After many years of hard work in PT Freeport Indonesia’s Grasberg Block Cave (GBC), the project is now well into its transition from Mine Development into Mine Production. As an example, Redpath’s GBC Production Team, led by Antony Strong and Louis Keyser, successfully delivered 240,000 t of ore (averaging 7,500 t/d) to the crusher for the month of May 2019. This brought the rate of advance slightly ahead of the production target for that month.
In all, Redpath’s production scope of work includes the drilling of production holes, services installation, secondary breakage and the mucking of Extraction Level drawpoints and cave development mucking. Redpath has successfully implemented auto drilling on the Sandvik Solo drills and the crews have been achieving up to 1,200 drill metres per day, utilising four Solo drill rigs. Redpath performs the production mucking with a fleet of six Caterpillar R1600G LHDs, which will steadily increase in number to 15 over time as the cave grows and more draw points become available to muck. The LHD operators receive real-time information on draw orders from the Cat MineStar system and dispatcher. This ensures that the block cave ore is mucked in a controlled sequence.