Archive | Mining Education and Innovation

Africa: 4th Industrial Revolution Disrupts Mining Sector – by Mthulisi Sibanda (All Africa.com – May 2019)

https://allafrica.com/

Johannesburg — THE South African mining industry is undergoing an extensive transformation amid the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) taking root in what is among the major sectors of the continent’s most advanced economy.

Mining forms the backbone of the South African economy and is responsible for a third of the country’s commodity exports. It is indirectly responsible for employment in associated industries, through its vast supply chain.

“The industry that everybody currently knows will be unrecognizable in five to seven years,” said Tony O’Neill, Technical Director at Anglo American. He was speaking ahead of the first 4IR in Mining Seminar in South Africa. Continue Reading →

Underground Robots: How Robotics Is Changing the Mining Industry – by Adityarup Chakravorty (Earth & Space Science News – May 13, 2019)

Earth & Space Science News

December 2018, Slovenia: A team of scientists, engineers, and technicians from a consortium of universities, organizations, and companies across Europe boldly prepare a robot to go where no robot has gone before.

The robot, UX-1, is prepped to enter and navigate the narrow, flooded passages of the Idrija mercury mine in western Slovenia. It’s a field test—UX-1’s second—to determine whether the robot can autonomously navigate the dark, murky waters of the closed mine and use its multispectral camera to recognize different minerals.

UX-1’s creators hope that one day it will be part of a multirobot platform called the Underwater Explorer for Flooded Mines (UNEXMiN) and be used for “non-invasive [and] autonomous 3D mine mapping for gathering valuable geological, mineralogical and spatial information…that cannot be obtained by any other ways, without major costs,” according to the project’s website. Continue Reading →

Innovation centre planning $4M expansion in Sudbury: NORCAT plans above-ground addition to its underground centre to meet demand – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – April 30, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

NORCAT is planning a $4-million expansion at its Sudbury underground centre to meet growing demand for the development, testing and commercialization of new mining technologies.

Situated northwest of the city in the community of Onaping, the underground facility was established in 1997 at the former operating Fecunis Adit Mine, previously owned by Falconbridge (now Glencore).

Don Duval, NORCAT’s CEO, noted the organization is the only non-profit regional innovation centre globally to have an operating mine dedicated to helping startup companies develop, test and demonstrate emerging technologies in an operating mine environment. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Canada Announces Six Crush It! Mining Challenge Finalists to Advance Toward $5-Million Grand Prize

MONTREAL, April 30, 2019 /CNW/ – Improving the energy efficiency of Canada’s mines is critical to our transition to a low-carbon economy. Finding and advancing innovative solutions that reduce energy use for crushing and grinding mined rock will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve productivity and help our mining industry become more competitive.

Paul Lefebvre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced the six finalists for Impact Canada’s Crush it!

Challenge at the 2019 Canadian Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum’s Convention. Each finalist is eligible to receive up to $800,000 to build and test his or her cleantech solution before advancing to the next stage of the challenge.

The finalists are: Continue Reading →

Why mine closure matters and why it gets ignored – by Alisha Hiyate (Canadian Mining Journal – January 1, 2017)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

Trends in mine closure from the Progressive Mine Forum

If you want to clear a room of miners, there are few better ways than to raise the topic of mine closure. At least, that’s sort of what happened at the Progressive Mine Forum in Toronto in late October.

The inaugural event, organized by The Northern Miner, was dedicated to discussing innovation in mining. After a day of roundtables discussing CSR, Big Data in exploration, and innovation in mine development, operations and finance, about half the audience got up and left when it came time for the final topic of the day – mine closure. (Watch the Mine Closure portion of the event.)

While mine closure may not be a sexy topic, it is an urgent one. “It’s the single most important thing that our industry does,” said Douglas Morrison, president and CEO of the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation. Continue Reading →

World’s largest copper producer brings AI to its mines – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – March 26, 2019)

http://www.mining.com/

Chile’s Codelco, the world’s No. 1 copper producer, will incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into its mines to monitor the health of mining equipment and ensure operations run efficiently, as part of a deal signed Tuesday with Chicago-based AI provider Uptake.

The move is part of an aggressive transformation of the state-miner, which is looking at adding fresh technologies to revitalizing some of its century-old mines.

Over the next ten years, Codelco plans to automate the operation of its mine fleets and processing plants, capture data and detect efficiencies as it continues to redefine its entire operational approach. Continue Reading →

Mindset needs to change in mining: Sudbury risks having “someone else eating our lunch,” says CEMI top executive – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – March 25, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Douglas Morrison says Sudbury’s mining sector has two choices: become a creator of change, or be a victim of it. That message had the attention of a packed auditorium at Dynamic Earth for the March 21 meeting of the Sudbury chapter of the Canadian Institute of Mining.

The CEO of the Centre of Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) explained long overdue major changes in operations are coming fast, but the industry is focusing too much on small areas like replacing machinery and digitization.

What really needs to change is the mindset of how entire mining operations are run. “If we want to make the process more efficient, we have to start at the back, not the front,” Morrison said. Continue Reading →

Mines could go nuclear in less than 10 years – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – March 15, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Historic panel talks “reliable, clean and cost-effective” energy being researched partly in Sudbury

Nuclear power is grabbing the attention of the mining industry, to the point where there is a real possibility there could be portable reactors powering mines in less than 10 years.

That was the news delivered at a first-of-its-kind panel discussion at the Prospectors and Developers Association’s (PDAC) annual convention, in Toronto on March 3.

The panel included Vic Pakalnis, president and CEO of Sudbury-based Mirarco, which is part of development of the technology to create small modular reactors (SMR); Diane Cameron of Natural Resources Canada; Ryan Blinn of Westinghouse Electric Company in Pittsburgh, Penn.; Corey McDaniel of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories in Chalk River, Ont.; Frank Saunders of Bruce Power in Tiverton; and Nathan Tedford from Hatch Ltd. in Mississauga. Continue Reading →

THE DRIFT: SymBot gleans data for improved mining operations – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – March 12, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Sudbury company on leading edge of data-mining software

When the world talks about the Sudbury mining supply and service cluster, it’s impossible not to think of Symboticware.

Specializing in the collection, storage and transmission of standardized data, the company is one of the pioneers that helped transform the city into the respected global centre of expertise it is today.

It’s led by its co-founder and president, Timmins-raised Kirk Petroski, who spent the first part of his career prospecting and conducting geotechnical work before transitioning into the digital side of the business, building websites and database portals for mining companies. Continue Reading →

[Consolidate Ontario’s Mine Engineering Programs at Laurentian] OPINION: Three wishes for the North: number two – by David Robinson (Northern Ontario Business – February 28, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Ontario needs Northern development, but the way it plays its major pieces is stuck in the 20th century.

Greg Rickford, minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, emphasized investing in people and technologies. For Northern development, that means investing in people and technologies in the North.

Last month I asked what to ask for if Premier Doug Ford gives us just three wishes. For wish one, I suggested that we lobby for a cross-laminated timber industry. For wish two, I suggest we ask for brains. I’m not saying we don’t have brains. I’m suggesting the research and educational facilities that support our Northern industries should be located in the North.

Right now, the province takes tax money from Northern Ontario taxes and buys brains for universities in the south. For example, of the three Ontario universities offering mining engineering programming – Laurentian, Queen’s and Toronto – two are in southern universities, hundreds of kilometres from where the mining happens. Continue Reading →

Sudbury conference imagines mining with no tailings or blasting – by Donald Macdonald (Sudbury Star – February 7, 2019)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Sudburians are used to feeling the shudders from underground blasting and seeing the night sky lit up from slag, but mines of the future could be much more subtle and efficient.

“One of the things we’re looking at is mining with no tailings,” said Carl Weatherell, executive director of the Canada Mining Innovation Council, at the Beyond Digital Transformation conference on Wednesday.

As well, companies are exploring how to “get rid of drill and blast,” he said, which apart from being dangerous is “perhaps not the most effective way to break rock and is not creating value.” Continue Reading →

Sudbury’s CEMI signs mining deal with university in Peru – by Staff (Sudbury Star – February 7, 2019)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

The Sudbury-based Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation has signed an agreement with university in Peru to develop and promote mine innovation.

Moises Ronald Vázquez Caicedo Ayras, president at the Universidad Nacional del Centro del Perú (UNCP), and Douglas Morrison, president and CEO of the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), said in a release they have signed a memorandum of understanding.

The deal is “a first step in developing a partnership to advance mining innovation programs that include technology and knowledge transfer, demonstration projects, skills development for students, faculty and professionals. Continue Reading →

Battery electric in mining here to stay: Panel of experts talk future and challenges of emerging technology at Sudbury event – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – January 18, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

The transition to battery electric vehicles in mining is well underway, but there remain technology issues that need to be addressed, said a panel of industry leaders in Sudbury, Jan.17. The discussion on electric vehicles brought a packed house to the Sudbury chapter of the Canadian Institute of Mining monthly general meeting at Science North.

The panel included Shane Wisniewski, general manager of mining projects at Glencore; Brian Huff, chief technology officer of Artisan Vehicles; Mike Mayhew, mine superintendent of Kirkland Lake Gold; Raphael Tiangco, superintendent of mobile fleet management at Vale; and Maarten van Koppen, senior project engineer at Goldcorp.

The panelists agreed that battery technology is the way of the future for deep hardrock mining, citing everything from cost savings, durability and health and safety. Tiango related his experiences underground when diesel was the dominant energy source. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Accent: Lots done, lots still to do, top biologist John Gunn (Living With Lakes Centre) says – by Donald Macdonald (Sudbury Star – January 12, 2019)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

John Gunn is a fisheries biologist who has for the past 25 years studied the effects of acid rain, climate change, and a variety of other environmental factors on coldwater fish communities. As the director of the Living with Lakes Centre in Sudbury and Canada Research Chair in Stressed Aquatic Systems, he is now leading a team of researchers in the study of the effects of multiple stressors on Shield ecosystems.

He is also investigating the recovery processes that operate once stressors are removed. Lakes near Sudbury, are particularly important for the recovery studies. Emissions of air pollutants in this area have declined by about 90 per cent in recent decades and many aquatic systems are beginning to recover. Here, he takes time to answer The Star’s 10 questions.

Forests are often described as the lungs of the planet, and freshwater as its lifeblood. Sudbury has plenty of both, although the former was missing for quite a while. Can you talk a bit about the relationship between the two and how regreening has benefited our lakes and rivers? Continue Reading →

A place in history: the Mackay School – by Karl Fendelander (Nevada Today – January 9, 2019)

https://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/

Born the School of Mines in Nevada in 1888, the Mackay School of Mines is more than just an iconic building sitting opposite Morrill Hall on the University of Nevada, Reno’s historic Quadrangle.

It was one of a handful of mining schools that opened around then at Land Grant Universities to teach those untrained Gold Rushers the science of extracting precious metals – and John William Mackay, one of those eager early miners armed with little more than ambition and a strong back, would come to change not only this mining school but the entire University.

Mackay spent time in the California Gold Rush mining camps before arriving to mine the Comstock Lode in Virginia City, where he went from penniless Irish immigrant to multi-millionaire and one of four Bonanza Kings known the world over in a few short decades. While his fellow Kings cut and ran with their riches to big cities, Mackay’s deep sense of gratitude to Nevada tethered him and his family. Continue Reading →