Tag Archives: Kinross Gold

Speedcast to expand VSAT network at Kinross’ Udinsk open-pit gold project

Speedcast, a communications and IT services provider, says it has received a contract from JSC Chukotka Mining and Geological Company, a Kinross Gold subsidiary, to expand the company’s very small aperture terminal (VSAT) network, supporting the development of the Udinsk Gold open-pit mine to two new license areas in Russia’s Far East.

The Kayenmyvaam and Kavralyanskaya areas are early-stage gold projects that previously depended on satellite phones for connectivity. According to Kinross, the Udinsk prefeasibility study is expected to be completed in the December quarter of 2021, and will focus on an initial three-stage crush heap leach process flow and potential early works related to infrastructure, with the goal of fast-tracking construction. First production at Udinsk is anticipated to occur in 2025.

Speedcast will provide a fully managed wide-area network (WAN) connectivity service for Kinross and has installed dedicated WAN connections over VSAT at each site to establish a corporate virtual private network.

The contract is the second extension received by Speedcast since its original start of service in 2020. Recently, Speedcast doubled bandwidth speeds available at the Udinsk mine.

“Kayenmyvaam and Kavralyanskaya sites required a compact Ku-band VSAT terminal, which needed to be flown in by helicopter due to their extremely remote locations,” James Trevelyan, Senior Vice President of Enterprise and Emerging Markets at Speedcast, said. “Providing this type of critical communications solution at the most challenging and remote sites is our business.”

Kinross Gold weighs SART plant and rope conveyors for Lobo-Marte development

Kinross Gold has announced the results of a prefeasibility study for its Lobo-Marte project in Chile, which includes consideration of sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening (SART) technology, as well as the use of rope conveyors.

The open-pit, heap leach operation would produce around 4.5 Moz of gold at average all-in sustaining cost of sales of $745/oz, according to the study. It would operate for 15 years, which includes 12 years of mining followed by three years of residual processing.

The initial estimated capital cost for the project is $765 million, plus around $230 million in contingency, Kinross said. The estimated capital costs includes mine equipment, crushing and storage facilities, conveyors, and site utilities and infrastructure.

The most interesting processing aspect is the use of a SART plant in the mine’s design. Kinross has previously used SART technology successfully in the region at its former-operating Maricunga mine, which BioteQ Environmental Technologies (now named BQE Water) installed.

The company also plans to use rope conveyors, such as those provided by Doppelmayr at the likes of Torex Gold’s ELG mine in Mexico.

Subject to a positive development decision, the study estimates Lobo-Marte project construction beginning in 2025, with first production expected in 2027. Production would commence after the conclusion of mining at the company’s La Coipa project (pictured), which is located some 50 km northwest of Lobo-Marte, and where the company is continuing to explore opportunities to extend mine life.

Back in February, Kinross announced it is proceeding with the La Coipa Restart project to mine the Phase 7 deposit. The La Coipa restart is expected to generate strong returns and produce a total of around 690,000 oz of gold from 2022 to 2024. The project plan includes refurbishing the existing process plant, camp and other infrastructure, as well as the mine fleet from the Maricunga operation that has recently been placed on care and maintenance.

The company plans to commence a feasibility study on Lobo-Marte later this year, with scheduled completion in the December quarter of 2021. The feasibility study is expected to provide the detailed engineering and project description required for permitting and submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment, Kinross said.

“The Lobo-Marte project provides Kinross with an excellent, organic development option that has attractive all-in sustaining costs and offers substantial upside leverage to the gold price, without increasing project cost requirements and risk,” Paul Rollinson, Kinross President and CEO, said. “The project represents a potential synergistic, long-term mine life extension in a favourable mining jurisdiction and delivers a significant 6.4 Moz addition to our current gold reserve estimates, increasing the company’s overall reserve mine life.

“As we move forward with the feasibility study for this longer-term project, we will continue to prioritise balance sheet strength and disciplined capital allocation.”

Kinross Gold and acQuire collaborate on new blasthole sampling app

Kinross Gold has collaborated with acQuire on the development of a new mobile data capture solution for its GIM Suite 4.2 release.

The gold miner was looking for a mobile solution for blasthole sampling it can trust and, as a long-time GIM Suite user, it welcomed the opportunity to work with acQuire on this new development, acQuire said.

“It meant Kinross Gold could provide direct feedback on how the acQuire Arena mobile app was enhanced for blasthole sampling for open-pit grade control,” the company said.

For acQuire, meanwhile, the collaboration resulted in an industry-specific solution geared towards the data challenges experienced in every day mining.

A team from Kinross’ Round Mountain open-pit grade control operations, in Nevada, USA, participated in the project. This team consisted of key stakeholders involved in the site’s data systems. The team not only provided input into requirements but also engaged in the beta testing phase of GIM Suite 4.2 and the Arena mobile app to ensure the solution worked for grade control requirements, acQuire said.

Round Mountain mine site in Nevada, USA (Credit: Kinross-Gold)

Ian Dickie, Senior Geologist at Kinross Gold, said: “Working with acQuire offered a unique chance to provide feedback directly to acQuire developers regarding the design of this application.

“This created an opportunity for Kinross to provide insight into real-world requirements for both the application design and the user experience.”

Steve Mundell, acQuire’s Director of Product, said having a collaborator like Kinross Gold provided guidance from an industry perspective during the product development phase.

“We took their needs into consideration along with all the other knowledge we have gathered around the problem of sampling open-pit blastholes,” he said. “Having a real-life application of the Arena mobile app as part of our testing showed us firsthand what worked well and where we needed to refine the software.”

Challenge: data capture for open-pit grade control

The Kinross Gold team wanted to move to a better way of working when capturing blasthole samples. It currently logs on paper, a method deemed inefficient and prone to error, acQuire said.

The goal was to find a digital solution to speed up the time it takes data logged in the pit to become available to downstream grade control processes like modelling and ore blocking.

To achieve the broader goal, Kinross was interested in several capabilities:

  • Ability to work offline because connectivity in the pit is unreliable;
  • Reduction of inadvertent errors caused by transcribing handwritten data logs;
  • A way to reduce the lag between users logging data in the pit and capturing the data in GIM Suite; and
  • Speedier availability of blasthole sampling data for downstream modelling and decision making.

acQuire said: “acQuire’s GIM Suite 4.2 was designed to create a seamless interface for grade control so pit samplers could work faster and more accurately. The Round Mountain project provided a real-world application for beta testing and helped improve the overall user experience in the updated Arena mobile app.”

The collection of blasthole assay data is imperative for grade control modelling and creating ore cuts, according to Dickie. “It is the crux of ore handling procedures.”

He added: “We cannot always rely on network access in the field, so the online/offline data entry creates a more robust mechanism to collect information, which regularly determines the economic viability of an ore block.”

Solution: extend capability to include blasthole sampling

Enhancements to acQuire’s Arena mobile app were instrumental in creating a seamless digital experience in the GIM Suite 4.2 release, according to acQuire.

The following new and improved capabilities were put through their paces by the Kinross Gold project team to ensure suitability in a production environment:

  • Working offline in the pit with seamless synchronisation back to the server once network connectivity is established again. This includes the ability to define which specific pits, benches and blast patterns the pit worker would like to take offline with them;
  • A map of the blast pattern within the logging interface so the pit worker can see which holes have been logged and select their next hole to log as they walk along the pattern;
  • Responsive layouts to optimise the screen for a range of different device types and orientations. This provided the ability for views like a landscape tablet layout, with the blasthole map always displayed; and
  • Built-in barcode scanning for entering sample IDs, using the device’s camera to ensure accuracy and speed during data capture.

Results: user-friendly blasthole sampling in open-pit mining

Reviewing and providing feedback on the new Arena mobile app proved to be incredibly useful to the Kinross Gold team to ensure it is fit for the rigours of open-pit mining, acQuire said.

“The interface design has a very user-friendly functionality which allows users to select blastholes quickly and enter sample data efficiently,” Dickie said.

“This creates a smooth workflow in the field, and a more pleasant experience for users. The ability to take data on/offline is very smooth with this new application, which in my opinion strongly mitigates the risk of data loss as well as saves labour, when compared with previous offline data entry processes.”

Mundell added: “It’s exciting to see our product enhancements come to life in a real-life application. Kinross Gold was excellent to work with and provided a lot of thoughtful feedback that helped improve the user experience.

“We’re looking forward to continuing our collaboration with Kinross Gold in future releases of GIM Suite.”

Cat 7495 electric rope shovel on its way to Kinross Gold’s Paracatu mine

A Cat 7495 electric rope shovel originally built in 2012 is on its way to Kinross Gold’s Paracatu gold mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Paracatu, an open-pit mine with ore processed in ball and SAG mills, is Brazil’s largest gold mine, according to Kinross. It achieved record annual production of 619,563 gold-equivalent ounces in 2019, surpassing its 2018 record.

Kinross started an asset optimisation program in 2018, which completed in late 2019 with the successful implementation of a grade control program that led to better characterisation of the orebody, an improved ability to predict and react to ore variability, and better mill efficiency with improvements in throughput and recovery, it said.

Cat said the shovel’s ballast box and revolving frame left Green Valley, Arizona, USA, last week on two heavy haul trucks – one pulling and one pushing the 120 t load. At 61 m long and 5 m wide, the load is being escorted by a team responsible for removing and replacing power lines, traffic signals and signage along the way, it said.

Late last year, Cat updated the AC electric drive system for Cat 7495 and 7495 HF electric rope shovels to, it said, deliver even greater reliability, improved maintenance access, enhanced safety and an expanded ability to perform at high altitudes and in extreme temperatures.

Back in 2018, Kinross welcomed its second Cat 7495 electric rope shovel to its Round Mountain mine, in Nevada, as part of its Phase W expansion plan.