Oyu Tolgoi agreement Arcelor Mittal iron ore expansion and Nalunaq gold mine

first_imgLatest issue of International Mining Project News available (March 12): Big news from this issue includes Codelco signing a copper plant contract with Outotec for its Mina Minstro Hales mine in northern Chile, Ivanhoe Mines’ agreement with Rio Tinto for key mining and milling equipment at its well publicised Oyu Tolgoi copper/gold project in Mongolia and steel giant Arcelor Mittal’s global expansion aims at its iron ore mines. There is also production news from Atna Resources’ Briggs gold mine in USA and Angel Mining’s Nalunaq gold mine in Greenland, and much more.At Oyu Tolgoi, Ivanhoe Mines has entered into an agreement to issue 15 million common shares to Rio Tinto for net proceeds of C$244.7 million. Using this money, it will purchase from Rio Tinto key mining and milling equipment to be installed during the construction of the mining complex. This includes principal components for the 100,000 t/d phase-one copper-gold concentrator, including two large, 11.5 m-diameter SAG mills, four ball mills, re-grind mills, crushers, motors, gearless drives, conveyors and flotation cells. Also included is the hoist and major components for the sinking of Shaft #2 – the 10 m-diameter, main production shaft for the underground block cave mine at the Hugo North deposit.Atna Resources reached commercial production levels on February 26 at its Briggs mine in Inyo County, California. The mine has now averaged over 80 oz/d of gold production for a period of greater than 30 days. In addition, gold ounces mined and placed on the leach pad in 2010 are exceeding budgeted expectations. Production is expected to further increase as mine productivity continues to improve and as projected mined ore grades increase through the year. The mine is currently on track to achieve its 2010 production target of 36,000 to 40,000 oz of gold.Additionally, on March 2, the company announced an NI-43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate for the Cecil R deposit, located 8 km north of Atna’s Briggs gold mine. The deposit contains 73,490 oz of gold in the Measured and Indicated resource and 99,390 oz of gold in the Inferred category.In Greenland, Angel Mining has commenced production at its Nalunaq gold mine. The company acquired the mining assets of Nalunaq Gold Mine A/S on July 1, 2009 for $1 million and a further $500,000 was paid in October following the approval of the Greenlandic authorities to grant a mining licence to the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Angel Mining. Since completing the acquisition, Angel has designed an underground process plant, sourced the components, built an in-mine chamber, constructed foundations, installed and commissioned the plant to enable this initial production to take place. Subject to the granting of permits, the plant is scheduled to be fully operational by April, with overall gold recovery ultimately being in excess of 90%. The output will be in the form of doré bars comprising about 90% gold and 10% silver. A stockpile of ore has been built up and this will be depleted as the rate of mining increases. Production rates are expected to reach 15,000 oz by the end of 2010, growing to 25,000 to 30,000 oz/y thereafter.ArcelorMittal aims to boost iron ore production from its own mines by over 50% in the next five years, the company’s head of mining said. The increase will come from an ‘optimisation’ of the company’s mines around the world to produce more efficiency and make ArcelorMittal more self-sufficient in key steel-making raw materials like iron ore and coking coal. “We would like to achieve iron ore production of the order of 100 Mt/y in 2015,” Peter Kukielski told the Reuters Global Mining and Steel Summit. Currently, ArcelorMittal mines produce 60-70 Mt/y. “Our goal is to expand our level of self-sufficiency (in iron ore) to the order of 70%,” Kukielski said.He cited QCM in Canada, with production around 14 Mt. “With a few tweaks here and there, we’ll get it up to 15 Mt in the next two years.” Kukielski said the company was also focusing on iron ore and coal mines it operates in the former Soviet Union – one in Ukraine, 12 in Kazakhstan and three in Russia, plus an iron ore mine in Bosnia. “There were inefficiencies in the system because the Soviet model was to just employ as many people as possible. A lot of it gets done through attrition, but we will certainly find ways to optimise employment structures in our mines all over the world.”The order for Codelco’s Mina Ministro Hales mine includes the design and delivery of a copper concentrate roasting plant, gas cleaning system and sulphuric acid plant worth around €116 million. Outotec’s plant delivery includes basic and detail engineering, proprietary and process equipment, installation and start-up services. Outotec and Codelco also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for two years’ operation and maintenance of the new plant. The new plant will treat up to 550,000 t/y of copper concentrate and will produce some 250,000 t of sulphuric acid. It is scheduled to be commissioned in early 2012. To receive the full 40+ page report, subscriptions to this service can be registered and paid for on-line (SUBSCRIBE TO IM PROJECT NEWS BUTTON), or contact [email protected] for a free trial copy.last_img