Tag Archives: Newmont

Northern Star shores up KCGM energy supply with Newmont Kalgoorlie power deal

Newmont has agreed to sell its Kalgoorlie power business to Australia’s Northern Star Resources Ltd in a deal that could see the leading gold miner pocket $95 million of cash.

The deal follows the January 2020 sale of Newmont’s 50% stake in Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM). Of the $95 million in cash, $25 million relates to an option payment previously received from Northern Star as part of this stake. The cost of the option will be deducted from the final purchase price, leaving Northern Star to pay the balance of $70 million at completion, expected to occur in December 2021.

Newmont said the Kalgoorlie power business has been a profitable asset for Newmont since the sale of its stake in KCGM. It supplies electricity to KCGM via a suite of contracts, licences, approvals and third-party arrangements, including a 50% interest in the 110 MW duel fuel gas turbine Parkeston Power Station near Kalgoorlie, owned in joint venture with Canadian energy utility, TransAlta Corp.

Northern Star said the purchase provided the company with significant synergies and value, including infrastructure and power security to support the requirements of KCGM; lower power costs at KCGM; further options for Northern Star to implement renewable energy.

Northern Star Managing Director, Stuart Tonkin, said: “The purchase means our Kalgoorlie power supply will now form part of our studies into ways to meet our commitment to becoming carbon-neutral.”

Newmont President and CEO, Tom Palmer, added: “Australia is a critical contributor to Newmont’s global portfolio of world-class assets, located in top-tier jurisdictions. With the sale of this non-core asset, we will continue our regional focus on delivering long-term value at our Boddington and Tanami operations and advancing our future project pipeline through active exploration campaigns.”

Gold industry ready to take action on cyanide use, DST’s Lemieux says

The move away from cyanide in gold processing has been talked of for many years, with words often not followed by actions, yet David Lemieux, President and CEO of Dundee Sustainable Technologies (DST), believes the industry is now starting to get serious about assessing alternative lixiviants.

His assertion comes on the back of one of the biggest gold miners in the world recently making such a move with the help of DST.

Back in December, Newmont signed a Technology Transfer Licensing Agreement with DST to use its cyanide-free gold extraction technology, known as the CLEVR Process™.

The CLEVR Process uses no cyanide, produces no toxic liquid or gaseous effluent and the solid residues are inert, stable and non-acid generating, according to the company. With fast leach kinetics of 1-2 hours, the ability to treat refractory ores and handle base metals, plus a competitive capital/operating expense, the solution has been gaining prominence in the gold market.

Having tested the process out on a variety of ores from various sources, DST is now in the commercialisation phase with CLEVR.

The pact with Newmont follows a successful test work program in the March quarter of this year, after which the gold miner expressed its interest in the execution of such an agreement. This led to Newmont conducting laboratory CLEVR leaching tests in its technical facilities in Englewood, Colorado.

As part of the agreement, DST and Newmont, agreed to:

  • A two-year, non-exclusive licence for the use of CLEVR at the laboratory scale in its Colorado technical facilities, with an option to renew for an additional two-year period under the same terms;
  • Technology implementation support by DST, including all technology laboratory protocols in addition to technical training sessions to initiate and support the technology transfer and practical operations;
  • Ongoing technology support, and for DST to review the laboratory test plans, execution and results conducted by Newmont; and
  • Any process scaling-up requirements resulting from positive applications of CLEVR will be conducted jointly with Newmont at DST’s technical facilities in Canada and/or on-site using DST’s technology and engineering group expertise.

Lemieux said the agreement should be viewed as an indication the gold industry is serious about assessing alternative processing approaches.

“DST’s CLEVR Process is a mature and developed novel gold processing technology that allows majors to properly assess how it can be implemented within a given project in terms of environmental benefits, operational efficiency, and operating and capital costs,” he told IM. “Such a level of detail then allows for properly integrated decision making.”

He said there had been increased interest over the years from the industry with regards to alternative processing approaches, which is likely to continue as more jurisdictions target cyanide operations and pressure operators to reduce their dependency on the lixiviant as the main and sole gold recovery mean.

CLEVR is one of two “novel metallurgical processes” DST has in its portfolio, the other being its GlassLock Process™.

GlassLock is a patented process for the sequestration and stabilisation of the arsenic often associated with copper, gold, silver or polymetallic deposits.

Dundee Sustainable Technologies GlassLock industrial demonstration plant on site at an operating copper smelter

In DST’s approach, the arsenic is incorporated into a highly stable and insoluble glass form that can contain up to 20% arsenic, while meeting or exceeding the requirements of the USA EPA’s toxicity characterisation leaching procedure and the Synthetic Precipitation Leaching Procedure, the company said.

Also in the commercialisation phase, GlassLock has been operating at an industrial scale thanks to a demonstration facility built and operated by DST.

According to Lemieux, the increased number of complex orebodies currently being developed means there is likely to be more interest in both CLEVR and GlassLock.

“The chemistry and conditions of the CLEVR process can allow for improved gold recoveries,” he said. “This, combined with DST’s ability to efficiently and permanently stabilise arsenic using GlassLock, is providing good opportunities for DST.”

The Glasslock process, he said, is equally targeting existing operations that have immediate arsenic production and stabilisation needs as well as operations/miners required to address and stabilise legacy arsenical material as part of their permitting requirements.

These abilities were recently recognised by engineering firm Hatch, which entered into a Technology Framework Agreement with DST that could see GlassLock used in combination with Hatch’s fluid bed reactor and arsenic dry scrubbing technologies on gold and arsenopyrite projects.

The objective of the agreement was to “synergise” Hatch’s extensive client base, commercialisation and marketing expertise, fluid bed reactor and arsenic dry scrubbing technologies, and large-scale equipment engineering, supply, procurement, and life cycle services capabilities with DST’s innovative technology to identify and develop potential gold and arsenopyrite projects using GlassLock, the companies said.

While they cannot point to specific results of these two technologies complementing each other, Lemieux said DST has continued and is currently working on testing programs where the roasting and vitrification approach is applied on complex gold concentrates.

“These programs were generated and originate from DST’s own development efforts, but we hope to see more similar opportunities coming from Hatch in the future,” he said.

Lemieux concluded: “Implementing novel metallurgical processes within the industry takes time and DST has progressed greatly, and continues to do so, on the design and operating parameters of specific on-site implementations of GlassLock and/or CLEVR facilities.”

Newmont to drive mobile equipment decarbonisation plans forward with battery-electric power

Among the options for decarbonising mobile mining equipment, Newmont’s primary focus is on the use of battery-electric power, Dean Gehring, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, told the Energy and Mines Virtual World Congress today.

Gehring, after presenting ‘Toward Net Zero Mining: The Strategy Behind Our Climate Targets’, admitted that the biggest challenge the company faces in terms of decarbonising its operations is with diesel-powered mobile equipment.

“That is the largest area and probably the most challenging, technologically, to address,” he said. “Anything that is plugged into the grid, we have opportunities either through PPAs (power purchase agreements) to buy green energy or to potentially build wind or solar power. That (decarbonising mobile equipment) is an area, in particular, I think we will need a lot of support and partnership with vendors.”

He added: “We are not eliminating any opportunities (for haul truck mobility). We recognise it will take probably a multitude of different solutions to get there. Our primary focus is on battery-electric. We think that is probably going to be the best option going forward. But, like I said, this is a very dynamic space, so we are not eliminating any solutions.”

The company’s decarbonised mobile equipment solutions to date include the use of battery-electric equipment at the Borden underground gold mine in Ontario.

Gehring said the company is also considering the use of trolley assist haulage at the Penasquito operation in Mexico. Newmont already has Komatsu 930E electric drive haul trucks at the operation, with Gehring saying the introduction of overhead power lines on the most fuel intensive haulage routes, could lead to the Penasquito fleet saving up to $30 million and potentially reducing the company’s emissions by over 20,000 t/y of carbon.

The company has also mooted a potential battery-electric fleet at the underground Tanami Expansion 2 project in Australia.

While Gehring did acknowledge there were few “high production” examples of battery-electric trucks in mining operations across the globe, he did point to a potential secondary life for ‘spent’ batteries after use in haulage vehicles, saying he saw them being incorporated in battery storage projects on mine sites.

Newmont has plans to achieve a greater than 30% reduction in absolute greenhouse gas emissions and intensity by 2030 (Scope 1 and 2), which will be delivered from current operating assets through a shift to renewable energy, fuel switching, fleet electrification, and site energy efficiency improvements through its Full Potential program.

Austin Engineering, Melter celebrate new pact with Peñasquito truck bodies order

Austin Engineering has entered into an agreement with Mexico-based equipment manufacturer Melter to broaden its product delivery and service capabilities in the US and the northern region of South America.

This agreement has already delivered a significant new contract with a world-class miner, according to Austin, with Melter set to manufacture Austin-designed truck bodies for the initial supply of five lightweight Ultima bodies for Newmont’s Peñasquito gold operation in Mexico.

In addition to building truck bodies, Melter will also provide local support and maintenance assistance to Newmont, supported by Austin’s US-based teams in Casper, Wyoming.

“Newmont is the world’s largest gold miner and there is potential for further sales to this customer,” Austin said.

The Melter partnership is the latest iteration of Austin’s roll out of “hub-and-spoke” networks in the Americas to support Austin’s central US manufacturing hub in Casper.

Austin says it is establishing “spokes” closer to significant mining areas via new facilities or through partnerships and preferred supplier arrangements. The objective of this approach is to reduce the logistics cost and complexities of delivering truck bodies over large distances. As part of this strategy, in instances where transport costs are high, the Casper facility will provide designs and kits for local assembly to the end user facilities. This approach is intended to improve the competitiveness of Austin’s Casper facility and increase market share.

The hub-and-spoke initiative is part of an “advanced manufacturing strategy” being deployed by Austin following its strategic review of global operations completed in July, which identified several business optimisation and growth opportunities.

Austin’s Casper base has been further supported by the lease of a 23,000 sq.ft (2,137 sq.m) manufacturing site at Fort McMurray in Alberta from which Austin is able to better service its customers in the remote regions of western Canada though better product delivery logistics, shorter travel times, and local service and maintenance teams.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “We are very pleased to have formed a partnership with Melter, which enables Austin to grow its service offering in a market where we don’t currently have manufacturing capabilities. Our partnership with Melter allows Austin to competitively deliver on its contract to supply Austin-designed truck bodies to Newmont’s Peñasquito operations and we look forward to growing our partnership in the future.

“We are continuing to review other potential spoke locations to support our Casper facility and delivering on our US strategy to improve our equipment delivery logistics and reduce overall transport costs, especially into remote areas, making our product offering more cost competitive.”

Melter Chief Executive Officer, Carlos Uribe, said: “We are pleased to develop our strong relationship with Austin Engineering, one of the leading OEMs in the global mining industry, as their regional supplier to build and support their truck bodies and other equipment on and off mine sites in Mexico including at Newmont.

“Over the last 30-plus years Melter has built a completely integrated manufacturing system for high-spec metal-mechanic components, as well as a highly committed and qualified 800 people strong team aimed at delivering the highest client satisfaction in the USMCA market; we are honoured to be able to use our capabilities to deliver Austin’s mining products both locally and potentially overseas.”

Newmont to continue use of K2fly’s RCubed Resource Governance Solution

K2fly Ltd has announced that Newmont has signed a five-year extension to its existing contract for K2fly’s Resource Governance Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.

The extension agreement has a total contract value (TCV) of A$1.3 million ($951,289) and builds on the initial three-year agreement signed in March 2020, which came with a TCV of A$900,000. The agreement will extend the contract period to March 2028.

Newmont will continue to use K2fly’s RCubed Resource Governance Solution across 12 operating mines as well as joint ventures and projects across global operations as part of the agreement, K2fly says.

RCubed software, K2fly says, generates resource and reserve reports that support reporting codes such as JORC, NI-43-101 and SAMREC across the major stock exchanges – including NYSE, LSE, TSX, ASX and JSE. It assists mining and resource companies in complying with their regulatory reporting obligations.

Nic Pollock, Chief Executive Officer of K2fly, said: “This extension of our original agreement from March 2020 with the world’s leading gold company reaffirms the importance of K2fly’s solutions in helping large resources organisations with their ESG reporting and aligns with Newmont’s purpose to create value and improve lives through sustainable and responsible mining.”

MEDATech launches profit, emissions forecasting software for fleet electrification

Ontario-based MEDATech has launched what it says is the “Deswik of underground fleet electric vehicle electrification” with its Electric Vehicle Fleet Optimization Software (EV-FOS).

Built in MATLAB, MEDATech’s tool for simulation, data acquisition and industrial software development, EV-FOS approaches battery-electric vehicle (BEV) optimisation in mines from the practical (vehicle) side. Its goal is to ensure that the transition to electrification is profitable as well as good for the environment, MEDATech says.

The launch of the software, just in time for MINExpo 2021, in Las Vegas, comes after four years of development in collaboration with McMaster University’s Bauman Lab for Electrified Powertrain Research.

The software is, the company says, essential to building a mine electrification plan that is both optimal and practical, based on technology that is available today.

The Collingwood, Canada heavy-equipment design/build engineering company has trialled EV-FOS with major miners like Glencore, Newmont and Torex Gold, with the software conclusively proven to reduce CO2 emissions and help save cost, according to the company.

“EV-FOS is very precise,” MEDATech President, Rob Rennie, says. “The alternative to using our software is developing your own calculations or guessing. With millions or tens of millions of dollars hanging in the balance, it makes sense to invest in something that yields accurate forecasts.”

MEDATech EV-FOS optimises BEV energy usage for new and existing mines, and is as useful for mine development as it is for production. The software can compare BEV fleets versus diesel fleets in terms of life-of-mine vehicle costs, CO2 emissions, fuel and ventilation costs, as well as vehicle maintenance. It also shows the difference in cost and production values between fast charging, battery swapping and on-board charging.

EV-FOS also calculates optimal BEV type, battery size and charging infrastructure for any given mine. It shows effectiveness in dollars per tonne by the level, by the year, for fast charging, for battery swapping and for diesel, MEDATech says.

“Measuring cost in dollars per tonne and in total CO2 reduction are the big dividends,” Rennie says. “That includes labour, capital costs, operation costs and ventilation costs for mines designed for electric operations. It compares these figures to operational and ventilation costs for mines designed only around diesel power, for an equivalent production requirement.”

Newmont starts Rokion R400 battery-electric vehicle trial at Tanami

Newmont’s Tanami operation in the the Northern Territory of Australia has started trialling a new electric vehicle in its underground operations.

The Rokion R400 will initially be used to transport team members up and down the mine, the company said in a post on Facebook. The vehicle is equipped for the transport of 12 people and comes with a battery capacity of 100 kWh.

Newmont said the vehicle is fitted with good suspension and ergonomics, being designed for passenger comfort.

Early indicators show the vehicle has the capability to complete several trips to and from the bottom of the Tanami mine without requiring recharging, Newmont said.

“We hope the trial proves to be successful, and can become the starting point for the future of electric vehicles both light and heavy at Newmont Tanami,” it added.

This is not the first Canada-manufactured Rokion battery-electric vehicle to make an entrance in Australia. The company has previously tested both a Rokion R200 and Rokion R400 at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s Broadmeadow mine in Queensland.

Newmont, meanwhile, is in the process of expanding the Tanami operation through the Tanami Expansion 2 project. This is expected to increase the annual capacity of the processing site to 3.5 Mt/y, from 2.6 Mt/y, and extend the life of the mine beyond 2040.

ICMM aims to align and improve mining industry water reporting with latest guide

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) has launched an updated Water Reporting: Good Practice Guide to, it says, improve the quality and consistency of corporate water reporting that will enhance stakeholders’ understanding of, and ability to use, water reports and associated data.

The guidance broadens ICMM’s minimum reporting commitments to include new metrics for disclosure, such as holistic reporting of how water is used to meet operational demands and how it is actively managed; and reporting of aggregated water metrics for all sites within a company as well as a separate aggregated total for all sites situated in water-stressed areas, according to the ICMM.

“It supports mining companies to disclose water data in a consistent way that allows for easier comparison of performance by interested stakeholders,” the ICMM said.

The guide builds directly on external reporting guidance and definitions, including CEO Water Mandate, GRI, CDP Water and the MCA Water Accounting Framework. It captures practical experience from companies operating in diverse geographies, commodities and regulatory systems, and was developed in consultation with industry experts and investors, helping to make this resource a strong global tool, the ICMM said.

Aidan Davy, COO, ICMM, said: “Transparent reporting is important so that stakeholders such as investors, government, local communities and civil society have greater line of sight over mining companies’ water management practices and related data. The external reporting landscape is evolving, and ICMM’s updated Water Reporting: Good Practice Guide will help companies strengthen their management of this precious and shared resource for the benefit of all users, while reducing corporate risk exposure.”

Briana Gunn, Group Executive of Environment, Newmont, said: “The ICMM Water Reporting: Good Practice Guide was updated to support alignment between members on the information and methodologies for accounting for the inflow, use, loss, storage and discharge of water at our operations. Having a standardised method of reporting provides a higher level of comparability and increased transparency for member companies.”

Chris McCombe, General Manager – Sustainability, Minerals Council of Australia, said: “Australia’s minerals industry is proud to support ICMM’s new Water Reporting: Good Practice Guide, which reinforces the industry’s commitment to water stewardship through responsible water use and transparent and consistent reporting.”

ICMM members commit to apply strong and transparent corporate water governance, including to publicly report company water performance, material risks, opportunities and management response using consistent industry metrics and recognised approaches, the ICMM said. This guide builds on good practice principles from ICMM’s 2017 publication ‘A Practical Guide to Consistent Water Reporting’ as well as practical member learnings from its implementation, and is publicly available on ICMM’s website for use by the wider industry.

Delta Drone to fly UAV-based LiDAR units at Newmont’s Ahafo gold mine

Global drones-as-a-service provider Delta Drone International says it has been re-appointed by Newmont Ghana Gold Ltd, a subsidiary Newmont in Ghana, for a light detection and ranging (LiDAR) project on its Ahafo mine.

Delta Drone International will provide a drone-based LiDAR solution to create an accurate 3D model of the earth and its surface characteristics to map new areas for the mine and mitigate potential risks prior to mine expansion construction commencing, the company says.

Delta Drone International CEO, Christopher Clark, said: “To continue working with Newmont Corporation, one of the world’s leading enterprise gold mining companies, who is using advanced drone techniques for several types of project applications, is a testament to our specialist expertise and drones-as-a-service model.”

He added: “Using the latest in drone LiDAR technology, we can fly with this sensor in a fixed-wing drone, allowing us to map new areas and essentially compete with manned LiDAR, but at a lower price point.

“We are seeing increased demand to use our LiDAR capability to create ‘digital elevation models’ that allows companies to see below thick forest and other surface vegetation and more accurately determine site suitability for certain types of infrastructure and how a site can be used.”

Barrick Gold’s Artisan Z50 battery-electric trial paying off at Turquoise Ridge

Barrick Gold’s decision to carry out a three-year production trial using Artisan Z50 battery-electric vehicles at the Turquoise Ridge gold mine looks to be paying off, with underground tonnage mined at the joint venture operation increasing during the most recent quarter.

Back in November, Sandvik and Barrick confirmed the signing of a partnership agreement for trailing and enhancing battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) for underground hard-rock mining. This would see a three-year production trial take place where Sandvik would deploy four Artisan Z50 BEV trucks at the Turquoise Ridge gold mine, part of the Nevada Gold Mines joint venture where Barrick is the 61.5% owner and operator.

In the company’s just-released June quarter results, Barrick reported that Turquoise Hill gold production in the June quarter was 15% lower than the prior quarter mainly due to an extended planned maintenance shutdown at the Sage autoclave. It noted that upgrades to the autoclave during the shutdown were expected to deliver improved reliability and performance in the second half of 2021.

And, while total tonnes mined decreased 12% compared with the prior quarter – driven by lower open-pit production – underground tonnes mined improved 11% quarter-on-quarter it said.

In this three-month period, Turquoise Ridge benefitted from “efficiency gains from the Sandvik Z50 electric haulage trucks at Turquoise Ridge” and higher tonnes mined from the Vista underground after remediation efforts were completed in the March quarter of 2021 following the previously disclosed fall of ground, it said.

While the use of the Z50s benefitted tonnage mined in the quarter, Barrick did not in its follow-up quarterly presentation that it was “working with Sandvik to address ongoing issues with batteries”.

Still on Turquoise Ridge, Barrick reported that shaft sinking on the Third Shaft at the mine had advanced to its final depth of 989 m below the collar in the quarter.

Construction of the Third Shaft, which has a hoisting capacity of 5,500 t/d, continues to advance according to schedule and within budget, it noted, with commissioning in late 2022. The focus of the project is now shifting from sinking activities to equipping in the September quarter.

Together with increased hoisting capacity, the Third Shaft is expected to provide additional ventilation for underground mining operations as well as shorter material haulage distances, according to Barrick.

As at June 30, Barrick had spent $201 million (including $17 million in the June quarter) out of an estimated capital cost of around $300-$330 million (100% basis).

Thyssen Mining is carrying out the shaft sinking project at the Third Shaft.