This is the third of four in a series on technology and innovation.
Newmont’s Malozemoff Technical Facility (MTF) in Englewood, Colorado, is home to state-of-the-art mineral technology and world-class expertise. It’s where Lauren Hafla, Director of Newmont’s Metallurgical Services (NMS), and a crew of engineers, geoscientists and chemists create value through “delivery of new and industry leading technology across the portfolio.”
Hafla brings 18 years of experience in process engineering and operations to NMS management. Before making the move to the MTF Englewood location, she oversaw continuous improvement work as the Full Potential Manager at our Carlin mine, in Nevada. Productivity and improved costs were at the forefront of Hafla’s responsibilities, and she helped the site deliver $95 million in benefits in 2015 and 2016.
Today, Hafla joins NMS in pursuit of cost-competitive operational support, as well as the distribution of best practices, across Newmont’s operations and projects portfolio. Specialized lab equipment helps her team deliver competitive advantage through innovation in processing, improved exploration, and optimized production and design. Internal “customers” are provided with world-class services at 30–40 percent of the cost of a traditional third-party laboratory, with Newmont retaining intellectual property.
NMS researches and works in four technical pillars:
- Comminution: Reducing ore to minute particles or fragments
- Flotation: Separating mineral particles by treatment with chemicals in water, allowing minerals to adhere to air bubbles and rise to the surface for removal
- Hydrometallurgy: The leaching of metallic compounds to form a solution from which they can be recovered
- Water: Research that supports water management and treatment, including acid pit lake remediation, metal removal and tailings storage
As head of R&D projects, Hafla is the single point of accountability for retaining world-class talent and providing year-over-year technology advancements. She is helping expand NMS mineralogy capabilities through Laser Ablation, for example.
This advancement provides enhanced detail to mineral and metal traits – at 80 percent of the traditional cost and a significant reduction in wait time for results.
Other NMS projects have led to similar gains for Newmont’s processing practices. Testing of an alternative approach to flotation, which uses gas technology, saw an 8–12 percent ore recovery gain at Carlin’s Mill 5. In the hydrometallurgy space, NMS is in the final stages of adding automated bench scale continuous autoclave testing to secure scaling factors from bench-top work through to final plant design. Innovation and expertise in water treatment membrane technology, as well as developments in waste rock characterization and modeling, have improved water management and support Newmont’s Global Water Strategy.
In-house advancements like these represent only a fraction of the 25 priority R&D projects currently underway. Combined, they contribute to Newmont’s overarching commitment to sustainable and responsible mining. Hafla, who also partners with graduate programs and fit-for-purpose consortiums, says it’s one of the reasons Newmont is “recognized as a leader in the industry.”
Meet members of Newmont’s Metallurgical Services team and get a tour of their lab.
Next in this series, we will check in with the Operational Technology and Innovation team for an update on their five-year strategy and roadmap.
To learn more about our commitment to delivering superior operation execution, visit our Investor Briefcase at Newmont.com. Stay tuned next week for the fourth in our series on Technology and Innovation: Competitive Advantage through People.