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Written by Friday, 27 June 2014 13:28
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Mining giant Rio Tinto has completed commissioning of its 100% owned $A2.6bn ($1.9bn) Amrun bauxite mine in Queensland, Australia.


The Amrun bauxite mine, which is located on the Wik-Waya traditional land in Cape York Peninsula, along with the plant and export facility were approved by Rio Tinto in 2015. The bauxite project was taken up to meet the growing demand for the commodity in China.

According to the mining giant, Amrun and its associated processing and port facilities will replace production from its depleting East Weipa mine, while boosting annual bauxite export capacity by nearly 10 million tons.


Amrun is located some 40km south of the Rio Tinto-owned East Weipa and Andoom mines.

Construction on the Amrun project began in 2016 and the first bauxite was extracted in 2018. Bechtel handled the engineering, procurement, construction and management (EPCM) of the project under an A$160m ($113m) contract.

The bauxite project saw development of an open-cut mine, construction of processing plant and bauxite stockpiles, a 20MW diesel-fueled power station, warehouses, a barge/ferry terminal, and ship loading facilities.

The first shipment from the bauxite mine was made in December 2018, more than a month ahead of schedule, to the company’s Yarwun alumina refinery in Gladstone, Queensland.

At full production, the Amrun bauxite mine will have capacity of 22.8 million tons per year, with options for further expansion to up to 50Mtpa, through its expected mine life of 40 years.

It was a busy week for Canada's Great Panther. The Vancouver-based miner not only completed the buyout of Beadell Resources but it also changed its name to Great Panther Mining Limited.

To be able to go ahead with these transactions, Great Panther acquired 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of Beadell through the issuance of 103,593,043 Great Panther shares to Beadell shareholders, which represents approximately 38% of the post-acquisition issued and outstanding Great Panther shares. The company also appointed Nicole Adshead-Bell, former CEO & managing director of Beadell, to its board of directors.

"Her extensive knowledge of precious metal exploration and mining, plus many years of buy-side, capital markets and corporate experience, will help Great Panther in realizing the significant upside potential of Tucano," Great Panther's Chair, R.W. Garnett, said in a media statement.

Tucano is a gold mine located in the Amapá state in northern Brazil and formerly owned by Beadell. It has mineral resources of approximately 3.2 million ounces and reserves of approximately 1.3 million ounces, with over 2,500 square kilometres of prospective contiguous gold exploration tenements.

Corporate information states that Tucano is currently the second largest gold producer in the South American country, with an output of around 145,000 ounces per year.

"Combining Great Panther and Beadell's respective guidance adds to approximately 200,000 of gold equivalent ounces for 2019 and positions the company in the ranks of intermediate producers," James Bannantine, president and CEO of Great Panther, said in the press brief. "Our focus in the near-term will be on the integration of the Brazilian operations, the continued optimization of the Tucano gold mine, and advancing an exploration program to unlock the significant potential of Tucano."

Besides this new addition, Great Panther's portfolio includes the Guanajuato Mine Complex in central Mexico, which produces silver and gold concentrate, and the Topia Mine, located in the Sierra Madre Mountains in the state of Durango in northwestern Mexico, and which produces concentrates containing silver, gold, lead and zinc.

The firm also owns the Coricancha gold-silver-copper-lead-zinc mine located in the central Andes of Peru, but the asset has been on care and maintenance since August 2013.

Yamana Gold, Glencore and Goldcorp have signed an agreement to develop and operate Yamana’s Agua Rica project in Argentina’s Catamarca Province using the infrastructure and facilities of Minera’s Alumbrera mine.

The agreement is expected to extend the life of the Agua Rica project by more than 25 years at average annual production of approximately 236,000 tonnes of copper-equivalent metal. The mine will also produce gold, molybdenum and silver for the next ten years.

Yamana, Glencore and Goldcorp jointly said that the integration has merit because of the proximity of those assets. The integration also gives an opportunity to increase financial benefits and reduce operational complexity complexity and the environmental footprint of both the projects.

At present, Glencore owns half of the Alumbrera mine, while Goldcorp and Yamana own 37.5% and 12.5%, respectively.

Upon completion of the integration, Yamana would own 56.25% of the combined Agua Rica and Alumbrera assets. Glencore will own 25% and Goldcorp 18.75%.

Yamana, Glencore and Goldcorp have established a technical committee to direct the review and evaluation of the integrated project and expect completion of a full feasibility study with production and project cost estimates by next year.

Full integration of Agua Rica and Alumbrera is expected to occur with the filing of the full feasibility study and Environmental Impact Assessment with the authorities of the Catamarca Province.

The Agua Rica mineral reserve is estimated to contain proven and probable mineral reserves of about 4.5 million tonnes of copper and 6.5 million ounces of gold in approximately 910 million tonnes of ore.

The companies noted that the integration agreement represents a significant step forward towards optimising the Agua Rica mine.

The global aluminium market will see a number of deficits over the next few years as solid demand growth, driven by the construction and autos sectors, outpaces production growth, a new aluminium supply and demand outlook by Fitch Solutions reports.

The global aluminium demand outlook will benefit from solid construction industry growth and growing roles in autos as a lightweight substitute for steel. Fitch forecasts the global aluminium market to witness consistent deficits from 2019 to 2023, with the aluminium stock-to-use ratio declining steadily from 9.6% 5.1% over the same period.


The automotive and aerospace sectors will increasingly support aluminium demand in key markets, as an environmentally preferable alternative to steel. Fitch cites several significant deals between auto or aircraft manufacturers and aluminium producers highlight this trend over the past few years, such as Arconic's multi-year supply deal with Toyota in 2017.


China's aluminium production growth will slow down over the coming years, as the government's push for consolidation and stricter environmental regulations brings higher-cost and less efficient capacity offline.

Fitch forecasts the country's aluminium output to edge higher, from 34.3m tonnes in 2019 to 41.9m tonnes by 2028, averaging 2.4% annual growth, compared to an average annual rate of 11.7% growth over the previous ten-year period. Nonetheless, China will remain the driving force behind global aluminium production, accounting for over half of total output over the coming years.


Aluminium integration will continue in more regulated automotive markets such as the US, the EU and Japan, while developing markets will present further growth opportunities. While we expect this trend to continue over the long-term, rising aluminium prices will present near-term headwinds to the integration of the metal in the autos sector as carmakers look to keep costs down

While there are deficits ahead, the global aluminium demand picture will improve, driven by steady demand growth in Asia and the growing application of aluminium in the auto and aerospace industries. Fitch analysts forecast aluminium consumption to increase from 62.9m tonnes in 2019 to 79.7m tonnes by 2028, averaging 2.8% annual growth.

Gold Fields’ Granny Smith gold mine is set to install one of the world’s largest renewable energy microgrids powered by more than 20,000 solar panels and backed up by a 2MW /1MWh battery system.

The mining company has contracted mobile and modular power company Aggreko to design, build and operate the 8MW solar power generation system along with the battery system at Granny Smith, which is located east of Laverton in Western Australia’s Goldfields region.


Gold Fields Executive Vice President Australasia, Stuart Mathews, said the renewable energy microgrid is part of Gold Fields’ vision of leadership in sustainable gold mining.


“We are thrilled to reach an agreement with Aggreko for the design, installation and operation of this innovative source of renewable energy which will generate nearly enough power to run the mine’s processing operations,” Mathews said.

“We expect the renewable power microgrid will be up and running at Granny Smith by Q4 2019 and it will be a welcome addition
to our suite of on-site energy solutions across other operations which will enable us to reduce our carbon footprint,” he said.


Construction of the renewable energy system is planned to commence in May and, when completed, will be one of the world’s largest hybrid off-grid microgrids and integrated with Aggreko’s existing 24.2MW natural gas generation.

Aggreko AusPac Managing Director, George Whyte, said the solar, thermal and battery storage assets will be seamlessly integrated and managed by Aggreko’s control software platform – maintaining full system availability and optimising the lifetime of existing thermal assets.


“The solar-plus-battery system is projected to reduce fuel consumption by 10-13% – the equivalent of removing 2,000 cars from the road – and produce about 18 GWh of clean energy per year,” Whyte said.


“Gold Fields understands the performance, cost and environmental advantages for their operation, as well as the need to integrate this resource into their system without compromising power supply reliability or mining productivity,” he said.


While the solar PV will reduce the need to run thermal generators, the battery plant will provide essential services such as spinning reserve displacement, PV ramp rate control and transient voltage/frequency support.


The current Granny Smith power station was designed and installed by Aggreko in 2016 and the new hybrid power system, combined with a thermal station expansion will meet the increased daily power needs of 24.2MW, with 12.2MW allocated to the Wallaby underground mine and the remaining 12 MW to the processing plant, associated facilities and mining camp.

Anaconda Mining is set to collaborate with College of the North Atlantic (CNA) in Canada on the Baie Verte Peninsula gold project.


By partnering with research interns from CNA, and with the help of modern technology, Anaconda will be able to drill into a new solution for developing the placer mine.


The deposit was initially discovered in 1986 but could not be accessed and was left undeveloped, the company said.


CNA students, in collaboration with non-profit national organisation Mitacs, will help Anaconda to develop a mining process to extract gold from Deer Cove.


The first intern on the project is set to start this year from the Geomatics Engineering Technology at CNA’s Ridge Road campus in St John’s. Later on, the second intern will follow.

The interns will carry out a feasibility study, map the sediment thickness, and perform laboratory tests for several months.
 

College of the North Atlantic applied research and innovation associate vice-president Dr Michael Long said: “The challenge is to find a technology that’s appropriate for the environment.


“The operations require a smaller-scale technology that’s less invasive, yet economically feasible for a company to use. The site has to be assessed before you decide on the kind of technology to deploy.”

The project is expected to create sustainable mining methods. It will further help Anaconda reduce costs, improve gold recovery, and extend the mine’s operating life.


Anaconda Mining innovation and development vice-president Allan Cramm said: “Applied research adds capacity, and helps us do things efficiently.”


Anaconda has collaborated with researchers supported by Mitacs for many years from the Memorial University of Newfoundland.


The company is currently in the process of developing equipment based on research that will enable it to tap into previously inaccessible gold resources.

In August, Anaconda collaborated with CNA on research and development projects to improve ore grade determination and mining control at the company’s Point Rousse Project.

Barminco has been awarded an underground mining services contract at the Rampura Agucha Mine in India from Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL) worth approximately $100 million.


Barminco has operated at the Rampura Agucha Mine for HZL, a subsidiary of Vedanta Limited, since late 2016. The new underground mining services contract is for a three and a half year term, subject to review and mutual agreement of rates after the first year. The scope of work includes the extension of development works that were being provided under a recently completed contract, plus the addition of production work in the Barminco-developed area of the mine.

Under the contract, HZL will provide capital equipment and consumables. Barminco will commence work immediately.

Barminco Chief Executive Officer Paul Muller said: “We are very pleased to have been awarded a contract that extends our operations at the Rampura Agucha mine with an expanded scope to include production works. We look forward to deepening the relationship we have built with Hindustan Zinc over the past few of years by delivering on this extended scope of works both safely and efficiently.”

thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions recently signed a contract with OZ Minerals, Australia’s third largest copper producer, to supply crushing equipment for their Carrapateena project. Carrapateena is a copper-gold project currently under construction approximately 160 km north of Port Augusta in South Australia’s highly prospective Gawler Craton and has an estimated mine life of 20 years.


Andrew Howie, CEO at thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (Australia), stated: “We are proud that OZ Minerals is once again putting its faith in our expertise by choosing us as their supply partner for this important project. The design of our gyratory crushers is based on more than one hundred years of experience in manufacturing these machines and continuous product development. This way we ensure high performance and cost-effective operation for our customers.”


The KB 54-67 will be used underground for primary crushing of copper ore. Its proven design offers reliability and low maintenance in everyday operation. OZ Minerals and thyssenkrupp have been working together since 2008, when the company placed an initial order for two grinding mills for their Prominent Hill operation.

Copper is one of the most widely used metals due to its properties of high electrical and thermal conductivity, resistance to corrosion and its ability to form alloys with other metals. The largest use of copper is in the electrical industry where copper wire and cable account for about half of the worlds copper production.

NRW officials said the 11-month contract will commence in April, and includes earthworks and drainage. At the peak of the works more than 175 staffers will be needed to work on the project.


The massive Koodaideri operation, located near Rio Tinto's Yandicoogina mine in the eastern Pilbara, has an orebody more than 20km long and 3km wide and has a reserve of 598 million tonnes at 61.9% iron.

Rio has called Koodaideri its first 'intelligent' mine; its design includes plans for digitalisation and automation including autonomous trains and trucks and systems to interconnect the elements of the mine's value chain. It is targeting 2021 to take first tonnes from the open-cut mine.

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