BAIE VERTE, NL — Members of the provincial government toured the Anaconda Mining operation on the Baie Verte Peninsula Wednesday to view the innovative techniques used to mine narrow vein gold deposits.
Tourism, Culture and Innovation Minister Christopher Mitchelmore was joined by Baie Verte-Green Bay MHA Brian Warr on the visit. It is the latest in a number of technology tours by representatives of the provincial government, according to a press release issued Wednesday.
Mitchelmore also highlighted Anaconda’s success in the Lean Manufacturing Productivity Program.
“I applaud Anaconda’s commitment to advancing innovation and efficiency throughout their operation,” the minister stated in the press release. “The progress of their innovative technical solution in narrow vein gold deposit excavation has allowed Anaconda to become a global leader in the industry.”
As a leading company in Lean’s Central Continuous Improvement Network, Anaconda Mining has achieved efficiency improvements, delivery of products with the shortest lead time, best quality and lowest costs, the press release states. Since initiating Lean through the Manufacturing Productivity Program, Anaconda reports it has taken on 40-45 Lean 5S projects, contributing to a company-wide record for through put peaking at 1,500 tonnes — which is up 750 tonnes since 2010.
In addition, Anaconda is a leader in promoting partnership and collaboration between industry, government and academia with a focus on increasing regional and provincial capacity within their sector, according to the press release.
“I also commend the company’s effort to adapt the Lean principle, allowing them to be much more competitive while reducing cost,” Mitchelmore stated. “Through techniques such as Lean, and the Business Innovation Agenda, government continues to be focused on fostering innovation across our province.”
Mitchelmore and Warr also viewed the innovative approach used by the company to mine narrow vein gold deposits. In June 2017, the provincial government announced $520,000 for this innovative technology to help Anaconda develop, prototype and optimize a new excavation system to access narrow vein type deposits that could not be mined cost-effectively with then-existing technologies. ACOA also supported this project with a $1.5 million investment.
“Mining is one of the oldest and most significant contributors to the economy of the Baie Verte Peninsula,” Warr stated. “Anaconda Mining is a major employer in the region and the company’s charitable contributions to communities are significant.
“Anaconda Mining has made remarkable progress in improving productivity and reducing costs at its Pine Cove Mine and Mill, and is an example of how innovative thinking and practices can help sustain and diversify rural economies.”
As part of the tour, Anaconda also showcased its progress made possible from a $400,000 repayable loan under the Business Investment Program, and a $100,000 investment through the Business Development Support Program announced in June 2016. This funding was used to expand operations, support productivity through the construction of a control room and ore shed, and purchase a core crusher/automation.
“Anaconda has fostered a culture of innovation and “out of the box” thinking for a very long time,” stated Allan Cramm, vice president of innovation and development with Anaconda Mining Inc. “This mindset has been a catalyst for our growth and the unique ideas that we generate at site.”
Cramm specifically highlighted working with its service provider Guy J Bailey to convert waste into revenue by crushing and selling it as a construction aggregate product. The company continues to employ Lean principles as foundation for continues improvement at the Point Rousse Project and the rest of the company, he said.
“The combined operations have benefitted enormously by adopting Lean thinking and empowering employees to identify and implement new ideas to improve safety, productivity and the work environment,” he said.
Cramm also noted the company’s involvement with Memorial University, ACOA, IRAP and InnovateNL on developing a new technology to economically mine underground narrow, stranded vein deposits.