Tag Archives: Mexico

Metso Outotec to invest in polymer filter plate production plant in Mexico

Metso Outotec says it will invest in its first polymer filter plate production unit in Mexico in response to global demand for high-quality filtration solutions for its mining customers’ filter presses.

The company expects to invest a total of around €28 million ($28 million) to acquire the land and develop the production facilities by 2025.

The construction work will begin as soon as the acquisition of the land and the planning of the facility have been completed.

The construction of the new factory is expected to begin in 2023 and reach full capacity during 2025, following a gradual ramp-up. Once fully operational, the new factory is expected to employ around 60 skilled personnel.

Tomas Hakala, Senior Vice President, Beneficiation, Dewatering and Hydrometallurgy Services, said: “Polymer filter plates are strategic and critical spare parts. To serve our customers’ growing needs, we will further develop our supply capabilities by investing in a new state-of-the-art factory where quality and safety are key focus areas. We also have maintained and will maintain a strong network of suppliers globally.”

Hakala says the company has selected Mexico as the target country for its potential to reduce lead times, transportation distances – especially to the Americas – and CO2 emissions for its end customers.

Metso Outotec has high sustainability targets for CO2 emissions for its own operations and the supply chain. The target is to have net-zero CO2 emissions in the company’s own operations by 2030, and a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions from logistics by 2025.

In addition, the goal is for 30% of suppliers by spend to make a commitment to the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and set reduction targets for CO2 emissions by 2030.

The new factory will be located in the central region of Mexico, where Metso Outotec already has a rubber and Poly-Met factory.

ABB looks to acquire Siemens’ low voltage NEMA motor business

ABB says it has signed an agreement to purchase Siemens’ low voltage NEMA motor business in a move that could see NEMA’s mining customers in North America benefit from improved support.

With manufacturing operations in Guadalajara, Mexico, this acquisition provides a well-regarded product portfolio, a longstanding North American customer base, and an experienced operations, sales and management team, ABB says. The business employs around 600 people and generated revenues of approximately $63 million in 2021.

This transaction is part of the ABB Motion business area’s profitable growth strategy, allow the NEMA motors division to enhance its product offering, expand its supply chain relationships and improve support to its North American customer base, ABB said. It also offers the opportunity to better support the customers in Mexico with local manufacturing and sales.

ABB expects to benefit from identified synergies and to use the R&D expertise, supply chain relationships and market access to bring the combined portfolio to its full potential.

“This bolt-on acquisition creates strong value for ABB’s NEMA motors division,” Tarak Mehta, President ABB Motion, said. “Investing in the business and opening up sales opportunities in North America and especially Mexico will allow this business to be margin accretive to the ABB Motion business within 24 months.”

Jesse Henson, President of ABB’s NEMA motors division, added: “We have long appreciated the quality and design of these motors. Now that we have met the leadership team behind them, I am even more confident that, together, we can grow our combined businesses faster than either of us could alone. We look forward to adding the Siemens low voltage NEMA motor portfolio to our existing offering of ABB and Baldor-Reliance® industrial electric motors.”

The global NEMA motor industry, roughly $2.7 billion in size, ABB estimates, comprises industrial electric motors primarily used within North America. NEMA motors are essential components used to run equipment in industries such as food and beverage, oil and gas, mining & aggregates, and water & wastewater and in applications like those which move air, liquids and units.

Atlas Copco VSD electric compressors help improve Autlán’s manganese ore sorting capacity

Atlas Copco’s E-Air V1100 Variable Speed Drive (VSD) electric compressors are helping Mexico-based manganese producer, Autlán, improve the effectiveness of its ore sorting process by providing clean, dry compressed air whose temperature doesn’t exceed 20°C above ambient, the company says.

Compressed air is an essential component in the production of manganese nodules, with one such area being the company’s mineral sorting machine, which helps to classify the manganese ore. It blasts air at stones deemed to be waste, separating them from stones with high manganese content.

To do this, it needs clean, dry compressed air whose temperature doesn’t exceed 20°C above ambient. The amount of free air (FAD) needed to do this task is 45 Nm3/min at 150 psi.

Atlas Copco Power Technique Mexico worked closely with Autlán to understand and define the optimum airflow for the process. It advised Autlán that a constant flow of air was not required because the air shots were not continuous (only when stones with low manganese grades needed to be separated). Because of this intermittent requirement, Autlán could specify a compressor that met its FAD requirements but saved energy and lowered costs.

The suggested solution was to install three E-Air V1100 VSD mobile compressors: two compressors for production and one for stand-by purposes. These electric mobile air compressors with VSD technology are built to operate in harsh and outdoor conditions. Because of their robustness, Autlán did not need any special installation or compressor room, saving money on civil works, Atlas Copco says.

Atlas Copco’s E-Air VSD comes with the standard spillage-free frame that offers 110% fluid containment, providing reassurance against possible spillages on site. This was a key feature for Autlán, avoiding the possibility of polluting the soil of the mine, which is strongly regulated.

Moreover, the compressors come equipped with potted motor windings to prevent dust and water ingress, an IP65-rated controller, an IP67-rated water-cooled drive, single-sheet steel, non-welded undercarriage, and a three-layer anti-corrosion paint system, the company explained.

As the compressed air quality is vital for this project, Atlas Copco recommended adding its UD+ filter after the cooler to ensure the air guns didn’t clog. The UD+ filter is a patented design, two-in-one coalescing filter that takes out oil aerosols, dust and water, providing clean compressed air with hardly any pressure drop or efficiency loss. Moreover, this system is a space-saving option compared with traditional filter packages, according to Atlas Copco.

Julio Ponce, Sales Engineer & Air Master for Atlas Copco in Mexico and Central America, says: “The E-Air VSD provides Autlán with a reliable flow of compressed air without any CO2 emissions.”

The E-Air’s integrated VSD-driven permanent magnet electric motor only requires low power for start-up, so there is no need to oversize the power supply. The VSD and permanent magnet motor also make an important contribution to efficiency. Combined, they offer the best-in-class efficiency at partial load and ensure that power consumption closely follows the air demand trend, according to Atlas Copco.

These electric mobile air compressors with VSD range include the Atlas Copco’s PACE system (Pressure Adjusted through Cognitive Electronics). This enables users to control the pressure between 5 and 12 bar, in precise 0.1 bar increments, thereby adjusting the flow to the optimal level for their application. Because of this, one compressor can handle various jobs that previously would have required multiple units.

The E-Air VSD features the Smart Air Xc4004 controller. This increases the efficiency of operations by providing insights and features in an easy-to-use interface that allows a simultaneous view of several parameters, including pressure and flow. Additionally, top structured alarm settings allow for operation monitoring.

The E-Air VSD range is also equipped as standard with an after-cooler, providing high-quality air for applications like sandblasting.

Epiroc to deliver underground drills, bolters, LHDs and trucks to Fresnillo

Epiroc says it has won a large, $17 million order for a variety of underground mining equipment and automation solutions from Fresnillo plc in Mexico.

Fresnillo, the world’s leading silver producer and Mexico’s largest gold producer, has ordered multiple Epiroc underground mining machines for use at five of its mines.

“Epiroc and Fresnillo go back many years as productive partners, and we look forward to continue supporting their work to optimise productivity and sustainability in their operations,” Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s President and CEO, says.

The equipment ordered, manufactured in Örebro, Sweden, includes Boomer face drilling rigs, Boltec and Cabletec rock reinforcement rigs, Simba production drilling rigs, Scooptram loaders, and Minetruck haulers.

Automation features include teleremote operations, Epiroc’s Rig Control System and ABC (Advanced Boom Control) Total, which enables drilling a sequence of holes (full round) automatically. The units will also be equipped with Epiroc’s telematics system, which allows for intelligent monitoring of machine performance and productivity in real-time.

Alamos Gold hits production milestone at La Yaqui Grande

Alamos Gold Inc has announced initial gold production from the La Yaqui Grande mine, in Mexico, following the completion of construction this month, ahead of schedule.

Stacking rates continue to ramp up with leaching activities beginning earlier in June, it noted.

To mark the occasion, the company held a ceremony at site with President and Chief Executive Officer, John A McCluskey, members of the Alamos Gold Board of Directors, and employees from the La Yaqui Grande mine.

McCluskey said: “This represents a significant achievement with construction of La Yaqui Grande having been completed ahead of schedule while navigating a challenging environment over the past few years with COVID-19. On behalf of Alamos, I would like to congratulate our entire team at Mulatos. La Yaqui Grande represents another in a long line of discoveries that have continued
to extend the mine life of the overall Mulatos Complex since it began producing in 2005.

“Given its higher grades and recoveries, La Yaqui Grande underpins a strong outlook for Mulatos with higher production and lower costs driving growing free cash flow in the second half of this year and beyond.”

The Mulatos mine is a conventional open-pit, heap-leach operation with gold recovered through a carbon-in-column circuit.

A total of 991 oz of gold were produced from the initial pour.

La Yaqui Grande is expected to produce approximately 3,000 oz in June, which is already factored into June quarter consolidated production guidance of between 100,000-110,000 oz of gold.

Consistent with full year 2022 guidance, stacking rates at La Yaqui Grande are expected to ramp up through the second half of the year driving production higher and costs lower at Mulatos and company-wide, starting in the September quarter.

First announced in July 2020 as Alamos Gold’s next low-cost, high-return project in the Mulatos District, this large-scale construction project will extend the life of mine for at least five years, thus sustaining the company’s presence and importance in the production of gold in the state of Sonora, Mexico, the company said. La Yaqui Grande was completed ahead of schedule generating more than 1,000 jobs during the construction phase and will continue to sustain 450 direct jobs.

Gekko Systems partners with Quadra Chemicals to expand GoldiLOX leach reach

Gekko Systems says it has entered into an agreement with Quadra Chemicals Ltd to represent its GoldiLOX leach accelerant exclusively in Canada and the USA, and non-exclusively in Mexico.

GoldiLOX is an advanced leach accelerant able to, the company says, increase gold recovery while shortening intensive cyanidation times, making gold production a faster and more effective process. Compatible with all intensive reactors in the marketplace, GoldiLOX is either added as a single manual addition or by an automated chemical dosing system to the intense leach reactor.

“Gekko is pleased to enter an agreement with Quadra Chemicals to provide a cost effective and efficient leach accelerant, GoldiLOX, to our clients in Canada, the USA and Mexico to add further value to their projects,” Andrew Edmondston, CEO of Gekko Systems, said.

Ian Holden, Product Manager, Mining Group of Quadra Chemicals Ltd, added: “Partnering with innovative solution providers to the mining industry, such as Gekko, allows us to continue to provide technologies which will help to ensure our client’s competitiveness in the market. We are excited about this new partnership and look forward to working in collaboration with Gekko.”

Muckahi monorail-based tech removed from Torex’s Media Luna plans

Torex Gold has decided to move forward with “conventional development and mining methods” for its planned Media Luna project in Mexico, following the outcome of various risk assessments, extensive comparative financial analyses, and the results to date of the Muckahi test program at El Limón Deep (ELD), the company said.

In the company’s June quarter results – which saw “solid operational performance” of 118,054 oz of gold produced, adjusted EBITDA of $122.1 million and generation of $21.9 million of free cash flow – Torex said the monorail-based technology would no longer be used in the Media Luna feasibility study currently being worked on and expected to be published in a technical report in the March quarter of 2022.

It explained: “After an analysis of the results to date of the Muckahi test program at ELD and an assessment of business risks, the board has approved a decision to pursue the Media Luna feasibility study on a conventional mining basis. While the monorail-based technology has progressed since the beginning of the ELD test program, testing to date of the individual components operating as an integrated system demonstrates that additional process and equipment engineering is required to achieve desired advance rates, cycle times, and associated cost efficiencies, and that there is insufficient available upside in using the technology as it relates to financial or schedule considerations for Media Luna.”

The use of the Muckahi technology, invented by former President and CEO Fred Stanford, would also leave the company with “no alternative readily available once the decision is taken to drive the two steep ramps at Media Luna, since there would be no access to the ore via any other method without considerable investment and schedule disruption associated with driving conventional ramps”.

Apart from the technical risks, there are additional business risks that require time and consideration such as permitting and regulatory compliance given there is no precedent for the technology, Torex added.

The company believes the use of a conventional mining process is a more prudent approach to mitigate operational and financial risk to the business given Media Luna will be its primary source of feed at the Morelos property after mid-2024.

It did leave the door open for use of the Muckahi technology in the future, saying aspects of the monorail-based technology were currently being deployed for development of the Guajes Tunnel.

“Management will consider including a preliminary economic assessment-level study to utilise monorail-based equipment to develop the smaller EPO deposit near Media Luna as part of the overall technical report to be released in Q1 (March quarter) 2022,” it said.

Potential deployment of the technology at EPO, which hosts an inferred resource of 1.01 Moz of gold-equivalent, would allow for additional testing of the integrated system within a live production environment.

The Muckahi system was engineered by MEDATech in close collaboration with Stanford.

The monorail mining system is billed as providing a surgical way to mine narrower orebodies more efficiently. It involves three logistical paradigm shifts: steep ramps (a quarter of the length of conventional ramps), roof-mounted monorails and equipment to run on them and minimal underground infrastructure.

The technology is expected to significantly reduce capital expenditure, operating expenditure and cut time-to-revenue by as much as 80%, according to Stanford. It will also produce 95% fewer underground greenhouse gas emissions.

The Muckahi technology was included in the Media Luna preliminary economic assessment, but the company always noted that it was experimental in nature and had not yet been tested in an operating mine.

When publishing its 2020 financial results in February 2021, Torex noted: “Since the date of the technical report, the majority of the components of the Muckahi system have been tested by Torex and their functionality demonstrated. Although, the components have not yet been tested together as a system to demonstrate the rates per day in which tunnels can be excavated and material removed from long hole open stopes.

“Testing of the integrated system will continue and is expected to be completed in the second (June) quarter of 2021. Drill and blast fundamentals, standards and best practices for underground hard-rock mining are applied in the Muckahi system as described in of the technical report, where applicable. The proposed application of a monorail system for underground transportation for mine development and production mining is unique to underground mining. There are existing underground mines that use a monorail system for transportation of materials and equipment, however not in the capacity of Muckahi which is described in detail in the technical report. The mine design, equipment performance and cost estimations involving Muckahi in the technical report are conceptual in nature, and do not demonstrate technical or economic viability.”

At the same time as updating the market on its plans to use conventional development and mining methods at Media Luna, Torex said its Board had approved a pushback of the El Limón open pit, which is anticipated to add around 150,000 oz of gold production and extend open-pit mining to mid-2024. This would align with first production from Media Luna in 2024.

Exyn Technologies expands drone distribution with World Class Mining pact

Exyn Technologies has continued to build its network of distributors, announcing a partnership with Mexico-based World Class Mining to bring autonomous drones to the Mexican mining market.

World Class Mining offers representation to foreign companies, introducing their products and services into the local mining sector.

In the last year, alone, Exyn has signed agreements with OPTRON, NSS and C.R. Kennedy to expand its distribution network across Africa, Canada and Australia.

With the assistance of ExynAero, an autonomous and self-piloting aerial drone, the partnership was created to support WCM in its ongoing efforts to increase safety measures for Mexican miners and to make advancements in data collection, Exyn said. ExynAero allows for comprehensive underground aerial 3D mapping with progressive visualisation that increases overall transparency of mining operations − including for GPS-denied, hard-to-reach, or hazardous areas, or locations that would be time-consuming to survey and inspect using conventional methods.

Juan Gonzalez Serrano, Head of Business Development at WCM, said: “We are convinced that 3D mapping solutions Exyn has to offer are the best option available worldwide for our customers in Mexico.”

Nader Elm, CEO and Co-Founder of Exyn Technologies, said: “We’re very proud to expand our partnership with World Class Mining, and to deliver the key benefits of safety and operational efficiency to all the humans involved in the Mexican mining industry. By offering world-class software and technology, we have given them the ability to map areas underground they could never before reach. Our end goal is to be an integral part of fully autonomous mining operations.”

Endeavour Silver centralises, standardises Terronera process management with ARES PRISM

Endeavour Silver has selected ARES PRISM project controls software for use on its Terronera silver project in Mexico to, ARES PRISM says, reduce manual labour, standardise processes and workflows, and improve project data integration.

Terronera was acquired in 2010, and, according to a recent pre-feasibility study, has the potential to produce around 3 Moz/y of silver and 33,000 oz/y of gold over an initial 10-year mine life.

ARES PRISM project controls software has a proven track record and is used throughout the mining industry at more than 80% of the world’s top mining organisations, the company claims.

Andres Zavaleta, Project Management Consultant with Endeavour Silver, said: “Our objective was to establish a centralised system that could be used from the beginning of the project to standardise processes and improve the flow of project data allowing for increased efficiency and better project delivery. ARES PRISM can fully integrate with our current ERP system to enable Endeavour Silver to create standardised workflows and processes.”

Endeavour Silver is implementing the full PRISM G2 software suite, which includes the cost management, engineering, contracts, procurement and field management modules. Alongside this, it will implement PRISM Docs and PRISM Dashboard.

“PRISM Docs will enable their teams to find, share and control business documents, while PRISM Dashboard will provide them a series of pre-designed dashboard views and reports for visually showing progress and performance information,” the company said.

Endeavour Silver has also elected to implement PRISM Go, a web-based extension that allows remote access into a project’s core data set and limited portal access for third-party contractors for project progression in a secure environment.

Geoffrey Stubson, CFO of ARES Project Management, said: “We find that many project organisations are limited by data silos. But in choosing to implement nearly the entire ARES PRISM project software suite, Endeavour Silver has taken a strong initiative to eliminate silos and get the most of their project data while saving time and costs developing the Terronera mine.”

Telson Mining ready to experiment with metallurgical innovations at Campo Morado

Telson Mining, following a strong quarter of production from the Campo Morado mine, in Guerrero State, Mexico, is making plans to boost throughput and recoveries through the potential use of grinding, leaching and flotation technologies from the likes of Maelgwyn Mineral Services, Core Group and Glencore Technology.

The mine’s throughput averaged out at 58,100 t/mth in the March quarter, with total throughput for the quarter of 174,400 t being 4% higher than the December quarter. Some 11,013 t of zinc concentrate and 1,907 t of lead concentrate was produced over the period, compared with 9,974 t and 1,916 t, respectively, in the previous quarter.

Gold, silver, lead and zinc recoveries all improved, quarter-on-quarter, in the first three months of the year, the company added.

Ralph Shearing, Telson CEO and President, said: “These strong first quarter results continue to reflect our steady progression of improving the throughput and recoveries at Campo Morado. To this end, management intends to initiate a rigorous metallurgical testing program to advance through second phase testing the Leachox™ Process of Maelgwyn Mineral Services and the Albion Process™ of Core Group, both of which returned positive test results in first phase testing.”

He said this metallurgical testing program will also study the ability to increase base metal recoveries at microfine grinding with flotation recovery using Imhoflot Flotation (also Maelgwyn) and Jameson Cell (Glencore Technology) flotation technologies, both designed for such purposes.

“We are confident that additional recovery improvements are available utilising these exciting modern technologies which, if successful, can provide increased revenue streams,” Shearing added.

Maelgwyn’s Leachox Process consists of several Maelgwyn proprietary processes linked together including Imhoflot G-Cell flotation technology, ultra-fine grinding using the Ro-Star mill, Aachen Reactors and Aachen assisted cyanide destruction.

The Albion Process, meanwhile, is a combination of ultrafine grinding and oxidative leaching at atmospheric pressure. The feed to the Albion Process is refractory base or precious metal concentrates, where the sulphides in the feed are oxidised and liberated, allowing the target metals to be recovered by conventional means.