Tag Archives: Eurasian Resources Group

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.”