Equipment News
Around the World


Drilling and Blasting
Cost-effective Drilling Comes at a Price — But Pays Big Dividends
Sag Mills
New technology allows mill to identify coarse material fouling flotation feed
Slurry Pumps
Slurry Pump Upgrades
Diesel Engines
Big Diesels Prepare for Finals


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Learning from Coal Disasters
The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)mrecently completed its investigation of Massey Energy’sm Upper Big Branch (UBB) coal mine disaster that killed 29 miners in West Virginia last year. Alpha Natural Resources acquired Massey Energy earlier this year and it recently settled with the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) for $209 million. Of that settlement, each of the families received $1.5 million. MSHA cited a corporate culture that put production before safety as the primary reason for the explosion.
The explosion at the UBB mine, however, wasn’t the only coal mine disaster in 2010. Outside of China, two other major coal mine explosions occurred: the Raspadskaya coal mine explosion in Siberia took the lives of 90 miners during May 2010, and consecutive explosions at the Pike River coal mine in New Zealand killed 29 miners during November......... read more

                                          Steve Fiscor, Editor in Chief





Anglo American Increasing Its Interest in De Beers
Anglo American and CHL Holdings Ltd. (CHL) announced an agreement in early November 2011 for Anglo American to acquire the Oppenheimer family’s 40% interest in leading diamond producer De Beers for $5.1 billion in cash. Closure of the transaction would increase Anglo American’s shareholding in De Beers from 45% to 85%. Under the terms of an existing shareholders agreement between Anglo American, CHL and the government of Botswana, the government has........ read more

Positive PEA for Allana Potash ProjectAllana
Potash, a Canadian company headquartered in Toronto, has reported the results of an independent preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its Danakhil potash project in northeastern Ethiopia. The PEA is based on commercial operations that would produce 1 million mt/y of standard muriate of potash over an initial estimated operating life of 30 years. The PEA examined open-pit and solution mining methods. Following a review of the costs and other operating considerations, solution mining with processing using solar....... read more



Rio Tinto to Purchase Fleet of Driverless Trucks for Pilbara Ops
Rio Tinto Chief Executive Tom Albanese and Komatsu Ltd. President and CEO Kunio Noji signed a memorandum of understanding in Tokyo in early November 2011 for the purchase by Rio Tinto of at least 150 Komatsu driverless trucks over the next four years. The trucks will start arriving at Rio Tinto’s Pilbara iron ore mines in Western Australia in 2012 and can be controlled from its..... read more

Alcoa Looks to the Future in Quebec and Angola
Alcoa has approved the next phase of a five-year, $2.1-billion investment plan for its Baie-Comeau, Deschambault and Becancour smelters in Quebec and has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Angola to explore development of a 750,000-mt/y aluminum smelter using power from hydroelectric facilities under consideration by the government. The Quebec investment, announced November 7, 2011, is expected move the Quebec smelters down the aluminum cost curve by 13% and to contribute to Alcoa’s goal..... read more
Goldcorp Gets Government Clearance for Éléonore Construction
Goldcorp announced in mid-November 2011 that the Quebec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks issued a certificate of authorization allowing full construction of Goldcorp’s Éléonore gold project in the James Bay region of northern Quebec. The Éléonore development plan calls for average plant throughput of 7,000 mt/d and average gold production of 600,000 oz/y at cash costs below $400/oz over an approximate 15-year...... read more
Rio Tinto Prevails in Bidding for Hathor
From late August through mid-November 2011, Rio Tinto and Cameco engaged in competitive bidding for Hathor Exploration, a Canadian uranium exploration company with uranium properties in the Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan. Rio Tinto prevailed with an all-cash offer made on November 17 to acquire all outstanding Hathor common shares for C$4.70/share, valuing Hathor at about C$654 million. On November 28, Cameco announced announced it would not increase or extend its November 11 offer of C$4.50/Hathor share.... read more


Royal Nickel Advancing Dumont Project
Royal Nickel is advancing its Dumont nickel project in western Quebec, about 60 km northeast of Rouyn-Noranda, based on the results of a positive prefeasibility study that demonstrates a robust project with a large, world-class resource and excellent project economics. The prefeasibility study was completed by Ausenco Ltd. and is based on staged project development, with initial production of 50,000 mt/d of ore and 29,000 mt/y of nickel in concentrates at an initial capital expenditure of $1.1 billion. By year five of operations, production would be.... read more
AROUND THE WORLD - Latin America
Anglo American and Codelco Clash over Anglo American Sur
Anglo American announced November 9 completion of the sale of a 24.5% interest in Anglo American Sur SA (AAS) to Mitsubishi for $5.39 billion. AAS assets include the Los Bronces and El Soldado copper mines and the Chagres copper smelter in Chile. The sale brought Anglo American into dispute with Chilean state copper producer Codelco, which had announced October 12 that it had secured financing of up to $6.75 billion from Mitsui for use in exercising an option to purchase 49% of AAS in January 2012…… read more
Guyana Goldfields Receives Mining License for Aurora
Guyana Goldfields reported in mid- November 2011 it signed a mineral agreement with and received a mining license from the government of Guyana for its 100%-owned Aurora gold project, located about 170 km west of Georgetown, the capital of Guyana. The mining license is Guyana Goldfield’s permit to build and operate the project and is the first such license for a large-scale gold project to be issued in Guyana since 1991. The license is valid an initial 20-year term with provisions for extension on application by the company…. read more


AROUND THE WORLD - Australasia
Ivanhoe Australia Advances Two Queensland Projects
Ivanhoe Australia has announced the results of a preliminary economic study (PEA) of its Osborne copper-gold project and of a prefeasibility study of its Merlin molybdenum-rhenium project, both in northwestern Queensland. The two projects a separated by a distance of 53 km. Current planning calls for Merlin ore to be crushed at the mine site and trucked to a dedicated processing plant at the Osborne site. Following concentration…. read more

A Taxing Month for Australia’s Mining Industry
November 2011 was a taxing month for Australia’s mining industry, with new taxes coming at the industry from three directions. A carbon tax was passed into law by the Australian parliament, a Mineral Resources Rent Tax (MRRT) passed the lower house of parliament but had not yet passed the upper house, and in Western Australia, the big iron ore producers agreed to an increase in the royalty to be paid on iron ore fines. In Western Australia, the state government reached agreements with BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto early in November to increase the royalty …. read more




Turkish Mining: Ready for Maturity
By Mungo Smith, E&MJ correspondent, Istanbul.

Turkey, located where geographic Asia meets Europe, has territory on both continents; and, although most of this land is on the Asian side, the country is considered Europe’s largest gold producer. Over the past decade, its base metal production also has been ramping up. A reformed mining law and imminent license auctions should now spur further drilling campaigns to unleash the country’s mineral potential. Most of Turkey’s mineral wealth still lies buried underground following years of underdevelopment. Only recently, lured by gold reserves and inspired by the price spikes of industrial commodity prices, have mining companies committed to bigger exploration programs.…. read more

Semafo Signs Mining Contractor for Mana Underground
Semafo reported November 7 the signing of a letter of intern (LoI) with Dumas Contracting for development of the Mana underground project at Semafo’s Mana operations in Burkina Faso. The LoI outlines the scope of work and responsibilities to be carried out by Dumas during an interim period leading to execution of a definitive agreement. The feasibility study for the Mana underground was completed in March 2011, and Semafo elected to proceed with the project in May. Gold production from the project is estimated at 942,600 oz over a nine-year…. read more

Ghana 2012 Budget Calls for Mining Tax Hikes
"Highlights of the 2012 Budget" posted on the Ghana government website in mid- November include a statement that "Beginning in the fiscal year 2012, the following changes to the taxation of mining activities will apply: the corporate tax rate for mining companies will be increased from the current 25% to 35%; a windfall profit tax of 10% will be collected from all mining companies; and a uniform regime for capital allowance of 20% for five years for mining, as is the case in the oil and gas sector, is also established." Ghana, with gold production totaling about 3 million…… read more


Alpha Settles with DoJ on UBB Mine Explosion, MSHA Blames Massey Corporate Culture
The U.S. federal government made two major announcements during early December regarding the investigation into the Upper Big Branch (UBB) mine disaster. The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) announced it had reached a settlement with Alpha Natural Resources, which took responsibility for the UBB mine when it purchased and merged Massey Energy’s assets with its operations earlier this year. The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) subsequently released the final report on its investigation …. read more


Anglo American Approves Grosvenor Met Coal Project in Australia
Anglo American will move forward with its $1.7 billion Grosvenor metallurgical coal project in the Bowen Basin of Queensland, Australia. The greenfield project is situated immediately to the south of the company’s Moranbah North metallurgical coal mine and is expected to produce 5 million metric tons per year (mt/y) from a longwall operation over a projected life of 26 years. "Grosvenor is the first of our next phase growth projects and will initiate our industry leading production growth of metallurgical coal from our Australian business over the next decade," said Cynthia Carroll, CEO, Anglo American …. read more
FEATURE - Drilling & Blasting
Cost-effective Drilling Comes at a Price—But Pays Big Dividends
Recent conference highlights the information needed to plan, drill and shoot efficiently

By Russell A. Carter, Managing Editor

The success or failure of an individual blasthole to achieve its intended effect doesn’t carry much statistical clout in a blast pattern comprising up to 1,500 holes, or at a mine that routinely conducts multiple daily blasts—or across a global industry that measures total daily blasthole production in the five-figure range or higher. It’s only when the reasons for consistent drilling and blasting (D&B) success or failure become systemic to an operation that a noticeable change in productivity becomes apparent, occasionally leading to spirited discussions within and between mine departments about "what are we doing wrong?" or much less frequently, "What are we doing right?"……. read more


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FEATURE - Sag Mills
Cyclone Monitoring System Improves Operations at KUC’s Copperton Concentrator
New technology allows mill to identify coarse material fouling flotation feed

By Dylan Cirulis and Jerin Russell

PKennecott Utah Copper’s (KUC) Copperton Concentrator has four grinding lines each consisting of one semi-autogenous SAG mill feeding two ball mills in a closed circuit with a hydrocyclone battery (See Figure 1). The aim of the ball mill/cyclone circuit is to produce the optimum flotation feed particle size while maintaining grind throughput. The optimal operating point is a tradeoff between throughput, recovery and grinding cost. Copperton recently focused on the role of the cyclone battery and how to monitor the performance of each individual cyclone. Variation in the performance of the grinding circuit flows through to the cyclones and in many cases the cyclones will report coarse material to the overflow when not operating as designed. Coarse material.... read more



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FEATURE - Slurry Pumps
Slurry Pump Upgrades
Through the use of computational fluid dynamics, pump makers offer new designs that improve wear life and reduce power consumption

By Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief

Mining operations, processing plants in particular, rely heavily on slurry pumps. Over the years, manufacturers have modified the designs to improve pump performance. Some of these pumps have such a long history, it seems that it would be difficult to continue to make further enhancements. The use of technology, especially simulation with computational fluid dynamics (CFD), allows today’s engineers to view and test new designs before the first part is manufactured. This is a clear advantage over predecessors that relied on intuition and trial…... read more


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FEATURE - Diesel Engines
Big Diesels Prepare for Finals
Through the use of computational fluid dynamics, pump makers offer new designs that improve wear life and reduce power consumption

By Russell A. Carter, Managing Editor

The leading suppliers of large diesel engines for mining—Caterpillar, Cummins and MTU—are jockeying for market share in an industry that steadily demands more power. However, brute horsepower doesn’t provide a total solution to rising customer expectations that also include better fuel economy, longer service life and simplified maintenance, to name just a few. Each vendor is picking its own path into the future, selecting the particular air management, combustion and exhaust control technologies they believe will satisfy both market and regulatory requirements. With an eye toward meeting these future propulsion needs, Cummins Inc. recently unveiled its latest solution for high-output diesel applications—an engine capable of producing..... read more



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Innovative Conveyor Belt Changes Minimize Production Downtime at Los Pelambres
Conveyor belts can do more than just transport unit loads or bulk cargo from point A to point B. They form the backbone of efficient production processes, particularly when faced with current economic challenges such as raw material shortages and synchronized global value-add chains. Conveyor belts and conveying equipment are thus a central influencing factor for companies’ competitiveness. To maintain their peak performance over the long term, regular maintenance is a must. Timely replacement of worn …. read more
New ADT Lineup is Faster, Carries More and Burns Less Fuel
Doosan Infracore Construction Equipment has launched its new DA40 articulated dump truck, the first in a new family of Doosan ADTs offering increased engine power and torque, higher payloads, lower fuel consumption, enhanced operator comfort and faster travel speeds. Powered by a six-cylinder Tier 4i compliant diesel engine with a gross power output of 500 hp (373 kW) at 2,100 rpm, the new DA40 offers a 10% increase in engine power compared with the previous model. The new truck also provides a 22%…… read more
Dozer Upgrades Designed for Higher Productivity
Cat says its upgraded D9T bulldozer offers enhanced operator safety, comfort and convenience, refined performance and increased productivity. The 110,000-lb (49 900-kg) operating-weight dozer is powered by a Cat C18 ACERT engine rated at 410 net hp (306 kW). For improved comfort and efficiency, a low-effort electronic dozer control handle gives the operator control of all dozer functions with one hand. For added safety, a Dynamic Inclination Monitor provides readouts of the tractor’s pitch angle and side-to-side slope, and an operator-presence system locks out the…. read more

Flexible, Versatile Handheld XRF Analyzer
Oxford Instruments has introduced a new, faster, lighter and smaller handheld XRF analyzer, the X-MET7000. The analyzer is offered with a choice of calibration packages tailored for a wide range of material screening applications, and can be loaded with a flexible and unique selection of analysis methods to meet even strict compliance regulations. A bright, high contrast 4.3-in. (109-mm) LCD touch-screen ensures optimal outdoor viewing, even in direct sunlight. The results screen can easily .…… read more


Belt Tracking Idlers for V-return Conveyor Systems
ASGCO announced a new addition to its line of Tru-Trainer conveyor belt tracking idlers. The Dual Return Tru-Trainer conveyor belt tracker is now available in a Vreturn style, developed to accommodate Vreturn conveyor systems that encounter excessive forces when utilizing high tension, overland style conveyor systems, which often operate with wide conveyor belts to accommodate heavy loads. The Tru-Trainer idlers react as the conveyor belt moves off center, maintaining the belt’s original position, minimizing belt wear and conveyor downtime. According to…. read more
Mine Scheduling Software Upgrade
Gemcom Software International has released Gemcom MineSched 7.1, the latest version of its scheduling software for surface and underground mines. Gemcom says MineSched provides mining companies with the capabilities they need to develop economic, easy-to-mine schedules. MineSched 7.1 further builds on the system’s ease-of-use by adding industryand user-requested enhancements that make it simpler to operate. In this version, surface mine schedulers have the ability to calculate truck hours directly in the software. This enables more accurate calculation of fleet requirements, possibly leading to cost savings where fleet requirements…. read more

Explosion-proof Industrial Light Fixtures
Hazlux 5 HID lighting fixtures from Thomas & Betts allow for safe installation in a wide variety of areas that require explosion-proof operation. The fixtures feature thermal- and shock-resistant glass globes that are factory assembled and pre-tested for quality and safety. They are certified as UL844 Listed for Class I, Division 1, Groups C, D Hazardous Locations. The factory-sealed assembly meets code requirements without the need for external sealing fittings. Additional certifications make the Hazlux 5 fixtures ideal for use in many outdoor, offshore, hose-down and coastal  .…. read more

Scoop Designed for Low-vein Operations
Climax Portable Machine Tools now offers what it describes as the first portable milling machine designed with a split-rail system that enables the machine to be configured to perform both linear and gantry milling. In-house and field service machinists who work in mining can now perform on-site machining of a wider variety of large surface areas without multiple setups. A rigid, modular bed design allows shorter bed sections to be combined to fit the length….read more



JANUARY 22–25, 2012: 2nd Annual Global Mining Forum, London, UK Contact: Priti Mathur, Fleming Gulf Conferences; Tel: 971 4609 1570; Fax: 971 4609 1589; E-mail:; Web:

FEBRUARY 12–15, 2012: 38th Annual Conference on Explosives & Blasting Technique, Nashville, Tennessee, USA Contact: The International Society of Explosives Engineers; Tel: 440-349-4400; Fax: 440-349-3788; Web:

FEBRUARY 19–22, 2012: 2012 SME Annual Meeting & Exhibit, Seattle, Washington, USA. Contact: Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration; Tel: 303-948-4200; E-mail:; Web:

APRIL 9–13, 2012: Expomin 2012, Santiago, Chile. Contact: Christa March; Tel: 201-251-2600 ext. 116; E-mail:; Web:

MAY 3–9, 2012: The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum’s 2012 Conference & Exhibition, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Contact: CIM; Tel: 800-667-1246; Web:

MAY 6–7, 2012: Mining Orissa, India. Contact: The Indian Mining & Engineering Journal, S.K.Mahanta; E-mail:

June 12-14, 2012. Eurominexpo, Skellefteå, Sweden. Contact: Annsofie Greander; Tel: +46 (60) 146581; E-mail:; Web:

SEPTEMBER 24–26, 2012: MINExpo, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Contact: Hall-Erickson Inc.; Tel: 866-717-6463; E-mail:; Web:

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


Teck Resources Ltd. Recently announced a number of senior management changes. Doug Horswill will step down as senior vice president of sustainability and external affairs to begin a staged process toward retirement after 20 years in the senior management ranks of the company. Mike Agg, senior vice president of zinc, will retire during the summer of 2012 after 32 years with the company. After 20 years with Teck, Jim Utley has also decided to step down as vice president of human resources. The following senior management appointments have been made: Marcia Smith, currently vice president of corporate affairs, has been named senior vice president of sustainability and external affairs. Rob Scott, currently vice president of operational excellence, has been named senior vice president of zinc. Graham Foyle-Twining will join Teck as vice president of human resources. Ray Reipas, currently vice president of energy, has been named senior vice president of energy.

Lundin Mining Corp. has appointed Julie Lee Harrs senior vice president of corporate development and Paul McRae senior vice president of projects.

BHP Billiton announced Alex Vanselow, group executive and CFO, will retire at the end of February 2012. He will be succeeded by Graham Kerr, recently president of diamonds and specialty products. Mike Henry, president of marketing, will join the Group Management Committee as group executive and chief marketing officer.

NovaGold Resources Inc. has appointed Gregory A. Lang president and CEO. Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse, NovaGold’s founder, will step down as president and CEO and will assume the position of president and CEO of NovaCopper Inc., a newly formed subsidiary. Nieuwenhuyse will remain a member of the board of directors and serve as senior advisor to the president for one year. The company also announced that Dr. Thomas S. Kaplan has been appointed chairman of the board of directors. Gil Leathley has also been appointed to the board.

Avalon Rare Metals Inc. has appointed Mark Wiseman vice president of sustainability.

Alcoa has appointed William F. Oplinger COO for Global Primary Products. Roy Harvey, currently director of investor relations, has been appointed CFO for GPP.

Jörg Hoffmann has been appointed a member of the management team at AUMUND Fördertechnik GmbH.

Profile Products LLC has appointed Laura Girard manager of technical services.

Mining Media


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