African Minerals - Record Production and Sales Announced
Mineral exploration company, African Minerals, achieved record production and sales during the first quarter of the year. The company announced last week its Tonkolili iron-ore project recorded 5.3 million tons of iron ore in the first quarter of 2014, up 2.2 million from the previous year. First quarter sales for the mining company amounted to 4.6 million tons, up 19 percent from the 3.8 million tons in 2013.
According to chief executive Bernie Pryor, "The Tonkolili project ramp up programme continues to make good progress. The first quarter of 2014 marks our best performance yet, surpassing the record set by Q4 and setting our new operational benchmark. Cash costs continue to improve, falling to $37 per tonne as our production volumes increase, with a commensurate building of cash flow.”
"Preparations are under way for the annual seasonal impacts of the coming wet season, and we look forward to testing our interventions, which should give us the flexibility to successfully manage the coming months, and importantly also reduce our reliance on the production of A32, allowing us to achieve higher received pricing. We are maintaining our guidance of exporting 16-18Mt this calendar year with C1 cash costs of between $34 and $36 per tonne, exiting the year at a sustainable run rate of 20Mtpa, and with cash costs falling to $30/t at that production rate.
Pryor said the company was on par for exporting between 16-million tons and 18-million tons during the calendar year. African Minerals is planning to close the year at a sustainable run rate of 20-million tons a year, with cash costs expected to fall to $30/t at that production rate.
"We are well advanced in our next stage of growth targeting low capital cost optimisation and expansion to our infrastructure capacity. We aim to exit 2014 with a 25Mtpa export capability, and to start the construction of our first friable haematite concentrator facility at the end of this year, with up to 10Mtpa of final product concentrate processing capability being brought online in 2016. This, together with the increased DSO resource recently announced, allows us to extend the life of our concurrent DSO operations and further defer capital for additional concentrator units."
The Tonkolili Iron-ore project is located in the Tonkolili district of Sierra Leone. African Minerals has a 99-year lease, granted by the Sierra Leone Government, to build and manage key rail, port and infrastructure projects.
Anglo American: FutureSmart Mining
Anglo American’s approach to technology, digitalisation and sustainability is changing the nature of the way the company mines. These are the step-change innovations that will transform the nature of mining – how the company sources, mines, processes, moves and markets its products – and how its stakeholders experience that business. Anglo American is transforming its physical and societal footprint with FutureSmart Mining.
“FutureSmart Mining is our innovation-led approach to sustainable mining,” Anglo American’s Tom McCulley told Mining Gllobal. In his role as CEO for Anglo American Peru & Group Head of Projects he has overseen investment of more than $5bn at the company’s Quellaveco copper project in Peru.
“These are the step-change innovations that will transform the nature of mining – how we source, mine, process, move and market our products – and how our stakeholders experience our business. It’s about transforming our physical and societal footprint.”
Anglo is undertaking a feasibility study to assess the possibility of rolling out one of its FutureSmart technologies, Coarse Particle Recovery (CPR), at Quellaveco. “CPR crushes particles to 2.5 times larger than normal, reducing energy consumption and mill time, leading to a 20% increase in throughput and 85% water recovery - a key issue in Peru given the concerns around water scarcity,” says McCulley.
“By allowing water to release from the much coarser particles, CPR will reduce the risks associated with wet tailings and ultimately help eliminate them altogether. When combined with low cost additives, it is possible to dewater residual waste and produce dry stackable tailings. This technology remains a focus area for us as water sent to tailings facilities often represents the largest water loss at a mine.”
Quellaveco is going to be the first mine to run the FutureSmart operating model from day one. Anglo’s idea is to build a stable base on which it can layer new technologies, CPR being one of them.
“We will also be a fully digital mine, which brings us future benefits in terms of understanding and applying changes in real time,” adds McCulley. “Our trucks and our drills will be automation-ready. We have taken the approach that, when we decide to move into an autonomous operation, no jobs will be lost, but the nature of some people’s jobs will have to change.”
FutureSmart is a blend of technology and sustainability,” said McCulley in an interview with Global Business Reports. “If you go back to the vision and design of Quellaveco, it has really been focused on the long-term sustainability of the mine through effective use of things like water, energy and the environment. Quellaveco has been focused on technology such as automation, with digital and analytical tools all coming together. We will be looking at future technologies to bolt on as we go to ensure that we are optimizing the sustainable use of resources and remaining cost-effective.”
Anglo American’s Quellaveco copper project in Peru has created 15,000 jobs during construction and approximately 2,500 jobs are planned for operations, increasing Peru’s copper production by a forecast 300,000 tonnes per year. The mine’s first copper production is expected in 2022. To learn more about Anglo American's Quellaveco copper project read our feature here.