Archive | Mining Education and Innovation

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 →

Want to innovate? Abandon current models, says mining executive – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – October 22, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Managing director of McEwan Mining tells Sudbury audience real industry change comes from original ideas

Is there really innovation in mining? And if not, how can the industry really foster technical changes for its long-term future?

Those were the main topics of discussion at the Student Night event of the Sudbury chapter of the Canadian Institute of Mining on Oct. 18, with speaker Nathan Stubina, managing director of McEwen Mining, Inc.

He gave an interactive discussion on whether or not mining innovation is an oxymoron, fielding questions from the audience to gauge perceptions and opinions. The at-capacity audience at Dynamic Earth included about 90 students, most of them in mining and engineering programs. Continue Reading →

Vale touts collective future of mining – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – October 5, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Company executive gives update on progress of technology upgrades focusing on Sudbury operation

The hive mentality is coming to mining, with the intention of making the industry more efficient, safer and ultimately sustainable. Vale Canada’s progress in that area was the subject of the season opening meeting of the Sudbury chapter of the Canadian Institute of Mining on Sept. 20.

Samantha Espley, Vale’s general manager of mines and mills, technical services department in Sudbury, gave the featured presentation on the company’s road map for its operations.

The physical and technological changes are part of a grander plan to change the behaviour of how different sections work in the mines, bringing them together to work as one large hub, all sharing data to make operational decisions in real time. Continue Reading →

Innovators talk Sudbury’s technology future – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – October 2, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Gribbons had a more pragmatic approach. He explained the city should
be working with its strength in mining. Sudbury is known worldwide as
a hard rock mining centre with decades of experience in the basin.
“We have mining intelligence that you don’t see anywhere else in the
world,” he said. “So when you look to playing with your strengths,
you try find an unfair advantage. We have one in mining technology.”

Growing Sudbury’s technology sector means entrepreneurs must create marketable products and investors must be there to support their efforts. A Sept. 20 forum, hosted by Sudbury CodeOp, featured three different perspectives on doing business in Sudbury as an entrepreneur in the region’s technology sector.

A panel discussion featured Peter Dal Bianco, founder of Bianco’s Group of Companies; Michael Gribbons, vice-president of sales and marketing for Maestro Digital Mine and founder of Synergy Controls Corporation; and Kyle McCall, manager of the NORCAT Innovation Mill. Continue Reading →

The future of mining: eight bold industry predictions – by Talal Husseini (Mining Technology – September 26, 2018)

https://www.mining-technology.com/

Technological advances in the areas of artificial intelligence, automation and blockchain are beginning to permeate the age-old profession. Mining Technology asks industry experts to give their insight into how such developments will shape the future of mining.

The clever implementation of digital technologies like the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and automation could transform mining, making it safer, more productive, efficient, sustainable, and profitable, and therefore better able to take on the challenges it faces.

When we consider that over the last 15 years, the average cost of producing copper has risen by more than 300%, while the grade has dropped by 30%, these new efficiencies offer a cost-effective way to increase profitability. Continue Reading →

McGill receives $5-million gift from noted Canadian geologist Bob Wares (McGill University News – September 26, 2018)

https://www.mcgill.ca/

Donation will support Faculty of Science and Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

As an entrepreneurial geologist, Bob Wares, (BSc’79, DSc’12), became a mining rock star when he discovered one of Canada’s largest gold deposits in the Abitibi region of Quebec. Now, he is bringing that Midas touch to his alma mater in the form of a landmark $5-million gift that will support research programs, fellowships, innovative research, a lecture series and outreach efforts in McGill University’s Faculty of Science, with a particular focus on his home department, Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS).

The gift will provide immediate impact for students and faculty in five targeted areas:

– the Wares Science Innovation Prospectors Fund, designed to support innovative, high-risk research by funding up to four promising projects a year from researchers across the Faculty of Science;

– a Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator Fund, supporting the activities of a coordinator to liaise with CEGEPs and high schools in an effort to attract more students to EPS studies at McGill; Continue Reading →

Wanted: Canadian moon rover, space mining technology – by Jim Bronskill (CBC News Technology – September 25, 2018)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/

With an eye on future lunar exploration, Canada’s space agency is calling on companies to present their ideas for everything from moon-rover power systems to innovative mineral prospecting techniques.

The Canadian Space Agency issued the tender this week for projects that will put Canada in position to contribute to future space missions involving human and robotic exploration of the moon.

The idea is to demonstrate technologies at agency headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Que., next year with possible follow-up testing in the Canary Islands in 2020. Canada is already quietly working with space agencies in Europe, Japan and the United States on the next phases of exploring the final frontier. Continue Reading →