Engineering & Mining Journal

JUL 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 • JULY 2019 FROM THE EDITOR Gold crossed the $1,400/oz mark in June for the fi rst time since August 2013. While that's great news for those work- ing in that sector, rising gold prices usually signal economic turbulence on the horizon, which could mean it's time for the other sectors (base metals and bulk commodities) to tighten their belts. Often the task of optimizing operations is assigned to the engineering staff at the mine. Using tech- nology, they are constantly tinkering with ways to adjust operations. Rather than the trial-and-error techniques of the past, today they can use models to test future scenarios against changing demand and cost situations. With great speed, they can predict possible outcomes with a high level of accuracy. Outsiders constantly berate the mining business for slow technology accep- tance, but that is not the case. Few mining engineers doubted autonomous or op- erator-assisted haulage would be possible. Likewise, any plant manager who made the transition from distributed controls to PLCs would logically believe in the next step, the Internet of Things (IoT) technology, where sensors allow a central system to control the entire process. A mine is much different than a factory and advance- ments in technology have been integrated at a steady pace. What is amazing is the large amounts of intellectual data the mining sector is col- lecting, storing and analyzing. They are using the more valuable data to better plan and execute the decision-making process to improve safety, productivity and profi tability. This process, digitalization, can alleviate some of the mundane aspects of problem solving and allow engineers to see projects from another angle or in a different light. As it does every month, E&MJ offers several ideas engineers can use to improve safety and effi ciency throughout operations. Take the cover story, Haul Road Man- agement, for example (See p. 44). Mining engineers understand the concept of rolling resistance, but they might not clearly see how it infl uences costs throughout the entire operation. By constructing a model of the entire haul route, they can see how rolling resistance not only affects cycle times, but also fuel burn. Knowing what segments of the road pose the biggest problems, they can focus road improvement efforts on the areas that will offer a relatively quick payback. The new developments taking place in the mining sector are not limited to sur- face operations. What has surprised a lot of people on the metal/non-metal side of the mining business is the rush toward battery-powered equipment. In this month's article on Shotcrete (see p. 26), we see a segment of the industry embracing new technology to improve the pace of development, and a battery-powered shotcreting machine with the ability to recharge in minutes. Another article, Electrical Power Systems (see p. 42), discusses the impact of digitalization on energy delivery systems. Autonomous haulers, IoT valve sensors and underground battery chargers are useless without a reliable source of energy. In addition to discussing how miners can get more, better quality power from existing operations, we learn about protective relays for motors and new terms, like "born connected." These are just a handful of the many examples in this edition. The success of professionals who develop and extract natural resources depends on how well they prepare for future uncertainty. With new tools, engineering depart- ments can help improve profi t margins and create an interesting place to work. This could also help the company sustain the market swings and attract more talented professionals. Enjoy this edition of E&MJ. Putting Technology to Work 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 European Editor—Carly Leonida, cleonida@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 7, (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. Gold crossed the $1,400/oz mark in June for the fi rst time since August 2013. While that's great news for those work- ing in that sector, rising gold prices usually signal economic turbulence on the horizon, which could mean it's time for the other sectors (base metals and bulk commodities) to tighten their belts. Often the task of optimizing operations is assigned to the engineering staff at the mine. Using tech- nology, they are constantly tinkering with ways to adjust Steve Fiscor

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