WORKPLACE SAFETY: CHEMICAL PROTECTIVE SUITS
When it comes to getting a job done we can come across numerous complications. One of those is not being sufficiently prepared to carry out a task we’ve been assigned. Suitable risk prevention is vital. That’s why in this article we’re going to talk about safety in the workplace and more specifically, suits that protect against harmful chemicals.
Chemical protective clothing has a very specific function in that it protects people who handle or come in to contact with chemical products, whether gas, liquid or solid. Some harmful products can be certain minerals, paints, oils or a long list of other contaminants that workers are surrounded by on a daily basis.
According to INSHT (National Institute of Workplace Safety and Health), the main function of protective clothing is to keep harmful products from coming into direct contact with skin. It is important to remember that exposure to chemical products can pose a risk if they are harmful for your health, if they are absorbed through the skin or inhaled into the respiratory tract.
Choosing a chemical protective suit
It takes an expert in workplace health and safety to determine which type of protection is most suitable for each use. Carefully choosing work uniforms and analyzing potential risks is vital for the safety of workers.
The European Union has identified a total of six different levels of protective clothing, specifically identifying each type to indicate the protection it offers against any particular danger, whether gas, liquid or sprays. It is important to consider permeation and penetration, as well as physical characteristics of the chemical product –abrasion, breakage, resistance to traction, etc.– when choosing an suitable garment.
Does complying with the EU regulation for clothing mean you are fully protected from all risks? Not by a long shot, but it significantly lowers the risk ratio.
Classification of chemical protective suits
Chemical protective suits are classified according to design, requirements and features:
- Type 1. Gastight protective suits. UNE-EN 943-1:2003
- Type 1a. With breathable air supply independent of the ambient atmosphere.
- Type 1b. With breathable air supply.
- Type 1c. With breathable air supply and providing positive pressure.
- Type 1a-ET (for emergency team use). With breathable air supply independent of the ambient atmosphere. UNE-EN 943-2:2002
- Type 1b-ET (for emergency team use). With breathable air supply. UNE-EN 943-2:2002
- Type 2. Non-gas tight protective suit. With breathable air supply and providing positive pressure. UNE-EN 943-1:2003.
- Type 3. Liquid-tight clothing. Full-body protective clothing with jet-tight connections between the different parts of the clothing and, if applicable, with liquid-tight connections to component parts, such as hoods, gloves, boots, visors or respiratory protective equipment. UNE-EN 14605:2005 + A1:2009.
- Type 4. Spray-tight clothing. Full-body protective clothing with spray-tight connections between the different parts of clothing, and, if applicable, with spray-tight connections to component parts, such as hoods, gloves, boots, visors or respiratory protective equipment. UNE-EN 14605:2005 + A1:2009.
- Type PB  y PB . Partial body protection clothing offering protection against permeation of chemical liquids to specific parts of the body. UNE-EN 14605:2005 + A1:2009.
- Type 5. Chemical protective clothing resistant to penetration by airborne solid particles. The suitability of clothing type 5 must be determined for each specific chemical substance, as with certain highly dangerous aerosols, it may be necessary to use clothing type 1 to obtain the necessary level of protection. UNE-EN 13982-1:2004
- Type 6. Limited-performance chemical protective clothing. This is the lowest level of protection against chemicals, it is designed to protect against possible exposure to light sprays or low-volume splashes. UNE-EN 13034:2005 + A1:2009.
- Type PB . Partial body protective clothing, partial protection against liquid products. UNE-EN 13034:2005 + A1:2009
TYPES OF SOCIAL RESPONSABILITY
At AYMA we always like to go hand in hand with changes in society. Corporate social responsibility thus holds more and more weight in our current business environment, and that is one of the main reasons why AYMA CSR was created, a new space specializing in this area. The objective is to lay the foundation for a business strategy from corporate social responsibility as a process, in order to achieve the highest attainable commitment to sustainability. Therefore, we think it would be interesting to talk about the different types of social responsibility that exist, as there isn’t just one.
Our friends at Oxfam Intermón talk about three types of social responsibility on their website. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Individual social responsibility
Beyond the business world, each one of us acts in a different way. At work, at home, in our neighborhood and even at the supermarket. Our actions as consumers have repercussions on the environment and on other human beings. How many times have you asked yourself what you could do to make other people‘s lives better or how you could make the world more sustainable?
This type of social responsibility has to do with our individual actions. Shopping at charity shops, choosing organic products, participating in volunteer projects or reducing waste can be some ways to be socially responsible. What about using a bike to get to work?
2. Corporate social responsibility
If we move on to the business world, we know that companies and their production and sales activities have an effect not only on citizens but also on the environment – and in a much bigger way than we do at an individual level. This type of responsibility is known as CSR.
It is when businesses take their impact on citizens and on the environment into account. It seeks productivity, cost reduction and obtaining benefits without falling into exploitation, degradation of the environment or the violation of the fundamental rights of human beings.
Oxfam Intermón recommends looking for information about CSR of some businesses on Behind the Brands, a website that gives a closer look at what is happening behind some of the biggest commercial brands, and Ropa Limpia, a website where they analyze the levels of social responsibility of the top brands and textile companies.
3. Public and governmental social responsibility
Lastly, we have the impact of actions coming from institutions and administrations that design and implement public policies, such as laws, decrees and other regulations that have a direct impact on the society and the environment.
Types of CSR
What happens if we only focus on the type called CSR? Elsbeth Roelofs, director of international CSR at Corporate Social Responsibility Netherlands, believes that a brand’s commitment to CSR passes through five stages, namely: defensive, charitable, promotional, strategic and transformative. Thanks to these stages, we can define some models of CSR.
- Defensive. Reactive social responsibility where sustainable practices are implemented to protect the value of a company with stakeholders. It usually comes up after a reputation crisis and it helps to maintain stakeholder confidence.
- Charitable. This is one of the most popular types of CSR. It could be defined as corporate philanthropy. With this model, businesses support social or environmental causes through sponsorship or direct donations.
- Strategic. In this model, an organization relates its responsible efforts to its business model. CSR becomes profitable by becoming integrated in each of the processes. This helps in reducing costs, driving productivity and creates loyalty with groups of interest.
- Transformational. Similar to the last one, but in this stage, CSR transcends beyond the business model. Brands develop a bigger purpose. They are known as «human brands» that put their beliefs and values front and center, involving groups of interest who offer to take part in a profound change.
AYMA, IN THE TRADE FAIR ALUMNI ENTREOLIVOS-TABLADILLA
Businesses, SMEs and entrepreneurs came together in theI Trade Fair Alumni Entreolivos – Tabladilla, which took place at the end of April. Alumni and family members of educational centers in Seville created this initiative, which brought together more than 80 companies.
The first edition of the Fair was organized by the associations of alumni of both schools. Different business sectors were brought together at the event, which was reflected in its wide range of activities. It was an innovative meeting and the first developed in Seville –at Tabladilla facilities–, to reunite alumni with the objective of visualizing their entrepreneurship.
AYMA Mining Solutions was present at this business event with its charming stand exhibiting its services and those of its clients, among which were SAER Seal of Corporate Social Responsibility and the exclusive bicycles of TBK Bike.
The objective of this fair, according to its organizers, was «to promote entrepreneurial values among current students and parents of the schools, to encourage business synergy and collaboration and to promote these businesses among alumni and family members».
GUIDE TO SUSTAINABLE AND RESPONSIBLE MINING
Mining that is considered to be optimal can’t just stop at evaluating its economic benefits only. Nowadays, other factors must be considered in order to say that a mining project was an interdisciplinary success when it comes to the environment and extraction. These are the environmental and social aspects. Without joining and incorporating all these factors into a project, mining cannot be carried out responsibly and efficiently.
Caring for the environment
Some alterations to a landscape are inevitable where mining activity is carried out. This is why when the activity is finished, it is crucial to start a rehabilitation process. Currently, highly developed techniques are well-known by many professionals. These techniques are prescribed by law, which is why they need to be integrated into the project from the planning stages. Repopulation of vegetation and improvement of urban construction are some of the points to consider. If the land can be left better than how we found it, then that means a huge success for the landscape.
The same modification of the landscape affects the inhabitants of a geographic area. It affects their daily habits, and in some cases, economic livelihood. For this reason, it is necessary to come to a mutual understanding on political, economic, trade union and other issues. Establishing a program that compensates the inconveniencesthat mining can cause is fundamental, so that the finished job serves to improve life socially and guarantees safety for nearby communities. A company’s reputation will depend on whether or not it executes an intelligent social strategy.
Ultimately, sustainable mining seeks to help provide a useful framework for the continuation of resource exploitation for future generations. Only by being responsible with the environment can we begin to talk about the future. In this sustainable development, three factors are integrated in the planning process, and their overlapping results in what we know as sustainability: economic growth, social cohesion and environmental protection.
A YEAR OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
In a world that is globalized at every level, the actions of everyone who interacts with it or inhabits it have consequences that affect all living beings. Being conscious of this is fundamental to make a unified effort for the sake of a healthier planet. At AYMA we are. We know that our sector must be especially careful with the environment. For this reason, carrying out sustainable activity was our flagship project throughout 2018, because making mining a responsible activity is also pushing it beyond its limits.
During this time we have worked hard to offer an updated version of AYMA, of its consulting. A renovation which means a commitment with values of safety, respect for the environment, collaboration with communities, etc. Ultimately, for mining of today. 21st-century mining. Sustainable.
This journey lays the foundation of a company strategy for corporate social responsibility as a process, to achieve the highest level of commitment to sustainability.
In what activities can we see this attitude?
From March to December, we carried out a dozen activities related to corporate social responsibility, in addition to implementing messages to raise awareness through our communication strategy via social networks. We will discuss five of them, although you can find more information in the CSR page on the Ayma Mining Solutions website.
In March we started this journey by joining the United Nations Global Compact, where our signature signifies the need to establish a business strategy based on sustainable values and ESG criteria (environmental, social and governance) for 2019. In April AYMA was the sponsoring company of the XIV International Congress on Energy and Natural Resources that took place in Seville. In May AYMA obtained the LOPD data protection Compliance Certificate for its commitment to adapting to new regulations. Let’s skip to September, a month in which we hired an external consultancy to draft a Declaration of Sustainability adapted to AYMA’s business activity and sector. The last action we want to highlight took place in October, when we signed the abovementioned Declaration of Sustainability.
With our first steps taken, our commitment continues into 2019, a year in which we hope this identity will be reinforced and will position us as a top mining consultancy that is more intelligent, efficient and responsible. Doing the job and getting optimal results doesn’t conflict with sustainability.
The planet is our home. If our work is unsustainable, it can’t in any way be optimal.
INFACT, THE FUTURE OF EUROPEAN MINING PASSES THROUGH ANDALUSIA
We’re not exaggerating when we say that the future of mineral exploration in the European Union is emerging in Andalusia.
Why? The reason for this is due to a project developed by the Department of Employment, Enterprise and Commerce of the Government of Andalusia that began in December of 2017: INFACT, a project dedicated to the innovation of technologies related to the area of mineral exploration.
INFACT, as communicated by the government, is «financed in the EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation H2020», and, as stated in the communication, it aims at «offering a new approach for mineral resource explorationthat is acceptable to society, respectful towards the environment and technologically advanced, in addition to reevaluating Europe’s mining potential ». These values are all very much present in current mining trends. It’s called mining of the 21stcentury.
The project consists of three main objectives:
- Boost social engagement and local agencies’involvement in projects, providing the criteria for social and environmental integration.
- Development of innovative technologies for mineral exploration.
- Establishment of three reference regions in which technologies and equipment developed in the program can be tested and certified.
Another important factor for the development of INFACT is the reference regions. It is very important to establish facilities and develop teams and technologies in areas that are most representative of the sector and contain the widest range of possible conditions. And this is where Andalusia plays one of its most important roles. Among its mining sites is its southern region, which includes Cobre Las Cruces in Sevilla and Minas de Riotinto in the province of Huelva.
This project is not only beneficial for the future of European mining and the development of mining in Andalusia. We must also consider the benefits that the region’s participation brings to its inhabitants, such as job creation.
More information about INFACT can be found on its project website.
FROM SHOVEL AND PICK TO SOCIALLY, ENVIRONMENT AND ECONOMICALLY RESPONSIBLE
Sustainability must come to represent mining just as much as a drill does. At least that is how we see it at AYMA and we are convinced thatsocially responsible mining is the path to take.
From this commitment comes the SAER label (Social, Environmentaland Economic Responsibility) which distinguishes socially, environmentally and economically responsible companies and organizations from all sectors. It is a three-dimensional philosophy that includes social, environmental and economic areas from a perspective of responsibility.
In the case of our company, AYMA, CSR is the area we have created to specialize in Corporate Social Responsibility. The department is integrated among the consulting services we offer and focuses on helping organizations in sustainability management, providing services and solutions that create value and economic, social and environmental benefits through innovation and knowledge.
New technologies have been especially useful in developing mining dedicated to Corporate Social Innovation, thanks to easy access to the information they provide. Corporate Social Innovation is the evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility. That is what the distinguished SAER label provides, allowing a company to capitalize on knowledge gained from practicing CSR to improve the company and its environment.
At AYMA we know that projects and services of the future require consideration of social impact and sustainability from the very beginning. It is the only way to maintain this activity, which nowadays is crucial for the needs of modern society, without the negative impacts on the environment, the economy and on the population itself.
AYMA, SAFETY AT WORK
We continue to open new areas in the field of mining. Not in a literal sense –because after all, opening up new areas is what we do–, but with new services we offer in our mining consultancy. Although sustainability is the big objective in the sector at the moment, we also must point out other very important factors to keep in mind. One of them, which is what we are discussing today, is risk prevention in the workplace.
This area of mining takes center stage among the training and consulting services that AYMA offers. Mining involves risks. We work with explosives, heavy machinery, collapse risk, extreme conditions, etc; therefore, risk prevention training is of vital importance for a mining operator position.
That’s why at AYMA, we consider transversal consulting in risk prevention to be fundamental, as it enables both the employee and the company to perform their roles without risk when possible, or at an acceptable, and more importantly, controlled level of risk. It is not about knowing what safety is, but learning to identify potential risks, as well as how to react in those situations, what to do and why.
A pre-established organization of these elements is just as important as knowing them. It is necessary to create management guidelines of situations using tools like an organizational chart in which members know what their role is, names of coordinators, meetings and simulations, communication channels, etc. Understanding of the law with respect to workplace risk prevention is also equally necessary. We’ve attached the basic legislation at the end of the text.
AYMA, through nearly two decades of experience, has the necessary permits and skills for guaranteed adequate execution of procedures. We have successfully consulted projects across Spain, and now, as a part of TORO, we are taking our services to Latin America.
Better mining is possible. At AYMA we are moving toward that.
LAW 31/1995 ON RISK PREVENTION IN THE WORKPLACE
Article 19: Training of workers
In compliance with the obligation of protection, the employer shall ensure that each worker receives theoretical and practical training that is sufficient and adequate, in preventative matter not only at the moment of recruitment, regardless of the form of contract and its duration, but also whenever changes in the performance of his duties, or new technologies or new work equipments are introduced.
The training must be specifically focused on the job position or function of each worker, adapted to the development of risks and the appearance of new ones, and shall be repeatedly performed if needed.
The training referred to in the preceding paragraph must take place, whenever it is possible, during working hours, otherwise, in other hours deducting the time spent on training from working hours. The training shall be given by the company through its own means or contracted to external services, and its expense may not fall upon the workers in any case.
Article 31: Prevention services
Prevention services shall be able to provide the company with the advice and support it may need taking account of the existing types of risk and in regard to:
Information and training of workers, under the terms and conditions provided in Articles 18 and 19 of this Law.
If the company does not carry out preventative actions with its own resources, the duties in regard to the matters described in this section may only be taken over by an external prevention service. This shall be without prejudice to any other legal or regulatory assignment of competence to other entities or bodies in regard to the matters indicated herein.
GENERAL LAW ON BASIC MINE SAFETY REGULATIONS
ORDER ITC/1316/2008, 7 of May, approving the ITC 02.1.02 «Preventative training for performance of job position ».
Art 7: “…the company shall organize corresponding training to workers who require it, whether due to recent incorporation, or for review or updating knowledge. To do so, the company must possess adequate means, both material and human, being either internal or external”.
Art 8: “The team in charge of training must possess a series of requirements that validates them for the job they shall perform:
- Include persons accredited for the performance of functions of Superior Level PRL, (coordinator functions).
- Its members must possess academic or professional training specific to the subject of mining.
- Possess work experience in the sector of that specific activity.
Art 9: Certification of the training. Workers who have been adequately trained according to the provisions of this ITC, exceeding the levels of knowledge established by training staff, will receive documented accreditation, issued by the company if it used its own means to provide training, or by the entity contracted to do so, in the case of having used external means. This training shall be noted and certified in the professional training portfolio of each worker.
Art 10: Nature of preventative training for the performing of job position. The training regulated by this order is considered to be minimum and, in any case, in accordance with article 19 of the PRL Law, the employer shall guarantee that each worker receive sufficient and adequate theoretical and practical training in the area of prevention.
SOCIAL RESPONSABILITY: GOOD MANNERS IN MINING
Since AYMA Mining Solutions was founded, our way of operating has been based on sustainability and social responsibility, aspects that we have discussed publicly on more than one occasion. Because of the nature of mining, bad mining practices, such as those that occured in the past due to a lack of means or technological advances, can bring problems both for the environment and for communities near the mines. This is why good mining practices are necessary, and they are the reason that starting from 2019, AYMA will begin to offer mining companies a new service that specializes in this necessary field: social responsiblity.
Mining is fundamental for our way of life, and we must be responsible with it.
What exactly are good practices? Good practices mean exercising social responsibility. They are a series of actions that have more to do with a company’s professional ethics and collective concsiousness than with its regulations. Good practices start with the basics, such as saying good morning to your neighbor, eating with your mouth closed or letting someone out of the elevator door before you go in. They are a matter of manners, but on a higher level, and they are voluntary.
A series of actions that seek to contribute to the well-being of society.
What can these actions achieve? What purpose do they serve? These responsible practices aim to achieve the following objectives:
- Control, minimize, and eliminate environmental impact, and look for ways to compensate should those impacts occur.
- Ensure compliance with environmental laws.
- Guarantee adequate use of natural resources.
- Look for and achieve the highest level of cost efficiency possible. In other words, optimize resources.
- Avoid potential problems that could arise in mining operations.
This new service will not only benefit the environment, but it will also allow our company to improve our clients’ corporate image among the general public, communities, and competitors, which is one of the main reasons why it is important for businesses to improve in this aspect.
Just as the expert in sustainable development Jorge Alberto Velásquez says, «good practices make responsible mining development and the sustainability of affected communities possible».
BIM TECHNOLOGY MAKES ITS WAY TO MINING CONSTRUCTION AND FACILITIES
BIM technology, Building Information Modeling, has been used in the construction sector during the past few years and has resulted in many improvements, especially in SMEs. Although this method has seen most of its growth in construction, the similarities among the field of engineering in building and mining operations have allowed BIM technology to expand to this sector, where more and more practical applications are being found.
But what is BIM exactly? It refers to the modeling of information for construction. In other words, BIM is the process of generating and managing data during the construction of a building using dynamic building modeling software in 3D and in real time. If we apply it to mining, we see that in both types of operations, BIM technology provides complete information and constant updates about the building or excavation, along with attention to geometric parameters, spatial relations and geographic information. In addition, it provides precise data about the quantities and characteristics of components.
Now that we have explained what BIM technology is, let’s talk about its advantages for clients of AYMA Mining Solutions since we have integrated this technology into our company:
- Multidisciplinary workflow. BIM allows for collaboration through one single platform so that different professionals –engineers, consultants, architects, etc – can share information and perform actions.
- 2D and 3D technology. This improves the vision of the overall project and helps to avoid potential errors.
- Documentation of the project –budgets, plans, etc..– are generated automatically, which increases productivity and saves money.
- BIM also lets us know the energetic impact of the materials used in construction.
Using BIM technology implies necessary changes in a company that uses it, and it requires having the necessary conditions for its implementation beforehand, especially in the area of human resources. At AYMA Mining Solutions, we have qualified technicians both in production as well as initial phases –3D scan, thermography, digital photogrammetry, drones, modeling of landscapes and existing buildings, etc.– and post-construction phases, during operation and maintenance of the building, to complete each project.
WOMEN IN MINING: KILL THE SUPERWOMAN
Currently,gender equality is one of the most important battles in practically all social environments: work, school, education…even children‘s toys and the use of language. A much-needed demand for equal rights and treatment between women and men has reached the mining world and was the topic of the recent seminar,Women, mining and industry, held on November 7, 2018. During the seminar –organized by the Canadian Embassy in Spain and the Regional Government of Andalusia– the director of AYMA Mining, Bárbara Gómez Delgado, was an active participant, especially in the panel discussion Conciliation and its impact on promotions in mining.
The paneldiscussed topics regarding the presence of women in mining and consulting companies: the positions they hold compared to men, ways of promoting their careers, etc. The other speakers were representatives from other companies that are either operating a mine or are in the planning process: Marie-Christine Frenette, vice president of Africa – Kinross Gold Corporation, Susana Bieberach, marketing and communications manager at Geoalcali S.L, and Guadalupe Collar, director of Geology at Oro Valle. The discussion was moderated by Brita Hektoen, director of Chair on Women‘s Rights at the International Institute of San Telmo, the location of the event.
With respect to the general situation regarding managing or technical positions, Bárbara concluded that despite the fact that there has been “a positive change for women”, their presence in consulting/engineering/mining companies “is highly monitored by steering committees, unless the companies were created by women”, which are usually not more than 40 percent. According to the director of AYMA, other alternatives in hiring processes can help achieve real equal opportunities, for example, by leaving out names or any reference to the candidate’s gender in blind CVs, or by continuing of other initiatives such as “vivida” at San Telmo Institute, where women can learn from other women and see how far they can advance.
Another topic discussed was about a survey that showed a generalized opinion: the acceptance of the presence of women as a minority in these types of positions was related to a lack of ambition and number of women candidates. Bárbara Gómez Delgado sees here that there is a problem and a radical solution. The problem, the superwoman. The solution, kill the superwoman. The explanation is that we live in a society that educates us to relegate women to household activities. The idea is the following: you can do anything you want and in addition, run a household. The superwoman.
For Bárbara it is crucial to end this idea that women can do it all. They should be able to opt for only one goal if they want. Without having to divide their efforts. To be able to choose. Kill the superwoman.
In an intervention in the previous panel discussion, Marta Pérez Dorao, president of the Inspiring Girls Foundation, made an interesting reflection about guilt, something that Bárbara had previously mentioned. The affirmation we must kill the superwoman means understanding that we should not have to feel guilty.
Although in general the consideration of women in the world of mining engineering has improved, it is necessary to continue fighting to continue in this direction. “The sad thing is that women are still having to give explanations”, says Bárbara, “for achieving goals that men are assumed to achieve.”
THE PRESENT AND FUTURE OF CIVIL WORKS: TO BUILD OR NOT TO BUILD
Infrastructures are just as much subject to change as the society that uses them. It has been this way since human beings came into existence. Cities were built along the coasts or near rivers because it was practical, and through the centuries, their infrastructures have been modified for the needs of tourism and leisure.
Times change, and so do cities.
Civil works is responsible for adapting cities to these changes. Traditionally, it is the branch of engineering responsible for the construction of bridges, highways, parks, buildings, train tracks, ports, etc. In other words, it designs and modifies the environment to benefit the management of a territory and to improve quality of life for the community that lives there.
If we take a look at the evolution over the last few years in the Spanish sector, we find a period of high emigration of engineers abroad in search of construction projects, but this tendency is now coming to a stop. The reasons for this don‘t have so much to do with whether or not there are enough construction projects (the main activities related to civil works that we mentioned before), but with versatility and new alternatives that the profession is acquiring and that there are new options for the future for engineers. A great example is Bernardo Gómez Delgado, director of the Madrid headquarters of AYMA Mining Solutions, who has lead important civil works projects and currently does both that and consulting, which is non-traditional.
It may be that Spain is not yet considering the construction of a bridge like the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao, the world‘s longest bridge that connects Hong Kong to Continental China; however, we are not Chinese and flights to the Canary Islands are still working just fine. In an age where changes in population and transportation and housing are occurring faster than ever, civil works must fulfill its role. The ability to take on any challenge, not just those directly related to engineering, but also a high capacity for project management will be reinforced in the education of new generations in technical colleges and universities.
In closing, we‘ll mention another example of reinvention in the sector. The article, I am an architect and I don‘t build: Welcome to the future of urban planning (Arquia Foundation), explains the need for a form of social civil works that improves the usability of large cities with respect to the needs of citizens, without spectacular architecture. It talks about a future where consultants act as “social agents” who are responsible for improving the quality of life for cities and their citizens, making sure everyone benefits from strategies, and also creating social and economic opportunities. Urban planning of the future is about new professionals who don‘t necessarily need to build”.
DILUTION, AN UNPREDICTABLE FACTOR
In the mining sector, dilution is defined as “all external material with grades lower than the cut-off grade that is inevitably mined with the extracted mineral.” In other words, it is the amount of waste material or below cut-off grade material that is mixed with the mineral during the stages of mining.
Dilution poses a major challenge in the fundamental steps of a mining project: planning. Even though many factors are predictable and are quantified and analyzed for planning before beginning the mining process, we are still inevitably faced with uncertainties only resolved after doing the job. Among them is the case we currently have at hand.
Despite the uncertainties, a rough estimate of waste material in the extracted mineral is necessary. According to the articleby Adén Muñoz, mining supervisor of AYMA Mining Solutions, and Benjamín Cebrián, of Blast-Consult, “it is our responsibility to design, control and to measure the dilution that results in what we do and how we operate”. In other words, the dilution present in minerals is a determining factor for mining operations and extracting processes.
On the other hand, there are various types of dilution that require different design and control processes. According to the abovementioned article, geological dilution“is produced by inaccuracies in the delineation stages of the resource model –waste contact– mineral, mineral transitions, etc. Geological dilution could comprise up to a third of total dilution”. Internal dilution“cannot be separated due to its size and can occur in situations where the mining method dictates a minimum width of extraction –in this sense, internal dilution can be planned; either in relation to the size of the block of the model –internal dilution to the block”. Lastly, external dilution “is unplanned and refers to waste material outside the mineral that is mined with the mining block. External dilution can be caused by production errors or from the falling of materials due to planar instabilities or contamination from backfill”.
Dilution, however, beyond the three general categories, is subdivided in more variants that depend on factors like the type of mineral, whether the mine is underground or open-pit, etc., all of which need different measuring, planning and calculating according to the elements that intervene. Apart from the inherent dynamism of dilution, the people in the team, their experience and extraction processes make it possible for each case to have its own equation. One-of-a-kind. Like that small percentage of difference in DNA that makes each person unique.
AYMA PARTICIPATES IN ‘WOMEN, MINING AND INDUSTRY’ SEMINAR
Among the challenges of mining of the 21stcentury includes placing importance on issues related to gender equality and the female labor participation in a sector where they are gaining more and more presence. Proof of this will be seen at the upcoming seminar, Women, mining and industry,which will take place November 7th, 2018 in the International Institute of San Telmo (Avda. de la Mujer Trabajadora, 1 / 48001 Seville).
The majority of those participating in the seminar are women professionals in the mining industry, and they are, without a doubt, all proof of the importance of women in the industry. Among the participating women is AYMA Mining Solutions’ director,Bárbara Gómez Delgado. Bárbara, who has more than 15 years of experience in the sector, founded AYMA in 2014 and since then has provided consultancy for mining projects, pyrotechnics in the audiovisual industry and specialized training for mining professionals.
Thisgathering of different professionals in the sector to talk about this topic is of an international nature. This initiative is of Canadian origin –The Canadian Embassy in Spain– that has been supported with the participation of the Regional Government of Andalusia in bringing it to Seville. The seminar will be from 9:00 until 18:15, when Javier Carnero Sierra, Employment counselor, Enterprise and Commerce, will close with a presentation called Mining Kit.
09:00 Participant registration
09:45 Gender equality in Canada
- Matthew Levin, Canadian Ambassador in Spain
09:50 Talent Management and Diversity in the Canadian and European mining sector
- Cynthia Le Sueur-Aquin, President of Women in Mining Canada (WIMC) and President of Laurion Mineral Exploration Inc.,
- Corina Hebestreit, General Director of EUROMINES
- Caroline Rossignol, Director, Sustainability and Social Performance, Lundin Mining
11:20 Coffee Break (Networking)
11:45 Mining and professions from the public and private perspective: promoting equal opportunities.
Moderator: Natalia González, general director of Industry, Energy and Mines of the Regional Government of Andalusia.
- Esther Marín, General Director, General Manager of Energy and Industrial and Mining Activity of Murcia.
- Maria de la Paz Curto Del Valle, Finance Administrator of MATSA
- Lorena García, Director of Legal Services and Institutional Relations, Cobre Las Cruces
- María Belarmina Diaz, General Director of Mines of Principado of Asturias
13:00 Mediation and its impact on promotions of professional careers in mining
Moderator: Brita Hektoen, Director Chair inWomen at the San Telmo Institute.
- Marie-Christine Frenette, Vice President and General Counsel – Africa; Kinross Gold Corporation
- Susana Bieberach, Marketing & Communications Manager, Geoalcali S.L.
- Guadalupe Collar, director of Geology of Oro Valle
- Barbara Gomez, director of AYMA Mining Solutions.
14:15 Lunch-Buffet (Networking)
15:45 The challenge of diversity in the industrial sector
Moderator: Esperanza Caro Gómez, General Manager of Economics and Commerce for the City Council of Seville.
- Marta Pérez Dorao, president of the Inspiring Girls Foundation.
- Carmen Quintero Calderón, director of MP Productividad, SA
- Beatriz Codes, Communications Manager, Southeast Region Coca Cola European Partners Iberia.
- Chaimae El Amri, managing director of Green Energy Resources and Primary Energy Metals.
17:00 Diversity and equal opportunities vs productivity. Professional profiles in the industry and gender identity.
Moderator: María Luisa de Contes d´Esgranges, General and Board of Directors Secretary of Renault Group in Spain, Director of RSC and Renault Foundation for Sustainable Mobility.
- Iain Anderson, managing director of Cobre Las Cruces
- Isabel González, director of Proyectos, Thyssenkrupp Elevator Innovation Center
- Javier Targhetta, president, Atlantic Copper and Senior Vice President Marketing & Sales, Freeport-McMoRan
- Fernanda Cardama, Maxam Global Head of HR, Organization and Communications.
18:15 Closing Remarks
Javier Carnero Sierra, Employment, Business and Commerce counselor (Presentation of Mining Kit)
View Program in PDF
ABOUT DILUTION – FUEYO EDITORES
«The business of mining by nature is subject to uncertainties and inherent risks, both in early preventative stages and in later stages. Nothing can be done about some of these uncertainties, for example, the price of metals; or a mineral resource that will never be exactly known. Finally, others, such as dilution, have a double implication: on the one hand, its estimation in initial design phases, and on the other hand, the operational reality achieved, which is mostly a direct consequence, although with some other effects, of our action or inaction ». (…)
Article by Adén Muñoz, mining supervisor at AYMA Mining Solutions, and Benjamín Cebrián, Blast Consultant.
Published in Fueyo Editores.
Read complete article in fueyoeditores.com
EFFICIENT WATER MANEGEMENT IN THE MINING SECTOR
Water resources play a fundamental role in mining for two main reasons: the use of water in extraction and its supply from natural sources that mining uses.
Mining is responsible for extracting the Earth’s resources that are valuable for our lives, but water is the most valuable resource of them all. We can live without gold or copper, but not without water. That is why in addition to its use, we must pay special attention to issues like sustainability, the environment and the reuse of this vital element.
The more than well-reputed Dr. Rafael Fernández Rubio, a retired mining engineer, has created a series of guidelines derived from his many years of experience in the sector. One of the most important of them is the need to manage water resources with the “the best economic, social and environmental sustainability, with medium and long-term integral planning.
Similarly, the extraction of groundwater should be sustained in the best technologies for Prevention of Mine Drainage, to achieve water of a higher quality. Achieving efficient water consumption that is calculated and doesn’t spill water that doesn’t meet the quality standard is another factor that we must take into account.
The artificial recharge of quality water, accumulating a wealth of water informationfor future generations, and leaving a strong water infrastructure when finishing an activity are other factors that Fernández Rubio says are necessary for responsible mining with water reserves.
Mining of the 21stcenturyhas a commitment with the natural environment, with sustainable development as the base of its activity. It is for that reason more rigorous and strict control is being enforced with regard to everything that involves using water. To achieve these objectives, a strong commitment from all those involved in mining is crucial to support and promote responsible use of water.