The Asia Miner

JUN 2018

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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the asia miner • volume 15 • issue 2 11 FEATURE: Future of coal consorƟum, aims to transform the mining sector's producƟvity, performance, and compeƟƟveness through tackling global challenges of water, energy, and environmental footprint, with bold targets of a 50% reducƟon in each area by 2027. CLEER will engage the mining services and supply sector (MSS) and mining companies. Although unsuccessful in receiving funding from the Canadian government, Adrian McFadden, Chair of the CLEER Interim Board said that while CLEER was disappointed in the final outcome, it remained firmly commiƩed to mining innovaƟon and working towards building up this significant iniƟaƟve. "The process of developing the CLEER iniƟaƟve was a turning point for our sector. It sparked an enthusiasƟc response from Canada's mining and mining supply industries and involved an unprecedented level of collaboraƟon on innovaƟon in our sector." "We believe that innovaƟon is an important catalyst to Canada becoming the leading supplier of sustainably-sourced minerals and metals and clean-tech soluƟons the world needs. Moving forward, Canada's mining industry will be seeking new opportuniƟes to be a partner to government to achieve shared goals through innovaƟon," stated Pierre GraƩon, President and CEO, the Mining AssociaƟon of Canada. TECHNOLOGY New technologies are enabling workers to make quicker, more informed decisions at the front lines of operaƟons. Advancements in arƟficial intelligence and machine learning are giving geologists more opƟons and the data to understand exisƟng deposits differently, along with tools to make new discoveries. Increased automaƟon is removing workers from the riskiest parts of the mine, making mines safer as operators strive for zero harm. As technology enables mining professionals to improve the output, ulƟmately creaƟng a safer work environment, companies will require workforce with the relevant skills to build and maintain the digital infrastructure that supports new, modern mines. ExperƟse in arƟficial intelligence, virtual reality, soŌware design and systems integraƟon will bring a fresh perspecƟve on what it means to be a miner. As with innovaƟon, mining companies will be unable to achieve this transformaƟon on their own. Cross-sector collaboraƟon is essenƟal to ensure the efficient use of resources and experƟse. RENEWABLES According to a report by DeloiƩe, consƟtuƟng approximately 30% of total cash operaƟng costs, energy is one of the biggest expenses for mining companies. With renewable energy fast-becoming an alternaƟve energy source, mining companies have a material opportunity to use renewables to lower costs, improve safety, reliability and sustainability, and miƟgate risks to ulƟmately gain a compeƟƟve advantage. Investment in an effecƟve energy management program, of which renewables are a major component, can drive down energy costs by up to 25% in exisƟng operaƟons and 50% in new mines. Even though energy management pracƟces are becoming more accepted by the sector, there is sƟll resistance from some to integrate renewable energy sources and enabling technologies into their energy management programs. This may be due to percepƟons about where renewables stand today in terms of complexity, cost, reliability, and performance. Realising the full benefits from renewables involves more than installing a solar array or wind turbines, it requires a willingness to rethink operaƟonal processes and to reconsider the way work is done. Renewables have reached a posiƟon where they should be examined as part of a broader social and environmental agenda in addiƟon to their financial proposiƟon as a replacement for tradiƟonal fuel sources at mine sites. By offering important social, health and safety, and environmental benefits, they create shareholder value. To realise the fullness of these opportuniƟes, mining companies will need to challenge their capital projects groups and their design teams to take a hard look at renewable technologies, not just as a pure subsƟtute for exisƟng energy sources, but also as a means of doing things differently. "No maƩer how they go about it, companies seeking to address the triple boƩom-line of social, environmental and financial value owe it to their stakeholders to consider integraƟng renewables into their energy management strategies," said Marlene Motyka, DeloiƩe's Global Renewable Energy Lead Partner. "The clean-energy movement is global, it is industry-agnosƟc, and it is irreversible," she added. COAL MINING AUSTRALIA In a most recent trade data report, the Australian Bureau of StaƟsƟcs (ABS) has announced that Australia's coal export values have hit a new peak of $56.5 billion in 2017. This valuaƟon is 35% higher than 2016 data, and beats the previous record of $46.7 billion, set in 2011, by nearly $10 billion. The $56.5 billion is split between 200 million tonnes (Mt) Goldcorp's Marlin mine in Guatemala, backfill of former pit. Image source: Goldcorp

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