Tag Archives: mining technology

Metso Outotec takes mining and metals innovation to the next level with new facility

Metso Outotec has launched its first innovation centre in Espoo, Finland, as it looks to bring “together the comprehensive value chain from ore to metals” and enable “rapid co-creation with customers and partners”.

The Metso Outotec Innovation Center offers unique expertise and tools for solving different types of challenges, from process optimisation to the selection and virtual prototyping of solutions, in a cutting-edge environment, the company says.

“It takes ideation, collaboration, and innovation to the next level,” Metso Outotec added.

Veli-Matti Järvinen, Vice President for Automation and Digital Solutions, Minerals, at Metso Outotec, explained: “The Innovation Center introduces a completely new way to collaborate and co-create with our customers and partners. Adding value to our customers’ processes and ensuring their reliable, efficient and sustainable operation, as well as safety are all at the core of what we do at the Innovation Center.”

The centre looks to serve demand for a suitable virtual environment in which to quickly develop and test flowsheet solutions and prototypes, with the facility able to offer digital demonstrations; host training, problem-solving and co-creation workshop sessions; demonstrate technologies and services; cement value calculations; and display three-dimensional engineering digital twins in accurate form while securely protecting data and sensitive content.

These are just some of the features currently in play, with more set to be introduced including process control demonstrations, 5G connectivity, a metallurgical digital twin, extended process optimiser demonstrations, and modelling and simulation.

Järvinen concluded: “In our new digital space, we can support our customers at every stage of their continuous improvement path. We’re thrilled about the opportunities offered by the Innovation Center: it speeds up the innovation cycle and makes efficient collaboration possible in a space that is both physical and digital.”

IMDEX signs agreement with Tier 1 miner to fast-track development of MAGHAMMER

IMDEX has signed a joint development agreement with a Tier One mining company to fast-track development of the IMDEX MAGHAMMER™ for commercial use, according to Chief Executive Paul House (pictured).

The MAGHAMMER uses a hybrid drilling technique combining rotary diamond drilling with fluid driven percussive drilling to achieve higher penetration rates compared with conventional coring. The technology enables an entire drill hole to be completed with a coring rig where RC and diamond drilling is required, according to the company.

IMDEX only exercised its option to acquire Flexidrill and its patent-protected drilling productivity technologies, COREVIBE and MAGHAMMER, in December, but it had carried out test work on the MAGHAMMER technology far in advance of the transaction.

Speaking at the company’s AGM this week, House reported a new rental fleet record and month-on-month increases in revenue since May as IMDEX recovered from a COVID-19-related downturn earlier in the year.

With the strength of the gold price and other key commodities, and exploration activity surging, IMDEX’s tool rental fleet is 19% up on the same time last year and exceeds the previous record set in 2012, the company said.

House told the AGM that the recommencement of activity globally since May had continued in most regions, albeit at different speeds.

“We achieved revenue of A$61.4 million ($43.5 million) in Q1 2021 (September quarter of 2020), which was up 26% on Q4 2020 (June quarter of 2020),” House said. “This result is only slightly behind the previous corresponding year at A$67.6 million, or 4.9% on a constant currency basis.”

House said the company is seeing multi-commodity demand, with clients “well-funded” and focused on resuming sustained activity as soon as possible.

The pressures of COVID-19, which forced various governments to impose border and travel restrictions, created strong demand for IMDEX technologies linked to its cloud-based IMDEX HUBIQ™, the company said.

“We have made great progress both because of and in spite of COVID-19,” House said. “The global pandemic has increased demand for our connected technologies that support remote operations. Conversely, it has hindered client trials due to limited access to site for non-essential personnel.

“On balance, the momentum for disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, and the industrial internet of things is gaining cadence.

“The outlook for mining tech is brighter than it has ever been.”

On top of the MAGHAMMER reveal, House said client trials of the award-winning IMDEX BLAST DOG™ had resumed.

IMDEX BLAST DOG is a semi-autonomously deployed system for logging material properties and blasthole characteristics at high spatial density across the bench and mine and is commodity agnostic.

Just last month, the technology, being developed in collaboration with Universal Field Robots and tested at Anglo American’s Dawson coal mine in Queensland, won the Greyhound Innovation (METS) Award at the 2020 Queensland Mining Awards.

UQ’s JKMRC and JKTech strengthen consulting and research functions

The University of Queensland’s Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC) and UQ Holding’s technology transfer company, JKTech, have decided to integrate their activities under one management structure.

JKMRC is one of six research centres within the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI), and its Director Professor, Neville Plint, has been appointed Managing Director of JKTech in addition to his SMI role.

Chair of the JKTech Board, Dr Kelly, said the unified management structure would strengthen the ability to develop solutions across the mining value chain.

“The link between research and consulting is very important and this integration will ensure our clients are receiving the benefits of new research, expertise in technology-based consulting, laboratory services, software, specialist equipment, and professional development,” he said.

Professor Plint said the move would consolidate and strengthen the consulting and research functions of both organisations and enhance the testing and product delivery to clients.

“SMI’s goal is to provide solutions to the challenges facing our research and industry partners in the resources sector,” he said.

“Bringing together the teams in JKTech and JKMRC helps us drive innovation and continue to provide mining and metallurgy research and consulting services worldwide.”

JKMRC was established at The University of Queensland in 1970 and is an internationally recognised minerals and mining research centre with strong industry partners and a successful PhD student program. In 2000, it became part of UQ’s newly established Sustainable Minerals Institute.

JKTech opened in 1986 as the commercial division of JKMRC. It became an incorporated company in 2001, wholly owned by UQ Holdings Pty Ltd.

The teams in both organisations have maintained a close working relationship over the years, but this announcement sees a return to a single management structure while preserving JKTech’s corporate and technical identity, the organisations said.

“This year is the 50th anniversary of JKMRC, and we see this strategic integration as a way of further strengthening the position of both JKMRC and JKTech as we look forward to the next 50 years,” Dr Kelly said.

Under the new structure, Professor Neville Plint is Managing Director of JKTech and Director of SMI, supported by a management team comprising Professor Rick Valenta (Acting Director, JKMRC), Paul Napier (Chief Financial Officer, JKTech), Bevin Wong (Operations Manager, JKTech) and Associate Professor Marcin Ziemski, who is taking on the role of Commercial Lead working across JKTech and JKMRC.

CQMS Razer targets global growth in mining engineering, tech space as it becomes CR

CQMS Razer is looking to grow its mining engineering and technology footprint across the globe with a new name – CR – and direction that, it says, better aligns the company’s growing portfolio with the needs of its customers.

Already recognised across Australia’s mining industry for its surface mining solutions – including dragline products, cast lips and ground engaging tools – the CR brand change “reflects the company’s aspiration of growing its market reach and next-generation mining technology”, the company said.

The move follows several high-profile acquisitions of Seattle-based Thunderbird Mining Systems, a developer of market-leading blasthole drill optimisation technologies that complemented CR’s digital product range and its Titan 3330™ Load Haul Optimization technology, and California-based Berkeley Forge & Tool’s mining products business.

These have added meaningful scale, market connections and, importantly, deep mining knowledge from decades of product development and sales, the company says.

CR CEO, John Barbagallo, said the company’s growing product portfolio and prospective market opportunities meant it was essential to consider its reshaped business direction and how it plans to serve customers in the future.

“Today is an important day for CR as we launch our refined strategic direction and brand, a demonstration of our commitment to mining engineering and technology innovation and our capability to support our customers globally,” he said.

“The move to CR is very much about retaining the proud heritage of CQMS Razer, while providing us with a sharper and more focused brand, allowing us to add complementary businesses and products into the future.

“An important element of introducing the CR brand is to galvanise our brand and image for our employees. Together we are CR is a reflection of our strength and the reputation we have built over the last 40 years delivering reliable, innovative and customer-focused solutions for mining operations across the world.”

CR will include new product divisions that will better align the company’s growing portfolio to the needs of its customers, it said. This will see CR Mining, CR Digital and CR Contracts emerge, all of which are managed at a strategic level under the CR brand.

“Our experience and passion for what we do has seen us develop our business and become to a leader in our field, delivering outstanding results for our customers,” Barbagallo said. “This is a reputation we are keen to foster and build upon with our customers and markets worldwide under the new CR name.”

RPMGlobal helps unlock standardised communication language for METS sector

RPMGlobal has continued to play a role in the development of the International Society of Automation (ISA-95) committee’s latest Information Exchange Profile which, the company says, will pave the way for industry-specific integration scenarios for the mining sector.

The most recent ISA-95 committee meeting culminated in the “Part 8 – Information Exchange Profiles” being officially accepted as part of the global ISA95 standard, according to RPMGlobal.

According to Paul Beesley, RPMGlobal’s Chief Technology Officer and ISA-95 Committee member, this part of the standard will enable joint development of industry-specific integration scenarios. This is “especially useful when building off-the-shelf integration between mining technology vendors,” he explained.

RPMGlobal said the successful achievement follows 18 months of regular committee liaison meetings to finalise the documentation and more than three years of effort to move from the conceptualisation phase to an approved extension to the standard.

The Brisbane, Australia-based company played a prominent role in building this extension to the standard, it said, adding that the changes were accepted in the first round of voting with no negative votes, which is “highly unusual”.

Beesley said the result “cemented the company’s position as a respected contributor and leader in mining enterprise integration”.

He added: “Having the extension to the standard accepted creates significant value to mining companies as it provides a blueprint for mining software vendors to work together to enable information to seamlessly move between systems.

“This extension to the standard solves a common problem across many standards so it’s pleasing to see early interest from other committees in using Part 8 as reference material to develop similar amendments to their own standards.”

ISA-95 Chairman, Chris Monchinski, said: “As a committee we are excited to have industries outside the traditional manufacturing space participate in evolving and improving the ISA-95 standard to make it more accessible. The work done here allows other industries, such as mining, to build on the experience from the manufacturing sector.”

The ISA is a highly respected professional body responsible for developing widely used global standards for the instrumentation and automation of systems across a variety of industries.

After recognising there was a lack of a framework for mining technology providers, the committee turned its attention to the creation of a best-practice model for the sector after it was approached by BHP, RPMGlobal said.

The ISA-95 standard has since been readily adopted by key technology providers, enabling the breakdown of barriers within the mining industry and across the entire value chain, the company added.

“Connecting disparate systems to share data and critical information has never been more important for the mining industry than it is today,” Beesley said.

“The ISA-95 standard has helped unlock a standardised communication language for mining technology providers and RPMGlobal is proud to contribute to the progression of the standard for the benefit of everyone in the industry.”

Mining Peru Congress organisers preparing the red carpet

The Mining Peru Congress is now less than three months away and the organisers are ready to welcome more than 300 attendees from key mining enterprises, regulatory authorities, government, technology and equipment suppliers, and investors.

Taking place on April 1-2, in Lima, Peru, Vostock Capital, the organisers, describe the event as a “strategic congress and exhibition for the leaders of the mining industry”.

Vostock says the conference highlights include:

  • New concessions and projects: learn about the conditions for individuals or corporations to acquire mining concessions during the next public tender process;
  • Technology, safety and productivity: learn how innovative technologies in exploration and mine development are helping mining companies increase their productivity;
  • Funding and investments: cooperating with local and international banks and financial institutions, private investors, project financing. How to gain the most favourable lending conditions and how to ensure a quick return of investments;
  • Beyond licensing: the benefits of mining in a socially and environmentally responsible manner;
  • Where’s Peru heading? Obtain the most up to date insights into key projects and opportunities;
  • Dedicated exhibition of cutting-edge equipment and technologies for the mining industry delivered by local and global leaders from around the world;
  • One-to-one business meetings and networking opportunities: talk to key decision makers, develop new business contacts, take part in networking round tables, cocktail reception and interactive discussions.

To find out more about the event, go to: https://mininglatamcongress.com/

International Mining is a media partner of the Mining Peru Congress

NORCAT and Glencore launch technology innovation programme

NORCAT and Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations have launched a technology and innovation programme to facilitate and enhance the mining company’s capabilities to bring new, state-of-the-art technologies into its operations and accelerate the rate of technology adoption across the industry, NORCAT has reported.

NORCAT, which calls itself a global leader in the development and provision of skilled labour training and innovation services, is the only innovation centre in the world that owns and operates an underground mine designed to “enable start-ups, small/medium enterprises, and international companies to develop, test, and demonstrate innovative technologies in an operating mine environment”, it says.

This facility has seen NORCAT become a global destination for mining companies to “see and touch” emerging technologies poised to transform the industry, it said.

Kevin McAuley, Director Sustainability, Technical Services and Innovation at Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations, said: “We are excited to partner with NORCAT to implement this technology and innovation programme. This partnership not only provides us a unique opportunity to access a wide range of emerging technologies that will help us deliver on our broader business strategy, but also it continues to support the vibrant mining technology ecosystem at the NORCAT Underground Centre.”

Don Duval, NORCAT’s CEO, said the company was working hard to continue its leading role in “all that is the future of mining”.

“NORCAT’s portfolio of mining technology companies using our state-of-the-art operating mine as an ‘active laboratory’ has created an ecosystem like no other in the world,” he added. “We are excited to partner with Glencore and continue to build and support Canada’s global reputation as a market leader in the mining industry.”

NORCAT says it will continue to identify and engage with mining technology companies from around the world to support the implementation and demonstration of their products at the Underground Centre. “By doing so, NORCAT helps to connect and broker relationships between mining technology companies (the ‘builders of innovation’) and global mining companies (the ‘buyers’ of innovation), creating a vibrant tech ecosystem unique on the global stage.”

NORCAT’s Don Duval will be presenting a paper titled, The NORCAT Underground Centre – the world’s one-stop shop for the future of mining technology, at The Electric Mine conference in Toronto, on April 4-5, 2019. For more information on the event, please click here.