ICMM: Mining with principles at AngloGold Ashanti
Mine closure is a dynamic and iterative process taking into account environmental, social and economic considerations at an early stage of mine development. Fundamental to this process is the need to consider closure as an integral part of a mine operation's core business.
ICMM (International Council on Mining and Metals) case study:
In Colombia, ICMM member AngloGold Ashanti has a ground-breaking plan to create – and integrate – a park and biodiversity centre into its Quebradona copper-gold project. This park has been designed to preserve the local environment in the area and to restore elements of the eco-system to their natural state. This project is in line with AngloGold Ashanti’s ambition of reducing – and wherever possible offsetting – impacts on biodiversity.
The initiative is intended to gradually facilitate the regeneration of more than 2,500 hectares of indigenous tropical dry forest and high mountain forest. The re-introduction of this flora will help regenerate the area’s unique ecosystem, which has been impacted by farming and other land uses.
The development of the park is anticipated to take place in 2021 and, in a departure from traditional mine development models, will be integrated into the Quebradona project during construction. Extensive engagement with local communities took place in preparation of the plan, including Jerico, the nearest town to the proposed development site.
Ericsson joins EU’s NEXGEN SIMS sustainable mining project
Ericsson has joined a three-year initiative to develop autonomous, carbon-neutral mining processes supported by 5G connectivity. Funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, the $16mn Next-Generation Carbon-Neutral Pilots for Smart Intelligent Mining Systems (NEXGEN SIMS) project is being coordinated by Swedish mining and infrastructure equipment manufacturer, Epiroc, in cooperation with a range of industry-diverse partners, including: Ericsson, K+S, Boliden, Agnico Eagle Finland, KGHM Polska and Luleå University of Technology.
Comprising mining companies, equipment manufacturers, tech companies and universities, NEXGEN SIMS was launched on May 1. The project will pursue collaborative partnerships across new technologies, methods and processes to increase the efficiency and sustainability of mining operations globally.
Ericsson Dedicated Networks solutions will feature prominently in the consortium. The solutions provide optimal on-site connectivity and supporting positioning for electric mining equipment, autonomous material handling, cross-machine fleet control and more.
NEXGEN SIMS builds on the successful SIMS project, which ran between 2017 and 2020 and played an important role in improving sustainable mining operations. The latest iteration of the project will cover advances in smart mining and mineworker-of-the-future use cases, develop autonomous mine inspection technology to enhance personnel safety and boost productivity, cost-efficiency and sustainability.
Thomas Norén, Head of Dedicated Networks, Ericsson, commented: “Our Ericsson Dedicated Networks solutions bring reliable connectivity and safety to the mines. This in turn enables the implementation of new use-cases that rely on it and that are not possible to realize with legacy mine networks today.”
He added: “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has called for global greenhouse gas emissions to be halved by 2030, reaching net-zero before 2050. This goes across all sectors. Ericsson welcomes the opportunity to support dedicated projects to develop carbon free mining processes to directly reduce operational emissions in the mining sector, while creating a safer and more autonomous mining process.”
The full list of project partners is: Ericsson, Boliden, Agnico Eagle Finland, KGHM Polska, K+S and OZ Minerals, Mobilaris MCE, AFRY and KGHM Cuprum; LTU Business, Luleå University of Technology and RWTH Aachen University.