June’s top news stories

10 July 2019 (Last Updated July 26th, 2019 10:16)

Teck Resources signs $2.5bn agreement to fund QB2 project, and GE Digital and Wabtec to continue commercialisation of value-added applications such as OPM and APM solutions. Mining Technology wraps up the key headlines from June 2019.

Teck signs $2.5bn financing agreement for Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 project

Canadian metals and mining company Teck Resources signed a $2.5bn recourse project financing agreement to fund the development of the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) project.

The QB2 project, which is one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper resources, will have an initial mine life of 28 years.

Construction of the project was sanctioned by the project partners last December and first copper production is expected in the second half of 2021.


GE Digital and Wabtec to commercialise value-added applications

GE Digital and Wabtec have partnered to continue commercialisation of value-added applications such as Predix operations performance management (OPM) and Predix asset performance management (APM) solutions, in order to advance digital evolution in the mining industry.

The agreement builds on a successful partnership between GE Digital and GE Transportation, which is now a Wabtec company, to help mine sites link people, process, and technology in key regions such as South Africa and Australia.

IDC analyst Emilie Ditton said: “The Internet of Things (IoT) space is heavily an ecosystem-based engagement for mining companies, involving hardware, cloud platform players, analytics and OEMs.


Acacia Mining rejects $979m Barrick offer

London-headquartered gold mining business Acacia Mining responded to majority shareholder Barrick Gold’s valuation of the company, disagreeing with the exchange rate of 0.153 Barrick shares for each ordinary share of Acacia.

Barrick’s proposal values Acacia Mining at $979m following an increase of 27% in Barrick shares, compared with $787m when it first proposed the deal in May 2019. Barrick currently holds a 63.9% stake in Acacia, which represents the company’s operations in Tanzania.

In a statement, Acacia Mining said: “The company strongly disagrees with Barrick’s view on Acacia’s life of mine plans, which it understands to underpin Barrick’s valuation and price of the proposal, and sees no reasonable basis for Barrick’s proposed adjustments”.


Barminco secures $554m contract in Botswana

Ausdrill subsidiary Barmincohas secured a five-year services contract worth A$800m ($554m) at the Zone 5 Mine in Botswana from Khoemacau Copper Mining.

Khoemacau’s Zone 5 operation is a long-life mine development project in the Kalahari copper belt of Botswana, known to host high prospects of copper-silver resources.

Ausdrill managing director Mark Norwell said: “This contract award is further endorsement of our acquisition of Barminco and its strong contribution to our international growth strategy.”


Vale set to resume operations at Brucutu iron ore mine in Brazil

Brazilian iron ore miner Vale is set to resume complete operations at Brucutu mine in Sao Goncalo do Rio Abaixo, Minas Gerais, after the Supreme Court reversed a previous ruling that stopped processing due to concerns of safety at a nearby dam.

Operations at the Brucutu mine were closed in February after the request of prosecutors in Minas Gerais state following a tailings dam burst in late January in Brumadinho.


Wabtec’s Digital Mine and Webalo to boost user experience for miners

Wabtec organisation Digital Mine has collaborated with Webalo to enhance user experience in the mining industry.

With the integration of Webalo’s connected worker and control tower functionality and Wabtec’s Digital Mine operations performance management solution, disparate enterprise and operational data is accessible via one platform to expedite productivity across the mining sites.

Wabtec Digital Mine general manager Doug Hanson said: “Our Digital Mine operations performance management solutions are designed to improve plant productivity through advanced process control and analytics, driving increased recovery rates, capacity utilisation and asset utilisation.”


Comstock Mining to deploy Nevada mercury remediation systems

Nevada’s Comstock Mining and its subsidiary signed a definitive agreement with Mercury Clean Up (MCU) to manufacture mercury remediation systems.

In collaboration with Oro Industries, the agreement covers the manufacturing and deployment of mercury remediation systems with proprietary mechanical, hydro, electro-chemical and oxidation processes to reclaim and remediate mercury from tailings and industrial effluents derived from mining and other industrial applications.

As part of the agreement, Oro owns all intellectual property and MCU will gain exclusive worldwide rights to the proprietary mercury treatment system.


Broadway acquires 85% stake in land package with four EPLs in Namibia

Canadian mining exploration company Broadway Gold Mining has acquired an 85% interest in a land package in Namibia.

The acquisition is part of the company’s strategy to expand its effort in identifying rich deposits.

The Tsumeb mining camp is known to host both high-grade polymetallic deposits and stratabound copper/silver/cobalt deposits. It also features deposits of gold, vanadium, germanium and uranium.


Argentina dismisses Barrick’s challenge to Glacier Protection Law

Argentina’ Supreme Court rejected a challenge brought by Canadian miner Barrick Gold regarding an environmental law banning mining in glacial and permafrost areas.

The decision is not expected to affect any of Barrick’s current operations in Argentina, reported Reuters, citing a Barrick source with knowledge of the matter.

The court stated: “The challenge posed by Barrick is ruled inadmissible.”


First Ore-Mining and ZYFRA sign MoU to deploy AI at Pavlovskoe deposit

First Ore-Mining and ZYFRA signed a three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for mining and processing operations at the Pavlovskoe deposit in Russia.

The lead-zinc deposit is located on Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.

The project was included in the ‘Social and Economic Development of the Arctic Area of the Russian Federation’ programme.