Engineering & Mining Journal

DEC 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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www.e-mj.com E&MJ • DECEMBER 2018 85 of information. Chris Novak, CEO of Centric, explained: "We discovered that we could tune the drill and blast processes to opti- mize power usage in the mill and recovery, all based on fragmentation. By taking those four verticals: drill and blast, fragmentation, milling and grinding, and recovery at the processing plant, we could generate entirely new answers." Another company investing in innovation to drive down costs is global consulting firm SRK, which recently acquired Sudbury-based mine simulation company, Labrecque Tech- nologies. Gary Poxleitner, SRK's principal mining engineer, explained how this partner- ship can help customers visualize mining op- erations and plan accordingly: "Once a mine has been designed, Labrecque Technologies' software simulates processes that help cli- ents accurately predict mine production and work out how best to equip their operations to maximize profitability." Fortifying the foundations: The EPCM companies building the mines of the future The lack of new projects during the downturn forced engineering firms to reevaluate their approach, downsize, merge and innovate to enhance their capabilities and become leaner, more agile entities. However, the challenging conditions did not mean doom and gloom for all companies, as a broad spectrum of EPCM players from blue chip multi-nationals to new players in the market proved that adversity can create its own set of opportunities. Multi-disciplinary EPCM group DRA Global has established itself as a credible and more agile alternative to the blue-chip engineering and project delivery compa- nies, according to Wray Carvelas, DRA's CEO and executive director. Since 2016, acquisitions such as the Met-Chem busi- ness in Montreal and more recently Perth- based engineering company, Minnovo, have strengthened DRA Global's platform in francophone Canada, francophone Africa and Australia, enhancing its open-pit min- ing capabilities. It has also allowed DRA to re-domicile its corporate holding com- pany to Perth, in a strategic move to extend client-facing capabilities to ASX clients, complementing the Toronto and Montreal offices, which cater to TSX clients. DRA offers the full life-cycle of services to its clients – from concept study through to commercial operation. Against this back- drop, it is advancing towards the digital mine: "DRA Global is investing in the tran- sition towards predictive maintenance and prescriptive optimization of mine facilities, the backbone of which is MOMS (Mine Op- erations Management System), which is be- ing used successfully across a number our operations," explained Carvelas. Another South African to have made a positive impact on the Ontario mining indus- try is Justin Taylor, president of engineering firm Halyard, who established the Toronto- based company in 2012 to focus on small- er, fast-tracked projects. Halyard has grown from one employee to a workforce of 22 people in its six years since creation, having worked for mining companies such as Harte Gold, Alamos Gold, Hudson Bay Minerals, Canada Fluorspar, LNS Greenland, Coeur Silver Tip, Dominion Diamond, Stornoway Diamonds and Agnico Eagle. Halyard won the EPCM contract for Harte Gold's Sugar Zone property, Ontario's newest gold mine, a fast-tracked project that took 15 months from beginning to completion. Since then, based on the delivery success of the initial project, Halyard has been asked to be in- volved in the expansion of the Sugar Zone mine. Taylor elaborated on the agility that Halyard can offer its clients: "We believe the large EPCM firms struggle to deliver smaller capital projects (below C$60m) in a fast-track and efficient manner and this is the space we operate in." Wray Carvelas, CEO and executive director, DRA Global. Justin Taylor, president, Halyard.

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