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ISSUE 4: Spence mine: From greenfield to major producer in a few short years

The transition from undeveloped ground to full-scale mining operation isn’t an easy one. It’s a complicated process involving lengthy periods of exploration, study and construction. Which makes it all the more impressive that BHP Billiton’s Spence copper mine, the first greenfield mining project in Chile in more than six years, went from board approval to active operation in less than three years.

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ISSUE 4: Vale Inco’s Creighton mine: Digging deeper by the day

For more than 100 years, workers have been bringing up ore from the Creighton mine under the Sudbury area of Ontario, Canada. Today, Creighton is one of Canada’s deepest and most profitable mining operations. Existing infrastructure and strong reserves keep Creighton profitable, but operating nearly 2,500 meters underground is not without its unique challenges — and a collection of innovative solutions to meet them.

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ISSUE 3: Automation keeping underground workers safe at LKAB Malmberget Mine

Underground mining can be a dangerous business, and the safest operator is one who doesn’t need to go underground at all. Using Caterpillar’s MINEGEM system — a precursor to Cat Minestar™ — mining company LKAB has enabled their operators to run multiple machines all from the comfort of a control room on the surface. This allows for safer, more efficient operation and a significant reduction in injury risk.

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ISSUE 2: Steady and straightforward approach drives Ravensworth to success

Sometimes everything comes together. At Xstrata’s Ravensworth Mine in New South Wales, Australia, a good deposit, favorable geology, a skilled workforce and a focus on safety all combine to make a mine that’s been a stable, high-volume producer of coal since 1972.

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ISSUE 1: Setting the pace for high production copper mining

With the right approach, even a low-grade mineral deposit can yield impressive results. Phelps Dodge earned its place as one of the world’s leading copper producers by efficiently turning low-grade deposits into high-production mines. Using a combination of technology, proactive maintenance practices and comprehensive monitoring, Phelps Dodge’s Morenci mine is able to produce 381,000 tonnes of coal annual from a deposit with a total ore grade of only 0.27.

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