Tag Archives: Nevada Gold Mines

Sandvik and Barrick confirm Artisan Z50 trials at Turquoise Ridge gold mine

Sandvik and Barrick have confirmed the signing of a partnership agreement for trialing and enhancing battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) for underground hard-rock mining.

During a three-year production trial, Sandvik will deploy four Artisan Z50 BEV trucks at the Turquoise Ridge gold mine, part of the Nevada Gold Mines joint venture (JV), Sandvik said. Barrick is the operator of the JV, which is the single-largest gold-producing complex in the world, forecast to produce a total of 3.4-3.65 Moz of gold during 2020.

The announcement follows an acknowledgement of such a deal by President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, Henrik Ager, earlier this month.

The Z50 haul truck, with a 50 t payload capacity, is a ground-up design that seamlessly integrates the most capable and proven battery electric powertrain available in the mining industry with the latest and most coveted features of any haul truck on the market today, according to Sandvik.

It is equipped with AutoSwap, a patented self-swapping system for the Artisan battery pack. This makes battery swapping faster and easier with a minimum amount of manual handling: changing the battery only takes about six minutes, and it can be done in a passing bay or old re-muck bay with no overhead cranes or external infrastructure needed.

In phase 1 trials, the Z50 truck already achieved more than 1,400 hours of production with over 1,400 loads, according to Sandvik. It reached production operation of up to 18 hours per day, with speeds of over 10 km/h observed on the ramp to the tip.

Some of the key performance indicators in the new partnership will include the performance of the BEV technology in a production environment, mechanical availability, average lifecycle cost and overall production cost, Sandvik said.

“We are always looking at ways to improve our performance, both in terms of sustainability and operational efficiency,”  Mark Bristow, Barrick’s President and CEO, said. “This partnership with Sandvik is exciting and will give us first-hand experience in BEV technology in our own production environment. It is a significant step to furthering our BEV strategy across the group.”

Ager added: “I am very pleased that Barrick and Sandvik have teamed up to perform these extensive trials in a daily production environment. It gives us the possibility to prove the performance of our BEV technology.

“The purely battery-powered truck helps to reduce heat and emissions underground, helping mines reach their sustainability targets and reduce ventilation costs. This raises the bar for what is possible and enables an all-new level of production and cost reduction for underground hard rock mines.”

A dedicated site project team will be jointly working with the Barrick operations team during the trial period to ensure that all data is captured and the experience from both Sandvik and Barrick is used to ensure the uptime and productivity targets are met, Sandvik said.

Barrick’s digital transformation moves forward with SAP implementation

Barrick Gold says its new transactional system, SAP S/4HANA, has gone live at its 61.5%-owned Nevada Gold Mines company and will be rolled out across the entire group during 2021.

The implementation lays one of the key foundations for the group to reap the benefits of becoming truly digital, and will enable a new level of real-time decision making as well as a more agile and business-led approach to systems and data-driven initiatives, Barrick said in its September quarter results.

“The project stayed on track with a very ambitious timeline despite the obvious challenges presented by the pandemic, with the legacy Newmont sites going live on August 1 and the rest of Nevada Gold Mines on October 1,” the company said.

Back in January, SAP confirmed the gold miner had chosen SAP S/4HANA to future-proof its global business and growth ambitions. SAP calls SAP S/4 HANA a “future-ready enterprise resource planning system with built-in intelligent technologies, including AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics”.

Barrick’s Head of Group Systems Integration, Nico Hoffman, says: “By keeping the global design standardised and focused on getting the basics right, we have set up the rest of the implementations for success and paved the way for them to be completed on time.”

Training adopted a new approach, formulated during Barrick’s strategy sessions earlier this year. This involved identifying particularly talented individuals who were added to a pool of ‘super users’ inside the various business functions.

“These users take up ownership of the system by acting as the first line of support for issues as well as by driving continuous incremental improvement of the core application,” Barrick said. “Almost immediately they began delivering refinements and improvements which will be included in future rollouts.”

Hoffman added: “This project demonstrates the value of having both a very clear end goal and the correct level of executive functional sponsorship on board from the very beginning and we look forward to seeing the results of applying this to future developments.”

The SAP rollout coincides with the start of a number of initiatives including a common global data platform, a new financial reporting and planning system, as well as various operational technology enhancements, rationalisations and unifications, Barrick said. “It also signals the end of siloed local customisations which previously stood in the way of one true global solution.”

Barrick to receive three more Artisan Z50 battery-electric trucks, Ager says

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology has signed an agreement with Barrick Gold that could see four Artisan Z50 battery-electric trucks deployed at the miner’s majority-owned operations in Nevada, Henrik Ager confirmed this week.

Speaking at Sandvik’s Capital Markets Day on Tuesday, Ager, President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology (soon to be President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions), said the company had just signed “a cooperation partnership” with Barrick in relation to the delivery.

“We have one (truck) operating already and have three coming,” he said.

Back in May, a Barrick spokesperson confirmed to IM that an ongoing trial involving a 50-t payload Z50 was expected to be finalised in the June quarter of this year, “with the option to extend, should the KPIs not be met”. The machine was being tested at Turquoise Ridge, a gold mine operated under the Nevada Gold Mines company, owned 61.5% by Barrick and 38.5% by Newmont.

Based on this order, IM assumes the Turquoise Ridge trial was a success.

Alongside this reveal, Ager, talking up the company’s next-generation AutoMine® Concept vehicle recently revealed at the Innovation in Mining event, said the company currently had automation solutions at 59 sites across the mining industry. This compared favourably with solutions at 43 sites 18 months ago, and 19 sites back in 2016.

Mader Group to maintain heavy equipment fleet at Nevada Gold Mines

Mader Group says it has entered into a contract with Nevada Gold Mines for the provision of heavy equipment maintenance.

The ASX-listed contractor will be responsible for providing skilled labour for mechanical and electrical maintenance, machining, scheduling and planning to Nevada Gold Mines, a joint venture between Barrick Gold and Newmont, to ensure the upkeep of heavy mobile equipment operating standards.

The three-year contract will see Mader Group deliver maintenance labour services across Nevada Gold Mines’ eight mine sites, associated infrastructure and processing facilities (all located in Nevada).

Mader Chief Executive, Patrick Conway, commended the team’s track record and growing capability since launching operations in the US.

“This is just one of several key contracts ensuring our continued expansion in the region,” Conway said. “It gives us great pleasure to support Nevada Gold Mines in what is likely to be a fruitful and long-lasting relationship. Forecasting 2.1-2.25 Moz of gold production in 2020, Nevada Gold Mines is expected to account for approximately 30% of total US gold production with optimal fleet performance a critical component in achieving their targets. We look forward to providing a top tier and dependable maintenance service to back their success.”

Nevada Gold Mines adds natural gas to power remit, mulls solar options

Nevada Gold Mines (NGM) says it has approved the conversion of its TS Coal Power Plant to a dual fuel process, allowing the facility to generate power from natural gas.

This conversion, which will enable the facility to reduce carbon emissions by as much as 50%, is in support of Nevada’s carbon-reduction objectives and is in partnership with Governor Sisolak’s administration, NGM said.

NGM is currently working with the State of Nevada on final permitting to allow construction to begin near the end of 2020, with the goal of final commissioning in the June quarter of 2022.

As part of its overall energy management strategy, NGM is also reviewing the potential for a 200 MW solar facility with battery storage. The intention is to phase construction, initially installing 100 MW that could produce power as early as 2022. A study is currently underway and, once the project is approved, NGM will work with the State of Nevada and the Office of Energy on permitting, it said.

Greg Walker, Executive Managing Director, NGM, said: “Nevada Gold Mines is committed to providing its operations low cost, secure power generation through northeastern Nevada’s power grid now and into the future. The conversion of NGM’s TS Power Plant and the potential for an additional solar power facility illustrates this commitment while reducing the State’s carbon emissions.”

NGM has two power generation facilities in northern Nevada with the TS Power Plant in Dunphy and the Western 102 Power Plant outside of Reno. The TS Power Plant commenced operation in 2008 and has a capacity of 215 MW power generation from its original coal-fired process. The Western 102 Power Plant has a capacity of 115 MW, supplying power from natural gas fired generators and a 1 MW Solar Facility, according to NGM.

El Nino arrives early for Premier, Nevada Gold Mines

Premier Gold Mines says processing of ore has commenced from the El Nino gold mine at the joint venture South Arturo mine, in Nevada, USA.

South Arturo is located in the Carlin Trend, and is a joint venture between Premier (40%) and Nevada Gold Mines (60%), a joint venture company owned by Barrick Gold and Newmont-Goldcorp with Barrick as the operator.

The El Nino mine was developed on-time and on-budget, with ore now being processed ahead of schedule, according to Premier Gold. Production is expected to ramp up in the second half of 2019, with a first gold bar pour having been held on September 26.

Premier said attributable gold production is estimated to meet the high end of its 5,000-10,000 oz guidance for the year and it expects that, owing to the high-grade ore at El Nino, South Arturo will have a positive effect on cash flow for the company.

Ewan Downie, President and CEO of Premier, said: “We are excited to once again realise the benefits of South Arturo, increasing the company’s production profile with an anticipated reduction in overall operating costs. Premier continues to benefit from the stellar performance of our partner, Nevada Gold, and its demonstrated ability to consistently execute on schedule.”

In the second half of 2019, surface and underground drilling will resume in an effort to continue delineating and expanding mineralisation at El Nino. El Nino is a high-grade underground deposit situated down plunge of the Phase 2 pit, where mining was concluded in 2017. Pre-stripping of the Phase 1 open-pit project, a second mine being constructed at South Arturo, is ongoing with a target of production in the second half of 2020. Work is also continuing to optimise heap leach material with a potential future decision to proceed with the development of a heap leach facility on the property, the company said.

Surface haulage automation is being tested out at South Arturo, where ASI Mining has successfully completed a proof of concept (POC) utilising five haulage units “that have delivered over 5.5 Mt faster than any other similar POC in the industry”, Barrick Gold said last month.

Swick Mining continues drilling wins at home and abroad

Swick Mining Services is celebrating a hat-trick of contract drilling wins with the Barrick Gold and Newmont Goldcorp-owned Nevada Gold Mines JV, Silver Lake Resources and Northern Star Resources.

The Australia-listed contractor has been awarded a three-year contract extension at the Nevada Gold Mines JV, with the company’s US division extending a relationship that started in 2013. The work with Silver Lake Resources involved being selected as the preferred tenderer, subject to contract execution, to provide underground diamond coring services at its Mount Monger operation, in Western Australia. And, lastly, Northern Star Resources has increased the scope of work for Swick at the Jundee gold mine, also in Western Australia, from nine to 14 full time underground diamond coring rigs.

The awards secure work for 18 rigs (eight existing and 10 additional rigs) and increases Swick’s contracted work in hand to A$353 million ($248 million), the company said.

Swick Managing Director, Kent Swick, said: “We are delighted to be deepening our relationships with existing clients and, in the case of the new work with Silver Lake, returning to a project where we have extensive experience.”

He added: “It is particularly pleasing that our international strategy is yielding significant results, with a third of our total deployed underground diamond drilling rigs now operating outside of Australia. By the end of September, we will have at least 22 rigs operating in our international operations including the USA, Portugal and Spain – all at major mines with Tier One clients.”

In Nevada with the Nevada Gold Mines JV, Swick currently operates eight rigs between the Turquoise Ridge and Cortez Hill gold mines as well as the Goldrush project, it said. As part of the contract extension, Swick will be deploying two additional rigs to these operations.

Swick undertakes underground diamond core drilling and underground RC drilling at the projects, with the contract extension securing work for 10 rigs at fixed pricing for two years, with a rise and fall applicable for the third year. In total, the Nevada Gold Mines JV produced in excess of 4 Moz of gold in 2018, more than double the next largest gold mining complex.

The contract extension, combined with the contract recently awarded to Swick at the Northern Star-owned Pogo gold mine in Alaska, will see Swick take a leading position in the US underground drilling market, it said, adding that the first four underground rigs at Pogo commenced drilling in June.

The Silver Lake Mount Monger contract is expected to be for a period of two years with a provision for a 12-month extension, Swick said. The contract will commence in August, with three rigs undertaking drilling across the Mount Monger site, namely the Daisy Milano, Cock-eyed Bob and Maxwell’s underground mines.

Swick says it worked at the Daisy Milano project for a decade from 2007 before it was awarded to another contractor in 2016. The Mount Monger operations produced 35,172 oz of gold in the March quarter.

At Jundee, meanwhile, Swick says it will steadily increase its fleet and manning from July to October to meet the increased scope. Northern Star is Swick’s largest client – with the Jundee contract Swick’s largest ever project – and will operate this expanded service under the current contract agreement.

Kent Swick said: “Once we reach 14 full time rigs at Jundee, it will represent a record number of rigs that Swick has had at any one mine, and the largest Australian underground diamond drilling program I am aware of since we have been in the underground contracting business for over 20 years.”