Tag Archives: University of British Columbia

Newlox heralds the potential of OAR gold leaching technology following test work

Newlox Gold Ventures Corp’s affiliate has reported what it says are “excellent results” from Stage 1 testing of the new Organic Aqua Regia (OAR) gold leaching technology on high-grade gold ore samples.

Newlox Research and Development Corp’s final analysis of the results from Stage 1 testing indicated not only is a gold recovery of 94.68% achieved at ambient temperature, but also a 100% recovery is achieved at 80°C.

The company is investigating the use of OAR technology as a non-toxic and water-free alternative to cyanidation to produce both gold and other precious metals. This will benefit Newlox Gold Ventures Corp’s ambition to recover residual precious metals and contaminants from historical tailings.

Newlox R&D is developing OAR in conjunction with the University of British Columbia in Canada and Chiba University in Japan to leach gold with this reagent, which is both non-toxic and widely used in other industries, according to the company. The main advantages include that it is non-toxic, is recyclable, extracts gold faster than cyanide, does not use water, and does not require carbon or electrowinning.

The company undertook Stage 1 testing on a high-grade gold ore grading an average of 48.87 g/t. The ore was ground in a BICO mill to reach a point where 80% of the material was below a grain size of 0.12 mm (P80 -0.12 mm) before leaching with OAR. Newlox’s research team used the Yates model in 16 experiments to investigate several combinations of reagent dosage and leaching time, it said.

Newlox R&D Corp undertook leaching tests in Vancouver, with the gold dissolution in the OAR calculated based on the gold grade in residues obtained after filtration. A third-party metallurgical laboratory (Global Mineral Resources) in Burnaby, British Columbia, was used to verify the results using aqua regia digestion and Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS).

The company explained: “The R&D team used the Yates testing protocol to modify various factors during testing and evaluate their effects and relevant interactions. The Yates protocol identified the most significant factors in overall gold recovery. Most encouragingly was the feature that all samples returning over 90% recovery during Stage 1 testing had reagent dosage commonalities, indicating a clear route forward for Stage 2 testing.”

Parallel testing was undertaken at the University of Chiba in Japan on the same ores tested by Newlox R&D in Vancouver. The Japan-based team experimented with alternative reagent additives and different leaching temperatures and found significant effects based on those factors.

Leaching tests undertaken in Japan at 80°C achieved 100% gold recovery in four hours, followed by precipitation of the dissolved gold by adjusting the solution’s pH. The pH control enabled pure gold recovery while concurrently suppressing the precipitation of other elements in the precipitate.

“This promising result indicates that gold may be recovered from the solution without the need for electrowinning,” the company said.

Stage 2 testing is now underway to both reproduce the results seen in Stage 1 testing and further investigate the effect of reagent dosage, time, and temperature on leaching mechanics. Additionally, the R&D team is focused on testing both the recyclability of the OAR reagent, and methods for recovering gold from the solution.

Ryan Jackson, President & CEO of Newlox, said: “We are most encouraged to report that the first round of testing achieved up to 100% gold recovery, using the cutting-edge OAR leaching technology. This initial round of testing forms part of the Newlox R&D 12-month OAR development program.

“We are gratified to realise such early positive results. OAR leaching promises to become a paradigm-shifting technology applicable not only to the $180 billion formal global gold mining industry but also as a method to bring the $27 billion informal gold mining industry into the 21st century.”

Mine electrification hinged on reskilling, collaboration and mine design, EY says

A recent survey of miners and mining original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) has shown that electrification of mines offers a lot more than lower carbon emissions and improved worker benefits.

The survey, commissioned by EY and conducted by the Sustainable Minerals Institute at The University of Queensland (Australia) and The Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering at The University of British Columbia (Canada), deduced that reaping the full benefits of an electricity-powered mining future would require “reskilling, reaching out across sectors and rethinking the fundamentals of mine design”, EY said.

Paul Mitchell, EY Global Mining and Metals Leader, said the mining sector was on the verge of an electrification revolution, driven by significant cost reduction potential, lowered carbon emissions and improved worker health benefits.

“This is critically important, given the World Health Organisation has declared that diesel particulates now belong in the same deadly category as asbestos, arsenic and mustard gas,” he said.

Four key themes emerged from the survey, according to EY.

  • Electrified mines improve economics and strengthen licence to operate;
  • Collaboration will unlock better electrification solutions;
  • Mine design needs a rethink to build in optionality for future innovation, and;
  • Electrification needs different skills, and advances technology deployment.

EY explained these four in more detail:

“Demand for carbon reduction in the sector is inevitable, and electrification is one way to achieve it,” the company said. “Diesel engines cannot be replaced with carbon-generating electricity and therefore electrification needs to be accompanied with a move to renewable power.

“The survey finds that electrification reduces not only operational costs, but also up-front capital costs because it reduces the infrastructure needs of ventilation shafts in underground mines. More significantly, the reduction of diesel particulates results in improvement to worker health and safety.”

Partnerships and co-creation of solutions with OEMs, other mining companies and governments are needed to successfully integrate electrification in mines, according to EY.

“The survey finds that, in the case of electrification, miners are clear that they can’t go it alone. This is leading to a more open perspective around the role of suppliers as strategic partners, which expands the possibilities for miners to benefit through innovation, cost reduction and competitive advantage.”

Newmont Goldcorp has taken such an approach at its Borden gold project, in Ontario, Canada – partnering with Sandvik and MacLean Engineering on developing what it says will be the world’s first all-electric underground mine – while Nouveau Monde Graphite has built up a taskforce of its own to progress its plans for an all-electric open-pit graphite mine in Quebec, Canada.

In terms of mine design, decoupling mines from diesel is not an easy task. This is due to the diverse range of technical and financial challenges in mining various deposits.

EY said: “Getting full value out of electrification requires a thorough consideration and understanding of the technology road map, in parallel with the strategic plan for the mine. The survey highlights the need for a phased implementation with a flexible design that provides for technology improvements of the future.”

And, lastly, mine electrification will require different worker skills as it enables other advanced technologies, requiring less maintenance and human intervention, according to EY.

“Analysis of the survey findings reveals there will be increasing demand for data and digital literacy skills across all phases of the mining value chain, as the human-to-machine interface evolves and becomes more prevalent,” the company said. “In developing economies, this means challenging the assumption that a mine provides employment only for people doing physical labour.”

Mitchell added: “It is important to start thinking about building agility into mine design to leverage the potential benefits in asset flexibility, lower ventilation requirements and the human footprint.

“The future of electrification in mines requires a paradigm shift in thinking – from existing known and proven technologies to new emerging technologies. We must realise that the challenges of the sector can be solved faster by collaboration – and a robust strategy, underpinned by gaining the right capabilities and an agile approach, is critical.”

The Electric Mine charges on to Sweden

Following the success of the inaugural Electric Mine event in Toronto, Canada, in April, International Mining Events has wasted no time in confirming the 2020 follow up; this time in Stockholm, Sweden.

Taking place at the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel on March 19-20, 2020, The Electric Mine 2020 will be even bigger, featuring new case studies from miners implementing electrification projects and presentations from the key OEMs and service suppliers shaping these solutions.

A leading hub in Europe for mining equipment and innovation, Sweden was the obvious choice for the 2020 edition of the event. Miners including Boliden and LKAB have already made electric moves above and below ground, and the north of the country is set to host Europe’s first home-grown gigafactory, the Northvolt Ett lithium-ion battery cell facility.

Sweden and Finland also play host to Europe’s major mining OEMs such as Epiroc, Sandvik, Metso and Outotec (soon to possibly be Metso Outotec Corp), and the Nordic region has a rich mining innovation legacy.

Capacity crowd

The announcement of the 2020 Electric Mine edition comes hot on the heels of a hugely successful debut in Toronto.

With the Radisson Admiral, on Toronto Harbourfront, filled out to capacity, the circa-150 attendees were treated to more than 20 world-class papers from miners Vale, Goldcorp (now Newmont Goldcorp), Kirkland Lake Gold, Boliden and Nouveau Monde Graphite; OEMs Epiroc, Sandvik, Caterpillar, Volvo CE and BELAZ; and equipment and service specialists Siemens, ABB, GE Transportation (a Wabtec company). Presentations from Doug Morrison (CEMI), Marcus Thomson (Norcat), David Sanguinetti (Global Mining Guidelines Group), Erik Isokangas (Mining3) and Ali Madiseh (University of British Columbia), meanwhile, provided the R&D angle delegates were after.

The event was a truly global affair, attracting delegates and exhibitors from Africa, Australasia, Europe, North America and South America, all eager to hear about developments across the sector.

Bigger and better

International Mining Events is upping the ante for 2020, increasing the event capacity to 200 delegates and making plans for a possible site visit to witness electric equipment in action.

Talks from several miners, as well as global international companies, will again underpin the 1.5-day conference program, which will also expand to cover the use of renewable/alternative energy within the field.

There will, again, be opportunities for sponsorship and exhibiting, with several companies already in discussions about booking the prime opportunities for the event.

If you would like to know more about The Electric Mine 2020, please feel free to contact Editorial Director, Paul Moore ([email protected]) or Editor, Dan Gleeson ([email protected]).

In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you in Stockholm!

The Electric Mine logo

The Electric Mine conference shifts gear

With just under four months to go, The Electric Mine conference is charging up to full capacity.

IM has been able to assemble a world-class speaker line-up covering the entire mine electrification process – from R&D and power infrastructure, to battery charging and electrified equipment.

The conference, to take place on April 4-5, 2019, in Toronto, Canada, will host the great and the good in this fast-evolving sector and hear case studies from real mine trials or applications.

This includes a presentation from Kirkland Lake Gold, which is currently running one of the largest in-production underground battery-electric fleets in the industry at its Macassa gold mine in Canada.

Just last month, IM heard that some 33 units were active underground at the deep and high-grade mine in Ontario and Andrew Schinkel, Senior Electrical Engineer of the Macassa Mine Complex, will most likely be able to add to that number, as well as comment on the fleet’s productivity, come conference time.

The soon-to-be-in-production Borden gold project, also in Ontario, will be under the spotlight at the event, with the involved OEMs and mining company collaborating on stage as they have during mine development.

Maarten van Koppen (pictured, left), Senior Project Engineer at Goldcorp Porcupine Mines, Jeff Anderson, Senior Mechanical Designer, MacLean Engineering, and a Sandvik Mining co-speaker (to be confirmed), will present: ‘The Borden Gold Project – lessons learned from the ‘mine of the future’ and the crucial role of partnerships in building an all-electric underground mine’.

The major mining representation does not end there.

Samantha Espley, Director of the Technology & Innovation Centre for Mining and Mineral Processing, Vale Base Metals Operations, will chart the mining company’s roadmap to underground electrification in Sudbury during her talk; expect the OEMs in the room to ask questions about the future fleet for the Creighton deep zone!

Caterpillar’s Product Manager for Underground Technology Solutions, Jay Armburger, is also set to take to the stage at the Radisson Admiral. The focus of his talk will be on heat generation, comparing battery and diesel LHDs underground. A few passing references to the proof of concept R1300G LHD trials it ran not all that long ago at an underground mine in Sudbury, Canada (pictured, right), are likely.

We’ll also hear about developments above ground.

A joint presentation from Karl Trudeau (Nouveau Monde Graphite), Michel Serres (ABB Canada) and David Lyon (MEDATECH) will shed some light on what it will take to create an all-electric open-pit mine able to produce 100,000 t of graphite concentrate at NMG’s Matawinie project in Quebec, Canada.

Those three speakers could be in the front row for Per-Erik Lindström’s talk on The Electric Site project in Sweden.

Lindström, Vice President Global Key Account Management for Volvo Construction Equipment, has seen first hand how battery-electric equipment can move the needle in terms of cost and emissions at the Skanska Vikan Cross quarry, just outside of Gothenburg, and there are more than a few miners interested in the prototype machines (pictured, left) the OEM has manufactured for this purpose.

These presentations will be complemented by a talk from Heather Ednie, Managing Director, Global Mining Guidelines Group, on the second edition of the group’s Battery Electric Vehicle guideline; an opening keynote from Ali G. Madiseh, Canada Research Chair in Advanced Mine Energy Systems, Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering, University of British Columbia, titled: ‘The Electric Mine: a new norm in mine energy systems’; Erik Isokangas, Program Director, Mining3, discussing the value proposition for autonomous electric haulage; and Doug Morrison, President and CEO, Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), looking at electrification to maximise productive capacity.

Meanwhile, Justin Bain, Chief Executive Officer, Energetique (Energy/Mobility), will fly in from Australia to pronounce the death of diesel Down Under – his firm has recently been involved in the conversion of diesel utility vehicles to battery-electric drive.

Along similar lines, Paul Miller, of Miller Technology, will talk about what goes into developing an innovative fully-electric light utility automobile, designed for continuous underground operation.

IM then has two behemoths in the mine power sector, Siemens and Schneider Electric, looking at the all-important infrastructure that goes into electrification.

Dr Bappa Banerjee, General Manager, Mining Equipment, GE Transportation, will look at the electric future for load and haul in his keynote, Mathieu Bouffard, Project Manager, Adria Manufacture, will cover battery charging and power management of battery-electric vehicles, and Don Duval, CEO of NORCAT, will showcase some of the new technologies that have come out of the organisation’s Underground Centre in Sudbury.

This speaker line-up is only set to improve as we move into the New Year, with IM in advanced discussions with more OEMs and miners looking to present.

The first global event on mine electrification continues to charge ahead…

If you’d like to hear more about The Electric Mine conference – including presenting and sponsorship opportunities – please feel free to get in contact with Editorial Director Paul Moore ([email protected]) or Editor Dan Gleeson ([email protected]).

To view the full speaker line-up, venue details and to take advantage of the soon-to-expire Early Bird attendance rate, please visit the event homepage here.