Tag Archives: Severstal

Hitachi CM looks for access to resource industry start-ups with Chrysalix fund investment

Chrysalix Venture Capital, a global venture capital fund with a history of commercialising innovation for resource intensive industries, has announced Hitachi Construction Machinery Co Ltd has invested in the Chrysalix RoboValley Fund.

Hitachi Construction Machinery, a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, joins a cluster of mining and metals players such as South32, Severstal and Mitsubishi Corp in the fund, and “will leverage Chrysalix’s extensive network in the mining field to strengthen open innovation by connecting with start-ups that possess the latest technologies for mining in areas such as robotic systems, IoT, AI and data analytics”, the company said.

“Chrysalix has made step-change innovations in the metals and mining, manufacturing and machinery industries, through digital solutions and advanced robotics technologies, a major theme of our fund, and we are delighted to welcome Hitachi Construction Machinery to the Chrysalix RoboValley Fund,” Alicia Lenis, Vice President at Chrysalix Venture Capital, said.

Just some of the companies included in Chrysalix’s portfolio include Novamera, which is developing its Sustainable Mining by Drilling technology for narrow-vein mines; and MineSense Technologies, a Vancouver-based start-up developing real-time, sensor-based ore data and sorting solutions for large-scale mines.

Naoyoshi Yamada, Chief Strategy Officer at Hitachi Construction Machinery, said: “We identified Chrysalix as having a valuable network of start-ups in its global innovation ecosystem, and a unique window on innovation opportunities in the mining industry.

“With the trends toward digitalisation, the autonomous operation and electrification of mining machinery, as well as the growing need for solutions to streamline and optimise not only mining machinery but also overall mining operations, many start-ups offer novel technologies and services, and our investment in the Chrysalix RoboValley Fund will enable Hitachi Construction Machinery to tap into these new breakthroughs.”

The Chrysalix RoboValley Fund, Chrysalix says, seeks to achieve significant returns for its investors by enabling resource intensive industries, including energy, mining, construction, infrastructure and mobility, to tap into innovation from high growth start-ups.

Severstal to circumvent haulage cost hike at Tsentralniy open-pit with new conveyors

Severstal is readying an investment in a new conveyor system at the Karelsky Okatysh iron ore complex in northwest Russia as part of a major project to reduce haulage costs at the Tsentralniy open-pit mine.

In the company’s capital investment 2020 announcement at the end of January, it said one of the major investment projects being run by its Severstal Resources division was the “construction of a conveyor belt for run-of-mine transportation at the Tsentralniy pit”.

This conveyor system will help the complex continue to process 20 Mt/y of iron ore and 45 Mt/y of overburden.

Since this announcement, IM has received more detail about this planned installation from a Severstal spokesperson.

The conveyor complex will consist of three production lines, according to the spokesperson:

  • The ore production line includes a semi-mobile gyratory crusher, with capacity of up to 3,500 t/h, a conveyor that lifts the crushed ore to the pit surface and transports it to a warehouse for storage, a warehouse conveyor and a stacker;
  • The second production line is for overburden. It has a more powerful semi-mobile gyratory crusher with capacity of up to 7,300 t/h, lifting and transmitting overburden conveyors and a dump conveyor that feeds the overburden to the spreader that forms the tailings heap; and
  • The third production line is intended for “contaminated ore”. It consists of an eccentric crusher, a dry magnetic separation unit and a conveyor system. After separation, refined ore will be fed to the first ore line and the waste rock will be fed to the second overburden line.

The total length of all the conveyors is 6.5 km, with the largest single conveyor being 1.85 km. The spokesperson said the height of the overburden lift by the conveyor system is 320 meters.

Severstal Resources says the goal of the project, which should launch in 2023, is to reduce haulage costs associated with transporting rock using dump trucks.

“Today the Tsentralniy pit is 350 m deep, 4 km long and 2.5 km wide,” the spokesperson said. “Dump trucks are carrying ore and overburden for about 5 km; by 2023 this will increase to 7 km – hence the decision to build the conveyor complex.”

The project has the added benefit of reducing emissions as there will be less exhaust from the equipment in the pit, the spokesperson added.

Severstal’s digital focus paying off at Vorkutaugol coal operations

Severstal’s Strata advanced monitoring system is helping optimise its Vorkutaugol coal operations in Russia through the ability to help with predictive maintenance, gas detection, and people and proximity detection, among other capabilities, CEO Alexander Shevelev said at a media roundtable in London today.

With the company looking to not only improve safety, but increase machine uptime and boost productivity, Strata, installed last year, has revolutionised the operation, in Russia’s Komi Republic.

The system is likely to become even more important in future years as the mine continues to expand to its ultimate 5.4 Mt/y coking coal concentrate capacity in 2022-2023, an expansion that involves $335 million of capital expenditure.

Shevelev said Strata works off a Wi-Fi enabled backbone at the mine to collect and analyse data. This has helped improve service and maintenance, he explained, in addition to enabling workers and machines to know where personnel and equipment are.

Wi-Fi will also come of use when the company brings online two new “remotely controlled” machines at the end of November. Shevelev said these machines would help improve safety within the mine, in addition to improving productivity thanks to a reduction in the time required for shift changes.

All of this is part of the company’s plans to, this year, invest a further RUB1.1 billion ($17.3 million) into safety improvement measures at its mines (almost half of which will be invested into health and safety initiatives – including digital systems – at Vorkutaugol).

The company also previously committed RUB5.7 billion of investment capital in 2019 to digital and IT projects focused on further improving operational excellence and enhancing product quality and customer service, it said.

The two deposits Severstal operates under the Vorkutaugol operations are Vorkutskoye and Vorgashorskoye, which have an estimated life of 28 and seven years, respectively, according to the company’s website. The business consists of five longwall mines, an open-pit mine and three washing plants.