Tag Archives: Normet

Normet makes investment in electric hammer tech start-up Lekatech

Normet has continued its investments in electrification technology with an agreement to become a minority shareholder of Finland-based startup Lekatech.

Since 2018, Normet has collaborated with Lekatech, a company that believes that direct electric drive is the future in hammering. Given the successful collaboration in electric hammer field tests between the companies, Normet has become a minority shareholder in the company.

The investment supports continued growth of Lekatech and commercialisation of its groundbreaking fully-electric hammers, Normet said.

Lekatech CEO, Antti Anttila, said: “Our goal is to zero out the CO2 emissions of impact hammers used in mining and construction industry.”

Lekatech’s ambition supports Normet’s continued progress in mining electrification. The fully-electric hammer, combined with Normet SmartDrive® battery-electric architecture, will shape the future of underground scaling and breaking, the company says.

Samu Kukkonen, Technology Director at Normet, said: “Lekatech’s technology enables a quantum leap in hammering energy efficiency and impact performance. The hammer being a digital platform enables intelligent control features that just were not possible before.”

Lekatech’s fully-electric hammer is up to 60% more efficient than a conventional hydraulic hammer providing significant energy savings while doubling impact force, the company claims. Fully-electric hammer technology also enables continuous digital development.

Tuomo Peltola, Founder of Lekatech, added: “Cooperation with Normet has been natural from the beginning. Normet really understands how to introduce high technologies to global market. I appreciate Normet’s practical and entrepreneurial culture and solid technical know-how. Normet is committed to being a technology leader in its own area of expertise.”

Normet strengthens scaling and breaking market position with Rambooms, Marakon buys

Normet says it has agreed to acquire Rambooms Oy, a manufacturer and supplier of rock breaker boom systems, and Marakon Oy, a supplier of hydraulic hammers and excavator attachments for the construction and mining industries.

The Rambooms and Marakon businesses, with a manufacturing facility in Lahti, Finland, form the Marakon Group. The group has a wide customer base, and its products are found in most mining and construction markets, according to Normet. Marakon Group had 35 employees and net sales of €26 million ($27.8 million) in 2022.

Ed Santamaria, President and CEO at Normet, said: “Rambooms and Marakon are known for their high performing quality products. With the acquisition Normet strengthens its position in scaling and breaking as well as supports advancing towards higher levels of automation and electrification for the mining and construction industries. We look forward to welcoming the Marakon Group employees to Normet and supporting them in their future growth and development.”

Tomi Veijalainen, President of MRB-Holding Oy, added: “Throughout the past 40 years Marakon and Rambooms have grown together with both our business partners and employees. We feel trustful in the fact that this acquisition will allow for these shared success stories to continue. As this milestone marks a step towards new opportunities to advance and succeed, we are excited to follow the future accomplishments of both companies.”

The acquisition is expected to be closed this quarter, subject to the fulfilment of customary closing conditions.

Normet brings BEV SmartDrive tech to lifting, installation and material transport applications

Normet has expanded its SmartDrive® battery-electric vehicle (BEV) offering with the addition of new machines for lifting, installations and material transportation.

The company launched its SmartDrive BEV offering with zero local emissions during the Bauma 2019 exhibition in Munich in 2019. Since then, it has gradually expanded its offering and gained even more experience in the field.

Normet SmartDrive is a modular BEV architecture designed to optimise energy consumption and performance in underground mining and tunnelling applications. It allows for higher productivity, lower operating costs and zero local emissions, according to the company.

With many units now deployed across the mining and tunnelling spaces – including the Utimec MF 500 Transmixer SD concrete transmixer and the Spraymec 8100 SD concrete sprayer – the company has further expanded its SmartDrive offering to cover even more applications.

The newest additions to the SmartDrive offering are two applications for lifting and installations, Utilift MF 330 SD and Utilift MF 540 SD, and Utimec MF 100 Material SD for material transportation.

Normet SmartDrive architecture combined with Normet’s proven personnel lifting system enables safe lifting works with zero local emissions, improving the working comfort significantly, the company claims. The Utilift MF 330 SD (pictured) with a lifting capacity of up to 3 t and a maximum platform height of 3.5 m is designed to provide a safe working platform for all kinds of installation works in tunnels up to 5.5 m high.

The Utilift MF 540 SD is a scissor lifter offering reliable performance for all lifting and installation needs in underground mines up to 6.5 m high, Normet says. A 4.5-t maximum lifting capacity and 4.5 m maximum lifting height makes the installation of even the heaviest mine ventilation fans possible.

Both lifters can be equipped with line-of-sight remote driving system to further increase the safety and productivity by allowing the operator to relocate the machine easily with wireless remote control from the ground or from the platform.

The Utimec MF 100 Material SD, meanwhile, is designed for efficient bulk material transportation in underground mines and tunnels. It has a payload capacity of 10 t and comes in two different platform versions with either low- or high-platform edges. The vehicle can be equipped with an optional crane with up to 2 t lifting capacity for effortless loading and unloading of heavy objects, the company claims.

Normet to supply battery-electric utility vehicle fleet to BHPs Jansen mine

Normet Canada says it has been awarded a contract from BHP to deliver a large fleet of multi-use battery-electric vehicles (BEV) to the Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan, Canada.

The delivery period of the fleet is expected to commence in the March quarter 2023 and extends to 2024.

The Normet fleet order follows on from Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions being awarded a contract by BHP to deliver 10 underground battery-electric loaders along with 1 electric tethered loader for use at Jansen.

BHP aims to develop the underground mining equipment and automation solutions with a focus on sustainability, with emissions reduction, improved productivity and advanced health and welfare of employees being key inputs to the mining company’s decision to adopt BEV technology.

With the mine’s pursuit of electrification of mobile equipment and technology that mitigates natural gas emission, Jansen is expected to emit about half the average CO2 per tonne of product compared with the average Saskatchewan potash mine, according to BHP.

The Jansen project has the potential to be the largest potash-producing mine in the world and is expected to operate for up to 100 years, providing a rich source of potassium for soil fertilisation purposes and hence supporting food production, BHP says. Start of the production is targeted for 2026.

Xerotech to test underground mine electrification limits as part of SUBSPACE ENERGY HUB

Xerotech, a leader of battery technology for heavy-duty non-road mobile machinery (NRMM), has announced a partnership with Switzerland-based VSH (VersuchsStollen Hagerbach – Hagerbach Test Gallery) and other founding members, Amberg Group, Normet, Motics, Alumina and Fortescue Future Industries in the creation of a Sub Space Energy Hub.

This development allows Xerotech to partner with VSH’s leadership in underground mining to fast-track the potential of underground mining electrification and work with other companies and thought leaders in this space, it says.

The new SUBSPACE ENERGY HUB at VSH in Switzerland offers the ideal platform for the harmonised development, prototyping and installation of new technologies that promote best practice in sustainable energy use and storage, combining both above and underground facilities, according to the partners.

Dr Barry Flannery, CEO of Xerotech, said: “This facility provides a platform to continue pushing the boundaries of our next-generation battery technology as we continue to break the limitations of what is possible in terms of NRMM electrification. This will rapidly benefit our customers who are under increasing pressure to find viable ways to electrify vehicles that at one point were thought to be too big or difficult to convert to electric.”

Michael Kompatscher, General Manager at Hagerbach Test Gallery Ltd, said: “Together with the partners like Xerotech, VSH will be transformed into a visionary sustainable and CO2 neutral underground infrastructure where construction and operation of underground space usage will be developed, prototyped and launched. This will be a model ecosystem of sustainable energy storage and delivery, above and below ground, and how it supports green energy use in future cities.”

Eldorado Gold’s Efemçukuru mine to test Normet battery-electric vehicle

Eldorado Gold’s underground mining battery-electric vehicle journey is set to begin next month, with the company imminently awaiting the arrival of a Normet SmartDrive concrete transportation vehicle at its Efemçukuru gold mine.

The company has reviewed the potential for the use of battery-electric vehicles at its Lamaque underground gold mine in Canada in the past, but this is the first official trial of zero emission mobile equipment the company will conduct. This aligns with the company’s recently announced target of mitigating GHG emissions by 30%, from 2020 levels, by 2030 on a ‘business as usual’ basis; equal to approximately 65,000 t of carbon dioxide equivalent. To achieve this target Eldorado is focused on pursuing decarbonisation through four key pathways including: measuring and monitoring; operational efficiencies and continuous improvement; technologies, processes and energy generation; and energy procurement and strategy.

Set to arrive at the mine, in Izmir Province, western Turkey, at the end of the month, the Normet Utimec MF 500 SD transmixer will be tested in a combination of ramp and flat drifts over the latter part of April.

Efemçukuru, a high-grade epithermal deposit, will provide a good test for the machine. While reasonably shallow in terms of depth, the narrow-vein mine has four declines (SOS, MOS, NOS and KBNW), each covering approximately 400 m of strike extent. These declines have 15% inclination, while flat drifts with inclinations ranging from 0-5% will provide a good platform for overall speed.

A spokesperson for the gold miner told IM that the machine, which has already been purchased, will be tested against assumptions provided by the manufacturer for rates of charging and discharging. The machine is then intended to be used in an operational capacity.

“Battery charging rates will be tested for charging from the existing grid, from a quick charging station and from downhill braking,” the team leading the project said. “Moreover, the battery usage rate will be tested for driving in uphill (15%) and flat (0-5%) galleries, against assumptions.”

Testing will also involve the comparison of performance of both battery-electric and diesel machines in uphill tramming, with the company expecting the battery-electric transmixer to outperform the diesel-equivalent in these head-to-head tests due to the machine’s high torque.

The Utimec MF 500 Transmixer SD (pictured here at Normet’s outdoor test track at its Iisalmi factory) has a 4.4 cu.m concrete carrying capacity, and comes with a combined power rating of 200 kW alongside a maximum tramming speed of 20 km/h.

Normet says the machine is designed for fast and safe concrete transportation in underground mines and tunnels where the tramming height is at least 2.4 m. The concrete drum rotation is electrically controlled and the speed ranges between 0-13 rpm.

Tested at both the Normet factory and the First Quantum polymetallic Pyhäsalmi mine in Finland, the MF Transmixer 500 SD has displayed a payback period of 2-3 years based on the machine completing a two-hour cycle that involves a 3 km journey on a 1:7 decline running at 15 km/h with the bowl rotating, one hour of unloading with the bowl rotating at 15 kW, and an uphill unloaded haul of 3 km at 10 km/h with no bowl rotation.

Eldorado said the MF Transmixer 500 SD will be at the mine site shortly, with training coordinated by Normet taking place in April ahead of the trial.

Nornickel to trial Normet battery-electric transmixer, personnel carrier at Zapolyarnaya

Nornickel’s mining fleet modernisation and upgrade program is well and truly underway, with 2022 seeing it become Russia’s first mining and metals company to purchase “unique” battery-electric equipment to be piloted at Zapolyarnaya mine, it says.

Zapolyarny Mine (Medvezhy Ruchey LLC, part of Nornickel Group) received two brand-new battery electric vehicles − a Utimec MF 500 SD transmixer and Utimec MF 205 PER SD personnel transportation vehicle, which were produced and delivered to Norilsk ready for operation by Normet.

The Utimec MF 500 SD is an eco-friendly, efficient, and best-in-class transmixer for underground operations, according to Nornickel. It boasts a high power output and has a maximum speed of 20 km/h. The fully-electric vehicle architecture includes the latest lithium-ion battery technology, fast charging capability,and two high-torque direct drive electric motors. Batteries are charged during downhill driving and deceleration, which further improves the total efficiency of operation.

The Utimec MF 205 PER SD personnel carrier is designed for underground personnel transportation. The fully reversible four wheel drive, with high traction capability and instant torque, ensures safe and steady movement in difficult ground conditions. The new FOPS- and ROPS-approved safety cabin provides superior visibility and comfortable compartment for the driver and the passenger. The battery-electric vehicle can carry 20 passengers plus two people in the operator’s cabin, according to Nornickel.

The battery charge is sufficient for the fully-loaded passenger carrier and transmixer to drive uphill for 10 km and 8 km, respectively. The equipment will be charged at CCS charging stations, with  40 minutes required to fully charge the battery, it said. The vehicles are also fitted out with 40 kW on-board opportunity charging systems. They can also be charged from typical AC-sockets.

The most important advantage of such machines is zero emissions, which is essential in the confined underground space, Nornickel said.

Employees of Finland’s Normet provided classes and training for Zapolyarny Mine staff in the pre-trip check and operation of the battery-electric vehicles, which are now being piloted underground. The pilot tests will take six months to assess the equipment endurance in the harsh Arctic environment, it said.

Hindustan Zinc accelerates growth plans as it partners with industry leaders

Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL), a Vedanta Group Company and the world’s second largest integrated producer of zinc and lead, is in acceleration mode, embarking on aggressive expansion and collaboration plans with technology and innovation partners from across the globe.

One of the first mining companies to commit to going “Net Zero” by 2050, it has a strong focus on ESG reinforced by plans to deploy battery-electric vehicles, tap into more solar and wind power potential and recycle waste heat from its captive power plants. Such ambitions are being delivered with up to $1 billion of finance in the next five years to “go green” and, by 2025, achieve focused sustainability goals.

At the same time as it is looking to become an ESG leader, it is boosting its mine and metal production by leveraging “smart mining” and an extensive resource and reserve base.

IM put some questions to Arun Misra, Hindustan Zinc CEO, to find out how the company intends to deliver on its lofty ambitions.

IM: HZL’s 2021 financial year to March 31, 2021, was characterised by record production volumes and profitability; how were you able to achieve such results given the COVID-19-affected constraints on your operations?

AM: The uncertainty has evolved continuously. If I give you an example, we started the year with the uncertainty of COVID only; that is people getting infected leading to absenteeism. It was so contagious, it spread so fast, half of our workforce were down. So, that struck us heavily, but, nevertheless, because we had experience of last year, and this time there was no lockdown of industry, we were able to figure out how to manage and we did manage well, compared to last year’s same quarter, which was also COVID-affected. We had introduced various measures to change the way of working to ensure a safer working environment for the employees. We also got our workforce vaccinated along with their families to further minimise the risks associated with the pandemic.

Hindustan Zinc CEO, Arun Misra, says Hindustan Zinc has been at the forefront of ensuring personal health, be it of its employees or local communities

Furthermore, the automation and digitalisation efforts at Hindustan Zinc are equipped to better withstand these testing times while ensuring quick revival to a normal level of operations.

IM: During the height of the pandemic, HZL – like other socially responsible mining companies – supported communities within or close by to its operations. Can you highlight some of the actions you took over this period and what impact they had?

AM: We at Hindustan Zinc have been at the forefront of ensuring personal health, be it of our employees or local communities. We have gone beyond and extended our support to the state of Rajasthan and the nation at large by contributing significantly to the PM Cares Fund and Rajasthan Chief Minister Relief Fund.

To meet the requirement of oxygen during the second wave of the pandemic, we had set up an oxygen bottling plant at our Dariba unit (Rajsamand district) in a record time of five days and had supplied over 14,000 cylinders of medical oxygen. We even arranged 500 oxygen concentrators to be imported and distributed for use across the state.

We had provided an insulated vaccine van to the Udaipur district medical health office to support a smooth vaccination drive and extended support to the local health administrations, by disinfecting villages by spraying and fumigating with sodium hypochlorite solution and providing medical gear like masks, sanitisers and PPE to local communities.

We even constructed an 8,000 sq.m air-conditioning dome hospital, based on German technology, which has a capacity of 100 beds – including 20 ICU beds – to accommodate patients and provide them with essential COVID treatment and medical facilities.

IM: ESG is obviously a major focus area for HZL, as these examples illustrate. Where specifically are you investing in your mining, power and smelting operations to make them more environmentally friendly?

AM: As a COP26 business leader, we have always been active in tackling the repercussions of climate change and have a strong focus on reducing carbon emissions. We are pioneers in India, declaring our ambition to convert all our mining equipment to battery-operated electric vehicles and will invest $1 billion over the next five years to make our mining operations environmentally friendly.

We are continuously expanding our renewable power of 274 MW of wind and 40 MW of solar under our greenhouse gas reduction goals by converting 50% of our total power to renewable forms in the next five years. We are among the only two metal and mining companies globally – and among four Indian companies – to be part of the coveted CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) ‘A List’ 2020.

Furthermore, we have even published our first Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) Report this year and have also joined the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) forum to understand nature-related risks and opportunities and accelerate the transition towards a nature-positive and carbon-neutral future.

We have set Sustainability Development Goals to 2025 for ourselves where we are aiming towards sustainable operations for a greener tomorrow.

Hindustan Zinc has embarked on a major growth push at its mining operations with six ongoing expansion projects that will see over 100 km of tunnels developed for underground infrastructure and ore access

IM: At the same time as this, HZL has embarked on a major growth push at your mining operations with six ongoing expansion projects that will see over 100 km of tunnels developed for underground infrastructure and ore access. How are you able to balance your sustainable expansion plans with pledges to reduce your overall footprint?

AM: We strive for operational excellence and cost efficiencies and continue to stay on the growth track while being equally cognisant of our environmental, social and governance commitments, as well as our sustainability goals. We are leveraging more digitalisation and automation than we ever have, as well as engaging with technology leaders to do ‘more with less’.

The SmartDrive equipment we plan to use enables higher productivity, lower operating costs and, most importantly, zero local emissions, featuring in-built energy recuperation technology to make the most of regenerative braking energy during downhill driving and deceleration.

Being a power-intensive business, our key focus is always on reducing dependence on non-renewable sources of energy and enhancing our renewable power base.

IM: How important has it been to partner with like-minded technology and solution providers to ensure you meet these ambitious goals? Can you provide some examples here?

AM: We always look for partners who align with our philosophy of running sustainable operations to achieve company goals. We don’t need one-off solutions from companies to meet our targets; we need companies that will engage throughout our medium- and long-term projects and provide an element of customisation that factors in the realities of operating in our underground mines. We look for global partners to work with us where we exchange ideas, insights and knowledge with them in our growth journey.

We believe in providing opportunities to our business partners to leverage collaboration on technology, innovation and digitalisation, for long-term value creation and mutual growth.

To support our expansion plan, it is crucial for Hindustan Zinc to collaborate with mine development and operation partners who share a similar vision to ours, which is to leverage cutting-edge technology to create a positive impact on the entire mining fraternity. We are currently working with companies like Sandvik, Epiroc, Normet, Barminco, RCT, Siemens, etc as our global partners. We have engaged with them to provide end-to-end solutions rather than sourcing a specific supply or service.

Hindustan Zinc has given an equal platform for women engineers in its mining operations, appointing India’s first female underground mine manager in 2021

IM: You have already stated a goal of 1.5 Mt/y of zinc production in the upcoming years and extending your lead as India’s largest integrated zinc-lead producer; what is your vision for the company to 2030 and beyond?

AM: We are excited about our next phase of expansion to take mining capacity from 1.2 Mt per annum to 1.35 Mt/a. We will surely cross 1 Mt and we should be above our guidance if we achieve the desired run rates in our third and fourth quarters.

While our growth plans are a key part of the company’s future, we are also focused on becoming the leading zinc-lead-silver producer from an environmental, social and governance point of view. Our DJSI Ranking of being among the Top 5 companies in the metal and mining sector is testament to this. We are already winning significant awards for our ESG and CSR efforts, and expect this recognition to continue and grow as we head towards mapping out our 2025 sustainability goals.

Also, the mining value chain is changing across the globe and more consumers are becoming aware of the origins of the products they buy and the emissions that come with their production.

To collaborate with Hindustan Zinc on its green growth mission, email [email protected]

Normet to provide rock reinforcement ground support at Westgold ops

Normet says it has agreed a new partnership with Westgold Resources Ltd for the supply of rock reinforcement ground support to all its operations in Australia.

Normet’s Australian Business Development Manager, Jamie Rewell, said: “Westgold is an established Australian producer with major mining centres in the Murchison, and the partnership is a testament of Normet’s commitment to supporting Westgold’s growth in the region.

“With Normet’s global experience and expertise, we are well positioned to partner with Westgold for continuous improvement on safety and productivity of their operations. Normet would like to thank Westgold for trusting us with their business and look forward to be a part of their continued success.”

Westgold has a 7.9 Moz resource base with multiple mines, including six underground operations, and three processing hubs with a circa-4 Mt/y milling capacity in the Murchison and Bryah Basin regions.

Normet to bolster market and customer intelligence with help of Ignizer predictive analytics tool

Normet has decided to implement Ignize’s Ignizer predictive analytics tool as it looks to increase visibility around customer financial health, the performance of installed products, and commodity price development and other macroeconomic conditions.

Based on advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence technology, Ignizer is a predictive analytics tool that uses historical business data from a wide range of sources to identify patterns and correlations between key indicators and business results. These learnings can then be applied to current and future business issues to help identify what the outcome is likely to be for different alternatives and initiatives, and what the potential levers that exist that impact these results, positively as well as negatively, the company said.

Ed Santamaria, CEO of Normet, said: “We conducted a serious internal stress test of the Ignizer decision intelligence platform before making this commitment. The mining industry is well known for its rapid shifts in business conditions, but together with Ignize we were able to create a model that predicted the impact of these fluctuations on our business by utilising external indicators and machine learning technology, in a way we have not been able to do in the past.

“With the Ignizer decision intelligence platform and its predictive analytics, we will improve our operations in at least three ways:

  • “Track the right data so that we focus on the pre and post indicators that have the greatest impact on our business developments;
  • “Use these observations to predict future business outcomes and develop possible contingency plans and/or business initiatives to capture these opportunities ahead of the competition; and
  • “With the confidence that the decision intelligence model injects, test and evaluate the impact these developments provide and then act on this information to implement the ‘best fit’ option.”

Andreas Westling, CEO of Ignize, said: “We are of course extremely pleased to be chosen by Normet. We know from previous experience that the more curious, data-driven, and market-orientated a company is, the more they will benefit from advanced – but user-friendly – decision support tools like the Ignizer.”

The Ignize decision intelligence platform implementation at Normet will aggregate data feeds combining internal and external indicators such as customer financial health, the performance of installed products, and commodity price development and other macroeconomic conditions. These indicators are used to predict orders and sales volumes at both central and regional levels, as well as help set priorities and targets in the annual budget process and business performance review, Ignize said.