Tag Archives: METS Ignited

Australia’s IMARC mining event rescheduled to January 2022

Due to ongoing travel and gathering restrictions, and the rise of COVID-19 infections around Australia, Beacon Events, the organisers of the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC), has today announced its decision to reschedule the 2021 edition.

IMARC 2021 will move to the new dates of January 31-February 2, 2022, with the hybrid event taking place in-person at the Melbourne Showgrounds, and online for those that cannot attend in-person.

IMARC Managing Director, Anita Richards, said that while it is disappointing that the event has had to be postponed from 2021, it is the responsible action to take under the circumstances as the health and safety of IMARC’s participants is our number one priority.

“The rescheduling comes after much deliberation with our founding partners, and in consultation with our sponsors, exhibitors, supporters and various Victorian Government agencies who have been very supportive of the decision,” she said.

Victorian Government’s Head of Resources, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, John Krbaleski, added: “IMARC is a home-grown industry event that has become a major international resources conference. There is significant interest in IMARC and it’s clear that industry is keen to see it go ahead in January 2022.”

Austmine CEO, Christine Gibbs Stewart, said: “Considering the health and safety of our members, delegates, and staff members, we support postponing IMARC 2021 until January 2022. We know how important this event is to our members who are exhibiting and attending, as well as the METS sector overall, and we encourage everyone to consider this as an opportunity to refocus your efforts and support the event in 2022.”

AusIMM CEO, Stephen Durkin, added: “We’re looking forward to reconnecting with our mining community at IMARC in January 2022. The rescheduled event will provide an opportunity for delegates to network with leaders and experts from across the sector and take part in thought-provoking conversations about the future of our industry.”

BHP, MMG, Newcrest, Mitsui, OceanaGold and Kirkland Lake Gold have all confirmed their continued support for IMARC in January 2022, with their executive leadership teams confirmed to speak within the conference program, Beacon Events said.

In addition to the Federal Minister for Resources, the Hon Keith Pitt, and major sponsors METS Ignited, Caterpillar, ABB and World Gold Council who have also confirmed their support and participation.

IMARC 2021’s new dates are aligned with the expected easing of restrictions from all states across Australia, allowing for strong domestic representation, according to Beacon Events.

Richards said: “Holding IMARC at the start of 2022 helps create a unique opportunity for the industry to kick off the year with new conversations, develop existing relationships and create business opportunities for the coming year. With better weather comes opportunities for outdoor events and networking, alongside some major events at that time of year here in Melbourne.”

There is an expectation that when IMARC returns in 2022, from October 17-19, there will be greater international travel freedoms, allowing for the conference to attract a large domestic and international audience in-person once again, Beacon Events said.

International Mining is a media sponsor of IMARC

AusIMM and METS Ignited look to improve METS sector productivity, competitiveness

AusIMM has announced a new partnership with industry-led, Australian government-funded industry growth centre, METS Ignited, to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the mining equipment and technology and services (METS) sector.

AusIMM will work with METS Ignited to build recognition of innovation in the resources sector and highlight a shared vision of industry growth, it said.

AusIMM CEO, Stephen Durkin, welcomed the collaboration between two major representative bodies in the Australian resources sector.

“With over 300,000 people directly employed by the METS sector in Australia alone, this workforce is at the forefront of Australia’s contribution to the global mining industry,” he said. “This partnership ensures that AusIMM can support the careers of professionals working in the METS sector, providing them with the leadership and development necessary to sustain a booming national industry.”

As part of the partnership, METS Ignited CEO, Adrian Beer, will feature as a panellist during AusIMM’s Thought Leadership Series.

Beer said: “METS Ignited welcomes the formal partnership between our Industry Growth Centre and AusIMM to deliver greater collaborative opportunities between the resources sector and Australia’s leading tech innovators from the METS sector.

“The AusIMM Thought Leadership Series provides a significant platform to promote the technology and innovation coming out of the sector that addresses our future industry needs, such as low emissions technology, social and environmental responsibility, the future skills for our resources workforce, and capitalising upon the emerging critical minerals demand.”

METS Ignited-backed program to fund OreFox’s AI exploration ambitions

Artificial intelligence-based geological data analytics company, OreFox, has successfully secured funding via the Queensland METS Collaborative Projects Fund to further its geological mapping efforts at the Mount Chalmers mine site in Queensland, Australia.

The Queensland METS Collaborative Projects Fund is delivered by METS Ignited with funding support from the Queensland Government as part of its Queensland Mining Equipment, Technology and Services 10 Year Roadmap and Action Plan.

OreFox is working with QMines Ltd and Ironbark Marketing to further commercialise its technology that, it says, solves a pressing challenge facing the Queensland mining sector of how to accelerate critical mineral deposit discovery and mine more efficiently.

The consortium led by OreFox will use cutting-edge proprietary AI technology to gain further knowledge of the Mount Chalmers deposit, located near Rockhampton. As a historical producing mine, there is significant potential to increase the known mineral endowment and add new economy mineral opportunities.

QMines has commenced exploration activities across the Mount Chalmers project, including an aggressive drilling program and is planning an airborne EM survey. QMines has reported an initial JORC 2012 inferred resource equal to 73,000 t of contained copper. Historical drilling at the site shows the mineralisation is open in multiple directions.

The consortium will carry out a multi-element geochemical sampling program focused on critical minerals at the mine site and other notable prospective sites around the historic mine site.

Data collected from this program, including assays from the current drilling program, will be processed by OreFox, using its machine and deep learning systems to gain further insights. QMines believes the discovery of further economic minerals will enable the company to move to development faster, thus bringing economic benefits to the region and the state.

QMines has recently acquired Traprock Resources and Rocky Copper, which both held significant tenements in the Mount Chalmers region. QMines has extended their tenement and landholding within the area since these acquisitions.

OreFox Chief Executive Officer, Warwick Anderson, said: “This project has the potential to increase exploration activity in Queensland, particularly for new economy minerals and could be applied to numerous other historical mines and deposits.

“The partnership between OreFox, QMines and Ironbark Marketing is anticipated to bring more regional jobs to Queensland and aid Queensland exploration frontiers.

“If we can prove the value of this project, then that opens the door to a significant export market for the processes we are developing.”

The OreFox project is one of five recipients of the Queensland METS Collaborative Projects Fund receiving a share in A$1 million ($733,978) to accelerate the commercialisation of technology into industry.

METS Ignited CEO, Adrian Beer, said the growth centre is backing the collaborative projects to fast-track the commercialisation of innovative technologies and provide value to both the local and global resources sector.

“METS Ignited is driving collaborative projects to accelerate commercial outcomes for the Australian economy and promote collaboration opportunities as part of a long-term strategy for growth,” he said.

“We are backing projects using technologies such as sensors, data analytics, machine learning, optimised x-rays, and solar energy that result in improvements in productivity, efficiency, safety and sustainability.

“The OreFox project is a great example of how AI and data science technologies can be harnessed to improve exploration and unlock the economic benefits of a historical mine site.”

Emapper shoots for the skies after concluding successful METS Ignited backed project

METS Ignited Collaborative Project Funds recipient Emapper has recently brought together industry partners, customers, service providers and supporters to celebrate the completion of its environmental site monitoring project in Australia.

Emapper and collaborative partners developed a multi-scale and multi-source environmental data platform to monitor, manage and reduce mining’s footprint and extend the global capability of mine site rehabilitation technology, according to METS Ignited.

METS Ignited’s industry-matched investment enabled this world-first technology to be rapidly developed and proven with strong support and engagement from customers Roy Hill and Anglo American, it said.

Emapper is an ecological restoration platform that uses UAVs, satellites, mobile field data and IoT sensors to monitor, guide and improve environmental performance. Users can identify and visualise environmental impacts and outcomes using on-demand analysis tools, selecting, procuring and deploying a variety of data sources to suit the sites, activities and requirements of the user. This allows users to produce customised compliance and management summary reports for all restoration and rehabilitation areas to plan, compare and share progress.

Across the life of the METS Ignited-backed project, Emapper has expanded its workforce from three to 10 full-time staff and increased its revenue more than 10-fold at the end of the project (September 2020), with significant growth anticipated in the next five years, METS Ignited says.

Emapper CEO, Julian Kruger, says the project funding has been foundational in bringing its ground-breaking technology to commercialisation, leading to better environmental outcomes and confirming Australia’s position as a global leader in mine rehabilitation.

“The funding helped us to reach our goal of creating a spatial analytics platform enabling faster, cheaper, safer environmental rehabilitation, by providing more data, improved results and better reporting to meet regulatory needs,” he said. “This project would not be possible without our collaborative partners Roy Hill Iron Ore Pty Ltd, Anglo American Metallurgical Coal Pty Ltd, Mount Gibson Iron Ltd, eagle.io Pty Ltd, Astron Environmental Services Pty Ltd and Solais Geoinformatics Pty Ltd.

“We are now focused on continuing to grow our Australian footprint, as well as expanding the service to international markets – everything we have learned from rolling out the platform to clients across all mining jurisdictions throughout Australia can be now applied to our international expansion.”

METS Ignited Industry Engagement Manager, Peter Clarke, says the remote capabilities of the Emapper platform continue to be advantageous to the company’s expansion.

“The great thing about Emapper is that it lets environmental managers and mine operators get amazing insights on their environmental performance whilst remaining remote,” he said. “Julian and the team have found that a number of their local clients who also operate internationally are now picking up on that opportunity.”

Gekko installs OLGA, Carbon Scout solutions at Gruyere as part of collaborative project

Gekko Systems, as part of a collaborative project to collect and analyse real-time gold reconciliations and automate gold processing plants, has installed its OLGA and Carbon Scout solutions at the Gruyere gold mine in Western Australia.

In October 2020, METS Ignited Industry Growth Centre announced the consortium of Gold Fields, Orway IQ, CSIRO, Curtin University and Gekko Systems as recipients of the Tranche 4 Collaborative Project Funds. The METS Ignited funding will assist the development of this project.

In a world-first, the project draws together a range of technologies, including the Gekko OLGA and Carbon Scout, and skill sets that are the first step to truly understanding what is happening in a gold production plant in real time and will eventually lead to a fully autonomous gold plant, Gekko said.

Gekko recently installed the OLGA and Carbon Scout at Gruyere (a joint venture between Gold Fields and Gold Road Resources), the site where the project will become reality.

“The Gekko OLGA and Carbon Scout will revolutionise the industry’s ability to measure gold circuit inventory and recovery in real time, move it into the digital world and provide opportunity for full automation,” Gekko said.

OLGA is a world first on-stream analyser designed to continuously read low grade gold grades in slurries and solutions, giving operations the ability to see and control their plants in real time, the company says. The alternative traditional sampling methods involve significant delays – of up to one or two days for feedback.

The Carbon Scout is a self-contained, ground-level sampling system to improve carbon concentration measurements in carbon-in-leach and carbon-in-pulp circuits to an accuracy of ±0.5 grams of carbon per litre of pulp. Uniquely, multiple other data points include slurry density, pH, DO and gold loading on carbon, Gekko explained. Data profiles are provided in every tank, every hour.

“The combination of OLGA and Carbon Scout, supported by the Gekko Sample Delivery System, means all CIL/CIP sampling can be done conveniently and safely at ground level,” it said. “Each tank is sampled by a patented pumpless delivery system. All samples in the plant including leach feed and tails will be delivered through this system to potentially alleviate the need for expensive cross-cut samples.”

The team of Orway IQ will deliver the data through the Trinity program. With the MillROC data system and the Gekko technical team using the data for system analytics.

The ultimate aim of the project is to have gold process and recovery data being analysed within minutes rather than days from anywhere in the world and for production to be adapted to reflect this data, Gekko said.

Roy Hill backs interoperability developments with ERDi TestLab membership

Iron ore miner Roy Hill has become the latest member of the University of Western Australia’s (UWA) Energy & Resources Digital Interoperability Industry 4.0 (ERDi i4.0) TestLab.

Roy Hill is committed to the development of interoperability within the resources industry and recently appointed Michael Waller to a new role – Interoperability Manager – to lead the company’s strategy and engagement, according to the TestLab.

In the few short weeks since Michael’s appointment, Roy Hill’s interoperability approach has progressed at a rapid rate, with Waller spearheading the establishment of a collaborative interoperability project within the TestLab, it added.

This new project will be sponsored by ERDi TestLab founding partner METS Ignited, and centres around interoperability in the mobile equipment execution management and control technology space across both manual and automated equipment, it said.

“We are thrilled to be working with Roy Hill and the other participants on this exciting project, more details of which will be announced soon,” it added.

Roy Hill’s interoperability streak was made clear earlier this year when it signed an agreement with Epiroc and ASI Mining to deliver a fully automated solution for the iron ore mining operation’s mixed fleet of 77 haul trucks.

Other companies to recently sign up to the TestLab include Trevali, RPMGlobal and ABB.

Polymathian finds funding for automation work at OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena

Polymathian will be spearheading a A$2 million ($1.5 million) industrial mathematics project funded by industry partners and METS Ignited, and focused on OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena mine in South Australia.

This project will form part of the Industry Growth Centre’s latest Tranche 4 Collaborative Project funds totalling a combined investment of A$6 million, METS Ignited said.

The grant was awarded to Polymathian’s project at OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena copper-gold mine where, in collaboration with OZ Minerals, Downer, Deswik and others, the company is applying industrial mathematics to deploy the world’s first highly automated short interval control (SIC) system for the near real-time optimisation of sub-level cave development and production mining.

Project Lead and Partner at Polymathian, Steven Donaldson, said: “This funding allows us to marry industrial mathematics, automation and mine planning to optimise asset value at Carrapateena and explore how SIC can be done going forward.”

By applying industrial mathematics to the SIC process, the project collaboration automates the optimisation of the mine plan and autonomously dispatches tasks to the underground fleet by responding to live data.

Plans can be updated to respond to dynamic changes in the mine, as live data is received and assumptions change, according to the company. For example, at a weekly level, plans are updated as required for a rolling seven-day window, rather than on a set schedule for a fixed seven-day period. This avoids having fixed weekly plans that are at risk of becoming out-dated.

Matthew Fargher, OZ Minerals’ Senior Engineer for Long Term Planning at Carrapateena, said: “This project pursues a world first in mine planning where the mine plan is autonomously optimised and tasks dispatched in semi real-time to the underground fleet. By doing so, we can potentially remove value destroying constraints such as self-imposed time horizons and subjectivity in decision making to deliver the next best decision.

“We are excited to be a part of the team that’s delivering the blueprint for mine planning and executional change globally.”

Donaldson added: “The potential market for this tool is really quite large as the way we are solving the problem is very generic. We see this solution having potential to optimise operations across all hard-rock underground mines in Australia and globally.”

The project also has the potential to create new jobs at Polymathian including accelerating the growth of its newly opened Perth office.

METS Ignited Chief Executive, Adrian Beer, says the quality and capability of the funding applicants is becoming increasingly more sophisticated, with a number of the solutions having broader applicability across a number of sectors.

“This round of project fund recipients demonstrates just how capable our leading global METS sector is, and what is possible within our local technology sector,” Beer said.

“We are extremely proud of what has been achieved by the project fund recipients to date, and this new addition to the project funding shows that we have a huge potential to build upon.”

Aeris Resources adds battery-electric 20 t carrier/loader to Tritton fleet

Aeris Resources has confirmed the arrival of the battery-electric retrofit ‘TRITEV’ 20 t underground loader at its Tritton copper operations, with the company having added the Integrated Tool-Carrier/Loader to its fleet at the New South Wales, Australia, mine.

3ME Technology and Batt Mobile Equipment (BME) unveiled this industry-first machine last month, with 3ME saying the machine would head to Tritton later this year as part of an initiative developed under Project EVmine, with the help of METS Ignited.

The collaboration between 3ME and Aeris Resources started all the way back in 2017, Aeris Resources said in its arrival announcement on LinkedIn

Based on a second-hand Volvo diesel-powered L120E, the TRITEV required a “ground-up rebuild” from the 3ME and BME teams, 3ME Chief Business Development Officer, Steven Lawn, told IM last month.

This included removing all diesel internal combustion engine components, except the transmission and drivetrain; modelling the expected duty cycle at Tritton; developing a battery-electric system to suit the application at hand; writing the vehicle control unit software; integrating the system into the existing platform; and providing a mechanical overhaul of the machine.

The 3ME and BME teams planned to test the machine at the Newstan mine, in New South Wales (previously owned by Centennial Coal and now on care and maintenance), ahead of sending to Tritton.

Bis, Xsights, Roborigger and IES to embark on METS Ignited-back sensor tech program

METS Ignited has announced four ambitious companies to take part in a 12-month program to evaluate new cost-effective sensor technologies.

“With more data available, in shorter timeframes, on an expanding number of devices – IoT sensors and data collection are changing the nature of the mining industry and providing METS companies with significant opportunity to develop new applications to capture and extract value,” METS Ignited said.

METS Ignited is dedicated to helping the Australian METS sector develop globally competitive skills and knowledge, and drive the adoption of digital technologies and innovation into industry.

Its Industry Growth Centre has partnered with Innovation Central Perth (ICP), a centre led by Cisco with partners Curtin University, Woodside and CSIRO’s Data61, to aid the development and commercialisation of IoT technology to service a wide array of industries.

Due to the level of interest and calibre of applications, METS Ignited extended the original opportunity of two memberships valued at A$10,000 ($7,128) each, to four. The four Western Australia-based businesses embarking on the program are Bis, Xsights Digital, Roborigger and Integrity Engineering Solutions (IES), all of which are set to accelerate their knowledge and application for IoT technologies in an innovation program run by ICP, it said.

Bis is a resources logistics company, providing innovative logistics, materials handling and specialised equipment solutions to the global mineral resources sector.

Xsights is an Australia-owned company focused on being the leading provider of technology-enhanced data collection and insights reporting solutions for real-time audience measurement and asset tracking.

Roborigger paves the new way of thinking about crane lifting and logistics with the wireless load controlling device that improves safety and efficiency by keeping people away from the loads, controlling loads using wireless and logging all load movements with images and weight.

IES has developed the patented RT-Bolt load measurement system, which allows real-time measurement of the load in any fastener during assembly or operation. This facilitates significant improvement of the reliability of critical bolted joints in the resources industries.

ICP’s Wireless Industrial Sensor Environment Program will deliver foundational learning in sensors, visualisation platforms, data science, networks and communications. Each of the participating companies will gain access to a test environment and resources to collaborate and build real world industrial IoT solutions, METS Ignited says.

Mine electrification shift could create new business opportunities, report says

Heightened social pressure and a need for economically efficient mining practices will see Australia’s mining industry shift towards a future of automation, electrification and the ultimate goal of zero emissions on site, according to the State of Play: Electrification report.

The report states the majority (89%) of the globe’s leading mining executives expect mine sites across the world to electrify within the next 20 years.

Electrification is a game changer for the mining industry as it allows the complete removal of diesel from mines and, when combined with renewable energy, results in a decarbonised mine site.

Australia’s leading mining companies such as Rio Tinto, BHP, South 32 and OZ Minerals – along with Tesla – provided input into the report, which uncovered that the need to shift to low footprint, electric mines is being driven by economic, environmental and health related opportunities.

More specifically, nearly 79% of mining executives believe there will be a health-related industry class action in the next 15 years and 91% expect the shift to electrics will create new business opportunities.

It’s these perceived health risks – if nothing changes – and economic benefits that State of Play Co-Founder and Chairman, Graeme Stanway, says is driving the industry to take a close look at current practices and think: how can we do this better?

“Electric equipment will allow for a shift from the typical underground mine sites we see today in Australia with many pieces of heavy equipment, powered by diesel, operating underground in confined spaces alongside teams of people, towards a clean future of mining, not seen before,” he said.

“A future where machinery is safe, automated and battery powered; this would effectively cut out two of the biggest issues in mining: carbon impact and particulate exposure and result in zero carbon emission mines.”

While the industry as a whole understands these benefits, when it comes to individually implementing them as an organisation, cost becomes a key hurdle, according to Stanway.

“Our data shows renewables, all electric systems and batteries will help fuel the change towards a healthier, economically viable future of mining, but uncertainty remains when it comes to to which area to invest in first, and how,” Stanway says.

He says the industry should focus on collaborating to overcome cost barriers and uncertainty in technology choices that may be beyond the capacity of individual companies. And, while the mass adoption of electrification technology has so far been low, key players such as Independence Group, Gold Fields, South32, OZ Minerals and Barminco are joining forces to accelerate achieving the goal of zero emissions mines.

METS Ignited CEO, Adrian Beer, is part of this collaboration and says Australian mining companies have a huge advantage compared with their global counterparts when it comes to alternative energy sources.

“Here, in Australia, we have an abundance of renewables that the industry is tapping into, particularly in our most remote operations,” he said. “Local mine sites have the opportunity to install solar and wind, and battery energy storage systems to power their operations at a much cheaper cost than many global players.”

He added: “For the country to fully realise the opportunity of zero emissions mines, we also need to be able to effectively implement these technologies. We need to modernise our regulatory framework, and consider what skills our sector will need, across the entire range of the workforce, from trades and technicians, university graduates, through to our scientists and PhDs.”