Tag Archives: Glencore

Olitek ships first Remote Charge-up Unit to Newmont’s Cadia operation

Olitek Mining Robotics says it has reached an important milestone in its Remote Charge-up Unit (RCU) project with the dispatch of a RCU to Newmont’s Cadia operation in New South Wales, Australia.

The RCU uses robust mining robotics and a modified Volvo Construction Equipment wheeled excavator platform to enable full face charge-up from the safety of the cabin, Olitek explains.

Mechanised charge-up of tunnel development faces significantly reduces exposure of charge-up crews to tunnel face hazards such as seismicity, rockfalls, thermal stress and repetitive strain injuries. The development face explosives loading and priming crews are most ‘at risk’ to these geotechnical hazards due to the lengthy exposure duration at the tunnel face to perform their tasks.

The RCU project was part of a Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC)-backed consortium involving Vale, Newcrest (now Newmont), Agnico Eagle and Glencore, which sought to deliver a TRL7 (Technology Readiness Level) fully functioning prototype unit that will move personnel at least 4-5 m away from the underground development face and provide faster manual charge-up options to reduce exposure time for existing operations.

The system leverages Olitek’s patented HELX initiation system, allowing full charge-up and tie in to be completed using low-cost conventional detonators, the company says.

Olitek said the dispatch represents a major commercialisation milestone.

Elkview

Teck to exit steelmaking coal business with Glencore, Nippon Steel deals

Teck Resources has agreed to sell its entire interest in its steelmaking coal business, Elk Valley Resources (EVR), through a sale of a majority stake to Glencore for an implied enterprise value of $9.0 billion, and a sale of a minority stake to Nippon Steel Corporation (NSC).

The sale of Teck’s steelmaking coal business at the implied enterprise value of $9 billion on a 100% basis achieves a simple and complete separation of steelmaking coal from base metals.

Glencore has agreed to acquire 77% of EVR for $6.9 billion in cash, payable to Teck at closing of the Glencore transaction, subject to customary closing adjustments.

NSC has agreed to acquire a 20% interest in EVR in exchange for its current 2.5% interest in Elkview Operations plus $1.3 billion in cash payable to Teck at closing of the NSC transaction and $400 million paid out of cash flows from EVR. NSC will also enter into a long-term steelmaking coal offtake rights arrangement at market terms, continuing NSC’s long-standing commercial arrangement for the purchase of steelmaking coal from the Elk Valley.

POSCO has advised Teck it intends to exchange its current 2.5% interest in Elkview Operations and its 20% interest in the Greenhills joint venture, for a 3% interest in EVR. At closing of the Glencore transaction, Glencore will acquire from Teck any remaining receivable payable to Teck by EVR.

Teck will continue to operate the steelmaking coal business and will retain all cash flows from EVR until closing of the Glencore transaction, estimated to be $1 billion. Following the closing of that transaction, Teck will have no further financial interest in EVR.

Key historical information on EVR, as reported by Teck, is outlined below:

  • Production of steelmaking coal of 21.5 Mt in 2022 and 17.3 Mt year to date to September 30, 2023;
  • EBITDA of C$7.4 billion ($5.4 billion) in 2022 and C$3.7 billion year to date to September 30, 2023;
  • Profit before tax of C$6 billion in 2022 and C$3.1 billion year to date to September 30, 2023; and
  • Gross assets as at September 30, 2023 of C$18.5 billion.

Jonathan Price, President and CEO, Teck, said: “This transaction will be a catalyst to re-focus Teck as a Canadian-based critical minerals champion with an extensive portfolio of copper growth projects, unlocking the full value potential of the company. This sale will ensure Teck is well-capitalised and able to realise value from our base metals business and deliver strong returns to our shareholders while maintaining a robust balance sheet. Glencore has made strong commitments that will create new benefits for Canada and the Elk Valley and ensure responsible stewardship of the steelmaking coal operations for the long term.”

Gary Nagle, CEO of Glencore, said: “We are pleased to have reached agreement to acquire Teck’s steelmaking coal operations in the Elk Valley. These world-class assets and the experienced people that operate them are expected to meaningfully complement our existing thermal and steelmaking coal production located in Australia, Colombia and South Africa. Glencore has high regard for the business that has been developed over many decades in British Columbia and looks forward to maintaining and enhancing its operational performance, environmental stewardship and social contribution.

“We are dedicated to working with all governing bodies and stakeholders to ensure that the transaction is of benefit to Canada, which includes a commitment from Glencore regarding employment, engaging in further reclamation efforts and to engage constructively and meaningfully with the Indigenous Nations in the Elk Valley. This transaction also deepens our longstanding commitment to Canada, supporting our position as one of the largest diversified miners and suppliers of critical minerals in Canada, in one of the world’s leading mining jurisdictions.”

Closing of the Glencore transaction is subject to customary conditions, including receipt of approvals under the Investment Canada Act and competition approvals in several jurisdictions, and is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2024. The NSC transaction is also subject to customary conditions, including receipt of certain competition approvals, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024. These transactions are not inter-conditional.

Resourcing Tomorrow

Major miners join Resourcing Tomorrow lineup

Representatives from the world’s largest mining companies Anglo American, BHP, Glencore, Rio Tinto and Vale have confirmed their attendance for this year’s Resourcing Tomorrow event, in London, event organisers say.

These attendees will join other leading mining companies including AngloGold Ashanti, Antofagasta Minerals, Barrick, B2 Gold, Eldorado Gold, Endeavour Mining, Freeport-McMoRan, Newmont, Sibanye-Stillwater and Teck Resources.

As Europe’s largest mining event, Resourcing Tomorrow: Accelerating the Energy Transition takes place in London on November 28-30 and is poised to be yet another agenda-setting edition for the industry, fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange among professionals in the field, event organisers say.

Resourcing Tomorrow unites all stakeholders in the mining industry, including global mining and energy companies, investors, government delegations, researchers, educators, regulators, suppliers and operators. The conference program will provide 100-plus sessions in which all of the aforementioned miners will participate, giving attendees the opportunity to engage and network with leaders and industry specialists from around the world.

The event will draw participants from more than 100 countries, including Australia, USA, UK, Canada, India, Brazil, South Africa, Ghana, Chile, Nigeria, Peru and Germany, demonstrating its international appeal and the global significance of the mining industry, organisers say.

With the increasing pace of change and emerging technologies in the mining industry, Resourcing Tomorrow will focus on the future of our industry and presents a unique opportunity for international representatives of the world’s leading resource economies to meet, find new partners, discuss current challenges, and share the latest research, technology and best practice.

International Mining is a media sponsor of Resourcing Tomorrow.

DavidRea-Tucson-ElectricMine2023

Cat R1700 XE battery-electric LHD completes the test at Glencore Nickel Rim South

The first field follow trial of Caterpillar’s R1700 XE battery-electric loader has been deemed a success by one Glencore trial participant, with the machine anticipated to surpass the productivity performance of the equivalent diesel LHD running at Glencore’s Nickel Rim South mine, in Sudbury, Canada.

Speaking in a video, Paul Kant, Glencore’s Maintenance General Foreman at the mine, said the battery-electric loader was likely to outperform the diesel-powered Cat® R1700G it was being benchmarked against at the operation over the trial period.

The mine has been using the machine, a 15-t payload loader, as part of ongoing plans to incorporate new technology at its Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations. This includes the development of an all-electric equipment fleet at the Onaping Depth project.

The Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations have played a significant role in the development of the R1700 XE, hosting a proof-of-concept trial of a battery-electric R1300 LHD at one of the mines where the machine ran in trials alongside its diesel equivalent. Caterpillar used the insight gained from this testing to develop the commercial R1700 XE.

The R1700 XE is rated with a 24,190 kg lift and tilt breakout, and, according to Caterpillar, features a battery-electric design that delivers superior productivity in underground applications with the benefits of minimal heat and no engine exhaust emissions. It offers an 18 km/h top speed.

It is designed to work with the Cat MEC500 Mobile Equipment Charger, a 1,656 kg (2,037 kg with optional skid) portable charger that, Caterpillar says, eliminates the need for regular battery handling and swapping, allowing for more efficient charging and production. The MEC500 offers a 500 kW capability at a range of 300-1,000 V and up to 700 Amps. The adjustable output can be used to trickle charge or quickly charge the R1700 XE – with a single unit delivering a full charge to the R1700 XE in less than 30 minutes or two units in parallel achieving this in less than 20 minutes.

The R1700 XE in Sudbury, working alongside either one or two MEC500s, has clocked more than 11,000 machine hours. During initial test operations, the customer indicated a circa-320,000 kg reduction of CO2 emissions and displayed a more than 10% improvement in speed on grade.

According to Glencore, the R1700 XEs Caterpillar has put out in the field to date have also exhibited lower energy consumption compared with the diesel equivalent – more than 10%, in fact

Speaking at The Electric Mine 2023 conference in Tucson, Arizona, in May, David Rea, VP and General Manager, Caterpillar Inc (pictured at the top), said of the machine: “We’re delivering for our customers improvements in safety, cost, productivity and sustainability.”

Machine availability in these field-follow trials has been helped by an up to 150-minute run time between charges and an average 18.5-minute charge rate with the dual chargers.

According to Glencore, the machines Caterpillar has put out in the field to date have also exhibited lower energy consumption compared with the diesel equivalent – more than 10%, in fact. And, while trials to date have all been in manual mode, Rea said the R1700 XE units in the field could be equipped for teleremote operation and were also “factory ready” for Caterpillar’s fully autonomous loading system.

Operations are being facilitated thanks to some “800 channels of machine data” flowing off the machines to those supporting the loaders, Rea said. This has allowed personnel from Caterpillar and Cat dealers to diagnose problems in the field and optimise the machine’s charging and operating strategies.

While Caterpillar continues to clock up the operating machine hours for its R1700 XE, it is also in the process of developing its first battery-electric truck.

“We’re not just stopping at the loader; we also need a truck to go alongside that loader,” Rea said in Tucson, adding that this would be a three-pass match for the R1700 XE – therefore, a truck boasting at least a 45-t payload.

Rea confirmed the new truck would be charged by the MEC500, but the company was working on both a fast charge and battery swap option for the vehicle.

“Our alliance with Newmont is leading the development of this truck,” Rea said, referencing a strategic alliance Caterpillar and Newmont announced in 2021 to deliver “26 first-of-a-kind battery-electric autonomous vehicles in both an underground and open pit operation by 2027”.

This agreement involves the introduction of these vehicles to Cripple Creek and Victor (open pit) and Tanami (underground) in USA and Australia, respectively.

“The first deployment of this [battery-electric] truck will be at Newmont Tanami,” Rea confirmed at the event.

First of its kind Net Zero Standard devised for diversified mining sector

Climate Action 100+, which calls itself the world’s largest investor engagement initiative on climate change, has released a first of its kind “Net Zero Standard” for diversified mining companies such as Anglo American, BHP, Glencore, Rio Tinto, South32, Teck Resources and Vale.

The new standard aims to help investors assess the progress of diversified mining companies as they move towards net zero, providing them with robust tools to independently and consistently assess these companies’ transition plans, in order to understand their transition risk and support their engagement efforts.

Designed to complement the sector-neutral Climate Action 100+ Net Zero Company Benchmark, the standard will provide a transparent, systematic and evidence-backed engagement tool, giving Climate Action 100+ signatories and the wider investor landscape the metrics most specific to this important, but complex, sector, the organisation says.

“The Net Zero Standard for Diversified Mining reflects the outcome of extensive consultation with investors, mining companies themselves and other key stakeholders,” it said, adding that a final consultation on a draft of the standard was conducted in the June quarter before the final release.

As part of this development, the organisation has devised a set of metrics that diversified mining companies engaged with under Climate Action 100+ will be assessed against, and the scoring methodology that will be used. These metrics are additional to the Climate Action 100+ Net Zero Company Benchmark.

Additionally, a document called Investor Expectations for Diversified Mining has been published that, the organisation says, fleshes out the standard with background and rationale behind the metrics found in the standard itself.

The metrics laid out in both documents will now be piloted by assessing selected miners with the objective of testing their practicality. Feedback from these pilots will be used to further refine the metrics into a final list, with which it is expected public assessments will be made. These assessment results (as well as the narrative and context provided in the Investor Expectations) will bring impactful insights to engagement conversations, the organisation says.

The list of Climate Action 100+ companies that will be assessed with the standard include Anglo American, ANTAM, BHP, Glencore, Grupo México, Rio Tinto, South32, Teck Resources, Vale, Vedanta.

Rebecca Mikula-Wright, Chief Executive Officer, Investor Group on Climate Change, says: “The world’s leading miners are already shifting their businesses to help the world decarbonise, but some are just making claims that aren’t backed by reality. This new standard will help investors and governments separate the greenwashers from the companies that will have sustainable businesses in a net zero world.”

Laura Hillis, Church of England Pensions Board, added: “Investors often have exposure not only to the mining sector, but to many other sectors that are underpinned and enabled by mining. For example, the autos, property, steel and manufacturing sectors are highly dependent on the commodities produced by miners. By focusing on the strategic role of mining in the net zero transition, we can boost the resilience of our overall portfolio. This standard provides an ambitious but credible framework for investors and mining companies to ensure this critical sector supports a just and orderly transition to net-zero, and it raises the bar at a crucial time in this essential global economic transformation.”

COSOL strengthens Glencore ties with new asset management contract at Koniambo

COSOL Limited has announced a new strategic contract with Glencore’s 49%-owned Koniambo Nickel SAS (Koniambo) project in New Caledonia, worth an initial A$4 million ($2.7 million).

The initial 12-month contract will contribute positively to the company’s 2023 financial year earnings, the company said.

COSOL will provide Koniambo with asset management services on-site and at a new remote operations centre in Brisbane, and is a result of a COSOL’s strategic plan to offer this service to the wider market, it said.

This new contract builds on COSOL’s existing relationship with Glencore across the globe, delivering operational efficiencies and material cost savings.

Koniambo will also become the project for COSOL’s Asset Management as a Service (and will lead to future annuity revenue streams), which allows owners of asset intensive networks and operations to optimise their asset fleet, drive efficiencies, save money and remove waste, COSOL says.

As part of the contract, COSOL will establish an Asset Reliability Centre in Brisbane where a major focus will be on improving equipment reliability and master data across critical processes to enable effective asset management for the joint venture operation.

COSOL will use its proprietary software platform and asset optimisation solutions to further add value to Koniambo in delivering this critical capability.

AIMEX 2023 to illustrate the mining sector’s transition to a net-zero future

Australia’s longest-running mining event will return in September this year, with Asia-Pacific’s International Mining Exhibition (AIMEX*) 2023 set to bring together decision makers, experts and suppliers determined to change the face of the mining industry through technology, collaboration and radical improvements in efficiency and productivity.

From September 5-7, AIMEX attendees will gather at Sydney Showground to meet colleagues at networking events, discover innovative new products at the wide-ranging exhibition and drive the sector’s decarbonisation dialogue forward thanks to the event’s free-to-attend conference series.

Events like AIMEX always have a strong focus on mining’s contribution to the Australian economy, as well as a collaborative approach to knowledge sharing, according to event organisers. Stephen Galilee, CEO of industry body NSW Mining, believes the long-awaited AIMEX 2023 will live up to these standards.

“Mining is critical to the New South Wales economy, providing direct jobs for over 40,000 people while supporting thousands more jobs in more than 7,300 mining supplier businesses in NSW,” he said. “Australia is known for its mining expertise, our professionalism, and our commitment to safety. This strong track record means our highly skilled people, our technology, and our services are utilised by many mining operations around the world.”

Galilee added: “With hundreds of local and international mining industry suppliers expected to attend, attendance at AIMEX 2023 is a great opportunity to showcase the best our industry has to offer, including the latest developments in global mining technologies, and to share knowledge and experiences across the sector.”

As part of this knowledge-sharing and connection-driven agenda, the event will feature a free-to-attend conference, with themes including decarbonisation, technical innovation and waste management. AIMEX Exhibition Director, Samantha Martin, says conversations like these are essential for industry’s future.

“Australia’s transition to a green energy future will not happen without mining and METS and, while the country is well placed to lead this transition, innovation and collaboration across the supply chain have never been more important,” she said.

“Mining companies are no longer just looking for products that boost efficiency or lower costs, they also need products and services that meet their environmental, social and governance (ESG) obligations. AIMEX will illustrate the sector’s transition to a net-zero future with a dedicated product zone that will be complemented by key topics in the AIMEX Conference program.”

At AIMEX, there’s also opportunities for suppliers and potential employees to engage directly with major producers via the Mining House Pavilion, with Yancoal, Glencore and Whitehaven Coal already confirmed to attend.

Whitehaven Coal’s Executive General Manager of People & Culture, Daniel Cram, says that participating in AIMEX 2023 was an easy decision, given the quality of attendees and the chances to really have deep conversations around the future of industry.

“In such a tight talent market, it makes sense to maximise our opportunities to connect with both potential employees and suppliers, and AIMEX is a really convenient way to do exactly that,” he said.

AIMEX will feature a truly global cohort of suppliers with over 250 companies exhibiting, including Bosch Rexroth, Alfagomma, Altra Motion, Gates, IFM Efector, CR Mining, Bend-tech Group and Austdac. New features at AIMEX 2023 are the Transformative Technology Pavilion, showcasing exponential technologies, such as augmented reality, virtual reality and data utilisation, and the Decarbonisation Zone, featuring smart and sustainable solutions that meet the sector’s ESG obligations.

*International Mining is a media sponsor of AIMEX 2023

ABT to develop ‘failsafe brake’ for Glencore Australia’s Volvo FMX haul trucks

Advanced Braking Technology says it has entered into an agreement with Glencore Australia to develop a heavy vehicle Sealed Integrated Braking System (SIBS) for the Volvo FMX haul truck.

The design solution will include intellectual property developed by ABT and related to the proven and trusted “failsafe brake” for light commercial vehicles, which has been used extensively within both the Australian and international mining sectors over many years, ABT says.

ABT has agreed to undertake product development works exclusively with Glencore to adapt the SIBS for use on the Volvo FMX mining specification haul truck by developing, manufacturing, producing and installing prototype units for validation and testing in Glencore mining operations.

At the completion of the development, validation and testing, and, subject to mutually agreeable commercial terms, it is intended to progress to low-rate production stage for use in Glencore mining operations.

As Glencore is contributing to the development of the product, it is granted an exclusivity period and certain rights to priority of supply, with the intention of progressing to a commercial roll out phase, which, in turn, has the capacity to generate meaningful revenue for ABT.

Further, ABT may commence negotiations with other customers for supply of the product following the end of the exclusivity period with Glencore.

ABT CEO, Andrew Booth, said: “The signing of this agreement achieves a strategic objective of diversifying our SIBS vehicle type applications in which we provide innovative braking solutions to Glencore and other international heavy vehicle fleet operators.”

The potential value for the development stage of the ABT Glencore joint product development contract is up to A$2.8 million ($1.9 million) over a term of 12 months and contingent upon the successful completion by ABT of project and development milestones, the company said.

Booth added: “We are very proud at ABT to be working with Glencore to deliver a world-class heavy vehicle brake solution designed for heavy ruggedised industrial applications. The signing of this contract marks a key milestone in the company’s development and future strategy.”

Wallis Drilling wins three-year contract extension at Glencore’s Murrin Murrin op

Glencore has signed a three-year contract extension with Wallis Drilling to retain the drilling company’s services at Murrin Murrin in Western Australia’s Goldfields region, which will extend Wallis’ long-standing relationship at the Glencore-owned operation to over a quarter of a century, the service provider says.

Wallis Drilling is a local Western Australian business, founded in 1965 by Marty and Jamie Wallis, which has grown to over 300 employees, but remains a family run business today.

Wallis has provided services to Glencore’s Murrin Murrin operation for 24 years and the contract extension, running through to September 2025, will see Wallis Drilling continue to provide RC grade control and blasthole drilling at Murrin Murrin.

Murrin Murrin is a nickel-cobalt mining and processing operation between Leonora and Laverton in the north-eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia and currently provides work for over 1,000 employees and contractors.

Wallis Drilling Manager, Wayne Waters, oversees the Murrin Murrin contract, with his role previously being occupied by Grant Wallis who is now the Chief Operating Officer of the business.

Waters said: “Murrin Murrin, like Wallis, understands the importance of establishing and nurturing long-term relationships to create stability, which has been exemplified by the latest contract extension.

“This business certainty is beneficial to Wallis, but it also gives us the capacity to plan for the long-term on site at Murrin Murrin and deliver the best operational outcomes.”

Grant Wallis said: “Our work at Murrin Murrin has helped us grow from a small family business to one of Australia’s largest privately-owned minerals drilling companies, while still remaining true to our local WA roots.”

Nic Fenner, Head of Mining Technical Services at Murrin Murrin, said: “We are very proud to help grow local Western Australia businesses, like Wallis Drilling, and help be a part in their success stories.

“The strong relationship between Murrin Murrin Operations and Wallis has been underpinned by our shared values and culture. Murrin Murrin and Wallis both have many long serving employees with some even being the second generation in their family to work at Murrin Murrin.”

BluVein’s underground dynamic charging developments accelerating

BluVein, after officially receiving agreement and project approval from all project partners, has initiated the third phase of technology development and testing of its underground mine electrification solution, BluVein1, it says.

BluVein is a joint venture between Australia-based mining innovator Olitek and Sweden-based electric highways developer Evias. The company has devised a patented slotted (electric) rail system, which uses an enclosed electrified e-rail system mounted above or beside the mining vehicle together with the BluVein hammer that connects the electric vehicle to the rail.

The system, which is OEM agnostic, provides power for driving the vehicle, typically a mine truck, and charging the truck’s batteries while the truck is hauling load up the ramp and out of an underground mine.

The underground-focused development under BluVein is coined BluVein1, with the open-pit development looking to offer dynamic charging for ultra-class haul trucks called BluVein XL. This latter project was recently named among eight winning ideas selected to progress to the next stage of the Charge On Innovation Challenge.

The purpose of the third phase of the BluVein1 technology development is to:

  • Conduct a full-scale refined hammer (collector) and arm design and testing with a second prototype;
  • Execute early integration works with mining partners and OEMs;
  • Provide full-power dynamic energy transfer for a vehicle demonstration on a local test site; and
  • Confirm a local test site for development.

IM understands that the company is close to sealing an agreement for a local test site where it will carry out trials of the dynamic charging technology.

James Oliver, CEO, BluVein, said the third phase represents an essential final pre-pilot stage of BluVein1.

“It excites me that the BluVein solution is becoming an industry reality,” he said. “The faster BluVein1 is ready for deployment, the better for our partners and the mining industry globally.”

BluVein recently entered a Memorandum of Understanding with Epiroc, where the Sweden-based OEM will provide the first ever diesel-to-battery-converted Minetruck MT42 underground truck for pilot testing on the slotted electric rail system from BluVein.

“This MoU also ensures that we are designing and developing the system into a real-world BEV for full-scale live testing and demonstration on a pilot site in 2023,” BluVein says.

In addition to Epiroc, IM understands BluVein is working with Sandvik, MacLean, Volvo and Scania, among others, on preparing demonstration vehicles for the BluVein1 pilot site.

The BluVein1 consortium welcomed South32 into the project in May, joining Northern Star Resources, Newcrest Mining, Vale, Glencore, Agnico Eagle, AngloGold Ashanti and BHP, all of which have signed a consortium project agreement that aims to enable final system development and the construction of a technology demonstration pilot site in Australia.

The project is being conducted through the consortium model by Rethink Mining, powered by the Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC), which CMIC says is a unique collaboration structure that fast-tracks mining innovation technologies such as BluVein and CAHM (Conjugate Anvil Hammer Mill).

Carl Weatherell, Executive Director and CEO, CMIC/President Rethink Mining Ventures, said: “With the urgent need to decarbonise, CMIC’s approach to co-develop and co-deploy new platform technologies is the way to accelerate to net zero greenhouse gases. The BluVein consortium is a perfect example of how to accelerate co-development of new technology platforms.”

Oliver concluded: “The BluVein1 consortium is a great reminder that many hands make light work, and through this open collaboration with OEMs and mining companies, we’re moving faster together towards a cleaner, greener future for mining.”