Archive | Mining Education and Innovation

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 →

Five developments that will shape the year ahead for miners – by Matthew Parizot (CIM Magazine – December 20, 2018)

http://magazine.cim.org/en/

What is the beginning of a new year without a few predictions for the months ahead? For a glimpse into the future of the industry, skip the crystal ball and ponder the trends that are gaining traction right now.

Tracing metals on blockchain

Blockchain has moved beyond its origins in the cryptocurrency craze, and has demonstrated it can have value for multiple industries, including mining, where the technology has the potential to bring the buying and selling of precious metals into the digital age.

In simple terms, blockchain acts as a secure digital ledger that records all transactions publicly and chronologically. Already some companies are beginning to explore blockchain as a means to facilitate purchases of metals and minerals. In January, De Beers launched Tracr, a digital platform for trading diamonds, and partnered with Alrosa on its pilot in late October. Continue Reading →

Vale aiming to digitize operations: Battery-electric vehicle industry pushing transformation in Sudbury mines – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – December 20, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Nickel is in demand right now, and that’s largely thanks to its role in the burgeoning battery-electric vehicle sector. It’s good news for producers like Vale, but as the technology advances rapidly, one question remains: how can the miner produce enough of the metal to keep up with the industry?

“Our biggest concern, actually, is where does the nickel come from, and we don’t think we can build the plants fast enough, unless we find alternative, cheaper ways to actually start delivering that metal to market,” said Alistair Ross, the director of mining and milling for Vale’s North Atlantic base metals operations.

“We believe innovation is the access to that.” Speaking to mining supply and service providers during the Dec. 10 annual meeting of the Sudbury Area Mining Service and Supply Association (SAMSSA), Ross said Vale is working to digitize every stage of ore production, from exploration through to market, and do so “at the right cost.” Continue Reading →

Mining outlook reveals employment and education gaps – by Tyler Nyquvest (Business in Vancouver – December 12, 2018)

https://biv.com/

A recent report on Canada’s mining sector suggests that there may soon be a rebound in the industry, but it warns that a drop in the number of mining engineering graduates needs to be countered with educational reform to achieve sustainability.

The Mining Industry Human Resources Council’s (MiHR) annual Canadian Mining Labour Market Outlook 2019 notes declining enrolment in mining engineering programs and highlights key occupational gaps in mining employment on- and off-site. According to the study, undergraduate mining engineering program enrolment dropped 12% between 2015 and 2016, the largest decline of all engineering programs.

“Changes are happening so fast in the industry, it is very difficult to keep up,” said Scott Dunbar, associate professor at the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Continue Reading →

Barrick Gold Retreats From Digital Reinvention – by Alistair MacDonald and Jacquie McNish (Wall Street Journal – December 6, 2018)

https://www.wsj.com/

CEO Mark Bristow plans to sell a variety of noncore core assets, cut costs and shrink head-office management

Barrick Gold Corp. ABX +2.11% , the world’s largest gold miner, is selling a research-and-development company it owns and is cutting staff hired to lead what executives had called a digital reinvention, championed by Executive Chairman John Thornton, people familiar with the matter said.

The move comes shortly after the company agreed to buy Randgold Resources Ltd. GOLD +2.13% for $6 billion in an all-share merger—a move that would solidify Barrick as the world’s largest gold producer by output.

That merger is set to close in January, and incoming Chief Executive Mark Bristow has said he plans to sell a variety of noncore assets, cut costs and shrink head-office management in an effort to delegate more authority to regional mining operations. Continue Reading →

How Swedish Mining Automation Group is sparking digital disruption in the Canadian mining sector – by Laura Mullan (Gigabit Magazine – December 04, 2018)

https://www.gigabitmagazine.com/

Business Sweden Canada with partners from the Swedish mining industry has created SMAG to help the mining sector evolve into a more sustainable and innovative industry

Mining is often cited as one of the last remaining industries to be disrupted by technology, but that is changing quickly.

From driverless trucks to robotic drills, digitisation is quickly bringing a new measure of safety to mines. It’s also boosting the efficiency of how we obtain the precious minerals needed to make everything from modern cars to devices. In the coming years, mining automation is primed for explosive growth, and it seems that one Nordic country is set to be at the epicentre of it all.

Sweden may be a small mining nation but when it comes to mining technology, it’s considered to be in a league of its own. Looking to collaborate and foster innovation in the mining sector, six Swedish mining technology firms have joined forces with Business Sweden to create the Swedish Mining Automation Group (SMAG). Continue Reading →

IBM’s Watson takes a deep look at Red Lake: Goldcorp using artificial intelligence analytics to hunt for gold – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – November 26, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

IBM’s Watson supercomputer is being employed to help look for gold in northwestern Ontario’s Red Lake mining camp. Goldcorp and the U.S. tech giant have teamed up for an “innovative first” with a new product – IBM Exploration with Watson – that employs artificial intelligence to predict the potential for gold mineralization using exploration data sets from the company’s Red Lake Gold Mines.

A Nov. 26 Goldcorp news release said IBM Exploration with Watson help geologists find key information in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional methods through the use of spatial analytics, machine learning, and predictive models.

“The potential to radically accelerate exploration target identification combined with significantly improved hit rates on economic mineralization has the potential to drive a step-change in the pace of value growth in the industry,” said Todd White, Goldcorp’s executive vice-president and chief operating officer in a Nov. 26 statement. Continue Reading →

Feds kick in $5M for ‘innovative’ all-electric Borden Mine – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – October 29, 2018)

https://www.timminspress.com/

With Goldcorp betting hundreds of millions of dollars on the future of its new Borden Lake gold mine project near Chapleau, the federal government has chipped in with $5 million to show its faith in the project and others like it.

CHAPLEAU – With Goldcorp betting hundreds of millions of dollars on the future of its new Borden Lake gold mine project near Chapleau, the federal government has chipped in with $5 million to show its faith in the project and others like it.

Federal Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi toured the new mine facility on Monday with Goldcorp officials and technical representatives of the mining equipment manufacturers who are working to make it the first all-electric underground mine in Canada, which is considered a major environmental improvement for the mining industry. Continue Reading →