Tag Archives: North America

Gekko brings PMC in as mineral lab services provider in the Americas

Process Mineralogical Consulting Ltd (PMC Laboratory Ltd) and Gekko Systems Inc have signed an agreement that makes PMC the exclusive mineral laboratory services provider for Gekko’s North and South American customer base.

Together the strengths of PMC Ltd and Gekko Systems will be able to provide customers with “innovative data-driven project development and implementation”, the companies said.

PMC Ltd is a rapidly growing mineral services laboratory primarily focused on mineralogy, and has recently expanded to offer metallurgical testing. This collaboration with Gekko Systems is expected to further develop PMC’s metallurgical capabilities and incorporate Gekko’s extensive knowledge of gold processing.

Geoffrey Lane, President PMC Ltd, said: “We at PMC Ltd are excited to be working with Gekko Systems, a world leader in gold processing technologies. Our combined strengths will enable both companies to offer more capabilities for more customers looking to find data supported solutions in an efficient and cost effective manner.”

Mineral processing solutions company Gekko develops innovative flowsheets and brings new technologies to the market. The agreement with PMC adds a dedicated laboratory located in North America and adds new mineralogical testing capabilities aiding in evaluating the suitability of Gekko’s processing technology for specific projects, it said.

Geoffrey Lane, General Manager Global Sales & Solutions, Gekko Systems, said: “Gekko Systems is very pleased to be aligning with PMC Ltd to provide cost effective and efficient metallurgical laboratory testing capabilities in North America. We are also enthusiastic at being able to offer PMC Ltd’s mineralogy expertise to our clients to add further value to their projects.”

BHP consolidates digital project offering with new Brisbane facility

BHP, to more effectively ramp up its use of digital technologies, has opened the first of its ‘digital factories’ in Brisbane, Australia.

Instead of having digital projects delivered by multiple parts of its business, the factory will create a unified ‘community of practice’ among technical roles, according to Rag Udd, BHP Acting Chief Technology Officer.

“The new hubs will abandon the traditional hardware-centric approach to innovation and will help us maximise the use of cloud technologies for rapid digital development in an enhanced digital environment,” he said.

An example of that comes from the company’s coal business where it is launching its “first digital factory”.

Udd explained: “The coal mined from Caval Ridge needs to go through a processing plant. Typically, for every 100 t that enters the plant, around 58 ts of sellable product comes out the back-end. In our digital factory trial, we set the team a challenge of improving this yield using just 12 months’ worth of historical data.”

The team quickly created an algorithm that told the company what the optimal setting for the plant was, based on the blend of coal coming from the mine, according to Udd.

“There is more to do, but this will help us improve our yields and increase the utilisation of our processing facility,” he said. “This is the very definition of productivity: a low cost way to markedly improve an output.”

In the future, BHP hopes to see much more of this type of innovation, according to Udd.

“Our sites are expected to benefit from the rapid deployment of reliable solutions that make their lives easier, minimising variability and unplanned outages,” he said. “The factory will focus on projects that can be delivered quickly, where minimal onsite infrastructure is required and where the return on investment is many multiples of the initial outlay.”

While BHP has started in coal in Brisbane, it plans to also launch digital factories in Chile, North America and Western Australia, according to Udd.

“They will partner with our operations to help solve asset-specific problems,” he said. “Struggling with a well performance issue in the Gulf of Mexico? Speak to your local factory and see if machine learning can provide some insight. Conveyor belt reliability issues in Chile? Let’s see if your ‘digital foreman’ can run some advanced analytics over data from the sensors.”

He concluded: “Other industries have shown us that this model works. With the right people and the right operating model set up, I am confident that we can bring an exciting new element to the way we solve operational problems, and in doing so rapidly create real and lasting value for BHP.”

BME builds blasting connections in North America

BME says continued lethargy in the global economy – aggravated by the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus – did not dampen the enthusiasm of the South Africa-based blasting leader’s review of the recent Prospectors and Developers Association Conference (PDAC) in Toronto, Canada.

BME was at the show, which took place on March 1-4, showcasing its brand and global presence, including in North America.

BME General Manager Technology and Marketing, Ralf Hennecke, said: “This year was particularly exciting for us to be exhibiting, following the launch of BME Mining Canada Inc last year – our joint venture with Consbec, the largest civils drill and blast contractor in Canada.

“There was considerable excitement among the decision makers and businesses we met about the entry of another experienced player into the region’s explosives and blasting market.”

Hennecke said the mood at the Toronto gathering was buoyed by a gradual uptick in exploration projects and several mine expansions – even though the outlook for most base metals was conservative.

“It was pleasing to see that Canada was in the top three exploration performers globally, which bodes well for the country’s mining future,” he said.

He noted many of the mining companies represented at the event also had operations in BME strongholds like West Africa, even operating in other BME territories such as Southeast Asia. The company’s globalisation strategy was also paving the way for greater future involvement in global mining tenders, he said.

“Events like PDAC allow us to steadily build links in new territories like North America, leveraging the relationships we already have with majors and juniors in that market,” Hennecke said. “In addition to prospective mining customers, we also regularly meet a range of important service providers and contractors with whom we might work in future.”

Emphasising BME’s commitment to collaboration in the market – especially in the digital and technological space – he said these links were increasingly important to facilitate the integration of technologies in the interest of more productive mining.

“Mines are looking to synergise their supply chains to ensure they benefit optimally from the various services and product developments,” he said. “This means that technology providers must have the capacity to continuously integrate their offerings into customers’ systems – even collaborating with other technology providers to do so. This integration is vital to allow mines to harness the power of new innovations.”

Volvo CE R100E rigid haul truck set for Q4 North America launch

Volvo Construction Equipment says it is readying a launch of its 95 t R100E rigid haul truck into the North America market, more than 18 months after customers and dealers at the company’s Motherwell facility in Scotland got a first glance of the machine.

With a size and capacity that make it the largest hauler in the company’s line-up, the R100E rigid hauler promises to drive down operating costs for customers by boosting productivity, uptime and operator comfort, the company said.

It is powered by a 783 kW Tier 4 Final engine, with a combined drivetrain to provide high torque capabilities, “unparalleled pulling performance” and class-leading rimpull for optimum travel times, according to Volvo CE.

Drivetrain control and machine movement are supplied by the new Volvo Dynamic Shift Control, which automatically tailors the transmission shift-points depending on the worksite and operational inputs.

Customers can expect to spend less per haul with the R100E, featuring a 60.4 m3 capacity V-shaped body for optimum load retention and minimal material carry-back.

It said: “The load profile policy enables the operator to meet a consistent average target payload, while the body-tipping system ensures fast cycle times for an all-round efficient performance.”

The Tier 4 Final R100E includes a manually-activated ECO mode for long distance hauls and high-speed applications, meanwhile.

It comes equipped with intelligent monitoring systems such as an On-Board Weighing (OBW) option to ensure the machine moves the maximum safe payload to further optimise production and minimise operational costs. “It does this by using exterior-mounted pressure sensors to monitor and relay machine statistics to the operator’s on-board display,” the company said.

It is also configured with the Volvo CareTrack telematics system to monitor operational data including fuel consumption, machine utilisation and excessive idling reports.

Customers interested in increasing the productivity of existing and future projects have access to Volvo Site Simulation with the help of their local Volvo dealer.

“Site Simulation recommends the most profitable fleet of equipment and project results based on customer needs,” the company says. “By using the simulation, customers and dealers can work together to put an equipment plan in place before a project begins.”

It also has a truck body manufactured from high impact and high abrasion-resistant 400-HBW-hard steel and a ROPS/FOPS-certified operator cab for greater operator productivity and safety. The cab is also fitted onto viscous-type isolation mounts for greater ride quality.

From the operator seat, the operator can observe the job site and surrounding areas through the large glass area and a low rake windscreen. Good visibility is complemented by a 360° surround view system provided by Volvo Smart View. This uses multiple ultra-wide angle exterior-mounted cameras to produce a bird’s-eye-view of the vehicle and surrounding work area via the on-board display.

In addition, the transmission retarder and neutral coast inhibitor secure safe machine control in downhill conditions, while the engine overspeed protection automatically slows the machine down to safe operating limits.

The R100E makes accessing daily service checks and routine maintenance quick and easy with anti-slip steps and secure walkways. All service points are strategically grouped and located within reach from the ground and service platform, while the direct rim-mounted wheel design promotes safe and quick installation and removal, the company said.

The machine features a high degree of filtration for better performance and to prolong component life. “Each functional system on the hydraulics has magnetic suction filters, as well as a pressure filtration on the steering, brake actuation pump and rear brake cooling units,” the company said. “The engine-mounted primary and secondary fuel filters combine with the advanced two stage oil filtration to remove harmful contaminates.”

Volvo will display a Tier 2 version of the R100E at CONEXPO-CON/AGG on March 10-14, with the Tier 4 Final model commercially available in North America in the December quarter of 2020.