The Decline of South African Gold Mining....read more

Liners for the Grinders.... read more

Major Open-Pit Copper Mines Move Underground......read more

Powerful Design Tools—and Common Sense— Can Control Conveyor Cost and Complexity Issues......read more

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Four Factors to Fix First - The troubling state of world affairs—European contagion, a Chinese mandated economic slowdown and an anti-business administration in Washington—has investors worried about risk again. They are pulling money out of commodities and riskier investments, such as developing economies that usually hinge on commodities.
Prices for most mined commodities took a hit in the last month. The exception would be gold and silver. Copper, for instance, pulled back more than 7% to $2.93/lb. That is a respectable price, but it was trading comfortably above $3/lb. Other base metals did not fare as well. Could this be a period of slight correction before the next big rally or is the global economy  ........ read more......... read more

                                          Steve Fiscor, Editor in Chief


2010 Vol 05 - CONTENTS

Report Says Mining...

Hydro Acquiring Vale...

Anglo American Asset...

Aura Minerals Closes...


'This month in coal'

Suppliers Reports & Equipment Gallery

US & Canada

Latin America




Conferences & Exhibitions

Product Videos




Report Says Mining Industry in Next Phase of the Boom, but Short-Term Volatility Remains
According to a new report titled "Mine-Back to the Boom" from Pricewaterhouse Coopers, it was a tale of two halves in 2009 for the global mining industry. The trends seen at the end of 2008 continued into the beginning of 2009, with commodity prices continuing to fall, tough price negotiations with customers an issue and challenging market conditions overall. As the year went on, however, companies responded by restructuring their balance sheets, closing mines and cutting production to reduce costs......... read more

Hydro Acquiring Vale Bauxite, Alumina and Aluminum Assets
Crowflight Minerals reported on April 6, 2010, China-based Jinchuan Group had submitted an offer to acquire all of Crowflight’s common shares for an aggregate cash payment of C$150 million. Crowflight’s primary asset is its underground Bucko Lake nickel mine near Wabowden, Manitoba, Canada. Jinchuan is the largest producer of nickel, cobalt and platinum in China, and a significant producer of copper. The offer represented a premium of 47.3% to the closing price of Crowflight common shares....... read more



Anglo American Asset Sale Makes HZL Top Zinc Producer
Vedanta Resources and Anglo American announced an agreement on May 10 whereby Vedanta is purchasing Anglo American Zinc for a total consideration of $1.338 billion, with economic ownership transferred from January 1, 2010. The purchase is being undertaken through Hindustan Zinc Ltd. (HZL), a wholly-owned Vedanta subsidiary, and is structured as three separate transactions for purchase of Anglo American’s integrated, 100%-owned Skorpion zinc mine and refinery in Namibia for $698 million, its 74% interest in Black Mountain Mining in South Africa for $332 million, and its Lisheen zinc..... read more

Aura Minerals Closes São Francisco and São Vicente Acquisitions
Aura Minerals reported in late April 2010 it had completed acquisition of the São Francisco and São Vicente gold mines in Brazil from Yamana Gold. Plans for the transaction were first announced in June 2009. The two open-pit, heap leach operations are expected to produce a combined total of about 140,000 oz/y of gold. While awaiting closure of the transaction, Aura completed a detailed operational review at both mines and now plans to undertake initiatives to improve operating efficiencies.... read more
IOC Restarts Expansion Program
Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) reported on May 6, 2010, it had received approval from its shareholders to resume a C$435-million expansion program to increase its concentrate capacity by 4 million mt/y to 22 million mt/y by 2012. The investment is the first stage of a three-stage expansion program that could increase IOC’s concentrate capacity to 26 million mt/y. Initially approved in March 2008, the expansion program was suspended later that year as the global financial crisis impacted markets worldwide..... read more
Teck Proceeding with Aqqaluk Development
Teck Resources reports that Teck Alaska is proceeding with development of the Aqqaluk deposit at its Red Dog mine in northwest Alaska. The go-ahead decision followed discussions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning the status of the renewal of Red Dog’s main water discharge permit and an internal review of Teck’s operating plans for the deposit. Teck had previously announced in mid-February 2010 that.... read more


Consolidated Thompson to Double Bloom Lake Production
Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines announced in mid-May 2010 receipt of a positive feasibility study for an increase in production capacity at its Bloom Lake iron mine in Quebec, Canada, from 8 million to 16 million mt/y of 66.5% Fe concentrate. Consolidated Thompson started production at Bloom Lake during the first quarter of 2010, and deliveries under previously signed off-take agreements were scheduled to begin in June. Based on the results of the feasibility study, Thompson’s board of directors has approved .... read more


AROUND THE WORLD - Latin America
Barrick Reports Progress at Three Latin American Projects
In its first-quarter 2010 report, Barrick Gold provided the following updates on its Pueblo Viejo, Pascua-Lama and Cerro Casale gold development projects. The Pueblo Viejo project in the Dominican Republic is advancing on schedule and in line with its $3-billion pre-production capital budget (100% basis), with overall construction nearly 20% complete and initial production anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2011. At the end of the first quarter, approximately two-thirds of the capital had been…… read more
Expomin Attracts 65,000
Expomin, a biennial event regarded as Latin America’s largest mining equipment exposition, was held in mid-April this year. More than 65,000 visitors attended the five-day trade show and conference to view the latest miningrelated products, consult with 1,200 exhibitors from 36 countries spread over an exhibit area of more than 65,000 m2, and listen to technical…. read more
AROUND THE WORLD - Australasia
Flying Fox Takes Off to Meet 2011 Nickel Production Target
One of the highest grade nickel deposits— and one of the lowest cost nickel mines in the world—at Forrestania, about 400 km east of Perth, Western Australia, is on track to meet a production target of 25,000 mt/y nickel next year. The project is 100% owned by Western Areas NL, an Australian-based nickel sulphide explorer and producer. Western Areas plans to develop five mines at the project from 2011, for a targeted production of about 35,000 mt/y nickel. The total mineral resources at Flying Fox…. read more

Proposed Australian Mining Tax Draws Heavy Fire
The Australian government’s proposed new tax on Australian mines and mining companies announced in early May 2010 drew continuous and heavy fire from all sectors of the nation’s mining industry and leading opposition political leaders during the two weeks following the announcement. Government spokespeople called the industry response a "scare campaign" but did not offer coherent responses to the specifics of industry criticism. On May 21, BHP Billiton reported that its representatives had met with the Resource Tax Consultation Panel…. read more




Ivanhoe Releases Updated Oyu Tolgoi Development Plan
Ivanhoe Mines has released a new, independent integrated development plan (IDP-10) for the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project in southern Mongolia that includes two complementary development scenarios. A reserve case is based only on current proven and probable reserves, which would sustain mining for 27 years. A life-of-mine sensitivity case is based on reserves plus inferred resources and projects a mine…. read more

Kazakhmys, Jinchuan Sign MoU for Copper JV
Kazakh copper producer Kazakhmys and China’s Jinchuan Group have signed a memorandum of understanding that contemplates formation of a joint venture to develop Kazakhmys’ large Aktogay open-pit copper project in eastern Kazakhstan. The project is expected to produce 100,000 mt/y of copper in concentrate over a mine life of approximately 40 years. Subject to completion of an investment agreement and regulatory and other approvals, Jinchuan will purchase a 49% stake in the project for $120 million, payable in cash .…. read more

Vale Acquires Guinea Iron Ore Interest
Vale announced on April 30, 2010, it will pay $2.5 billion for a 51% interest in BSG Resources (Guinea) Ltd. (BSGR), which holds iron ore concessions in southeast Guinea. The concessions include properties that at one time formed part of Rio Tinto’s Simandou concessions but that were repossessed by the government in 2008 and sold to BSGR, a company controlled by Israeli diamond trader Beny Steinmetz. Rio Tinto has signed a memorandum of understanding …. read more

Iamgold Advances Start-Up Date for Essakane
Iamgold reported on May 3, 2010, it expects to begin processing ore through the mill at its new Essakane gold mine in northeast Burkina Faso in June, four to six weeks ahead of the previously announced production schedule and five to six months earlier than the originally projected start-up date of year-end 2010.The operation is expected to produce more than 500,000 oz of gold from start-up through…… read more


Explosion Kills 66 Coal Miners in Siberia - Twin methane gas explosions claimed 66 lives and injured 129 at the Raspadskaya longwall mine in Siberia—the largest underground coal mine in Russia. The remains of another 24 miners have not been recovered. After being berated by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on national television, the mine’s director, Igor Volkov, was ousted. A special investigation committee formally charged Volkov with criminal negligence. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted …. read more


Chinese Coal Output Continues to Climb - According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China coal output grew 28.1% year-on-year to more than 751 million metric tons (mt) in the first quarter. Xinhua Online reported the increase indicates China has built up a large coal production capacity after a rapid growth in fixed asset investment for coal. The report estimates China total coal production capacity…. read more

Newcastle Opens New Coal Export Terminal - A third coal export terminal has opened in Newcastle, NSW, Australia, maintaining the city’s position as the No.1 coal port in the world. The new terminal opened three years after owner Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG) won the right to construct and operate a third loader in the port. The Stage 1 terminal cost more than US$1 billion and can handle up to 30 million mt/y. Aurecon Hatch completed the pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, detailed design, engineering …. read more


Mechel Announces Progress at Elga - Mechel OAO in making progress on developing the Elga coking coal deposit. At the beginning of February, two heavy machinery convoys had already reached the Upper Ulak railway construction site (Amur Region). The equipment will be used to develop the Elga coking coal deposit. There will be five equipment and machinery convoys in total. They are expected to deliver all necessary equipment and materials to start.…... read more


China Becomes Net Importer, Mine Fatalities Drop - According to China’s National Energy Administration (NEA), in 2009, China imported 126 million metric tons (mt) of coal and exported 22.4 million mt, which creates a net import of 103 million mt coal for the first time. The NEA said low coal prices made imports more affordable for power plants serving China’s south coastal cities. Moreover China’s economy recovers and so does coal demand. Meanwhile, China’s State.…... read more



The Decline of South African Gold Mining
Dealing with orebodies past their prime, aging infrastructure and labor issues, new gold projects in South Africa that will mine even deeper reserves will have to mine differently for the industry to remain profitable

By Antonio Ruffini, South Africa-based Editor

In 2006, South Africa was the world’s largest gold producer, a position it held for most of a century, but by the end of 2009 it had fallen to fourth, behind China, Australia and the U.S., having produced 205 metric tons (mt) of gold last year. The relative decline in global significance of South Africa’s gold mining industry has been evident for some decades, from a peak of about 1,000 mt produced in 1970 (almost 80% of the world’s new mine supply at the time), but its recent fall has been rapid……. read more


Liners for the Grinders
Liners do much more than just protect a mill’s shell, with current research aimed at optimizing liner design and cutting milling costs

By Simon Walker, European Editor

The introduction of rotating ball, tube and rod mills into mineral processing in the late 1800s was quickly followed by the realization that continuous operation with abrasive feed leads to erosion of the mill shell. Early liner designs were crude, to say the least. Individual panels were held in place by timber or metal wedges and, not surprisingly, mill liners of this era needed frequent maintenance and replacement...... read more


For more companies with products in the Mill Liners market - Go Here



Major Open-Pit Copper Mines Move Underground
Some of the world’s largest open-pit copper mining operations are heading underground with ambitious block cave production plans

By Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief

The natural progression for an open-pit mine in a rich orebody that extends at depth is to eventually convert to some form of underground mining to extract the ore. During the near term, two open-pit mining icons will do just that. The world’s largest copper and gold mine, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold’s Grasberg mine in Papua, Indonesia, will reach its open-pit limits and head underground in 2016. Similarly, Codelco’s Chuquicamata mine, one of the largest open-pit copper mines in Chile will do the same in 2018 …... read more


Powerful Design Tools - and Common Sense - Can Control Conveyor Cost and Complexity Issues

Computer programs can calculate, simulate and evaluate endless conveyor configurations, but for buyers, a hard look at long-term cost-effectiveness vs. price may be the most important measure

By Russell A. Carter, Managing Editor

In last year’s Conveyor Design report Norbert Becker, Siemens Mining Technologies’ vice president for process solutions, stated "belt conveyors have proven to be the most efficient method of moving bulk solids in mining operations. In recent years, system designs have become more complicated than ever through increasing length between the axes on long-distance belt conveyors, higher belt speeds, and more challenging routes with horizontal and vertical curves." Despite these..... read more


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Siemens Highlights Saving Energy and Water as a Route to Sustainability
With sustainability now being a global buzz-word in a variety of applications, it was perhaps timely that the German-based engineering company, Siemens, chose this as the theme for its fourth media summit, held in Essen in early May. Once at the heart of Germany’s industrial power-base, Essen today epitomizes the greening of the rust-belt, with its coal mines, cokeworks and steel plants …. read more
Pilot Plant Testing Shows Good Results for CSIRO’s DSX Laterite Leach Process
A 280-hour-long, small-scale pilot operation involving CSIRO researchers and Rio Tinto staff has "proved in practice" CSIRO’s direct solvent extraction (DSX) process to recover nickel and cobalt from laterite leach solutions. The succes   sful operation, as described in the February 2010 issue of CSIRO’s Process magazine, was stage five of a journey that Minerals Down Under Flagship researchers—working through…… read more
Abrasion-Resistant Piping has Hard and Soft Sides
When abrasive material is transported through steel pipe in mining applications, typically as pumped slurry, the pipe can quickly be eroded from the inside out, which in more extreme cases can result in pipe leaks and even failure, or significant maintenance costs and downtime for pipe replacement…. read more

Harrison Western Wins Plant Award
An increasing volume of contract awards and corporate announcements points to a trend within the mining industry to allocate more attention and resources to water management.Harrison Western Group subsidiary, HW Process Technologies, has been awarded a contract valued at $22 million to design, install, commission and operate a new water treatment plant at the Cobre Las Cruces (CLC) copper mine near Seville, Spain. CLC .…… read more
Motor Grader Offers More Power, Better Operator Control
Komatsu America’s new GD655-5 motor grader, equipped with a U.S. EPA Tier 3 emission-certified Komatsu SAA6D107E-1 diesel providing 9% more power (218 hp), weighs 35,351 lb in standard configuration. According to the company, a completely new power train design positions the engine at the rear of the machine, which, along with increased weight on the front axle, provides better control. The diesel engine’s three-stage 2-Mode…. read more
Mining Tires with Improved Durability, Larger Payload
Titan Tire, a subsidiary of Titan International, has introduced its second-generation 007 MFT mining tire product line, offering enhanced durability, a more aggressive tread pattern, improved heat dissipation and the ability to carry a larger payload. Sizes available include 59/80R63, 53/80R63, 40.00R57 and 27.00R49. Titan says overall tire durability is improved with changes to the compounds in the tread and base, which help reduce overall heat generation and improve the cut…. read more

Truck Body Reduces Weight, Retains Loads on Steep Grades
Caterpillar has developed a new hardened steel Quarry Body for select models of Cat trucks, fabricated with 400 Brinnell steel to resist abrasion and provide superior durability without additional weight or liner systems. Eliminating the need for liners also eliminates the replacement costs and downtime associated with their maintenance. The Quarry Body is designed to handle low- to medium-density materials that have low to medium abrasiveness.…. read more

Rugged Notebook has Performance Improvements
Panasonic Solutions’ new Toughbook 31 is touted as the most powerful, fully rugged notebook computer on the market. With an Intel Core i5 or i3 processor, 1,100-nit, 13-1.-in. touchscreen display and certifications beyond MIL-STD-810G and IP65, Panasonic claims the new computer enables superior data access and productivity for any mobile professional working in extreme environments. The Toughbook 31—the sixth generation of Toughbook clamshell notebooks—delivers significant.….read more

Lightweight Miner’s Helmet
MPS Centurion, a unit of Mine & Process Service, Inc. has introduced the Concept miner helmet, weighing only 11.5 oz and featuring a rugged ABS shell with a comfortable, six-point suspension/cradle. The helmet has a clip on the front for fastening a cap lamp, along with a strap at the rear to secure the lamp cord. It offers a low profile design with a height…. read more



JULY 26–28, 2010: Africa Mining Congress 2010, Johannesburg, South Africa. Contact: Steel & Metallurgy; Tel: 91 33 32906314; Fax: 91 33 24415700; E-mail: info@steelmetallurgy.com;

AUGUST 6–7, 2010: 5th International Iron & Steelmaking Conference, Visakhapatnam, India Contact: Nolia; Tel: +46 (0)60 55 00 06; E-mail: info@eurominexpo.com; Web: www.eurominexpo.com

AUGUST 24–26, 2010: Argentina Mining 2010, San Juan City, Argentina Contact: Carolina Martínez Hansen; Tel: 54 (261) 424-3479; E-mail: carolina@argentinamining.com; Web: www.argentinamining.com

AUGUST 25–26, 2010: ACG Ground Support for Underground and Open Pit Mines (Basic Level) Seminar, Perth, Western Australia Contact: The Australian Center for Geomechanics; E-mail: acg@acg.uwa.edu.au; Web: www.acg.uwa.edu.au/events_and_courses


SEPTEMBER 1–2, 2010: Mining NSW, Orange, Australia Contact: IIR Conferences; Tel: 61 2 9080 4090; Fax: 61 2 9299 3109; E-mail: info@iir.com.au; Web: www.iir.com.au/nsw

SEPTEMBER 6–10, 2010: XXV International Mineral Processing Congress–IMPC 2010, Brisbane, Australia Contact: Alison McKenzie, AusIMM; Tel: 61 3 9658 6123; Fax: 61 3 9662 3662; E-mail: impc2010@ausimm.com.au;

SEPTEMBER 7–9, 2010: Mining Electrical Maintenance & Safety Association Annual Conference, Clearwater, Florida, USA Contact: MEMSA; E-mail: memsa@tampabay.rr.com; Web: www.miningelectrical.org

SEPTEMBER 8–10, 2010: ExpoMINA 2010, Lima, Peru Contact: Nancy Villari (USA); Tel: 201-251-2600 ext. 104,; E-mail: nancyv@hallman.com or Rodrigo Bastidas (Chile); Tel: 562 269 1453; E-mail: rodrigob@kallman.com

For a full calendar of mining industry conferences and events - click here


Alcoa has appointed Klaus Kleinfeld chairman and CEO. He succeeds Alain Belda, who previously announced his plans to retire.

SRK Consulting recently opened an office in Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Heading up the Lubumbashi office will be Congolese Mining Engineer Susa Maleba
The School of Mining Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa has appointed Professor Nielen van der Merwe as the Centennial Chair of rock engineering. Professor van der Merwe has a lifetime's experience in the mining industry, starting in deep level gold mining with Goldfields and Gencor for the first decade of his career. He then branched into coal as the founder of the rock mechanics department in Gencor's coal division, TransNatal, before becoming Gencor's assistant group rock mechanics engineer. Service with Sasol Coal and CSIR Mining Technology preceded his move into university academia, when he became head of the mining engineering department at the University of Pretoria in 2001. He takes over the Wits Centennial Chair from Professor Dick Stacey.

Marston has promoted Dale Halley to vice president of engineering services for the company's Denver office. The company also named Carl Fessenden a consulting engineer.
Frederick (Rick) W. Firlotte , principal and past-global president and CEO of Golder Associates Corp., recently passed away. Born in Campbellton, New Brunswick, Canada, Firlotte joined Golder's London, Ontario, office in 1978, shortly after obtaining a Master's degree in geotechnical engineering from McGill University (Montréal). In addition to working as a geotechnical engineer, his career included a number of leadership roles. In 1989, he established the Montréal office. He oversaw Golder's Canadian operations from 1996 until 1999, when he was appointed president of the global company. Firlotte served as president of Golder's global operations from 1999 to mid-2009, a time of tremendous growth and change for the company.

Joy Global Inc. announced that Eric Nielsen has been appointed executive vice president of business development with primary responsibilities for strategic planning and acquisitions
Marston has promoted Dale Halley to vice president of engineering services for the company's Denver office. The company also named Carl Fessenden a consulting engineer.

Mining Media


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