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Spring 2020

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Newmont Goldcorp Corporation (TSX: NGT) and dignitaries from across Ontario inaugurated the Borden Gold Project (Borden), Ontario’s ‘mine of the future.’ The 100% owned Borden mine is located near Chapleau, Ontario and features state-of-the-art health and safety controls, digital mining technologies and processes, and low-carbon energy vehicles – all anchored in a mutually beneficial partnership with local communities. Borden is expected to achieve commercial production in the fourth quarter of this year.

 Battery electric bolter in use at Borden underground – manufactured by Ontario-based MacLean Engineering. (Photo: Business Wire)

Tom Palmer, Newmont Goldcorp’s President, said: “Borden’s electric underground fleet will eliminate diesel particulate matter from the underground environment and lower greenhouse gas emissions. This will help reduce energy costs, protect employee health and minimize impacts to the environment.”

Ore from Borden is processed at the existing mill at the company’s Porcupine operation in Timmins, 180 km. to the east. Borden is fully permitted for operation, and Partnership Agreements have been signed with local First Nations. At 1,000 sq. km, Borden’s land package represents additional exploration upside as the Borden deposit remains open at depth.

Participating in Borden’s inauguration were: The Hon. Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Mines, Northern Development and Indigenous Affairs; Gilles Bisson, MPP for Timmins; Chief Keeter Corston, Chapleau Cree First Nation; Chief Anita Stephens, Chapleau Ojibwe First Nation; Chief Cheryl St. Denis, Brunswick House First Nation; Chief Pat Tangie, Michipicoten First Nation; Michael Levesque, Mayor of Chapleau; George Pirie, Mayor of Timmins; Todd White, Newmont Goldcorp’s Regional Sr. VP for North America; and Marc Lauzier, General Manager, Porcupine and Borden Mines.

In recognition of Borden’s contribution to the future of safe, sustainable mining, the Canadian and Ontario governments each granted $5 million (CAN) towards electrification of the mine.

Loegering Power Attachments has introduced the ST-series stabilizing and milling skid-steer and compact track loader attachments to the North American market. The ST1000 and ST600 attachments allow contractors to complete milling and stabilizing using the same tool.

According to the Canadian Mining Journal: The ST Series gives contractors the value of two tools in one, with ae drum design allowing both milling and stabilizing. Operators achieve accurate milling to a depth of nine inches with the ability to follow the contour of the pavement independent of the loader thanks to independent level control on both sides of the attachment. Contractors achieve optimal mixing of binders into cut pavement as a result of a large mixing chamber, allowing the cut material to expand. A dust suppression system helps ensure safety compliance. Spraying stabilizing fluid or binder is convenient as a result of ports built directly into the cutter box.
The ST Series attachments are user friendly and simple to operate, thanks to joystick controls that allow full operator control at the touch of four buttons, says, plus, users have the ability to control functions remotely with an optional remote control.

Both attachments feature a heavy-duty construction and a 2.5-cm-thick frame. In addition to durability, the heavy frame provides stability by reducing bouncing during operation and keeping the attachment planted to the ground, improving productivity.

“Reliability and performance are top priorities at Loegering Power Attachments,” Justin Rupar, VP of sales and marketing with ASV Holdings, said in a release. “The ST Series exemplifies that with solid construction and unmatched dependability. The two-in-one attachments allow contractors to use the mobility and versatility of a compact track loader or skid steer while completing milling and stabilizing applications efficiently and with maximum uptime.”

Epiroc has released a new Powerbit for underground drilling, which offers a higher penetration rate, longer service life and more drill meters per day. The company claims the Powerbit will boost the productivity of both new and older rigs, allowing customers to capitalize more on their rig investment.

“The new bit averaged 37% more drill meters before being discarded, peaking at a whopping 82% in one test round! No doubt, we’re setting a new productivity standard for underground mining,” says Johan Thenór, Product Line Manager for Tophammer products at Epiroc.

The tests show a higher penetration rate and longer intervals between regrinds, so miners will benefit from a trouble-free, uninterrupted drilling. Powerbit Underground is a firm response to market demand for a bit that matches the high drilling speeds enabled by ever-stronger rigs and rock drills. With that said, it will prove just as game-changing for customers using older rigs with lower water pressure, if not more.
“The hole configuration maximizes flushing efficiency, which is key to the high penetration rate,” explains Robert Arnoldsson, Senior Product Specialist, Tophammer products at Epiroc.
“We used our hardest steel ever and we configured the bit’s face in such a way that it removes cuttings faster than ever before. Therefore, drillers can make the most out of their rigs and achieve a whole new penetration capability,” Arnoldsson continues.

Customers will also be making their acquaintance with Trubbnos, Epiroc's new and innovative trapezoid-shaped buttons, which increase penetration rate and service life compared to conventional, semi-ballistic buttons.
“Since the bit’s performance is crucial to the rig’s ability to penetrate rock fast, customers can look forward to a new product that will greatly improve drilling efficiency,” concludes Johan Thenór.
The first launch of Powerbit Underground is the 45mm dimension, followed by 48mm and 51mm and then gradually several more dimensions.


FVT Research, based in both British Columbia and Ontario, is developing a 14-ton battery-electric vehicle for use in underground mining, helped by a new February 2020 investment of $2 million in federal cash from Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program, which invests in clean technology research and development projects in Canada's energy, mining and forest sectors.

According to Northern Ontario Business, the company will use the funds to design, development and test a 14-ton battery-electric vehicle for underground mining, converting the equipment from diesel power.

“FVT Research look[s] forward to bringing our Canadian technologies to the underground mining industry and improving the world's environment, the work environment, and the profitability of the industry,” said Todd Pratt, FVT’s CEO, in a news release.

Another $1.5 million was invested in the Mining Innovation, Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation (MIRARCO), a Sudbury-based non-profit, to develop a Natural Heat Exchange Engineering Technology (NHEET), which is a method for the engineering of natural heat exchangers using fractured rocks to improve air delivery in deep underground mines.


Debuted at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020
in Las Vegas, Epiroc has launched the DM30 II SP (Single Pass) rotary blasthole drill for quarrying and small mining operations.

GeoDrilling International states: the crawler-mounted, hydraulic tophead-drive rig, which offers faster hole-to-hole drilling and a lower cost per ton through single-pass capability, helps to keep operators safe on the job, featuring a FOPS (Falling Object Protective Structure) cab, ground-level isolation and an air end safety shutdown system for high-temperature situations. A 300-gallon fuel tank allows the rig to continuously operate for more than 14 hours before refill.

“Built off a proven platform and with the new single-pass capability, the DM30 II SP reduces the overall cost of production per ton and improves transportability,” said Heino Hamman, product line manager, Blasthole at Epiroc Drilling Solutions. “It offers high quality at an excellent value – and flexibility for the future.”

The small footprint of the DM30 II makes it easy to manoeuvre on tight benches and simple to transport within the pit and over the road between pits. It offers a low total cost of ownership, with a structure design life exceeding 45,000 hours. The single-pass capability allows for faster hole-to-hole drilling and decreases the cost per ton. The design and layout grants quick and easy access to all major service points, simplifying maintenance.

The DM30 II SP is designed to handle 4 to 6 ½ inch drill pipe with a hydraulic pulldown of up to 30,000 lbft (133.4 kN) and a hole diameter of 5 ½ to 7 7/8 inch (140-200 mm). A 36 ft single-pass tower option increases productivity for 29 to 36 ft drilling conditions by eliminating the need to add a second drill steel.


Waratah Forestry Equipment has released a new large felling head model, the FL100. According to Canadian Forest Industries, the large directional felling head, designed for 30+ metric ton carriers, improves productivity, increases durability and extends uptime for steep slope, shoveling and traditional felling applications.

“The high-capacity Waratah FL100 gives our customers the benefit of added productivity in a very capable head,” said Brent Fisher, product marketing manager for Waratah. “It has high-capacity grapple arms engineered for improving operational picking and holding force of logs – this provides exceptional operational capabilities in traditional felling and steep slope shoveling applications. It also includes a valve-in-head design and our new TimberRiteTM X-20 control system, simplifying installation.”

Waratah claims the FL100 has unmatched strength plus versatility, and that its TimberRiteTM X-20 stand-alone controller provides configurable settings for improved head performance, productivity and measuring accuracy. Features include a stem counter, sawcut/home indication, production reports and individual operator settings. Together, the new features allow enhanced flexibility in operation that improve overall productivity by allowing operators more capabilities to properly position timber.


Despite current struggles in the forestry industry, Woodco has made an investment in the future and added four new jobs to their roster of 25 employees.

“We replaced our micro-mill equipment with a new Brewco double scragg and resaw line, which means increased production and improved lumber quality,” said Woodco owner John Drew. “Increased production means adding employees, and in a small community like Barriere, those four new jobs are important.”

The new equipment allows Woodco to efficiently turn shorter, round logs into square ‘cants’ which can then be further processed into lumber and other value-added products.
“As the industry evolves, the focus is on ensuring we’re getting full value from every log that comes into our mill,” Drew explained.

In addition, Woodco has also added a new building with an overhead crane system to improve timber and lumber handling. This also will improve the work environment for employees.

Woodco is based in Barriere, BC, and has deep roots in the BC forestry industry. They harvest or purchase 60,000 m3 of logs per year, and from that, produce nine million board feet of lumber. They additionally produce industrial mats, and pulp chips and hog-fuel products are created from residual waste from the milling process.

Woodco produces rough-cut timber and lumber products for the residential, commercial, and industrial markets. “We’ve managed to survive and thrive here” states John Drew, “because we are focused on our customers’ needs, and offer mill-direct pricing,”

West Fraser has added solar power to its energy mix after signing a Power Purchase Agreement with innogy, a European-based renewable energy operator. This agreement will provide solar power to West Fraser’s Alberta mills from innogy’s Canadian Vauxhall solar plant (27 MWp).

According to West Fraser, the energy will help better manage energy supply during “peak sawmill loading conditions, providing economic, renewable power to the Company’s Alberta mills.”

“We have a track record of investing in innovations focused on sustainable energy systems and developing renewable energy sources. Today 75% of our energy is renewable, and that will grow further as a result of this solar power partnership,” says Keith Carter, VP Pulp and Energy Operations at West Fraser. “We’re pleased to partner with innogy on this project, and to secure competitively-priced renewable energy to sustainably supply our Alberta sawmills.”
The Power Purchase Agreement with innogy is a 10 year agreement that has an estimated annual contribution of more than 45,000 MWh of carbon-free energy. This means 50% of the Company’s electricity comes from renewable energy sources.

“More than anything, I want to give all sorts of opportunities to the next generation.” West Fraser Chairman Hank Ketcham stated, “I want them to be proud of the success we’ve had.”
From Innogy’s perspective, the agreement is an important demonstration that solar farms do not need provincial subsidies to be economic and that climate protection is possible under current market conditions. The Vauxhall, AB solar plant providing the power to West Fraser does not have government subsidies to support
its operation.