May 17, 2020

5 big winners at the 2016 Energy and Mines Renewables and Mining Awards

sustainabile mining
mining awards
Renewable Energy
Dale Benton
5 min
5 big winners at the 2016 Energy and Mines Renewables and Mining Awards
Last week, thirteen mines and mine companies were rewarded for a commitment to innovation in renewables and energy in the mining industry at the 2016 En...

Last week, thirteen mines and mine companies were rewarded for a commitment to innovation in renewables and energy in the mining industry at the 2016 Energy and Mines Renewables and Mining Awards.

Here, we take a look at five that caught our eye:

Best use of energy storage (electrical) at a mine site:

Reglan mine – Glencore

Located at the extreme limit of Northern Québec, the Raglan Mine property spans an area of nearly 70 kilometres and consists of a series of high-grade ore deposits composed mostly of nickel and copper.

The ore extracted from the mines is crushed, ground and processed on site to produce a nickel-copper concentrate. Approximately 1.3 million tonnes of ore is treated yearly at the concentrator resulting in more than 37,000 tonnes of nickel-in-concentrate annually.

The mine site includes four active underground mines, a concentrator, as well as administrative and accommodation facilities. In addition, Glencore have all the same infrastructure as a southern municipality (i.e. A fresh water supply source, fuel tanks, a water treatment plant, a power plant, etc.).

A road network links our mining complex to an airport located at Donaldson, and to warehouses and seaport facilities located at Deception Bay.

Glencore employ approximately 950 full-time workers, many of whom come from local Inuit communities


Best use of renewables for mine transportation – sponsored by canada clean fuels:

Kirkland Lake Gold

Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. Is an intermediate Canadian gold producer with assets in the Kirkland Lake gold camp and east of the Timmins gold camp, both located in the Lower Abitibi Greenstone belt of northeastern Ontario. The Company owns five former high grade gold mines within the Kirkland Lake camp that produced in excess of 22 million ounces at an average grade of 15.1 grams per tonne and controls a strike length of 120 kilometres along the Porcupine-Destor Fault Zone, which has produced in excess of 100 million ounces of gold from Timmins eastwards towards Val d’or in Quebec. The Company currently operates the Macassa Mine Complex, and the Holt, Holloway and Taylor mines and is targeting production of between 270,000 – 290,000 ounces of gold in 2016.


Best use of renewables at a reclaimed mine site:

Teck Resources

The Sullivan Mine operated for almost 100 years, and employed nearly 3,500 people at its peak – more than half the town’s population. When the mine closed in 2001, many people thought the loss of jobs and tax revenue would mark the end of Kimberley. Fast forward to today and through strong community leadership, collaboration, dialogue and planning, the community is still thriving.

In December 2010, the City of Kimberley announced its plan to collaborate with Teck and the ecosmart Foundation to launch the sunmine project, a solar energy test program. Teck provided use of the land and site infrastructure as well as a $2 million contribution towards sunmine, which uses 4032 solar-cell modules mounted on 96 solar trackers that follow sun movement to maximize solar exposure. The system is supplying enough electricity to the BC Hydro grid to power about 200 homes.

Best use of renewables for mine exploration:

Avalon Advanced Materials (formerly Avalon Rare Metals) is a Canadian mineral development company with a primary focus on the rare metals and minerals, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Avalon specializes in niche market metals and minerals with growing demand in new technology. 

Avalon has invested approximately $100 million CAD into the Nechalacho Project, located on Thor Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada. The company continues to investigate several optimisation programs to increase metal recoveries and reduce costs, while further reducing the impact on the environment.

The success of these initiatives is demonstrated by the total rare earth recovery in the concentration plant, which has been increased from 78% to over 91.5%. The recovery of heavy rare earths in the hydrometallurgical plant was also raised to over 93% from approximately 50% in the Feasibility Study. A refinement to the crushing and milling circuit at the concentrator has also resulted in a sizable reduction of the energy consumed by these processes (900mwh/annum), which translates not only into cost savings, but also to lower diesel consumption on site. A pyrohydrolysis process has been introduced and is expected to result in potential reagent consumption savings of approximately 80% for hydrochloric acid, 90% for magnesium oxide and almost a complete elimination of calcium carbonate.

Collectively, these improvements to the efficiency of the metallurgical processes for the Nechalacho Project can contribute to Avalon’s sustainability achievements by reducing reagent use, waste generation, energy consumption and GHG generation.


Renewables in mining – project of the year:

Sandfire Resources

The degrussa Copper-Gold Mine, located 900km north-east of Perth in Western Australia, is one of the Asia-Pacific region’s premier, high-grade copper mines. Construction and development of the Project was completed in 2012.

The degrussa Copper-Gold Mine is expected to become a world-leading reference site for the use of renewable energy in the mining industry following the construction of a 10.6MW solar power station in 2016.

The project comprises a 10.6MW solar array utilising 34,080 solar panels over 20 hectares. It uses single-axis tracking technology, combined with 6MW of short term battery storage and will be located near the site of the current degrussa underground mine and 1.5Mtpa Concentrator.

The project is expected to achieve savings in the consumption of diesel fuel and will deliver a significant environmental benefit for degrussa, reducing its CO2 emissions by an estimated 12,000 tonnes per year.

For a full list of winners, visit:


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Get in touch with our editor Dale Benton at [email protected]

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May 24, 2021

Codelco partners with Microsoft to extend digitisation

Microsoft Networks
2 min
Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, has struck a deal with Microsoft to promote digitisation and automation at its copper mines across Chile

Chile's Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, has announced a deal with tech giant Microsoft to fast-track the digitisation of its sprawling mining operations, helping it extend automation and improve analytics.


The joint project with Microsoft will beef up the company's capacity to make its production processes more efficient and promote "sustainability" within its operations, Codelco said in a statement.

Codelco, like many Chilean miners, has fought in recent years to adopt new technologies to boost efficiency and keep down costs at its aging deposits, many of which suffer from declining ore grades.

"We are promoting profound changes so that different areas operate in a completely remote and automated way, reducing risks, improving productivity, safety and reliability of our operation," said company executive Alvaro Garcia.

Mining companies worldwide are pushing forward with plans to operate mines remotely, reducing the risk of accidents and boosting efficiency.


Codelco’s move towards automation however has led to confrontations with unions, who see it as a threat to their livelihoods. The company said the project with Microsoft will include a training component for the its workers.

The state-run miner has recently ramped up its use of technology to ensure its copper is 100% traceable, a vital step in reducing its carbon footprint and boosting sustainability within its operations.



Codelco’s CEO Octavio Araneda said that tracing copper through its mines would help the company more precisely measure progress on its social and environmental goals while providing proof to increasingly demanding customers of those efforts.

“We can now say that 100% of our products are traced…which will allow us to have a very strong transparency regarding our resource use footprint,” Araneda said.


The announcement comes amid a broader push by the company to reduce water consumption, recycle industrial waste and scale back carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.

Codelco said in a webinar that the tool it has developed to assure traceability will help assure those sustainability targets are met.

Soaring demand for electric vehicles, a key component in the global fight against climate change, has increased attention on the carbon footprint and sustainability of inputs such as copper, cobalt and lithium.

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