Tag Archives: Kazakhstan

FLSmidth expands Central Asia presence with new Service Supercenter

FLSmidth has opened a new Service Supercenter in Karagandy, Kazakhstan, which, it says, will help meet high demand for service and technical support in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

The 5,200 m² space will focus on the efficient delivery of mining equipment, component maintenance and facilitate rapid on-site service and 24/7 local support, according to FLSmidth.

It includes a 2,500 m² warehouse and a 1,200 m² workshop, as well as a customer service office, customer training centre and other support facilities. The Supercenter holds a range of inventory and a strategic range of lab equipment and spare and wear parts.

The centre has a primary emphasis on supplying solutions that extend an asset’s lifecycle, such as: repairs and rebuilds; equipment and component upgrades; parts and consumables strategic stocking programs; technical assistance; and customised service packages.

“The centre ensures customers receive the knowhow to optimise their operations, as well as support when it comes to inspections, process audits and technical issues,” the company says.

Mikko Keto, Mining President at FLSmidth, explained: “The main concept of the Supercenter is to get closer to our mining and cement customers across Kazakhstan and Central Asia and support them with the best solutions, fast access to spare and wear parts, and, of course, local knowhow and expertise. This move supports FLSmidth’s ever-growing focus on customer service and aftermarket.”

Sergey Gorbunov, Managing Director for Kazakhstan and Central Asia, added: “Our large regional installed base will be well served by this new Supercenter. It will allow us to work side by side with customers to better understand and solve their challenges – and to deliver sustainable productivity solutions to their operations.

“Customers can expect world-class on-site service, indoor repairs and refurbishment, exchange programs, lab testing, training and excellent spare part support. The Supercenter ensures 24/7 local support for on-site services such as installation, commissioning, maintenance support, shutdowns and turnkey solutions.”

Polymetal 2020 profits rise as it accelerates ESG efforts

Polymetal recorded a strong set of financials in 2020, with its revenue, adjusted EBITDA and net earnings metrics all benefitting from higher production volumes and commodity prices.

Revenue increased by 28% year-on-year to $2.87 billion, adjusted EBITDA rose 57% to $1.69 billion and net earnings hit a record $1.09 billion in 2020.

The company’s 2020 gold-equivalent output amounted to 1.56 Moz, a 4% increase year-on-year and 4% above the original production guidance of 1.5 Moz. Strong contributions from its Kyzyl, Varvara and Albazino mines offset a planned grade decline at Voro, as well as lower production at Svetloye, the company said.

While production rose, the company’s greenhouse gas emissions intensity reduced by 4%, Polymetal said. It attributed this to energy efficiency initiatives, switching its mining fleet to electric vehicles, a shift from diesel to grid energy sources and green energy contracts.

Back in December, SMT Scharf AG signed an agreement with Polymetal to develop and produce battery-electric powered LHDs and mid-range underground trucks as prototypes for its gold and silver mines, with these units to be delivered to the company by October 2021.

Polymetal’s environmental, social and governance efforts did not stop there.

In 2020, the company invested $29 million at its Omolon hub in the Magadan region of Russia. This capital expenditure was mainly related to the construction of a dry tailings storage facility and engineering and preparatory works for a 2.5 MW solar plant (due to come online this year). This will be joined by another 5-10 MW solar facility at its Kyzyl operation (Kazakhstan) in 2022.

On its other tailings facilities, Polymetal said: “We operate eight tailings dams in Russia and Kazakhstan; each is rigorously monitored daily. We are confident that any emergency dam failure would have no impact on local communities and employees.

“We welcome the new Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management and have committed to achieving compliance in all operations by 2023.”

In addition to state authority inspections of these facilities, the company conducted an independent third-party audit of its Mayskoye (Chukotka, Russia) tailings site, which was carried out virtually, due to COVID-19 restrictions, by Knight Piésold Ltd. “To further improve tailings safety and minimise the risk of the possibility of dam failure, we are shifting towards dry stack storage methods,” it said.

“Such facilities are already in operation at our Amursk and Voro (pictured filter press) mines, and will be extended to Omolon (2021), Nezhda (2021), POX-2 (2022), Dukat (2024) and Veduga (2025).”

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.”

RCT, Borusan Makina deliver ControlMaster solution at Kazakhstan gold mine

A major gold mining company in the Kazakhstan has turned to RCT’s state-of-the-art technology to improve safety and productivity on site by operating a Cat D10T dozer by line of sight control.

RCT worked with its local technology partner Borusan Makina Kazakhstan to commission the ControlMaster® Line of Sight solution, providing the technical support remotely to Borusan technicians who implemented the technology package for Altyntau Kokshetau LLP at the Kokshetau mine in the Vasilkovskoye gold ore field.

Unlike most original equipment manufacturer packages, the ControlMaster solution does not require specialist engineering work on-site and has a history of integrating quickly with any type of machine, RCT says.

Going forward, site personnel will use the technology package and direct the dozer to work in hazardous locations under high walls and near ledges.

In the event of a rock fall, the machine operator will be located in a safe vantage point and not in proximity to the dozer.

RCT Business Development Manager – CIS, Stephen Macarow, said: “The mine site knows RCT is a trusted and reliable supplier and can provide proven technology solutions for their particular needs. Our technology is simple to install and use on any type of machine and we have empowered the mine site with the information they need to work independently.

“We empowered Borusan’s local technicians with real-time international technical support as well as translated documentation, which, when combined, ensured a smooth installation and commissioning process. Going forward, Borusan technicians will provide local support to the mine site and will be backed up by RCT’s international customer service team.”

Macarow added: “We have worked with mining companies in the CIS region for more than 20 years and this project is just the latest success story in a long line of projects.”

RCT provided a comprehensive webinar-based training package run by one of its qualified trainers who had particular experience using ControlMaster on a mine site. The trainer conducted theory-based teaching in a classroom as well as practical hands-on demonstrations and, through a VPN network, carried out testing and diagnostics on the dozer on-site.

Nordgold automates crushing and sorting ops at Suzdal

Nordgold says it has automated its crushing and sorting facility (CSF) at the Suzdal gold mine in Kazakhstan as part of the operation’s safety and production management improvement program.

The CSF uses a vibration feeder that distributes the ore evenly and feeds it into a jaw crusher, two cone crushers, vibration screens that screen for the required ore size, conveyor belts transporting the material, and a stacker. The facility processes around 550,000 t/y of gold-bearing ore.

Fully automating the facility means improved management and control of the ore crushing, milling and sorting process despite the increase in ore hardness, the company said.

Suzdal Plant Manager, Valery Pavlov, said: “CSF automation enables the operator to control key equipment parameters through the use of sensors. If the plant stops, the operator will see the root cause without leaving their desk. This makes the process more efficient and safer.”

Suzdal already employs BIOX gold processing at its operation, along with the innovative Outotec HiTeCC (high-temperature caustic conditioning) process.

“The new crushing and sorting automation technology will further improve the mine’s safety and processing performance,” it said.

CAML’s Kounrad operation hits copper cathode milestone

Central Asia Metals Ltd (CAML) says, on April 18, the Kounrad copper recovery plant, in Kazakhstan, produced its 100,000th tonne of cathode – a significant milestone for an operation processing material previously deemed as ‘waste’.

CAML’s Kounrad copper resources are within the waste dumps formed during prior mining activities of the Kounrad deposit, which commenced in the 1930s.

The facility recovers copper from the Eastern and Western dumps that accumulated from open-pit mining operations from a period that started in 1936 and ended in 2005. Over time, oxides and low-grade sulphides of copper formed a significant tonnage deposited at the mine site.

Leached metal from the dumps finds its way to the solvent extraction and electrowinning processing plant via a series of storage ponds. At the plant, copper is produced with the final cathode product delivered from the Kounrad site by rail and sea to the end customers, predominantly in Turkey.

Since CAML’s leaching operations began in April 2012, Kounrad has produced 100,000 t of copper cathode at C1 cash costs averaging $0.55/Ib, or $1,212.54/t (2012-2019); has generated gross revenue of $601 million from copper sales (2012-2019); and has supported a Kazakh workforce comprising 323 employees and 86 contractors (2019).

Nigel Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone of producing 100,000 t of copper from Kounrad at costs that are amongst the lowest in the world. We owe a debt of gratitude to the on-site team led by General Director, Pavel Semenchenko, and guided by our Technical Director, Howard Nicholson.”

RCT OEM-agnostic teleremote solution favoured at Kazzinc UG mine

RCT says its ControlMaster® Teleremote solution has bested a competitive offering from a global original equipment manufacturer (OEM) on a project for an underground mine in Kazakhstan.

The company said ControlMaster was selected over the OEM’s technology option as it could be tailored to the Tishinsky mine’s specific requirements.

RCT worked with local Cat dealer Borusan Kazakhstan to install and commission the automation technology on two Cat R1700G underground loaders and associated Automation Centres located within the underground mine.

The ControlMaster Teleremote solution is now being used at the Tishinsky copper mine, in north-eastern Kazakhstan, part of the Ridder underground complex, owned by Kazzinc (majority owned by Glencore).

Going forward, RCT says it will manufacture the teleremote technology for an additional 12 Cat R1700G and Cat R1300G underground loaders, while Borusan Kazakhstan will install this equipment at the Tishinsky and Dolinnoye (also part of Ridder) mines.

“The teleremote solution enables machine operators to control the machine from a secure station in the underground mine with the help of strategically placed cameras and sensors,” RCT said. “Teleremote technology enables machine operators to access the machine’s full range of functions that they would normally have if they were sitting in the machine’s cab.”

The company has also supplied its new digital communications network, RCT Connect, and integrated it with the underground loaders.

RCT Connect, launched earlier this year, is designed specifically for autonomous and teleremote machine operations in underground mining environments and can provide low latency, consistent communications between command inputs from the mine’s surface and subsequent machine activities, according to RCT.

RCT’s Moscow-based Business Development Manager – CIS, Stephen Macarow, said he is pleased to have completed the project in partnership with Borusan Kazakhstan.

“Our teleremote solution means the operators will control the loaders from inside the Automation Centre and they will be protected from the hazardous conditions often found at the mine face including geotechnical risks, dust, exhaust fumes and temperatures as low as -27⁰C,” he said.

“The mining company will also experience improved site productivity through reduced shift handover times and less unplanned maintenance downtime from machine operator errors.”

He added: “RCT has been supplying proven technological solutions to the mining industry in Kazakhstan and the broader CIS region for over 25 years and we look forward to providing more autonomous solutions in the future.”

A spokesperson for Borusan Kazakhstan said the company has been working with RCT since 2008 and in that time has delivered multiple automation projects for the Kazakhstan mining industry, including at the Tishinsky mine.

“Borusan Kazakhstan has been actively watching the regional mining market, and in cooperation with RCT has developed teleremote technology that is suitable for the CIS market,” the spokesperson said.

“In collaboration with RCT, Borusan Kazakhstan currently provides remote control and teleremote solution implementation, standard and adapted-for-the-customer equipment delivery, maintenance services and employee technology training.”

TOMRA XRT makes a difference at Kazakhstan coal operation

TOMRA’s X-Ray Transmission (XRT) sensor-based technology has been delivering higher yields and quality output while reducing operating costs at Gamma LLP’s coal mining operation in Kazakhstan, according to the technology company.

Gamma LLP, part of the Zaman Group, has been operating a TOMRA COM Tertiary XRT 1200 belt sorting system since 2014 at its coal mine in the Bayanaul district in Pavlodar, the main coal mining region in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Abgujinov Bekbolat Sovetovich, Director of Gamma LLP, said: “The TOMRA XRT sorter has improved the efficiency of our operation and we are consistently achieving higher yield with a better quality of output.

“In addition, we are benefiting from lower energy and water consumption, and an overall reduction in operating costs. This equipment has made a real difference and we are planning to invest in a second unit.”

The TOMRA COM Tertiary XRT 1200 belt sorting system is based on a planar projection of X-ray attenuation of single particles in a stream to identify and separate materials according to their specific atomic density, according to TOMRA. It effectively and accurately sorts materials irrespective of size, moisture, dust or dirt on the surface, so that pre-washing or surface cleaning is not necessary.

The XRT sensor-based separation makes it possible to extract from the stream both high ash material and coal with any amount of ash content. The system analyses each particle and extracts the coal of the required quality to the concentrate.

The system was commissioned and installed by TOMRA’s partner in Russia and CIS, THRANE, which shares the company’s approach to working with its customers: “The support we have received from THRANE has also been excellent; they are always available and ready to help whenever we need it,” Sovetovich commented.

Studies conducted by THRANE at its test centre bear out Gamma LLP’s experience. The company analysed the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of de-stoning and the results, which were presented at the XVIII International Coal Preparation Congress in 2016, were impressive, TOMRA said.

When separating size fractions of -100+25 mm of K-rank coal with 17.5-16.5% initial ash content, the TOMRA XRT separator produced a concentrate of less than 10.7-11% with the output of 65 and 70%, respectively, according to TOMRA.

With size fractions of 100+10mm T-rank coal with 39-42% initial ash content, it produced a concentrate of less than 26-32.5% ash with the output of 60% and 70%, respectively.

With size classes of -70+25mm of T-rank coal with 39-42% initial ash content, the concentrate produced was 8.2% at its output of 60%. Size classes of -80+13 mm of A-rank coal with 11.1% initial ash content produced a concentrate of less than 4.3% at its output of 80%.

Terra Drone branches out into Kazakhstan UAV market

Japan-based Terra Drone has continued with its global expansion, having invested in a leading UAV company in Kazakhstan, KazUAV.

With this investment, KazUAV joins Terra Drone’s network of over 25 group companies and technology partners committed to providing cutting-edge yet cost-effective drone services across the globe, the leading drone solution said.

Terra Drone said: “Established in 2016, KazUAV is a known name in Kazakhstan’s drone ecosystem, having provided GIS services to several government agencies and private companies.”

In 2018, at the request of the International Civil Aviation Organization, KazUAV mapped six airports in the country, totalling a surveyed area of 4 million hectares. The company is also registered to provide surveillance drone services to the Kazakhstan special forces.

As part of the Terra Drone group, KazUAV will be able to leverage technologies to provide various drone-based services and solutions in Kazakhstan, Terra Drone said. These include power line inspection and vegetation management for the energy sector; onshore/offshore infrastructure inspections, tanks inspections, and non-destructive testing for the oil and gas industry; and open-pit and underground mapping services for the mining sector.

Terra Drone already has more than 25 group companies in its network. Just last year, Terra Drone acquired a majority stake in Europe-based drone service provider Skeye, in addition to making an investment in Sweden-based Inkonova.

 

IntelliSense.io creates AI algorithm to predict thickener performance

A UK-based startup says it has devised a machine learning-algorithm that can help mining companies predict how thickeners will operate an hour into the future.

IntelliSense.io, which has been helped along the way by Digital Catapult (an agency for the early adoption of advanced digital technologies) and the UK’s Department for International Trade, said it wanted to help the mining industry become more efficient and sustainable by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence.

“Traditional operations technology cannot handle dynamic conditions, so IntelliSense.io is focused on using advanced digital technologies to create a platform that can predict varying conditions and is, therefore, far more responsive to change,” it said.

This led the company to develop an application to control thickeners in mining operations, which, IntelliSense.io says, would provide three key benefits:

  • Less water would be needed to complete the thickening process;
  • More water could be recycled, resulting in less wastewater;
  • Reduced power would be consumed as less water would be pumped into the thickener.

To create an algorithm, IntelliSense.io needed to analyse three years’ worth of data from six thickeners, each measuring roughly 800 different metrics collected every minute.

“This represents a volume of data that would only be possible with a significant amount of computer power and specialist expertise,” the company said. This led to IntelliSense.io applying to join Machine Intelligence Garage, Digital Catapult’s AI programme that helps businesses access the computation power and expertise they need to develop and build machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions.

Thanks to this assistance, IntelliSense.io has devised an AI tool that ingests these 800 different metrics every minute and can, according to the company, “predict how thickeners will operate an hour in the future”.

“This invaluable knowledge will make mining more efficient and sustainable, and provides optimum operating condition recommendations to maximise output,” the company said.

The thickener algorithm has since been applied in an optimisation stability project at a gold-copper mine in Chile where the miner in question had seen low underflow percentage solids and water recovery, and high flocculant consumption.

The implementation of the IntelliSense.io Thickener Circuit Optimisation application at the mine, which integrated data from SCADA and other control systems with advanced statistical data modelling and machine learning algorithms and first principle models, came up with a solution.

This has seen, among other benefits, decreased variability in the thickener circuit operation, enhanced water recovery at the thickener circuit and reduced equipment downtime due to stricter torque constraints.

The payback period has been less than 12 months with projected direct savings calculated at $400,000 in the first year alone, according to IntelliSense.io.

The company has also signed a memorandum of cooperation with JSC AK Altynalmas, a gold producer in Kazakhstan. This involves the development of an AI system for predictive analysis and optimisation of the grinding process, according to IntelliSense.io.

This agreement is part of a wider pact around the implementation of industry 4.0, IntelliSense.io says.