Engineering & Mining Journal

MAR 2019

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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2 E&MJ • MARCH 2019 FROM THE EDITOR They say you can judge the health of the mining business by the escalators at the Toronto Metro Convention Center during the annual Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention. Among other things, it offers miners a chance to discuss their projects and prospects with bankers and investors. Empty escalators signal tough times ahead for the mining business, but that was not the case this year. Indeed, it was quite the opposite with secu- rity holding back the crowds at times. In the PDAC press room, the mergers taking place with the gold majors created a lot of chatter among the business writers that cover the mining sector. Barrick Gold was making a play for Newmont Mining, who was trying to merge with Goldcorp. Barrick itself had just merged with Randgold. At the time, it looked like four gold majors could soon become one. The Barrick and Newmont CEOs were trading barbs and these writers fi nally had some juicy quotes, but they couldn't answer one of the fi ve W's: Why? The mining companies explained repeatedly how shareholders would benefi t, but they didn't explain why they really need these economies of scale. One answer could be the loss of leadership and expertise, or the brain drain, as many executives and midlevel managers in this business retire. The mining drought that was the 1990s has created a generational gap between the upper echelons and the young leaders brought on board by the supercycle that began in 2004-2005. Another answer could be the benefi ts of working together or the synergistic values, but that only really applies to mines operating in the same conditions in the same region. This would also explain why Barrick called off the Newmont takeover and settled for a joint venture in Nevada (See News, p. 4) as this edition was going to press. At the same time, the Brazilian iron ore industry was beginning to show signs of fallout from the dam failure at Vale's Córrego de Feijão mine (See News, p, 5). The government has banned all tailings dams in the country built by the upstream method, which will take a signifi cant amount of iron ore production offl ine. Several Vale executives in Brazil resigned (See, People, p. 10). While this tragedy hasn't impacted iron ore markets as much as most analysts predicted, the liabilities asso- ciated with tailings disposal has the attention of every mining executive. Half a world away, South Africa is also witnessing massive changes. Much of it is detailed in the 2019 Indaba Report (See, p. 22). Newly elected politicians recognize the opportunities tied to mineral resources and they have adopted a more pro-business approach to mining. Like turning a large ship, however, this will take time. A lot of damage was infl icted upon the mining sector by the previous Zuma administration, which also allowed thieves to gut Eskom, the national utility. It's sad to see a country with vast coal reserves and a massive power generation network struggle to produce electricity. Without access to affordable, reliable energy, South Africa faces uncertainty. What, if anything, can we learn from all of this? Values matter. Engineering expertise — the ability to recognize and solve problems — is incredibly important to any organization. Just as inspired leadership drives an organization, the lack of it will bring it to its knees. Enjoy this edition of E&MJ. Major Changes Sweep Through the Mining Business Steve Fiscor Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Steve Fiscor, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief sfi scor@mining-media.com Mining Media International, Inc. 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306; Jacksonville, Florida 32224 USA Phone: +1.904.721.2925 / Fax: +1.904.721.2930 Editorial Publisher & Editor-In-Chief—Steve Fiscor, sfi scor@mining-media.com Associate Editor—Jennifer Jensen, jjensen@mining-media.com Technical Writer—Jesse Morton, jmorton@mining-media.com Contributing Editor—Russ Carter, rcarter@mining-media.com Latin American Editor—Oscar Martinez, omartinez@mining-media.com South African Editor—Gavin du Venage, gavinduvenage@gmail.com Graphic Designer—Tad Seabrook, tseabrook@mining-media.com Sales Midwest/Eastern U.S. & Canada, Sales—Victor Matteucci, vmatteucci@mining-media.com Western U.S., Canada & Australia, Sales—Frank Strazzulla, fstrazzulla@mining-media.com Scandinavia, UK & European Sales—Colm Barry, colm.barry@telia.com Germany, Austria & Switzerland Sales—Gerd Strasmann, info@strasmann-media.de Japan Sales—Masao Ishiguro, ma.ishiguro@w9.dion.ne.jp Production Manager—Dan Fitts, dfi tts@mining-media.com Marketing Manager—Misty Valverde, mvalverde@mining-media.com www.e-mj.com Engineering & Mining Journal, Volume 220, Issue 3, (ISSN 0095-8948) is published monthly by Mining Media International, Inc., 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306, Jacksonville, FL 32224 (mining-media.com). Periodicals Postage paid at Jacksonville, FL, and additional mailing offi ces. Canada Post Publi- cations Mail Agreement No. 41450540. Canada return address: PO Box 2600, Mississauga ON L4T 0A8, Email: circulation@mining-media.com. Current and back issues and additional resources, including subscription request forms and an editorial calendar, are available at www.e-mj.com. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: Free and controlled circulation to qualifi ed subscrib- ers. Visit www.e-mj.com to subscribe. Non-qualifi ed persons may subscribe at the following rates: USA & Canada, 1 year, $90. Outside the USA & Can- ada, 1 year, $150. For subscriber services or to order single copies, contact E&MJ, c/o Stamats Data Management, 615 Fifth Street SE, Cedar Rapids IA 52401, 1-800-553-8878 ext. 5028 or email subscriptions@e-mj.com. ARCHIVES AND MICROFORM: This magazine is available for research and retrieval of selected archived articles from leading electronic databases and online search services, including Factiva, LexisNexis, and Proquest. For mi- croform availability, contact ProQuest at 800-521-0600 or +1.734.761.4700, or search the Serials in Microform listings at www.proquest.com. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to E&MJ, 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306, Jacksonville, FL 32224-2659. REPRINTS: Mining Media International, Inc., 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306, Jacksonville, FL 32224 USA; email: subscriptions@e-mj.com; phone: +1.904.721.2925, fax: +1.904.721.2930; www.mining-media.com. PHOTOCOPIES: Authorization to photocopy articles for internal corporate, personal, or instructional use may be obtained from the Copyright Clear- ance Center (CCC) at +1.978.750.8400. Obtain further information at copyright.com. EXECUTIVE OFFICE: Mining Media International, Inc., 11655 Central Park- way, Suite 306, Jacksonville, FL 32224 USA phone: +1.904.721.2925, fax: +1.904.721.2930, www.mining-media.com. COPYRIGHT 2019: Engineering & Mining Journal, incorporating World Mining Equipment, World Min- ing and Mining Equipment International. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. They say you can judge the health of the mining business by the escalators at the Toronto Metro Convention Center during the annual Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention. Among other things, it offers miners a chance to discuss their projects and prospects with bankers and investors. Empty escalators signal tough

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