Tag Archives: Salares Norte

Gold Fields looks to take over Yamana Gold in major M&A deal

Gold Fields and Yamana Gold have entered into a definitive agreement, under which Gold Fields will acquire all the outstanding common shares of Yamana pursuant to a plan of arrangement in a deal that could create a top three gold producer (by production).

Under the terms of the transaction, all outstanding Yamana shares will be exchanged at a ratio of 0.6 of an ordinary share in Gold Fields or 0.6 of a Gold Fields American depositary share for each Yamana share. The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of both Gold Fields and Yamana, implies a valuation for Yamana of $6.7 billion and represents a premium of 33.8% to the 10-day Volume-Weighted Average Price of Yamana’s shares on May 27.

Upon closing of the transaction, it is anticipated Gold Fields shareholders and Yamana shareholders will own approximately 61% and 39% of the combined group, respectively.

Based on 2021 production, the combined group would have a 3.4 Moz profile along with a 25-year reserve life. It would also benefit from the near-term growth of Gold Fields’ Salares Norte (Chile) and South Deep (South Africa) mines, and longer-term growth from Yamana’s Wasamac (Canada), Malartic Odyssey (Canada) and MARA (Argentina) projects as well as additional opportunities in Yamana’s high-quality exploration pipeline, the companies said.

Gold Fields and Yamana currently have 14 mines providing regional relevance across premier, rules-based mining jurisdictions including North America, South America, Africa and Australia, they said.

The deal would create the third largest gold company by gold production in 2024, and fourth largest by market capitalisation, according to the companies, but there is also a clear near-term path towards some 4 Moz of gold-equivalent steady-state annual production, Gold Fields said.

Wasamac, in feasibility study stage, is included within this, but beyond that, the company also outlined growth potential from Jacobina, El Peñón, Minera Florida and Lavra Velha, plus longer-term upside that included the development of MARA.

MARA, owned 56.25% by Yamana, is a joint venture with Newmont and Glencore. It is a brownfield operation leveraging existing Minera Alumbrera infrastructure that has 38.9 Moz of reserves.

A feasibility study on the project is expected to be completed by year end, with the report published in the March quarter of 2023.

Chris Griffith, Chief Executive Officer of Gold Fields, said about the combination: “Today we are announcing the acquisition by Gold Fields of Yamana, two companies with complementary portfolios, cultures and strategic priorities.

“The result is a combination with much greater capacity and potential value than the sum of its parts. Each company brings with it a unique set of skills and geological knowledge, enabling the combined group to enhance its assets more efficiently over the long-term than they could as separate companies.

“Like Gold Fields, Yamana is focused on operational delivery, disciplined capital allocation, portfolio management, maximising shareholder returns, and upholding leading sustainability, safety and ESG performance. These shared priorities are foundational to this transaction.”

Peter Marrone, Executive Chairman of Yamana Gold, added: “This is an outstanding opportunity for our shareholders, employees and the local communities in which we operate throughout the Americas. The transaction delivers an immediate and compelling premium for Yamana Shareholders, reflecting the inherent fair value of our assets, while also offering an opportunity to benefit from the creation of a new global gold producer with an attractive value proposition.

“The combination of Yamana and Gold Fields creates a world-class, globally diversified company with regional relevance across premier, rules-based mining jurisdictions that is underpinned by low cost, long life mines.”

The initial target for pre-tax synergies is approximately $40 million/y, anchored in operational integration, as well as potential financing synergies and a streamlining of overhead cost structures, they said.

The deal, which is subject to several approvals, is expected to close in the December quarter.

Aggreko heralds three decades of mine power innovations

After operating for more than 60 years, Aggreko, a leading provider of mobile modular power, temperature control and energy solutions, is reflecting on its entrance to mining more than 30 years ago.

The company, founded in 1962, entered the mining industry in 1991 and, about a decade later, pioneered modular cooling in underground mining.

Aggreko Australia Pacific Managing Director, George Whyte, said the Netherlands-born company – now active in about 80 countries globally – has played an evolutionary role in mine power and temperature control.

“In 1991, Aggreko secured its first ever mining project, which was at the Benambra zinc and copper mine in Victoria, Australia,” Whyte said. “At the time we were the only company to put 1 MW of power technology into a modular container. Later, in 2001, we pioneered modular underground mine cooling in the rental market, also in Australia. Prior to that, mines would purchase fixed cooling and ventilation systems for their operations.

“Some other mines we supported early on included Mt Dimer, Youanmi, Century Zinc, Granites Gold Mine and the Olympic Dam expansion – which is Australia’s largest open-pit mine. Some of these mines are still around today.”

Whyte said energy services at mines had expanded since then.

“Where we once supported mines operationally with their short-term power and cooling needs, we organically developed into an engineering solutions provider, now active at more than 300 mines globally,” he said. “Over time, our solutions have also become more complex from providing airflow modelling for underground cooling and ventilation to providing fully hybridised micro-grids.

“Of the limited number of off-grid renewable power plants in the world, Aggreko owns and operates three of them, and this is something we are very proud of. Where it was once common for miners to own and operate their own power plants on-site and for us to supply bridging power, it is becoming more common for us to build, own and operate the power plant for a mine’s life.”

Whyte said digitalisation has been one of the biggest transformers of the mining industry, helping assist with emissions reduction and safety improvements.

“Digital technology provides the data needed to reduce unpaid down-time on mine sites for instance or discover how solar and batteries behave under cloud cover,” he said.

Aggreko Global Head of Mining, Rod Saffy, said Aggreko was a truly global power provider and its experience in a wide variety of industries, applications and locations were part of the company’s success.

“Aggreko is truly a global company, and consistency across our businesses practices has earned us a reputation for having the highest ethical, environmental, equipment and safety standards wherever we go in the world,” he said.

Aggreko has a team of more than 6,000 people who operate across 80 countries. It has a diverse team including engineers, data scientists, technicians, and power station operators – who demonstrate there aren’t any conditions too cold, hot, or tough to operate in, the company says.

A recent project included staff enduring extreme environments of the Andes-mountain ranges in Salares Norte, Chile, to establish a hybrid and solar power plant 4,500 m above sea level. Another project saw teams transport equipment via icy roads to provide 6.5 MW of power and heating to a silver mine (Silvertip) in British Columbia, Canada. It was there that within three months Aggreko installed and commissioned a virtual LNG fuel supplied power plant with a heat recovery system. The team also operates in hot climates like Africa and Australia where they establish power plants in the soaring heat or desert.

Saffy and Whyte believe mining is at the forefront of technology and innovation, and the progress being made in the industry paves the way for other global industries such as manufacturing, construction and major events.

“The mining industry has some of the most robust environmental and safety standards in the world and the innovations in the industry are truly exciting,” Saffy said.

Aggreko’s latest technologies include its 1,300 kW Ultra-Low Emissions Package – a world-first power generation system which effectively eliminates up to 99% of all controlled emissions from diesel generator exhaust streams. Emission levels are 90% lower than the next best available technology on the market.

Other technologies the company has either deployed or developing, include modular solar power; Organic Rankine Cycle technology (heat from generator exhausts converts into useable energy); renewable energy solutions (such as wind farms, solar and hydro power); mobile wind solutions and pumped, mechanical and flywheel energy storage; and fuels such as hydrogen and biofuels (which will become more prevalent in the next decade and can be switched into Aggreko’s modular power generators).

Aggreko has a net-zero emissions goal by 2050 and has a 2030 target to reduce diesel use in its customer solutions by 50%.

Aggreko urges miners to embrace renewable power generation now

With decarbonisation at the forefront of miners’ agendas, one of the world’s leading provider of mobile and modular power solutions, Aggreko, has released its top tips to help miners decarbonise now and into the future.

Aggreko’s Global Head of Mining, Rod Saffy, said while miners were embracing the global energy transition, some were unsure where to begin.

“For some miners it’s about knowing where to start and they may be weighing up the cost, risk and threat of new technology in the future,” he said.

“Fortunately, technology isn’t in the same place as it was five years ago or even two years ago. Some of the renewable power technologies available today, combined with thermal generation in a hybrid solution, offer the same – if not better – levels of reliability and competitiveness than traditional thermal technology.”

Saffy said power generation companies were taking significant steps to support miners on their respective paths to net-zero emissions.

“Increasingly, power companies are offering renewables such as solar and wind energy to off-grid mines, and we often integrate those with battery storage solutions and thermal microgrids,” he said.

“If you consider a hybrid power solution – where you switch in renewables to your power mix alongside fossil fuels – your operation will be more flexible and can scale up and down as needed.

“Our approach means miners can also partner with us, long term, without being tied down to one fuel type for their power source, and new technology is introduced as it becomes viable.

“Integrating renewables in this manner will result in greater cost savings and efficiencies for your project.”

One solar and thermal hybrid solution Aggreko delivered for a remote gold mine in Africa resulted in more than 12% savings in fuel (about 10,000 litres a day) and the contract offered meant the miner did not have to come up with capital to invest in the solar plant.

Another example Aggreko is working on, Saffy said, is a 25.9 MW hybrid solar and thermal power solution for the Salares Norte open-pit mine in Chile.

“It is a ground-breaking solution designed to provide power for the entire mine, which sits at an altitude of 4,500 m in the Andes mountain range and is 190 km from the nearest town,” he explained.

“Once complete, the hybrid power plant is expected to achieve $7.4 million in cost of energy savings over the next decade, a further $1.1 million in carbon tax offset over the life of the mine, in addition to 104,000 t of carbon emissions savings.

“The system will surpass the Chilean government’s environmental standards as well as Gold Fields’ requirement for a minimum of 20% renewable power generation for mining operations.”

Saffy said the pathways to decarbonisation that held the most appeal for miners currently included:

  • Hybrid power plants (as mentioned): These combine renewables (eg solar, wind) with thermal generation and battery storage, benefitting areas with limited or no access to permanent power. These are generally cost-competitive. Once solar or wind plants are installed, their generation running costs are relatively low and at zero emissions;
  • Virtual gas pipelines: Gas power generation can offer a greener and more cost-effective alternative to diesel and heavy fuel oil. A virtual pipeline is a substitute – and an alternative – for a physical pipeline. Gas is instead transported as LNG or CNG to the point of use by sea, road, or rail. For mines not connected to a physical pipeline and looking to switch to gas from diesel, a virtual pipeline model simply imitates their current supply solution. For users who are connected to a gas pipeline but are looking to supplement insufficient or unreliable pipeline capacity, the virtual power plant solution has several advantages over diesel; and
  • Renewable energy: Renewable energy power systems are an effective way of tapping into natural resources to provide power, such as wind farms, hydro power and solar. The challenge is their reliability related to weather, hence why, if power is interrupted for any reason, it is important to ensure they’re backed by with batteries or a temporary thermal power solution.

A significant future fuel in this space will be hydrogen. Investment in hydrogen is on the rise because of the role it can play in supporting a global transition to net-zero. Its versatility and compatibility with existing furnaces, engines and generators make it particularly appealing for the mining industry, according to Aggreko.

Saffy said energy sources likely to become more prevalent in mining during the next 10 years included biofuels (would become less expensive), hydropower, energy storage (such as pumped, mechanical flywheel), and gas generation which runs with a hybrid renewable system. While it is increasingly used now as power source, wind and solar power are also expected to gain more momentum.

Aggreko is also experimenting with mobile wind solutions, re-deployable solar panels and tidal wave power (though tidal wave power might not be for the mining industry yet). The company is also accelerating its investments in hydrogen technology, with trials underway in Europe on two different technologies, where Aggreko is collaborating with lead customers and partners trialling hydrogen generators and fuel cell battery hybrids.

“It’s a very exciting time in the mining sector, and it will be amazing to see the innovations presented during the next few years as miners and energy companies collaborate and come up with new ideas for a greener future,” Saffy said.

“The key though is to start now – you can embrace renewables now into your energy mix because, done correctly, cost and emission savings can be greatly reduced without compromising reliability.”

Aggreko has its own net-zero goals by 2050 and has a 2030 target to reduce diesel use in its customer solutions by 50%.

Aggreko to energise mine power space with investment proposition

Mobile power provider Aggreko says it is making the transition from being a pure power provider to a long-term mining project investor that is helping miners navigate the energy transition.

Aggreko has built an almost 60-year-long reputation for powering many sectors around the globe. It has also supplied power and underground cooling to the mining sector for more than 35 years and has evolved into life-of-mine contracts and renewables.

In its latest report – which details its future energy transition – Aggreko cites mining as a major growth sector. Aggreko Australia Pacific Managing Director, George Whyte, stated that Aggreko’s global team’s unique offering is with build-own-operate investments across all continents.

As well as continuing to invest upward of £250 million ($347 million) annually in technology and innovation, the company says it is ready to further boost its investments in the natural resources industry.

Whyte said: “Investor partnerships can support the rapid changes in technology and emissions compliance that our mining customers are facing. Investing millions of dollars in capital for a mine’s power plant is a risk for any company, and, as a partner, Aggreko takes on this risk instead of the mining company. It is a smart way for miners to do business in the post-COVID and renewables era.”

Aggreko’s Global Head of Mining, Rod Saffy, said miners struggling to get funding for capital expenditure projects were looking to outsource, and there was a trend toward creating partnerships with providers.

“Partnerships provide more value beyond de-risking project finances,” Saffy said. “There are technology and emissions risks, so by partnering with us, for example, we aren’t just supplying equipment and labour, we share in decision making and project milestones, we invest and update technology on-site and navigate social and environmental impacts together.”
Saffy said companies looking to build power stations for the first time particularly benefited from supportive partnerships with Aggreko.

“Power stations are our core business, and they have become much more complex on mine sites than they have been in the past,” he said. “It is challenging to get funding to build power stations, and miners are needing support to integrate renewables into their plans immediately or in the future, or needing solutions designed from scratch.

“Partnering with us is a sustainable and beneficial business solution. Miners are wanting hybrid power stations that might utilise a mix of energy sources such as diesel, gas, solar or battery, for example. They also want that power to be scaled up or down and upgraded as their needs change and new technology comes online.”

Saffy said mines throughout the world were becoming less dependent on mass-scale thermal plants to deliver baseload power through national grids.

“With the cost of renewable power generation falling, there is also growth in localised microgrids, which means less dependence or complete independence from the grid,” he said. “Miners in Australia, Africa and South America, where there is less infrastructure in remote locations, are finding it particularly helpful to partner with us from the start of a major project.”

One such example is the Gold Fields Salares Norte Mine in northern Chile where Aggreko has become a major investor, and partner for the mining project for at least 10 years. The mine is located 190 km from the nearest town and is 4,500 m above sea level, and Aggreko is creating an off-grid hybrid power solution, comprising of diesel and solar for the harsh environmental conditions. Aggreko estimates the mine will experience $7.4 million in cost energy savings across the 10 years.

Saffy said the benefits for Aggreko in partnering and investing with miners from the beginning of their project to the end of the life of mine was beneficial for both parties.

“As a partner, Aggreko de-risks the threat of future innovation and technology for miners,” he said. “Our build, own, operate and maintain model frees up working capital without increasing the debt ratio for mining projects. Modular equipment also gives miners the ability to leverage innovation at low risk and not be concerned about having the latest equipment.

“We benefit too, by showcasing our expertise and innovations throughout a project’s lifecycle and support mining companies to reduce emissions and increase their operational efficiencies.”

Late last year, Aggreko committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Aggreko to energise Gold Fields’ Salares Norte mine with hybrid power solution

Aggreko, a leading provider of mobile and modular power solutions, has signed a contract with Gold Fields to provide a 25.9 MW hybrid solar and thermal power solution to the Salares Norte open-pit mine in Chile.

This “ground-breaking solution” has been designed to provide power for the entire mine, which sits at an altitude of 4,500 m in the Andes mountain range and is 190 km from the nearest town, Aggreko says.

The hybrid system will comprise both tailormade high-altitude performance diesel gensets and Aggreko Solar Power units, optimised for off-grid applications and ready to meet the extreme wind conditions these units will experience.

The gensets will each deliver 772 kW (for 16 MW of power in total) and will incorporate spinning reserve and cold reserve units to efficiently manage peaks in demand, the company says. This diesel generation system will be integrated with solar units, which, once installed, will provide 9.9 MW of emission-free power.

“The system will deliver a reliable, modular power supply across all five of the mine’s distribution points, whilst surpassing the Chilean government’s environmental standards as well as Gold Fields’ requirement for a minimum of 20% renewable power generation for mining operations,” Aggreko said.

Once complete, it will achieve $7.4 million in cost of energy savings over the next decade and a further $1.1 million in carbon tax offset over the Aggreko project lifetime in addition to 104,000 t of carbon emissions savings, Aggreko estimates.

“The modular rental solution also supports a consolidated capital expenditure outlay, allowing for greater cost control and variable commitments whilst ensuring continued operational excellence at the mine,” it added.

The deployment of this hybrid solution follows Aggreko’s recent launch of Aggreko Solar Power, which will be deployed to provide power at the site. This solution is designed for weak or off-grid energy applications, providing clean and efficient power supply to a range of operations without long-term financial commitments.

Pablo Varela, Latin America Managing Director from Aggreko, said: “As the energy transition continues to gather pace, our customers are increasingly looking for more flexible power solutions which can reliably support operations whilst reducing carbon emissions and lowering costs.

“Hybrid products, such as the one we are deploying for Salares Norte, enable a reliable and flexible power supply whilst reducing carbon emissions, thanks to the incorporation of Aggreko Solar Power units as part of the system. Having a standardised product such as this provides the kind of consistency and reliability which our customers have come to expect from us.”

The 10-year contract between Aggreko and Gold Fields for power generation at the mine represents the strong working relationship between the companies, reinforced with the recent installation of one of the world’s largest renewable microgrids at Gold Fields’ Granny Smith mine in Western Australia.

First production from the mine is set for early 2023, with Salares Norte having an 11.5-year life of mine with a production average of 450,000 oz/y for the first seven years of operations.

FLSmidth to provide gold processing package to Gold Fields’ Salares Norte

FLSmidth says it has sold three system packages to Gold Fields for its greenfield Salares Norte project in Chile.

The large downstream gold product line project comprises, FLSmidth says, three complete process islands: a Merrill Crowe, an AARL (Anglo American Research Laboratories) elution circuit and a refinery.

The process plant will treat 2 Mt/y of ore and is expected to produce an average of 2.6 Moz of silver and 286,000 oz of gold annually during its first seven years in operation, FLSmidth said.

FLSmidth’ s systems were chosen for their proven quality and the durability of the technologies involved, according to the OEM. “These factors were crucial for the customer given the modular, fully-automated and custom design required for the specificities of the gold mine, which is situated in the Atacama region of northern Chile at 4,500 m in elevation,” FLSmidth said. “Given the high altitude, it was important that the systems were as automated as possible, with the option of remote monitoring.”

The company added: “Salares Norte further solidifies our position as a premium supplier of projects and solutions even in the most challenging conditions. This contract is also noteworthy given how few new, large gold/silver mines have been established in South America in recent years. Supplying a significant portion of the flowsheet gives FLSmidth another strong reference with a major gold miner.”

Outotec and Metso have also won major orders for Salares Norte.

Jorge Carvajal, Project Sales Director, said: “These orders are the result of work well done and close collaboration. This, in conjunction with a strong focus on our customer during the entire process, were crucial in solidifying our position as a key technical solutions provider in the gold market.”

Metso to help Gold Fields with dry tailings processing at Salares Norte

Metso says Salares Norte, a Chile greenfield project owned by Gold Fields, has ordered three of its Vertical Plate Pressure Filters with all the ancillary equipment for dry tailings processing.

The order has been booked in Metso’s June quarter orders received, with the filters expected to be commissioned in October 2022.

Francois Swanepoel, Technical Manager at Salares Norte, said Gold Fields’ vision is to be the global leader in sustainable gold mining.

“The Salares Norte greenfield project is located 4,500 m above sea level in the Andean Mountains, where water is scarce and needs to be used wisely,” he said.

“To minimise the use of water and improve the physical and chemical stability of our tailings, we have decided to adopt filtered tailings for the project. Salares Norte will be a benchmark plant for dry tailings processing.”

Earlier this month, Outotec announced it would provide one 4 MW SAG mill and one 4 MW ball mill as well as five thickeners and one clarifier to be used in different process phases at the project.

Metso said Salares Norte was an exciting project for the company to work on as it considers dry tailings as the “most socially responsible and economically viable solution for tailings management”.

Patricio Mujica Dominguez, Senior Manager, Mining Equipment at Metso, said: “Besides the front-running tailings management solution, Salares Norte has challenged its partners to come up with other innovative solutions. The location of the plant at a height of almost 5 km above the sea level comes with its own unique challenges.

“For example, the design and transportation of the equipment, as well as commissioning, needs to be done with special care. To save manpower at such a high altitude, Metso will semi-assemble the filters in its service centres and deliver them in six specially designed easy-to-assemble modules to the site.”

A 2019 feasibility study on Salares Norte envisages an open-pit mining operation with an initial mine life of 11.5 years, producing 450,000 oz/y of gold-equivalent for the first seven years.