Tag Archives: OceanaGold

Australia’s IMARC mining event rescheduled to January 2022

Due to ongoing travel and gathering restrictions, and the rise of COVID-19 infections around Australia, Beacon Events, the organisers of the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC), has today announced its decision to reschedule the 2021 edition.

IMARC 2021 will move to the new dates of January 31-February 2, 2022, with the hybrid event taking place in-person at the Melbourne Showgrounds, and online for those that cannot attend in-person.

IMARC Managing Director, Anita Richards, said that while it is disappointing that the event has had to be postponed from 2021, it is the responsible action to take under the circumstances as the health and safety of IMARC’s participants is our number one priority.

“The rescheduling comes after much deliberation with our founding partners, and in consultation with our sponsors, exhibitors, supporters and various Victorian Government agencies who have been very supportive of the decision,” she said.

Victorian Government’s Head of Resources, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, John Krbaleski, added: “IMARC is a home-grown industry event that has become a major international resources conference. There is significant interest in IMARC and it’s clear that industry is keen to see it go ahead in January 2022.”

Austmine CEO, Christine Gibbs Stewart, said: “Considering the health and safety of our members, delegates, and staff members, we support postponing IMARC 2021 until January 2022. We know how important this event is to our members who are exhibiting and attending, as well as the METS sector overall, and we encourage everyone to consider this as an opportunity to refocus your efforts and support the event in 2022.”

AusIMM CEO, Stephen Durkin, added: “We’re looking forward to reconnecting with our mining community at IMARC in January 2022. The rescheduled event will provide an opportunity for delegates to network with leaders and experts from across the sector and take part in thought-provoking conversations about the future of our industry.”

BHP, MMG, Newcrest, Mitsui, OceanaGold and Kirkland Lake Gold have all confirmed their continued support for IMARC in January 2022, with their executive leadership teams confirmed to speak within the conference program, Beacon Events said.

In addition to the Federal Minister for Resources, the Hon Keith Pitt, and major sponsors METS Ignited, Caterpillar, ABB and World Gold Council who have also confirmed their support and participation.

IMARC 2021’s new dates are aligned with the expected easing of restrictions from all states across Australia, allowing for strong domestic representation, according to Beacon Events.

Richards said: “Holding IMARC at the start of 2022 helps create a unique opportunity for the industry to kick off the year with new conversations, develop existing relationships and create business opportunities for the coming year. With better weather comes opportunities for outdoor events and networking, alongside some major events at that time of year here in Melbourne.”

There is an expectation that when IMARC returns in 2022, from October 17-19, there will be greater international travel freedoms, allowing for the conference to attract a large domestic and international audience in-person once again, Beacon Events said.

International Mining is a media sponsor of IMARC

OceanaGold and Beca come up with decarbonisation pathway for Macraes

OceanaGold has enlisted the help of independent advisory, design and engineering consultancy Beca to reduce emissions at its Macraes gold mine in Central Otago, New Zealand.

Beca developed an Energy Transition Acceleration (ETA) study to provides a pathway to a greener future at the mine, which produced over 172,000 oz/y of gold and employs more than 600 people. Macraes is New Zealand’s largest mine.

“As participants in the New Zealand government’s ETA program, OceanaGold are focused on reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at their Macraes site to not only improve the sustainability of their product, but also reduce their energy costs,” Beca said.

“That’s where Beca entered the picture. As program partners with the ETA, our industrial sustainability and engineering teams worked closely with OceanaGold management to develop an Energy Transition Accelerator study that identified a practical emissions reduction pathway for their business.”

The Macraes operation consists of a large-scale surface mine, an underground mine, and an adjacent process plant inclusive of an autoclave for pressure oxidation of the ore. Its annualised gold production is split approximately 75% to open-pit production and about 25% underground production.

Key opportunities for reducing the GHG emissions include harnessing waste heat recovery; fuel switching; solar lighting towers; electric elution hot water heating; battery-powered electric haulage trucks; and electrification of excavators.

“Taken together, these practical abatement measures can reduce emissions from the Macraes gold mine by a substantial 37%, whilst additional measures – such as the use of renewable energy sources on site – could increase this figure to 59%,” Beca said.

With the study now complete, Beca says it is ready to support OceanaGold in implementing the identified recommendations over coming years – with some of these options also applicable to its Waihi mine on the North Island of New Zealand.

Sandvik delivers 100th automated loader in APAC region

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions says it has delivered its 100th loader connected to the AutoMine® platform in the Asia Pacific region.

A Sandvik LH621i loader was delivered to Byrnecut Australia in March, making it Sandvik’s 100th automated load and haul unit to be delivered in APAC.

Sandvik has 30 AutoMine systems installed across Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines, with customers including Barminco, OceanaGold, Redpath, and Byrnecut, who now have 11 sites in Australia connected to AutoMine. The first AutoMine system in the region was delivered and commissioned in 2008 for Mount Isa Copper Operations, now owned by Glencore.

AutoMine is Sandvik’s automation system for autonomous and tele-remote operation for a wide range of Sandvik and non-Sandvik underground and surface equipment. It provides a safe and controlled process to increase mine productivity and profitability, as well as protect operators and other mine personnel in underground and surface operations.

AutoMine can be scaled from tele-remote or autonomous operation of a single machine to multi-machine control and full fleet automation with automatic mission and traffic control capability. Operators can simultaneously control or monitor multiple machines from the comfort and safety of a remote control room, Sandvik says.

Sandvik recently demonstrated this capability with the successful trial remote operation of a LH621i loader at OZ Minerals’ Prominent Hill mine in South Australia. The LH621i was successfully operated from the Remote Operating Centre in OZ Mineral’s Adelaide office, taking OZ Minerals a step closer to realising its goal of remote operations from home.

“The digitalisation field has developed significantly over the years and we have adapted to meet the industry needs along the way,” Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions Technical Support Manager – Mine Automation, Ty Osborne, said.

“We have seen our customers change their mindset from ‘this technology is nice but won’t work in our mine’, to, ‘what do have to do to make this work in our mine?’. Our customers are now seeing the value of including digitalisation in their mine planning and recognise the tangible benefits an automated fleet can bring to their operation.”

Sandvik equipment starts to arrive for OceanaGold’s Macraes expansion

OceanaGold Corp has received the first of three new Sandvik machines at its Macraes gold mining operation on the South Island of New Zealand.

The company has taken delivery of a 17-t payload Sandvik LH517i underground loader (pictured), Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions confirmed.

A Sandvik TH551i truck and DD421 development drill will also be delivered this year as Macraes prepares to extend its mine life to 2028, the mining OEM said.

The LH517i is a matching pair with the Sandvik TH551i truck. It features the Sandvik Intelligent Control System and My Sandvik Digital Services Knowledge Box™ on-board hardware as standard.

In December, OceanaGold received approval to extend the mine life of the Macraes operation to 2028. This is expected to involve the development of the Golden Point Underground Mine, the Deepdell North Stage III open-pit extension, and the Frasers West expansion.

These projects are forecasted to produce 1.1 Moz of gold over an eight-year mine life, with open-pit and underground operations expected to produce, on average, 150,000-170,000 oz/y of gold.

OceanaGold to set GHG emission targets on its way to ‘net zero’ goal

OceanaGold has become the latest miner to make a climate change pledge, releasing a position statement on the subject that includes an emissions reduction goal to achieve net zero emissions from its operations by 2050.

Included within this position statement is a plan to decarbonise its electrical energy supply and mobile equipment fuel.

The goal is core to OceanaGold’s environmental management strategy to mitigate the risks associated with climate change, establish measures and targets to improve the efficiency of its energy use and to minimise its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity, the company said.

Michael Holmes, President and CEO of OceanaGold said: “OceanaGold has been strongly committed to responsible mining for 30 years, and, with current emissions lower than global industry average, we are already on the journey to reduce our carbon footprint.

“OceanaGold fully supports the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. In line with this objective, we are setting a goal to achieve net zero GHG emissions from our operations by 2050, and we will establish milestone intensity targets (GHG emissions per ounce of gold produced) by 2022 to support this goal.”

Delivery of net zero carbon emissions production will rely on step changes from new and emerging technologies to decarbonise OceanaGold’s electricity supplies and mobile equipment use and incrementally improving energy use, efficiency and reducing energy consumption, the company said.

Since 2018, OceanaGold has been implementing a company-wide program of automation, digital and process transformation called ADaPT. This is helping define the company’s journey to operate the mines of the future, it said.

“Digital transformation presents an industry-wide opportunity to enhance performance and reduce impact,” Holmes said. “Successful implementation of the rapid advances in technology, innovation, automation, digitisation and electrification are central to achieving OceanaGold’s commitment to reduce our environmental impact.”

OceanaGold has established a roadmap of strategic actions to help reduce its carbon footprint and improve energy management, including:

  • Setting the goal to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050;
  • Establishing milestone interim emission targets by the end of 2021, linked to employment performance incentives;
  • Establishing a climate change Technical Coordinating Committee to identify opportunities to reduce GHG emission intensity and identify risks, opportunities, priorities and costs across OceanaGold; and
  • Undertaking climate change management and reporting to meet the requirements of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Targets will be achieved through the implementation of four key strategic areas: improved energy efficiency and energy reduction; decarbonisation of electrical energy supply; decarbonisation of mobile equipment fuel; and carbon sequestration, the company said

OceanaGold’s Haile mine steps up drilling productivity with Epiroc BenchREMOTE

The drill and blast team at OceanaGold’s Haile gold mine, in South Carolina, recently added remote technology from Epiroc to its blasthole drilling process.

Haile is the first gold mine in the US to use Epiroc’s BenchREMOTE technology for remote control drilling with two of its three Epiroc drills, according to the miner.

“This technology provides many advantages for Haile’s workforce – no strangers to working in sometimes harsh South Carolina environmental conditions of extreme heat, wind, and rain,” the company said.

The BenchREMOTE system enables operators to work from a safe distance in a comfortable environment, handling up to three rigs in parallel. This technology allows the operator station to be placed up to 100 m away and +/- 30 m in elevation with a line of sight to communicate with the drills. Haile purchased two Epiroc D65 drills, BD7 and BD8, in 2019 compatible with this new technology.

“The BenchREMOTE package includes the operator station only, so installation design is determined at the operator’s discretion allowing for a customisable end product,” the company said.

Haile Drill and Blast General Supervisor, Aaron Kash, worked with ATC Trailers to design Haile’s housing, building the remote station into a fully insulated enclosed trailer.

“When we bought the equipment from Epiroc, I reached out to our local ATC trailer dealer and had them bring up the specs of a similar trailer,” Kash said. “We made a few changes – making it a little longer, equipping it with a bigger A/C unit to withstand the heat, and upgraded the generator.”

Safety is a primary concern any time people are present on a drill pattern with remotely operated drills. Communication, situational awareness, preparation, and warning systems are necessary for maintaining safe operation, according to the miner.

“Perhaps the most significant benefit of the remote drills is the potential for increased productivity,” the miner said. “Now one driller can operate up to three machines at a time, increasing utilisation.”

Another safety benefit is that the remote drill can access areas that may be unsuitable for people to access.

“With the development of the new Haile Pit, we are encountering historic workings,” Kash said. “We may want to drill into an area with little cover to see what’s there, but we don’t want to risk putting somebody physically in the drill.”

In 2020, the Haile gold mine is expected to produce between 180,000-190,000 oz of gold.

Mining-focused consortium delves into mine closure ‘transition’

The University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) has published the first six project reports of the Social Aspects of Mine Closure Research Consortium.

Researchers at SMI’s Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) led the mine closure-related projects, which, they say, examined Indigenous employment opportunities, public participation and government engagement processes, integrating social aspects into industry partners’ closure planning, governance and regulation and mining as a temporary land use.

“The consortium is a multi-party, industry-university research collaboration established to conduct research that challenges accepted industry norms and practices and demands new approaches that place people at the centre of mine closure,” SMI said.

CSRM Director Professor, Deanna Kemp, said publishing the reports contributed significantly to the mine closure literature and provided stakeholders with the latest information.

“In the consortium’s first year of operation, we focused on establishing data and knowledge to inform subsequent research. This strategy is evident in the diversity of projects undertaken,” she said.

“A core theme has been around ‘transition’; that is, viewing closure not merely as an end-point of mining, but as a transition to a post-mining future in which social change continues long after a mine ceases to be productive.”

She said the consortium was now developing its 2020 research plan, “which will build on this solid foundation and deliver on our consortium partners’ priorities”.

Major mining companies such as Anglo American, BHP, MMG, Newcrest, Newmont, OceanaGold and Rio Tinto are consortium members, with the work sitting under the SMI’s Transforming the Mine Life Cycle strategic research program as one of three research themes (transitioning through closure).

Under the ‘Indigenous groups, land rehabilitation and mine closure: exploring the Australian terrain’ project, two challenging areas at the interface of mining and Indigenous communities in Australia are being addressed.

This includes, one, the persistent lack of direct employment of Indigenous landowners on mines operating on their land; and, two, increasing expectations that mining companies engage local communities in closure planning and closure criteria setting as a prerequisite for relinquishment.

“The approach taken seeks to build on one of the greatest assets Indigenous people possess; their attachment to and knowledge of their land,” the SMI said.

In the ‘Integrated mine closure planning: A rapid scan of innovations in corporate practice’ project, the study aims to identify novel approaches used by consortium member companies to integrate social dimensions into closure planning.

Identifying these approaches promotes knowledge exchange between the companies and provides direction for future research and innovation for mine closure performance, according to the SMI.

“We found that the companies are at various stages of integrating environmental, social and economic factors into planning (at all stages of the mine lifecycle),” it said.

The ‘Participatory processes, mine closure and social transitions’ project examines the fact that, in closure planning, the focus of public participation is on identifying and managing the changes brought about by closure.

The project will ask: “What participatory processes contribute to a smooth transition to a post-mining future? How can public participation contribute to a positive socio-economic legacy of mining?”

Undertaken as part of the Social Aspects of Mine Closure Research Consortium, this project will address these questions.

The SMI said: “Researchers found few studies documenting the specific application of participatory processes to mine closure. Even fewer provide analysis to glean broader insights beyond time- and context-specific details.”

This project was designed as an exploratory, desktop study to ascertain what is known and documented about participation in mine closure. It is intended to provide an overview of key principles and to function as a repository of case studies to support future research, according to the consortium members.

The ‘Government engagement: insights from three Australian states’ project sought to establish current state priorities for socially responsible mine closure and smooth regional post-mining transitions in the Australia state jurisdictions of New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.

It concentrated on priorities that are not yet evident in legislation and cultivating state authorities’ interest in the work of the consortium, according to the SMI.

“The project aimed to: better understand current and emerging expectations and role of Australian governments in ensuring attention to social aspects of closure; identify government strategies for improving the ‘afterlife’ for mining communities and regions; articulate regulator roles in protecting the public good and ensuring a positive socio-economic legacy of mining; facilitate two-way communication between the consortium and governments and identifying ways for government departments to connect to the consortium’s work.”

The project, ‘Mining as a temporary land use: industry-led transitions and repurposing’, showed that post-mining land use and associated economies have become a priority issue in mine lifecycle planning.
This scoping project starts from the position that reconceptualising mine ‘closure’ may enhance the industry’s contribution to sustainable development, the SMI said. It reframes mining as a “temporary land use”.

“The primary focus of this research is on identifying examples of post-mining repurposing of land and related economic transitions that are being led by industry,” the SMI said. “Transitions led by state or other actors (eg civil society groups) provide additional inspiration for industry-led opportunities. Our findings provide an initial repository of cases that different parties can refer to in making decisions about post-mining futures.”

Lastly, the ‘Social aspects of mine closure: governance & regulation’ project extends previous CSRM work on closure regulation and closure bonds.

The project partners reviewed mining regulations across 10 jurisdictions around the world, with the objective being to build a knowledge base of how regulators are approaching social aspects of closure. This involved collating, organising, and characterising over 40 acts, regulations, and policy documents.

“We found that no jurisdiction had passed regulation specific to social aspects of closure and all tended to focus on biophysical aspects of closure,” the SMI said. “Social aspects of mining received attention in relation to approvals, but not generally for closure.”

The evidence gathered in this project can be mobilised to support subsequent work, according to the partners, who suggested a collaboration between industry, government, and other stakeholders to develop model regulations that account for a variety of perspectives and reflect realistic operational parameters.

You can find out more about the projects by clicking here.