The SME Minnesota Conference is proud to present technical sessions hosted by some of the leading innovators and technology from the industry. Access to content is available Tuesday, April 13 6am CDT through Friday, April 30, 6pm CDT. Registrants will find the content after that in their digital content areas of their SME account.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Leveraging Artificial Intelligence to Unlock People Power
Stacey Koon, General Manager and Lia Walker, Manager-Innovation, Operational Improvement, FMI, Hexagon
We are incredibly proud to be part of Freeport-McMoRan, a company long known for great people, excellent operations, and positive impact on our industry and the communities where we operate. We have a strong foundation and a long history of successes to build upon. However, our industry is in flux: On one hand, demand for our products, especially copper, is increasing. On the other, declining grades means it costs more to produce a pound of copper. Building on our powerful legacy, Freeport-McMoRan’s high-performing culture, and innovative, tech-enabled people will set the gold standard for operational excellence and safety in our industry.
Now is the time to create our future. We can secure a sustainable future in the face of change, bring stability to our business, and safely increase our performance when we find smart, efficient ways to do our work. People and collaboration are key: The way we work together is the engine behind our success and people are our most valuable resource. To reach our full potential, we need to better leverage all the abilities and creativity of our people. Technology turbo-charges people power: We make better decisions, improve safety and efficiency and increase production when we use technology and act on data. This dramatically increases our ability to do more with what we have. It also means our people are developing cutting-edge skills.
Our Americas’ Concentrator project demonstrated what happens when people embrace new ideas, technologies and techniques. This project combined the use of advanced analytics and powerful new ways of working that supercharged our people to deliver an entire new concentrator’s worth of additional capacity to the market – without spending billions of dollars in capital to build a new concentrator. Using these new tools and ways of working, we have navigated well through an unprecedented health environment and continue to work in these ways to unlock our full operating potential.
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. has successfully leveraged a data driven innovation philosophy that is built on a unified management strategy, a strong technology foundation, and a collaborative culture. This presentation will highlight our journey from developing a consistent operating system that allowed us to achieve world-class performance to an AI-powered organization with advanced analytics embedded into our business.
Stacey Koon, General Manager - Administration, Freeport-McMoRan
Stacey is General Manager, Administration for Freeport-McMoRan Morenci Operations located in southeast Arizona. Stacey joined the company in 1999 in the Human Resources Department where she held various positions of increasing responsibility in the areas of Retirement, HR Compliance and International HR. In 2007, she became Director-Administration in Phoenix where she managed office building construction and leases. This included the Company’s corporate headquarters and other offices in Arizona and South America. In 2013, she relocated to Santiago, Chile where she served as Director-Administration and Human Resources for Freeport-McMoRan South America. In 2015, Stacey accepted her current position where she oversees the company townsite and support functions for Freeport’s largest operation in North America located in Morenci, Arizona. Currently, Stacey is on assignment supporting the Americas’ Concentrator project, which has the potential to deliver 200mm pounds of additional copper throughput to the market from enhancements related to technology initiatives. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Northern Arizona University.
Lia Walker, Manager - Innovation, Operational Improvement, Freeport-McMoRan
Lia Walker is the Manager of Innovation for Freeport-McMoRan Inc., a premier international mining company with headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. She is the business leader for integrating data-driven innovation and technology transformation into Freeport-McMoRan Inc. Under her leadership, highly engaged business teams leverage agile and change management techniques to deploy technology and data science solutions that amplify business growth and profitability. In addition, Lia leads and collaborates with maintenance and operational process and technology development activities that align with a philosophy of promoting advanced analytics to enhance equipment performance and reliability. Among other patented AI solutions, RAMP (Remote Asset Monitoring Process), an enterprise-wide, standardized mobile equipment condition-based monitoring system, has been successfully developed and globally deployed. Lia has 27 years of experience in the mining industry and has functioned in various roles throughout her career. She holds several Master of Science degrees and multiple patents, received numerous certifications to include Master Black Belt, Statistician and Data Scientist and is a dynamic and accomplished Agile Coach.
Since June 2017, the price of iron ore at 62% CFR has experienced sustained growth marked by a peak in July 2019 at 120US$/t, then a drop to 78 US$/t in February 2020, to finally peak at 174US$/t in early March 2021. Canadian iron ore miners (Rio Tinto - IOC, ArcelorMittal Mines Canada, Quebec Iron Ore & Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation) had to manage a sharp slowdown in production between mid-March and mid-April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in iron ore prices and premiums on iron ore pellets since April 2020 will have been favorable to the North American iron ore producers. In this presentation we will review the market of the iron ore worldwide, the wealth of the USA and Canada iron ore industry and the forecast for the next two years.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree (1982) and a master’s degree in geology (1987) from the University of Montreal, Serge Perreault has been active in geological research and mineral exploration for nearly 30 years. Serge Perreault worked for 17 years at the Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources between 1991 and 2008. In October 2008, Serge joined SOQUEM as a senior geologist, held the position of principal geoscientist until is retirement at the end of March and was appointed Acting Director-General of SOQUEM between March 2020 and January 2021. Serge is a member of the Order of Geologists of Quebec and the CIM. He is one of the cofounder of the North American iron Ore Symposium.
Wish you could get more done so you could free up time and lower your stress level? "Radical Productivity" will show you how productivity is connected to your emotional state, your physical state, and mental habits and routines. Discover the 'Top 10 Activators to Radical Productivity' including shifting mindset on demand, the formula for making habit changes, how to draw in and sustain focus, and how to help your body support your productivity. Leave this session with a map for how to find truly radical productivity with the 10 Activators in your tool kit, all grounded in neuroscience.
Erika Garms helps bright leaders and teams work, manage, and innovate smarter. She uses her gift for translating powerful scientific theory to everyday workplace practice, to shape healthier and higher-performing organizations. Garms is the author of, “The Brain-Friendly Workplace: Five Big Ideas from Neuroscience That Address Organizational Challenges”. She speaks regularly at conferences, company meetings, and management retreats and is a professional member of the National Speakers Association and past Dean of the NSA Speakers Academy.
Do you wish you could get more done to free up time and lower your stress level? "Radical Productivity" will show you how productivity is connected to your emotional state, your physical state, and mental habits and routines. Discover the 'Top 10 Activators to Radical Productivity' including shifting mindset on demand, the formula for making habit changes, how to draw in and sustain focus, and how to help your body support your productivity. Leave this session with a map for how to find truly radical productivity with the 10 Activators in your tool kit, all grounded in neuroscience. You'll be armed with techniques to use yourself and also in managing teammates and their performance.
The following companies will provide brief updates and address questions:
As LTE in open pit mining has gained traction in North America and spectrum for private networks has become available, quality of the spectrum remains a limiting factor. Most available LTE bands are in higher frequencies, exacerbating challenges already being experienced in more mature markets. These challenges include limited uplink throughput, shadowing at the working face, and costly infrastructure required to address those issues. In this presentation, Ron White will discuss how the deployment of a hybrid LTE network alleviates those shortcomings to create a powerful network, by cost effectively increasing the available coverage and off-loading congestion. Challenges that need to be overcome in any hybrid network design, such as roaming and providing a Layer 2 topology, are discussed.About the Speaker: Ron has been with 3D-P since 2004, driving the company’s focus on wireless network design for challenging environments, as well as the Intelligent Endpoint, mining application integration, and open access to data. As President, Ron is continuing to drive the company’s vision toward enabling digitalization, and the IIOT. Ron has an extensive background in wireless, networking, field deployments and mining applications and is well known for his ability to teach, motivate, and drive consensus.
Hyperspectral Imaging of Bedrock Core from the Minnesota DNR Drill Core Library
Don Elsenheimer, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and Cari Deyell-Wurst and Lionel Forteneau, Corescan, Ltd
The Minnesota DNR and Corescan obtained 16,376 feet (4,991 meters) of hyperspectral core imaging (HCI) data from thirty-two (32) archived cores at the Hibbing Drill Core Library. Core came from five Northern Minnesota focus areas that highlighted distinct mineral resources. HCI is a non-destructive technique that preserves high-value limited core material and identifies mineral abundances and maps mineral textures at 500 micron spectral resolution. Project results support DNR land management decisions on state mineral rights and promote mineral exploration and development. This project for the first time provides public access to hyperspectral imaging data archived within the Coreshed® Virtual Core Library.About the Speakers: Don Elsenheimer is a senior geologist at the Minnesota DNR. He received a B.A. in Geophysical Sciences from the University of Chicago, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Don was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Geological Survey of Japan, and an Assistant Professor of Geology at Stockton University of New Jersey. Prior to joining the DNR in 2006, Don worked in the Twin Cities environmental consulting industry.
This presentation will review how Allete weathered the storm of the Covid-19 pandemic and continues to provide the mining industry reliable, safe, and affordable power. Many of our lives were disrupted throughout 2020 and continue to be affected by the pandemic. Just like many of your businesses, Allete needed to adapt our policies and procedures to continue to deliver our product reliable power. The presentation will dive a little deeper into how Allete was impacted by the pandemic, kept the lights on, and is now well positioned to come out stronger including an in-depth look of our recent announcement to be Carbon Free by 2050 and how that will affect the mining industry.About the Speaker: Eric Clement is currently working for Minnesota Power as Manager – Distribution Engineering and Asset Management. He started out with Minnesota Power as the reliability engineer tracking all the power outages for the company. As his career progressed over the last 16 plus years, he moved into project engineering and supervision. He is currently leading the Distribution Engineering, Asset Management and Customer Service departments.
As part of the University of Minnesota system research enterprise, NRRI is helping catalyze the economy of the future, one that will be defined by the natural resource nexus of water, energy and materials within the sustainable development nexus of the environment, economy and society. Through collaborative partnerships, we deliver the innovative tools and solutions needed to utilize and sustain Minnesota’s precious natural resources. NRRI research informs decisions on natural resource utilization and drives economic opportunities for the State of Minnesota and beyond. To develop a portfolio of opportunities for Minnesota, NRRI employs over 140 scientists, engineers, technicians, staff and students in two industrial research facilities. Come and learn how NRRI is putting it's new vision into action.
About the speaker: Brett Spigarelli is Metallurgical Engineer at the NRRI Coleraine labs. He has been with NRRI since 2017. Prior to NRRI, he received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 2013. After graduation, he went to work at Mesabi Nugget on the ITmk3 alternate ironmaking technology as a Process Development Engineer. After Mesabi Nugget, Brett went to work at the Steel Dynamics, Inc. Specialty Bar steel mill in Pittsboro, Indiana. In Pittsboro, he served as the Process Engineer for the electric arc furnace
Rebirth of the Bloom Lake Operations" description to "Five years ago, on March 31st 2016, two entrepreneurs had a dream to reopen the Bloom Lake operations. They created Quebec Iron Ore, a subsidiary of Champion Iron Ore. After a world class start-up and commissioning in February 2018, their vision for a long term operation is taking shape with a consolidation of the Phase 1 but also an expansion to double the output of the mine. Join us to learn about this vision, people driving it and their desire to succeed in producing a quality Iron ore product and become a major player in the Labrador.About the Speaker: Marc Beaubien is GM QIO. Marc graduated from Laval University in metallurgical engineering. He also has an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston. With over 30 years of experience Marc has a solid background in operations. In his career he was instrumental to several plant improvements and always became a force for change within the companies that he partnered with. Marc worked with Rio Tinto in the capacity of Manager Productivity Improvement (Technology & Innovation group) in the Montreal hub. Iron Ore Company of Canada in Labrador City, Business Improvement, Integrated Planning, Operations Center in his last two years he managed IOC’s Pellet Plant where he significantly improved employee engagement and overall plant performance (safety, plant overall cleanliness, productivity and costs). Marc also worked in the Titanium slag business for Quebec Iron and Titanium in Sorel and Madagascar. He worked in the Calcium Carbonate (wet and dry grinding) business with OMYA Canada as manufacturing manager.
Weir Minerals have developed a dewatering process called “TerraFlowingTM” to address both the value proposition of tailings and tailings storage. TerraFlowingTM is an opportunity to produce tailings of a suitable size fraction to construct tailings storage facility embankments or manufacture structural concrete products, as well as shotcrete for reinforcement and support. TerraFlowingTM is also capable of producing dewatered tailings of variable moisture content from a pumpable tailings up to 74wt% solids, or as a stackable product in excess of 76wt% solids. This presentation explores the TerraFlowingTM tailings handling process.About the Speaker: Nils Steward is an internationally recognized expert in the field of backfilling and tailings handling solutions. Educated in South Africa, Nils attended the University of Cape Town where he graduated with a Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Materials Science focusing on backfilling. From there he went to work on mines sites for a number of companies, including Anglo American Gold and Uranium, specializing in underground support and backfill systems design and operation.
A series of recent high-profile impoundment dam failures abroad has led to a sea change within the mining industry and a renewed call for safe tailings storage from investors, insurers, regulators, and the public. Perhaps the most notable change has been release of the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management in August 2020, which will undoubtedly form the basis for future regulation in various jurisdictions – including those within the United States. Additionally, various industry groups have mobilized to develop and release other guidance documents. Where there was previously a relative lack of guidance, the industry may soon be faced with the challenge of deciding what to follow. The presentation will provide a summary of key tailings management developments in recent years and offer insight as to where the industry may be headed.About the Speaker: Kurt is a senior geotechnical engineer with Barr Engineering Co. in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Michigan Tech and a master's degree from Virginia Tech. At Barr, he primarily serves mining clients, focusing on tailings dam design, dam safety inspections, instrumentation monitoring, geotechnical investigations, and assessment of tailings strength. He is past-president of the Minnesota Geotechnical Society and serves on the Tailings and Mine Waste conference organizing committee.
11:45am – 12:15pm
On the Technical Aspects for Integration of Tailings Management and Incremental Life of Asset Net Present Value
Mike O’Kane and M. Sangster, Okane Consultants, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Core values of a person, family, community or industry, together with behaviors indicative of those values, result in culture. The Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM) represents a change in culture for the mining industry, which one can interpret as sharing core values of ‘safety for people’ and ‘protection of the environment’. Behaviors with which GISTM espouse to be indicative of these core values include a focus on people and the environment at the earliest phases of a project, implementation of best practices, conformance when there is no conflict with legislation, and integration of tailings management across the mine life cycle. Moving forward, GISTM is now the foundation for all activities within the mining industry in respect of tailings management. This technical presentation focuses on Topic II, Requirement 2.2; summarized here as, interdisciplinary knowledge across the tailings facility life-cycle. Discussion will focus on the vital importance of pore-water pressure in respect of geotechnical and geochemical stability during tailings management planning, operations, and into closure. Case studies will be used to demonstrate the importance of pore-water pressure in tailings characterization and how it must be used within tactical planning and optimization when implementing Topic II, Requirement 2.2. Terzaghi's Observational Method will be presented to illustrate how key mechanisms, and site-specific controls on these mechanisms, influence tailings management in respect of climate conditions across the mine-life-cycle, such that an asset can optimize its incremental net present value and reduce risk of unrecognized and unfunded liability.
About the Speaker: Mike O’Kane founded Okane Consultants in 1996, a company providing integrated mine planning and closure outcomes to the mining industry internationally. Mike continues to work with Okane as senior technical advisor, using his wide-ranging technical expertise and knowledge on risk management best practices as tools for development and communication of closure planning and project specific objectives and designs. He is an expert on the application of unsaturated zone hydrology and geochemistry for mine waste management.
The main focus will be on the differences between the brute force screens and the two-mass natural frequency screens. There can be huge advantages to capacities and the ability to handle large upset conditions in typical SAG mill and HPGR comminution circuits. It will be explained in both technical forms and laymen terms for better understanding to all. There can also be very large differences in how long the equipment will last. Much lower horsepower with higher tonnages.About the Speaker: Derek’s career spans nearly 45 years with General Kinematics, with the vast majority of that time in Engineering. He spent over 6 years as Engineering manager for the process and mining departments before moving to sales as the Western Regional sales manger. Most recently, he became the Mining Director due to to the technical knowledge of the mining equipment.
The research aimed at solving the problem of measuring instantaneous local physical quantities for multiphase flows in mineral processing, which are common in minerals industry and with significant challenges. A compact Electrical Resistance Tomography (ERT) probe was built and then used to measure within a few flotation machines for the change of liquid content (high conductivity fluid distribution) and turbulence energy distribution. ERT is a powerful technique that has the potential to be used for a wider range of applications, such as leaching process, high temperature flows in further downstream production chain (steel making process and alloy manufacturing process).About the Speaker: Professor Xie is an Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at the University of Minnesota – Duluth. He was awarded his PhD in 2002 at the UMIST, Manchester, United Kingdom. His expertise is in mathematical modelling, simulation, optimization, measurement and control in chemical engineering and minerals processing.
Since its publication in British Chemical Engineering, 1960, Bond’s Third Law of Comminution has been used as a design, benchmarking, and optimization tool by metallurgists worldwide. This presentation is a refresher on the Bond Equation, and how it remains a powerful, standard method for evaluating grinding circuit performance, even as grinding equipment has evolved over the decades. The equation is broken down and explained to improve insight, and to help avoid common mistakes, misapplications, and misconceptions about the Bond method.
About the Speaker: Kyle Bartholomew is senior metallurgist and partner of Metcom Technologies. Founded by Dr. Robert E. McIvor, Metcom provides world-leading training and knowledge transfer for mineral grinding circuits. Kyle has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Michigan Technological University and a master’s degree in management of technology from the University of Minnesota. He has worked for NRRI, Seagate Technology, and Cleveland Cliffs, and is co-inventor on five US patents.
10:00am - 10:30am
MOA Implementation for the NorthMet Mining Project
Jennifer Bring, 106 Group, St. Paul, MN; Dan Ettinger, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, Grand Rapids, MN; Kevin Pylka, PolyMet Mining Co., Hoyt Lakes, MN
Poly Met Mining, Inc. is proposing to develop the NorthMet Project, a copper-nickel-platinum group elements mine near Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota. The Project involves the reactivation and rehabilitation of a former taconite processing facility and development of a new mine site. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) has been established outlining mitigation for adverse effects to a diverse set of historic properties. Our presenters will share multiple perspectives, including: legal background; coordinating the many requirements of the MOA with the Project schedule; engaging with co-lead federal agencies, consulting agencies, and American Indian tribes; and documenting a mining landscape historic district that spans over 23,000 acres.
About the Speakers:
Jennifer Bring is Cultural Resources Manager at the 106 Group, a cultural resource consulting company that works nationwide. For almost 20 years, her work has focused on cultural resources management, coordinating National Historic Preservation Act and National Environmental Policy Act processes, and strategic and collaborative planning.
Dan Ettinger is a partner at Warner Norcross + Judd, a full-service law firm with over 200 attorneys in Michigan. Dan concentrates his practice in the areas of mining and natural resource development, environmental litigation, NEPA and NHPA compliance, and administrative law, with a special focus on issues related to Native American tribes and cultural resources. Dan advises mining and natural resource development clients regarding tribal engagement and consultation, compliance with laws aimed at protecting tribal interests and resources, such as the National Historic Preservation Act, and other cultural resource issues that can arise in the course of permitting a development project.
Kevin Pylka is a Manager of Environmental Permitting and Compliance at Poly Met Mining, Inc., a mine development company preparing to mine copper, nickel, and precious metals. His work with PolyMet has focused on multiple aspects of environmental review and permitting including NEPA/NHPA review and the cultural and historic resource issues that stem from that review
10:30am - 11:00am
Biological Removal of Sulfate from Water: Current Status and Outlook for Mine Water Treatment
Ali Ling, Barr Engineering, Minneapolis, MN; Scott Kyser, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, St. Paul, MN; Nathan Johnson and Chan Lan Chun, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN
This presentation describes regulatory pressures, factors affecting performance, and future outlook for biological sulfate removal technologies for mine water treatment. Active or passive biological treatment can be a low cost option, either as a standalone technology or as pretreatment. Regulatory context of Minnesota’s sulfate standards increase the urgency of developing a portfolio of viable biological sulfate removal technologies. Effectiveness depends on reactor configuration, temperature, carbon and nutrient supply, sulfate reducing community makeup and biochemistry, and stability of immobilized sulfide. Bench-scale research is underway at the University of Minnesota for pilot- and demonstration-scale studies as a basis for full-scale implementation.
About the speaker: Ali Ling is a professional environmental engineer at Barr Engineering in Minneapolis, focusing on front-end design, testing, and modeling. Prior to starting at Barr, she completed a PhD in environmental engineering and microbial ecology.
Effective antimicrobial source control techniques were first shown to be effective over 30 years ago, but the lack of consistent, well documented case studies and application challenges have limited its use. new control and application methods and a better understanding of mechanism merit reassessment of this approach. proof of principle source control tests were conducted on a waste rock sample from the Barite Hill superfund site; three waste saturation conditions were simulated, treatment was successful in eliminating the acidophilic bacteria, but a different approach was required for each condition.About the Speaker: Paul Eger is an environmental engineer with Global Minerals Engineering. He has 40 years of experience dealing with environmental issues related to mining and water resources both in the public and private sector. His technical expertise focuses on water treatment, waste management, reclamation and regulatory issues.
Evolving Professional Ethics And Sustainable Mining
David M. Abbott, Jr., CPG Consulting Mining Geologist & Geoscience Ethics Columnist, Denver, Colorado
PDH Credit: 1
Geoethics was born in 2012 and expanded the scope of geoscience professional ethics to include the social and cultural implications of geoscience practice. However, the 9th Fundamental Geoethics Value that addresses sustainability fails to transparently and forthrightly acknowledge the depletability of natural resource deposits thus inhibiting a fully integral and transparent discussion of this geoethics value statement’s goal of providing a sustainable supply of natural resources and requires revision. The depletability of natural resources is a fact of nature. Extraction of natural resources necessarily has negative environmental impacts that must be balanced with maximizing resource recovery. Who decides what the balance will be? The increasing focus on ESG-based investing is and will impact the mining industry. Finding new deposits to replace depleted ones requires new approaches and new technologies. The post-mining use of mined land provides a variety of beneficial opportunities.
About the Speaker: