Tag Archives: Hatch

CMIC-backed novel comminution technology hits commissioning milestone

The Canada Mining Innovation Council’s (CMIC) Conjugate Anvil Hammer Mill (CAHM) and MonoRoll platform technology project has reached a new milestone with hot commissioning of the MonoRoll at COREM’s testing facility in Quebec, Canada.

CAHM is a platform technology advancing two technologies in parallel where both designs break particles in a highly efficient thin particle bed. CAHM, according to CMIC, provides a more efficient alternative to high pressure grinding rolls and SAG mills, while the MonoRoll variant is designed for finer grinds and to replace inefficient rod and ball mills.

In a recent post, CMIC said hot commissioning of the MonoRoll at COREM’s testing facility, using some of the 300 t of ore contributed by Agnico Eagle Mines, was now complete. Although the MonoRoll is being tested using hard rock, there is also significant interest from the iron ore, cement and aggregate industries, CMIC says.

It added: “Fabrication of the CAHM machine is underway and if the optimised discrete element method modelling results hold, we are confident that the MonoRoll and the CAHM are on track to achieve the following significant benefits in ore grinding:

  • “Reduce energy consumption by an estimated 50% compared to best available technology;
  • “Eliminate grinding media;
  • “Increase ore feed reduction ratio; and
  • “Simplify the comminution circuits.”

CMIC is leading a consortium including experts in comminution, product development, engineering and testing as well as six major hard-rock mining companies guiding the effort and participating as potential first adopters. Included among the consortium is CTTI, Hatch, Glencore Canada – XPS (Expert Process Solutions), COREM, Teck, Agnico Eagle, Newmont and Kinross.

The MonoRoll technology is one of only six finalists in Impact Canada’s Crush It! Challenge. Launched in October 2018, Crush It! challenged Canadian innovators to deliver game-changing solutions for cleaner, more efficient rock processing.

CMIC said: “The MonoRoll project is the only finalist developing a novel grinding mill, and if the project wins the C$5 million ($3.9 million) Grand Prize, the funds would be used to engineer a large-scale machine to test in active mining operations.”

Hatch to commercialise CRC ORE’s Grade Engineering services

CRC ORE says it has taken an exciting step forward with Hatch, signing a deal that allows the multidisciplinary management, engineering and development consultancy to commercialise its Grade Engineering® Consulting Services.

Developed by the Brisbane-based Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction (CRC ORE), Grade Engineering enables miners to reduce their energy, water and waste signatures while enhancing the productivity and profitability of their operations, according to CRC ORE.

It is an integrated approach to coarse rejection that matches a suite of separation technologies to ore specific characteristics and compares the net value of rejecting low value components in current feed streams with existing mine plans as part of a system-view.

Grade Engineering makes it possible to more efficiently treat lower grade ores and waste to extract valuable minerals, significantly increasing the life of mines and reducing their environmental footprint.

Achievable outcomes for mines, when deploying Grade Engineering at production scale, include significantly improved return on investment and lower capital intensity, according to CRC ORE.

BHP recently engaged CRC ORE and the Grade Engineering solution at its Olympic Dam mine, in South Australia, a location where the mine is actively examining bulk ore sensing and sorting opportunities.

“As Hatch adopts Grade Engineering and extends its reach into the mining industry, the value of such outcomes will increase for operations, clients and communities globally,” it added.

CRC ORE Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ben Adair (pictured signing the agreement on the left), said: “Hatch is a valued a long-term participant in CRC ORE and has actively championed Grade Engineering and its benefits to the industry. As a CRC ORE innovation, we are pleased that Grade Engineering will continue to be delivered by such a capable and engaged team.”

Dr Adair added: “At CRC ORE, our goal has been to develop our solutions to the highest possible standard and then ensure these are then managed by the most capable practitioners to take them to industry. Hatch is the perfect partner to ensure the long-term future of Grade Engineering.”

Under the terms of the commercialisation arrangement, Hatch will use Grade Engineering Intellectual Property for its consulting services.

Hatch Managing Director Australia and Asia, Jan Kwak (pictured signing the agreement on the right), said it was an honour to provide Grade Engineering consulting services.

“Being able to offer Grade Engineering as service is an exciting and positive step forward for Hatch and the mining industry,” Kwak said. “Grade Engineering enables miners to reduce their energy, water and waste signatures while enhancing the productivity and profitability of their operations.

“It also brings us a step closer to our vision for process intensification.”

The Grade Engineering team at Hatch will be headed by Dr Sevda Dehkhoda who has been working closely with CRC ORE since 2019.

“We look forward to continuing the legacy of CRC ORE by enabling the mining industry to intensify operational performance and minimise environmental footprint of the process by refining less waste,” Dr Dehkhoda said. “Adopting Grade Engineering into Hatch’s end-to-end value chain optimisation service offering strengthens Hatch’s position and its commitment to making positive change for mining operations and their communities.”

To facilitate the transition, CRC ORE’s Grade Engineering team will relocate to Hatch’s Brisbane office, supporting Hatch with current and potential users of Grade Engineering.

Latest Kamoa-Kakula copper studies reaffirm project’s world-class status

The latest economic studies on Ivanhoe Mines and Zijin Mining Group’s majority-owned Kamoa-Kakula project in the Democratic Republic of Congo have indicated the asset could become the world’s second largest copper mining complex.

First production at Kamoa-Kakula is less than a year away, but the project partners have continued with a series of economic studies that emphasise the world-class nature of the orebodies within their control.

The headline maker is the results of a preliminary economic assessment that has evaluated an integrated, multi-staged development to achieve a 19 Mt/y production rate at the mine, with peak annual copper production of more than 800,000 t.

At the same time, a prefeasibility study (PFS) has been carried out to look at mining 1.6 Mt/y from the Kansoko mine, in addition to 6 Mt/y already planned to be mined from Kakula, to fill a 7.6 Mt/y processing plant at Kakula.

A definitive feasibility study (DFS) has also evaluated the stage-one, 6 Mt/y plan at Kakula, which is currently being constructed and is less than a year away from producing first copper, according to Ivanhoe Co-Chair, Robert Friedland.

While the operation looks to have the scale of a world-class asset, it will also have top ranking ‘green’ credentials, according to Friedland.

“The Kakula mine has been designed to produce the world’s most environmentally-responsible copper, which is crucial for today’s new generation of environmentally- and socially-focused investors,” he said.

“Zijin shares our commitment to build the new mines at Kamoa-Kakula to industry-leading standards in terms of resource efficiency, water and energy usage, and minimising emissions. We are blessed with ultra-high copper grades in thick, shallow and flat-lying orebodies – allowing for large-scale, highly-productive, mechanised underground mining operations; and access to abundant clean, sustainable hydro electricity to power our mines – providing us with a distinct advantage in our goal to become the world’s ‘greenest’ copper miner and be among the world’s lowest greenhouse gas emitters per unit of copper produced.”

The project recently retained Hatch of Mississauga, Canada, to independently audit the greenhouse gas intensity metrics for the copper that will be produced at Kamoa-Kakula.

The Kamoa-Kakula Integrated Development Plan (IDP) 2020, as the companies refer to it, builds on the results of the previous studies announced in February 2019.

DFS to 6 Mt/y

The new DFS incorporates the advancement of development and construction activities to date, and has once again confirmed the outstanding economics of the first phase Kakula Mine, Ivanhoe said.

It evaluates the development of a stage one, 6 Mtpa underground mine and surface processing complex at the Kakula deposit with a capacity of 7.6 Mt/y, built in two modules of 3.8 Mt/y, with the first already under advanced construction (see photo). It comes with an internal rate of return of 77% and project payback period of 2.3 years.

The first module of 3.8 Mt/y commences production in the September quarter of 2021, and the second in the March quarter of 2023. The life-of-mine production scenario provides for 110 Mt to be mined at an average grade of 5.22% Cu, producing 8.5 Mt of high-grade copper concentrate.

The Kakula 2020 DFS mine access is via twin declines on the north side and a single decline on the south side of the deposit. One of the north declines will serve as the primary mine access, while the other decline is for the conveyor haulage system, which was recently commissioned.

The primary ore handling system will include a perimeter conveyor system connected to truck load-out points along the north side of the deposit. The perimeter conveyor system will terminate at the main conveyor decline.

The mining method for the Kakula deposit is primarily drift-and-fill using paste backfill (around 99%); with the exception of a room-and-pillar area close to the north declines, which will be mined in the early years of production. The paste backfill system will use a paste plant located on surface connected to a distribution system that includes a surface pipe network connected to bore holes located at each connection drive on the north side of the orebody, the company says.

The Kakula concentrator design incorporates a run-of-mine stockpile, followed by primary cone crushers operating in closed circuit with vibrating screens to produce 100% passing 50 mm material that is stockpiled.

At the end of August, the project’s pre-production surface ore stockpiles totalled an estimated 671,000 t grading 3.36% Cu, including 116,000 t of high-grade ore grading 6.08% Cu.

The crushed ore is fed to the high pressure grinding rolls operating in closed circuit with wet screening, at a product size of 80% (P80) passing 4.5 mm, which is gravity fed to the milling circuit.

The milling circuit incorporates two stages of ball milling in series in closed circuit with cyclone clusters for further size reduction and classification to a target grind size of 80% passing 53 micrometres (µm).

The milled slurry is pumped to the rougher and scavenger flotation circuit where the high-grade, or fast-floating rougher concentrate, and medium-grade, or slow-floating scavenger concentrate, are separated for further upgrading. The rougher concentrate is upgraded in the low entrainment high-grade cleaner stage to produce a high-grade concentrate.

The medium-grade or scavenger concentrate together with the tailings from the high-grade cleaner stage and the recycled scavenger recleaner tailings are combined and further upgraded in the scavenger cleaner circuit. The concentrate produced from the scavenger cleaner circuit, representing roughly 12% of the mill feed, is re-ground to a P80 of 10 µm prior to final cleaning in the low entrainment scavenger recleaner stage.

The scavenger recleaner concentrate is then combined with the high-grade cleaner concentrate to form final concentrate. The final concentrate is then thickened and pumped to the concentrate filter. Final filtered concentrate is then bagged for shipment to market.

The scavenger tailings and scavenger cleaner tailings are combined and thickened prior to being pumped to the backfill plant and/or to the tailings storage facility. Backfill will use approximately half of the tailings, with the remaining amount pumped to the tailings storage facility.

Based on extensive test work, the concentrator is expected to achieve an overall recovery of 85%, producing a very high-grade concentrate grading 57% copper. Kakula also benefits from having very low deleterious elements, including arsenic levels of 0.02%.

7.6 Mt/y PFS

The PFS evaluating mining 1.6 Mt/y from the Kansoko mine envisages an average annual production rate of 331,000 t of copper at a total cash cost of $1.23/lb copper for the first 10 years of operations, and annual copper production of up to 427,000 t by year four. This comes with an internal rate of return of 69% and project payback period of 2.5 years, according to Ivanhoe.

Development would see Kakula-Kansoko benefit from an ultra-high, average feed grade of 6.2% Cu over the first five years of operations, and 4.5% Cu on average over a 37-year mine life.

There are currently two mining crews at Kansoko, in addition to the 10 mining crews (three owner crews and seven contractor crews) currently at Kakula, with the ability to increase this number to fast-track the development of Kansoko, Ivanhoe said.

19 Mt/y option

The Kamoa-Kakula 2020 PEA presents initial production from Kakula at a rate of 6 Mt/y, followed by subsequent, separate underground mining operations at the nearby Kansoko, Kakula West and Kamoa North mines, along with the construction of a 1 Mt/y of concentrate direct-to-blister smelter. The smelter section of the study saw China Nerin Engineering act as the main engineering consultant with Outotec providing design and costing for propriety equipment.

The Kamoa North Area comprises five separate mines that will be developed as resources are mined out elsewhere to maintain the production rate at up to 19 Mt/y, with an overall life in excess of 40 years, Ivanhoe says.

For this integrated 19 Mt/y option, the PEA envisages $700 million in remaining initial capital costs, with future expansion at Kansoko, Kakula West and Kamoa North funded by cash flows from the Kakula mine, resulting in an internal rate of return of 56.2% and a payback period of 3.6 years.

This shows the potential for average annual production of 501,000 t of copper at a total cash cost of $1.07/lb copper during the first 10 years of operations and production of 805,000 t/y of copper by year eight, Ivanhoe said.

“At this future production rate, Kamoa-Kakula would rank as the world’s second largest copper mine,” the company said.

Alamos’ Island III goes on sinking mission for more gold

Having weighed five scenarios for a Phase III expansion at the Island gold mine, in Ontario, Canada, Alamos Gold is proceeding with a plan to carry out a blind sink down to the 1,373 m level, build a paste plant, and expand the mill and tailings facility at the operation to boost production.

The company is no stranger to shaft sinking; its Young-Davidson mine, also in Ontario, has just had its Northgate shaft commissioned after Cementation used large diameter raiseboring technology to establish it as part of an engineer, procure and construct contract.

Yet, the shaft sinking route was not a foregone conclusion, with three of the five scenarios involving ramp haulage.

The Phase III Expansion Study, carried out with assistance from Hatch, Cementation, Airfinders, Golder, Halyard, SRK and DRC Estimating, looked at these scenarios using Deswik planning software to find further growth at the mine.

Having added 900,000 oz of the yellow metal to its reserve base already this year and hit a rate of 1,240 t/d in the March quarter (ahead of the nameplate 1,200 t/d rate), the company was keen to leverage these ounces at the same time as come up with a sound economic proposition for expanding and extending the mine.

Of the five scenarios, three involved ramp haulage (two retaining the 1,200 t/d capacity and one at 1,600 t/d) and two would see a shaft installed (at 1,600 t/d or 2,000 t/d). All apart from one option included the addition of a paste plant.

The company settled on expanding throughput to 2,000 t/d, from 1,200 t/d, through a shaft and paste plant build, explaining that this option presented the best economics.

As a result, the Phase III expansion will involve an initial blind sink down to 1,373 m, that new paste plant, and an expansion of the mill and tailings facility.

These investments, which would see the mine life double to 16 years from the eight years currently outlined in the reserve base, are covered in the total capital of $1.07 billion, which the company says is offset by the lower sustaining capital and operating costs of this scenario versus all that were evaluated.

Following the completion of the shaft construction in 2025, it is envisaged the operation will transition from trucking ore and waste to skipping ore and waste to surface through the new shaft infrastructure.

Output would rise to 236,000 oz/y starting in 2025, 72% higher than the mid-point of previously issued guidance for the mine in 2020, while mine-site all-in sustaining costs would fall to $534/oz, a 30% drop on the 2020 guidance.

Combined, this made for an after-tax net present value (NPV) of $1.02 billion at a 5% discount rate, and an after-tax internal rate of return of 17%, using a base case gold price assumption of $1,450/oz.

“These are also the lowest costs of any scenario evaluated reflecting the significant productivity improvements, decreased ventilation requirements, increased automation, and higher throughput rates associated with the shaft,” the company said.

While the company did not spell out what automation elements would be included in this expansion, on a webcast discussing the results, Chris Bostwick, VP, Technical Services, included details of an LTE network underground installation at Island as one continuous improvement project for 2020.

An Alamos Gold spokesperson later confirmed to IM that the LTE network was in the process of being installed with the project expected to be completed by the end of this year. “The network is primarily being installed for voice communications and real-time data gathering,” the spokesperson said.

Asked whether it was a pre-cursor to the use of autonomous haulage at the operation ahead of the expansion, the spokesperson replied: “We don’t have any firm plans for increased automation of our mobile equipment currently, but are actively monitoring the progress with the technology and this remains a potential down the road.”

With regards to automation within the expanded mine scenario, the only aspect currently being considered is the automation or tele-remote operation of the rock breakers and skipping, the spokesperson confirmed.

“Some of the trucking requirements could be automated down the road as noted above,” the spokesperson said. “The shaft expansion will make the entire operation more automated and productive.”

John A McCluskey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alamos Gold, reviewing the study, said Island Gold had proven to be a “tremendous acquisition” for Alamos.

“We acquired Island Gold in 2017 at a cost of approximately $600 million when it had 1.8 Moz of mineral reserves and resources,” he said. “This high-grade deposit has more than doubled to 3.7 Moz and we expect further growth yet.”

While the planned expansion would make Island more profitable through increased production and lower costs, it would also “best position the operation to benefit from additional exploration success”, he said.

Long-hole open stoping will continue to be utilised as the primary mining method at Island, however, increased development and key infrastructure changes including the addition of a paste plant and shaft will allow for mining rates to increase to 2,000 t/d, it said.

The addition of paste fill underground will allow for faster stope cycling, thereby supporting higher mining rates and providing increased geotechnical stability, according to Alamos. It will also increase mining recovery, resulting in an additional 100,000 oz of gold recovered over the life of mine (from existing pillars). This represented an in-situ value of $145 million at a gold price of $1,450/oz.

The paste plant will have a capacity of 2,000 t/d and capital cost of $34 million with the plant expected to be completed in the December quarter of 2023, Alamos said.

When it comes to the shaft options, which Alamos Gold evaluated with the help of Cementation, it was decided that a conventional blind sink methodology would be used to provide “improved schedule reliability with minimal impact on existing operations”.

A combined raisebore from the 840 m level, and blind sink option below the 840 m level was evaluated, however, this option would significantly impact existing operations, Alamos said. “The cuttings from the raisebore in the upper mine, and waste generated from the conventional sink in the lower mine, would displace underground throughput capacity and significantly reduce mining rates below 1,200 t/d by as much as 400 t/d over the next several years,” it said.

The settled-on option will see a 5 m diameter concrete-lined shaft constructed with a steel head frame. The shaft will house two 12 t skips in dedicated compartments for ore and waste movement and a double-deck service cage for the transport of personnel and materials.

The company estimated an overall shaft sinking rate of around 9.6 ft (2.9 m)/d, which included a ramp-up period.

While the shaft will be sunk to an initial depth of 1,373 m, the hoisting plant will be designed for an ultimate depth of 2,000 m providing flexibility to accommodate future exploration success, the company said.

At the initial depth of 1,373 m, the shaft has a capacity of 4,500 t/d, more than sufficient to accommodate the peak mining rates of 3,300 t/d (ore and waste), according to Alamos.

The underground ore and waste handling and loading pocket will be a conventional configuration like that of Young-Davidson, the company said.

Once skipped to surface, ore will be trucked to the expanded mill circuit.

On top of the payback being sweeter for the shaft expansion, ventilation requirements are also lower than under the ramp scenarios given the significantly smaller mobile fleet, Alamos said. This allows the shaft to serve as the only new required fresh air source.

The total construction capital for the shaft installation including all supporting infrastructure is anticipated to be $232 million.

Further, 56% of tailings will be placed underground reducing tailings dam raise requirements, a capital saving of $13 million, according to Alamos.

The mining rate ramp-up to 2,000 t/d after the shaft expansion will be supported by a total of five 42 t haul trucks. This compares with a peak of 18 haul trucks required to sustain ramp haulage at 1,200 t/d and 25 haul trucks for ramp haulage at 1,600 t/d, the company said.

“This contributes to the lower ventilation requirements with the shaft expansion, and significantly lower diesel usage and greenhouse gas emissions,” the company said.

The mill expansion will include upgrading the crushing circuit, adding a second parallel ball mill, and a new elution and carbon in pulp (CIP) circuit with carbon screens. The total cost of the mill expansion is expected to be around $40 million.

The flowsheet of the new circuit includes upgrades and expansions for the following major process operations:

  • New vibratory grizzly feeder;
  • New primary crusher;
  • New fine ore stockpile and conveyors;
  • Additional primary ball mill;
  • Primary ball mill screen for both ball mill circuits;
  • Existing thickener converted to high rate thickener;
  • Two additional leach tanks;
  • New elution plant and kiln (ADR); and
  • Tailing pumps.

Mill recoveries are expected to average 96.5% over the life of mine, consistent with the historical performance of the existing operation, it said.

To accommodate the increased electricity requirements with the larger mill and shaft, the power line to site will be upgraded at a cost of $14 million, it added.

Despite the backfill options with the envisaged paste plant, an expansion of the existing tailings impoundment area is underway and required under all scenarios to accommodate the growth in the deposit over the last several years, Alamos said.

“With two planned future raises beyond 2020 and the addition of the paste plant, the tailings facility has sufficient capacity to accommodate existing mineral reserves and resources,” it added.

Anglo, BHP, FMG and Hatch back green hydrogen developments

Anglo American, BHP, Fortescue Metals and Hatch say they have formed a Green Hydrogen Consortium to look at ways of using green sources of hydrogen to accelerate decarbonisation within their operations globally.

Primarily, the consortium aims to collectively help to eliminate the obstacles to the adoption of green hydrogen technologies and encourage innovative application, they said.

“The goal is to identify opportunities to develop green hydrogen technologies for the resources sector and other heavy industries, and provide a mechanism for suppliers and operators to contribute to and engage with these development activities,” the four firms said.

The member companies of the Green Hydrogen Consortium stated that they are technology agnostic and are considering a range of options to progress decarbonisation of their operational greenhouse gas emissions, according to a fact sheet issued by the consortium.

“Given the range of applications for green hydrogen and the cost challenges associated with it, the consortium was formed to work together to seek to de-risk its application and enable acceleration of cost reductions,” the partners said. The consortium is expected to be in place for three years.

While Anglo American is currently developing the world’s largest hydrogen-powered mine haul truck for testing at the Mogalakwena platinum group metals site, in South Africa, Fortescue already has a partnership in place with CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, on the development of hydrogen technologies.

Some of the proposed activities of the consortium include undertaking research, technology and supply chain development, and piloting green hydrogen technologies to seek to de-risk and accelerate the technologies, the partners said.

“The companies involved in the consortium are committed to reducing their respective operational greenhouse gas emissions and to working collaboratively with others – including customers and suppliers – to find technological or other innovative solutions for the emissions associated with the use of their products and in their supply chains,” they said.

Hatch, the lone engineering company in the consortium, has been appointed as the Project Management and Governance Facilitator of the consortium.

Glencore Tech draws McArthur River parallels at Ozernoye polymetallic project

Glencore Technology says it and Hatch are helping the Ozernoye project in Buryatia, Russia, come up with a process flowsheet suited to the complex composition of ore at the polymetallic asset.
The mining and processing operation would produce zinc and lead concentrates.

Ozernoye’s Grigory Koldunov said the company is currently preparing the area for the Ozernoye polymetallic mine and concentrator in the Yeravninsky region, 60 km away from the Sosnovo-Ozerskoye regional centre.

“We’ll start mining works and stripping waste by November. Expected stripping volume by the end of the year will exceed 350 000 m3 of waste,” Koldunov said. In November, the company will begin the construction of temporary roads and a tailings storage facility.

Glencore Technology’s Adam Price said the ore mineralogy at the site was remarkably similar to Glencore’s McArthur River zinc-lead-silver mine, which originally brought about the need to create the IsaMill ultrafine grinding technology (an example pictured) – an innovation that turns 25 this year.

“Ozernoye’s mineralogy is complex, and it’s going to need the right flowsheet to improve the recovery and concentrate quality and therefore ensure the economic viability of the project,” Price said. The fine-grained lead-zinc ore at the Australia operation made for an obvious benchmark, he said.

This year, Ozernoye has been embarking on mining, capital works and construction of infrastructure facilities. Major construction of the plant’s facilities is planned for 2020-2022 and the company plans to reach design capacity of 8 Mt/y in 2024.

In September, Glencore Technology worked with Hatch, AMC and Ozernoye to finish a geotechnical drilling program, test work and analysis. The camp was recommissioned and the company began clearing the site for construction. Capital mine development and drill and blast works have started to provide contractors with structural materials and to begin stripping, according to Glencore Technology.

“But the main challenge with the Ozernoye deposit is the complex composition of the ore,” Glencore Technology said. “The task of the current geotechnical and test work program is to design and develop the flowsheet.”

Glencore’s McArthur River Mine in northern Australia contains a complex ore that remained uneconomical until the IsaMill was created to produce a steep particle size distribution without needing internal screens or closed circuit cyclones, according to Glencore Technology. The horizontal plug-flow design prevented short circuiting and provided for a reliable and easy to operate technology.

The original 1994 IsaMills are still operating at McArthur River Mine, but the IsaMill technology has been refined to occupy a small footprint, very high availability and significant energy efficiency, Glencore Technology says.

Noront, Hatch and Algoma Steel sign Ring of Fire pact

Noront Resources has announced agreements with Algoma Steel and Hatch to facilitate development of the Ring of Fire mineral district and the associated Ontario-based processing facilities, in the north of the Canadian province.

“Noront is partnering with two Ontario-based industrial and engineering giants to advance Ring of Fire development,” said Alan Coutts, President and CEO of Noront Resources. “This is truly a ‘made in Ontario’ collaboration on one of the most economically and socially important projects our province has seen.”

The agreement with Algoma provides Noront with a five-year, renewable option to lease a brownfield property in Sault Ste. Marie for a period of 99 years. Noront plans to design, construct and operate a ferrochrome production facility which will service the company’s Ring of Fire chromite deposits. This agreement provides Noront and Algoma with an opportunity to re-purpose an existing brownfield location with a view to sharing infrastructure, the exploration company said.

Michael McQuade, CEO Algoma Steel, said his company  viewed the Noront project as a valuable business partnership  and an exciting opportunity for Sault Ste. Marie.

“Our discussions have uncovered numerous economic synergies through the shared use of assets and services, and we look forward to exploring these options further with Noront, the City and the many stakeholder groups who may be engaged in this project,” he said.

In addition, Hatch will perform engineering and project support services for the Eagle’s Nest and Ring of Fire chrome projects as part of a Master Services Agreement, Noront said.

Eagle’s Nest is a nickel, copper, platinum and palladium deposit, while Noront also has chromite deposits including Blackbird, Black Thor, and Big Daddy, all of which are located in the James Bay Lowlands of Ontario.

As part of this collaboration, Hatch will participate as an equity partner with Noront, and form an integrated project management and engineering team to manage development and execution of projects in the Ring of Fire.

Joe Lombard, Hatch’s Global Managing Director of Metals, said: “The Ring of Fire represents a significant opportunity, not only for Noront and Algoma, but also for northern Ontario and local First Nations. We’re excited to be a part of these transformative projects and committed to partnering with Noront to develop innovative solutions that will bring long-term prosperity to the region.”

Today’s agreements mark another step toward a larger goal established by Noront to develop the Ring of Fire in true partnership with local First Nations, contractors, suppliers and the communities of northern Ontario, it said.

Noront previously signed agreements with Marten Falls First Nation and Aroland First Nation, which made both communities Noront shareholders, established ongoing working and communications protocols and created a dialogue regarding mutually beneficial economic development opportunities.

In consideration for entering the term sheet, Noront will issue Algoma 750,000 common shares and 750,000 warrants to purchase common shares, subject to approval from the TSX Venture Exchange.

Pure Gold moves onto engineering stage at Madsen Red Lake

Having recently secured the finance to develop its Madsen Red Lake gold project in Ontario, Canada, Pure Gold Mining has started to secure contractors to build the mine.

The company has awarded the surface engineering and procurement (EP) contract to JDS Energy & Mining in partnership with Hatch and Knight Piesold, while Dumas Mine Contracting has secured the underground mine design engineering contract.

Just last month, Pure Gold Mining secured a $90 million project financing package with Sprott Resource Lending Corp that, on top of money already raised, more than covers the C$95 million ($72 million) in upfront capital required to build the mine. This will be put towards redeveloping the old mine workings, adding additional development levels and investing in a new fleet – much of which could be battery-electric.

With the engagement of its engineering partners, the company says it has commenced construction at Madsen, which is due to produce an average of 80,000 oz/y of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of $787/oz.

“Detailed design work on surface infrastructure, as well as underground electrical distribution, mine ventilation, mine service design and stope optimisation has been initiated, as well as equipment sourcing and the procurement of long lead time items,” the company said.

Pure Gold Mining President and CEO, Darin Labrenz, said: “Madsen began as an exploration concept in late 2014, and has evolved into a multi-million ounce gold deposit that is now under construction as Canada`s highest grade gold development project. Along the way, the team has hit every milestone we set: from first resource estimate, to early conceptual studies, through a comprehensive feasibility study, an agreement with our First Nation partners, and now a fully funded financing package.

“Today, as we commence construction, our project is perfectly timed to benefit from a rising gold market, and looks set to generate well over C$800 million in cumulative pre-tax cash flow with gold currently near C$2,000/oz.”

Pure Gold Mining has also appointed Dimitry Demianyuk as Project Manager, Madsen Red Lake Mine. Demianyuk will work with the VP Operations, Ken Donner, providing engineering management and project management focused on the optimisation of project scope, budget, quality and schedule, Pure Gold said.

Demianyuk is an engineering professional with 15 years of industry experience in mine development at all project stages, having worked for established EPCM firms earlier in his career and then transitioning to specialise in project management and engineering management as part of owner’s teams at Rio Tinto, Frontera Mining, Newcrest Mining, and Nevsun Resources.

Barbara Womersley, meanwhile, has been engaged as a Human Resources Lead for the company.

MGX and PurLucid deploy second advanced wastewater treatment system at oilsands facility

MGX Minerals and engineering partner PurLucid Treatment Solutions have reported a second deployment of an advanced wastewater treatment system is near completion and commissioning is expected shortly.

The system is capable of processing up to 10 m³/h and will significantly reduce greenhouse gases through energy savings on steam generation, according to MGX.

“The technology provides superior treatment outcomes when compared to conventional technology which requires offsite trucking and high cost (due to toxicity) disposal,” MGX said, adding the technology can treat the water in line, under temperature and pressure, without cooling water first. This is a paradigm shift advancement in waste water management and oilsands operations, according to the company.

“This will result in significantly less energy use for water treatment, reduction in greenhouse gases and also eliminate a major operational challenge of a steam assisted gravity drainage facility – heat exchanger fouling.

Mobilisation of a third system, capable of processing 10 m³/h to extract lithium from brine, is also being finalised, MGX said. This lithium can be extracted by the technology once the water is cleaned of oil and bitumen as result of the front-end water treatment system processing. Commencement of lithium extraction will occur as this customer comes online.

MGX’s rapid lithium extraction technology eliminates or greatly reduces the physical footprint and investment in large, multi-phase, lake-sized, lined evaporation ponds, as well as enhances the quality of extraction and recovery across a complex range of brines as compared with traditional solar evaporation, the company says.

It is applicable to petrolithium (oil and gas wastewater), natural brine, and other brine sources such as a lithium-rich mine and industrial plant wastewater.

Back in August, after several successful pilot test results, the company signed up Hatch to advise it on the scaling up of its technology in the western US.

PurLucid’s exclusively licensed and patented nanoflotation technology, meanwhile, is designed specifically for oil field environments, separating impurities from oil and gas wastewater and producing clean water as a final product.

Last month, the two companies reported successful commissioning of their commercial scale 5 m³/h system.

 

Canada renews northern energy pledge with investments in TUGLIQ projects

The Government of Canada has backed two new projects that could see an increase in the amount of renewable energy used on remote mine sites in the country’s north.

Paul Lefebvre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, this week announced a combined C$4.2-million ($3.2 million) investment for two TUGLIQ Energy Corp projects in Nunavut and Quebec.

An investment of C$283,000 will enable TUGLIQ to complete a front-end engineering and design study to integrate compressed air energy storage with its operations, enabling increased use of wind energy at a Nunavut mine – IM understands this to be the TMAC Resources-owned Hope Bay gold project.

“This project will demonstrate that such a system can achieve significant reductions in diesel consumption,” the Government of Canada said.

A second investment of C$3.9 million in RAGLAN 2.0 will expand Nunavik’s first renewable energy production and storage centre (wind turbine pictured) for 16 regional mining operations and Inuit communities in this Arctic region, as well as other mining operations abroad.

RAGLAN 2.0, builds on a prior landmark project, RAGLAN 1.0, which conclusively proved the technical and operational capabilities of industrial-scale renewable energy at northern sites (Glencore’s Raglan nickel mine), under harsh industrial and climatic conditions, according to Natural Resources Canada (NRC).

With energy storage consisting of a flywheel to level-off any speed fluctuations and stabilise the strain and frequency of the autonomous grid, 250 kWh lithium-ion batteries to support the grid, a hydrogen loop comprised of an electrolyser, high pressure storage tanks and fuel cells, a microcontroller and supervisory control and data acquisition for remote monitoring, the project has so far been a success. In 2018, TUGLIQ doubled its installed wind capacity at the Raglan mine. A total of 6 MW is now up and running, producing clean electricity from wind energy in this remote area of the Canadian Arctic. More than 4 million litres of diesel is being avoided every year.

It involves project partners Enercon, Glencore Raglan mine, HATCH Ltd, Moreau Electrique and Québec’s Ministry of Natural Resources – EcoPerformance Program.

Both projects are being funded through NRC’s Energy Innovation Program, which received C$49 million over three years to support clean energy innovation, and “will ensure that clean energy technologies are widely affordable — helping drive economic growth, create jobs and help with the transition to a low-carbon economy”, the NRC said.

“Through Canada’s national energy dialogue, Generation Energy, Canadians expressed that Canada has an opportunity to be a leader in the transition to a clean growth economy. We will continue to support innovative and clean initiatives that create jobs for the middle class, support Canadian industry competitiveness, clean our air and act on climate change.”