Tag Archives: Wood

Nel and Wood to collaborate on large scale, renewable hydrogen projects

Nel ASA has entered into a framework agreement with the global consulting and engineering company Wood that will see the companies collaborate to develop and execute large scale, complex green renewable hydrogen projects in select regions across the world.

Wood is a leader in consulting and engineering across various industries including mining. Nel, meanwhile, is a global, dedicated hydrogen company, delivering solutions to produce, store, and distribute hydrogen from renewable energy.

Jon André Løkke, CEO of Nel ASA, said: “We are very excited to be entering into this agreement with Wood, who has extensive experience from large, complex projects worldwide. As green hydrogen projects are growing in size and complexity, it is crucial for our success to have strong partners to strengthen our project management – and execution capabilities. This is a long-term commitment, and we look forward to working together to further strengthen our competitiveness through leveraging our experience and competence.”

Nel Hydrogen Electrolyser AS, a subsidiary of Nel ASA, is delivering a 3.5 MW electrolyser to ENGIE as part of a project to deliver the world’s largest fuel cell haul truck for Anglo American.

Craig Shanaghey, Wood’s President of Operations for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “We are excited about the opportunity to support NEL Hydrogen as they play their part in the green hydrogen revolution, and as we unite on our commitment to create a more sustainable and cleaner energy future. We look forward to leveraging our global engineering and project implementation capabilities to support our client on their delivery of impactful solutions around the world.”

The process of phasing in Wood on ongoing projects is underway, Nel said.

NexGen marries ESG and financials in Arrow uranium project feasibility study

NexGen Energy CEO, Leigh Curyer, says the company’s Rook I uranium project has earnt its place as one of the “leading global resource projects with an elite ESG profile” after the publication of feasibility study results on the project’s Arrow deposit in the Athabasca Basin of Saskatchewan, Canada.

The study was completed jointly by consultants including Stantec, Wood and Roscoe Postle Associates (now part of SLR Consulting), with other technical inputs completed by sub-consultants.

Financial highlights from this study included an initial capital bill of C$1.3 billion ($1.03 billion) repaid with a post-tax net present value (8% discount) of C$3.47 billion based on a $50/Ib uranium price. From years 1-5 average annual production was due to come in at 28.8Mlb of uranium oxide, with average production over the life of mine of 10.7 years of 21.7 MIb/y.
The company laid out plans for a 1,300 t/d mill processing an average feed grade of 2.37% U3O8.

Listed within the “top five feasibility study outcomes” was enhanced environmental performance, with NexGen saying an optimised facilities layout had reduced the project footprint by around 20% and lowered on-site personnel transportation and ore haulage.

Optimised shaft sizing, water usage through advanced water recycling, and plant engineering reflected elite environmental standards, it added.

“With respect to the proposed shaft, mine workings and underground tailings management facility (UGTMF) locations, geotechnical and hydrogeological testing validated highly competent rock with no significant alteration, no major structures, and low hydraulic conductivity,” the company said.

The mine plan at Arrow was based on conventional long-hole stoping using the 239.6 MIb of declared reserves, the company said.

“Geotechnical studies during the feasibility study re-emphasised the conventional long-hole stoping mining method, including the use of longitudinal and transverse stopes, 30 m level spacing, and the nominal stope strike length of 12 m to 24 m,” it said. “This represents an excellent stope stability range for underground mining in the highly competent conditions.”

Given the competency and conditions of the underground environment, all waste streams from the process plant are planned to be stored underground in the UGTMF, while process water streams will be treated on surface in the optimised effluent treatment plant, NexGen said.

The underground workings will be accessed by two shafts, with the production shaft supporting personnel movements, materials, ore, waste and fresh air. The production shaft was increased to 8 m in diameter (from 6.5 m in diameter in the prefeasibility study (PFS)) to optimise radiation and ventilation management, ensuring the mine is elite from a safety perspective, the company said.

“Additionally, the production shaft will have divided compartments, ensuring that fresh air and personnel entering the mine, remain isolated from ore being skipped to surface,” it added.

The exhaust shaft was ultimately decreased to 5.5 m in diameter (from 6.5 m in diameter in the PFS) and will be used for exhaust air and emergency secondary egress, NexGen said.

Like some other projects in the region, shaft freezing will be required to a point to secure the underground project, NexGen confirmed.

In terms of processing, NexGen said extensive test work and engineering had determined that proven technology in a conventional uranium processing flowsheet is most effective to produce uranium oxide from the Arrow deposit.

The main components of the processing plant are ore sorting; grinding; leaching; liquid-solid separation via counter current decantation and clarification; solvent extraction; gypsum precipitation and washing; yellowcake precipitation and washing; yellowcake drying; calcining and packaging; and tailings preparation and paste tailings plant.

Metallurgical testing resulted in supporting and refining process design parameters, with the process recovery of 97.6% confirming the predictable nature of the processing flow sheet, it said.

“The feasibility study also confirmed that all processed waste streams can be stored in the UGTMF and no surface tailings facility is required,” NexGen said. “The UGTMF is a reflection of NexGen’s industry-leading environmental design approach, contributing to the significant reduction of the project’s surface footprint, and representing an opportunity to implement best practice of progressive closure of tailings facilities during the operational phase of the mine.”

A feasibility study drill program validated the geotechnical conditions and favourable conditions for the UGTMF, with the study also optimising the geotechnical design, size and sequencing of the UGTMF included in the mine plan.

The study test work demonstrated paste fill strength met or exceeded all requirements set in the feasibility study design for a potential paste-backfill to be used for underground stope stability.

In terms of the timeline to production, NexGen said it planned to submit its Environmental Impact Statement in the second half of this year, along with relevant licences.

Wood to deliver EPCM contract at IAMGOLD’s Côté Gold project

Wood, the global engineering and consulting company, has confirmed it will deliver the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract for the $1.3 billion Côté Gold open-pit mine for operator IAMGOLD Corp, supported by JV partner Sumitomo Metal Mining.

Côté is a world-class deposit located in northern Ontario, with estimated contained gold reserves of over 7 Moz. IAMGOLD wants to develop the site to be a model of a modern Canadian mine as it seeks to efficiently unlock the reserves, with Wood providing EPCM services for the project. This project is anticipated to generate over 1,000 jobs during construction and 450 during operations.

Dave Lawson, President, Mining & Minerals at Wood, said: “This project strengthens our relationship with IAMGOLD as a trusted full life cycle delivery partner and it solidifies Wood’s position as a global leader in the development of gold mines.

“Beginning with work on the initial scoping study in 2011, we have worked closely with IAMGOLD to guide the project toward successful execution, helping to identify more than $450 million of improvements in net present value. We were able to do so because of our unrivalled expertise in gold extraction technology having worked on some of the largest and most technically complex gold projects in the world.”

Over the last eight years, Wood has been working with IAMGOLD in every aspect of the project, adding, it says, value at every stage with innovative design and project delivery solutions. Wood’s latest scope of work includes engineering, procurement and construction management for the 36,000 t/d conventional gold processing plant, tailings and water management.

Gordon Stothart, President and CEO of IAMGOLD, said: “We are pleased to move to construction on the Côté Gold Project with our long-time engineering partner Wood. We look forward to bringing this project from concept to reality with their team.”

The Côté project is expected to expand IAMGOLD’s production profile for future growth, by bringing greater geographic diversity and a reduction in costs – enabling sustainable reserve growth and supply stability as demand factors shift in an uncertain environment, Wood said.

Construction of the gold mine commenced in late 2020, and is expected be completed in mid-2023. It is expected to leverage both autonomous drilling and haulage technology.

Aspen Tech and Wood to offer clients predictive, prescriptive maintenance solutions

Aspen Technology and Wood have announced a new partnership that will offer Wood’s clients Aspen Mtell® asset performance management (APM) technology for predictive and prescriptive maintenance.

The partnership will enable global enterprises to improve the performance of their manufacturing and facility assets through a maintenance solution built upon industrial artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the companies said.

Aspen Mtell analyses historical and real-time operational and maintenance data to discover the precise failure signatures that precede asset degradation and breakdowns, predict future failures, and prescribe detailed actions to mitigate problems, they explained.

Wood has decades of experience providing solution-independent asset performance consulting, as well as integrating and deploying specialty engineering services and real-time performance monitoring systems, some of which has been mining-related.

“The combination of this deep domain expertise of asset and operator challenges, with AspenTech’s extensive knowledge of the process manufacturing industry and proven AI-driven predictive and prescriptive maintenance solutions, provides a unique customised asset performance management solution for operators’ needs,” the two companies said.

Prabu Parthasarathy, Vice President of Intelligent Operations at Wood, said: “Wood has an extensive understanding of the performance optimisation needs of our clients and realised a unique opportunity to provide a solution to help enhance asset productivity and identify potential issues well ahead of time.”

Darren Martin, CTO at Wood, added: “We are excited to bring AspenTech into our strategic partnership ecosystem to unlock innovative technology solutions to solve our clients’ challenges. Aspen Mtell is part of our connected operations and maintenance programs that will allow our clients to detect patterns in operating data, allowing them to take prescriptive action and avoid unplanned downtime. Together, our vision is to drive value through digital twins across the full asset lifecycle, working to optimise asset performance, monitoring, and control across any environment.”

Greg Mason, Senior Vice President and General Manager of APM, Aspen Technology, said the value of predictive and prescriptive maintenance represents much more than simply predicting failures on large rotating assets.

“Companies that are truly focused on eliminating safety and environmental incidents tied to machine failure, in addition to avoiding production losses, understand the need to have a comprehensive predictive maintenance culture throughout the entire plant,” he said. “This requires an analytics technology that is scalable, resources needed to deploy to scale, and the expertise to lead change management. I’m pleased to say that the partnership of AspenTech and Wood around the Aspen Mtell solution provide these three unique capabilities needed to bring contextualised AI for the process industries to scale.”

Wood studies Coro Mining’s development options at Marimaca copper project

Coro Mining says it has appointed Wood to advance engineering studies related to the development of its Marimaca copper project, in northern Chile.

The study announcement came at the as Coro announced a resource increase at Marimaca, which, the company said, established Marimaca as one of the largest copper oxide discoveries in northern Chile in over a decade.

The engineering studies are aimed at demonstrating the value to be captured by combining Marimaca’s significantly enlarged resource – now standing at 420,000 t of contained copper in the measured and indicated categories and 224,000 t in the inferred category – with “easy access to excellent infrastructure”, and move Coro from “a ‘cents per pound in the ground’ exploration project to a credible development company to be valued on a net present value basis”, Coro said.

Wood is set to take on a range of engineering studies to demonstrate the economics for a conventional full-scale project at Marimaca; and low capital expenditure (capex) alternatives for staged development at Marimaca, leveraging the nearby Ivan SX-EW plant (100% owned by Coro), according to Coro.

On the latter, Coro said: “The objective of staged development would be to minimise upfront capex and limit equity dilution to Coro’s shareholders.”

The company anticipates that the work from the various studies will be completed during 2020 and news will be released as work progresses.

A June 2018 feasibility study on just the Marimaca 1-23 Claim returned an after-tax internal rate of return of 58.8% and initial capital costs of $22.6 million for the upgrading and start-up of the Ivan plant, at a $3/lb ($6,614/t) copper price.

Wood creates new technical consulting solutions business

Wood has announced the creation of a new Technical Consulting Solutions (TCS) business unit that, it says, combines “its diverse, multi-sector and technology-enabled specialist advisory and consulting capabilities into one global business”.

TCS immediately becomes a leader in the technical consulting space with an annual revenue of $2.8 billion and a connected global network of over 15,000 experts and innovators, according to Wood. The new business unit will be led by Joe Sczurko (pictured) who assumes the role of TCS CEO.

“The new business unit has been created to bring together the expertise and provide the agility to respond to the changes and trends shaping the world and Wood’s customers: global energy security and transition, accelerating digital technology, and the growing demand for sustainable infrastructure and environmental resiliency,” Wood said.

Robin Watson, Chief Executive of Wood, said TCS has a compelling blend of capabilities across projects, operations and consulting services that are “highly relevant” for customers working in the energy and built environment markets.

“By combining the world-class consultancy solutions that TCS offers with the ingenuity and collective expertise that we have across our business, we will continue to anticipate and respond to the challenges that our customers face across the life cycle of their projects,” he said.

The new consultancy business is formed from the former Specialist Technical Solutions and Environment & Infrastructure Solutions business units. It combines leading positions and a global customer base across renewables, infrastructure design, environmental planning and remediation, upstream and downstream oil and gas, manufacturing, mining, and a range of governmental agencies.

Sczurko said: “The combined capabilities and resources within this new business are unmatched among our competitors. TCS has a unique ability to leverage leading positions across a broad service range and global footprint allowing us to build and blend teams from every part of Wood, tailor the right expertise and create the right solutions in response to customers’ individual needs.

“We can help customers effectively plan their projects, optimise their capital expenditures, address environmental concerns, improve the productivity of their day-to-day operations, and preserve value in their property, plants, and equipment. Remaining customer-centric throughout the asset life cycle, we focus on achieving their objectives with industry-leading technical experts in each phase of the life cycle: plan, engineer, build, operate, and re-purpose.”

Sczurko has spent over 30 years in consulting engineering and previously served as Executive President of Strategy & Development at Wood.

Wood’s cobalt and copper refining expertise tapped for Jervois ICO project

Having recently sewn up the lead engineers for finalisation of a bankable feasibility study (BFS) at its 100%-owned ICO cobalt-copper project in Idaho, US, Jervois Mining has selected Wood as its preferred engineering contractor to progress the refinery scoping study at the project.

The ICO, planned to be the only domestic cobalt mine within the US, is expected to commence commercial concentrate production in the second half of 2021.

Jervois said Wood has expertise in the refining of sulphide concentrates through to both battery-grade crystal and refined LME copper and 99.8% LMB cobalt metal, which will be of use in this study. The company said: “Wood is well placed to lead the engineering study which includes an initial high-level review of commercially available technology for the refining of sulphide concentrates through to metal.”

Battery recycling technology and third-party feed processing will also be considered to highlight future market opportunities that may enhance the refineries strategic importance within the US and further improve the economic returns, Jervois said.

Mineralogy and metallurgical test work progressing at SGS will optimise the selective cobalt concentrate chemical characteristics and be applied in the flowsheet options study.

“As part of the current feasibility study being led by DRA and M3, preliminary results obtained from the SGS test work have achieved satisfactory separation and selectivity between copper and cobalt,” Jervois said, adding that locked cycle tests are planned to define the improved selectivity.

The Wood refinery study will be completed during the March quarter in conjunction with the previously announced feasibility study to concentrate.

Wood takes flight in western US with Delair UAVs for mine surveying

Delair and its regional reseller Frontier Precision have signed an agreement with Wood that will see the engineering and project service company adopt the Delair UX11 high-performance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for its work in site planning and asset management in mining and quarry projects in the western US.

Delair said Wood was initially deploying the drone to do high accuracy, 3D topographic surveys and materials quantification for mining projects in Idaho and Wyoming. It is the first fixed-wing UAV Wood has deployed in the Western US, according to the company.

“For the scale of the projects we are performing, and the accuracy required, adopting the Delair UX11 was a logical choice,” Greg Meinecke, Technical Services Manager at Wood, said. “Its long-range capabilities allow us to cover areas not feasible with other data collection methods like hover craft drones or by foot, so it reduces the cost and time involved. It integrates well with our existing work flows, and features such as the PPK (post processed kinematic) function deliver additional benefits in terms of the precision and flexibility required in challenging environments.”

He added: “We have received excellent support from Frontier Precision and Delair in helping us deploy our first fixed-wing UAV missions and are already seeing results.”

According to Delair, Wood is deploying the UAV in remote areas where its heavy civils team is performing extensive excavation and site preparation for phosphate mining activities, a project covering more than 200 acres (81 ha). “Of critical importance for operations is an ability to precisely quantify the volume of materials being removed to ensure a high degree of accuracy in planning and invoicing,” Delair said.

Wood turned to the Delair fixed-wing UAV to deal with the scale of the terrain that needed to be surveyed, as well as the challenge of taking measurements in an active mine site area, including the safety hazards of having personnel on the ground in rough terrain and around large, moving equipment, Delair said.

“Flying at 400 feet (122 m) above the project areas and often at times using beyond visual line of sight flight plans, Wood technicians were able to use the precision data collection features of the Delair UX11 to acquire large amounts of highly accurate imagery that could be processed to generate detailed topographical reports,” the company said.

Meinecke said the company was able to get surveys covering large tracts of land done in a very short amount of time, which ends up being much more cost effective to the company and its client.

“More importantly, we can provide the mine owners a great deal of confidence in the accuracy of the work being performed and the quantities of resources involved. In the end, everyone agreed on the material quantities as the technology is very reliable,” he said.

Frontier Precision worked alongside Wood’s engineering and field experts to evaluate the Delair drone, and ensure it met the firm’s requirements, Delair said. This included integration with other tools the firm uses such as AutoCad, Trimble Business Center, and the Pix4D photogrammetry suite.

“Wood’s team noted the ease of use of the Delair UAV, especially given this was their first experience with fixed-wing flying,” Delair said. “The firm was able to train several pilots who specialise in different types of projects, and expects to deploy the drone on other infrastructure, mining and construction projects around the US.

“The team also noted the Delair UX11’s embedded global shutter camera as well as its PPK capabilities as key to ensuring greater precision in its data collection. With PPK, GPS data from both on-board and off-board systems can be matched after the mission, providing higher degrees of accuracy of the images collected.”

The Delair UX11 UAV, introduced commercially last year, is one of Delair’s top-of-the-line drones. The fixed-wing drone is an innovative hardware-software platform that provides highly accurate images for survey-grade mapping, with on-board processing capabilities and real-time, long-range control via 3G/4G cellular networks or radio links.

“The platform’s enhanced centimetre-level precision along with its efficient operational characteristics make it the most cost-effective solution for large area surveying and mapping,” Delair said.

Wood and Cementation Americas complete Terra Nova Technologies deal

Wood says it has completed the sale of conveyor systems business Terra Nova Technologies (TNT), close to six weeks after the deal was announced.

Following a strategic review of its portfolio, Wood identified potential asset disposals which were expected to generate proceeds in the range of $200-$300 million, with the TNT sale making a “good contribution to the asset disposal program”, it said.

The TNT business was sold to Cementation Americas, a firm owned by Murray & Roberts Holdings Ltd, for $38 million.

Back in late-March when the deal was announced, David Kemp, Wood Chief Financial Officer, said: “Terra Nova Technologies has a strong track record in delivering material handling equipment to our customers. Wood’s strategy going forward is to focus on asset-light solutions rather than the manufacture/fabrication of equipment.”

Cementation Americas said TNT has earned a solid reputation for providing quality design, supply and commissioning services for crushing and screening plants, overland conveyors, heap leach systems and mobile stacking systems for waste and dry tailings.

Justin Oleson, President of Cementation Americas, said at the time: “The purchase of TNT fits well within Cementation’s strategy to improve our ability to serve clients, both geographically and across the mining value chain. The combining of Cementation and TNT complements both our underground and surface design/build portfolios, and better positions Cementation to support our client’s total mining needs.”

Wood to sell Terra Nova Technologies to Cementation Americas

Wood has agreed the sale of its Terra Nova Technologies business to Cementation Americas, a business owned by Murray & Roberts Holdings.

The sale of the conveying and material handling systems solutions business is expected to bring in cash proceeds of $38 million, Wood said, with closing expected in the June quarter.

David Kemp, Wood Chief Financial Officer, said: “Terra Nova Technologies has a strong track record in delivering material handling equipment to our customers. Wood’s strategy going forward is to focus on asset-light solutions rather than the manufacture/fabrication of equipment.

“The disposal makes a good contribution to our non-core asset disposal programme which is a key element of our deleveraging plan.”

Terra Nova Technologies has complete design/supply and engineering procurement and construction capabilities. Its systems are custom engineered for the mining and mineral processing, iron, coal, aggregate, phosphate and cement industries.

Its renowned mobile stacking systems, including the patented Super Portable® systems, are used worldwide for copper, gold and uranium heap leaching operations as well as dry tailings stacking.

In a later release, Cementation Americas said TNT has earned a solid reputation for providing quality design, supply and commissioning services for crushing and screening plants, overland conveyors, heap leach systems and mobile stacking systems for waste and dry tailings.

Justin Oleson, President of Cementation Americas, said: “The purchase of TNT fits well within Cementation’s strategy to improve our ability to serve clients, both geographically and across the mining value chain. The combining of Cementation and TNT complements both our underground and surface design/build portfolios, and better positions Cementation to support our client’s total mining needs.”

Regarding the acquisition, Ron Kelly, President of TNT, said: “The combination of TNT and Cementation is an excellent fit strategically. We share several key customers, and together, we can provide these customers with enhanced value through a single source for products and services. There is also significant potential for TNT and Cementation to grow, expanding into new common markets.”