Canadian Mining Journal


Natural gas-powered mine truck for low emissions

Cummins Westport Inc.--a joint venture of Cummins Inc., of Columbus, Ind., and Westport Innovations Inc., of Vancouver, B.C.--is joining forces with four other companies in a low-emissions, natural ga...

Cummins Westport Inc.–a joint venture of Cummins Inc., of Columbus, Ind., and Westport Innovations Inc., of Vancouver, B.C.–is joining forces with four other companies in a low-emissions, natural gas-powered mine truck study. By mid-2002, they will have determined the feasibility of testing such a vehicle at the Cortez joint venture gold mine near Elko, Nev. A site permit would have to be obtained, in addition to project funding, before a demonstration project could be undertaken.

The participants–who also include Placer Dome Technical Services Ltd., Komatsu Mining Systems Inc., Cortez Joint Venture and ENRG–aim to develop natural gas mining equipment, based on the Cummins QSK diesel engine platform, that will be able to meet standards for low emissions in mining while maintaining the performance of the engines.

Komatsu Mining Systems, a unit of Komatsu Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan, will look into using natural gas in the company’s 930E-2 truck, one of the largest mine trucks in service, with a payload capacity of 290 tonnes. Cummins Westport will investigate developing an LNG fuel system for a demonstration mine truck, with engine components based on designs the company is currently testing in QSK power generator engines, and with LNG components similar to those it is testing on highway trucks.

Series 5400 the valve of choice for tailings

The 36-inch series 5400 mine tailings control valve, from Red Valve Co. Inc. of Carnegie, P.A., is the valve of choice for large mine tailings operations. With a 20:1 turndown ratio and a zero headloss effect, the valve features a full-port opening and no cavities to trap solids or debris.

The elastomer sleeve isolates the valve body from the process and resists abrasion, as well as being easy and inexpensive to replace. The sleeve also closes in a smooth, venturi pattern that permits excellent throttling control over time.

The Series 5400 comes in sizes up to 72 inches, with hydraulic, pneumatic and electric actuators available. For more information visit Red Valve’s web site at

Project to detect, diagnose faulty pipelines

The Government of Canada and private industry and research institutes are working together to develop new technologies for the early detection and diagnosis of pipeline leaks and ruptures. The $2.5-million Intelligent Systems for Pipeline Infrastructure Reliability (ISPIR) project is to develop sensing technologies integrated into a simple, flexible and cost-effective fibre optic backbone.

The technologies will be used to detect corrosion and other faults such as leaks, pressure and temperature changes, cracks and buckling. This will ensure that timely and corrective action is taken to minimize environmental damage and to reduce downtime as well as the cost of maintaining pipelines. The technologies will be applicable to oil and gas pipelines of any age, size and function. It will also be applicable to mineral concentrate slurry pipelines.

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), TISEC Inc., of Montreal, FOX-TEK Inc., of Toronto and Precarn Inc., research institutes and government partners, are working together on the project. Precarn is to fund the three-year project for 40% of the total cost of approximately $998,000, NRCan is making an in-kind contribution valued at $300,000 and the rest will come from the other partners.

First electric rock drill–quiet, energy-efficient and accurate

The first electric rockdrill ever developed for use in mining is being tested by Hilti and Anglo Gold. The new rotary hammer drill, developed by Hilti, is being tested underground at Anglo Gold’s Kopanang mine, near Klerksdorp, South Africa.

This follows a three-year study Hilti conducted in North and South America, South Africa and Australia into the potential market for such an electric drill. Electric rockdrills, which draw on a less expensive source of energy, are more environmentally friendly and less of a health hazard than traditional pneumatic drills, could revolutionize the mining industry worldwide.

Anglo Gold and Hilti will conduct extensive testing before releasing the product on a wider front, and 100 drilling machines are to be tested at Kopanang mine in the first half of 2002, under rigorous conditions underground.

Helping mining companies expand e-business

A joint declaration by Mincom and Quadrem will offer mining companies welcome assistance in expanding their e-business practices and accessing the Quadrem e-marketplace.

Mincom, which leads in the provision of information technology solutions to capital-intensive industries, and Quadrem, the global online mining, minerals and metals e-marketplace, have been working together to ensure the successful integration of Quadrem into mining organizations. Mincom Axis, a B2B integration service, enables Quadrem customers fast, cost-effective connectivity to the mining, minerals and metals marketplace.

Included in the joint declaration is development of an interoperability agreement to give all Mincom Axis users in the mining industry the ability to access Quadrem automatically, quickly and easily.

Liebherr Mining International launched to address demand for products, service

The Liebherr group of companies has created Liebherr Mining International (LMI) to meet the demand for technically advanced, efficient mining products and high customer service expectations across the globe. LMI provides strategic and project-related support to the Liebherr companies and their customers, working closely with both in regional sales and service tasks.

Introduction of the Liebherr RT 1000, the first large hydraulic excavator, launched Liebherr into the global mining equipment supplier business over 35 years ago. It is now a leading supplier of highly productive, reliable mining equipment worldwide.

Sander Geophysics, Geological Survey of Finland team up for R&D, airborne surveys

Sander Geophysics Ltd. (SGL) and the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) are conducting joint research and development, as well as airborne surveys, to be able to offer clients comprehensive airborne geophysical services and extensive expertise in data modeling and interpretation. The airborne services of SGL and GTK use AIRGrav to produce airborne gravity surveys with the highest resolution in the industry. Other airborne services include total field magnetic and three-axis magnetic gradient surveys, frequency domain electromagnetic surveys and radiometric surveys for natural and man-made radiation, including detailed environmental monitoring surveys.

SGL, which was founded in 1956, is now the largest independently owned and operated airborne geophysics company in the world.

Since GTK became one of the first organizations to do systematic airborne geophysical surveys in 1951, it has successfully carried out airborne geophysical surveys across Finland as well as in Europe, Africa and Asia.

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