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Mining Companies:

Sharing Resources with Integrated Infrastructure

Mining Companies: Sharing Resources with Integrated Infrastructure

"The trend of individually owned major infrastructure is starting to move toward integration and sharing," said Dennis Gibson, Chief Technical Officer for mining at Black & Veatch. “Apart from cost pressures, this movement is also being encouraged by government and regulation, to better utilize scarce resources such as water and power, and to reduce environmental impact.”

“Governments recognize this as an opportunity to leverage the mining-related infrastructure for regional economic development. The result is greenfield mines are being designed with integrated infrastructure that is shared with the local community and, increasingly, competitors.”

Dennis Gibson, Chief Technical Officer for mining at Black & Veatch

Sharing Integrated Infrastructure with the Community

Jim Spenceley, Senior Vice President for mining at Black & Veatch, agreed that resource integration is growing. He said, for example, if water is in short supply but located near a sea, a mine could put a desalination plant, with the power supply likely to be a combined cycle gas turbine.

"That means you will need a power plant and associated LNG receiving terminal. By collocating these facilities, you get synergies. The power plant will also need a pure water supply, and by collocating the power plant with the other facilities, the mine can provide water to the local communities and multiple mines," Spenceley said.

Integration is all-encompassing, Spenceley said. It involves the technology used, making sure the community benefits, sharing precious resources, implementing knowledge transfer of skills for local engagement, and working to create local jobs and local suppliers where possible. And integrated infrastructure doesn't stop with power and water – it could also include roads and port facilities as well.

Spenceley said that integration of infrastructure is a holistic approach that takes a long-term view.

"Integrated infrastructure is about water and power supplies collocated so they can be shared with the community, the mine or multiple mines."

Jim Spenceley, Senior Vice President for mining at Black & Veatch

Integrated Infrastructure for Mining Companies

The benefits are many: 
  • Community buy-in.
  • Synergy of having a unified design team.
  • Potential for knowledge and skills transfer to local talent.
  • One company can design the whole project.
  • Cost savings via resource sharing.

 

Subject Matter Experts
Dennis Gibson: GibsonDB@bv.com
Jim Spenceley: SpenceleyJA@bv.com

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