An advocate for high-speed internet between Delhi and Courtland has some positive news to share with her neighbours.Sharon Chaulk, who lives on Highway 3 west of Delhi, has been in touch with executive members of the South-western Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) initiative, which is preparing to accelerate the installation of high-speed internet in under-serviced areas of southern Ontario.Earlier this year, SWIFT announced $8.3 million for a pilot project in Norfolk County. Last Thursday, SWIFT told Chaulk the under-serviced area between Delhi and Courtland is “eligible” for funding.In an email, SWIFT COO Barry Field said his office issued requests-for-proposals for the Norfolk project last Friday. Qualified service providers have two months to design their networks, develop their proposals, and present them to SWIFT.“We will then complete our evaluation of the proposals and will focus on which proposals result in the best outcomes,” Field said in an email.“Generally, ‘best outcomes’ means more homes passed and more fibre installed. We anticipate being able to announce projects in mid- to late-October if all goes as planned.”SWIFT offers no guarantees. However, Field said: “I can say that we’ve designed the request-for-proposals in such a way to allow smaller service providers to submit proposals for ‘micro projects’ that would allow them to target smaller areas that have been passed over in previous network build-outs.“This is in contrast to simply providing all of the money to a single large provider that would most likely construct in a larger area that has more potential customers,” Field added.Chaulk also has taken her case to Execulink Telecom, the high-speed service provider in Delhi that has already extended this service into a number of hamlets and rural areas in Norfolk. On July 17 in Woodstock, Chaulk met with outside operations manager Jeff Soetemans, marketing manager Nicole Paterson and Andrea Atkinson, vice-president of customer service.“I presented our case to the team – the signatures, the petition, examples of emails from those affected, a map outlining the areas in which we would like to see the service installed,” Chaulk said in an email.“I represented everyone in my community and voiced our concerns and asked them if this was something they would be able to implement either in its entirety or a fraction.“I was told the cost to install per metre outweighs the return on investment. They install this service in populated areas where the return on investment is visible in a short period of time.”Chaulk has collected 118 signatures on a petition.She and her neighbours want Execulink to place fibre-optic cable in an underserviced area spanning about 10-kilometres between Delhi and Courtland. Addresses represented include Middleton Church Road, Rhineland Road, Schafer Sideroad, Fernlea Sideroad, 1st Concession NTR, Talbot Road behind Titan Trailers, as well as Highway 3.In a recent email to the Reformer, Execulink in Woodstock says there are no plans to place fibre-optic cable in this zone because the Ministry of Transport intends to repair this stretch of Highway 3 in 2020. As such, no one — for the time being — is allowed to perform utility work in this corridor. Execulink confirmed their position this week.“The area between Courtland and Delhi is not on our current implementation plan,” Paterson said.“It is possible we may consider extending the fibre to the area just outside of Courtland in the future, but we would not consider that until after the MTO construction was completed.“We would also have to consider what other projects and commitments we have underway at that time. We will be participating in the SWIFT request-for-proposals process for Norfolk County and we recognize that this area does qualify for SWIFT funding.”Chaulk asked the office of Toby Barrett, MPP for Haldimand and Norfolk, to investigate and see if a work-around is possible.“I talked to the person at Execulink in the planning department,” a staffer in Barrett’s office said in an email to Chaulk last week.“He said the MTO issues you speak of are in the town of Courtland and aren’t an issue in the rural area between Courtland and Delhi. Execulink is just now in the preliminary stages of looking at expansion into this area as one possible scenario under rural internet expansions. He was aware of your meeting with the company president.”Barrett’s office goes on to compliment Chaulk for the manner in which she is pursuing the issue.“After talking to him, I think you are doing the right things to put this area up for consideration for rural internet expansion,” the email says.MSonnenberg@postmedia.com
Metso is supplying key minerals processing equipment to Tibet Julong Copper for one of the largest greenfield copper projects in the world. The full delivery of minerals processing equipment to the Qulong copper mine covers engineering, a full scope of advanced minerals processing equipment and advanced process control system including six crushers, eight SAG grinding mills, eight ball mills and eight stirred mills, four vertical plate pressure filters and 16 vibrating screens, as well as related services like installation, start-up, commissioning and technical direction.The Qulong copper mine, owned and operated by Tibet Julong Copper, has a proven copper metal reserve of more than 7 Mt, Metso reports. The in-the-pit mining and concentrator operations will be located on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The mine is being built in three phases between 2016 and 2018. After its completion, it will be China’s largest and most modern copper mine with an annual design production capacity of 560,000 t of copper and a daily processing capacity of 300,000 t of ore. The mine is estimated to be in production in 2018.“Qulong has huge ore reserves. Our target is to build the world’s leading mine with sustainable mining and minerals processing operations using the most advanced equipment and processes in the world. We aim for high productivity and low cost in the most environmentally friendly way possible. The dedication Metso has shown to the project has been incredible and has assured us that Metso employees regard our aims as their own. We are impressed with Metso’s industry-leading, energy-saving solutions and sustainable optimization services. This, combined with Metso’s strong local presence and knowledge, is the reason why we chose Metso to supply the equipment for the critical processes.” says Mr Xiao, President of Tibet Julong Copper Co.“We are very proud to be the supplier of key comminution and process equipment for this unique project. We have a track record of delivering what we promise to our customers and we have excellent project management capabilities to execute projects for logistically difficult high altitude locations. During the process of winning this order we have yet again been able to demonstrate our core values of customer centricity and teamwork,” says Joao Colagrossi, President, Minerals Capital business area at Metso.Tibet Julong Copper Co, founded in 2006, is a privately owned company headquartered in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, with registered capital of RMB3.5 billion. It owns the Qulong and Zhibula copper mines, both located in Maizhokunggar County.