Wedgetail Exploration has signed a contract for the supply and installation of a new SAG mill with Thyssen Krupp Engineering (Aust) Pty (Polysius Division). This demonstrates the confidence the directors have in the Nullagine project and as the mill is the longest lead item for the processing plant, locks in the delivery of the mill to March 2007. The mill specifications are: 6.1 m diameter by 7.0 m effective grinding length with grate discharge and a 3,500 kW drive.
The mill selected provides the following benefits to the project, according to Wedgetail:
- The purchase of a new mill significantly reduces the key risk of mechanical failure in the single most important processing plant item
- The mill design is optimal in both size and power for the ore to be treated at the project and allows for a very simple flowsheet with single stage crushing (already owned) and single stage grinding, minimizing operating costs
- The nameplate capacity of the processing plant in its current configuration is 1 Mt/y. It is anticipated that this will prove conservative with the softer oxide and transitional ore that is planned to be processed in the first two years of the currently planned initial five-year mine life.
Wedgetail is currently in discussions with a number of banks for the funding required to commence construction of a 1 Mt/y CIL processing facility and associated infrastructure. Wedgetail anticipates being able to debt fund the majority of the capital required to construct the project.
Wedgetail has engaged Holtfreters as the EPCM contractor for the construction of the CIL plant. Detailed design has already commenced and other key plant items such as tanks, gold room and laboratory are being sourced.