Tag Archives: Ma’aden

Global Mining Guidelines Group welcomes Ma’aden to its membership

Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) has welcomed Ma’aden to its membership, the first mining company from Saudi Arabia to do so.

A fast-growing enterprise that includes a mineral portfolio of phosphate, aluminium, gold, copper and other commodities, Ma’aden continues to diversify its portfolio to encompass a wide range of industries, GMG said.

It added: “The Saudi-based company pioneered the mining industry in the region by creating a fully integrated mining value chain. This has paved the way for the development of the Saudi Arabian economy well into the future, and mining is now the third pillar of Saudi industry, a key pillar in delivering Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 economic diversification plans.”

Since its IPO in 2008, Ma’aden has transformed from a small gold producing company to a much larger entity. Capitalising on this momentum, the company has set ambitious goals to continue its growth trajectory by leveraging the country’s mineral deposits, increasing production rates in existing value chains, increasing exploration and adding new strategic minerals to its portfolio.

Heather Ednie, GMG’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Ma’aden’s growth has been truly remarkable. They’ve become a leading force in the mining industry not only in the region, but globally. Collaboration remains a key component to solving many of the challenges facing the industry today and we’re certain their team of mining experts will bring a vast wealth of knowledge and experience to the Global Mining Guidelines Group.”

Saud Al-Mandil, Vice President, Digitalization & Operational Excellence at Ma’aden, said: “We are pleased to join the Global Mining Guidelines Group and contribute to the advancement of the international mining industry. As we move forward, governance and sustainable reporting will be imperative for the global industry to advance and contribute to the development of industries from food and agriculture to electric vehicles. We will continue to work with our colleagues in the industry to ensure that the mining ecosystem operates in a sustainable and efficient manner.”

In addition to owning a number of mining assets outright, Ma’aden also has a joint venture with Barrick on the Jabal Sayid copper-gold mine in Saudi Arabia (pictured).

Bartram comes back to TOMRA Mining ready for sensor-based sorting demand uptick

Having left TOMRA Mining more than a decade ago only to return to the Germany-based company in November, Kai Bartram’s re-arrival at the sensor-based sorting firm represents a good time to take stock and reflect on how far the mining sector has come with its understanding and acceptance of this type of pre-concentration technology.

Bartram, now Global Sales Director of TOMRA Mining and a member of TOMRA’s Mining Management Team, was happy to answer some of IM’s questions after getting his feet back under the table in the company’s offices in Wedel, Germany.

IM: How has the mining industry’s appreciation of the benefits of sensor-based ore sorting changed since you left TOMRA in 2010? What trends have led to a wider take up of the technology?

KB: In 2010, sensor-based sorting (SBS) was still seen as a niche technology in the mining industry. Some smaller, more innovative mining companies had seen the potential and effectively implemented SBS, but the mining industry, as such, had not accepted the technology. While in the industrial minerals sector several optical sorters – and, in the diamond industry, mainly X-ray luminescence machines – were operating, the rest of the industry was cautious about integrating sorters into their flowsheets.

That changed slowly with the introduction of Dual Energy X-ray technology. The technology is so robust and perfectly suited to the harsh environment of the mining industry that the economic benefits of pre-concentration became obvious. Another point that has strongly supported the adoption of sorting technology is the fact that average ore grades keep decreasing while energy costs keep increasing.

IM: Diamond and industrial mineral operations were typically the first adopters in the mining sector; what commodity sectors do you expect to see dominate demand for sensor-based ore sorting systems into 2030? What changes to the technology or wider industry understanding have led to this belief?

KB: In the beginning, sorters were seen as small machines, which would never meet the capacity requirements of large hard-rock mineral processing circuits. Therefore, only small mines saw the opportunity to implement sorting as a pre-concentration step in their process. Today, we see that our 2.4-m-wide flagship sorter, TOMRA COM XRT 2.0, can process up to 500 t/h, so that large operations can also implement the technology. An example of such a trend is the Ma’aden Phosphate Umm Wu’al processing plant, where 2,000 t/h are processed with TOMRA XRT sorters.

I am sure we will see more of these bigger projects in many different commodities. Of course, the current market trend is towards ores that are required for the electric revolution, like lithium, copper, cobalt and rare earth elements. TOMRA has proven that we have the right solution to upgrade those ores efficiently and can contribute to more economical output. So, I expect to see more installations in the future.

The TOMRA COM XRT 2.0 units can process up to 500 t/h

IM: Are there any regions more willing to apply these solutions than others? Why is this the case?

KB: If you look at our global reference list, you can see that the larger installed base resides in Europe, Africa and the Americas. The Asian markets are a little behind, but this is easily explained by history. As a European company, we focused more on the better known and established markets. In general, the mining market is a very global industry with big players active in all continents.
I do not believe there are regions more willing to apply the technology than others. It is just a matter of supporting all regions in the same way. TOMRA is investing heavily to ensure we have a good global support network, to be there for and with our clients.

IM: Do you expect to see more collaboration with OEMs over the next decade when it comes to implementing ore sorting solutions with process flowsheets? How do you see the input of both TOMRA and OEMs benefitting the wider mining industry?

KB: Collaboration is essential in any industry. We need specialists who are experts in their field, and TOMRA is one of the global leaders in sensor-based sorting. In order to achieve the best results in one field, one must focus. Therefore, big projects can only be undertaken by a group of companies or experts who collaboratively work together. We, as a solution provider, are very dependent on well-engineered and integrated plant designs and believe we have to collaborate and have close relationships with plant builders to ensure the best possible solution for our clients.

Robit drilling consumables in transit to Norilsk Nickel

Robit says it has signed a contract to supply drilling tools to Norilsk Nickel, in Norilsk, Russia, with the deliveries expected to take place during April and May.

Norilsk is in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, and located above the Arctic Circle. Since there are no roadway or railway connections, all freight is delivered by cargo ship via the Arctic Ocean to the Port of Dudinka, in Murmansk, or by air. The Robit drilling consumables are to be delivered by sea, Robit said.

Norilsk Nickel is one of Russia’s leading metals and mining company, a manufacturer of palladium and refined nickel, and one of the biggest platinum and copper producers in the world. The company also produces cobalt, rhodium, silver, gold, iridium, ruthenium, selenium, tellurium, and sulphur.

Robit, meanwhile, provides drilling consumables for applications in mining, construction and contracting, tunnelling, and well drilling. It has two product and service ranges: top hammer and down-the-hole.

Last month, the company signed a two-year contract to supply drilling tools to Al Masane Al Kobra Mining Co, in Saudi Arabia, for underground jumbo rigs at its Al Masane copper-zinc mine. The tools are to be supplied by Robit’s distributor, Bin Harkhil.

In February, Robit delivered its first consignment of rods for underground drilling to Ma’aden’s Al Amar underground gold-copper-zinc mine, in Saudi Arabia.

Outotec sees the greenfield project positives in Q1 financial results

Outotec President and CEO, Markku Teräsvasara, says the company saw signs of increased greenfield investments in both minerals processing and metal refining technologies in the most recent March quarter, providing the company with a positive outlook for the rest of 2019.

The mineral processing and refining company reported 1% year-on-year growth, to €336.1 million ($370.7 million) in the first three months of 2019, alongside a 22% boost in service order intake (€159.9 million) and adjusted EBIT of €11 million, up from €7 million a year earlier.

While overall sales dipped 11% year-on-year to €254.7 million and the company reported negative net cash from operating activities, Teräsvasara painted an upbeat picture in his statement accompanying these results.

“The overall market sentiment developed positively in the first quarter,” he said. “In addition to brownfield investments, we are seeing signs of increased greenfield investments in both minerals processing and metal refining technologies. Order intake was at the same good level as in the first quarter last year. I am pleased with the 22% growth in service orders and the 19% increase in equipment orders for Minerals Processing.”

He said sales decreased primarily due to fewer plant and equipment deliveries, but there was a clear improvement in profitability, both in absolute and relative terms, due to better gross margins (27.1% in Q1 2019, up from 22.8% in Q1 2018).

Teräsvasara added: “I am pleased with the progress in our must-win battles that further improve our performance. These programs focus on strengthening customer focus, service business, product competitiveness, project competencies and people development.”

He also commented on the ilmenite smelter project that has hit the company’s recent financial results, saying negotiations were ongoing in cooperation with the customer and that the company remained confident “we are provided adequately for the project”.

“We continue to be positive about the current market outlook and reiterate our 2019 guidance for sales (increase from 2018) and adjusted EBIT (increase from €63.8 million in 2018),” he concluded.

After the end of the quarter, Outotec received a €140 million greenfield mineral concentrator and gold processing plant order from Ma’aden in Saudi Arabia.

Ma’aden chooses Outotec process equipment for Saudi Arabia gold project

The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) has awarded the consortium of Outotec and Larsen & Toubro with an engineering, procurement and construction contract to build a greenfield mineral concentrator and gold processing plant in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Finland-based company says.

The order, worth some €140 million ($157 million) to Outotec, is almost evenly shared between the reporting segments and will be booked into Outotec’s June quarter 2019 order intake, the company said. The total value of the project is around €540 million.

Outotec’s delivery includes basic and detail engineering, procurement and delivery of process equipment, commissioning, start-up assistance and training services. The new gold processing plant is due to be completed in 2022, it said.

Ma’aden is a leader of the Saudi Arabia mining industry, and an internationally recognised mining company with a global presence, thanks to partnerships with the likes of Barrick Gold, Alcoa and the Mosaic Company.

The Mansourah & Massarah operation will be built in the Central Arabian gold region, with the processing plant capable of up to 4 Mt/y throughput. The concentrator and the gold processing plant has been designed to produce an average of 250,000 oz/y of gold per year over the life of mine, Outotec said.

Markku Teräsvasara, CEO of Outotec, said: “We are extremely pleased with this significant order and continued cooperation with Ma’aden that is growing to be a global mining company.

“Our previous deliveries have included grinding, flotation and filtering technologies as well as alumina calcination technology, and three sulphuric acid plants. Our proven technologies and services enable them to get the best value from their resources and build sustainable operations.”

TOMRA’s COM XRT 2.0 mineral ore sorter tackles even higher throughputs

X-ray ore sorting is already making great waves across the mineral processing industry by reducing plant throughputs, increasing head grades and cutting operating costs. One of the leaders in this growing field, TOMRA, believes its new COM XRT 2.0 sorter takes these attributes to another level.

This upgraded model features higher belt speed and throughput, translating directly into increased productivity in mineral processing. It also offers increased wear resistance and longer component lifetime, with quick and safe maintenance through providing easier access to replaceable components.

Ines Hartwig, Product Manager at TOMRA Sorting Mining, said the valuable experience gained over the past 15 years, through monitoring and maintaining the TOMRA COM XRT units operating in the field, has been incorporated into the design of the TOMRA COM XRT 2.0.

“Our sorters have been operating under harsh conditions in both hot and cold climates, sorting wet and dry feed across a wide range of commodities,” Hartwig said.

The speed of the belt in the new design has been increased from 2.7 m/s to 3.5 m/s, while the more powerful X-ray system accommodates the sorting of larger-sized material due to better X ray penetration.

“Higher levels of belt occupancy are facilitated by our improved data processing capacity, and this allows the particle size of the feed to be increased,” she said. “The maximum size of the particles that the TOMRA COM XRT 2.0 can handle is between 100 mm and 125 mm, depending on the material, which also contributes significantly to throughput capacity.”

She notes these higher levels of capacity are particularly valuable for larger mines, as they reduce the number of machines required, and therefore also decrease capital and operating expenditure.

The unit boasts a highly selective ejection system, using data processing in combination with precise control of the pneumatic valves which eject the selected material from the stream. Driving this system is TOMRA’s proprietary data processing pipeline that links sensors, image processing and the valve control boards.

The performance of this ore sorting technology has been proven at Ma’aden Phosphates’ new $560 million processing plant at the Umm Wu’Al project in Saudi Arabia, one of the largest integrated phosphate fertiliser facilities in the world, according to TOMRA. TOMRA Sorting Solutions has installed nine of its TOMRA COM XRT sorting units, each with an operational width of 2.4 m, to process a 1,850 t/h sorter feed at this facility (pictured, top).

The objective of the sorters is to reduce the milling and flotation of silica in the plant process, using a dry technology at a low cost per tonne. The TOMRA units achieve this by removing more than 90% of the chert in the +9 mm fraction, which makes up half of the plant feed, before the phosphate is fed to the milling and flotation circuit. This leads to the removal of over 1.2 Mt/y of SiO2, which does not have to be crushed, ground and floated.

This installation considerably improved the mill performance by reducing the consumption of energy, water and chemicals per tonne of final product, TOMRA said. All of this was achieved with a smaller sorting plant footprint. The saving in flotation reagents, alone, amounts to almost $8 million/y, according to the company.

In Botswana, TOMRA Sorting Solutions has installed two TOMRA COM XRT 2.0/1200 sorters in the mega-diamond recovery (MDR) circuit of Lucara Diamonds’ Karowe mine. Located directly after the primary crusher and ahead of the process plant, the MDR circuit treats material in the size range between 50 mm and 120 mm. It maximises the upfront recovery of exceptional diamonds before the ore reaches the comminution processes, where diamond damage may occur.

“The machine has proven itself through its high availability throughout its first year of operation there,” Hartwig said.

TOMRA Sorting Solutions also has several smaller units in portable and containerised configurations in many different countries, where they must operate in a variety of climatic conditions from arctic to tropical. These machines sort minerals ranging from copper, iron ore and coal to industrial minerals, chrome and diamonds.

Ma’aden looks for digital mining solutions with GE partnership

The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) and GE have signed a strategic memorandum of understanding that could see digital solutions installed across the mining company’s gold, copper, aluminium, and phosphate operations.

GE, as part of the pact, will provide Ma’aden with digital transformation advisory and applications, as well as leadership and training opportunities for its employees across Saudi Arabia.

Ma’aden has been pursuing a number of partnerships to “capture the opportunities found in digitisation and innovation”, and will invest in the application of pioneering technologies in its operations in Saudi Arabia “in order to remain ahead of the competition and reinforce the company as a global mining leader”, the company said.

GE’s digital mining solutions will look at specific areas of Ma’aden’s operations to improve ore grades, reduce fuel and energy costs and usage, improve equipment reliability and availability, cut maintenance costs, and boost productivity and efficiency across operations.

GE Mining’s Digital Mine is made up of technologies to help improve performance, reliability, and operations while promoting safer mining practices through intelligent, real-time monitoring across the mine.

“Powered by GE’s Predix platform, the only Industrial Internet platform built exclusively for industry, Digital Mine enables operators to make data-driven decisions that improve equipment reliability and optimise mine operations,” GE says.

Darren Davis (picture, left, signing the agreement), Ma’aden Acting President and CEO, said of the GE partnership: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has high aspirations for the deployment of new technology and the digitisation of industrial landscape in the country. Ma’aden is committed to championing the responsible development of the mining sector as a major pillar of the Saudi economy and digitalisation, as part of the fourth industrial revolution, will be key to ensuring we achieve our goal of becoming a ‘sustainable mining champion’.”

Davis added that the initiative with GE will unlock the next wave of significant value creation and increase the company’s competitiveness and sustainability.

Bill Ruh (pictured, right), President and CEO, GE Digital, said: “The scale and impact of organisations such as Ma’aden is enormous, and we know that the optimisation and increases in efficiency will have a major impact on the company and the country.”

Earlier this year, GE and South32 signed a three-year strategic partnership to help develop the mining company’s technology roadmap and digital transformation programme. GE is also working with Rio Tinto to optimise its Pilbara rail operations and Vedanta in South Africa on its Gamsberg digitisation programme.