Episode 10 | Mining Industry Expectations in 2022

Episode 10 | Mining Industry Expectations in 2022

In this episode, we discussed how the mining industry is expected to evolve in 2022. With many changes in how mining is perceived in the past few years, along with new technologies, the mining industry is expected to implement many changes over the next year. Our guest and hosts also discussed how to align our development, in terms of thinking, with today’s technology, to be consistent and sustainable.

We had the honor to host:

➡️ Elie Abou-Jaoude; Elie is a graduate researcher in global mine development and sustainability in the Mining and Materials Engineering Department at McGill University. He currently develops and facilitates international training programs on systems thinking and personal transformation for students and engineers in academic institutions, using his background in coaching (ACC-Certified) to foster an experiential learning environment. Elie describes his approach to mining as integral and holistic, with a focus on human empowerment and community development. He has presented his research findings in several conferences since 2015 including CIM, ISMSSE, and GEOMIN.

Episode 9 | Future of Mining

Episode 9 | Future of Mining

In this episode, we discussed the future of mining in terms of sustainability and technology. As the mining industry is incorporating new technologies, it is crucial to develop a strategic plan to be effective and to allow for culture adaptation.

We had the honor to host a dear guest, who will talk to us in depth about this subject.

➡️ Dr. Mustafa Kumral; P. Eng and Associate Professor in the Department of Mining and Materials Engineering at McGill University. He has over 20 years of experience in mining engineering research and teaching in Canada, the United Kingdom and Turkey. He obtained his PhD from the Department of Mining and Mineral Engineering at the University of Leeds in 2000. His research focuses on surface mining, mine systems optimization, reliability and maintenance analysis, and mine risk analysis. He has held many research grants individually and in collaboration with other researchers. Over the years, Dr. Kumral has published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. He has also supervised over 20 master’s and PhD students. He has taught several courses focusing on mineral economics, open pit mining, and mining reliability.

Mining Industry Expectations in 2022

Mining Industry Expectations in 2022

Despite the challenges faced in 2021, a number of commodities have reached new historical values and more is expected in 2022. According to Fitch Solutions, lithium, tin and coking coal prices are expected to be on the rise amongst all the minerals. Therefore, most mining Companies can continue to expect a strong ore and metal production and a year of high earnings. On a further note, with new technologies shaping the future and the way we do things, the mining industry is in a state of “disruption”. This is mainly caused by consumption patterns and environmental, social and governance (ESG). The electric vehicle sector will also require a higher demand, causing higher investments in copper, lithium and nickel. The figure below shows the expected sector growth in 2022. 

Mining industry expectations

The technological advancement is accelerating, the mining industry is expected to widen the gap between developed and underdeveloped markets, which might cause higher competition between developed markets. With that being said, as sustainability is becoming an integral part of the mining industry worldwide, there is pressure on mining companies to decarbonise and to minimize environmental impact. This will dramatically improve mining’s image from an environmental point of view, considering that mining is responsible for 4%-7% of global CHG emissions, according to McKinsey & Co. 

Making sure that social responsibility and human factors are taught in academia is also a step towards better sustainability. Students and young engineers should be taught these concepts from the beginning in order to start implementing them right away in the workplace. Creating awareness in academic institutions will ensure that sustainability is an integral part of mining even it is not within a mining operation. Sustainability is also a holistic concept, where it involves environment, society and humans. So, with many technological advancements, the need of human ethics is also needed. Technology needs to be used in a way the benefits the greater population of a country, rather than a small group of people. 

The need of an adaptable mining software is also expected to be in high demand in the upcoming years. This originates from the fact that every mine is different. The similarities are located in the mining method in general, but there aren’t any mines that operate exactly the same way. Therefore, having a customizable mining software that is able to meet the specific need of a particular mine is crucial. Overall, this will help the mining industry advance from a technological point of view. 

 

References: 

Mining and metals key themes for 2022. Fitch Solutions: Data, Research & Analytics for Credit Risk & Strategy. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2022, from https://www.fitchsolutions.com/mining/mining-and-metals-key-themes-2022-06-10-2021?fSWebArticleValidation=true&mkt_tok=NzMyLUNLSC03NjcAAAGCFHeBzslYdPnBDYQPHAH0zGMi4oDoIsggteKLSP2tvAhwkvwE-XJcntL4E0wtQDgPoy0z8BIlfLrLXTULMfSVbh_SylQNE7RTVsaajzYSL2zPeVUI4A  

Mining industry to continue flying high through 2022 – report. MINING.COM. (2021, June 2). Retrieved January 20, 2022, from https://www.mining.com/miners-to-continue-flying-high-through-2022-report/  

The Mining Industry in 2021

The Mining Industry in 2021

Given this past year’s heavy challenges, including COVID-19’s pandemic, the mining industry overcame the obstacles and developed a few trends that are now valuable to a lot of Companies. The unexpected events of 2020 forced a change to develop new strategies to approach the mining sector in different ways. Several trends have been developed by many Companies that were noticeable. In this article, we will have a look at 2 trends and how they helped mining Companies through this year. 

The first trend is Building Resilience and Volatility. With many uncertain events this year, leaders and managers from the mining sector were taught how to be flexible and how to come up with different scenarios for their organization. When doing this, they can anticipate obstacles that might hinder their productivity, which allows to build resilient organizations. This requires a strategic plan that can meet the balance between productivity and maintaining a safe work environment. When this is achieved, Companies can excel quickly while ensuring the health and safety of its workers. 

The second trend is related to more attention attributed to decarbonization. While the pandemic was a big factor, climate change remains an important aspect of the mining industry. This is a critical area as Companies work to meet the environmental obligation associated with their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). 

Before effectively decarbonizing, mining Companies need to understand the impacts of climate change on their operations by setting a baseline using historical data. Following, Companies can obtain scientific information from organizations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), or the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), to then assess the forecast of their emissions reductions. Finally, when executing operations, mine sites can optimize by adjusting based on the collected data to effectively start decarbonizing. Some examples include innovating with new technologies, obtaining new methods for operation, software, safety, etc. 

Aside from the trends in 2021, the top 2 mining Companies in 2021 by market capitalization are BHP ($179B) and Rio Tinto ($132B). Both mining Companies produce a wide variety of minerals, mainly iron ore and copper. Vale, with a market capitalization of $112B, comes in third after BHP and Rio Tinto.  

Based on the data from 2021, the mining industry is moving towards electrification and using renewables for electricity, to contribute to ESG. Therefore, mining companies should be aware that this shift requires a lot more minerals for lithium batteries and other infrastructure to meet the demand of this change. Hence, it is important to create a balance between moving towards decarbonization and increasing productivity to meet the demand of this shift. 

References: 

The biggest mining companies in the World in 2021. (2021, August 05). Retrieved from https://www.mining.com/web/the-biggest-mining-companies-in-the-world-in-2021/ 

Tracking the trends 2021. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/mining-and-metals/tracking-the-trends.html 

How to Cut a Section Along a Current UCS

How to Cut a Section Along a Current UCS

How to cut a section along a current UCS?

AutoCAD gives you the option to configure a current UCS by clicking and dragging the UCS icon on an object. This is very useful when working with complicated 3D objects with many coordinates in all axes. To do this, type in the command line UCS and place the UCS icon on the desired coordinate. Then, the command will prompt you to select the axes directions for X and Y, which will be used as the main plane on which the section will be cut. Using the 1 Section command (SEC1), make sure to select the option “current UCS” under “Type”. This will essentially tell the program to cut the section along the current UCS, configured previously. For quality check, drawing a large, closed polyline around the cut section on section view. Then, return to plan view and check if the section was cut properly using the closed polyline as reference. 

Episode 8 l Pursuing a Career in Mining in North America

Episode 8 l Pursuing a Career in Mining in North America

✅ In this podcast, we talked about what it’s like to pursue a career in the mining industry and how rewarding it can be. The mining industry can open doors to many other fields and it’s important to know which path to take so that you’re sure to pursue the right career for you and to stay passionate about your work.

This episode had the honor to invite a very special guest:

➡️ Caelen Burand; An ambitious mining engineering and geology student at the University of Arizona Honors College. As a striving polymath enthusiastic about responsible resourcing, Caelen has been working in mineral exploration and mining since the age of 16 in various positions as a mine geologist, entrepreneur, and engineer within diverse organizations like Nevada Gold Mines, Cholla Lapidary, and the Last Chance Mine. With a personal mission to improve the status quo, he leads Mercury Free Mining’s research program mitigating mercury use in artisanal and small-scale mining across the globe. Furthermore, he is developing a novel transdisciplinary student research hub at the Lowell Institute of Mineral Resources and is founder and director of Young Mining Professionals Arizona. In these roles he actively works with diverse teams to enhance young miners and the mining industry. During his free time, Caelen enjoys taking care of his dogs, investigating global politics, learning new disciplines, and exploring the rural, natural world.

Sustainability Challenges in the Mining Industry

Sustainability Challenges in the Mining Industry

Sustainability in mining is the minimization of negative impacts associated with the mining activity that could be caused on the environment, communities, and the economy. It is about engaging with the community to deliver positive outcomes from the society, as well as protection of the environment and enhancing the current and future human needs. 

The mining industry removes and consumes a limited resource (valuable minerals) at a cost to surrounding communities and the environment. The regulation of mining activities often depends on national frameworks and policies, and therefore the application of sustainable principles can become challenging. By recognizing the social impacts of mining, enact laws and regulations, and establish essential community participation, companies could truly shift to a more “sustainable mining”. 

There are different strategies to assess the sustainability of mining operations which include monitoring, measure, and work to improve various environmental performance metrics. Key metrics are represented by the resource consumption, minimizing land disturbance, pollution and closure and reclamation of exhausted mine lands.  

According to the Charter of the UN and principles of international law, all countries exploiting their own resources own the rights to pursue their own environmental policies and they have the responsibility to ensure that activities do not cause damage to the environment of other areas beyond the limits of the jurisdiction. 

The biggest challenges are implementing those existing regulations and the lack of political penalties, especially in developing countries where there is a slower acceptance of engagement towards a greener future.  

Thanks to the technological advances, the benefits of the environmental strategies have increased while reducing the costs associated. Mining companies generate jobs and create economic benefits, thanks to the mine exploration, construction, operation, and maintenance. However, mining companies should consider other elements, such as community development and health. 

More and more mining companies are embracing the opportunity of incorporating innovations into their operations and applying digital tools and technologies, that potentially will reduce the CO2 emissions and benefit in the long term the environment and community. A great example is at Semafo’s Mana mine in Burkina Faso, where a 20MW solar plant has been built by Windiga Energy. The surplus generated feeds the national grid and contributes to the economy of the country. 

A key aspect for sustainable development is to integrate communities into the decisions taken. They are the ones who could benefit the most and pay the highest price for the mineral extraction. 

 

References:

Casey, J. (2021, November 17). Seequent launches insight paper on the future of sustainability in mining. Retrieved from https://www.globalminingreview.com/environment-sustainability/17112021/seequent-launches-insight-paper-on-the-future-of-sustainability-in-mining/

Gorman, M. R., & Dzombak, D. A. (2018, June 28). A review of sustainable mining and resource management: Transitioning from the life cycle of the mine to the life cycle of the mineral. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0921344918302076

18, S. M., Malan, S., Declaration, S., & Cutifani, M. (n.d.). How to Advance Sustainable Mining. Retrieved from https://www.iisd.org/articles/how-advance-sustainable-mining

Technology and Mining Sustainability

Technology and Mining Sustainability

We are currently living in the fourth industrial revolution, which is more connectivity related. This progress has impacts in our everyday lives but today is about mining. 

(How technology can boost productivity in small-scale mining” 2020) 

Technology can have a number of impacts on mining operations, including safety and productivity and environmental protection. Safer working conditions through improved underground communication, automation, more sophisticated mineral and metal transportation, and emergency response measures are achieved by integrating technology into mining projects. Technological advancements in mining are also making operations more productive. This can be seen in the use of robotics operating 24 hours a day, real-time monitoring of minerals and metals through mines and processing plants, and using simulations at the mine design stage to test different solutions before implementation (“International Institute for Sustainable Development” 2019). 

This technologies can also be used to make a mine more sustainable through the “Green Technologies”. 

What is green technology? 

Green technology refers to technology that limits or reverses the effects of human activity on the planet. In mining, green technology refers to technology that will reduce carbon emissions in operations and mitigate adverse environmental impacts. It includes the use of minerals and metals that support a transition to low-carbon technologies such as solar panels or wind power (“International Institute for Sustainable Development” 2019). 

 Thanks to the technology evolution, mines are now more efficient, productive, safer and sustainable which benefits the mining industry as well as consumers. 

 

References: 

AutoCAD Modeling Plugins: Key Tools that Enhance Usability

AutoCAD Modeling Plugins: Key Tools that Enhance Usability

AutoCAD has been around for a long time. It has offered us an easy and fast way to model throughout this time and has adapted to the market’s changes.  

Some of these solutions are now completely integrated in our day-to-day tasks, for those who use AutoCAD. A good example of this is that the users now can completely work from the web app and save their work and continue in the AutoCAD desktop app, a feature that did not exist some years ago. 

How do people program something in AutoCAD? The answer: AutoLISP 

The AutoLISP feature in AutoCAD is a very popular feature used by thousands of utilities and applications that have been developed around the world (including Promine) and that have allowed users to improve their workflows. It has been very useful for every single industry in the world that is known so far and even NASA has used it in a mission (To patch a bug on the way to a spacecraft’s destination). 

Some of the words of our developers are “you can program everything”. This means that you can program every single feature in AutoCAD, but you just need the right tools and commands to do so. 

Modeling in 3D has become very popular, our clients expect us to deliver improvements in 3D and even competitors are working very hard on improving their 3D objects. 

There are some plugins for modeling on the market and hundreds of apps that can be integrated into AutoCAD. You just need to go to the Autodesk App Store to find hundreds of solutions for your tasks. Some of the preferred ones by the users are 3D solutions that are both free and not free and that can convert from one type of object to another one or that can import certain type of objects into AutoCAD. Some examples are the following: 

3D Stretch: This looks like a good option to stretch objects already built (nested solids). 

Arrange: Plug-in to arrange objects 

Hilti BIM/CAD Library: Very convenient way to integrate models of this type of object into AutoCAD 

Spiral Cone Unfolding: Generates a 3D model from cross sections and unfolds it into a flat pattern. 

These are only a few among the hundreds that you can find. You could even develop yours in AutoCAD, your own icons and functions with some training. Check out what AutoCAD has to offer on their website.

References: 

https://blogs.autodesk.com/autocad/new-integrations-improve-autocad-and-aec-workflows/ 

https://www.quora.com/Which-well-known-softwares-are-written-in-Lisp 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/autodesk-videos-output-prd/dd0459b0-8669-11eb-ac49-418db6f289f6/video.webm 

https://blogs.autodesk.com/autocad/my-insights/ 

https://apps.autodesk.com/ACD/en/Home/Index  

How can CAD Modeling be Useful in Engineering?

How can CAD Modeling be Useful in Engineering?

In every engineering program nowadays, there is always a course about CAD modeling. As school is supposed to prepare students for professional careers, Universities understand the importance of cad modeling in every industry today.   

First, CAD means Computer-Aided Design. It was created to replace manual drafting with the help of computers. CAD Technology allows 2D or 3D renderings of the drafts. With 2D Modeling, it is as if, the users were drawing on a sheet of paper whereas 3D modeling brings the design to life in the 3D Space.  

With CAD Modeling, drafters, artists, manufacturers, designers, architects, and engineers can test their design ideas, draft construction and engineering plans and visualize a realistic representation of their projects. 

Most engineering processes begin with the conceptual stage where a different set of ideas are explored and tested, to the production stage and delivery of the products, buildings, or infrastructures to the final users. Throughout this process, precision, accuracy, and efficiency are expected from engineers while at the same time respecting deadlines and budgets. In this capacity, CAD technology reveals itself as being useful to increase the efficiency of the processes by saving some time and offering accuracy and precision that manual calculations or drafting cannot. It allows users to modify and optimize processes in a few clicks. 

Whether it is, Chemical, Electrical, Civil, Mechanical, Biomedical, or Mining Engineering, CAD modeling offers many advantages that will be listed below: 

1. Savings of design time and increased efficiency  

Engineers are saving a lot of time with CAD technology because there is no need for hand drafting anymore. Drafting tasks that would have taken months and months to complete can now be accomplished in a few minutes. Also, in case of a mistake or requirements changes, engineers won’t have to redo the whole design again. With just a few clicks, the new requirements can be added, and the errors corrected. In addition, in many CAD software, templates, as well as nomenclature of recurrent elements, are included. The users can just use those elements in their drawings and don’t have to draw them again. Some elements in the conception can be isolated or added to other designs which allows the engineers to test different design combinations in a short period. 

2. Better Precision and Accuracy 

CAD technology software brings more accuracy and precision through the analysis of the viability of the designs with the help of mathematical models, therefore, reducing the need for physical prototype testing as well as mistakes. 

Most CAD software allows the usage of real data from the project to do costs and deadlines estimations. By using data from the project in real-time, engineers get a better sense of the reality and an accurate design that could be modified as the project progresses. 

 

3. Costs Reduction and accuracy of costs estimation 

By reducing considerably, the time associated with the design, projects are delivered in a faster time, and mistakes or faults in the design are detected earlier. In the long run, it reduces considerably the project costs. 

Also, the accuracy and precision brought by CAD modeling software allow for accurate costs estimations earlier in the conceptual phase. 

 

To conclude, CAD Technology is a powerful tool that engineers could use to get more efficient and produce more accurate designs while at the same time, reducing the costs associated with a project. 

With Promine, engineers and geologists can model diamond drill holes, as well as the 3D model of an orebody. They can design the drifts and the stopes and get volume and tonnage calculations. With the surveying modules, they can model real-time drifts and compare them to the planned stopes. With the mine planning module, different cost reports can be generated, and a Gantt chart produced. 

References:

CAD Software: 2D And 3D Computer-Aided Design. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.autodesk.ca/en/solutions/cad-software 

Bethany. (2021, June 05). How Engineers Use Computer Aided Design. Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.scan2cad.com/blog/cad/how-engineers-use-cad/ 

Kadoch. (2020, January 13). 5 avantages de la modélisation 3D pour la conception de vos projets énergétiques. Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.stantec.com/fr/ideas/content/blog/2020/from-stantec-era-5-ways-3d-modeling-changing-the-way-we-design-power-projects 

What is 3D CAD Modeling? – Product Design Company: Design Launchers. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.designlaunchers.com/what-is-3d-cad-modeling