I-Site Laser Scanning Products to be Marketed Worldwide

by Leica Geosystems

Leica Geosystems’s Spatial Solutions Division, which includes HDS terrestrial laser scanning products, has selected Maptek to supply a long-range laser scanner and associated mine scanning software to be sold under the Leica Geosystems brand.

Leica Geosystems said it has arranged a global OEM supply agreement with Maptek that will facilitate the supply of Maptek’s I-Site products to Leica Geosystems. Maptek develops and markets I-Site 3D laser scanning hardware and software, as well as Vulcan 3D mine planning software, and the MineSuite interactive, mine production monitoring system.

The partnership, according to Leica, follows a period of competitive evaluation and negotiation. Technical demonstrations by Maptek in Leica Geosystems’ Heerbrugg, Switzerland, headquarters were followed by a qualification of Maptek’s manufacturing facility in Adelaide, South Australia.

Juergen Dold, President of Leica Geosystems Geospatial Solutions Division, states “Our HDS laser scanners and software already effectively address short- and mid-range, high-accuracy as-built and topographic survey applications. This agreement with Maptek adds complementary, long-range scanning hardware and mining-specific software solutions for easier, faster and more accurate mine quantity surveys and mine mapping.

“The Maptek partnership promises to be especially beneficial in certain geographic regions. The first long range scanners were delivered to Leica in January 2009 for marketing into the Russian, Eastern Bloc and Asian markets.

The OEM supply agreement is based on current products and may also be extended to next generation products. ”

Atlas Copco Introduces Drill Support Program, Combines Construction Sector Business Groups

Atlas Copco has introduced a new support concept, called Diamec Care, for its Diamec rigs widely used in mineral exploration core drilling. 

Diamec Care consists of four components to help contractors get the most out of their Diamec core drilling rigs. The components include scheduled service, frequent inspection, an extended warranty which covers the entire Diamec rig except for the rotation unit, and application expertise provided by frequent reviews from an Atlas Copco service engineer. The Diamec Care program is available for Diamec models U4, U6 and U8. 

The company also announced that Atlas Copco Construction Equipment LLC is the name of the new entity dedicated to serving the U.S. construction market, combining the Portable Air operations of Atlas Copco Compressor Technique’s U.S. sales company with the Atlas Copco Construction Tools USA sales company. Atlas Copco Construction Equipment will be responsible for the sales and service of portable compressors, generators, pneumatic, hydraulic, and gasoline-powered construction and demolition tools, along with related aftermarket services, for both the Atlas Copco and Chicago Pneumatic brands.

The new organization, headquartered in Commerce City, Colorado, will share facilities and services with the Atlas Copco Construction Mining Technique USA customer center. In a press statement, Atlas Copco noted that although the two companies will operate independently, they have similar business cultures and market knowledge and can benefit from these synergies. The Westfield, Massachusetts, USA office of the Construction Tools business is be closed at the end of March 2009. The new company will have three sales and service regions in the North, South and West regions of the U.S.

Erik Sparby has been named general manager. “We are looking at this as an opportunity to become more focused and dedicated, specializing on the unique needs of the construction industry,” he said.

Intellection Sells Mineralogy Analysis Assets to FEI

FEI Co., a provider of high-resolution imaging and analysis systems, announced in January 2009 that it had acquired substantially all of the assets of Intellection Holdings Pty. Ltd. of Brisbane, Australia. Intellection’s primary product is the QEMSCAN automated mineralogy system. The purchase, according to Oregon, USA-based FEI, increases its presence in the automated mineralogy market for global mining companies and continues the company’s drive to produce innovative application-specific solutions for its customers. The purchase price was approximately $2.8 million.

“Intellection has provided high value to its customers,” noted Dr. Paul Scagnetti, vice president and general manager of FEI’s Industry market division, “and we look forward to continuing to improve automated mineralogy technology with the key talent at Intellection. Customers are beginning to deploy automated mineralogy in a wider range of minerals and expand from the lab to the mine site. This purchase also increases our installed base in a strategically important market for FEI’s future.”

FEI’s existing Mineral Liberation Analyzers (MLA) are complete microscopy systems designed to improve mining productivity and metal recovery and are the result of a joint development effort between FEI Company and JKTech, a leader in the international minerals industry.

Automated mineralogy systems identify minerals in polished sections of drill core, particulate, or lump materials and quantify a wide range of characteristics, such as mineral abundance, grain size, and liberation.

Gemcom Software Acquires Australian Firm TeamTech

Gemcom Software International Inc. has acquired the business of Australian-based TeamTech. Included in the acquisition of the TeamTech business are its mine site productivity software applications, intellectual property, trademarks, and client base. Additionally, the TeamTech staff have joined Gemcom in product management, services and software development roles.

According to Gemcom, TeamTech software and services are complementary to InSite, Gemcom’s mine performance management solution. TeamTech product offerings include components for enterprise systems integration, plant performance optimization, mining activity optimization, mineral and metal product management, production accounting, and travel and accommodation bookings.

Simon Stone, founder, president and CEO of TeamTech, joins Gemcom as product line manager and product evangelist for Gemcom InSite.

Kennametal Finalizes Tricon Metals Purchase

Kennametal Inc. said it has completed the previously announced acquisition of the assets of Tricon Metals & Services, Inc. The business will now be known as Kennametal Tricon Metals & Services and will be part of Kennametal’s Advanced Materials Solutions Group (AMSG) business.

Founded in 1968, Tricon Metals & Services is a supplier of proprietary abrasion-resistant plate materials, alloy shafting, and specialty steels for the surface and underground mining markets, including coal, hard rock, and oil sands. As a complete service center, it provides material processing, custom fabrications, and technical services, with corporate headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama, and branches in Chicago, Illinois, and Elko, Nevada. Tricon products include wear plates, wear pins, shafting, and custom-fabricated replacement components.

Kennametal Inc., headquarted in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, USA, develops and markets tools for the mining and road construction industries. Kennametal designs and builds cutter drums, toolholding systems, and a line of point-of-attack conical tools, sleeves, and blocks in a wide range of configurations. These include weld-on blocks and patented quick-change systems requiring no welding and, in certain applications, no bolts.

Brazilian Mine Supplier Fosminas Bought by DWIDAG

DYWIDAG-Systems International said it acquired Fosminas Ancoragens Ltda in late December 2008. Fosminas, headquartered in Nova Lima, Brazil, produces a range of mining products and has developed strong regional and export markets for its ground support products. According to DSI, all Fosminas employees will remain with the new entity. Cleber Lima, former owner of Fosminas, will assume the position of general manager for the Brazilian operation.

Alan Bate, group chief executive officer of DSI, said, “DSI has been successful in the Brazilian construction market since 1971 through its company Protendidos, Sao Paulo. The acquisition of Fosminas was a further strategic step and provides DSI Mining with a strong manufacturing and distribution base in Brazil from which to service the expanding mining markets of South America. Fosminas will have access to DSI´s network of companies and greatly benefit from DSI’s global market position. Fosminas has an excellent reputation in the market with well respected management and a desire to expand, which makes them an excellent fit with DSI.”

Whittier Wins Filtration Contract for Mexican Mines

Whittier Filtration, a Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies company, will supply filtration and vacuum deaeration equipment packages for expansion projects under way at a Mexican gold mine owned by Minera Penmont, a subsidiary of Industrias Penoles, and at Minera Mexican La Cienega’s La Cienega mine in Durango, Mexico.

The scope of supply includes a 750-m³/h Auto-Jet precoat filtration and vacuum deaeration package for Minera Penmont and a 400-m³/h precoat filtration and vacuum deaeration package at La Cienega.  Auto-Jet  is a self-cleaning leaf fliter designed for filtration in severe applications.   These packages are installed at these locations for clarification and deaeration of the pregnant leach solution in the Merrill-Crowe gold and silver process.

German Mining Suppliers Cautiously Optimistic

Ahead of the VDMA Mining Machinery Manufacturers Group annual meeting in Essen in November 2008, President Peter Jochums and the VDMA staff held a press conference to present the group’s then current market overview.

The estimated sales for 2008, based on figures for the first nine months of the year, totaled €3.02 billion, as compared with €3.41 billion in 2007. Exports also fell—from €9.94 billion to €2.63 billion—and domestic sales from €0.47 billion to €0.39 billion. Exports thus accounted for 87% of sales, as compared to 86% in the previous year. However, Jochums pointed out, it should be remembered that 2007 had seen a remarkable 21% increase in the value of exports. The VDMA forecast is for a recovery in export sales during 2009, not to the 2007 level but to perhaps €2.91 billion, and for a further fall in the value of domestic sales, so that exports will account for 89% of the total sales of €3.32 billion. However, there may be another exports downturn in 2010.

As regards the major export destinations in 2008, Russia is estimated to have accounted for €280 million, well up on the 2007 level of €260 million, but exports to the United States fell from €252 million to €200 million. Sales to China remained steady at €210 million, compared with €209 million in the previous year. Exports to Australia rose from €109million in 2007 to €145 million and those to India from €61 million to €75 million. The forecast for 2009 anticipates further 10% rises in exports to these two countries, maintained exports to China and the USA but a 10% decrease in sales to Russia. In the medium term, however, the VDMA expects sales to Russia strong as the government prefers to utilize coal domestically, freeing oil and gas production for export.

At the annual meeting Peter Jochums stepped down from the presidency of the group. Dr. Paul Rheinlander, of Gebruder Eickhoff Maschinenfabrik und Eisengiesserei GmbH, was elected as his successor.