The February issue of Mining Global is live!
“The whole point of our digital transformation is to build a foundation to prepare ourselves for the next phase of growth to support key outcomes of enhanced safety, improved productivity and reduced costs with true technology innovation.” For our cover story this month, Barun Gorain, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer at Vedanta Resources, explains how Hindustan Zinc is leveraging technology to aim for zero waste and maximum metal recovery for the company’s flagship digital mines at Rampura Agucha and Sindesar Khurd in Rajasthan, India.
Sharpening our digital focus, we also profile the work being done by IBM’s Energy & Natural Resources business unit to help mining companies solve problems from connectivity through to autonomous solutions and harness data to drive the industry towards the digital mines of the future. “We believe industrial businesses are ready to move towards business reinvention: scaling digital and AI and embedding it in the business,” says Manish Chawla, IBM’s Global Managing Director for Energy & Resources. “It's about hybrid cloud, moving mission critical applications from experimentation to true end-to-end transformation. The key to winning is centred around what we at IBM call the Cognitive Enterprise.”
Also in this edition, we hear from Tom McCulley, CEO Anglo American Peru & Group Head of Projects, on how the diversified major is applying FutureSmart mining to “resource the future” at the Quellaveco copper project in Peru.
Elsewhere, we look at how New Century Resources has delivered economic mine site rehabilitation to Queensland’s Century deposit, maintaining the social license to operate. We investigate how French mining giant Eramet is using drones, AI and Machine Learning to overcome unique challenges and thrive in a new digital age; and mining tech innovators MST Global share three decades of experience in delivering industrial solutions to improve safety and ramp productivity.
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.”