Celebrating five years of showcasing an evolving industry
Canada is a global mining powerhouse gifted with tremendous natural resource wealth. For the past four years, PwC Canada has celebrated the Canadian mining industry through our Art of mining photography competition.
Canadian mining companies are reimagining the way they work to prepare themselves for growth in the long term. The speed of technological change is unrelenting, and people are feeling the impact—both the benefits and the challenges. This year we’d like to celebrate people at the centre of the digitally enabled mining industry.
It’s a new world that needs new skills. How are your people adapting to an increasingly digital world?
Thank you to all of the amazing organizations that submitted a photo to this year’s Art of mining. Vote now and help determine the 2020 winners!Rules and regulations Vote now
Photo courtesy of Tugliq Energy and Raglan Mine, a Glencore Company, 2019 award recipient
Agnico Eagle Mines Limited
Using a snake camera to inspect a radiator module for scale buildup, Vicki Gibbons quickly identifies equipment issues and finds solutions more efficiently. Amazingly, despite having 40 tanks, 80 pumps and over 500 valves, this facility can start and stop with the click of a single button by a central computer. Technology is the driving hub at this new state-of-the-art plant. All employees need a good grasp of the concepts of technology and automation to troubleshoot accurately and effectively.
Anaconda Mining Inc.
Anaconda Mining takes an innovative approach to employee training and development. With a new learning management system currently being developed, along with a host of courses and learning materials that will include classroom-based learning, on-the-job training, coaching and mentoring, Anaconda University is designed to not only train employees more efficiently, but also to better implement safety protocols and keep employees abreast of the adoption and development of new technologies.
Angkor Resources Corp.
Angkor invests in social development in the country where we operate: Cambodia. The change starts with women and children, as one can't adapt to something when one does not know what it is or understand it. Corporate social responsibility is a somewhat foreign concept in Cambodia, but Angkor is changing that. At the same time, we are providing an opportunity for investors to support a company that is focused on socially responsible investing.
Ascot Resources Ltd.
Ascot Resources’ project in Stewart, British Columbia, has several historical deposits. Our staff used Exyn Technologies’ aerial drones equipped with LIDAR, which can autonomously navigate environments without a pilot or prior map. The drones provide detailed information about the previously mined volumes without endangering personnel, saving considerable time and cost for the company. We used the information gathered by the drone to help us update our underground resources.
Barrick Gold Corporation
Digitization and automation of mining activities continue to be implemented throughout Barrick. Already a world leader in automation, our Kibali gold mine in the DRC has taken this to the next level with the commissioning of a Newtrax system. Mining automation allows for the safe supervision of underground haulage by a single operator on the surface, and this has opened new opportunities for women to excel in a traditionally male-dominated field.
Canadian Royalties Inc.
The rapid uptake of new technology by Nunavik miners is hampered by the hostile, isolated environment they work in. Distance, satellite telecommunication capacity and climate conditions make logistics and communications even more complex, slowing the adoption of digital solutions. Our miners are working every day to overcome these challenges in order to maximize productivity and help ensure better resource allocation.
The digital world has influenced interactions between employees. Traditionally, senior employees mentored the incoming workforce. The growing digital world bridges multiple generations, allowing cross-education. These technologies are new to a large portion of the workforce. This introduces an opportunity for the younger generation entering the workforce to drive change and improvements within the industry.
Champion Iron Limited
With respect for the environment anchored in our company’s culture, Champion Iron improved the recovery process with state-of-the-art technology, which helps improve ore recovery and in turn reduces the amount of waste from our operations. The recovery process is monitored via a robust technology platform that enables rapid response to improve the company’s recoveries, already surpassing many incumbents in the region.
De Beers Group Managed Operations - Canada
Working in the Canadian Arctic is challenging. Employees need to be adaptable to new situations and environments and able to change plans without losing momentum. In the photo, a geologist uses a fixed GPS location to confirm the location of drill holes, while a helicopter works in the background to move the drill rig to a new location as part of a summer geophysical drill program at what could be De Beers Group's next diamond mine.
Dundee Precious Metals Inc.
A Drone Magnetic Survey near the Chelopech mine in Bulgaria. The survey was accomplished by a Canadian contractor, and it’s the first commercial use of drone magnetic technology in SE Europe for mining exploration. DPM’s digital journey started early on, incorporating this technology in projects in Bulgaria and Serbia. Digitalization is part of DPM’s DNA, and much like technology, DPM moves forward, embracing new innovations and ready to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the digital world.
Gran Colombia Gold Corporation
Gran Colombia has been committed to supporting the education of the children in the community through improvements to the school’s infrastructure, funding the elementary school and financing a project to build the first high school. We encourage the use of computers as an essential part of the modern curriculum. The school’s computer lab has been equipped with 60 computers and programs to enhance the learning process. The company is committed to making education available to all children in our community and providing the tools and instruction to adapt to the digital age we all live in.
Safety is the top priority for every mining company. The photo shows an IAMGOLD geotechnical engineer using a laser scanner to survey and analyze a pit for potential slope failures. This efficient tool produces a high-precision image that is used to create a 3-D model. Technology like this helps us improve collaboration and timely decision making. By identifying and analyzing potential risks, we can take the necessary steps to keep our mining operations safe.
Jaguar Mining Inc.
This year, Jaguar Mining implemented Home Office Project in their head office in Belo Horizonte/Brazil. The new model of work has a lot of benefits for the company and for employees, such as productivity increase, urban mobility, resource optimization and absenteeism decrease. Besides that, working from home allows employees to be healthy and spend more time with their families, providing quality of life and encouraging flexibility.
Kinross is constantly seeking ideas and opportunities to improve efficiency, and this is often in the form of incorporating proven digital technologies. In this picture, an employee at our Fort Knox mine in Alaska participates in an innovative training program that uses an advanced, life-sized driving simulator to enhance fuel efficiency. The benefits were significant, and it has been one of the most effective continuous improvement initiatives at Fort Knox.
Kintavar Exploration Inc.
A variety of tools are becoming available for the modern geologist, and data is almost in real time now, even in exploration. The deposits that have strong correlations with trace elements no longer need to wait for assays for the lab. The geologist here is collecting data directly from the core at the Mitchi stratiform copper project using a portable XRF device to both get copper grade estimates and trace elements to further guide its drilling exploration program.
Lundin Mining Corporation
At our Brazilian operation Chapada, our mine supervisors use mobile and digital technologies to monitor and enhance our open-pit operations. Being able to track our equipment, its status and its capabilities on the go and on demand allows our mine site to safely operate and strive to deliver results. This innovative approach to mining is rooted in our corporate values and our company mission to responsibly mine base metals vital to society, creating meaningful value for our stakeholders.
Major Drilling Group International Inc.
Our commitment to sustainability and customer satisfaction has led us to the innovation of our Trailblazer Analytics system. The system is used to capture raw data from critical areas of the drill while operating and develops these metrics into meaningful data. This produces key information for geologists and helps our drillers understand trends and techniques used on the drill, leading to improved efficiency, which in turn helps us reduce our carbon footprint and water usage.
To achieve its objectives as well as its ambition of continuous improvement, Mason Graphite is constantly exploring digital opportunities. The company uses a virtual tool to simulate traffic flow and operations in its future plant. The system enables it to gain a better overview of the working environment, have a better vision of the challenges and enhance the project overall. It will be used to train future workers.
New technologies are often breaking through the market. As a project generator, we always need to be open, creative and innovative in a new digital world to stay one of the most active explorers in Quebec, Canada. At Midland Exploration, we stay on the edge by working with the latest technologies in the field, such as advanced geological instruments, inventive software and data analysis. We believe integrated and optimized technologies are a key driver in finding the next major discovery.
Monarques Gold Corporation
Monarch Gold is working to set up the Wasamac gold project using the Mining 4.0 concept, which will combine more use of new technology with greater environmental awareness. Our employees know this concept is gaining traction and have already begun taking steps toward its rollout, getting to grips with and making use of more productive digital applications and taking a greater interest in business-oriented social media.
Noront Resources Ltd.
Noront is changing how we work by adapting our processes to take advantage of the rapidly growing opportunities of the digital world. Our exploration team is trained to operate technical equipment in the field to collect data that supports real-time analysis and further interpretation in offices located hundreds of kilometres away. In this picture, Geological Technician Roydon Spence from Webequie First Nation sets up survey equipment to accurately track drill holes for 3-D geological modelling.
Nouveau Monde Graphite
At Nouveau Monde Graphite, we are leveraging the opportunities offered by the digital world to elevate the engineering of our mine and concentrator. Our entire project will be carried out in Virtual Design and Construction, enabling integrated and dynamic modelling of the Building Information Modelling engineering for the concentrator. This innovative platform will facilitate the transfer from engineering to construction and then to operation.
Pan American Silver Corp.
Our workers are surveying the tailings facilities with the help of drones in our La Colorada mine, Zacatecas State, in Mexico. One of the benefits that technology provides us is that it empowers our workers in creating more efficient systems to manage safe environments. It also facilitates learning in a way that was not thought possible years ago in mining. Technology unlocks people’s potential.
Pure Gold Mining Inc.
Next-generation Wabauskang First Nation Chief Doug Riffel walks with his young son at our Madsen Red Lake Mine. Through Pure Gold’s partnerships with Wabauskang and Lac Seul First Nations, the communities will be a key part of the most technologically advanced phase of mine development the region has seen. A predominantly electric mine by year three, Pure Gold is embracing electric vehicle technology to reduce emissions and operating costs and to meet or exceed modern environmental standards.
Raglan Mine, a Glencore Company
As we begin to build our new mines, we ask ourselves: “What type of mine do we need to build to ensure continuity of our operations?” That’s how the ConnectedMine project came about—as a means of modernizing our business by rolling out technology to improve prevention and efficiency. In 2019, our teams completed the underground installation of the LTE cellular network, which enables teams below ground to send information to the surface.
Drilling samples from the Fenix Gold Project—which is located in Atacama region, in the Copiapo Province, Chile, specifically in the Maricunga Mineral Belt, approximately 140 kilometres northeast by road of Copiapo—are measured manually, but then input into our database. This allows for detailed analysis of the data and assists our geological staff in learning skills to adapt to a digital world.
Mine exploration and development in today’s world is incredibly challenging, particularly in the developing world. Unless we adapt our methods to the local context and seek innovation in this centuries-old industry, we are literally left in the dark. SRG Mining uses available new technology to better our operations every day. Some new technologies in our operations are drones and georeferenced imagery to optimize and monitor impacted land and the resettlement of our communities.
The integration of digital technology is occurring incrementally at Yamana. If the technology makes us safer and more efficient, our people embrace the change and often initiate it themselves, as was the case with the underground drill rig pictured at our Jacobina mine. The rig can operate autonomously, reducing downtime and making us more productive. Its on-board computer captures data used in analytics that help predict mechanical failures and improve drilling practices.