Tag Archives: Eurasian Resources Group

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’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.”

Sber and Eurasian Resources Group to cooperate on metals and mining ESG standards

Sber and Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) have signed a Memorandum of Intent to cooperate on developing environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards, including green financing instruments, for the metals and mining industry.

The document was signed by Andrey Shemetov, Senior Vice President and Head of SberCIB, and Benedikt Sobotka, Chief Executive Officer of Eurasian Resources Group.

The parties plan to develop ESG standards for the metals and mining industry, including relevant targets and metrics, and apply ESG-linked financial instruments to support mining and metals production. Sber and ERG will also collaborate on matters concerning investment and export opportunities, with ERG receiving advice and information support from Sber on ESG risk analysis.

Shemetov said: “We have been working with ERG, one of the world’s leading mineral mining and processing companies, for a long time, and this partnership has been fruitful. Mining and processing are vital to the economy, and we are aware they entail certain environmental risks. That is why it is most important that market players adhere to ESG principles.

“We welcome ERG’s willingness to evolve ESG-wise and, for our part, are ready to facilitate the development of the company’s sustainable practices while offering a variety of green products and joint projects. I am confident that this work will contribute heavily to the attainment of sustainable development goals by our companies.”

Sobotka added: “We are pleased to continue our partnership with Sber. ESG factors and sustainable development goals have been at the heart of the group’s activities for many years, while responsible ‘green’ investments for project financing are more relevant today than ever. The ethical production of the metals of the future, such as the cobalt needed to produce electric vehicles and gadgets, is essential for the transition to a green and lower-carbon economy. This is a major part of the group’s overarching mission.

“This agreement will facilitate the introduction of ESG principles into our decision-making processes as we implement innovative projects in our regions of presence. We are confident that the new collaboration with Sber will make a significant contribution to the group’s progress in this respect.”

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’s BAMIN iron ore project kicks into gear

Eurasian Resources Group says it is continuing to advance its BAMIN integrated iron ore mining and logistics project in Brazil with the planned commercial start-up this month of its Pedra de Ferro mine in Bahia.

Pedra de Ferro has an initial capacity of 2 Mt/y of high-grade iron ore with 65% Fe content, but, in full production, will be able to produce 18 Mt/y of ore.

At the same time as this, plans for the implementation of Porto Sul, a deep-water port complex that is part of BAMIN, also continue to advance.

Carried out by the State of Bahia and BAMIN, the initial works at the port (pictured) focus on the construction of the requisite infrastructure and access to the site. This phase of the work will generate 400 direct jobs and another 1,200 indirect jobs, according to ERG.

Overall, the BAMIN project is expected to see Bahia become the country’s third largest iron ore producer.

Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of ERG, said: “The start of operations at Pedra de Ferro is a fundamental step towards the full implementation of the project. Porto Sul, in addition to its strategic importance, will strengthen the local economy and support the growth of other sectors. While implementing the BAMIN project, we also aim to positively contribute to the economic and social recovery and help mitigate the long-term impact of the pandemic.”

WEF’s MMBI makes progress on emissions traceability with blockchain proof of concept

The World Economic Forum’s Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative (MMBI) has released a proof of concept that uses distributed ledger technology to track embedded greenhouse gas emissions.

A collaboration between seven leading industry players and the World Economic Forum, the initiative has hit an important stage of development following its launch in October 2019, the WEF said.

The successful completion of the proof of concept, named the COT, which is a Carbon Tracing Platform, will be critical in helping to ensure traceability of emissions from mine to the final product. With a focus on end-to-end traceability, the COT platform uses distributed ledger technology to track CO2 emissions.

The founding members of the MMBI – Anglo American, Antofagasta Minerals, Eurasian Resources Group, Glencore, Klöckner & Co, Minsur, and Tata Steel – joined forces in October 2019 to design and explore blockchain solutions to accelerate responsible sourcing in the industry. By pooling resources and costs, the mining and metals companies aim to accelerate future adoption of a solution for supply chain visibility and environmental, social and governance requirements.

Developed in collaboration with industry experts, supported by the Dutch blockchain champion Kryha and Consortium Advisor Susan Joseph, it not only tests the technological feasibility of the solution, but also explores the complexities of the supply chain dynamics and sets requirements for future data use, the WEF said. In doing so, the proof of concept responds to demands from stakeholders to create ‘mine to market’ visibility and accountability.

Jörgen Sandström, Head of Mining and Metals Industry, World Economic Forum, said: “There is an increasing demand for metals and minerals, and an increasing demand for sustainable and responsible and traceable supply chains. There is a potential to create a full value chain view with downstream visibility, and, in partnering with regulators and aligning our work with robust ESG standards, sustainability certification schemes and assurance frameworks.”

This work lays the foundation for the next phase of the development and reinforces comprehensive feedback sessions with stakeholders. It also supports the MMBI vision to enable emissions traceability throughout complex supply chains and to create ‘mine to market’ visibility and accountability, it said.

Nadia Hewett, Blockchain Project Lead, World Economic Forum, added: “The distributed nature of blockchain technology enables cross-enterprise collaboration and makes it the ultimate networked technology. This opens exciting new possibilities that organisations otherwise would not have the capability to deliver on their own.”

Peter Whitcutt, Marketing CEO of Anglo American, said: “By leveraging cross-industry collaboration and the increasingly important role played by technology innovation, MMBI’s Proof of Concept can help to unlock the potential of blockchain to support a greater level of reporting transparency and drive responsible sourcing.”

Metal and mining companies collaborate with WEF on blockchain solutions

Seven leading mining and metals companies have partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to experiment, design and deploy blockchain solutions that will accelerate responsible sourcing and sustainability practices, the WEF reports.

The Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative will pool resources and cost, increase speed-to-market and improve industry-wide trust that cannot be achieved by acting individually, according to the forum.

“It aims to be a neutral enabler for the industry, addressing the lack of standardisation and improving efficiency,” WEF said, adding that the intention was to send out a signal of inclusivity and collaboration across the industry.

Among the seven companies represented in this initiative are Antofagasta Minerals, Eurasian Resources Group, Glencore, Tata Steel Limited, De Beers and Anglo American.

The group will look to develop joint proof-of-concepts for an inclusive blockchain platform, which, over time, could help the industry collectively increase “transparency, efficiency or improve reporting of carbon emissions”, it said.

The WEF explained: “In many cases, blockchain projects to support responsible sourcing have been bilateral. The result has been a fractured system that leaves behind parts of the ecosystem and lacks interoperability.”

The new initiative is owned and driven by the industry, for the industry, according to the WEF, with members examining issues related to governance, developing case studies and establishing a working group. Key areas of collaboration and development could include carbon emissions tracking and supply chain transparency.

“They will work to use blockchain technology to increase trust between upstream and downstream partners, to address the lack of industry standardisation and to track provenance, chain of custody and production methods,” it said.

Jörgen Sandström, Head of the Mining and Metals Industry at the WEF, said material value chains are undergoing profound change and disruption. “The industry needs to respond to the increasing demands of minerals and materials while responding to increasing demands by consumers, shareholders and regulators for a higher degree of sustainability and traceability of the products.”

The WEF has offered its platform and expertise to help industry leaders better understand the impact and potential of blockchain technology, it said. “It will provide guidance on governance issues related to the delivery of a neutral industry platform and the expansion of members.”

The move was welcomed by industry partners, including Ivan Arriagada, CEO of Antofagasta Minerals: “We hope this collaboration and pilot will give us practical examples of how blockchain can increase efficiency of the supply chain management and improve interoperability; address certain supply chain management risks such as transparency and consumer trust; and unlock opportunities including integration of key data such on environmental impact such carbon emissions.”

Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group, meanwhile, said the collaboration around blockchain technology would help industry efforts to enhance responsible sourcing. “By working together, our goal is to develop solutions that can be adopted across the industry and value chain,” he added.

Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore, said the development of this technology can facilitate industry reporting to improve compliance across the supply chain.

TV Narendran, CEO of Tata Steel, said: “As a responsible player in the mining and metals industry, we are committed to build a sustainable future.”

Jim Duffy, CEO of Tracr (representing Anglo American/De Beers), said the company looked forward to collaborating with the consortium as Tracr begins to roll-out its connected supply chain platform for the diamond industry. “Lessons learned creating Tracr are highly relevant to the sustainable sourcing of all mining and metals,” he added.

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 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’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.”