How Sci-Fi Films and Novels Affect Our Perception of Mining

by Marcelle P. Villegas - November 05, 2019

(A scene from Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005), iconic fight scene of Obi-wan versus General Grievous in a mine site (Photo credits: Lucasfilm, https://www.starwars.com/)

Pop culture, movies, novels, literature, comic books and even video games often catch our attention and sometimes become our momentary bliss as we try to escape the real world... to find entertainment or to relax our minds. These modes in media are quite influential in ways that most of us are unaware of. For young minds or lay people who have no background in the field of Geology or Mining Engineering, their perception of the mining might be influenced by movies and books.

Is this helpful in promoting proper information? Is it somehow injecting a negative impression towards mining where lay people believe what is fiction rather than true science?

In the film industry, mining is a popular topic in science fiction movies. In the Star Wars movie trilogy, prequels and sequels (in films and novels), it seems evident that storylines show the importance of mining. There are many parts of Star Wars films or books where pro-mining sentiments are projected.

Without mining in the Star Wars universe, there are no lightsabers, laser blasters, Star Destroyers, Imperial Fleets or Death Stars. For example, the lightsaber (a fictional and signature weapons of the Jedi Order and Sith Lords) are dependent on kyber crystals (a fictional precious gemstone) for its source of power. In the story, young Jedi apprentices are sent to the Crystal Caves of an ice planet to mine crystals. From there, they can build their own lightsaber.[1]

Darth Vader’s success as a leader is marked by the completion of two Death Stars. Mining of minerals made the creation of these battle stations possible.

Moreover, In the 2016 film, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, an ancient Jedi Temple (Temple of the Whills) was looted by the Imperials for their kyber crystals which were used for the first Death Star that they were building.

Story plots of Star Wars films and novels often show the life of miners and how communities are affected by mining. For example, back in 1977, a Star Wars novel was published titled “Splinter of the Mind's Eye” by Alan Dean Foster. In this novel, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia were stranded in a swamp-like planet. In order to escape from the Imperials, they concealed their identity by pretending to be miners. The story somehow reflected the life in a planetary mine site.

The 1992 novel “Star Wars: Dark Force Rising” by Timothy Zahn also had chapters were mining and its effect on a planet were discussed.

Mine sites also made its mark in significant scenes in Star Wars films. In “Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith” in 2005, two fictional mine sites were mentioned.

At the mine site of Planet Utapau, Jedi Knight Obi-wan Kenobi had a fierce duel with the strange cyborg leader of the Separatist Army, General Grievous. With all the noise, sarcastic lines and blinking lights in the scene, perhaps it is hard to notice that the background resembles an open pit mine. Utapau is a planet with many sinkholes wherein alien cities are found and mining is their main occupation. This is also the hideout of the Separatist Army.

Later in the film, we are taken into another mine site. Do you remember how Anakin became Darth Vader? He had a fatal duel with his teacher, Obi-wan while they were at the Mustafarian mining complex in Planet Mustafar. This mining complex is an ore-collection complex in a volcanic planet. The mining facility was also used as a secret hideout of a battle droid factory.

Although Star Wars films and novels seem to project a pro-mining picture, these two fictional mine sites in SW Ep III have a negative connotation. First, mine sites are used as secret hideouts of criminals and their illegal activities like manufacturing weapons and aggressive use of military technology. Second, mine sites are dangerous. A young hero can be badly injured and end up being the villainous Darth Vader.

Aside from Star Wars in 1977, there was also Battlestar Galactica in 1978 by Glen A. Larson.

The movie had a TV series in 1980 and 2009, plus a miniseries in 2003. Mining was rarely mentioned in the film or TV series but the Galactica star fleet does have a Mining Ship designed to gather ores and water from asteroids. Mining became more prominent in Battlestar Galactica on its online gameplay. Therefore the concept of asteroid mining is depicted where mining titanium and water are needed to upgrade spaceships and provide fuel.

If “Star Wars” and “Battlestar Galactica” present pro-mining messages, do you think films like “Avatar” and “Man of Steel” are doing the opposite?

In 2009, James Cameron’s “Avatar” brought us into the world of Pandora, a habitable moon in the Alpha Centauri star system, which is inhabited by a local tribe of Na’vi (blue-skinned humanoid species of Pandora).

The humans inhabited Pandora primarily for the mining of a rare mineral called Unobtanium, a fictional superconductor element not found on Earth. This mineral is needed to save Earth from an energy crisis. Eventually the mining colony expanded and it threatened the existence of the local tribe. The movie presented how mining affects the lives of indigenous people and the environment. Is the problem here mining or is it greed and misuse of technology?

In the 2013 film “Man of Steel” (by David Goyer and Christopher Nolan) anti-mining sentiments were not presented directly. However, there was a scene when a holographic recording of Jor-el (Superman’s father), explained how Planet Krypton exploded. He said, “We exhausted our natural resources. As a result, our planet's core became unstable.

Eventually, our military leader, General Zod, attempted a coup, but by then it was too late.” [2]

Jor-el did not directly say that mining destroyed Planet Krypton, but the concept of “exhausting natural resources” and “planet’s core became unstable” could be hints of irresponsible mining. That part is left for audiences to think about.

Looking at classic literature novels, mining and the life of miners were the main topics in Jules Verne’s “The Underground City” (1877) and “The Call of the Wild” (1903) by Jack London.

The French sci-fi writer, Jules Verne wrote “Les Indes noires” (The Black Indies) which had English titles like “The Child of the Cavern”, or “Strange Doings Underground”. Other English titles for the novel were “Black Diamonds” and “The Underground City”. The novel is about coal miners in the mining community of Aberfoyle near Stirling, Scotland back in the 1800s. The mysterious setting showed how mining can bring a community together or perhaps how it can bring danger to some in an underground mine site.

“The Call of the Wild” is an adventure novel by Jack London that tells a story of a dog named Buck. The story took place in 1890 in Yukon, Canada during the height of the Klondike Gold Rush. In those times, strong and reliable sled dogs were in high demand due to their ability to survive the harsh winter climate. Buck was stolen from his home in Santa Clara Valley and sold as a sled dog in Alaska.

The book is not science fiction but is a fictional novel based on real-life events about gold mining. It tells us about the historic Klondike Gold Rush in 1896 - 1899. Gold was discovered there by local miners on 16 August 1896. When news reached Seattle and San Francisco the following year, around 100,000 prospectors migrated to Klondike region of Yukon (north-western Canada). Some became wealthy while others failed. The Klondike Gold Rush became a part of popular culture at that time.

In summary, no matter how mining is presented by pop culture or media, it brings awareness on how mining plays a vital role in nation-building through infrastructure. Mining also determines the success or failure of a nation at war. The portrayal of miners, engineers and scientists in films or novels gives its audience or readers an awareness of the difficulties of working in a mine site.

The Star Wars Universe for example may be science fiction, but the concept behind mining for minerals, industrialisation, political conflicts, economic issues and wars are reflective of real life struggles.

For professionals in the mining industry, the challenge is to help young people and lay people find the balance between facts and fiction. Let us help them understand the scientific facts versus science fiction with regards to mining.

Was there a good movie or book that inspired you towards a career in mining or infrastructure? Can you think of a good movie or novel where mining was a center of the plot or narrative?

-----

Reference:

[1] https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Kyber_crystal

Other reference - https://www.starwars.com/

[2] https://www.quotes.net/movies/man_of_steel_132084

 

Book and photo: * “The Call of the Wild” by Jake London, book cover by Paul Bransom and Charles Bull (1890)


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Marcelle P. Villegas - June 08, 2020

What the PH can Learn from Indonesia's Successful Nickel Industry - Part 2

By Marcelle P. Villegas Previously, we featured an update on the mining regulations in the Philippines. We also examined the export volumes of nickel ore from the Philippines and how these had been affected by Indonesia's exports. Lastly, we discussed the viability of the Philippines' laterite ore deposits and what this could mean for future production. These were the scope of a presentation by Mr George Bujtor last September at the 7th Asian Nickel Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia. His report is titled “Philippines: Regulatory Update and the Potential of the Philippine Laterite Ore” - “How the Philippines was Surpassed by Indonesia in the Laterite Nickel Industry”. Mr Bujtor is the CEO and owner of private companies, namely Electric Metals Limited (EML) in Hong Kong and PT Electric Metals Indonesia. These are companies which are developing the innovative EML Process for the low-cost leaching of nickel laterite ores. The EML Process is the first of its kind in green technology in nickel processing, and he introduced this at the Asian Nickel Conference in Indonesia last September. Mr Bujtor is an expert in the technical, financial and commercial aspects of mining operations with over 35 years of experience in the industry. He has extensive work experience in the past as General Manager and Managing Director in Rio Tinto, Australia. In the Philippines is the former CEO of Toledo Mining Corporation and Berong Nickel Mine in Palawan, as well as CEO of Atlas Mining Corporation. As a review from Part I of our article, we learned from Mr Bujtor that the Philippines is currently Asia's leading supplier of nickel and cobalt which are raw materials for the battery sector. He stated that with the right policies, the Philippines could become one of the world's leading suppliers of battery raw materials, including battery manufacturing. [1] He said, "Both the Philippines and Indonesia have the resources to dominate the nickel industry. The future growth will be in stainless steel and the battery sector. " "Over the next 4 to 5 years, nickel demand growth will be in the stainless steel and battery sectors. Indonesia will continue to dominate the NPI growth and investment. The Philippines will only be able to compete in the battery sector." Now, what is the future of the Philippine laterite nickel ores? With regards to the competitiveness of Indonesia versus the Philippines, he mentioned that, "Relative to Indonesia, the Philippines has NO competitive advantage in ferro-nickel production." He gave the following key points: Indonesia has built, and continues to build, power stations to provide the electricity to its ferro-nickel industry. The Philippines has limited coal resources and a negative view of coal-fired power stations. With past high grading and sales of saprolite ores, little high-grade saprolite tonnage remains in the Philippines to produce low cost ferro-nickel/NPI. Indonesia has the advantage of having considerably higher saprolite ore grades and lesser environmental controls. These are key cost drivers. The future for the Philippines is not in ferro-nickel or NPI. He concluded, "The future of the Philippines lies in the processing of its laterite ores as battery raw materials…” Here is why: The Philippines is currently one of two producers of battery raw materials in Asia, through the Nickel Asia/Sumitomo JV. Sumitomo has the world’s leading technology for HPAL. The Philippines has large resources of laterite ores with medium to high Ni, Co & Sc grades. Hydrometallurgical processes like HPAL require very little electricity relative to ferro-nickel production. The Philippines leads the world in an innovative atmospheric leaching process adapted for the tropics – ‘The EML Process’ –a low cost atmospheric leaching process. Green products for a green future As mentioned earlier, The EML Process is the first of its kind in green technology in nickel processing. "The low environmental impact either locally or globally of the EML process not only produces products green in colour (nickel), but green in nature to promote the ever-increasing demand for battery and related metals to combat the continued burning of fossil fuels and consequent global environmental pollution." [2] The EML Process was developed in the Philippines. It is an atmospheric leaching process (done at room temperatures and pressure) adapted to treat all laterite nickel ores. (The two methods of atmospheric leaching done by EML are vat leaching and tank leaching.) Here are some key points: Test work undertaken in the Philippines leveraging off Cu, Au, Li and Ni experience “Closed system” with leached ore placed back into mined-out areas –no emissions to land, air or water Lowest carbon footprint and environmentally the “greenest” of all Ni technologies Disruptive technology with lowest capital cost in the industry at Does not require a power station [1] "The EML Process is not only simple and safe but provides an environmental solution to the laterite nickel industry hitherto much maligned for its poor environmental rehabilitation performance, excess CO2 emissions and excess waste generated." “The principals behind Electric Metals Limited have developed an innovative leaching process to treat tropical nickel laterites, both saprolite and limonite ores. The process can also be applied to other ores of lithium, copper gold, uranium etc.” “The leach process has industry lowest capital costs and is environmentally far superior to the more complex and expensive technologies such as the High Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) and Rotary Kiln Electric Furnace (RKEF) processes.” [3] The three essential steps in the EML Process include: 1. Leaching of the laterite ore: Mined ore is contacted with dilute sulphuric acid to dissolve the nickel & cobalt (as well as other metals like aluminium, scandium, manganese, etc). 2. Metals Recovery: Solutions containing the metals of interest are treated to recover the contained nickel & cobalt initially, as a mixed hydroxide product containing 35% to 55% nickel and 1% to 3% cobalt. 3. Neutralization: Leached ore is washed and neutralised prior to being returned to the mined-out open pit. The leached ore residue is non-toxic and chemically inert and suitable for revegetation or agriculture. In summary, while the issue of nickel processing and environmental concerns may be a topic of debate among environmental activists and industrialists, the solution lies in having a gamechanger in the nickel processing arena. Today, we now have a low-cost and environment-friendly nickel processing method called The EML Process. This offers a promising future in the industry and for the environment as well. ----- Acknowledgement: Thank you to Mr George Bujtor of Electric Metals Limited. ----- Reference: [1] Bujtor, George. (11 Sept. 2019). “Philippines: Regulatory Update and the Potential of the Philippines Laterite Ore -- How the Philippines was Surpassed by Indonesia in the Laterite Nickel Industry”. Presented at Asian Nickel Conference 2019, Jakarta Indonesia [2] Retrieved from Electric Metals Limited website - https://electricmetalsltd.wordpress.com/ [3] Bujtor, George and Wallwin Peter. (02 May 2020). “The EML Process”. Electric Metals Limited investor flyer. Photo credit: Marcelle P. Villegas, Philippine Resources Journal

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Marcelle P. Villegas - June 08, 2020

PH Mineral Reporting Code and Its Relevance to PH Minerals Industry

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Although the discussion took place last September, the further development of the PMRC is something to look forward to this year and perhaps even the following year. The Philippine Mineral Reporting Code or the “Code” was created to set out minimum standards, recommendations and guidelines for Public Reporting in the Philippines of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. “The Code was formulated with the intent of setting minimum standards for public reporting on minerals that is compatible with global standards. The formulation of the PMRC relied on the international codes from Australia, South Africa, European Union and Canada,” according to the Philippine-Australia Business Council (PABC). The closed-group discussion was moderated by Atty. Ronald S. Recidoro, COMP Executive Director. Atty. Dennis A. Quintero (PABC Chair and Meeting Chair) started the event with an “Introduction of Meeting Attendees and Brief History of PMRC”. "The idea of having a Philippine Mineral Reporting Code started during one of the mining roadshows in Australia, participated in by representatives from the Philippine-Australia Business Council. Back then, the Chairman was Atty. Leo Dominguez and the delegation was composed of the various mining industry stakeholders like the Chamber of Mines and also the Philippine Stock Exchange. And the idea came up that if Australia has its JORC (Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee), and [thought of] the idea for the Philippines to have its own as well. And that's how the idea of having PMRC came about,” said Atty. Quintero. Organizations that were involved in the promulgation of the PMRC back in 2007 were Philippine Minerals Development Institute Foundation, Philippine Society of Mining Engineers, Geological Society of the Philippines, Society of Metallurgical Engineers of the Philippines, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Philippine Stock Exchange, Board of Investments, Chamber of Mines of the Philippines and Philippine-Australia Business Council. The Secretariat Head of the Geological Society of the Philippines CPAC, Engr. Ramon N. Santos reported on the “Basics of the Philippine Mineral Reporting Code 2007 and Its Implementing Rule and Regulations”. Mr. Joey Nelson R. Ayson (PMEA President) reporting on “PMRC: Updates and Relevance to the Mineral Industry”. Other speakers were (top left - right) Engr. Roger A. De Dios (PSEM National President) and Mr George B. Baquiran (GSP CPAC Chair) (Photo by Marcelle P. Villegas, Philippine Resources Journal) Engr. Juancho Pablo S. 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Philippine Resources - June 08, 2020

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By Patricia A. O. BunyeOn 08 March 2020, the Philippine Government declared a State of Public Health Emergency throughout the entire archipelago in light of confirmation of the local transmission of COVID-19. All government agencies and local government units were tasked to assist, cooperate and mobilize resources to undertake critical, urgent and appropriate responses to address the exigencies of the situation. Since then, government agencies have been releasing the appropriate issuances to implement measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 and adapt to the crisis.The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (“MGB”), the government agency responsible for the conservation, management, development and use of the country’s mineral resources, likewise issued several memoranda instituting various measures to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, including realignment of funds, extension of deadlines, adoption of alternative work arrangements and implementation of safety protocols for operations in the mining sector. Realignment of Social Development and Management Program BudgetIn a Memorandum dated 27 March 2020, the MGB authorized mining companies to re-align unutilized funds from their Social Development and Management Program (“SDMP”) to assist host and neighboring communities around mining projects, as well as the non-impact barangays in their respective localities, until the threat of COVID-19 has abated. The principal objective of the re-alignment is to make use of the unutilized SDMP funds for the social amelioration of communities around the mining projects through the provision of health or hygiene kits and food packs in order to efficiently and timely respond to the needs of the communities to combat COVID-19. As of 27 May 2020, approximately Php297 million of the SDMP budget has been utilized to aid the concerned frontliners and households. Extension of DeadlinesAside from food and medical provisions, the MGB also provided legal relief by relaxing the rules on submission of documents and payment of fees, taking into consideration the logistical, social and economic difficulties encountered as a result of quarantine measures. In this regard, the MGB issued a notice allowing the extension of deadlines of the submission of reportorial requirements and proof of payment of occupation and other regulatory fees as prescribed under the Mining Permit/Contract up to 30 June 2020, or up to the immediate submission date when the pertinent quarantine is lifted. Protocols for the Resumption of Mining and Mineral Processing Operations under General Community Quarantine (“GCQ”)Following the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (“IATF-MEID”), the Philippine Government announced on 28 May 2020 that Metro Manila, along with other regions classified as low-risk and high-to-moderate risk areas for coronavirus transmission, would transition from a strict lockdown under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (“ECQ”) to a less stringent GCQ beginning 01 June 2020. While movement and transportation is limited under both quarantine protocols to avoid the further spread of COVID-19, the transition from the stringent measures of ECQ to the relaxed measures of GCQ is expected to benefit the economy and the workforce as it allows for the reopening of several industries previously ordered closed under ECQ for not being essential industries. With the easing of quarantine measures in most parts of the Philippines to support the economy, the mining sector and other select industries are now allowed to operate at limited or full capacity. However, since the threat of COVID-19 transmission is still present as cases continue to rise every day, operations of industries are allowed but remain subject to the condition that they follow strict safety protocols. In line with this, the MGB has released guidelines for the resumption of mining and mineral processing operations under GCQ under Memorandum Order No. 2020-004. 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Responsibilities of Mining EmployersAside from personnel profiling, mining contractors or permit holders are also required to provide for the necessary medical equipment and supplies, such as thermal scanners, masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers, as well as transportation to and from mine and plant sites and accommodation for employees residing five (5) kilometers away from the mine or plant site in order to reduce exposure to the virus and protect the workers from infection. To further ensure the safety and health of the mining workforce, mining contractors or permit holders are also enjoined to observe strict sanitation and physical distancing measures. Guidelines for shipment of minerals and mineral products In cases of shipment of minerals or mineral products, supplies and materials, the guidelines require that cargo vessels shall undergo a 14-day quarantine beginning from the time of its departure at the last port of call.No vessel crew may be allowed to disembark from the vessel and only personnel authorized by the Philippine Ports Authority and cleared by the Quarantine Medical Officer may board the vessel subject to observation of a “no contact” policy within the vessel. Additionally, miners are enjoined to follow measures to contain the spread of the disease, such as (a) submitting a Shipment Report containing the information on the crew list, the port of origin and the COVID-19 test results of the crew; and (b) passing through holding/disinfection areas for persons who shall board and disembark from the vessel.The guidelines, as well as the other measures implemented by the MGB, address the immediate impacts of COVID 19. In the longer term, mining companies need to consider the opportunities and risks arising from this crisis. While for some commodities, the short-term market demand may be low, other commodities like gold typically benefit in times of high uncertainty. Another so-called silver lining for the industry is the lower cost of energy, which usually constitutes 20-25% of operating costs.During this period, companies are also like to respond by rationalizing or streamlining their operations and their workforces, including automating more functions and processes. They will also be called upon to provide services, particularly in health care, to the host and neighboring communities ‘above and beyond compliance’ as these communities are often already underserved by the government.More than simply adapting to the crisis, mining companies are challenged to respond with resilience, particularly in navigating new or increased legal or financial risks. It is a brave new unprecedented world for us all, where only those who can embrace change will survive.Patricia A. O. Bunye is a Senior Partner at Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia where she heads its Mining & Natural Resources Department and Energy practice group. She is also the Founding President of Diwata-Women in Resource Development, Inc., a non-government organization advocating the responsible development of the Philippines’ wealth in resources, principally, through industries such as mining, oil and gas, quarrying, and other mineral resources from the earth for processing.

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Philippine Resources - May 23, 2023

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Philippine Resources - May 22, 2023

Mining Operational Excellence Through Digital Transformation

Part 1: Mining Operation Challenges and Mine Operations Management Domains 1 & 2. By Mae Ann Cabasag, EM Mining companies encounter numerous challenges throughout their operations. However, initiatives to mitigate these challenges and improve efficiency are often limited. Most of these limitations emanated from a common factor: the challenge of “poor visibility” in mining operations. A viable solution is to adopt digital transformation in mining operations by incorporating available real-time data into an integrated system— capable of ensuring automatic updates and reliable source of information. Through this, mining companies not only understand simulations and plans developed but also anticipate potential outcomes. Various mining industry analysts have found that using non-digital methods in the mining operations can lead to a 27% reduction in production time and 25% increase in data inaccuracy. For a mining company to remain competitive in an industry susceptible to operation challenges, i.e. production processes, workers’ and equipment performances, ore quality and quantity, compliance to regulations, and inter-departmental collaboration, it needs to embrace digital transformation. Dassault Systèmes Mine Operations Management provides transformative digital solution for mining companies to achieve excellence in their operations. Mine Operations Management (MOM) equips mining companies with an integrated system for their mining operations, enabling them to achieve efficient plan and schedule. This system integrates entire operation data into a single repository source of information, known as the “single source of truth”, ensuring complete transparency of the company’s processes from mine to port. By leveraging MOM, we can address the following global mining industry challenges: Maintaining competitiveness amidst market volatility. Eliminating waste materials, poor communication, and error duplication. Improving site productivity and efficiency. Utilizing assets and sharing best practices across the value chain. Ensuring an utmost level of safety. Reducing environmental impacts and achieving sustainable operations. The transformative digital solution, Mine Operations Management, is composed of eight work packages, split across four domains, namely: Data Management, Material Reconciliation, Operational Control, and Assets Performance. These domains help generate valuable insights from integrated operational data for rapid and informed strategic decision-making.  The Data Management consists of Master Data Model and Integration Framework packages essential for material tracking, stockpile management, task and workforce management, machine performance, and asset maintenance. It enables users to manage master data objects such as Site, Material, Location, Equipment, and Operator through manual data entry or third-party source systems.  With this, mining companies can ensure efficient and integrated management of critical data required for seamless operations. Material Reconciliation, on the other hand, consists of Material Tracking and Stockpile Management packages. Material Tracking enables us to track material movements across different stages, i.e. from the least accurate grade estimated in geological model to the most precise information on shipped material quantity and quality, to account for any inaccuracies. While in the Stockpile Management, users not only can calculate daily stockpile balance, add Survey or Sampling data, analyze inventory levels and trends, create graphical representation of the stockpile balances and movements, calibrate stockpile using volumetric survey and sampling, enables comparison of different models, track movement genealogy and review stockpile slices for stockpiles with LIFO and FIFO calculation type but can create a different type of analysis such as actual vs plan vs model. In the upcoming article, we will explore the two remaining domains of Mine Operations Management to where assigning operational tasks, tracking compliance to plan, monitoring equipment down to workers’ performance are feasible in the mining operations. To know more about MOM, mining innovations and solutions, contact Dassault Systèmes Value Solutions Partner: Paramina Earth Technologies Inc. through paramina_solutions@paramina.com   References: Make it happen for mine execution excellence: Dassault Systèmes®. MEGATrends. (n.d.).  https://events.3ds.com/make-it-happen-for-mine-execution-excellence  Dassault Systèmes. (2021, August 12). Digging deeper: The virtual solution for Mining Operational Excellence. Dassault Systèmes. https://discover.3ds.com/virtual-mining-operational excellence  dassault3ds. (2022, June 16). The mining industry needs to adapt, but how? Dassault Systèmes blog. https://blog.3ds.com/brands/delmia/the-mining-industry-needs-to-adapt-but-how/

Mining

Philippine Resources - May 22, 2023

Customer’s First Choice: Sandvik Philippines Delivers 11th and 12th Pantera DP1500i Drills to Filminera Resources Corporation

Sandvik Philippines has successfully commissioned and delivered to loyal customer Filminera Resources Corporation (“Filminera”) their 11th and 12th Pantera DP1500i Top-hammer Surface Drills last 25 January 2023 at the Masbate Gold Project (MGP) located in Masbate Island, Philippines. Photo shows Sandvik Technician Larry Lugnas (second from left) and Service Operations Manager Jorge Cabello (third from left) handing over the drills to MGP representatives. Located 360 km southeast of Manila, the Masbate Mine is operated by Filminera, the Philippine subsidiary of TSX- and NYSE-listed B2Gold with headquarters in Vancouver. In 2022, the mine produced a record-setting 212,728 oz of gold out of 7.93M tonnes of ore milled at an average grade of 1.11 g/t.  B2Gold also operates the Fekola Mine in Mali and the Otjikoto Mine in Namibia. Their projects under development include the Anaconda Area in Mali and the Gramalote JV Project in Colombia. The Masbate Mine started operating in 2008 initially using 4 x Atlas Copco ECM660 Drills owned and operated by the erstwhile mining contractor, Leighton. When the opportunity for re-fleeting came about in 2012, Sandvik succeeded in winning the tender which came packaged with a full maintenance contract for 24,000 service meter hours of five years. Ironically, the said maintenance contract almost led to the cancellation of the order for the first 4 x DP1500i due to a dispute with the rates. Eventually, both Leighton and Sandvik were able to arrive at a mutually acceptable arrangement, and Sandvik ran the service contract for five years without incurring penalties in the availability guarantees. The contract was so profitable, Sandvik even had to share some of the residual profit at the end with Filminera under the pain-and-gain proviso of the contract. The next re-fleeting opportunity came in 2017, with the Masbate Mine. This time, there was no service contract attached to the equipment and Leighton was no longer the mining contractor; the mine has shifted to owner-miner operation. Sandvik managed to secure the repeat order for another batch of 4x DP1500i, banking on the proven performance and reliability of the first four. That brings the total to 8 units. Drill numbers 9 and 10 were ordered in July 2020 and delivered in 2021. Numbers 11 and 12 in the photo above were ordered in January 2022 and are now handed over to the customer. Filminera ordered two more DP1500i’s in November 2022; these machines are now awaiting completion in Tampere, for delivery later this year. That should bring the total to 14 x DP1500i units spread over 11 years for our most loyal Pantera DP1500i customer in the Philippines – Filminera Resources Corporation!

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