K+S Potash Canada finalising it's Legacy project
The K+S P...
Construction on the first potash mine in Sakatchewan, Canada in 40 years, is close to completion – with an end of year completion date.
The K+S Potash Canada Legacy mine, near Bethune, is projected to produce up to two million tonnes by the end of 2017. The mine will look to provide a work force of up to 300 permanent jobs at the start of production.
More than 100 Legacy site tradespeople and operators are undergoing intensive training on-site and at sister operations in Europe, where they’re training with equipment and systems similar to those they’ll be working with when the mine reaches start up.
Sam Farris, Vice President and General Manager of Operations at KSPC, acknowledges that the project is on time, but there is still a lot to do before reaching start-up date.
“We’ve been doing a lot of commissioning planning – organizational planning – to fine tune our structure and specify who’s doing what,’’
“There are many details to work out and a lot of things that have to come together at this stage.’’
This commissioning involves extensive equipment testing with the support of European business unit experts, who will help bring more Legacy plant systems on-stream.
“We’re on course to commission the plant this summer and produce the first tonne by the end of 2016,” says Farris.
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.