DRA Global says it has completed its engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract under budget and ahead of time for Northern Star Resources at the Jundee gold mine, near Wiluna, Western Australia.
The Jundee mining operation is situated in the Northern Yandal Greenstone Belt, with the mine yielding a record 300,000 oz for Northern Star in the year ending June 30, 2020.
Jundee’s processing circuit comprises a two-stage crushing circuit, SAG and ball mill, and conventional carbon-in-leach plant. The ball mill upgrade, undertaken by DRA, increased processing plant capacity to a nominal design throughput rate of 2.7 Mt/y, from 2.2 Mt/y.
DRA delivered the EPCM project scope under budget and ahead of time, with ore commissioning achieved some six weeks ahead of schedule in a total duration of 35 weeks, it said.
“DRA’s project team achieved this outcome by working in close collaboration with the Northern Star project and operations team, the equipment vendors and construction sub-contractors,” it said.
Delivery of the project required overcoming challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, including risk mitigation strategies being initiated to maintain the accelerated project schedule, according to the company.
Northern Star’s General Manager Processing, Simon Tyrrell, said DRA had consistently met and exceeded performance expectations through a collaborative approach to the Jundee ball mill project delivery.
DRA was engaged on the EPCM contract after having completed an engineering and cost study which included scope definition, design, planning, capital and operating cost estimation. The project follows several previous plant upgrades and studies successfully completed by DRA at the Jundee gold mine, which have contributed towards the continuous production growth seen at the mine over the last four-to-five years, DRA said.
The process plant shutdown and tie-in of the new ball mill was performed in conjunction with the Northern Star operations team and contractors without incident, and the process plant has since ramped up to run consistently above nameplate design capacity, the company added.