May 17, 2020

More Mining Companies Acquire Simulation Technology

Thoroughbred Technologies Ltd
Technology
training simulato
Technology
Admin
2 min
Why More Mining Companies are Turning to Simulation Technology
Technology is a growing investment in the mining industry. Companies are continuously looking for newer and better innovation to increase productivity a...

Technology is a growing investment in the mining industry. Companies are continuously looking for newer and better innovation to increase productivity and decrease operating costs. One of those technological investments that are turning heads is equipment simulator systems.

According to experts, training simulators are increasingly being viewed as a sound investment and an important part of mine operations.

One of the companies providing this technology, which is known as advanced military standard Cybermine training simulators, is South Africa-based ThoroughTec Simulations. The company said it has experienced another year of continued growth as ThoroughTec broke into several new markets, including India and Kazakhstan.

“More and more mine operators are realizing the advantages that simulation can bring to their mine sites around the world,” says Greg Lew, Executive Vice President of Global Business at Thoroughbred. “We’re continuously receiving reports from mines about how simulation is aiding in the recruitment process, improving productivity and reaction times in emergency situations.”

“Because mine vehicles are being used for fewer training tasks, the associated running costs of training are greatly reduced,” says Lew. “Damage and wear-and-tear on mine vehicles decreases as green operators are able to familiarise themselves with the controls of the machines and iron out their mistakes on the mining simulator instead of the real machine. This means less unscheduled maintenance and lower maintenance and training costs.”

Mining companies are buying into the systems as some big name companies have recently bought into simulation to enhance their core fundamental performance. Advanced training simulators are being seen as an important part of mine safety as well as an investment into operator competency and productivity. 

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Jun 30, 2021

Rio Tinto and Alcoa begin construction with ELYSIS tech

Rio Tinto
ELYSIS
Decarbonisation
Alcoa
3 min
ELYSIS
Rio Tinto and Alcoa’s JV project ELYSIS has the potential to transform the aluminium industry, with a significant reduction in its carbon footprint

Eliminating all direct greenhouse gases from aluminium smelting has taken a major step forward with the start of construction on the first commercial-scale prototype cells of ELYSIS’ inert anode technology, at Rio Tinto’s Alma smelter in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec.

ELYSIS has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of aluminium production

ELYSIS is a joint venture company led by Rio Tinto and Alcoa that is developing a new breakthrough technology, known as inert anode, that eliminates all direct greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the traditional smelting process and instead produces oxygen.

The technology has the potential to transform the aluminium industry, with a significant reduction in its carbon footprint.

The inert anode prototype cells will operate on a commercial scale typical for large modern aluminium smelters, using an electrical current of 450 kiloamperes (kA).

The Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry joined representatives from ELYSIS, Rio Tinto and Alcoa to mark the start of construction and announce a further CAD $20mn financial contribution from the Government of Canada to support the project.

The federal government's financial support will enable the creation of a unique commercial size inert anode technology showroom for future customers and will help develop the supply chain by involving local and regional equipment manufacturers and suppliers in the project.

ELYSIS is working to complete the technology demonstration by 2024 followed by the commercialization activities.

ELYSIS technology at a glance:

  • The ELYSIS technology addresses the global trend towards producing low carbon footprint products, from mobile phones to cars, planes and building materials.
  • The new process will reduce operating costs ofaluminiumsmelters while increasing production capacity. It could be used in both new and existing aluminium smelters.
  • In Canada alone, the ELYSIS technology has the potential to reduce GHG emissions by 7 million tons, the equivalent of removing 1.8 million cars from the roads.
  • ELYSIS will also sell next-generation anode and cathode materials, which will last more than 30 times longer than traditional components.

Alcoa and Rio Tinto will continue to support the ELYSIS development program alongside the Governments of Canada and Quebec.

ELYSIS is working closely with Alcoa's Technical Center, where the zero-carbon smelting technology was invented, and the Rio Tinto technology design team in France.

Alcoa's Technical Center supports ELYSIS in the manufacture of proprietary materials for the new anodes and cathodes that are essential to the ELYSIS process. The Rio Tinto technology team in France is creating commercial scale designs for the ELYSIS technology.

 

Vincent Christ, CEO, ELYSIS commented: “This is a great day for ELYSIS. It means that we are becoming the first technology company in the world to build commercial-size inert anode cells. While we refine the technology in our R&D Centre, we start the construction of our prototype cells. This shows our confidence in our process and in the know-how of our team. The combination of ELYSIS' zero CO2 technology and Quebec's renewable energy will be great competitive advantage for the future. I would like to thank the government for its support and all the partners for their commitment.”

Samir Cairae, Rio Tinto Aluminium managing director Atlantic Operations and ELYSIS board member added: “Today marks a real step towards the future of the aluminium industry, by progressing this breakthrough technology to cut carbon emissions. Rio Tinto is committed to supporting its ongoing development here in Quebec where we already use clean hydropower to deliver some of the world’s lowest carbon aluminium. Combining this technology with renewable hydropower holds the promise of zero carbon aluminium smelting.”

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