Couer Mining subsidiary awards $30m contract to SNC-Lavalin
SNC-Lavalin has been awarded a $30 million contract by Coeur Rochester, a wholly owned subsidiary of Coeur Mining, to provide construction management services for the Plan of Operations, Amendment Number 11 expansion project at Coeur’s Rochester mine near Lovelock, Nevada.
In a statement, SNC-Lavalin said the contract, which started in Q4 2020, aims to be completed by the end of 2022. The POA 11 expansion project includes the construction of a new crushing plant, including a primary, secondary, and tertiary crushing circuit (high pressure grinding rolls).
Included in the contract is a new heap leach pad (300,000,000 tons), new Merrill Crowe process plant (13,750 gallons per minute), and upgrades to existing electrical utility system infrastructure, including a substation and power distribution lines. The deal is aligned with the company’s new strategy to target the Services segment.
“SNC-Lavalin’s Mining & Metallurgy strategic plan is gaining traction with this mandate. It is an example of the mining services work that our team is winning across our core geographies, including the United States of America. SNC-Lavalin and Coeur continue to foster a strong relationship that finds and executes services solutions to create world-class operations,” said César Inostroza, Senior Vice-President, Mining & Metallurgy, SNC-Lavalin.
“This award is a testament to the continued partnership between SNC-Lavalin and Coeur. It leverages our knowledge of the Rochester mine and engineering expertise from the previous phase of this project and expands our work in the US.”
The project mandate is well aligned with SNC-Lavalin’s expertise in silver, gold and base metal project delivery, as well as its commitment to delivering real value to its clients, Inostroza asserts.
SNC-Lavalin’s offices in Reno, Nevada and Toronto, Ontario will continue to support the construction management phase of the project. In addition, a team based locally at the site will manage construction-related activities, he adds.
“The strong business partnership between Coeur and SNC-Lavalin will help ensure a robust project delivery for Rochester, paving the way for improved performance in the future.” states Terrence F.D. Smith, Coeur’s Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer. “All of us at Coeur look forward to continue working with SNC-Lavalin as we advance this pivotal project.”
Since approval of the initial Plan of Operation in 1986, the Rochester mine has undergone periodic mine plan amendments to support development projects and continued operations. The Plan of Operations, Amendment Number 11 (“POA 11”) proposes another mine life extension, which is expected to maintain the current workforce and support full production activities at Rochester until 2033.
Coeur’s Rochester mine is located 100 miles northeast of Reno near Lovelock, Nevada. It is an open-pit mining operation that produces silver and gold. Mining methods include typical open-pit techniques where ore and waste rock are drilled, blasted, crushed, loaded and hauled to either leach pads (ore) or rock disposal sites, the statement explains.
Global iron ore production to recover by 5.1% in 2021
Global iron ore production fell by 3% to 2.2bnt in 2020. Global production is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% to 2,663.4Mt between 2021 to 2025. The key contributors to this grow will be Brazil (6.2%), South Africa (4.1%), Australia (3.2%) and India (2.9%). Key upcoming projects expected to commence operations include South Flank in Australia (2021), Zulti in South Africa (H2 2021), Serrote Da Laje in Brazil (H2 2021) and Gudai-Darri (2022), according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, comments: “Declines from Brazil and India were major contributors to the reduced output in 2020. Combined production from these two countries fell from a collective 638.2Mt in 2019 to an estimated 591.1Mt in 2020. The reduced output from the iron ore giant, Vale, was the key factor behind Brazil’s reduced output, while delays in the auctioning of mines in Odisha affected India’s output in 2020.
“Miners in Australia were relatively unaffected by COVID-19 due to effective measures adopted by the Australian Government, while a speedy recovery in China led to a significant 10.4% increase in the country’s iron ore output.”
Looking ahead, the global iron ore production is expected to increase by 111.3Mt to 2,302.5Mt in 2021. Rio Tinto is expected to produce up to 340Mt of iron ore, while BHP has released production guidance of 245–255Mt, supported by the start of the Samarco project in December, which is expected to produce between 1–2Mt.The company has retained its guidance for Australian mines at 276–286Mt on a 100% basis, due to scheduled maintenance work at its ore handling plant and tie-in activity at the Area C mine and South-Flank mine.
Bajaj added: “The remaining companies are expected to produce more than 600Mt of iron ore, including FMG, whose production is expected to range between 175–180Mt supported by its Eliwana mine that commenced operations in late December 2020, and Anglo American, which is expecting to produce between 64–67Mt. Vale is expected to resume 40Mt of its production capacity, taking its overall production capacity to 350Mt in 2021, with production guidance of 315-335Mt.”