Engineering & Mining Journal

OCT 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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NEWS - CONTINUED 26 E&MJ • OCTOBER 2018 www.e-mj.com In 2017, Pogo produced more than 271,000 oz at an AISC of $882/oz from an average head grade of 10.8 g/mt. As the end 2017, Pogo had resources of 3.34 million oz at 12.3 g/mt and reserves of 760,000 oz at 11.9 g/mt. Completion of the acquisition is subject to minimal closing conditions with the acquisition expected to close in October. Hydro Terminates Offer for Rio Tinto Aluminum Assets Rio Tinto has been informed by Hydro that it has withdrawn its offer to acquire the ISAL smelter in Iceland, its 53.3% share in the Aluchemie anode plant in the Netherlands and its 50% share in the Aluminum fl uoride plant in Sweden. It originally announced its offer in February. Following initial feedback from the Euro- pean Commission (EC), Hydro withdrew its EC merger fi ling and terminated the transaction, Rio Tinto said. Hydro said after considering alternative timelines, outcomes and developments, it requested to terminate the transaction and signed a termination agreement. In February, Hydro made a binding of- fer to acquire Rio Tinto's Icelandic alumi- num plant Rio Tinto Iceland Ltd., its 53% share in Dutch anode facility Aluminum & Chemie Rotterdam B.V. (Aluchemie), and 50% of the shares in Swedish aluminum fl uoride plant Alufl uor AB (Alufl uor) for $345 million. A sale and purchase agreement was signed on June 8, following successful consultations with Rio Tinto employees in France and the Netherlands, Hydro said. Hydro will continue to own 46.7% in Aluchemie. Vale Converts Brucutu Trucks to Autonomous Vale reported in mid-September that it is converting to fully autonomous haul- age-truck operations at its Brucutu iron ore mine in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Seven 240-metric-ton (mt)-capacity haul trucks at the mine already run without on- board operators. By 2019, there will be 13 such trucks. The seven autonomous trucks currently operate alongside six tra- ditionally operated vehicles. The Brucutu mine produces about 30 million mt per year (mt/y) of iron ore. The autonomous haulage trucks cir- culate on the roads of Brucutu's large surface-mining area, moving effi ciently between the mining front and the un- loading area, controlled only by computer systems, GPS, radars and artifi cial intel- ligence. When the new technology is in- stalled in the entire fl eet in early 2019, Brucutu will be the fi rst mine in Brazil to utilize fully autonomous haulage. People continue to play an important role in autonomous operation, with the teams that supervise the entire process comfortably installed kilometers away from the operations. Brucutu's equipment operators have been moved to other functions in the mine itself or other Vale units in the region. Some of these operators are employed in the man- agement and control of the autonomous equipment, after having undergone training courses that can last up to two years. Vale reported that the autonomous op- erations system has a higher productivity compared to the conventional transporta- tion model. Autonomous operation also in- creases equipment life, leads to less wear of parts, and reduces maintenance costs. Vale expects to obtain an increase of around 15% in truck operating life, along with an increase in truck speed. Fuel con- sumption and maintenance costs are ex- pected to decrease by about 10%. "The use of this type of technology is increasing in the world market, not only in mining," Vale Director of Ferrous Plan- ning and Development Lúcio Cavalli said. "The use of autonomous equipment will bring gains in productivity and compet- itiveness for Vale and the Brazilian iron ore industry." Autonomous haulage also results in a safer mining operation. With fewer people engaged in activities where there is move- ment of heavy vehicles and large volumes of cargo, the employees' exposure to ac- cident risks is reduced. The technology used in the trucks can identify obstacles and changes that were not foreseen in the path determined by the control center. Upon detecting any risks, the equipment shuts down until the path is cleared. The safety system is able to detect both larger objects such as large rocks and other trucks and also any peo- ple in the vicinity of the road. Vale expects its experience with au- tonomous equipment at Brucutu to aid in future decisions for use of the tech- nology in other operations. Conversion of a mine to autonomous operation requires signifi cant investment, so mines with low production volumes will continue to use the traditional system. (News-Leading Developments - from p. 6) Vale reported that all 13 of Brucutu's 240-ton haul trucks will be converted to autonomous haulage in 2019. Seven have already been converted (photo above). The Brucutu mine in Brazil produces about 30 million mt/y of iron ore.

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