Find a better way to move your material from mine to market

How do you determine the best transportation options for your operation to keep your project moving?
Scroll down to learn about some of the factors we consider in a mine to market analysis and read detailed articles written by our transportation experts.

Underground Mine Portal
Pipeline
Open Pit Mine
Processing Plant
Coastal Port

Scale of Operations

The scale of your operation is key when evaluating transportation options. Facilities need to be able to handle peak volumes as well as periods of lower production.

What are the design and market factors to consider?

  • Is the cargo high volume and low value or low volume and high value?
  • Does the commodity have any transport restrictions or risks that need to be addressed?
  • What is the mine life and does production vary throughout that period?
  • How large are parcel sizes and what is the frequency of shipments?
  • Where is the final product destination?

Why does it matter?

Each mining operation is unique in size and output and requires a detailed trade-off study to find the optimal transportation solution.

We have designed transportation systems at all scales, ranging from 1,000 t/day to 200,000 t/day.

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Open Pit Mine
Railway
Conveyor
Highway Truck
Haul Truck

Scarce Resources

Mineral deposits are often found in remote regions with limited power and water supply.

Innovative ways to address these challenges:

  • Using gravity rather than powered mills to move material through a pipeline
  • Recovering water from tailings, through processes such as dry stack disposal, paste thickened tails and tailings storage facility (TSF) water collection
  • Collecting surface storm water from site areas
  • Producing fresh water from desalination plants
  • Returning filtrate water from concentrate pipeline transport
  • Applying sea water in certain minerals processes

Why does it matter?

Cost-effective access to power and water can make or break the viability of a mine.

We have designed and executed more than 1,200 km of water pipelines.

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Pipeline Transport
Open Pit Mine
Solar Panel
Water Recovery Systems
Water Storage System
Tailings Storage Facility

Challenging Terrain

Deserts, mountain ranges or large bodies of water pose challenges when moving material to market. Overcoming these obstacles without driving up transportation costs requires ingenuity and thinking outside the box.

Innovative ways to manage challenging terrain:

  • Using a slurry pipeline to manage steep mountainous terrain
  • Supporting pipelines or conveyors with aerial suspension cables to span wide rivers or valleys
  • Using barge or ferry crossings for major rivers or lakes
  • Building ice roads for seasonal access in Arctic climates
  • Drilling access tunnels for pipelines through select mountainous terrain

Why does it matter?

Geographical hurdles can dramatically impact the cost and environmental impact of a project.

We have designed 80% of all slurry pipelines worldwide as well as the longest and largest tonnage iron ore concentrate pipeline in the world.

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Mountain
Intermodal Transport
Barge
Pipeline

Shared Infrastructure

Sharing infrastructure can reduce costs for mining projects, minimize environmental impact and add value for local communities. Many coastal communities have existing roads leading to local port and terminal facilities. These assets can be shared, expanded, or repurposed.

Sharing the benefits

  • Upgrading existing infrastructure rather than building new facilities minimizes environmental impact
  • Collaboration with the local community fosters trust
  • Sharing infrastructure reduces incremental capital costs
  • Dual-use infrastructure creates opportunities for sustainable local development

Why does it matter?

Shared infrastructure and inclusive, collaborative conversations with communities result in cost savings for mining companies and benefit communities.

We deliver value to our clients and their community stakeholders by delivering innovative, shared infrastructure solutions.

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Coastal Port
Logistics Management
Bulk Carrier

Mine to Market Analysis

As project financing and investment becomes harder to secure, a holistic assessment of the full lifecycle costs of all assets is crucial to develop viable projects.

Identifying opportunities for cost savings early on:

  • Can power-intensive processes be moved from the remote site to an existing industrial area?
  • When expanding a mine, can ore be partially processed near the new pit to reduce the cost of transporting run of mine ore to the original plant?
  • Are there environmental benefits from processing materials in a location where by-products can be more easily contained and properly disposed of? 

Why does it matter?

Considering the full scope of a project and its assets often reveals opportunities for significant savings.

With in-house resources for mining, process, infrastructure and transportation, our holistic approach delivers improved financial results.

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