

The novel technology is part of the group’s R&D efforts to maximise chromite concentrate output and reduce the site’s environmental footprint, the company reports, with the process yielding the recovery of over 55% of chrome oxide and conforming to the applicable requirements for concentrate used in ferrochrome smelting.

As a result of these trials, the flotation technology will be used to construct a new facility to process over 10 Mt of chrome oxide-bearing tailings with a planned annual capacity of 1.7 Mt for 450,000 t/y of chrome concentrate, ERG says.

Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group, said: “This pioneering technology is a major milestone on our path towards ensuring sustainable and low-cost chromite concentrate supply for our operations in Kazakhstan, and is part of the group’s broader strategy to reinforce our leading position in the global ferrochrome market.”

Sergey Opanasenko, Chairman of the Management Board of ERG R&D Centre, added: “We are very pleased with the results of the flotation trials, particularly considering the complex mineralogy and physical characteristics of our ores. Building on this success, we look forward to working on incorporating this technology into the design of our new tailings processing facility.”

ERG adds ARC Advisory and SAP to digital transformation program

Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) says it has signed letters of intent (LOI) with ARC Advisory Group and SAP for the continuation of its large-scale digital transformation program, grounded in the principles of Industry 4.0.

Jointly with Oner Mind, ARC Advisory Group is to perform an independent technological audit of ERG’s entities in Kazakhstan, which includes power generation, aluminium and ferroalloy assets, and develop an action plan for business process optimisation, ERG said.

Commenting on the signing, Galymzhan Akhmetov, ERG’s Chief Information Officer, said: “ERG’s entities differ by industry and size; that’s why we need a world-class independent audit to maximise the effectiveness of production process management.”

Uwe Grundmann, General Manager of ARC Advisory Group’s European operations, said ERG’s digital transformation would benefit from the business’s knowledge base and experience.

In further support of the group’s ambitious programme, ERG also announced a new area of cooperation with SAP, which will see the implementation of a new system focusing on repair and maintenance management and ensuring equipment reliability.

Serik Shakhazhanov, Chairman of the Management Board at Eurasian Group LLP, which operates ERG’s entities in Kazakhstan, said the partnership would enable the group to enhance its competitive edge and develop the best industry practices of asset management.

The milestone was also welcomed by Eugene Teremov, Managing Director of SAP Kazakhstan, who said the signatories have a shared commitment to innovation.

ERG trials IBM Blockchain Platform to support Clean Cobalt Framework

Eurasian Resources Group says it will pilot a blockchain-based solution built on the IBM Blockchain Platform at its Metalkol RTR operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help enhance the provenance and traceability of cobalt in the metal’s supply chain.

Metalkol RTR is ERG’s hydrometallurgical plant in the DRC and has a target capacity of 24,000 t/y of cobalt.

ERG said: “While cobalt and other metals such as copper, nickel and lithium drive the global battery sector, their extraction may come at high cost for the surrounding ecosystem, including the use of child labour and pollution which is compounded by the current dearth of viable reuse and recycling systems. The blockchain-based solution helps to ensure that the material is traceable.”

The blockchain supports ERG’s Clean Cobalt Framework at Metalkol RTR, a reprocessing plant for historic copper and cobalt tailings from previous mining operations, which is nearing operation, according to ERG.

Niels de Jongh, Executive Partner IBM Global Business Services, said: “ERG’s initiative to implement a blockchain solution to bring together stakeholders across the cobalt supply chain can help transform entire business processes in the mining industry and help bring new levels of trust. Leveraging IBM’s digital capabilities enables parties to develop the solution through an interactive approach with clear business focus.”

Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group and co-chair of the Global Battery Alliance, said: “This blockchain-based solution will aim to enable manufacturers to confirm that the cobalt was sourced at Metalkol RTR by aggregating the necessary data and information on the raw material.”

Leveraging IBM’s blockchain platform and expertise, the platform will aim to determine the provenance of cobalt throughout the supply chain, from extraction to production, a process that is currently complex and costly. Using blockchain will allow individuals to track the origins of cobalt across the supply chain, including once it’s been to a smelter and blended, and reduce costs through efficient information sharing, tracking and transparency according to the highest standards.

Sobotka added: “As a founding member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Battery Alliance, ERG aims to create new standards in the industry. We are therefore pleased to be piloting this innovative blockchain-based solution on the IBM platform. This way we can guarantee with certainty that the material that customers buy is not tainted by artisanally-produced material.”

Last week, MineHub Technologies and IBM announced a collaboration to use blockchain technology to help improve operational efficiencies, logistics and financing and reduce costs in the high-value mineral concentrates supply chain — from mine to end buyer. Goldcorp, ING Bank, Kutcho Copper, Ocean Partners and Wheaton Precious Metals are working with MineHub to build the new mining supply chain solution on top of the IBM Blockchain Platform.

ERG ties up electricity supply for Frontier copper mine in DRC

Eurasian Resources Group has concluded power supply arrangements for its Frontier SA copper mine on the Democratic Republic of the Congo/Zambia border.

The contract was signed by the Société Nationale d’Électricité (SNEL), the national electricity company of the DRC, with power supply of 41 MW to be sourced from ZESCO, the national electricity company of the Republic of Zambia; and Rawbank, a commercial bank in the DRC.

Frontier, a cornerstone asset of ERG’s copper business, comprises an open-pit copper mine and processing facilities to produce copper sulphide concentrate, treating over 10 Mt/y of copper sulphide ore.

ERG also recently signed a supply agreement for Metalkol SA, a major cobalt and copper tailings reprocessing operation and hydro-metallurgical facility to secure its electricity supply for up to 10 years.

Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group, said: “This new agreement further demonstrates ERG’s commitment to the DRC and Zambia, and further cements our wider strategy on the continent as a whole. We are proud of the strong partnerships we have formed in Central Africa, such as with ZESCO, which is a well-respected and trustworthy power generation source.”

Jean-Bosco Kayombo Kayan, SNEL Director General, said: “We are happy with the current agreement as it guarantees the continuity of the electric power delivery through the arrangements between Frontier, SNEL SA, ZESCO and Rawbank. Eventually we are aiming to supply Frontier from only internal sources in the DRC where existing hydro-electric plants and power lines are currently being rehabilitated.”

Victor Mundende, Managing Director of ZESCO, said: “The signing of this new agreement showcases the growing partnership between ZESCO and ERG as well as a vote of confidence in ZESCO’s ability to provide power to operations at Frontier mine. This is also in line with our vision to be the hub of power trading in the Southern African region. In this regard, we remain committed to providing power supply to Frontier mine to the extent local power sources are unavailable.”

ERG turns waste to profit at Kazakhstan operations

Through its programme “Turning Waste into Profit”, Eurasian Resources Group’s Kazakhstan operations turned some 88,000 tonne of waste into viable products in the first half of 2018, earning circa-$2.6 million in the process.

ERG’s programme is able to use 20 types of waste – generated from its activities – to manufacture new products, help address environmental issues and strengthen its bottom line, the company says.

Launched in 2017, the initiative allowed ERG to sell over 150,000 t of waste generated by its operations in Kazakhstan for subsequent processing into products such as noise insulation materials, refractory coating, polymers and substitutes for expensive coke and fluorspar.

“In doing so, the group has helped mitigate the adverse impact of waste disposal into landfills and generated a profit in excess of $3 million in 2017 alone,” ERG said.

Commenting on the programme, Ayan Bedelkhan, Head of Non-core Product Sales at ERG Commercial Centre LLP, a subsidiary of the group that presides over the sale of waste, said: “Addressing key environmental issues is a priority for ERG. Through ‘Turning Waste into Profit’, ERG is committed to managing waste in a responsible manner.

“At the same time, the sale of waste as recyclable materials has proved to be a profitable business. It also drives an increase in tax revenues in the regions that ERG sells waste to local companies which they sell as a processed, finished product.”

ERG’s Kazakhstan operations consist of coal, steel, steel raw materials and aluminium assets, among others.

ERG’s Metalkol DRC copper-cobalt project to make use of Zambia power

Eurasian Resources Group’s (ERG) cobalt and copper developer Metalkol SA has secured electricity supply for its operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for up to 10 years after signing a pact that will see some power transported from Zambia.

The Copperbelt Energy Corp (CEC), a Zambian incorporated power transmission, generation and distribution company that is a major developer of energy infrastructure in Africa, will supply up to 78 MW per year of power to the operation as part of an agreement signed between ERG, Société National d’Electricité (SNEL), the national electricity company of the DRC, and Rawbank, a commercial bank in the DRC.

The agreement to supply electricity is comprised of two phases: the first will run until the June quarter of 2019 with a total of 62 MW delivered. Following this, the power supply will ramp up to 78 MW per year during the second phase and for the remainder of the contract.

Metalkol’s RTR project, located near Kolwezi, involves the use of a low-cost hydro-metallurgical facility to reprocess the old tailings dumped into the environment from mining activities in the 1950s. It is expected to produce 77,000 tonnes per year of copper and 14,000 t/y of cobalt in the first stage, with stage two increasing this to 105,000 t/y and 20,000 t/y of copper and cobalt, respectively.

Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of ERG, said: “This is an important milestone in the progress of the Metalkol project, a unique development for the global battery industry. It is an example of sustainable and environmentally conscious treatment of the local environment, and of our wider strategic ambitions in Africa.”

Miners in southern DRC have had worries about sustainable power supply in the past few years, with these concerns often holding back expansion plans.

Owen Silavwe, Managing Director of CEC, said: “Supplying base-load power requirements to mining houses is CEC’s principal business. With many years’ experience successfully supplying reliable power for mining operations in both Zambia and the DRC, this agreement demonstrates CEC’s commitment and agility to meet the specific requirements of customers in the DRC market. It also reaffirms CEC’s partnership with SNEL and the mining community in the DRC.”

CEC has invested in transmission networks in Zambia, including the only interconnection of DRC’s SNEL network to the regional interconnected network.

Jean-Bosco Kayombo Kayan, SNEL Director General, said: “The trilateral agreement signed by Metalkol, CEC and SNEL demonstrates SNEL’s willingness to serve its customers by offering its expertise in the Southern African energy market.”