IM 2022 October 22 | Page 63

Stantec has been on hand to map out ‘ net zero ’ mining scenarios , as well as ensure mine operations align with the recently incorporated Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management requirements ( Photo courtesy of Stantec )
incorporate innovative solutions , digitalisation and technology adoption from mining companies and their consultant and engineering partners , according to Mashford .
“ This has most definitely led to us engaging with OEMs , working alongside them to adopt emerging technologies ( such as battery-electric vehicles or autonomous fleets ) into mine design and mine operations ( supporting decarbonisation , safer workforce , optimisation of operations , etc ),” he said .
Along these lines , the company started a collaboration with Auxilium Technology Group – a company specialising in modular tailings valorisation – earlier this year , which , Mashford says , has enabled Stantec to provide a broader range of tailings and carbon capture solutions to clients .
Auxilium , a start-up connected to the University of Arizona , has a process that , after initial cleaning of tailings , can use the material as a construction aggregate or insulating “ geofoam ” to be sprayed or 3D printed to produce insulating blocks .
Mashford continued : “ We are also selecting strategic partners to help clients evolve their roadmap to net zero . Alongside OEMs , we are identifying what technology and digital solutions clients need to support critical initiatives .”
This includes investment in climate change counteraction , prioritising safety of the
workforce , mitigating higher operating costs , creating standards for more robust management of tailings facilities , obtaining a social licence to operate , and other considerations .
Such work will put Stantec ’ s clients in line for market acknowledgement from end users – something Mashford sees as a future demand driver for its services .
“ We are helping mining companies achieve and leverage smaller carbon footprints to attract market premiums , while helping them avoid penalties for high carbon emissions ,” he said . “ We ’ re seeing greater demand for carbon accounting and other services to deliver on mining ’ s net zero commitments .
“ I think mining companies will rely more on consultants to help achieve those commitments and , as third-party reviewers , to ensure their carbon emissions accounting and projections are accurate .”
Turning a vision into reality
The combination of mining-focused Golder and the broader expertise of WSP has allowed WSP Golder to provide a true ‘ pit to port ’ offering to mining clients , according to Kevin Beauchamp , Global Director of Mining for the company .
The acquisition of the former by the latter means the combined company can address client challenges and growth plans in a more integrated and holistic way , calling on worldclass expertise in infrastructure , energy ,
buildings and transportation , he added .
“ This has really enhanced our ability to support mining companies across the full value chain and opened up new opportunities for our people to expand their skills and take on new challenges ,” he said .
This is helping the company retain talent in such a competitive market , noting that indemand experts in tailings , rock mechanics and mine engineering were benefitting from this .
“ Our response has been to focus on technical excellence and career development within our teams ,” Beauchamp said , adding that knowledge sharing and cross-pollination of technical skills across practices were helping develop experts to cater to this demand .
In the example of tailings engineers , specifically , WSP Golder is adding more skills and capacity to its project management teams , freeing up its engineers to focus on engineering while also improving its project delivery process . Another step has been developing a more robust approach to succession planning for the critical role of Engineer of Record ( EOR ) – a term commonly used in North America to determine the responsible person for design and construction phases of a project . The EOR is also now a designated role under the GISTM , providing responsibility and accountability for critical systems and processes essential to upholding the integrity of these facilities
OCTOBER 2022 | International Mining 59