Perth-based Red Mountain Mining added a second drill rig from this week to increase the work pace on the epithermal-based Lobo prospect on the western side of its wholly owned Batangas gold project, 50 km south of the Philippines capital, Manila. The decision to increase the drilling rate at Lobo follows yet further confirmation of its gold potential, the latest being assay results from new diamond hole drilling beneath the historic Lobo copper open pit – last worked in the late 1960s. The new results, Red Mountain’s Executive Chairman, Neil Warburton says, also reinforce the company’s belief that Lobo’s mineralisation is comparable in style to similar “gold footprints” in Southeast Asia but particularly the Cracow and Pajingo gold mines in northern Queensland.A second diamond drillhole at Lobo – part of a current 10-hole program – has intersected 4.6 m at 5.83 g/t Au from 152.8 m depth downhole (estimated true width 2.8 m) including 2.0 m at 8.89 g/t Au downhole at Lobo’s West Drift structure.The new intersection is from Hole LB67 and is part of an initial drilling program by Red Mountain at West Drift to target high grade gold mineralization below the old Lobo copper mine and potentially convert the gold mineralisation to resource inventory.Warburton said the accelerated drilling program meant work had already commenced on the planned third and fourth holes (LB68-LB69) at West Drift targeting the down plunge extent of the system. The first hole, LB66, returned 8.6 m @ 2.53 g/t Au from 136.6 m depth downhole including 1.0 m @ 4.62 g/t Au.“The first two holes drilled in this West Drift program confirm the interpretation of increasing gold grade with depth. With the addition of the second drill rig and deeper drilling planned below 100 vertical metres from surface, further gold intercepts are anticipated,” Warburton said.Recent surface trenching at South West Breccia, a parallel structure immediately to the southeast of West Drift, yielded high gold grades including 1 m @ 30.70 g/t Au.The latest Lobo results add to Red Mountain’s success to date from drilling further to the east on its Batangas Project with high grade intersects of 2.2 m @ 36.53 g/t gold at the Archangel prospect. This intersection included 1.2 m @ 62.09 g/t Au.Warburton said Red Mountain remained focused on delivering a significant resource upgrade for Batangas by the third quarter of this calendar year, and commencing in that period, a feasibility study for the project’s maiden commercial production.The Batangas project covers 270 km² and already contains an Indicated Resource of 10.1 Mt @ 1.2g/t Au for 393,000 oz of gold and 1,427,800 oz of silver, and an Inferred Resource of 3.8 Mt @ 0.88g/t Au for 108,000 oz of gold and 210,000 oz of silver.Warburton said internal studies on delivering higher grade and less tonnes through a standard CIL treatment facility could deliver a far higher commercial outcome for the company.All 10 holes to date from the latest Archangel drilling have intersected gold mineralisation.
Greg Evans, Chief Executive ACALET (COAL21 Fund) and Executive Director – Coal, Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) says the coal industry which funds Australia’s largest private sector commitment to CCS (carbon capture and storage) research and demonstration through the COAL21 Fund welcomes the A$25 million Research Development and Demonstration Fund announced by the Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane.“Ongoing investment in research, development and demonstration in CCS technologies is vital along with the swelling investment in modern, clean and efficient coal power stations which is occurring at a rapid rate throughout Asia.“In Australia we have already had great success in CCS related research and demonstration through the COAL21 Fund and other initiatives. Those projects have included:The Callide OxyFuel Project in Queensland developing and demonstrating carbon capture using the oxyfuel technology, operating in carbon capture mode for over 10,000 hoursNumerous projects in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Western Australia working towards demonstrating the local geology such as – the NSW Storage Project, Carbon Geostorage Initiative, CTSCo, Carbonnet, Collie South West HubANLEC R&D who are working with Australian researchers including CSIRO and Australian universities to further the R&D in support of CCS.“Internationally, CCS is growing strongly with 22 large scale projects operating or under construction while SaskPower’s Boundary Dam coal power station in Canada is achieving 90% CO2 emission reductions in its first few months of operation, some 1 Mt/y of CO2. That’s the equivalent of taking 250,000 cars off the road annually.“The focus of the announced program to include research priorities in subsurface knowledge and mapping, transport infrastructure, and development of international collaboration and partnerships is sensible.“ACALET (which manages the COAL21 Fund) and the Minerals Council of Australia welcomes the Australian Government’s continued support of CCS as a fundamental technology in achieving Australian and global emissions targets. As Minister Macfarlane points out, Australia’s energy resources are one of our most significant competitive advantages and further research and development in low emissions energy sources will strengthen Australia’s role as an energy superpower.
Atlas Copco has introduced core drilling rigs that it says eliminate many of the hazardous operations for mines involved in underground core drilling.The risk of handling inner tubes and drill rods, while extracting core samples, is a well-known problem for drillers around the world. Despite safety regulations, accidents with severe injuries still occur. Atlas Copco’s Diamec Smart core drilling rigs have an advanced control system that enables automatic functions such as drilling and adding and removing of rods.By using the unique rod handler, the operator can perform the work from a safe distance. All adding and removal of in the hole (ITH) equipment are done automatically. The automatic functions is not only increasing the safety for the operators, it also improves the working environment and increases the productivity. A 3 m long inner tube with core samples can weigh about 100 kg and the handling is heavy and hazardous. The rod handler eliminates operator fatigue and helps keeping the pace during an entire shift.Martin Sommers, Vice President Marketing – Exploration Equipment at Atlas Copco, explains: “There is an increasing focus on safety within the mining industry and the new Diamec Smart series sets a new standard for underground core drilling rigs. Customers that have tried automatic drilling and rod handling never want to go back to the old way of drilling.”The new improved control system on the Diamec Smart is based on the Rig Control System (RCS) that is used for all drilling rigs from the Mining and Rock excavation business area at Atlas Copco. More than 20 important improvements have been made in both hardware and software compared to the previous control system, making it even more robust and reliable.
ABB has won another order from LKAB, a high-tech international minerals group in Sweden, to modernize its B3 mine hoist at its iron ore mine in Kiruna, Sweden. LKAB is planning to modernise its central (CA) hoisting plant consisting of eight mine hoists, B1 – B8, within the coming eight to nine years. The CA hoisting plant, the main artery of LKAB’s production flow, raises ore from the sub level (898 m) up to ground level. ABB has supplied equipment for all 12 production hoists to the Kiruna Mine, five for the sub-vertical level and seven for the CA hoisting plant. LKAB ordered its first new hoist, B1, in 2014 from ABB.ABB’s delivery includes entirely new mechanical equipment for the B3 hoist plant and shafts, new electrical and control equipment, construction, electrical installation, installation supervision, site management as well as commissioning. Only the existing motor for the hoist will remain; all other parts of the hoist will be completely new. Hoists are among the most significant pieces of equipment in an underground mine, and must operate at the highest level of reliability and safety, as any potential failure can lead to catastrophic results.“We are proud to be chosen again by LKAB, the leading iron ore supplier in Europe, for this important project,” said Oswald Deuchar, head of ABB’s Global Product Group Underground Mining. “The long history of cooperation between ABB and LKAB, and also ABB’s decades of deep knowledge and experience in mine hoist technology, were key factors in winning this order.”ABB has a long tradition of cooperation with LKAB dating back more than 60 years. The first hoist was delivered to LKAB in 1948. The delivery of the hoist B3 will start in the middle of 2017; it is scheduled be in operation in the middle of 2018.
Torex Gold is weighing up the use of an innovative technology that could provide an efficient and cost effective means of moving people, mining devices, and ore out of steep underground mines.The company, which is back in action at its ELG gold mine in Mexico after a long strike at the operation that started in 2017, said in its June quarter results that it had recently come to an agreement with its CEO, Fred Stanford, to acquire his interests in ‘Muckahi’.Stanford conceptualised and patented the Muckahi process and has been working with Canada-based engineering firm MEDATECH to develop his methods and come up with the necessary equipment to make his process work.Muckahi makes use of overhead rails as an efficient and cost effective means of moving people, mining devices and ore out of steep underground mines. The modififed machinery also allows for increased production rates and less handling, moving the process towards continous production, according to MEDATECH.The mining system is currently in the evaluation stage, but is being considered for use at Torex’s Media Luna gold project in Mexico. There is a revised preliminary economic assessment on Media Luna due soon that is expected to feature the use of this technology.The 2015 PEA on Media Luna envisioned an underground operation with expected average annual production of 313,000 oz of gold-equivalent at an average all-in sustaining cost of $636/oz.The recovery of the Media Luna resource was planned to be through underground mining methods at 7,000 t/d with the mineralised material transported via a hybrid underground/aerial/underground rope conveyor to the ELG processing plant. The conveyor belt would be 6.7 km in length with a 360 m vertical drop over its length.Torex said it was planning to run a technical session for investors and analysts on the Muckahi process next month.
FLSmidth says its Krebs® Technequip™ TGW series of wafer-style knife gate slurry valves have proven themselves across the globe.The valves are designed specifically for the harsh and abrasive slurries encountered in the mineral processing and power industries, with applications ranging from cement, sand and gravel to coal, phosphate, ash and alumina.They are designed as a space saving option for heavy-duty applications, according to the company. The long-lasting replaceable elastomer sleeves offer a sealing solution that uses the latest technology, with the valve’s operation based on its full port design, FLSmidth said. This allows the gate to be fully isolated by the sleeves from the process in the open position.“As the gate closes, it pushes between the two sleeves, discharging a small amount of material out of the bottom of the valve,” FLSmidth said. “This prevents material build-up in the seat area ensuring full gate closure, as well as preventing damage to the gate. When the gate is in the open or closed position, there is a 100% bi-directional bubbletight seal and zero downstream leakage.”To ensure long life, all valves are supplied with dust boots – or ‘bellows’ – as a standard feature, protecting valve stems and actuators. Hardware such as nuts, bolts, and washers, meanwhile, are zinc-plated to protect against corrosion. Each component is also individually epoxy-painted before assembly.Several actuation options are available, including pneumatic, hydraulic, electric and bevel-gear actuators, as well as manual hand-wheel operators, the company said.The choice of materials is vital to the valves’ performance, reliability and lifespan, according to FLSmidth. “Sleeves are constructed of dense moulded elastomer, complete with an integral stiffener ring moulded into the sleeve. They are also available in a range of different materials to suit the application,” the company said. The valve housing is ASTM A536 cast ductile coated for corrosion resistance, while the upper cavity is pre-lubricated with a silicone-based grease, to improve actuation and decrease wear.Founded in Toronto, Canada, in 1957, Technequip was acquired by FLSmidth in 1993 and integrated into the company in 2007. With installations across the globe, the slurry valves have proven themselves worldwide with features like the fluorocarbon gate coating for reduced friction during actuation, the high strength stainless steel gate clevis and two-coat epoxy paint. The valves also contain no packing gland, as this can jam the gate, and have machined gate guides so no spacer bars are required. Various accessories are available, including solenoids, limit switches and junction boxes.
IDE Technologies, a leader in water treatment solutions, has announced that it has been chosen by Teck Resources Ltd to design and supply the desalination plant for the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) copper mining project in Chile. QB2 is an extension of Teck’s existing Quebrada Blanca operation in Chile. The desalination plant will be located at the port site for the QB2 copper mine in the Tarapacá region and will be the second largest seawater desalination plant in Chile.“IDE’s experience encompasses more than 400 desalination plants worldwide, with more than 20 successfully operating desalination plants in Chile. The new SWRO desalination plant for the QB2 project will produce high-quality water for use in the copper concentrator. IDE’s design of the QB2 desalination plant will be in accordance with the stringent environmental requirements and safety regulations in Chile.”“IDE’s experience in South America and worldwide, and their commitment to high environmental standards were key factors in their selection for the QB2 project,” said Karl Hroza, Project Director, QB2, Teck.IDE has extensive experience designing large-scale modular RO plants for the mining sector and is aware of the common practices and the challenges facing the mining industry. IDE’s modular solution simplifies the installation of the plant while reducing installation and startup time and cost. IDE will work closely with Teck to ensure that the QB2 desalination plant meets its availability and reliability goals.“We’re excited to partner with Teck in providing high-quality water in an economical and sustainable manner, to support the expansion of this mine,” said Guy Sagie, CEO, IDE Projects. “Our modular SWRO desalination design is an excellent solution for remote locations due to the use of prefabricated modules with minimal maintenance requirements. Once completed, the QB2 desalination plant will deliver a consistent and reliable supply of water for daily mining operations.”
Mineral Commodities’ wholly-owned subsidiary, MRC Graphite, says it has executed a professional services agreement with Mondium to undertake early contractor involvement (ECI) and front-end engineering and design (FEED) for the Munglinup graphite project, in Western Australia.MRC Graphite is in the final stages of completing a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for Munglinup, which will provide the pathway to a final decision to commence construction. In addition, environmental permitting is ongoing and the current schedule, cognisant of regulatory processes and south coast seasonal variation, offers the opportunity to engage an engineering and construction firm to deliver additional value to the project through a purposeful ECI and FEED programme, the company said.Mondium is an incorporated joint venture between Monadelphous Group and Lycopodium, which leverages the skills of both companies to provide technical and delivery solutions to its clients, Mineral Commodities said.Mineral Commodities Executive Chairman, Mark Caruso, said: “Given the current tightening of resources in the mining project space, MRC is very pleased to have formed this relationship with a highly regarded engineering and construction firm. This will enable MRC to undertake significant value-add for the Munglinup graphite project through ECI and FEED stages, leading into construction later in the year, subject to approvals and a decision to mine.“Mondium and its owners, Monadelphous and Lycopodium, are extremely well qualified and experienced in flotation design and construction and MRC looks forward to developing the Munglinup graphite project as safely, quickly and cost effectively as possible to ensure MRC emerges next year as a low cost, high quality graphite producer.”According to a prefeasibility study, Munglinup will produce, on average, 54,800 t/y of high-purity graphite concentrate at a life of mine production cash cost of circa A$531/t ($377/t) graphite. Initial capital costs were estimated at A$52 million including 15% engineering procurement and construction costs (A$5.5 million), 15% contingency (A$6 million) and all owners’ costs (A$3 million).