Tag Archives: Trevali Mining

Trevali taps EMESCO for solar power contract at Rosh Pinah mine

Trevali Mining has entered into a 15-year renewable Power Purchase Agreement with Emerging Markets Energy Services Company (EMESCO) for the supply of solar power to its Rosh Pinah zinc-lead-silver mine in Namibia.

Trevali has committed to achieving an overall greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 25% by 2025 from its 2018 baseline, with the PPA anticipated to deliver 30% of Rosh Pinah’s power requirements during the life of the agreement and reduce GHG emissions at the company level by 6%.

EMESCO will be responsible for the design, permitting, financing and implementation of a solar energy system on a neighbouring property at no cost to Trevali. EMESCO will then sell the power generated to Trevali at a fixed rate that is expected to reduce energy costs by 18% over the 15-year term of the agreement.

EMESCO was chosen based on a variety of factors, including expertise in the field of renewable energy, an understanding of the scope of work required, the ability to execute and deliver on Trevali’s requirements, and pricing, the miner said.

If Trevali makes a positive investment decision on the RP2.0 expansion project, which could see output rise to 3,600 t/d from 2,000 t/d, EMESCO will increase the delivery of power to Rosh Pinah to remain at 30% of the mine’s annual energy consumption as regulated by the Modified Single Buyer framework in Namibia, it added.

Ricus Grimbeek, President & CEO, said: “Our sustainability program commits to significant reductions in GHG emissions, and with the signing of this agreement with EMESCO we have taken a major step towards delivering on our commitment by securing renewable energy while also reducing our expected energy costs.

“The agreement with EMESCO has been designed to scale with the output of the mine so that when we are ready to make the decision to build the RP2.0 Expansion project, the delivery of power will increase to match our requirements.

“We are extremely excited by this partnership at Rosh Pinah and continue to study ways to reduce Trevali’s GHG emissions and deliver on this and our other sustainability targets.”

Trevali Mining and Redpath plot Caribou zinc-lead mine restart plan

Trevali Mining has enlisted the help of Redpath Mining to restart its Caribou zinc-lead mine near Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada.

The mine has been on a care and maintenance program since March 2020 following a deterioration of the global zinc market and the continued challenges presented by COVID-19.

Armed with the implementation of several operational and commercial enhancements, as well as improved zinc market conditions, the company now expects to return to mining in early February, with first payable zinc production expected by the end of March.

Following ramp-up in 2021, the all-in sustaining cost (AISC) for Caribou is forecast to be between $0.84-$0.90/Ib of zinc in 2022. The AISC for 2021 is expected to be $0.91-$0.97/Ib.

This cost performance will be supported by a partnership with Redpath Mining as underground mining contractor at Caribou. Trevali says Redpath’s operational experience will help it safely and efficiently mine Caribou’s narrow mineralisation, with the company able to mobilise people and equipment quickly.

Also supporting the restart plan is the signing of a 21-month fixed pricing arrangement for a significant portion of the forecasted zinc production from the mine. Pursuant to existing offtake agreements, an affiliate of Glencore has agreed to purchase 115 Mib of payable zinc, which represents some 80% of the forecasted zinc production from Caribou, at an average price of $1.25/Ib.

These agreements are for the period from March 2021 to December 2022 and are in addition to Trevali’s existing hedging program, which covers the period from October 2020 to December 2021.

Trevali said it was also looking to enter into fixed-pricing arrangements for both lead and silver at meaningful levels of forecasted production from Caribou.

Production guidance for 2021 is estimated at between 60-65 Mib of payable zinc, 21-23 MIb of payable lead and 585,000-650,000 oz of payable silver. Zinc payable production is expected to increase to 72-77 MIb of payable zinc in 2022 as the mine receives the benefit of a full year of production.

During the initial 21-month operating period, Trevali says it will also continue to study metallurgical and operational opportunities to extend the current two-year mine plan, as well as other longer-term value enhancing initiatives in the Bathurst mining camp.

Ricus Grimbeek, Trevali’s President and CEO, said: “Our team has worked diligently to reduce the overall cost structure of the Caribou mine, and I am pleased that we are in a position to restart mine operations in a manner that we expect will generate positive cash flow.

“Our initial two-year plan includes several enhancements which are designed to improve the mine’s economics, including the involvement of a contracted mining operator and the entry into fixed-pricing arrangements for a significant portion of the mine’s forecasted production. We have benefited from the engagement of the provincial government, and with the recall of employees and the restart of production we look forward to being a more significant part of the New Brunswick economy.”

MinePortal offers up an integrated view of mine site data

DataCloud’s MinePortal solution has links to the ‘artificial intelligence’, ‘big data’ and ‘digitalisation’ buzzwords that are heard throughout the conference halls at any global technology conference today, but, unlike some of its competitors, the concept is very easy to understand.

Simply put, MinePortal collects existing datasets from within a mining company’s operation and aggregates that data into a model that shows the entire process – from drilling through to processing in the plant.

Technology-agnostic, it uses cloud computing to ingest and process this data in near real-time, applying the company’s proprietary geostatistical and machine learning algorithms to continually update models.

The fact it can look at the entire mining process – from end-to-end – makes it almost unique in the industry, according to DataCloud Chief Technology Officer, Krishna Srinivasan.

“Data is no longer the problem in mining,” he told IM on the side lines of the Mines and Technology conference in London last week. “What mines haven’t got is a place where all of this data is displayed together for analysis. This is what MinePortal brings.”

In addition to leveraging off a mine’s existing fleet management and condition monitoring platforms, it also uses its own RHINO blast hole measurement package on production drills to enhance geology data right from the source.

RHINO (below) uses vibration signatures in the drill steel, acquired via IoT-enabled sensor devices, to calculate blast-critical subsurface information such as compressional and shear moduli, compressive strength, density, velocity, and more. This can help detect waste boundaries, faults, fractures, and many grade indicators, according to the company. Once this data is recorded, it is streamed to MinePortal and analysed to characterise the orebody.

Srinivasan says the integrated visualisation capabilities MinePortal offers allows companies to find out where the obvious opportunities are to improve performance in their operations.

Such analysis could, for example, highlight that drill and blast patterns need to be amended to improve rock fragmentation for improved recoveries at the milling stage, or, conversely, milling needs to be tweaked to account for the increased hardness of ore coming into the plant.

It connects the dots between the various processes in mining and “provides the context” mining companies need to increase production and productivity, according to Srinivasan.

In addition to being able to visualise the mining process in an integrated fashion from anywhere in the world through the cloud, DataCloud’s geostatistical and machine learning algorithms can predict the processing outcomes should a site, for example, amend their drill spacing at the drill and blast stage.

Srinivasan was keen to stress these algorithms do not ‘take over’ a mine’s processing procedures, instead offering up estimates based on previous operating data and existing industry data MinePortal has analysed.

MinePortal has, until now, mostly been used as a visualisation tool at open-pit mines, but DataCloud recently signed an agreement with Trevali Mining to use the software on its Caribou underground zinc mine in New Brunswick, Canada.

DataCloud said of this agreement: “Unleashing MinePortal will provide vast feedback applications across the value chain empowering their teams to make geology data-driven decisions.”

This is part of the mining company’s wider plan to digitalise its operations through its T90 business improvement program. T90 is targeting $50 million in pre-tax annual sustainable efficiencies by the beginning of 2022 through “operational improvements, standardisation, and the deployment of technology”.

Outside of its work with Trevali, DataCloud is encouraging miners to get in touch for a customised demonstration of MinePortal’s capabilities to a mine site’s specific data, workflow and goals.

“Give us a year’s worth of data and we’ll display this in MinePortal for you,” Srinivasan said, explaining that the company is confident miners will be able to see areas for improvement through this visualisation and that it will lead to them engaging with DataCloud over a longer timeframe.