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.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.