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

by Philippine Resources - May 22, 2023

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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Philippine Resources - April 20, 2021

Sandvik introduces New Toro™ LH410 Loader, the Next Member of its Toro™ Family

Both in terms of launching new equipment and introducing upgraded versions of existing models, Sandvik is getting ready for an eventful loader and truck year 2021. The first exciting acquaintance of the new year is the totally renewed Toro™ LH410, a versatile and capable underground loader with 10 tonnes payload capacity. Proven performance boosted with new features The new Toro™ LH410 loader builds on the best parts of its predecessor, the successful Sandvik LH410. However, following the footmarks set by Sandvik’s large intelligent loaders, the now introduced Toro™ LH410 is full of new features, making it in practice a totally new machine. Toro™ LH410 offers best in class performance in productivity e.g. by means of high ramp speeds and fast bucket filling, and to make truck loading easy, it features superior lift height compared to any other loader of the same size class. The renewed loader features Sandvik Intelligent Control System, with a 7" touch screen display as a user interface, enabling multiple new options to tailor each loader according to customer needs. Mid-size dimensions – full-size intelligence “With all its features, this truly is an advanced and intelligent piece of equipment, definitely comparable to the large i-series loaders – but naturally in a smaller package,” says Kimmo Ulvelin, Product Line Manager Small and Low Profile Loaders at Sandvik. “We want to offer our customers possibilities for sophisticated and intelligent equipment also in the middle size class; and therefore Toro™ LH410 has the same Sandvik Intelligent Control System as the large Toro™ LH517i and Toro™ LH621i loaders, with the available traction control, operator speed assist and integrated weighing system, to name a few. “Also, Toro™ LH410 is fully compatible with AutoMine® solutions. From new features specifically relating to safety, we could mention e.g. a new retrieval hook, updated door interlock, improved access ways, and new type of fire suppression system options.” Full range of engine options The engine range of the Toro™ LH410 loader includes multiple different diesel engines, starting from a powerful and fuel-efficient Tier II and ending up to the state-of-the-art Stage V engine option. The Stage V engine uses passive DPF regeneration taking place during normal operation, minimizing downtime, and its modulating engine brake provides better control of vehicle speed downhill while also minimizing brake and transmission overheating and brake wear. Launching the totally renewed Toro™ LH410 is an impressive start for the 50-years jubilee of the Toro™ loaders and trucks from Sandvik. During 2021, new product launches and upgrades are expected to be released to further strengthen the Toro™ family.


Philippine Resources - August 31, 2021

Apex Mining welcomes 3 Sandvik drills

​ On June 12, 2021, three DD210 drills arrived in Apex Mining Company Mine site in Maco, Davao de Oro. The three Drills were opportunity won first quarter this year, kudos to our Equipment Sales Engineer, Justin “Jap” Palino, for this big win of equipment sales. The Units were welcomed by Apex Mining Site officials and Sandvik Service team present on site. On same day, units were unloaded from the container, travelled, and temporarily parked on Apex Mechanical workshop area where the unit commissioning activity will be done. Sandvik data collection device was installed on the units, ready to connect on Sandvik’s Digital solutions. Apex Mining Company has already connected 4 of their existing units (2 LH307 and 2 TH320) to our My Sandvik Productivity and looking forward for these three units to have linked and generate operating reports on the dashboard. Sandvik team prepared a traditional celebration called “Cañao”, a ritual were animals such as pigs are served for good harvest, progress, and safety. Three pigs were prepared and distributed in all Apex site departments. Also, a small feast was organized on our Sandvik site office, following minimum covid-19 safety protocols and guidelines. ​


Philippine Resources - December 07, 2021

AutoMine: Blazing the trails ahead

Photo credit: Sandvik Combining advanced sensing capabilities, sustainable battery-electric technology and artificial intelligence, the AutoMine Concept vehicle is Sandvik’s future vision for autonomous mining equipment. And it’s already operating in Sandvik’s test mine in Tampere, Finland. Jussi Puura, digitalization lead at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, is excited about the AutoMine Concept vehicle, and no wonder. “This is essentially the way to the future and Sandvik’s roadmap to get there,” he says. “This shows what a typical piece of mining equipment could look like in 10 or 20 years. And more than that, it’s not just a vision in a slide deck presentation. It’s an existing, physical vehicle actually working down in our test mine.” His enthusiasm is understandable. In addition to being a cutting-edge battery-electric loader, the AutoMine Concept ve-hicle packs advanced surroundings perception in 3D, mapping technology and artificial intelligence to enable it to adapt and plan its own routes to find the most suitable paths, even in continuously changing environments. Ultimately, it repre-sents a big step towards comprehensively autonomous mining operations. This shows what a typical piece of mining equipment could look like in 10 or 20 years. It’s an existing, physical vehicle actually working down in our test mine. The AutoMine Concept vehicle is also a major milestone in Sandvik’s development of the AutoMine and OptiMine so-lutions. Since 2004, these digital systems have supported automated mining operations. The marketplace initially was hesitant to adopt such revolutionary solutions, but the last several years have seen a marked increase in demand. The cur-rent growth rate is strong, including in developing markets such as Africa, India, China and Latin America. The capabilities of the AutoMine systems have also seen a marked improvement over the years. However, more recently it has become increasingly clear that the next generation of mine automation is coming, and upgrades to the existing plat-form help unlock new, even greater capabilities. This developmental leap could be compared with recent developments in autonomous road vehicles, including innovations such as the Google car, Tesla and others. Also, developing markets and challenging mining conditions in particular require maximum reliability and robustness. Riku Pulli, president of the Rock Drills and Technologies division at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, reveals more about the breakthrough technologies in the AutoMine Concept vehicle. “First of all, this vehicle is designed and engineered for automation from the outset,” he says. “The design philosophy of existing fleets is based on a conventional loader, which always includes a cabin, joysticks, pedals and so on.” The AutoMine Concept vehicle is designed exclusively for automated and remote operation. The AutoMine Concept vehicle is designed exclusively for automated and remote operation. There is no cabin at all, which means cost savings and the elimination of  unnecessary limitations, enabling more efficient and reliable overall design because there is no need for duplicated steering systems and controls, one for the human operator and one for the computer control system. Another major innovation is the tremendous expansion of sensing capabilities. Existing mining equipment is limited in this respect. It can essentially sense where the sidewalls of the tunnel are, for example, but not much more. The AutoMine Concept vehicle creates a true 3D view of its entire surroundings, including the vertical direction. “This opens up really significant possibilities compared with existing mine automation systems, which are restricted to gated areas separated from people and other equipment, much like security gates around robots used in manufacturing,” Pulli explains. The existing AutoMine safety system is based on isolation barriers that enable automated equipment to operate in des-ignated, barricaded areas, and stops equipment immediately if a safety barrier is tripped. The all-around sensing capability of the AutoMine Concept vehicle is designed to make isolation of automated operations unnecessary. The vehicle can stop or move around any obstacle on its route. “This is a huge improvement because it eliminates a host of limitations linked to mine automation,” Pulli says. “It has until now been necessary to separate automated mining operations from conventional manual operations. The new platform will increase operational flexibility tremendously because the isolation of automated operations becomes unnecessary. Work can go on around and among the automated vehicles simultaneously.” Why is it, then, that the concept vehicle is specifically a battery-electric loader? According to Pulli, Sandvik wanted to demonstrate that future mining equipment will be not only autonomous but also emission-free. Another reason is linked with the AutoMine platform. Most of the equipment controlled with this system consists of loaders, and what sets loaders apart from other mining equipment is their relatively high speeds, demanding performance requirements and round-the-clock operation at a high utilization rate in extremely cramped conditions. Sandvik wanted to set a benchmark: if the company was able to pull this off, it could be confident of its capability to transfer the technology to other types of mining equipment, such as drill rigs, where the requirements are typically less stringent. What will the next steps be? The capability to further scale the technology to other types of mining equipment is an early goal that should be met soon. Another focus area will be the technology mix, which now includes several types of scanner technologies and, for the first time in mining equipment, artificial intelligence. Some of these components will be imported to the existing AutoMine system in 2021. Automine concept vehicle: High-performance battery-electric loader   Surroundings perception thanks to 3D online mapping capabilities Adaptive capability to find the optimal route even in continuously changing mine environments   Instant obstacle detection and real-time reactions for collision avoidance Advantages: Safety: reliable collision detection and emergency stops   Flexibility: possibility to operate both conventional and autonomous vehicles in the same area   Productivity: unlimited potential for automated mining operations   Sustainability: battery-electric, emission-free vehicle

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Philippine Resources - May 23, 2023


Photo credit: TVI Resource Development The Board of RTG Mining Inc. is pleased to announce that a comprehensive settlement of all outstanding issues with the Villar Family controlled Sage Capital and TVI Resource Development (Phils.) Inc. (“TVIRD”) has been reached and a binding Memorandum of Agreement signed. On execution of the final documents, expected in the next month, all litigation that RTG had launched will be withdrawn as part of an agreed restructuring of the Mabilo Project. The Villar Family is one of the most prominent families in the Philippines and RTG is pleased to partner with them in the development of the Mabilo Project, which is a significant mining project for the country. The key terms of the agreement for RTG include the following: RTG (through SRM Gold Limited) will retain a 40% interest in Mt. Labo Exploration and Development Corporation (“Mt. Labo”) with the project also developed by Mt. Labo, in line with Philippine regulatory requirements, with Sage Capital (which is owned by TVIRD) holding the remaining 60%; RTG will have a 2% net smelter royalty (“NSR”); RTG’s debt together with interest, currently in the order of US$27M (subject to audit) will be repaid out of the proceeds of Stage 1 of the project, the Direct Shipping Operation subject to customary requirements to address liquidity and ongoing operations of Mt. Labo; Funding arrangements for the project as between the major shareholders of Mt. Labo have been successfully renegotiated, (relieving RTG of a sole funding obligation) and replaced with a pro-rata funding obligation, together with a disproportionate funding obligation of Sage Capital, as set out below; With debt repayments in full and the NSR, RTG will be entitled to approximately 57% of the proceeds of Stage 1, the Direct Shipping Operation; RTG will be entitled to 40% of the operating cashflow of the project, together with the 2% NSR and repayment of its debt, which is currently in the order of US$27M; The first US$5M of expenditure for Mt. Labo (or 12 months of expenditure, whichever occurs the earlier), will be funded pro-rata between the two shareholders (ie RTG will provide 40%) and thereafter, Sage Capital/TVIRD will sole fund the next US$5M of expenditure, with all additional funding thereafter to be provided on a pro-rata basis; All parties are required to act in the best interests of the project and not compete; A shareholders’ agreement will be finalised which will provide typical minority interest protection clauses including reserve matters for voting including annual budgets and appointments of key personnel; Any disputes will be resolved by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre; and On completion of final signed documents, all litigation matters will be withdrawn and settled in full. With the restructuring of the Mabilo Project now agreed, over the balance of this year, the remaining permitting matters and financing plans will be finalised, a review of the 2016 Feasibility Study will be completed, together with finalising the acquisition of surface rights, following which, a commitment to development will be formalised by the Board of Mt. Labo. RTG is pleased with the outcome of the discussions and the co-operative and constructive approach adopted by the Villar Family representatives. RTG believes they can be a strong and positive partner to work with to take the Mabilo Project forward, with both a near term development and future exploration activities to expand the project, which will start to unlock the value of the project for all stakeholders, not only the local communities but for the country as a whole.


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   References: Make it happen for mine execution excellence: Dassault Systèmes®. MEGATrends. (n.d.).  Dassault Systèmes. (2021, August 12). Digging deeper: The virtual solution for Mining Operational Excellence. Dassault Systèmes. excellence  dassault3ds. (2022, June 16). The mining industry needs to adapt, but how? Dassault Systèmes blog.


Philippine Resources - May 22, 2023


Photo: Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Region II Regional Director Mario Ancheta joined barangay and municipal government officials and Didipio Mine employees in the groundbreaking of a farm-to-market road project in Ifugao Village, Diffun, Quirino last February 2023. The road project is part of the Mine’s Community Development Fund (CDF), which aims to share the benefits of the Didipio Mine outside its immediate communities. The Didipio Mine’s Community Development Fund (CDF) entered a new phase this year as different projects under the Fund are now in various stages of development and implementation. “We are pleased to share that the Didipio Mine’s Community Development Fund (CDF) is now into full implementation phase as different projects have been breaking ground since December 2022,” Atty. Joan D. Adaci-Cattiling, President of OceanaGold (Philippines), Inc., said. “From the drawing board to its launching last year, we are on our way to expanding the reach of the benefits brought by the Didipio Mine to more beneficiary communities in our host provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino,” she added. Caption: The Community Development Fund’s (CDF) Steering Committee and Technical Working Group members that includes DENR Region II Regional Executive Director Dr. Gwendolyn Bambalan CESO III, MGB Region II Regional Director Mario Ancheta, OceanaGold (Philippines) Inc. President Atty. Joan Adaci-Cattiling, DILG Region II Regional Director Jonathan Paul Leusen, Jr. CESO III, CHR Region II Regional Director Jimmy Baliga, and other key stakeholders pose during the launching of the Fund last July 2022 in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. The CDF aims to build community capacity and resilience as part of the additional terms and conditions of the Didipio Mine’s Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) renewal. The funding is from the additional 1.0 per cent of the gross mining revenue to meet the identified needs of the communities. Launched in July 2022, the CDF operates under seven pillars of benefit-sharing: Infrastructure Enterprise Development Socio-cultural or IP Program Capacity Building Disaster Response/Management and Environment Health Education The CDF emphasizes collaboration and partnership with relevant local government units (LGUs), community groups, organizations, Indigenous peoples, or Indigenous cultural communities to determine the plan and implementation. The Fund is underpinned by the widespread participation among multiple community stakeholders to deliver programs that have broad benefits and purpose, and to build effective partnerships to foster learning and continuous improvement. “These projects are identified through consultations with different groups and involve government agencies and organizations in the technical working group and steering committee for the implementation of the CDF, so it is participatory and inclusive,” Marjorie Idio, External Affairs and Communications Manager, said. “And as we expand the CDF’s reach beyond the host and neighboring barangays, more and more communities in the greater Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces stand to benefit from it. “We look forward to the completion, inauguration, and turnover of these projects,” she added. The other additional program for community development under the FTAA renewal is the Provincial Development Fund (PDF), which is 0.5 percent of the gross mining revenue. The PDF will benefit the provincial local government units of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino.

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