Suppliers news: Sandvik, EDC, Amec-Foster Wheeler, Cementation, ABB

Sabdvik's DR461i drill rig at Barick Gold's Cortez gold mine in Nevada. Credit: SandvikSabdvik's DR461i drill rig at Barick Gold's Cortez gold mine in Nevada. Credit: Sandvik

Sandvik partners with Barrick to improve drill safety

In a bid to improve drilling safety, mining equipment supplier Sandvik (STO: SAND) deployed a prototype of its DR461i rotary drill rig to Barrick Gold’s (TSX: ABX) Cortez gold mine in Nevada, for some real-world testing.

As part of the initiative Sandvik engineers worked with Barrick’s equipment operators to assess the drill’s features and suggest enhancements before the product launches. Results from the testing were presented by representatives from the partners during the recent Global Health & Safety Excellence for Mining Forum in Las Vegas.

“Safety is our top priority at Sandvik, and we want to ensure all individuals who operate or maintain our equipment are safe at all times,” Sandvik’s product safety manager for surface drills Darlene Dutcher said.

As part of the program, Barrick operators and maintenance workers conducted a risk assessment of tasks required of the rig. They put the drill through the rigours of day-to-day operations at Cortez and identified potential hazards for Sandvik to consider.

“Our operators found a lot of value in the direct interaction with the Sandvik engineers and being able to ask them why certain components were designed the way they were,” Barrick’s Cortez drill and blast supervisor Kevin White explained.

Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Sandvik specializes in mining equipment and tools. The firm was founded in 1862 and employs 47,000 people. It has a footprint in 130 countries and generates $13 billion in annual sales.

Export Development Canada gives Codelco US$300M financing

In a bid to support Canadian suppliers, Crown corporation Export Development Canada (EDC) has given US$300 million in financing to Chile’s state-owned copper miner Codelco.

The arrangement is referred to as a “pull loan,” wherein EDC finances Codelco with the understanding that they will in turn buy goods and services from Canadian companies down the road, specifically from small- and medium-sized enterprises.

EDC says such loans have been productive in the past. “EDC financing for Codelco has helped promote more than $888-million worth of purchases from Canada in the last five years, involving more than 150 suppliers of everything from engineering services to environmental technologies,” said Todd Winterhalt, EDC’s vice-president of international business development.

To increase its copper production capacity, Codelco is planning to spend US$23.5 billion in the next four years, EDC says. This loan positions Canadian suppliers to enter and expand their business in Chile.

“Codelco’s Canadian purchases are focused on Canadian mining equipment, technology and services. If your company is in the mining business and could benefit from this opportunity, we’d love to hear from you, we’re here to help,” Winterhalt said.

More than half of Canadian companies operating in Chile turn to EDC for credit insurance, bonding or financing services, EDC says.

EDC is serves as Canada’s trade financing agency and provides financing and insurance assistance for Canadian companies worldwide.

Amec and Foster Wheeler join forces

British energy and resources supplier Amec has completed its US$3.4-billion takeover of Swiss rival Foster Wheeler. The combined US$9-billion company, known as Amec Foster Wheeler (NYSE: AMFW; LSE: AMFW), boasts more than 40,000 employees in 50 countries.

The London-headquartered multinational offers consultancy, engineering, project management, operations and construction services, project delivery and specialized power equipment services.

In 2013, the combined firm would have generated a $930-million profit on $9.8 billion in revenue, with 56% of revenue coming from oil and gas, 19% from clean energy, 9% from environment and infrastructure, and 8% each from mining and its global power division.

“In creating our new company we are building on the proud heritage, skills and customer relationships of two already successful and highly respected businesses,” Amec Foster Wheeler CEO Samir Brikho said.

Cementation awarded for safety

Underground mine contracting and engineering firm Cementation has been named Canada’s safest employer in mining and natural resources by Canadian Occupational Safety magazine.

“We are honoured to receive this award which recognizes a foundational aspect of our organization … that we truly care about our employees,” Cementation’s president Roy Slack said. “This award has been earned by our employees, who come to work every day committed to keeping themselves and their co-workers safe.”

Cementation takes a proactive approach when it comes to safety, reports every safety incident for review, and recommends and shares any findings within the company and industry.

Candidates for the safety award provided 13 judges with detailed submissions and separately submitted surveys from company employees.

Cementaton has offices in Canada, the U.S. and Chile.

ABB to work on Vale’s Carajas expansion

Vale (NYSE: VALE) has awarded power and automation technologies firm ABB (NYSE: ABB) a US$103-million contract to install electrical and automation systems at its Carajas iron ore mining complex in northern Brazil.

Carajas is undergoing a US$20-billion expansion to develop the S11D project, which will bring Carajas’ annual production capacity to 90 million tonnes.

With this contract ABB will supply a 230-kilovolt, in-feed substation that connects the mine to the electricity grid, as well as 42 secondary substations. ABB will also supply the motors driving the project’s conveyor belts.

This agreement follows a previous US$140-million contract won by ABB to supply and install automation and electrical equipment for the S11D iron ore processing plant, including the primary transmission substation.

With the new contract, ABB has been tasked with extending the electrification system to the excavators, stackers, reclaimers and conveyor-belt system at the mine itself.

S11D will use a truckless transportation system — relying on conveyors — in a bid to reduce pollution and operating costs. ABB says this is the first time a truckless system will be used at a large-scale iron ore mine.

Using conveyors eliminates the need for 100 trucks and would reduce diesel consumption by 77%.


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