Timetric: African mining equipment suppliers need to be punctual
In a survey of 108 decision makers operating 100 African mines, “on-time delivery” and “lead time/speed to deliver and install equipment” were highlighted as two of the most important factors influencing the decision to hire a supplier.
Participants in the survey, conducted by London-based intelligence firm Timetric, also revealed low satisfaction in these areas regarding their main equipment suppliers.
The results show a need for improvement among suppliers and an opportunity for suppliers to make gains in Africa by stepping up performance, Timetric said. The firm added that suppliers have struggled to keep up with the industry’s growth since 2005.
When asked what differentiated their main supplier from the competition, respondents said their supplier had singular product quality, understood their needs, used the latest technologies and had built a long-term relationship. According to Timetric, suppliers should build on the relationship they have with their customers.
Cliff Smee, lead analyst at Timetric mining, said that “a common issue among miners is the lack of local support. African miners work in remote and logistically challenged areas, yet they would like to see suppliers improve lead times and on-site delivery. Suppliers who do well in Africa often have reputations for punctual deliveries.”
Lynden Logistics to run river barge for Tulsequah Chief mine
Lynden Logistics has signed a letter of intent with Chieftain Metals (TSX: CFB) to supply barge services for building and then later supplying the Tulsequah Chief polymetallic mine in northwest B.C.
Under the agreement Lynden will barge materials and supplies up the Taku River to the mine site. Once the mine is in production, Lynden will barge concentrate down the Taku River for transport to smelters in Asia. The concentrate will be loaded at the mine site in bags and placed in sealed marine containers.
“It is exciting to see another mine project proceed toward development with economic benefits for southeast Alaska,” Lynden Logistics president Alex McKallor said. “Shallow draft river barging represents the historic means of freight access to the Tulsequah Chief mine.”
Lynden Logistics is part of the Alaska-based Lynden family of companies, which provides global logistics services.
QMX and Abcourt ink milling deal
QMX Gold (TSXV: QMX; US-OTC: QMXGF) has struck a deal to process stockpiled ore from Abcourt Mines’ (TSXV: ABI; US-OTC: ABMBF) Elder gold mine in Val-d’Or, Que.
Under the terms of the arrangement, at least 50,000 tonnes of ore will be processed at QMX’s nearby Aurbel mill over six months.
QMX will be responsible for handling, milling and refining the ore, as well as tailings disposal.
Abcourt said that the Aurbel mill’s closeness to Elder will save it $7 per tonne on transportation costs, compared to the mill the company previously used.
“QMX has found a well-timed opportunity to partner with Abcourt under this custom milling arrangement that benefits both companies. We are now able to supplement our own production with the ore delivered by Abcourt to generate additional cash flow for the company,” QMX president and CEO Brett New said.
Headquartered in Toronto, QMX holds a portfolio of gold properties in Quebec’s Abitibi district and Manitoba’s Snow Lake camp. Its lone-producing asset is the Lake Herbin gold mine in Val-d’Or.
Rouyn-Noranda, Que.-based Abcourt has several development projects in northwest Quebec, including three past producers: the Elder gold project, the Abcourt-Barvue silver-zinc project and the Aldermac copper-zinc project.
Cementation sinks deepest-ever shaft in US
Underground mine contracting and engineering firm Cementation has sunk the deepest single lift shaft in the U.S. at Resolution Copper Mining’s namesake project near Superior, Ariz.
The record-setting No. 10 shaft has a diameter of 8.5 metres (28 feet) and reaches a final depth of 2,116 metres (6,943 feet) below surface.
“Congratulations to the entire team, past and present, who have worked on the Resolution copper project,” president of Cementation USA Justin Oleson said. “Completion of the No. 10 shaft may not receive as much fanfare as some of the more visible wonders of the world, but the technical expertise and operational focus required to complete this project is certainly on the same level.”
Cementation has a wealth of shaft-sinking experience and is currently engaged in sinking 22 shafts around the world. It boasts having sunk the deepest-ever single lift shaft at the South Deep gold mine in South Africa, and the deepest shaft in Canada at the Kidd copper-zinc mine in Timmins.
Tom Goodell, general manager of shaft development for Resolution, said that “I am most proud of this combined team of miners and engineers — mostly locals — that worked through tough conditions to complete this shaft. They have proven that we can reach these unprecedented depths in Arizona, and safely develop this world-class copper deposit.”
Resolution is 55%-owned by Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO; LSE: RIO), with BHP Billiton (LSE: BLT; ASX: BHP) holding the rest.