Tag Archives: Saskatchewan

Ampcontrol to provide iMAC conveyor control systems to BHP at Jansen potash project

Ampcontrol says it has been named the supplier for conveyor control systems for Stage 1 at the BHP Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan, Canada.

The Ampcontrol iMAC monitoring and control system has achieved Canadian Standards Approval and will be used for conveyor controls on site, the company said, adding that this marks the first time an Ampcontrol product has been used in Canada.

Ampcontrol Managing Director & CEO, Rod Henderson, said: “We have a solid history of working with BHP in Australia for over 50 years. We are looking forward to furthering our relationship by participating in the Jansen potash project and are eager to share our world-class electrical solutions with the broader Canadian market.”

Designed to maximise productivity while maintaining the highest level of safety, the Ampcontrol iMAC system is customised to the unique requirements of sites and provides features such as high integrity emergency stop, broadcast messaging, and belt hazard identification functionality, with remote interface capabilities.

Jamie Scheffer, Integrated Project Team Manager Underground BHP, said: “Ampcontrol was selected from a number of different vendors to supply conveyor control signal line equipment for the underground conveyor systems, consisting of upwards of 35 km of conveyor belts.

“The Ampcontrol iMAC was the successful solution because it provided a remote interface which gave us the ability to link in remotely and help fault find should issues occur. This is particularly important for this site due to our remote location.”

BHP has announced an investment of $5.7 billion in the Jansen Stage 1 project, which is 140 km east of Saskatoon.

Work will start on the conveyor system in late 2022 with the current project expected to be completed by 2025.

Intrepid Group and indurad partner on anti-collision, volumetric inventory and positioning solution offering

Intrepid Group Ltd and indurad have announced a new strategic partnership to provide robust anti-collision, volumetric inventory and positioning solutions for the mining and material handling industry.

The partnership will have a focus on the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, the pair said.

Indurad calls itself the global leader in radar-based automation and productivity solutions for mine sites, train loadouts, stockyard equipment and shiploading facilities. Its patented 2D and 3D radar systems are installed at mining operations and ports worldwide to increase ore throughput and minimise downtime and collisions.

Intrepid Group says it helps its customers improve their operations through accurate and efficient measurement of their processes, partnering with manufacturers to develop solutions that achieve these goals.

“Partnerships with regional leaders like Intrepid Group allow us to enhance our market coverage,” Adriaan Goosen, Director of Engineering at indurad, said.

Campbell Adams, Chief Executive Officer at Intrepid Group, added: “We are delighted by the partnership. indurad’s solutions affords us even greater flexibility to meet the diverse needs of our customers. The synergies of this partnership will greatly benefit both our current and future customers.”

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.

Sandvik to deliver ‘biggest BEV fleet to date’ for Foran’s McIlvenna Bay

Foran Mining has selected Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions to supply a fleet of 20 battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), including trucks, loaders and drills, for its McIlvenna Bay project in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Set to be one of the world’s first carbon-neutral copper development projects, McIlvenna Bay will be powered by clean hydroelectric power and designed to take advantage of Sandvik’s latest technological advances in sustainable mining, the OEM says.

Sandvik’s biggest BEV fleet to date will include seven Sandvik 18-t-payload LH518B loaders (pictured dumping into a TH550B), six Sandvik 50-t-payload TH550B trucks, four Sandvik DD422iE jumbo drill rigs, two Sandvik DL422iE longhole drills and one Sandvik DS412iE mechanical bolter. Delivery of the equipment is scheduled to begin next year and continue into 2025, Sandvik says.

Sandvik will also provide on-site service support and Battery as a Service by Sandvik at the underground copper-zinc mining project located in east-central Saskatchewan.

Jakob Rutqvist, VP Strategy and Commercial for Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions’ Battery and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (BHEV) Business Unit, said: “This record contract is the culmination of a year-long collaborative effort between Foran Mining and Sandvik and demonstrates a shared vision that electrification will drive the future of sustainable mining. BEVs have enormous potential to reduce a mining operation’s carbon footprint, and Canada continues to be the epicentre for mining electrification and a blueprint for what to expect in other major mining regions very soon.”

Copper and zinc are critical metals for the transition to a low-carbon future as essential elements of electrical grids, solar panels, wind turbines and batteries. The McIlvenna Bay project intends to supply those minerals in a way that will not only be carbon neutral but ultimately have a net positive impact on the climate, according to Sandvik.

Dave Bernier, Chief Operating Officer of Foran Mining, said: “This is a very exciting period for Foran as we continue to execute on our initiatives to permit, construct and operate McIlvenna Bay. Sandvik is a global leader in industrial battery technology and we look forward to working together on our project. Utilising battery-electric equipment with semi- and fully-autonomous capabilities can help us achieve carbon neutral targets and provide a safer working environment, which is part of our Net Positive Business strategy as we look to deliver critical metals essential for global decarbonisation in a responsible and socially-empowering way.”

Foran Mining conducted a thorough analysis during its 2020 prefeasibility study to determine the investment case for BEVs compared with diesel. The company determined that BEVs would deliver better financial results at McIlvenna Bay when considering the savings generated through lower ventilation capital and operating costs.

That report, authored by AGP Mining Consultants Inc, envisaged the potential use of 7 Sandvik LH517i LHDs and 11 Artisan Vehicles (Sandvik) Z50 battery electric trucks for a 3,600 t/d of polymetallic ore operation.

Stefan Widing, President and CEO of Sandvik, said: “I am very pleased that Foran Mining has chosen Sandvik to deliver our leading battery-electric solutions for the pioneering McIlvenna Bay project. We see very strong momentum for our mining electrification offering, which offers great potential in driving more sustainable mining, helping customers to boost productivity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve workers’ health.”

A dedicated on-site project team will be jointly working with the mine’s operations team to ensure the products and services in the delivery scope support the alliance on Foran’s journey towards more productive, efficient and sustainable mining, Sandvik said.

“Battery as a Service by Sandvik will enable McIlvenna Bay to get the most out of its battery-electric equipment by relying on unrivaled expertise to manage the capacity and health of batteries and chargers throughout their long lives,” it added.

GEH SMR Technologies Canada, SIMSA to cooperate on small modular reactor deployment in Saskatchewan

GEH SMR Technologies Canada Ltd and the Saskatchewan Industrial and Mining Supplier’s Association (SIMSA) have agreed to cooperate to support the potential deployment of the BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR) in Saskatchewan.

Through a memorandum of understanding, GEH SMR Canada and SIMSA agreed to collaborate in engaging with local suppliers to maximise the role of the Saskatchewan supply chain in the nuclear energy industry, they say. This could potentially see uranium from Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin come into the SMR nuclear mix.

“Canada has a robust nuclear energy supply chain and through this memorandum of understanding with SIMSA, we look forward to growing the supply chain further to support the deployment of the BWRX-300,” Lisa McBride, Country Leader, GEH SMR Canada, said.

SIMSA is a non-profit organisation which includes over 300 member companies in Saskatchewan from the manufacturing, construction, engineering, mining and energy sectors. SIMSA seeks to connect local member businesses in traditional and emerging industries to nuclear opportunities in Saskatchewan, in order to drive economic growth and job creation while supporting innovation.

Eric Anderson, Executive Director of SIMSA, said: ­“SMRs are a safe and practical solution to decarbonising Saskatchewan’s power grid. SIMSA and its members will take a leading role in their deployment in order to see the greatest economic benefit land in Saskatchewan.”

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) has been selected by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) as the technology partner for the Darlington New Nuclear Project. GEH is working with OPG to deploy a BWRX-300 at the Darlington site that could be complete as early as 2028, it says.

GEH has also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Cameco and Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas to explore several areas of cooperation to advance the commercialisation and deployment of BWRX-300 small modular reactors (SMRs) in Canada and around the world.

In March, the governments of Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Alberta released a strategic plan for the deployment of SMRs. The plan identified priority areas for SMR deployment including Stream 1, a grid-scale SMR project at the Darlington nuclear site and subsequent units in Saskatchewan.

GEH’s support for the Canadian nuclear industry dates back to the early 1950s. The company helped build the first Canadian nuclear power plant, the Nuclear Power Demonstration reactor, that became the basis for the entire CANDU fleet. Today, GEH is partnering with several Canadian firms as it builds a supply chain to support deployment of the BWRX-300. Advanced nuclear technologies like the BWRX-300 are a key pillar of GE’s energy transition leadership.

The BWRX-300 (graphic, pictured) is a 300 MWe water-cooled, natural circulation SMR with passive safety systems that leverages the design and licensing basis of GEH’s US NRC-certified ESBWR (Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor). Through dramatic and innovative design simplification, GEH projects the BWRX-300 will require significantly less capital cost per MW when compared with other SMR designs.

Hatch engaged to take NexGen’s Rook I uranium project forward to FEED stage

NexGen Energy has awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) contract for the front-end engineering design (FEED) stage of the Rook I uranium project in Saskatchewan, Canada, to Hatch, with work well underway.

Hatch, NexGen says, is a leader in project management and engineering and has extensive experience delivering mining projects in Saskatchewan and across Canada.

The awarding of the EPCM contract comes at the conclusion of a tender process involving multiple globally recognised industry firms, according to NexGen. Integrating fully into the owner’s team, Hatch is responsible for providing NexGen with engineering, procurement and execution planning services, along with supporting overall project management.

Following the completion of the Rook I feasibility study in February, NexGen is transitioning into the next stage of advanced project development with the commencement of the FEED stage. This feasibility study outlined a 1,300 t/d operation processing an average feed grade of 2.37% U3O8 and average uranium oxide production of 21.7 MIb/y over the life of mine of 10.7 years from the Arrow deposit.

In line with the optimised project execution strategy, the FEED stage will advance overall engineering to a 40-45% level of completion with associated cost estimate, fully define long-lead procurement actions, and further refine execution planning to prepare the project for the pending construction stage, NexGen said. This FEED stage is scheduled for completion in the September quarter of 2022 and will be undertaken concurrently with the engagement, Environmental Assessment and Licensing workstreams.

The 2021 site investigation program is advancing safely and is planned as a pre-cursor for FEED. Surface investigation field work is now complete, which consisted of test pits and sonic boreholes in locations of planned infrastructure. The collection of confirmational geological, geotechnical and hydrogeologic characterisation data is nearing completion, and early analysis of this data has validated the current designs established in the feasibility study and confirms the understanding of the rock mass proximal to the underground infrastructure and underground tailings management facility, according to NexGen.

Leigh Curyer, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Advancing into the FEED stage of development is another exciting milestone for the company, and we’re pleased to welcome Hatch to NexGen’s growing high performance team in advancing the Rook I project towards the start of construction. Hatch’s exemplary reputation in the global mining sector and deep understanding of value-driven project delivery aligns perfectly with NexGen’s commitment to elite standards and is a key step in the development of this leading global resource project. In parallel, the drafting of the project’s Environmental Impact Study and licensing workstreams nearing completion, together with regional exploration targeting new zones of potential ‘Arrow-type’ mineralisation, further exemplifies the NexGen team’s commitment to the successful execution of multiple workstreams.”

Certified Mining & Construction Sales & Rentals to represent Aramine in western Canada

Certified Mining & Construction Sales & Rentals has become the exclusive distributer for Aramine for Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta in Canada.

This partnership will bring cutting edge, battery-powered, heavy-duty equipment and parts to the mining industry in western Canada, the company says.

Certified Mining & Construction Sales & Rentals (CMC) is a Saskatoon-based sales and rental company that offers specialised equipment to the mining and construction industries in North America.

The company says: “This partnership with Aramine will only serve to build on both the rental options and the offering for the sales side. With Aramine’s offering on the battery-powered, mine-specific heavy equipment, we will be able to partner with our clients to work towards lowering emissions without lowering productivity.”

Aramine has designed an innovative and unique range of small and medium section machines, including the L140B battery-powered mini loader.

BHP greenlights Jansen Stage 1 potash project

BHP has approved $5.7 billion in capital expenditure for the Jansen Stage 1 (Jansen S1) potash project in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada.

Jansen S1 is expected to produce approximately 4.35 Mt/y of potash, and has a basin position with the potential for further expansions (subject to studies and approvals), according to BHP. First ore is targeted in 2027, with construction expected to take approximately six years, followed by a ramp-up period of two years.

Jansen S1 includes the design, engineering and construction of an underground potash mine and surface infrastructure including a processing facility, a product storage building and a continuous automated rail loading system. Jansen S1 product will be shipped to export markets through Westshore, in Delta, British Columbia, and the project includes funding for the required port infrastructure. This infrastructure will be constructed by Westshore Terminals Investment Corporation as part of an agreement with BHP.

BHP Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry, said Jansen is aligned with BHP’s strategy of growing the company’s exposure to future-facing commodities in world-class assets, which are large, low cost and expandable.

“This is an important milestone for BHP and an investment in a new commodity that we believe will create value for shareholders for generations,” Henry said.

“In addition to its merits as a stand-alone project, Jansen also brings with it a series of high returning growth options in an attractive investment jurisdiction. In developing the Jansen project, BHP has had ongoing positive engagement and collaboration with First Nations and local communities, and with the provincial and federal governments. Jansen is designed with a focus on sustainability, including being designed for low greenhouse gas emissions and low water consumption.

“We anticipate that demand growth will progressively absorb the excess capacity currently present in the industry, with opportunity for new supply expected by the late 2020s or early 2030s. That is broadly aligned with the expected timing of first production from Jansen.”

BHP said: “Beyond the 2020s, the industry’s long run trend prices are expected to be determined by Canadian greenfield solution mines. In addition to consuming more energy and water than conventional mines like Jansen, solution mines tend to have higher operating costs and higher sustaining capital requirements.”

At consensus prices, the go-forward investment on Jansen is expected to generate an internal rate of return of 12-14%, an expected payback period of seven years from first production and an underlying EBITDA margin of around 70% given its expected first quartile cost position, according to BHP.

BHP says the $4.5 billion (pre-tax) of capital invested to date has resulted in a significant initial outlay. The investment to date includes construction of the shafts and associated infrastructure ($2.97 billion scope of work), as well as engineering and procurement activities and preparation works related to Jansen S1 underground infrastructure. Approximately $220 million of the $2.97 billion approved for the current scope of work, expected to be completed in 2022, is not yet spent.

The construction of two shafts and associated infrastructure at the site is 93% complete and expected to be completed in 2022, with Cementation Canada set to carry out the post liner excavation, steel and equipping of the shafts.

The sinking of the shafts was carried out by DMC Mining Services using Herrenknecht’s Shaft Boring Roadheader.

To date about 50% of all engineering required for Jansen S1 has been completed, significantly de-risking the project, BHP says.

Murray & Roberts’ Cementation Americas business wins Rio and BHP contracts

Murray & Roberts’ Cementation Americas business has confirmed two new mining contracts with Rio Tinto and BHP.

Cementation USA secured the Underground Characterisation Development and Infrastructure project in Utah for Rio Tinto’s Kennecott copper operations (open pit, pictured). The value of this agreement is circa-$70 million, with the initial scope including lateral development and associated infrastructure works.

Rio, only last month, approved a $108 million investment in underground development to enable early orebody access and undertake orebody characterisation studies for underground mining at the Kennecott copper operations.

The contract award positions Cementation USA well for the potential significant scope growth on this project, Murray & Roberts said.

Cementation Canada Inc has secured the completion of Phase 1 of the Jansen potash project in the province of Saskatchewan for BHP. This scope includes the post liner excavation, steel and equipping of the shaft.

The value of the complete project award, subject to a sanction decision for the project, is around $170 million. Cementation Canada has, in the interim, received a works order to proceed with the first work package to the value of $12 million.

BHP said last month that it expected to make a decision on whether to move forward with Jansen, which is expected to produce 4.4 Mt/y of potash in its first phase, in the next two months.

Cementation Canada will apply to also deliver the following phases of the Jansen project, Murray & Roberts noted.

Murray & Roberts said: “During the past year, mining companies in the Americas have experienced prolonged COVID-19 impact, creating short-term order book pressure for engineering and contracting companies. These awards are evidence of new mining investments returning to the region.

“The forecast improvement in capital investment in the mining industry is encouraging and, considering the platform’s leading global position and growing near term project pipeline, there is good potential for accelerated growth for the group’s mining platform.”

Orano, Ideon deploy cosmic-ray muon detector at McLean Lake uranium site

Canada-based Earth ‘X-ray’ start-up, Ideon Technologies, and Orano Group, one of the world’s top uranium producers, have deployed the world’s first cosmic-ray muon detector for use in industry-standard boreholes.

The EUREKA-approved research and development project, which is receiving advisory services and funding support from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program, will run from now through the end of 2021 at McClean Lake, an Orano uranium site in northern Saskatchewan, Canada.

Ideon says it is a pioneer in muon tomography, providing X-ray-like imaging up to 1 km beneath the Earth’s surface. The Ideon discovery platform integrates proprietary muon detectors, imaging systems, inversion technologies, and artificial intelligence to produce high-resolution 3D density maps of underground targets, it explained.

Orano’s imaging target is a high-grade, compact uranium deposit located at 300 m depth. Multiple borehole muon detectors are deployed down a single drill hole in a connected sequence, delivering progressive imaging results throughout the survey.

Orano and Ideon have been collaborating since 2016, when Ideon deployed its first-generation, large-format detectors at the McArthur River uranium mine in Saskatchewan, successfully imaging a high-grade uranium deposit under 600 m of sandstone. Since then, Ideon has completed a 50 times miniaturisation effort to create the first industry-standard borehole (<100 mm diameter), low-power (<10 W continuous power consumption), zero-maintenance muon tomography detector suitable for operation in the extreme environmental conditions of mineral exploration sites around the world, the company explained.

“We’re excited to move forward on this project with Ideon because we expect it to transform the very nature of how we explore,” Hervé Toubon, Research & Development and Innovation Director at Orano Mining, said. “Global uranium demand is projected to grow by up to 40% by 2025 and it is virtually impossible for us to detect high-grade deposits at depth using traditional geophysical exploration techniques. The subsurface intelligence we gain with muon tomography gives us the ability to accurately locate those anomalies while reducing the need for drilling and lowering our overall environmental impact. That value proposition is hard to beat.”

Gary Agnew, CEO at Ideon, said: “This deployment milestone is more than a decade in the making. We’ve spent seven years doing commercial trials in partnership with the mining industry and several years of system design and development, de-risking, and prototyping in the lab. Orano has been there right along with us for much of that journey, leading the way as a customer-driven innovator in the global energy transition. We are grateful for their enthusiasm, flexibility, trust, and willingness to break new ground with us.”

In addition to muon tomography models, Ideon will work with Orano to develop joint inversions with existing drill data and other geophysical datasets.

Ideon is currently implementing an exclusive early access program for borehole muon tomography. The company claims it is the only straight-line subsurface imaging technology available today, delivering the highest available resolution along with precise anomaly location information. Muon tomography uses a passive and free energy source (cosmic rays from space), offers the ability to image in noisy or conductive environments, and captures data continuously – improving imaging results over time, the company said.