Tag Archives: Newcrest Mining

Electric Mine Consortium partners with AWS on world-first mine decarbonisation platform

Australia’s Electric Mine Consortium (EMC), made up of some of the world’s leading mining and service companies, has announced it is working with Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company, to accelerate the electrification of mine sites globally.

Announced at AWS Summit 2022, EMC is using AWS’s depth and breadth of services, including machine learning, business intelligence and storage, to build the world’s first mining data platform, to capture real-time information on mine decarbonisation from sites globally.

To drive decarbonisation, mining companies can use the platform to measure energy storage levels and electrical infrastructure use from global mine sites to accelerate the creation of a cleaner, more electrified future in mining, EMC said.

Co-founder of the EMC, Graeme Stanway, says the platform can help enable EMC members to share sustainability insights and analyse the outcomes of adopting electrified mining infrastructure and sustainable operations.

“The way we generate, store and harness energy around the globe is changing drastically,” Stanway said. “EMC’s collaboration with AWS will help see us at the forefront of this change, driving the mining industry’s electrification at scale.”

Stanway said the industry is crying out for tools to decarbonise due to tightening government emission reduction targets, increasing environmental, social and governance pressure, and the industry being responsible for 7% of the greenhouse gas emissions globally.

“Like the electric vehicle industry, electric mines are the future” Stanway said. “Not only can they be safer through the eradication of diesel particulates, pollution, noise and vibrations, they can also be more targeted, precise and effective when it comes to mining, and yield stronger results than traditional mines with minimal ground disturbance.”

As part of the initiative, EMC created a “data lake” using Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), a cloud object storage service, that can securely store thousands of datasets from the consortium’s mines, including data on energy consumption and renewable energy infrastructure output.

EMC can then clean the data and run data pipelines using AWS Step Functions, a low-code, visual workflow service; AWS Glue, a serverless data integration service; and AWS Lambda, a serverless, event-driven compute service. AWS Glue can provide EMC with data catalogue functionality, and AWS Lake Formation, a service that makes it easy to set up a secure data lake in days, can deliver security and access control.

Amazon QuickSight, a business intelligence service (screenshot pictured), can allow everyone in the consortium to explore and understand mining data through user-friendly interactive dashboards that identify efficiency practices that may reduce emissions, according to EMC.

Also, using Amazon SageMaker, a fully managed service to build, train, and deploy machine learning models, EMC can train machine-learning models to predict energy usage spikes at mines and track the carbon efficiency of deploying sustainable energy infrastructure.

Sarah Bassett, Head of Mining and Energy, Australia at AWS, said: “Data capture and analysis is essential to mining operations, and AWS is helping consortium members to share their critical datasets and collective insights to drive the digitisation and evolution of the industry. I am excited to be collaborating with the EMC and its consortium members to improve the design of mines globally and accelerate the industry’s journey to decarbonisation on the global scale.”

The EMC is a growing group of over 20 mining and service companies. These companies are driven by the imperative to produce zero-emission products for their customers and meet mounting investor expectations. Thus, the objective of the EMC is to accelerate progress toward the zero-carbon and zero-particulate mine through:

  • Resolving key technology choices;
  • Shaping the supplier ecosystem;
  • Influencing policy; and
  • Communicating the business case

The EMC is emerging as a key vehicle for the decarbonisation of the mining industry, particularly for underground operations, and will remain responsive to the rapidly changing external environment.

Members include OZ Minerals, Newcrest Mining, Gold Fields, IGO, South32, Blackstone Minerals, Evolution Mining, Barminco and Iluka Resources.

BluVein XL open-pit mining dynamic charging solution gains momentum

Much of the buzz around BluVein to this point has focused on its dynamic charging infrastructure for underground mining and quarries, but the company has also been gaining momentum around a surface mining project – as the most recent Charge On™ Innovation Challenge announcement indicates.

The company and its BluVein XL solution were today named among eight winning ideas selected to progress to the next stage of the competition, which is seeking to solve one of the biggest challenges in decarbonising mining operations: the electrification of haul trucks.

Within this context, BluVeinXL, the company’s new product line, will be capable of dynamically feeding power to heavy-duty mining fleets with up to 250-t payloads.

The technology leverages much of what was developed for BluVein1: a patented slotted (electric) rail system using an enclosed electrified e-rail system mounted above or beside the mining vehicle together with the BluVein hammer that connects the electric vehicle to the rail. This system provides power for driving the vehicle, typically a mine truck, and charging the truck’s batteries while the truck is hauling load up the ramp and out of an underground mine.

To this point, funding support for the BluVein1 project – being developed for vehicles up to 60-t payload and powered by Rethink Mining (Powered by CMIC) – is being provided by Vale, Glencore, Oz Minerals, Northern Star, South32, BHP, Agnico Eagle, AngloGold Ashanti and Newcrest Mining.

BluVeinXL, meanwhile, has seen the company engage with more than 10 “global mining company leaders” in progressing to a pilot demonstration of the technology. While the company plans to announce the names of these supporting mining companies shortly, it says they all see the need for an industry-standardised, OEM-agnostic, safe dynamic power feed infrastructure to suit mixed OEM open-pit fleets.

The key benefits of the dynamic power feeding solution BluVein is pushing are smaller on-board battery packs, faster vehicle haulage speeds up ramp, grid load balancing and maximum fleet availability.

“Our mining company supporters have provided feedback to us on the benefits they see with BluVeinXL over traditional overhead exposed wire catenary systems offered by other OEMs,” the company said. These are:

  • Near to the ground installation enabled by our patented Ingress Protected safe slotted rail technology;
  • Safer and faster installation;
  • Easy relocation as required to suit open-pit ramp movements over time;
  • Requires no heavy civil foundation requirements;
  • Alleviates the requirements on haul road conditions;
  • Offers purchasing flexibility on electric vehicles through the adoption of an industry-standard dynamic power feed infrastructure; and
  • Safer mine sites with no high voltage exposed overhead wires.

The company concluded: “Together with our mining company supporters, BluVein looks forward to working with all OEMs as we progress towards our planned pilot demonstration at a yet to be announced location.”

Newcrest’s Lihir operation boosts safety with latest Olitek Anako Sense solution

Newcrest Mining’s Lihir operation in Papua New Guinea has commissioned an improved Temperature Measuring Unit (TMU) that, it says, further enhances safety for personnel working at its geothermally active open-pit operations.

This second generation TMU, called Anako Sense, follows the commissioning of the Anako 13 prototype on March 6, 2018, at Lihir. The unit engineers out the risk of personnel exposure to geysering events during drill hole measurement activities, according to the technology developer Olitek Mining Robotics (OMR).

Anako 13 allowed geothermal technicians to operate a mobile arm from the vehicle remotely, while simultaneously lowering or raising a probe safely to measure and record temperature, water level and depth within blastholes. It was designed to mechanise this quality monitoring process in the open pit, removing operators from danger and putting them in the safety of an air-conditioned cabin.

The Mark 2 machine just delivered to Lihir provides faster than manual cycle times, while eliminating fatigue, repetitive strain injury and exposure risks, according to OMR. It also provides real-time data capture of borehole quality measurements.

Newcrest teams collaborated with several business partners to deliver the Anako Sense unit early this year, allowing geothermal technicians to continue carrying out their work safely as Lihir’s mining pit phases extend deeper and further north into Kapit orebody, the miner said.

Lihir Manager – Mine Technical Services, Ben Likia, thanked various Newcrest teams and business partners for delivering the project safely and ensuring a timely site deployment of Anako Sense, including training sessions for key personnel.

“I also congratulate our national employees who completed their training sessions,” he said. “We have competent geothermal personnel who are now operating the new TMU, and several mobile maintenance personnel who will assist in ensuring the TMU is regularly maintained and fit for purpose.

“The safety of our people in Lihir is our number one priority, and this improvement is testimony to that. We are committed to ensuring everybody goes home safe and healthy every day.”

While Anako Sense has obvious applications at mine sites with geothermal hazards like Lihir, the technology’s appeal is much broader, according to James Oliver, OMR’s Managing Director.

“Anako Sense could be used and applied at any mine operating in freezing cold conditions, at high altitudes, located in inland deserts, or around voids,” he said. “The quicker we get people off the bench and into safe vehicle cabins, the better off the industry will be. The development of Anako Sense will help that transition.”

Lihir Superintendent – Geothermal Operations, Kaipale Pano, said the enthusiasm and feedback from the project team and personnel had been heartening.

“The project is a success for Newcrest Lihir because we (Newcrest) encourage employees to experiment with new ideas to improve safety and production performance,” he said. “We displayed Newcrest’s practice – ‘Bottom-up Innovation’ – and values – ‘Working Together’ and ‘Innovation and Problem Solving’ – through this project.

“We are proud to have the best people and outstanding operators, mostly Papua New Guineans, who constantly team up to deploy safe and latest mining technologies at Lihir.”

The name Anako was inspired by an incident at Lihir nine years ago. In 2013, Samuel Ayata, a Geothermal Technician from Eastern Highlands and Morobe, sustained injuries from geysers when collecting blasthole data. His father, Ayata Anako, collapsed upon receiving news about the incident and was bedridden for almost three weeks, pleading with his son to quit his job.

Ayata said: “The scars on my body were a drive for our team to take on this safety initiative and continue improving it; we named the TMU after my father. I thank Newcrest for supporting our commitment to work safely for our families.”

South32 becomes latest miner to join BluVein mine electrification project

BluVein has announced its ninth and newest funding partner to join the BluVein mine electrification project powered by Rethink Mining (Powered by CMIC), with South32 being the latest miner to join the cause.

BluVein is a joint venture between Australia-based mining innovator Olitek and Sweden-based electric highways developer Evias. The company has devised a patented slotted (electric) rail system, which uses an enclosed electrified e-rail system mounted above or beside the mining vehicle together with the BluVein hammer that connects the electric vehicle to the rail. The system provides power for driving the vehicle, typically a mine truck, and charging the truck’s batteries while the truck is hauling load up the ramp and out of an underground mine.

South32 joins Vale, Northern Star Resources Limited, Glencore, Newcrest Mining, AngloGold Ashanti, BHP, OZ Minerals and Agnico Eagle Mines Limited as BluVein funding partners.

Earlier this month, BluVein and Epiroc formed an MoU with BluVein aimed at fast-tracking development of the BluVein dynamic charging solution towards an industrialised and robust solution which is ready for deployment across the global mining industry. The MoU is focused on the BluVein Underground solution (BluVein1), but BluVein is also developing a solution for open-pit mining.

Monadelphous Group banks work with Rio, Tronox and Newcrest

Monadelphous Group has announced several new contracts and contract extensions in the resources and energy sectors in Australia and Papua New Guinea, including work with Rio Tinto, Tronox Mining Australia and Newcrest Mining.

The awards totalled some A$230 million ($172 million).

One of the contracts the engineering firm has secured is with Rio Tinto for the provision of shutdown works at the Greater Tom Price operation in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The work includes upgrades and modifications to existing process plant infrastructure at the Western Turner Syncline Phase 2 project (pictured), with work expected to be completed in the second half of 2022.

In New South Wales, Monadelphous has secured a multi-disciplinary construction services contract with Tronox Mining Australia in Broken Hill, where the mineral sands producer processes its heavy mineral concentrate from other operations in Australia. The work is expected to be completed in the second half of 2022.

Finally, in Papua New Guinea, Monadelphous has been awarded a contract with Newcrest to provide engineering, procurement and construction services on the CCD 3 & 4 Refurbishment Project at Lihir Island. The work, which includes the major overhaul of two tanks associated with the gold production facilities, is expected to commence onsite in July 2022 and be completed in mid-2023.

Epiroc, Orica secure Newcrest Cadia trial for commercial Avatel charging system

Newcrest Mining is set to trial Avatel, a fully mechanised development charging system developed by Epiroc and Orica, at the Cadia operation in New South Wales, Australia, later this year, according to Tony Sprague.

Sprague, Group Manager, Directional Studies and Innovation at Newcrest, said this will be the first commercial trial of the Orica and Epiroc co-developed system anywhere in the world.

Orica and Epiroc, back in 2019, announced joint work on a semi-automated explosives delivery system, enabling safer and more productive blasting operations in underground mines. The companies said the partnership would “bring together the deep expertise and experience of two global industry leaders” to address the growing demand from customers mining in increasingly more hazardous and challenging underground operations.

Avatel includes Orica’s HandiLoader™ emulsion process body, Epiroc’s M2C carrier and RCS 5 control system, working with Orica’s LOADPlus™ control system and WebGen™ 200 wireless initiation system and automated WebGen magazine. Epiroc has also incorporated an onboard dewatering and lifter debris clearing system, while Orica’s ShotPlus™ intelligent blast design software is also being leveraged. These components help eliminate the need for traditional tie-ins and other physical wired connections from the charging cycle.

Orica has stated previously: “This first-of-its-kind innovation enables a single operator to prepare and charge explosives from the safety of an enclosed cabin, several metres from the face and out of harm’s way. Combined with Orica’s LOADPlus smart control system and Subtek Control bulk emulsion, customers can enjoy complete and repeatable control over blast energy from design through to execution.”

Trials with a prototype machine have been taking place at Epiroc’s Kvantorp Underground Test Mine in Sweden under controlled underground conditions. IM understands there are also plans for a machine to head to Agnico Eagle’s Kittilä Mine in Finland to complete extended underground trials in the production environment.

Newcrest’s Cadia operation is set to be the first site to trial the complete commercial offering at Cadia, commencing in the second half of 2022, according to Sprague.

Clough’s e2o Asset Services to carry out shutdown work at Newcrest’s Lihir mine

Clough’s recently launched asset services business, e2o Asset Services, has been awarded a shutdown scope at Newcrest’s Lihir gold mine on Lihir Island, Papua New Guinea, it says.

The scope awarded includes support shutdown maintenance activities, with the asset services team working with Newcrest to prepare, plan, schedule, execute, close out and improve the site’s grinding and flotation major planned shutdowns.

The shutdown execution works include – but are not limited to – planned maintenance work, corrective work and project improvement works, Clough said.

The site’s grinding and flotation major planned shutdowns are completed every March and September and form part of the site’s larger “smart shutdown” schedule, the company explained. Work will commence immediately with the first shutdown planned for March 2022.

Peter Bennett, Clough CEO and Managing Director, said: “Clough has over 40 years of experience delivering projects in PNG and this contract will continue to bring opportunities to local talent, businesses and the community at large.”

Brent Maas, Clough Vice President Services for Queensland and PNG, said: “Our history in PNG is extensive and this award ensures we continue to make a positive impact in the PNG community while working with Newcrest to maximise the value of their assets.”

Newcrest to expand presence in BC’s Golden Triangle with Pretium buy

Newcrest Mining Ltd has entered into an agreement to acquire all the issued and outstanding common shares of Pretium Resources that it does not already own by way of a Canadian Plan of Arrangement.

The Pretivm Board of Directors has unanimously recommended that shareholders vote in favour of the transaction, which valued Pretivm equity at $2.8 billion, and have entered into voting support agreements with respect to all the Pretivm shares that they own or control. The transaction is targeted for completion in the March quarter.

Pretivm is the owner of the Brucejack operation in the Golden Triangle region of British Columbia, Canada. Brucejack began commercial production in July 2017 and is one of the highest-grade operating gold mines in the world, according to Newcrest. The Pretivm Technical Report of March 9, 2020 estimated gold production of 311,000 oz/y at an all-in sustaining cost of $743/oz of gold over a projected 13-year mine life.

Brucejack is some 140 km from Newcrest’s majority-owned and operated Red Chris mine, located on Tahltan territory.

Newcrest’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sandeep Biswas, said: “We are delighted to be expanding our presence in this highly prospective region in British Columbia. Brucejack is a Tier 1 mine in a Tier 1 jurisdiction and will deliver immediate production, free cash flow and earnings diversification to Newcrest and will fit seamlessly into our long life, low-cost portfolio.

“Following this transaction, Newcrest will have exposure to six Tier 1 orebodies and a portfolio of organic growth options of unrivalled quality.”

The combination of Newcrest and Pretivm will create the leading gold miner in British Columbia’s Golden Triangle, operating both the Brucejack and Red Chris mines, according to Biswas.

“Following due diligence, we believe that as the owner and operator of Brucejack we can build on the strong foundations established by Pretivm and deliver significant additional shareholder value by leveraging our experience in operating epithermal gold mines and applying our exploration and innovation expertise to realise potential resource and reserve growth. Resource and reserve growth and our commitment to investing in the area will underpin the success and longevity of mining in the region for the benefit of the First Nations people, host communities, British Columbia and Canada.”

Pretivm’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Jacques Perron, said: “With this acquisition, Brucejack will join Newcrest’s portfolio of Tier 1 assets, mitigating the inherent risks associated with ownership of a single-asset mining company. Moreover, Newcrest has the financial means and the intention of maximising the long-term potential of the Brucejack mine and the district-scale opportunities in the surrounding Brucejack property.”

Newcrest believes that its concurrent operation of both Red Chris and Brucejack mines will provide enhanced opportunities for both workforces, allow for aligned and optimal engagement with the First Nations and the broader community, and will provide the foundation of ongoing future investment in the region, it added.

Macmahon books A$600m of work with Newcrest, AngloGold and Vale

Macmahon Holdings has bolstered its order book with a number of contract extensions involving the Tropicana and Telfer gold operations, in Western Australia, and the Hu’u copper-gold project, in Indonesia.

At the Tropicana mine, a joint venture between AngloGold Ashanti Australia Ltd (70% and operator) and Regis Resources Ltd (30%), Macmahon has been providing mining services since open-pit mining started in July 2012 under a life of mine alliance contract.

The additional work for Macmahon follows the completion of a detailed final cutback study of the Havana pit and subsequent confirmation of the optimal method to mine the deeper ore in the Havana ore body. Macmahon has now been provided with the scheduling detail for the cutback, which will add 155 Mt to the material to be mined from 2024.

The final cutback of Havana will extend the open-pit mine life by four years, from 2023 to 2027, and is expected to generate additional revenue of approximately A$470 million ($340 million), it said.

Macmahon has also extended its life of mine contract with Newcrest for the Telfer mine.

On August 12, Newcrest announced it will proceed with the West Dome Stage 5 cutback at Telfer. This new scope of work is expected to generate revenue of circa A$138 million and will extend Macmahon’s work on site to September 2024. This new work has been negotiated on updated rates, which are forecast to achieve the company’s internal financial hurdles, Macmahon explained.

In Indonesia, Macmahon has received a letter of award to construct an 11 km access road at the Hu’u copper gold exploration project on Sumbawa island. This work is valued at approximately A$18 million and is a further step in the company’s strategy to increase its revenue from mining support services.

Subject to finalisation of contract documentation, the project is forecast to commence in September 2021 and employ approximately 150 people. The Hu’u project is 80% controlled by Vale SA. Vale has previously said the project could produce more than 250,000 t of copper and more than 200,000 oz of gold.

Macmahon CEO and Managing Director, Michael Finnegan, said: “We are pleased to have secured this additional work which adds approximately A$600 million to our order book. A key highlight is the extension of our long-term alliance contract at Tropicana, which has been a cornerstone of our surface mining business in Western Australia for many years and has recently expanded into underground mining.”

Vale, Glencore, Newcrest and others join BluVein’s next gen trolley charging project

Seven major mining companies have financially backed BluVein and its “next generation trolley-charging technology” for heavy mining vehicles, with the industry collaboration project now moving forward with final system development and construction of a technology demonstration pilot site in Brisbane, Australia.

BluVein can now refer to Northern Star Resources, Newcrest Mining, Vale, Glencore, Agnico Eagle, AngloGold Ashanti and OZ Minerals as project partners.

Some additional mining companies still in the process of joining the BluVein project will be announced as they officially come on board, BluVein said, while four major mining vehicle manufacturers have signed agreements to support BluVein controls and hardware integration into their vehicles.

BluVein, a joint venture between EVIAS and Australia-based Olitek, is intent on laying the groundwork for multiple OEMs and mining companies to play in the mine electrification space without the need to employ battery swapping or acquire larger, heavier batteries customised to cope with the current requirements placed on the heaviest diesel-powered machinery operating in the mining sector.

It is doing this through adapting charging technology originally developed by Sweden-based EVIAS for electrified public highways. The application of this technology in mining could see operations employ smaller, lighter battery-electric vehicles that are connected to the mine site grid via its ingress protection-rated slotted Rail™ system. This system effectively eliminates all exposed high voltage conductors, providing significantly improved safety and ensures compliance with mine electrical regulations, according to BluVein. This is complemented with its Hammer™ technology and a sophisticated power distribution unit to effectively power electric motors and charge a vehicle’s on-board batteries.

BluVein has been specifically designed for harsh mining environments and is completely agnostic to vehicle manufacturer. This standardisation is crucial, BluVein says, as it allows a mixed fleet of mining vehicle to use the same rail infrastructure.

While underground mining looks like the most immediate application, BluVein says the technology also has applications in open-pit mining and quarrying.

It is this technology to be trialled in a demonstration pilot in a simulated underground environment. BluVein says it plans on starting the trial install early works towards the end of this year for a mid- to late-2022 trial period.

The BluVein project will be managed by the Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC).