Tag Archives: SME MineXchange Conference and Expo

Exyn launches Nexys, a modular 3D mapping solution for mining sector

Exyn Technologies has announced Exyn Nexys, a cutting-edge modular 3D mapping solution specifically designed to meet the unique needs of the mining industry, among others, at the SME MineXchange Conference and Expo, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Nexys stands out as a benchmark in autonomous mapping technology, delivering unmatched flexibility, speed and accuracy for surveying and inspection tasks in the most challenging and intricate environments, Exyn claims.

“Nexys boasts an innovative modular design that supports deployment in various configurations, including handheld, backpack-mounted, vehicle-mounted, drone-integrated, or via ground robots,” the company says. “This versatility renders Nexys an indispensable tool for comprehensive mapping in diverse environments, particularly underground and indoor spaces unique to mining, as well as rugged outdoor terrains.”

Equipped with advanced LiDAR technology and Exyn’s proprietary SLAM algorithms, Nexys achieves fast and efficient data capture speeds and real-time point cloud colourisation, the company says. When mounted on a robot, its Autonomy Level 4 (AL-4) capabilities enable intelligent autonomous navigation through dynamic, complex environments, guaranteeing extensive coverage even in GPS-denied areas critical for mining.

With integrated hemispherical cameras, Nexys provides immediate visualisation of detailed, colourised data directly onto a 3D point cloud. Capable of capturing up to 1.9 million scan points per second, it guarantees survey-grade accuracy up to 5 mm at 1 sigma, essential for precision-driven surveying and mapping operations in the mining sector, Exyn says.

Designed to IP67 standards within an ISO 9001 certified framework, Nexys is engineered to endure the harshest mining conditions. Its ergonomic design is complemented by a comprehensive suite of accessories, including GPS modules, protective cages and Drone Link for seamless robot integration, enhancing its utility in numerous mining scenarios.

Brandon Torres Declet, CEO of Exyn Technologies, said: “We are thrilled to introduce Exyn Nexys to the mining world, a reflection of Exyn’s unwavering commitment to innovation and our ambition to transform the landscape of mapping and surveying.”

Raffi Jabrayan, VP, Business Development of Exyn, added: “Nexys is specifically engineered to navigate the complex and hazardous environments of underground mines, offering unmatched accuracy, efficiency and safety in orebody mapping, stope condition monitoring and operational planning. This is a significant leap forward in our mission to enhance mine productivity and worker safety through cutting-edge autonomous mapping solutions.”

Continental to showcase digital conveyor technologies at SME in Phoenix

Continental is to showcase its innovative digital solutions and a comprehensive range of products specifically tailored for the mining industry at the SME MineXchange Conference and Expo, in Phoenix, Arizona, scheduled for February 25-28.

Attendees will be able to visit the booth to see the company’s latest advancements in rubber technology and learn more about its extensive offerings designed to enhance efficiency and reduce downtime in mining operations.

Specifically, Continental will highlight the following solutions in its booth:

  • Conti+: Conti+ integrates advanced technology to provide real-time monitoring, predictive maintenance and performance optimisation for conveyor systems;
  • Repair kits: Continental offers high-quality repair kits designed for quick and effective maintenance of conveyor systems. Repair kits can minimise downtime, ensuring that mining operations stay on track;
  • Industrial belts: Attendees can visit the Continental booth to see a range of industrial belts engineered for durability and optimal performance in mining applications. From heavy-duty to specialty belts, Continental’s solutions are built to withstand the toughest conditions in the mining industry, it says; and
  • Specialty hoses: Continental will present a comprehensive portfolio of specialty hoses for steam, mine spray and hydraulic applications. Continental hoses are designed to meet the unique challenges of mining environments, ensuring reliability and safety.

“We are focused on helping our mining customers maximise the life of their belts, conveying systems and hoses so they can work more efficiently and keep their operations running without interruption,” Michael Schroeder, Head of Product Management – Conveying Solutions, at Continental’s Industrial Solutions AMERICA, Sector ContiTech, says.

“Continental can support a wide range of industrial solutions needed for mining. Our premium products contribute to significant cost savings and operational efficiency, and we look forward to showcasing them to attendees at MineXchange.”

For example, Continental is currently working with Atlas Energy Solutions on its new 42 mile (68 km) Dune Express conveyor belt – provided by Continental – which will be the second longest in the world.

The electric conveyor will deliver sand throughout the Permian Basin of west Texas and New Mexico rather than putting it on trucks. This will be more efficient and will eliminate millions of truck miles driven across the Permian resulting in avoided traffic, accidents, injuries and fatalities on the roads used by trucks to deliver sand, it says. The two companies worked together on this innovative delivery method to help Atlas Energy Solutions accomplish their goals.

TOMRA’s SRC ties to open new North America ore sorting markets

TOMRA Sorting Solutions is gearing up for major sensor-based ore sorting orders from the North America mining market after signing a co-operation agreement with the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC).

The company has won mining work across the globe over the last five or so years, moving from Africa diamond operations to a phosphate mine in Saudia Arabia – its largest installation to date (pictured) – to tin in South America and gold in Australia.

One of its more significant regional wins came in Canada, where it recently received a purchase order from Vital Metals’s Cheetah subsidiary to supply COM Tertiary X-ray Transmission (XRT) 1220/B ore sorting equipment to the Nechalacho rare earth project, in the Northwest Territories.

In announcing the order in January, Vital Metals said: “The ore sorting test work highlighted that the Nechalacho rare earth oxide (REO) project is one of the few and the first REO project to successfully use ore sorting to produce a high grade plus-35% REO concentrate without the use of reagents and water. This will substantially reduce the cost and the lead time to bring the Nechalacho REO project into production.”

Harold Cline, Area Sales Manager, Mining, TOMRA Sorting, said this win was significant as it was the first contract the company had sealed in North America following the agreement with the SRC.

SRC is now offering TOMRA clients sensor-based ore sorting process development work, testing and piloting as part of its full suite of SRC Mining and Energy services. The SRC also plans to expand these services further with the creation of the SRC Minerals Liberation Centre.

Up until recently, TOMRA had to send material from North America mining operations back to its test centre in Germany. While the TOMRA facilities in Europe are world-class, Cline said, having a location in North America could prove decisive when it comes to converting enquiries from miners to contracts.

“SRC was able to provide results to Cheetah in just four weeks,” he told IM on the side lines of the recent SME MineXchange Conference and Expo in Phoenix, Arizona.

This testing turnaround time could help TOMRA grow its mining sales in North America at a time when the region’s gold, industrial minerals, copper and lead-zinc mines are looking into sensor-based ore sorting solutions, according to Cline.

Global tailings standards likely to ‘raise industry up’, SME delegates hear

The keynote session at the 2020 SME MineXchange Conference and Expo, in Phoenix, Arizona, acted as a display of just how far the industry has come in the battle to improve transparency and shore up environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices in the face of increased scrutiny over the security and safety of tailings dam facilities.

All speakers involved in the keynote session – representing Freeport McMoRan, The Mosaic Company, Newmont and CONSOL Energy – gave a rundown of how many tailings dam facilities they had on their books, how the operation of these dams had changed since recent high profile failures and what they were doing to improve further.

Yet, with the International Council in Mining & Metals (ICMM) nearing the release of its well-documented Global Tailings Review, the session also highlighted how the industry is wary of trying to apply all-encompassing tailings legislation.

Nancy Case, VP, Environment, Health & Safety for The Mosaic Company, revealed that the company has eight active dams, alongside five inactive dams in Brazil and, in New Mexico, it had five tailings management facilities (TMFs).

Since the Corrego do Feijão mine dam collapse just over a year ago, Case said the company had brought in fully-independent engineering firms that had never worked on any of the dams to evaluate the structures and monitoring procedures in place. In Brazil, the company had also amended its operations to fall in line with new regulations.

This process led to several dams being taken out of operation – with additional buttressing and full centreline work carried out where necessary.

Red Conger, President and COO of Americas for Freeport McMoRan, said tailings management was a big challenge the company acknowledged many decades ago.

He spoke about how the company was using technology such as wireless piezometers to monitor tailings dam levels at its operations. At the Bagdad mine, in Arizona, specifically, the company is also using a satellite radar system for monitoring purposes.

Daniel Connell, VP Business Development & Technology, took the technology talk one step further, explaining the company, in partnership with OMNIS Bailey, was working on an innovative technology to convert waste coal slurry into two products: a high-quality carbon product to be used as fuel or as a feedstock for other higher-value applications; and a mineral matter product with potential to be used as a soil amendment in agricultural applications.

The company has, so far, constructed a 2 t/h pilot plant at its Pennsylvania Mining Complex (PMC), and Connell said the company is looking to scale this up to a commercial installation that could not only reduce the amount of tailings the company stores at the facility, but also, potentially, process existing tails.

Out of the four mining company representatives on stage, Newmont declared the most TMFs – 89 in total. Dean Gehring, EVP & CTO, was keen to point out that the gold miner took a “process safety approach” to handling these facilities.

Newmont, as has been well documented, is looking into tailings stacking solutions as well as EcoTails with FLSmidth to reduce its exposure to wet tailings dam facilities.

All representatives agreed technology developments in this space should be treated like those developed to improve safety – where proprietary technology arguments are put on the backburner to help the industry advance.

After each mining company representative had been given a chance to provide some context as to why they were up on stage about to be asked the tricky tailings questions everyone in the industry wanted to know, the moderator’s questions started.

What it revealed, even among just four companies, was the different ways miners operate and manage tailings dams.

Each company had operations in different countries, with different cultures and with different geotechnical requirements.

CONSOL’s Connell, in response to a question about would the company look to decommission any ‘upstream dams’ in its portfolio – constructions that have faced increased scrutiny since the dam failure in Brazil in January – said the coal miner had no intention of stopping these. “We intend for that to be our practice going forward,” he said referring to the dam in question at the PMC.

Mosaic’s Case, meanwhile, said the company had gone as far as taking one tailings dam out of service since the Bruamidinho collapse last year, with decommissioning lined up.

Case was the first one to answer the question on applying a global tailings standard across the industry, explaining it would be very difficult to “enforce” this – most probably because of the differing operating practices seen across the industry.

“There are a lot of differing opinions on those standards,” she said. Depending on the region in question, applying certain standards could impact competitiveness, she offered up as one example of these varied opinions.

This may have been one of the reasons why Freeport’s Conger said the company was supportive of having a global tailings standard, but would withhold judgement on if the miner would follow all recommendations until the detail had come out.

Gehring, meanwhile, compared the new standards to what the gold sector had seen with the cyanide code years ago. “It will take some time to work through,” he said, referring to this example.

What was clear from this session is that any company that follows the guidelines likely to come out of the ICMM’s Global Tailings Review is likely to be considered a leader within the sector. This comes with benefits.

Case said: “Where I do see it (the standards) becoming really beneficial is allowing companies to show they are at the forefront of this.”

This is likely to have a positive impact on the way investors and insurers view such companies, she explained.

“I think it is really going to raise the industry up.”