Mintec’s MineSight Atlas animates underground results via MineSight 3-D.
Mintec’s MineSight Atlas animates underground results via MineSight 3-D.

Hexagon AB, a global provider of design, measurement and visualization technologies, announced it recently entered into an agreement to acquire Mintec Inc., a resource modeling, optimization, mine planning and scheduling software developer based in Tucson, Arizona, USA.

Mintec’s MineSight, the company’s modeling and mine planning brand since 1970, is well-known in the industry. Hexagon said it has been active primarily in the operations domain, but the integration of the planning, scheduling and daily production capabilities of Mintec will enable Hexagon to “close the loop” and control data flow from design and mine planning through extraction and back into life-of-mine planning, providing a comprehensive flow of data across all mining operations.

“The acquisition of planning and scheduling software strengthens our mining solution strategy, providing a platform for comprehensive life-of-mine solutions,” said Hexagon President and CEO Ola Rollén. “The combination of proven technologies from Leica Geosystems, Devex, SAFEmine and now Mintec, in connection with our geospatial product suite and computer-aided dispatch solutions from Inter-
graph, we have the tools and technologies to leap ahead of the competition, giving Hexagon a unique position in the market.”

Subject to customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to be finalized by June.

In mid-March, Hexagon took over SAFEmine. Headquartered in Baar, Switzerland, SAFEmine provides traffic safety solutions for vehicles operating in open-pit mines. Built around a compact collision avoidance system, Hexagon said SAFEmine’s technology increases situational awareness and reduces accidents by actively alerting the vehicle operator to imminent threats. The product line includes collision avoidance, driver fatigue monitoring, advanced tracking radar and vehicle information systems. SAFEmine has a global presence, with subsidiaries and local partners around the world and products in use in more than 45 mines worldwide.

“This is the logical next step in the development of SAFEmine, giving us the flexibility to grow, expand and to intensify customer contacts. SAFEmine will continue to operate as its own organization and with its own brand, embedded into the Hexagon Mining Division, working alongside Devex and Leica Geosystems Mining,” the founders of SAFEmine—Urs Rothacher, Andrea Schlapbach, Urban Maeder and Peter Stegmaier—said in a press statement.

Leica Geosystems Mining, Devex and SAFEmine will continue to operate as separate businesses in the mining market. “The acquisition of SAFEmine aligns with our strategic vision of offering life-of-mine measurement solutions, as well as further cross selling capabilities. Hexagon is committed to increasing our global mining market share and growing our technology portfolio. Our customers can expect product integration in the future, including Leica Jigsaw and SAFEmine,” said Haydn Roberts, CEO, Leica Geosystems Mining.

Wenco Buys APS
Wenco International Mining Systems Ltd. has acquired Automated Positioning Systems (APS), a supplier of GNSS solutions for mining, earthmoving and land rehabilitation sectors.

Wenco said the acquisition brings together APS’s proficiency in independent machine guidance and contractor-type fleet management, with Wenco’s Fleet Management System and expertise in production optimization, asset health, safety and systems connectivity to deliver a scalable solution for any size or type of mine. The former headquarters and staff at APS in Brisbane, Australia, will become a branch office operation of Wenco International to service that global region and continue product development.

“This is an important strategic step in Wenco’s growth by strengthening our machine guidance product offering, and along with a strong sales and support force out of a Brisbane office, this will greatly support our future growth in the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere,” said Phil Walshe, president and CEO of Wenco. “APS has also made significant advancements in the USA. Combine that with Wenco’s success in Canada, Africa, India, Russia, and other regions worldwide and we now have the product range, sales and support network to increase Wenco’s market penetration significantly.”

Wenco said its existing customers can benefit from the immediate availability of a proven high-precision drill navigation system, and the additional expertise to ensure product enhancement and technical support. APS customers will benefit from the experience and product development that Wenco provides. Also, as a subsidiary company of Hitachi Construction Machinery (HCM), Wenco can leverage HCM’s capabilities and resources.

Foster Wheeler Acquires Siemens Environmental Business
Foster Wheeler AG, a global engineering and construction company and power equipment supplier, reported that a subsidiary of its Global Power Group signed an asset purchase agreement with Siemens Energy Inc. to acquire Siemens’ Environmental Systems and Services business, which supplies and services clean-air technologies for plants and industrial facilities. Closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, and is expected in the second quarter of 2014.

The Siemens Environmental Systems and Services purchase includes assets of the former Wheelabrator Air Pollution Control Co. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Advanced Burner Technology, in Branchburg, New Jersey. Combined, these businesses design, engineer, retrofit and service a broad range of clean-air technologies including wet and dry flue gas desulfurization (FGD) and particulate control (fabric filters and electrostatic precipitators), acid gas control, mercury control, NOx reduction, and combustion optimization systems.

“This is a strategic acquisition, which expands our capability to offer clean air products and services to our clients in both the power and industrial sectors,” said Gary Nedelka, CEO of Foster Wheeler’s Global Power Group. “It complements our existing portfolio of clean-air products and allows us to provide our clients with a full array of solutions to meet both tightening environmental regulations and the growing demand for energy on a global basis.”

In February, Foster Wheeler entered into a definitive agreement with AMEC plc concerning a possible business combination of Foster Wheeler and AMEC. Foster Wheeler said it informed AMEC of the Siemens transaction and does not expect that transaction to affect the timing of completion of the business combination of Foster Wheeler and AMEC.

Boliden Retains ABB for Mill Maintenance Services at Aitik
ABB recently announced it received an order from Boliden for a three-year, long-term service agreement (LTSA) for grinding equipment at the Aitik surface mine, the largest copper mine in Sweden.

The agreement covers lifecycle management services, remote diagnostic services and scheduled maintenance for two gearless mill drives (GMD). In addition, ABB will support Boliden by consulting on ongoing technology upgrades to the installed GMD and ring-geared mill drive (RMD) systems. With this advanced long-term service approach, ABB will help Boliden to extend equipment lifetime, minimize unexpected shutdowns and increase availability of the grinding systems.

Boliden Aitik and ABB have a long-standing business relationship: ABB delivered not only the GMD and RMD systems, but also several drive systems, motors, transformers and an extended process control system in 2006.

ABB explained that the lifecycle management services include a single contact person responsible for all LTSA inquiries, a communication and escalation plan and progress meetings to track open LTSA issues. The agreement also covers ABB’s remote diagnostic services including support line (telephone 24/7 and email), troubleshooting (remote emergency support), periodic maintenance reports and condition monitoring of the GMDs.

Designed to support critical complex systems, the remote diagnostic services allow ABB engineers to access and troubleshoot GMD systems from anywhere in the world. They can log on to the system remotely, investigate the problems, and deliver recommendations for the next step or resolve problems immediately.

Clariant to Expand in Africa and Middle East
Specialty chemicals producer Clariant announced in April that it will make a significant investment to expand its plant in Casablanca, Morocco, and increase its global footprint with the production of polymers and chemical blends for the African and Middle East mining industry.

The investment will also include the opening of a Clariant Mining Solutions laboratory where the focus will be on supporting the phosphate industry in flotation, fertilizer additives and process chemicals. The lab will enable Clariant Mining Solutions to better support the growing customer base and the market growth of the company in the region.

“Clariant is a globally focused company, committed to serving the unique needs of our customers by improving the supply chain and offering chemical expertise at each Clariant Mining Solutions lab,” said Patric Scheidner, head of Clariant Mining Solutions Europe, Africa and the Middle East. “This new investment will fully equip Clariant with the infrastructure and expertise needed to provide exceptional service as the African and Middle East mining industry continues to grow.”

Situated near the country’s main harbor, airport, and other points of trade and entry, Clariant’s 9.3-acre complex serves as the country headquarters for warehousing, laboratories and offices.