Written by Karen Richards
Some of mining’s most familiar energy resources are coal- making up one quarter of global electricity and supplying half the electricity consumed in the Americas; copper – used in electrical equipment for its durability and corrosion resistance; gold – the new “green” in energy as its use in solar cells increases; nickel- used in batteries from electronic equipment to hybrid cars; and uranium –used for nuclear power.
The top five countries involved in energy-related mining are China, United States, India, Australia and Indonesia. Whether it is established mines producing for hundreds of years or new mines in emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India, China [BRIC], South Africa or the Americas, many of these sites lack the basic infrastructure to support these mining initiatives. Mining companies rely on providers such as Agility to manage the freight and logistics support services necessary to deliver thousands of tons of materials and supplies required to start and support a mining site.
Agility has been serving the mining industry for more than 15 years with expertise and capability to manage any size mining project. Agility’s turnkey mining logistics experience includes moving millions of tons of freight for coal, copper, nickel and gold mines. Managing logistics internationally and in-country begins with extensive route surveys, required permitting plus continued supervision and oversight. Early stage work provided for mining customers includes cost modeling, infrastructure limitation studies, environment impact studies, import duty or tax and customs consultation. As a trusted partner, Agility offers specialized solutions from the design and construction phase through excavation to completion. Agility’s global network provides local experts to supervise all material and equipment transportation including logistics plans and site surveys through the warehousing, staging and packing or air, sea and heavy haul road transport. Mining customers have global online materials tracking with Radio Frequency ID (RFID) plus site management and crew transport options as well.
Often Agility is involved with the infrastructure support and build-out necessary for successful completion of long-term mining activities. Agility customizes services for each mining customer, which can include construction of initial roads and bridges, providing complete self-contained living facilities for the crew, or emergency medical facilities and security services. Customers can include on-site supervision and supply chain services with warehousing facilities or mechanical maintenance for the mining operations and reverse logistics like metal recycling at job completion. All services needed for today’s mining operations are available through Agility, whose customers truly find a “one stop’ service provider.
Agility’s proven heavy lift capabilities allow customized solutions for delivery of oversized or out-of-gauge equipment for mining equipment. Pieces are uniquely shaped and often too high, wide or heavy to navigate local roads. Agility includes logistics services that support the mining erection and installation on-site of much of the heavy haul equipment. The knowledge about specific rules and regulations of countries, access to remote locations without the necessary infrastructure to support these type of activities combined with the technical expertise are critical for successful deliveries to many mining operations.
Agility maintains the highest level of quality, environmental, health, safety and security (QEHSS) standards providing continued customer satisfaction. Employee compliance with all legislation, regulatory and statutory requirements is consistent with management framework. Agility’s Code of Ethics Policy and a strong record of QEHSS compliance and certifications assure safety is a foremost concern. As mining cargo travels across remote landscapes and into local communities, local experts monitor safety and technical specifications, proper permitting and tax or fee implementations for timely transport and delivery of equipment and supplies to the mine site with as little disruption to local activities as possible.
Green energy from mining is possible. Copper is 100% recyclable, over and over again, without any loss of performance. This makes it well suited to contribute to energy development that is environmentally friendly. Repairing the land and removing the waste materials have greater importance. Agility is working with customers on greener supply chains, stressing energy efficiency, reducing electricity use, switching to fluorescents and using fuel efficient vehicles when possible. Agility also provides information about engine idling, the efficiency of natural gas fleets, the importance of conservation and waste management at mine sites, and reusing or recycling cartons and packing waste in key locations.
Recycling combined with the fact that mined products, like coal for example, are used primarily in the countries where they are produced, provide tremendous economic benefits to the country and region they support. Mining’s contributions to energy resources, along with the economic development in the communities nearby mining, will continue to encourage growth while raising the standard of living and helping to reduce poverty.
Karen Richards, Global Marketing Coordinator Agility Logistics