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News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.greentechmedia.com

Another week brings moves and shifts at the upper levels of renewable energy. Jon Wellinghoff, the chief policy officer at SolarCity, left the company now that it has merged with Tesla. It makes sense that Tesla is integrating its respective legislative and policy teams with SolarCity. Letting go of a skilled ex-FERC commissioner appears to make less sense. Wellinghoff's LinkedIn page has him now at Policy/DER Consulting. The firm "assists energy tech companies from startups to fully commercialized enterprises to get to market and expand markets by addressing critical policy barriers to business success." Wellinghoff was the longest-serving chair in FERC's history, leading efforts to fit PV and wind into wholesale electric markets, and to ensure that resources like demand response and distributed generation could participate. Wellinghoff also served as general counsel at the Nevada PUC. He was at SolarCity for one year and one month. We've reached out to him for a comment. President Donald Trump nominated former Congressman Scott Garrett (R-NJ) to serve as president of the Export-Import Bank. The 80-year-old U.S. Ex-Im Bank's mission is to provide loans, guarantees and credits that allow foreign buyers to finance U.S. exports and U.S. exporters to get paid. The bank claims that a large majority of its customers are small businesses. Here's a tweet from the nominee in 2015. And so the Trump streak of heading U.S. government departments with folks who have advocated for the agency's extinction continues (see DeVos for Education, Perry for Energy, and Pruitt for EPA). Since 2009, the total support from the bank for renewable energy exports was almost $2 billion. Many countries and regions that export products (59 in fact) have export-import banks meant to provide a boost to domestic exports and jobs. Trump was also a critic of the Ex-Im Bank, toeing the line of the Freedom Caucus, until he met with the CEOs of Boeing and other firms recently. Then, Trump told the The Wall Street Journal, “Actually, it’s a very good thing. And it actually makes money; it could make a lot of money." Steve Case joined the board of fuel-cell builder Bloom Energy in August 2014. Today, he's no longer on the board. He was replaced by Mary K. Bush at the turn of the year. Late last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that Bloom submitted a confidential registration for its IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The 15-year-old startup claims to have installed more than 200 megawatts of its Bloom boxes in the U.S. Speaking of fuel-cell company boards, Plug Power elected Luke Schneider to its board of directors. Schneider is CEO of Silvercar, a rental car startup, and was previously CTO of Zipcar. Plug just announced that Amazon has won the rights to buy up to 23 percent of the firm, in a deal that has Amazon spending $70 million for fuel cells this year and $600 million over the course of the engagement. Microinverter and energy storage system builder Enphase named Badri Kothandaraman as its first COO. Kothandaraman started with Cypress Semiconductor in 1995 and worked in process technology and chip design before becoming a VP in 2008 and subsequently executive VP of Cypress's data communications division. Here are the recent actions taken by microinverter maker Enphase: Enertech Search Partners, an executive search firm with a dedicated cleantech practice, is the sponsor of the GTM jobs column. Among its many active searches, Enertech is looking for an Enterprise Account Manager -- NE Operational Risk The client is the world's leading provider of sustainability, EHS and Operational Risk Management Software. More than 1,000 global companies and 1 million users rely on the client's solutions to manage their environmental and social performance, minimize risks and improve profitability. This client is seeking an Enterprise Account Manager that will be responsible for the sales of its software solutions. This candidate must have a consistent track record and experience with complex sales cycles and customer-facing deals, as well as possessing a strong hunter mentality. Brian Dillard joined zinc-bromide flow battery maker Primus Power as VP of business development and product management. He was most recently executive director of systems electronics and integration at Johnson Controls, where he led the technology direction of the firm's stationary energy storage business. Primus just won $32 million in financing from Success Dragon, Matador Capital, Anglo American Platinum, DBL Partners, I2BF and the Russia Kazakhstan Nanotechnology Fund. CEO Tom Stepien's firm has raised $94 million in equity and $20 million in government grants since 2009. David Field is officially out as CEO of failed residential solar financier OneRoof. Genevieve Dufau, previously deputy director of policy and electricity markets at SolarCity, is now part of the global energy policy and markets team at Google. Itron announced that Mark Schmitz, the firm’s executive VP and CFO since 2014, is stepping down from the role. Nat Kreamer, the CEO of Spruce Finance, is now the outgoing chairman of the board of directors at the Solar Energy Industries Association. Tom Starrs of SunPower, vice chairman, will become the acting chairman. As GTM's Stephen Lacey reported, Lightsource Renewable Energy, a European developer, is expanding into the U.S. utility-scale PV market with a team of solar and battery storage vets. Leading the team are Lightsource CEO Tim Derrick, the former GM of utility-scale solar and wind at SunEdison; COO Kevin Christy, the former operations officer of SunEdison's North American utility arm; and CCO Katherine Ryzhaya, the former commercial officer at Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS). Derrick and Christy co-founded Axio Power, a utility-scale developer acquired by SunEdison in 2011. Ryzhaya co-founded AMS, a developer and integrator of behind-the-meter storage projects that utilities control. All three of them worked together on a joint SunEdison-AMS 50-megawatt project for Southern California Edison.


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.engineeringnews.co.za

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – This week’s precipitous platinum price plunge to as low as $893/oz is putting the entire platinum industry at risk, making it essential that steady hands are placed on the tiller to ensure that a national patrimony is protected. While the entire industry has been accepting a lower-for-longer price environment, few will be able to sustain the latest decimation of the price. The expectation along many industry corridors has been that the price trend would more likely head upwards, and begin getting closer to the gold price’s $1 200/oz range. After all, platinum, with its many industrial uses, is rarer than gold, which fills umpteen central bank vaults and is mined in countries from Argentina to Zimbabwe. As long ago as February 2012, former Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) CEO Neville Nicolau was unequivocal about a platinum price of $1 900/oz being essential to maintain long-term production. But instead, the industry, which since that time has been hit by additional costs, is $1 000/oz shy of that price level, with deep, labour-intensive mines operating at dollar prices that not even a weak rand can sustain. Well ahead of the latest price collapse, regular reference was being made to half of the industry being under water, and analysts warned in Business Times on Sunday that even industry consolidation through mergers and acquisitions would unlikely save the day. While Amplats’ exceptional opencast Mogalakwena mine, in Limpopo, stands out as an operation likely to keep its head above water even at these low prices, “something will have to change dramatically”, the head of another opencast platinum operation complained to Mining Weekly Online last month, well ahead of the latest devastating price crash. The Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) told the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention, in Toronto, earlier this year that the platinum price would rally if platinum producers cut supply by 300 000 oz to 400 000 oz. BofAML charged, at the well-attended PDAC, that the blame for the lack of supply discipline lay especially at South Africa’s door. “As an industry, we need to go for it. We must be bold about cutting supply. The price is telling us that we’re in oversupply and we’ve got to react,” Lonmin CEO Ben Magara commented to Mining Weekly Online on the supply issue last month. But not enough has been done by the industry as a whole. Embattled platinum, which is never consumed, requires intense ongoing marketing, with producers needing to invest in the promotion effort – and also to ensure that the metal does not continue to be demonised by the anti-diesel hype, Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) CEO Steve Phiri told investors, unionists, analysts and journalists earlier this year. “You’ve got to market and market and market,” the RBPlat CEO added in a video interview with Mining Weekly Online straight afterwards. Phiri spoke of the International Platinum Association canvassing Eurozone authorities about the efficacy of platinum-catalysed diesel engines, fitted with gadgets to halt nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, to counteract the fallout from Volkswagen's diesel emissions scandal in the US. Anglo American did a great job promoting the platinum-using hydrogen fuel cell at Davos and mayors of the world’s biggest cities, led by the three times New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, have been pushing hard for a cleaning of the air around major cities, which platinum can deliver. The World Platinum Investment Council has been providing greater platinum investment opportunity, many calculations point to a deficit of primary supply – and all these marketing efforts must continue. But, despite the effort to date, the platinum price is stubbornly refusing to turn upwards, and was still down in the $910/oz doldrums at the time of going to press.


Gu Y.,University of Queensland | Schouwstra R.P.,Research Solutions | Rule C.,Anglo American Platinum Ltd.
Minerals Engineering | Year: 2014

Automated mineralogy methods and tools, such as the Mineral Liberation Analyser (MLA) and the QEMSCAN, are now widely used for ore characterization, process design and process optimization. Several case studies published recently demonstrate that large gains can be obtained through grinding and flotation optimization guided by automated mineralogy data. However, since automated mineralogy can only provide the information pointing to where the process gains can be made, it does not directly impact the production gain. Thus the question is often asked: how to value the contribution of automated mineralogy to process improvement at a particular plant. This appears to be a difficult question to answer. On close examination however, it is found that this is essentially a question of the value of information and this is reasonably well documented in various other industries. Hubbard, 2010, in chapter 7 "Measuring the Value of Information", dealt with exactly this type of problem. The value of information is the reduced risk of an investment and opportunity loss. The methods Hubbard developed can be applied to estimate the value of automated mineralogy, as well as metallurgical test work, both producing information that reduces the risk of investment.This paper first introduces Hubbard's theory on the value of information and how to measure it. It then applies his methods to estimate the value of automated mineralogy, using Anglo Platinum's fine grinding project as an example. In the end, a general model is developed to allow the simulation of the value of automated mineralogy in different mining operations constrained by different parameters. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Fourie H.,Anglo American Platinum Ltd.
Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy | Year: 2016

In mechanized mining, poor equipment efficiency (availability, utilization, productivity, and quality) can endanger the success of the operation. This case study will show how an initiative to improve equipment performance developed into a comprehensive turnaround plan for the mine that placed it in the forefront of performance achievement. As part of a company-wide review process, poor overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) was identified as a major reason for the mine not achieving its targets. A project to improve the OEE identified eight improvement areas (elements) that contributed significantly to the poor performances. Measurement metrics were determined for these elements, followed by determination of baseline and target (improved) key performance indicators (KPIs). Cost savings associated with the improved efficiencies were calculated and tracked throughout the project. The mine team determined the specific actions required to achieve the target KPI in each element. These were individuallydeveloped and managed like mini-projectswith allocated responsibility for delivery. The paper will indicate how this OEE improvement initiative triggered an improvement in almost all sections of the mine. Soon after launch, the initiative gathered momentum as the KPIs starting to improve. A visible tracking system exists at the mine and each employee can see the improvements and feel the success. The original eight elements were extended by five more, and the mini-projects grew as participants saw the success of the initiative. This paper concludes that through management and worker involvement, visible measurement and controls, and carefully chosen improvement elements, the mine was turned around. It is now achieving and exceeding its targets, and employee relations and motivation as well as safety have improved considerably. All of these achievements are reflected in the bottom line. © The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2016.


Hadler K.,Imperial College London | Greyling M.,Anglo American Platinum Ltd. | Plint N.,Anglo American Platinum Ltd. | Cilliers J.J.,Imperial College London
Minerals Engineering | Year: 2012

In recent years, it has been shown that there is a clear link between froth stability and flotation performance. Air recovery is a measure of froth stability, and describes the fraction of air entering a flotation cell that overflows the cell lip as unburst bubbles. Studies have shown that air recovery passes through a peak as flotation cell aeration is increased. Furthermore, when a cell, or bank of cells, is operated at the air rate that yields this Peak Air Recovery (PAR), higher mineral recoveries are obtained, often for a higher concentrate grade. In this paper, the effect of froth depth on air recovery is discussed, particularly with regards to the interaction between air rate and froth depth. Using results obtained from an industrial experimental campaign, it is shown that, at a given air rate, air recovery passes through a peak as froth depth is increased. The froth depth at which PAR is obtained depends on the air rate; for example at lower air rates, the PAR froth depth will be shallower than at higher air rates. In order to operate at the highest air recovery, therefore, froth depth should increase as the air rate increases. Surveys were carried out at a single air rate and three different froth depths, in which air recovery increased with increasing froth depth. These results show that the lowest grades and recoveries were obtained when operating with the shallowest froth, which also yielded the lowest air recoveries, despite giving the highest mass pull. The highest mineral recovery was obtained when operating with the deepest froth. While the relationship between air rate, froth depth and PAR may be complex, the results presented in this paper underline that operating under conditions that yield high air recoveries is the best indicator for obtaining high mineral recoveries. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Le Bron K.B.,Anglo American Platinum Ltd. | Johnson R.A.,Anglo American Platinum Ltd.
Harmonising Rock Engineering and the Environment - Proceedings of the 12th ISRM International Congress on Rock Mechanics | Year: 2012

Historically the extraction ratio on the UG2 reef when mining below Merensky reef pillars has been relatively low, even at shallow depths (less than 500 metres below surface). At depths in excess 1000 metres below surface, extraction is expected to be significantly lower, as a result of the panel collapses that occur on the face area of the UG2 panels mining underneath the Merensky pillars. Inelastic numerical modelling was performed to determine if the use of backfill could improve this extraction ratio and at what depth below surface it is required. © 2012 Taylor & Francis Group, London.


Le Bron K.B.,Anglo American Platinum Ltd. | Johnson R.A.,Anglo American Platinum Ltd.
Harmonising Rock Engineering and the Environment - Proceedings of the 12th ISRM International Congress on Rock Mechanics | Year: 2012

An area of shallow UG2 reef underneath existing surface infrastructure has been left un-mined. Permission from the South African Government Department of Mineral Resources must be obtained before the ground can be mined. An underground geotechnical assessment and numerical modelling was completed to determine the influence of mining this ground on the stability of this infrastructure. The deformation criteria (strain and tilt) for different surface structure categories (Stacey and Bakker, 1992) were used in the analysis. © 2012 Taylor & Francis Group, London.


Smith G.L.,Anglo American Platinum Ltd.
Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy | Year: 2012

The fundamental challenge facing mineral and metal companies is how to create sustainable value while operating within mandated strategic bounds, identified constraints, and variable market and economic conditions. This can be achieved by allowing the fixed physical nature of the mineral asset to drive definition of the optimal technical solution to mining and processing activities, and developing and resourcing a strategically aligned portfolio of production entities that creates flexibility to near- and longer-term business environment shifts, i.e. a production mix that allows variation of output to respond to short term market variation, within a long term context. The practical achievement of this outcome is enabled by the concept of strategic long term planning. The core elements of strategic long term planning in the metals and minerals industry, and the relationship between them, are expanded. The strategic long term planning framework is a logic construct that enables delivery of an optimized, strategically-aligned business plan from the mineral asset portfolio using a set of tools and techniques with a common language, standards, systems and processes to align decisions and actions on a cyclical basis. © The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2012.


Nelson L.R.,Anglo American Platinum Ltd.
TMS Annual Meeting | Year: 2014

The historical progression in installed electric furnace smelting capacity of some 1650 calcium, chromium, manganese, nickel and silicon ferro-alloys furnaces is reviewed. Key increases in the inherent installed electrical capacity, often achieved through uprating furnaces, are identified. Possible factors facilitating such advances are explored, including: specific process engineering and pyrometallurgical enhancements (e.g., improved control over the consistency, size and chemical form of raw materials, extents of preheating and pre-reduction delivered into the furnace; and patterns of feed distribution); furnace electrical configuration (AC or DC; immersed, submerged-, shieldedor open-arc); form of electrode (graphite, self-baking or composite); furnace configuration (circular or rectangular; closed or open and 1-, 3- or 6-electrodes); better engineering and equipment designs (e.g., high-intensity cooling) and state of furnace electrical and metallurgical control systems. A view is presented on the prevailing state of evolution of the Mega-scale in ferro-alloy smelting and opportunities for still further improvements.


Rule C.,Anglo American Platinum Ltd. | De Waal H.,Xstrata Technology
METPLANT 2011 - Metallurgical Plant Design and Operating Strategies | Year: 2011

In 2003, Anglo Platinum, in a joint development with Xstrata Technology, installed the world's first 10 000 litre IsaMill™ in a concentrate regrind duty at the Western Limb Tailings Re-treatment Plant. The success of that installation was the enabling event for Anglo Platinum to proceed with a substantial investment in horizontal stirred milling technology. Since 2006 an additional three IsaMills™ in concentrate regrind duties and a further 18 IsaMills™ in the more technically challenging coarse grinding mainstream applications, have been commissioned in group Concentrator operations - bringing the total number of IsaMills™ installed in Anglo Platinum plants to 22. A collaborative approach between Anglo Platinum and Xstrata Technology towards improving milling efficiency and reducing operating costs, through internal mill component wear optimization and operating recipe development, has resulted in further improvements in the overall success of IsaMills™ in the flow sheets of many Anglo Platinum operations. The addition of IsaMills™ in the Anglo Platinum flow sheets has improved plant PGM recoveries by as much as 5%. This paper explores the improvements made to the IsaMills™ flow sheet and mill internal design and shares some of the operating experience with IsaMills™ technology in Anglo Platinum.

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