Latest News

23 April

Battery-electric trolley truck deployed in Swedish underground mine

Credit: PT Epiroc Southern Asia

Boliden, Epiroc ABB have deployed the first battery-electric trolley truck system for underground mining in Sweden. The system ran on an 800m-long test track at Boliden’s Kristineberg underground mine in Sweden, with a 13% incline. 

Epiroc has added dynamic charging to its battery-electric Minetruck MT42 SG and battery system, while ABB has provided the DC converter, HES880 inverter and AMXE motors to boost power. The mine truck is equipped with a trolley pantograph connected to an overhead catenary line, which supports the truck on up-ramp sections while fully loaded, extending its reach and enabling battery regeneration during drift. ABB was responsible for creating the infrastructure from grid to wheel, including the design of the electric trolley system and the rectifier substation for the test track.

Boliden plans to implement a full-scale, autonomous electric-trolley system in the Rävliden mine, an extension of the Kristineberg mine. It has placed an order for four Minetruck MT42 SG Trolley trucks from Epiroc for a total distance of 5km at a depth of 750m.

23 April

Nornickel to shift copper production to China amid sanctions

Russian mining giant Nornickel is planning to close its Arctic copper plant in Russia and build a new smelter in China as western sanctions on Russia pose challenges in importing equipment, Interfax reported.

The company is adapting to the sanctions by shifting its focus to the Chinese market, where it intends to establish a joint venture to construct a new copper plant.

This planned facility marks a strategic pivot for Nornickel, which is looking to adapt to both the sanctions imposed on Russia and the evolving preferences of buyers in Asia. In 2023, Asia accounted for 54% of Nornickel’s revenue, with China being a key player in this shift.

The new plant is expected to be operational by mid-2027 and will be supplied with nearly 2mtpa of copper concentrate, according to the news agency.

19 April

Rio Tinto, Saudi Arabia eye stake in First Quantum’s Zambia copper mines

Rio Tinto and Saudi Arabia-backed Manara Minerals Investment are planning to pick stakes in First Quantum Minerals’ Zambian copper mines, Bloomberg reported.

Sources privy to the development told the news agency that the Sentinel and Kansanshi mines are also attracting attention from Chinese companies such as Zijin Mining Group. Japanese trading houses Mitsui and Sumitomo are also said to have been assessing the assets, indicating a broad spectrum of potential bidders.

However, the sale process is still in its early stages, and there is no certainty that the interested parties will submit formal bids.

First Quantum Minerals is reportedly considering the sale of up to a 30% stake in its Zambian copper mines. It is seeking initial bids in the coming weeks, with the extent of the stake sale dependent on the offers received.

22 April

Lithium producer Sayona Mining sells out of Troilus Gold

Australia-based lithium producer Sayona Mining has completed the sale of its shareholding in Canadian mining company Troilus Gold for nearly $8.8m.

The transaction involved the disposal of 19.2 million shares at C$0.63 each through a block trade managed by Desjardins Capital Markets. The sale of Troilus Gold shares has generated gross proceeds of around A$13.7m for Sayona Mining.

This move comes after a series of smaller public market share sales, culminating in Sayona’s exit from Troilus Gold ownership. Sayona initially invested in Troilus Gold at the close of 2022, acquiring a significant land position near the Moblan lithium project.

The divestment from Troilus Gold aligns with Sayona’s strategy to prioritise the development of the Moblan lithium project, which is emerging as a Tier 1 asset.

23 April

New Found Gold to buy Labrador Gold’s Kingsway Project

New Found Gold is acquiring a 100% interest in the Kingsway project in Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, from Labrador Gold for C$20m ($14.57m). This deal includes all property and mining rights associated with the project. It will be settled via the issuance of New Found shares to LabGold based on the closing price on the TSX Venture Exchange prior to the deal’s completion.

The transaction includes deal-protection provisions, a right for New Found to match superior proposals and a termination fee of C$500,000.

LabGold’s directors, officers, and certain shareholders, representing nearly 2.35% of the company’s shares, have agreed to vote in favour of the transaction.

Subject to approval by LabGold shareholders and customary closing conditions, including TSX-V approval, the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2024.