Tag Archives: Nordgold

Nordgold taps Swift Geospatial for tailings and community monitoring at Lefa

Nord Gold has implemented a new state-of-the-art monitoring system at its Lefa mine in Guinea that, it says, will help it keep track of the condition of the operation’s tailings storage facilities to proactively identify potential risks.

The move, in line with the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship, has been facilitated by Swift Geospatial Solutions, a service provider experienced in change detection algorithms that developed the solution.

Lefa’s new monitoring system uses satellite imagery processing algorithms to both analyse the condition of the mine’s tailings storage facilities, as well as monitor community welfare by tracking community dynamics, including house building, it said.

Additionally, the technology can help to monitor artisanal mining activities around Lefa’s current mining permit, allowing local management to better assess and prevent potential safety and security hazards

The company explained: “The Lefa mine’s licence area currently spans more than 1,100 sq.km. The latest satellite technology enables cost-effective monitoring of this expanse with regular updates and is backed by a robust AI package.

“As part of the new system, Planet and SkySAT satellite platforms will be used to perform different tasks, both integrated within the Swift Geospatial Solutions online platform. All outputs are delivered through a custom-built web-application and dashboard environment.”

Evgeny Tulubensky, Nordgold’s Chief Legal Officer and Director of ESG at Nordgold, added: “We are very pleased to test this innovative tool, enabled by satellites, at our Lefa mine. It will help us to receive timely and relevant information about the condition of Lefa’s critical environmental infrastructure and the mine’s immediate surroundings.

“Using this rich data, our aim is to continue reducing our impact on the natural environment and ensuring the sustainable development of local communities. Depending on the outcomes of this pilot, we will assess its viability for other Nordgold operations.”

Nord Gold begins IT system transition to Deswik platform

Nord Gold says it has started re-platforming its mine planning IT systems to Deswik, the Australia-based mining-focused global technology company.

The move follows a successful three-month test period and will see the company integrating its operating environment from the numerous software applications currently in use, Nordgold said.

“Deswik provides specialist solutions spanning software, consulting, and training,” the gold miner said. “To date, Nordgold has implemented strategic mine planning, pit design, load and haul simulation, survey modules, and is also considering using Deswik’s drill hole optimiser module.”

Nordgold expects to roll out the new software platform in a three-year staged approach. Throughout the test period, the Deswik software has been adopted by the company’s head office, the Gross and Tabornoe open-pit mines in eastern Siberia, the Suzdal underground mine in Kazakhstan, and the Lefa mine in Guinea. Migration to the Deswik platform is expected to be completed at the Bissa and Bouly mines in Burkina Faso in 2021, with all remaining operations following shortly thereafter.

Louw Smith, Nordgold’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “At Nordgold we pride ourselves on knowledge sharing and collaboration across the business, despite the differences between our individual operations. The Deswik platform is a perfect fit as it caters for both underground and open-pit mines, which was crucial for our diversified business.

“We have been particularly encouraged by the software’s ability to circumvent our legacy systems’ constraints, while still supporting older data formats for backwards compatibility.

“As the implementation phase has proven, Deswik’s software allows for optimisation of resources to generate guidance reserve shapes, pit design, scheduling of designs, and optimising schedules. Moreover, schedules can be used to generate equipment simulation to investigate the effectiveness of mining fleet and assist in optimising both operating and capital expense allocation.”

Nordgold asks China’s SUMEC to power up Lefa gold mine

Nordgold Group is looking to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions with the construction of a new 33 MW power plant at its Lefa mine in Guinea.

The gold producer has signed an engineering, procurement and construction agreement with China manufacturing service group SUMEC, a key member of China National Machinery Industry Corporation (SINOMACH), to design and construct the plant.

The new heavy fuel oil facility will replace the existing power plant, in turn reducing both fuel consumption for electricity production by 15% and engine oil by 30%, according to Nordgold. This will result in a 17,000 t/y reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the company said, which is in line with Nordgold’s climate change objectives as well as its commitments to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s largest shipbuilding company and leading manufacture of heavy industry machinery, is providing the power plant’s main generating equipment.

Nordgold said: “The power plant will enable a significant reduction in operating costs, in addition to enhancing the stability of the electricity supply for over 15 years of Lefa’s life of mine. Moreover, the installation of the latest fire detection systems will increase employee safety.”

The design and construction of the project is expected to cost around $23 million, with the power plant expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

During construction, hundreds of additional jobs will be created and essential construction materials including sand, cement, gravel amongst others will be sourced locally from Guinean suppliers, according to Nordgold.

Nikolai Zelenski, CEO of Nordgold, said: “Even during these challenging times, we remain committed to investing in Guinea. The new power plant is an important investment as it enables us to both decrease greenhouse gas emissions and provide sustainable power generation for our Lefa mine. We are looking forward to working with SUMEC and Hyundai to achieve this project.”

Nordgold acquired the Lefa mine in 2010, with annual gold output almost trebling since, according to the company. The mine, a conventional modern open-pit operation with three major mining areas and several smaller, higher grade satellite pits providing additional ore feed for the mill, produced 189,800 oz of gold in 2019.

Last year, Nord Gold the company did its climate change objectives no harm after entering into an exclusive agreement with Total Eren, an independent power producer specialised in renewable energies, and Africa Energy Management Platform, its strategic development partner, to construct a 13 MW solar photovoltaic power plant for its Bissa and Bouly gold mines in Burkina Faso.

Nordgold enlists Cat dealer to fine tune Russia mine fleet performance

Nord Gold and Vostochnaya Technica (VT), a Cat dealer in Russia, have signed a strategic agreement providing the framework for a long-term partnership between the two companies.

The agreement aims to improve the efficiency and sustainability of all of Nordgold’s Russian operations by ensuring the highest levels of availability, productivity and cost effectiveness of its core mining equipment, the gold miner said.

As part of the agreement, VT will provide mining equipment maintenance and spare parts supply, while improving the efficiency of Nordgold’s Cat fleet, which totals 40 units, through new staff training programs and other initiatives.

The agreement includes the continuation of regular site assessments (which will cover fleet availability and maintenance, for example) as well as on-going measurement of dealer performance. The most recent assessment (August 2019), undertaken at the Gross, Taborny and Irokinda mines, showed the strong operational alignment between VT and Nordgold.

Nikolai Zelenski, Chief Executive Officer of Nordgold, said: “This wide-ranging agreement, which covers both technical support, parts supply and training, strengthens an already strong relationship with a major supplier, and will have a long-term positive impact on our Russian operations.

“The agreement challenges our partner with regular assessments to provide best practice levels of support to ensure the sustainable performance of the mining fleet to meet our production plans.”

Gerhard Vorster, General Director of Vostochnaya Technica, said: “World-class best practices of equipment management for maximum return on investment is a goal we share with Nordgold. Vostochnaya Technica will assign the best experts to Nordgold assets and provide maximum support to reach our common goal.”

Some 40 Cat units are currently in operation at Gross, Taborny and Irokinda, including 14 134t 785D haul trucks and 993K wheel loaders. Two more trucks are to be commissioned by the end of 2019, with five more Cat 785Ds to be supplied in 2020.

A VT Project Manager and service technicians are permanently present on site to maximise fleet uptime, according to Nordgold.

Transense iTrack II mining tyre monitoring system coming to Nordgold’s Bissa

Transense Technologies’ Translogik division has won a contract, through its Ghana partner WATS (West African Tyre Services), to supply 41 iTrack II mining tyre monitoring systems for haul trucks at Nordgold’s Bissa mine in Burkina Faso.

These systems are to be supplied on a rental and service basis via WATS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rana Motors & Metal Works Engineering Co. Transense said: “This method allows mining companies to benefit from the productivity gains and overhead savings provided by using the system without any of the associated capital cost while providing Translogik with a recurring revenue stream.”

The iTrack II system provides fast, accurate, reliable real-time data on the condition of the tyres, combined with live tracking of vehicle location and status, according to Transense. “The company’s 24/7 control room monitors the pressures and temperatures live, and this information can, for example, be used to ensure tyres do not exceed critical heat thresholds, detect incorrect load distributions, predict suspension failures, eliminate manual tyre pressure checks and much more.”

All of these benefits increase health and safety as well as reducing maintenance and downtime, which maximises the hours a truck is working (on-road truck working hours), which directly correlates to an increase in production, according to Transense. Existing iTrack users have reported increases in tyre life of up to 30% and fuel savings of up to 3%, the company said.

Vibi Chandra, Director, Sales & Services Director, OTR Tyres, WATS, said: “The considerable advantages that Nordgold have seen at their sister mine, SOMITA (Taparko), where we installed iTrack in May 2018, have persuaded Nordgold to adopt the system at Bissa.

“As we have previously stated, West Africa is a region with dozens of mines and hundreds of haul trucks and it is our intention to introduce our new enhanced service, including iTrack, to our existing portfolio of mines as well as other mines across the region.”

Graham Storey, CEO of Transense, said: “We are very pleased to have added another Nordgold-owned mine in West Africa to our growing list of iTrack users. WATS are a well-established and highly regarded tyre service provider in West Africa and with their depth of contacts we are hopeful of an accelerated rate of adoption moving forward.”

Bissa, which was launched in January 2013, produced 195,700 oz of gold in 2017.

Nord Gold moves into 1 Moz/y club with Gross mine opening in Russia

Nord Gold has formally launched its Gross gold mine in Yakutia, Russia, with the operation set to take the company beyond the 1 Moz/y production mark when fully ramped up.

The mine opening ceremony was launched during the Eastern Economic Forum, with company executives joined by Dmitry Kobylkin, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, and a number of other regional and national politicians.

Gross, which cost $250 million to construct, is expected to produce 200,000 oz/y of gold over a period of 17 years. Its JORC 2012 resources come in at 9.74 Moz, with reserves of 4.4 Moz.

Nikolai Zelenski, Nordgold CEO, said: “Gross is a significant new asset for Nordgold and turns us into a 1 Moz/y producer for the first time in our history. I believe we have firmly cemented Nordgold as a truly world-leading developer of new gold mine assets.

“This gives us even greater confidence as we look to develop our Montagne d’Or asset in French Guiana which is expected to be a major catalyst for much needed economic growth in the country.”

Gross is adjacent to the company’s Neryungri mine, which produced 67,400 oz of gold last year. It is a single open pit heap leach operation.

All Gross structures meet the technical and climatic requirements specific to the region. They are
earthquake-proof, as well as being designed to operate in Yakutia’s severe climate conditions, with
temperatures that can fall as low as -60ºC.

The mine’s heap leach pads are also designed to be resistant to seismic activity and frost. The geomembranes used are high quality and environmentally protective, meeting the highest international
standards, according to Nordgold.

A coal-fired 16 MWt power plant will ensure continuing operations of the mine even during winter.

The construction of Gross will be Nordgold’s third greenfield project developed from exploration to production and follows the successful launch of the Bissa mine (Burkina Faso) in January 2013 and the Bouly mine (Burkina Faso) in September 2016.