Archive | Mining Education and Innovation

Rio Tinto puts its faith in driverless trucks, trains and drilling rigs (The Economist – December 7, 2017)

https://www.economist.com/

FOR millennia, man has broken rocks. Whether with pickaxe or dynamite, their own or animal muscle, in a digger or a diesel truck, thick-necked miners have been at the centre of an industry that supplies the raw materials for almost all industrial activity.

Making mining more profitable has long involved squeezing out more tonnes of metal per ounce of brawn. Now robots, not man, are settling themselves into the driving seat.

Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest mining firms, is leading that transformation in its vast iron-ore operations in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It is putting its faith in driverless trucks and unmanned drilling rigs and trains, overseeing them from the office equivalent of armchairs about 1,000km (625 miles) south, in Perth. Continue Reading →

Mining as a nation-builder: CEMI among six groups forming supercluster to bring clean Canadian mining expertise to the international market – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – December 1, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

For six mining groups in Canada that have joined together, including one in Sudbury, mining is a nation-building exercise they want to take to the world. The hope is by joining together, they can qualify for government funding to help them support the mining industry on a holistic level.

Sudbury-based Centre for Mining Innovation (CEMI) is among the group that are pursuing a $200 million funding initiative to move their supercluster forward. Titled Clean, Low-energy, Effective, Engaged and Remediated (CLEER), to compete for funding though the federal government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative.

The are many reasons for bringing this supercluster together, explained Charles Nyabeze, director, government affairs for CEMI, all of them go back to making mining in Canada more competitive, cleaner, diverse and showing the public the importance of mining to the nation’s economic stability. Continue Reading →

A global work in process: Sudbury’s Laurentian-based MERC releases progress report into far-reaching Metal Earth project – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – December 1, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Multiple disciplines, many researchers, scientists, industry players and $104 million have come together to create one of the most comprehensive studies into the metal riches of the Earth. And once it’s completed, the organization overseeing it says it will revolutionize how mining companies seek out metal deposits, and all the data will be free and public.

Harold Gibson, director of the Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC), gave a presentation on Nov. 29 to the Sudbury Geological Discussion Group of the latest findings of the Metal Earth project.

It’s an international project to help researchers, scientists and industry understand the processes of how and where metals appear in the planet’s crust and to make mineral exploration more accurate. Continue Reading →

How scientists unlock secrets of the universe from deep underground – by Erica Caden (The Conversation.com – November 28, 2017)

http://theconversation.com/

What do a big chunk of ice at the South Pole, a mine in northern Ontario and a mountain in Italy have in common? They’re all home to extreme underground environments but they’re connected in another, more unexpected way. All three are host to large physics experiments searching to understand and answer the most basic questions about the world around us.

As a research scientist at SNOLAB in Sudbury, Ont., I get the chance to talk to a lot of different people about the work we do. The question often comes up: Why are we doing astrophysics — the study of space and the cosmos — from deep underground?

In particle physics, we long ago answered all of the questions that could be answered through tabletop experiments run by small groups of scientists in small laboratory spaces. Albert Michelson and Edward Morley showed that “luminiferous aether” didn’t exist, using a light source and mirrors on a bench-top stand. Marie Skłodowska Curie discovered polonium and radium in a shed next to the school of chemistry and physics at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Canada’s mining sector unites on clean resources supercluster application

Canada (November 29, 2017) – We are pleased to announce the submission of a full application for a clean resources Supercluster as part of the Government of Canada’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative.

The CLEER (Clean, Low-energy, Effective, Engaged and Remediated) Supercluster – prepared on behalf of the mining sector by CEMI, CIMRE, CMIC, COREM, IMII, and MSTA – represents a $700 million investment ($450M in cash and $244M in-kind from 162 partners across Canada).

CLEER will build on an existing mining innovation ecosystem uniquely positioned to make Canada a global leader in clean resource development and the responsible sourcing of raw materials.

This CLEER Supercluster will transform the mining sector’s productivity, performance, and global competitiveness by harnessing innovation across the ecosystem to tackle global challenges of water, energy, and environmental footprint, with bold targets of 50% reductions in each area by 2027. Continue Reading →

Robots Will Run Mines Within the Next Decade, Anglo Says – by Thomas Wilson (Bloomberg News – November 29, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Some mines in the next decade will run without humans and instead rely on robots, virtual models and sensors, according to Anglo American Plc.

Anglo is betting on technology, such as computerized drills with “chiseling ability as good as a human” to increase productivity, cut costs and reduce environmental impact, Tony O’Neill, technical director at Anglo, said at the Mines and Money conference in London.

“The industry that everybody currently knows will be unrecognizable” in five to seven years, O’Neill said. With mining processes automated, Anglo’s “employee of the future” will only need to focus on managing the company’s relations with governments and communities that live near its mines, he said. Continue Reading →

Battery tech is the new gold for Kirkland Lake – Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – November 2, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

California’s Artisan Vehicle Systems chooses northeast town for Canadian assembly, R & D hub

A leading edge California manufacturer of battery-powered underground mining vehicles is putting down roots in Kirkland Lake.

Artisan Vehicle Systems announced Oct. 31 that it’s building a 60,000-square-foot Canadian headquarters featuring a service centre, vehicle assembly shop, and product research facility in the northeastern Ontario gold mining town to be closest to its biggest customer, Kirkland Lake Gold.

The company is talking about creating 60 jobs over the next two years as they put shovels in the ground within a year-and-a-half to build a state-of-the-art “Centre of Excellence” in the Archer Drive business park. Continue Reading →

Biggest Miner Tracking Trucker Brain Waves in Technology Race – by David Stringer (Bloomberg News – November 1, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Truck drivers employed by the world’s biggest mining company are wearing baseball caps and hard helmets with sensors mounted inside to track their brain waves so they can get early warnings of fatigue and cut accidents.

BHP Billiton Ltd. has deployed the technology for 150 trucks at the Escondida copper mine it operates in Chile as part of efforts to boost safety, Chief Technology Officer Diane Jurgens told reporters Wednesday on the sidelines of a mining forum in Melbourne.

The company intends to adopt the method at other sites globally, including its giant iron ore mines in Australia, she said. Continue Reading →

Barrick’s Digital Reinvention Takes Shape in a Nevada Desert – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – October 30, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Elko, Nevada is no Silicon Valley. A recent front-page story in the local paper hailed inductees to the Buckaroo Hall of Fame, a nod to the town’s cowboy past. Inside, a full-page spread detailed the aspirations of the kids vying for homecoming king and queen.

Yet it’s here, in an unremarkable warehouse in the foothills of the Ruby Mountains, that Barrick Gold Corp. has created an in-house coding hub to design software for its nearby Cortez operation — one step in its plan to use technology to revolutionize the business.

From underground WiFi to sensors that track the output of every miner, it’s all part of what Cisco Systems Inc. Executive Chairman John Chambers calls an “audacious goal” by his Barrick counterpart John Thornton to drag gold mining into the 21st century. Continue Reading →

World Mining Competition testing the mettle of students in Saskatoon – by Alicia Bridges (CBC News Saskatoon – October 29, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/

Mining engineer Sydney Miller had never met the students on her four-person team before the World Mining Competition started in Saskatoon on Friday. Within 36 hours, the group had developed a complex mining strategy in response to a detailed question in a 26-page case study.

On Sunday, the multi-disciplinary teams of business, engineering and geology students from around the world each got the chance to present those strategies to a panel of judges.

Speaking shortly after her team’s presentation in the preliminary round, Miller said it had been a sleep-depriving and challenging weekend so far. “We had to learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and set up the case accordingly to where we thrive,” she said. Continue Reading →

Seismic testing to uncover mineral potential in resource-rich regions – by Angela Gemmill (CBC News Sudbury – October 24, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/

Laurentian University conducting 7-year, $104-million study into structures in earth’s crust

The large trucks seen recently along major roadways in Sudbury are conducting seismic testing. It’s all part of a major research project by Laurentian University.

That seismic testing is not to detect natural or man-induced mining seismic activity, rather the testing is similar to sonar or ultrasound, says Harold Gibson, director of the Metal Earth Project.

The vibration trucks send out seismic waves, which reflect off features in the earth’s crust and then back to receivers or geophones that have been spread out 20 to 30 metres apart. The data is compiled into a seismograph showing 40 kilometres below the surface of the earth. Continue Reading →

Advice from the cutting edge: Expert panel on innovation highlight of CEMI 10th annual general meeting – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – October 16, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

The reasons for mining innovation are many, so it made sense to hear from many voices who have made a living from offering it as a service.

The Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) held its 10th annual general meeting at Dynamic Earth Sept. 27 to a packed house eager to hear what the consortium had planned for the coming months. Along with board business and updates on new projects and products, the highlight was the panel discussion at the end featuring four people who have made a living offering cutting edge products and services to the industry at home and across the world.

Christine Haas, president of Renix; Chris Novak, president and CEO of Centric Mining Systems; Walter Siggelkow, founder and president of Hard-Line Solutions; and Michael Gribbons, vice-president of sales and marketing at Maestro Digital Mine comprised the panel, offering their insight to questions from moderator Dick DeStefano, executive director of Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association (SAMSSA), as well as from the audience. Continue Reading →

[Jannatec Technologies] Technology for deep underground – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – October 13, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

As early as next spring, Jannatec Technologies could debut the first components of its wearable technology, which will help cool underground miners, monitor their vital signs and enhance their overall health and safety.

A contributor to the Ultra-Deep Mining Network, the Sudbury-based company has been working for three years on the technology that will allow miners to work in mines that descend to 2.5 kilometres or more.

As mines get deeper, temperatures are hotter, miners are more isolated, and it takes longer to ascend to surface. Companies like Jannatec are developing technology to combat the heat, isolation and other challenges miners may encounter. Continue Reading →

Future of mining in Canada on CLEER path if ‘supercluster’ approved – by Angela Gemmill (CBC News Sudbury – October 12, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/

Project from CEMI, CMIC one of 9 vying for millions from Innovation, Science and Economic Development

A proposal with roots in Sudbury could see hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money to help improve the mining industry. Earlier this year, the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) in Sudbury and the Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) formed a partnership.

They teamed up to submit a clean resources proposal to the Federal Innovation Supercluster Initiative. A ‘supercluster’ is a consortium of stakeholders, including companies, post secondary institutions and not-for-profit organizations.

The federal government has $950-million to distribute towards the creation of five superclusters. Minister of innovation, sciences and economic development, Navdeep Bains will announced the five successful applicants next March. Continue Reading →

Ottawa narrows ‘superclusters’ hopefuls to nine industry groups – by Sean Silcoff (Globe and Mail – October 10, 2017)

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/

“We’re very happy to have been successful to this stage,” said Doug Morrison,
chief executive officer of the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation, who
is spearheading a shortlisted bid backed by many of Canada’s largest mining
firms, including Barrick Gold. Corp., to turn Canada into a leading source
of cleaner mining technology and industry practices.

“The industry needs to make major changes to its technology platforms. And
Canada, more than any other country except for Australia, is best capable
of making that transition.”

Ottawa has chosen nine industry consortiums that will qualify to receive $950-million under the Liberal government’s flagship innovation initiative known as its “superclusters” program, The Globe and Mail has learned.

Groups comprising Ontario mining giants, Quebec aerospace manufacturers, Prairie agriculture companies, Atlantic Canadian fishing and energy enterprises, Alberta construction firms and dozens of other prominent Canadian corporations are among the nine bidders selected by government officials from more than 50 letter-of-intent applications submitted in July. Full applications are due from shortlisted groups by Nov. 24, and the government plans to announce up to five finalists in early 2018. Continue Reading →