Archive | Mining Education and Innovation

[South Africa] Reviving King of Gold Means Getting Mine Workers Off Their Knees – by Kevin Crowley (Bloomberg News – March 24, 2017)

During his early years as a miner in South Africa, Joas Mahanuque spent six hours a day on his knees drilling for Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. The dust-filled tunnels half a mile underground were too low for him to stand, and temperatures reached 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).

Today, he has essentially the same job 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) beneath the surface for Gold Fields Ltd. But unlike most of the precious-metals miners in the country, Mahanuque sits comfortably atop a new 7-ton vehicle, using a joystick to control an 8-foot drill as ventilated air blows behind him.

“It’s not hard,” the 37-year-old said while taking a break under the bright tunnel lights of South Deep, the country’s only fully mechanized underground gold mine. “You just sit and operate and make money.” Continue Reading →

Sudbury’s Bio-Mine impresses mining convention (Sudbury Star – March 10, 2017)

The Canadian Press – TORONTO — Programmable bacteria, a gold-sniffing camera and a virtual reality tool for taking investors underground were among the innovations on display at the world’s biggest annual mining convention in Toronto this week.

Their makers say these and other technologies have the potential to reshape the mining industry at every stage — from financing and exploration to extraction and cleaning up sites once the metal is gone.

Some veterans of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention say such innovation is badly needed in an industry traditionally resistant to change.“There’s a lot of inertia in our business,” said George Salamis, chairman of Vancouver-based Integra Gold Corp. (TSXV:ICG). Continue Reading →

Expanding Sudbury’s research ‘culture’ (Sudbury Star – March 9, 2017)

Cambrian College and Laurentian University announced an agreement Wednesday they say will boost research and innovation in Northern Ontario.

The agreement facilitates the creation of collaborative partnerships and enables faculty, students and staff at both institutions to pursue large-scale research projects, Cambrian and Laurentian said in a joint press release.

The schools will share professional expertise, facilities, equipment, and administrative services, the release said, in order to boost innovation, productivity and results. Continue Reading →

Digital disruption rocks the mining world – by Jesse Winter (Toronto Star – March 8, 2017)

Telling the world where to find your gold may seem anathema to many old-school prospectors, but that’s exactly what Integra Gold chair George Salamis told a packed room of geologists, prospectors and investors to do.

After all, he’s done it himself. Salamis spoke at the 2017 Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference in Toronto this week. The conference brings together prospectors, mining companies, industry leaders and potential investors every year with an eye to new trends and developments in the mineral exploration world.

In 2015 Integra Gold open-sourced the data on its Lamaque project in Val-d’Or, Que. The project has nearly 900,000 ounces of high-grade gold indicated and another 1 million ounces inferred across six deposits. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: CEMI Celebrates 10 Years of Achieving Mining Innovation for the Global Metal Mining Industry

(L to R): Zachary Mayer, Manager, Mine Technical Services, Kidd Operations – Glencore Canada; Moderator: TVO’s The Agenda Steve Paikin; Rick Howes, President & Chief Executive Officer, Dundee Precious Metals; Mayor of Greater Sudbury Brian Bigger; MP Paul Lefebrvre; Deputy Minister for MDNM, David de Launay; Fred Stanford, President & CEO, Torex Gold Resources Inc; MP Marc Serre; Douglas Morrison, President & CEO, CEMI; Conor Spollen, Chief Operating Officer, Canada & UK, Vale Canada Limited; and Dominic Giroux, President, Laurentian University.

Toronto, ON (March 6, 2017) – CEMI (Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation) celebrates its 10-year anniversary of delivering innovations to the global mining industry to a packed house with a series of presentations and an Industry-led Panel at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) 2017 annual conference. The celebration highlighted CEMI’s results and dedication to delivering technical solutions to the mining industry through innovation and commercialization.

Mark Cutifani, CEO, Anglo American, remarked “I was honoured to be part of a team comprising representatives from industry, government and academia that helped create CEMI. Under the leadership of Douglas Morrison, CEMI has continued to evolve to support the needs of the industry.

The most important transition has been the focus on innovation at the high end of the Technology Readiness scale. CEMI continues to work with a wide range of mining service and supply companies, academic institutions, SMEs, OEMs and start-ups to bring new products and services to the market and I am honoured to have been part of their genesis.” Continue Reading →

Sudbury’s Bio-Mine up for $1-million prize – by Ben Leeson (Sudbury Star – March 1, 2017)

Yet another right-here-in-Sudbury story is unfolding before our eyes, and on March 5, in front of some 400 mining company executives, government officials and other heavy hitters at the finale of #DisruptMining, a high-stakes mining innovation contest, in Toronto.

Bio-Mine Ltd., a Sudbury-based company, is one of five finalists getting reading to pitch their “game-changing environmental technology” at the Shark Tank-style event, with $1 million on the line.

“You couldn’t ask for that kind of earshot marketing,” said Bio-Mine CEO Kurtis Vanwallegham, who founded the company along with Dr. Vasu Appanna. “It would have taken us a year, two years, to do that, so just the fact that many decision-makers in the recovery and remediation sector are sitting in that room is key. Obviously, we’re there to win, and a million-dollar injection would be a springboard for us, but the most important part for us is actually the crowd itself in one room, getting that many people.” Continue Reading →

A snapshot of mining R&D activity in Ontario – by Alisha Hiyate (Canadian Mining Journal – February 1, 2017)

As part of its “Innovation Agenda” the federal government announced last year that it would invest $800 million over four years to support research and innovation in five key sectors of Canada’s economy.

The identity of those sectors is still uncertain, but with the funding expected to flow starting this year, we’ll soon find out if mining is one of them.

What is certain is that Canada’s mining sector could use more investment: We only spend about $550 million annually on mining R&D and innovation compared with $2.8 billion in Australia. Continue Reading →

Could a virus spell the end of acid rock drainage? – by Molly Lempriere (Mining – February 6, 2017)

Microbes are an intrinsic element of the mining process, bringing both beneficial and dangerous side-effects. Naturally occurring micro-organisms are inevitably exposed during excavation, causing chemical reactions that vary from site to site.

Companies as large as Vale and Rio Tinto have begun to use microbes to their advantage with biomining techniques that capitalise on waning resources as regulations tighten.

Research into microbes at mine sites continues to yield benefits; one new study by the University of British Columbia (UBC) has managed to identify and isolate microbes involved in acid rock drainage (ARD). This will enable strategies to counteract the damaging effects of ARD, giving mine sites control over the microbes within them and further minimising the environmental effects of mining. Continue Reading →

‘Urban mining’: UBC engineers say e-waste more lucrative than ore pulled from the ground – by Randy Shore (Vancouver Province – January 16, 2017)

Electronic waste is proving to be a far richer source of valuable metals than any ore pulled from the ground, according to mining engineers at the University of British Columbia.

PhD student Amit Kumar and professor Maria Holuszko have succeeded in “mining” copper and silver from LED lights, and they are certain that rare earth metals such as europium, cerium and lutetium can also be recovered.

Light Emitting Diodes are gaining popularity as a highly efficient alternative to incandescent and fluorescent lights and represent an increasing proportion of e-waste and a potential source of metal pollution, said Holuszko. Continue Reading →

[Mining education and research innovation] LU head proud university in ‘new league’ – by Staff (Sudbury Star – January 16, 2017)

Laurentian University president Dominic Giroux can look back on several accomplishments in 2016, including tens of millions in new government funding and donations for the university, as well as record enrolment, and his personal appointment as vice-chair of Universities Canada from October 2016 to October 2017, and as chair from October 2017 to 2019, among other honours.

Originally appointed as president in 2009, Giroux has seen many of his plans for Laurentian come to fruition, with many parts of an ambitious 2012-2-17 Strategic Plan already implemented.

He has faced his share of challenges, too, such as the tough decision to suspend programs at Laurentian’s Barrie campus earlier this year. Giroux took some time over the holidays to reflect on his near-eight-year tenure as president and the year that was in 2016, and to talk about his future vision for Laurentian University. Continue Reading →

The Mine of the Future Is Run by Drones – by Corin Faife ( – January 10, 2017)

Like the famous canaries that were first brought into coal mines from the early 1900s to detect carbon monoxide, creative solutions have long been used to mitigate some of the risk inherent in mining.

Even so, human bodies have long borne the brunt of this cramped and strenuous occupation, from the creeping ‘black lung’ of coal miners to blasting injuries from explosive flyrock. So it’s good news that the new frontier in mining is to remove them from proximity to physical danger as much as possible, perhaps one day entirely.

That’s why automation is a big deal in heavy industries like mining and construction. Leading names of the industry, like British-Australian firms Rio Tinto and BHP and Canada’s Barrick Gold, are all investing large sums of money in automating more and more of the process of mining, including an increasing use of driverless vehicles. Continue Reading →

Sudbury’s SNOLAB gets $28.6 million – by Staff (Sudbury Star – January 10, 2017)

A Sudbury-based cutting-edge, awarding-winning physics experiment has received a $28.6-million funding boost. SNOLAB, located deep inside Vale Ltd.’s Creighton Mine, is among 17 research facilities receiving support through Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Major Science Initiative fund.

The Major Science Initiative fund aims to secure and strengthen state-of-the-art national research facilities, enabling Canadian researchers to undertake world-class research, contribute to technology development and drive innovation.

The funding announced Monday will sustain scientific excellence at SNOLAB and ensure the facility maintains a leadership role in the global deep underground research community, the .Canada Foundation for Innovation said. Continue Reading →

China, South Africa to match mine wits – by Staff (Mining Journal – December 16, 2016)

South Africa and China will look to match – or possibly exceed – Australia’s leading position in underground mine communications and geospatial informatics through the extended mining research partnership between the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and China University of Mining and Technology (CUMT).

Wits and CUMT earlier this month established the Joint International Research Laboratory of China-Africa Mining Geospatial Informatics at a ceremony in Xuzhou, China.

The collaboration, underway since January 2013, has directed research funds into underground communication systems, risk measurement through sensors, risk modelling and prediction of harm, but the new initiative will focus on accurately locating workers relative to mine risks, using GPS-like underground positioning. Continue Reading →

Mining Digs Deep for Automation Help – by Aaron Hand (Automation World – December 14, 2016)

When it comes to remote operations, process industries have some of the remotest, toughest conditions out there. Take that a step further—or higher or lower—and you’ve got mining. Control engineers are trying to get mining operations up and running high on mountain tops, out in the driest deserts, amid political unrest, or a mile or more below ground, struggling with connectivity or even power lines.

When trying to commission a new mine or upgrade an existing operation, chances are you want to make extra sure you get it right the first time.

Red Chris Mine is an open pit copper and gold mine in northwest British Columbia, Canada, owned by Imperial Metals. It’s a remote location on top of a mountain, near Alaska. Spartan Controls, the integrator that worked to get the mine up and running about a year and a half ago, is based in Vancouver, B.C. To get to the operation from the southern part of the province requires three flights followed by a two-hour bus ride. Continue Reading →

Sudbury company keeps miners safe using IoT sensors – by Staff (Sudbury Star – December 5, 2016)

Maestro Mine Ventilation, a Sudbury company, was recognized last week for its commercial success during the second Ultra Deep Mining Network symposium in the Nickel City. UDMN presented Maestro with its Outstanding Achievement in Commercialization award for a technical innovation which ensures the safety of underground miners.

“The rapid commercial sale of this product to some of the deepest mines in the world is a testament that Maestro’s efforts combined with UDMN funding and guidance can in fact bring technology faster to market which in turn benefits the mining industry and Canadians,” the network said in a press release.

The focus of the $35 million Ultra-Deep Mining Network (UDMN), which has 76 member companies across Canada, is to help to solve the challenge of mining in ultra-deep environments. Continue Reading →