Mining Magazine Awards 2017: voting has closed

The final round of voting is now open for the MM Awards
Mining Magazine Awards 2017: voting has closed Mining Magazine Awards 2017: voting has closed Mining Magazine Awards 2017: voting has closed Mining Magazine Awards 2017: voting has closed Mining Magazine Awards 2017: voting has closed

Staff reporter

Voting has closed

The final round of voting is now open for the Mining Magazine Awards 2017. These annual awards recognise outstanding new technologies, initiatives and equipment performance in the mining sector over the past year across a range of categories.

Voting will close on November 30, and the winners will be announced in the January/February joint issue of Mining Magazine that comes out on Friday January 26, 2018.

The winners will be presented with commemorative brass miners’ lamps and certificates (you can see some of last year’s winners here).

See below for more information on the nominees.

Nominees

 

Exploration

 

Chris Drenth, Boart Longyear

As Boart Longyear’s director for engineering, Chris Drenth has been instrumental in rod and wireline development over the last 22 years. He is the inventor on 21 designs and 25 inventions that Boart Longyear has pursued patent protection for, including the RQTM thread and the XQTM rod thread. Drenth is well-respected in the industry and a leading rod expert, and is also known for mentoring young talent within Boart Longyear. As a valued contributor and innovator to the industry, Chris is often referred to as the ‘Rod Father’.

DET CRC RoXplorer coiled tubing drill rig

The RoXplorer drill rig for mineral exploration was launched at the Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre’s (DET CRC) sixth annual conference in Australia in December 2016. A coiled-tubing drill rig, it removes the need to connect individual drill rods, drilling at around one sixth the cost of conventional diamond-drilling techniques. Since its launch, it has undergone successful field trials in South Australia and Victoria, in both consolidated and unconsolidated cover rocks.

Imdex AMC BOS

Imdex launched its AMC Borehole Optimisation System (BOS) at the Elko Mining Expo in Nevada, US, in June. The system comprises the AMC BOS UNIT, an in-hole lubricating and casing-while-drilling tool and the AMC BOS FIX, a rapid fill lubricating grout. The AMC BOS can be used as a proactive approach to significantly improve diamond drilling productivity, on-site safety, reduce environmental impact and lower overall operational costs. On-site trials have shown savings of 77% in operational costs compared to holes using the traditional cementing/grouting method.

 

Software

 

Alight Mining Solutions

Alight Mining Solutions enterprise-class, cloud-based applications can make financial forecasting much easier and accessible to anyone from cost planning engineers to upper management. Alight connects to every part of the mining value chain and integrates with other source systems to reveal how operational decisions impact the company finances. The software allows users to make assessments at the mine site level in order to maximise value and innovation. Last but not least, Alight Mining Solutions rolls up all high-level aspects of the user’s sites and projects to understand the financial impacts of operational decisions throughout the enterprise.

Dingo Trakka 4.5

Dingo’s Trakka is a powerful, cloud-based condition management software system designed to house all of a mine’s asset health data under one roof. In September, Dingo launched Trakka 4.5 to help customers truly maximise on their sensor data. By enabling customers to capture and run powerful analytics on this high-frequency data, this version of Trakka is helping mines everywhere cut through the noise and transform an infinite sea of sensor data into actionable intelligence that drives results.

Global Mining Co Insightize

Global Mining Co’s Insightize is an executive decision support solution which is already implemented in a multi-national, multi-mine operation to give management insight into the current and future cash implications of their decisions and ideas. It can integrate and analyse all the fragmented business improvement initiatives generated by technology solutions, consultant and business initiatives. Insightize integrates these opportunities and analyses the real value on current and future performance, and can simulate an entire operation including mining, processing, and logistics by integrating the operating model, simulator, enterprise data, and advanced analytics. Insightize works on phone, tablet, and desktop and its outputs are achieved within a few hours instead of weeks or months.

 

Load and haul

 

Applied Fiber synthetic fibre dragline main boom pendants

Applied Fiber developed the first synthetic fibre dragline main boom pendants. Its advanced termination technology integrates high-tech fibre composite processing with key fibre inspection technologies, both of which were critical new innovations that made the product possible. The enabling technology allows mine operators to take advantage of the substantial weight savings and dampening properties of fibre when compared to steel wire and garner returns that are measurable to the bottom line. These benefits include increased capacity and material throughput along with a dramatic reduction in boom compression and fatigue, which both extends the lifecycle of the system and reduces maintenance and downtime. The technology can substantially increase performance and output of the largest equipment asset on the mine site.

Belaz 75476 LNG modification

In 2017 Belaz presented a new modification of its 45t 75476 mining dump truck, which is powered by a Kungur 550 gas reciprocating engine that uses only liquefied natural gas (LNG) as engine fuel. During the engine conversion process it became possible to increase its rated power up to 550hp (410kW) compared to the original engine’s 500hp. The truck is equipped with a cryogenic tank for storing 405L of LNG, which currently guarantees up to six hours of operation without refuelling. There is also an option for the bigger tank sufficient for 10 hours of operation. At the moment this truck is under the field testing in Russia.

Newtrax Mobile Equipment Telemetry

Newtrax’s Mobile Equipment Telemetry system for payload monitoring continuously monitors the payload in the bucket over time and analyses the variation of this payload curve over time to detect events such as: the loading event time stamp for LHDs and trucks; the number of bucket loads dumped in the truck; and the tonnes stuck at the bottom of bucket after dumping. The ability to monitor payload activities in real time from the surface eliminates the risk of erroneous data and time wasted due to operator input both over radio and through manual log sheets.

 

Drill and blast

 

Anaconda Mining

Overall, the mining industry has been considered a slow adopter of technology. But, at Anaconda, the culture of innovation thrives on it. The technologies the company uses in the pit include blast movement monitoring to track blast patterns and improve operation efficiency. The workers load selected holes in a pattern with high tech balls and survey them before and after a blast. The technology then tells them how much the ore has moved with incredible precision.

David Handel, BlastBoss

David Handel has designed a number of innovative products for the mining industry to reduce costs and effects on the environment. His BlastBoss products include plasma gel decking and structural water sealing barriers that have been developed to intensify and redirect explosive blast wave forces, delivering better rock fragmentation using significantly less explosive.

Paul Bird, ArcelorMittal (Canada)

In the face of persistently low iron ore prices, Paul Bird made the decision and commitment in 2016 to purchase and deploy technology to deliver autonomous blasthole drill operation at ArcelorMittal’s Mont Wright site in northern Quebec, Canada. This technology has proven capable of delivering significant savings through a reduction in production variability. These autonomous machines will serve as the catalyst for enabling additional technology deployments towards delivering profound business transformation across this operation.

 

Safety

 

Fabien Kritter and Mzwandile Buthelezi, Hexagon Mining and Kumba Iron Ore

Mzwandile Buthelezi of AngloAmerican Kumba Iron Ore and Fabien Kritter of Hexagon Mining were instrumental in the 2017 launch of HxGN Mine VIS, a vehicle intervention system for mining that detects and prevents collisions by automatically slowing down or even stopping a haul truck if an imminent collision is detected. Both worked together to develop a solution that would create an additional layer of safety around the collision avoidance system currently protecting vehicle operators at AngloAmerican Kumba Iron Ore’s Sishen mine in South Africa. HxGN Mine VIS is now being installed at the mine, well ahead of government regulations compelling mine operators to install vehicle intervention technology on vehicles by June 2019.

Heat Trap Solar

Heat Trap Solar has developed, in conjunction with Rio Tinto, a chiller for eyewash safety showers operating in remote hot environments. The chillers ensure the water dispensed from the eyewash safety showers is safe to use at all times, eliminating excess temperature and high risk levels of Legionella bacteria. The chillers inject a controlled amount of chilled water into the stream of water going to the eyewash safety shower to provide the flushing fluid at a stable safe tepid temperature. The chillers recirculate the water between the chiller and the eyewash safety shower passing it through a cooling coil and a UV steriliser. The chiller also dumps on a regular basis the stagnant water in the deadleg between the potable mains and the chiller, replacing it with fresh chlorinated water. The regular recirculation and UV sterilisation ensure Legionella colony-forming units (CFU)/mL counts are maintained well below the recommended safe limit of 100 CFU/mL.

Jaqueline Outram, rerisk

In 2012, Jaqueline Outram re-invested all of her funds to design, develop and launch rerisk – a cloud-based enterprise technology that enables employers to deliver all of the safety information their front line personnel need, when and where they need it. Launched publicly in 2016, rerisk supports both front line employees and on-site contractors and includes: Safety ecosystems that provide a thought-leadership forum to collaborate on standardisation; a dedicated communications platform for alerts, meetings and reports; reminders that are user-specific and activity-driven; central control over roles, relationships, authorities, risk limits, identity security and job libraries; and, most importantly, a rich multimedia interface that engages the front line to think. In addition, rerisk clients are invited to participate in rerisk ecosystems with the objectives of facilitating industry collaboration on safety best practices and redirecting billions of dollars of ineffective safety expenditure.

 

Environmental excellence

 

Apex Hydroseeders

Apex Hydroseeders has made considerable innovations in hydroseeding technology, which have greatly impacted the mining reclamation industry. The units feature powerful centrifugal pumps with vortex impellers, minimal twists and turns in the suction pipes, and durable stainless steel tanks. These features allow for optimal coverage with nearly any viscosity slurries and thicker abrasive material, which are challenging to use with traditional hydroseeding equipment. The features also allow hydroseeding installers to create a mix with the optimal organic content that will ensure proper site rehabilitation and sustainability. In addition, the Apex units stand up to the harsh environment associated with mining. The stainless steel tanks won’t rust or corrode and last longer than carbon steel tanks. Apex also developed the industry’s first 5,000 gallon (18.93m3) tank, helping applicators on some of the largest mining sites maximise efficiency.

Base Titanium Kenya

Base Titanium has been doing outstanding rehabilitation work at the tailings storage facility at its Kwale mineral sands project in Kenya. This includes the restoration of over 10 wetland areas, where drainage from the tailings storage facility was directed to flow into the former wetlands, and indigenous sedges and other aquatic vegetation were planted. The wetlands now provide an ideal habitat for both floral and faunal species, and colonies of the endangered Shimba Hills Reed frog and the Forest Leaf-folding frog have quickly re-established themselves. It has also established an indigenous tree nursery with 65,000 seedlings representing over 200 species successfully propagated, representing one of the largest of its kind in the country.

Haver & Boecker Hydro-Clean 1000 wash plant

With water restrictions and energy costs increasing, state and provincial governments are imposing water limitations on producers throughout North America. Such obstacles are pushing manufacturers to look for ways to improve component life, boost efficiency and create environmentally friendly solutions. Haver & Boecker introduced the Hydro-Clean 1000 wash plant in March, which reduces water use by 75% and energy use by 15% over traditional washing systems and is capable of using recycled water. The plant’s high-pressure water jets turn what would otherwise be waste into saleable material.

 

Mineral processing

 

Eriez Flotation Division coarse particle flotation technology

Eriez Flotation Division’s HydroFloat recovers coarse particles up to 6mm by applying flotation in a fluidised bed, and the company states it has created a paradigm shift in copper sulphide processing. The primary benefit is the flotation of very coarse material that is otherwise lost using conventional methods. HydroFloat combines the advantages of froth flotation and gravity separation and produces higher throughput capacity and reduces reagents and air consumption.

FLSmidth Rapid Oxidative Leach process

FLSmidth’s Rapid Oxidative Leach process, which is now entering large-scale testing, enables leaching of chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) which is the most abundant type of copper ore at 75% of global copper supply. This makes it feasible to produce cathode copper on site with existing equipment (SX-EW from the oxide ore leaching), including arsenic containing minerals that smelters penalise/reject, instead of transporting to smelters. The company is currently testing the process on refractory gold with very positive results.

Maelgwyn Mineral Services Aachen Shear Reactor

2017 has been a landmark year for Maelgwyn Mineral Services’ Aachen Shear Reactor. It has been utilised at all of Randgold Resources’ gold processing operations in Africa, including being instrumental in maintaining high recoveries at the Kibali gold mine in the DRC as this year the operation moved from processing oxide ore through transition ore to primary sulphides. The technology also assisted Avesoro Resources’ New Liberty gold mine in Liberia improve its cyanide destruction process and allow it to return to production after the operation was halted due to high cyanide levels in the tailings discharge. The Aachen reactor is essentially a highly efficient mass transfer device which increases the dispersion of a gas into a solution or slurry whilst at the same time introducing significant amounts of shear to remove passivating films. The main applications to date have been in the pre-oxygenation of gold mining slurries prior to cyanide leaching. It is however now also being used as part of the Leachox process to treat more refractory ores and also, in the tail end of the plant, to improve the efficiency of the SO2/air cyanide destruction process.

 

Bulk handling

 

Martin Engineering

The company published the world’s first aggregation of global best practices dedicated to reducing conveyor risk and injuries. ‘Foundations for Conveyor Safety’ provides a collection of information assembled specifically to help conveyor system operators achieve safe production, including methodology for calculating the payback from safety investments. The volume was produced in collaboration with experts in bulk material handling, and is designed to educate readers by identifying hazards, danger zones and unsafe work practices around conveyors, helping raise awareness among management, operators and maintenance personnel.

Mining3 DAS solution

The Mining3 distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) team has developed a technology that can remotely detect faults and failures of rollers on a conveyor belt using fibre optics, which is moving closer to commercialisation. The technology is capable of constantly monitoring an entire conveyor system and alerting operators off-site to potential failures before they happen. The project is undergoing a further round of site trials in order to improve the diagnostic capabilities and reliability of the system before conversion to a pre-production prototype.

Superior Industries

Superior Industries has undergone a huge expansion in the last few years, transforming from a conveyor supplier to a company that supplies a range of bulk material processing and handling systems including crushers, screens, and washers. At Conexpo 2017, the company stated that it has launched 95 products in the three years since Conexpo 2014, with "the largest single new product display at a booth in the history of Conexpo". Since then it has also expanded its conveyor components accessories line with the release of the Impact Cradle.

 

Technology

 

Don MacLean, MacLean Engineering

As an underground miner in Sudbury in the 1960s, Don MacLean saw first-hand the rapid replacement of electric tram cars with diesel-powered mobile equipment. Now almost 50 years later and in his retirement year, at 80 years old, he is at the forefront of bringing battery electric mobile equipment alternatives to the underground mining environment. For example, MacLean Engineering was chosen to supply a fleet of battery powered mobile underground mining equipment to begin development and eventual production at Goldcorp’s Borden gold project in Ontario, Canada.

Dr Dean Millar, Electrale Innovation

After completing a multi-year innovation project through Ultra-Deep Mining Network in Canada, Electrale officially opened its Hydraulic Air Compression Demonstrator in Sudbury, Ontario in June. This technology provides an energy efficient alternative to conventional mechanical air compression that promises up to 50% savings in lifecycle cost for mine operators and other industrial scale users of pneumatic power, and could be a significant disruption to the over C$20 billion a year industrial air compressor industry.

RCT Geofence package

RCT recently played an integral role in delivering a dynamic multiple Geofence package that was successfully interfaced to fixed and mobile asset elements within the boundaries of a coarse ore stockpile at the multi-billion-dollar Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia. This allows two ControlMaster Teleremote-operated Cat D11T dozers to operate seamlessly in the area without any risk of collision with the fixed stacker infrastructure or the dozers falling into the vaults or driving off the stockpile boundary. Operators have been removed from the dozers and now control them from the comfort of an operator station, away from potential hazards. There were numerous factors that had to be taken into consideration for the Geofence to work effectively and RCT worked effectively with Roy Hill and collision technology provider SITECH to make it possible.

 

Service and support

 

Darvin Dwyer, Total Specialties USA

Darvin Dwyer is Total Specialties USA's national sales manager. The entire team at Total drew from previous experiences when selecting the location to build the new petrochemical plant which produces diluents for solvent extraction and electrowinning operations. The plant's location, outside of the refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, ensured that it would remain operational during Hurricane Harvey in August. This prevented the supply of diluents to mines from being disrupted.

International Women in Mining

International Women in Mining is the fastest growing network for women in the mining industry, with 9,700 members in over 100 countries, liaising with and supporting 45+ WiM groups around the world. It ran the International Women in Mining Impact and Influence Photo Competition 2017, receiving over 200 images that illustrate the significant positive contributions that women are making in achieving an inclusive, thriving, safe and responsible mining industry. The competition celebrated the contribution women are making to the industry, advancing the cause of inclusion, and showcasing mining as an attractive industry to work in.

Metso Life Cycle Services

Metso's Life Cycle Services (LCS) can help mines by supplementing their current team or taking complete responsibility for key activities and offering a commercial model aligned to the mine’s business goals. Anglo American’s Los Bronces copper mine in Chile entered a LCS mechanical maintenance contract with Metso for the mine’s primary crushing plant that was put in motion in 2010. Under the LCS contract, equipment availability experienced an important increase in 2016 compared to 2015, with a 0.6% improvement on the crushing line 1 and a 2.1% increase in availability on line 2. This is equivalent to a 22% decrease in corrective maintenance time in 2016 compared with 2015, and a 69% reduction in total maintenance time in the same period. The improvements were achieved with zero accidents.