Tag Archives: Barminco

Australia’s first fully-automated, battery-electric Sandvik DL422iE drill goes to work at IGO Nova

IGO and Barminco have put Sandvik’s DL422iE longhole drill to work at the Nova operation in Western Australia, becoming the first mine in Australia to roll out the fully-automated, battery-electric rig.

The nickel-copper-cobalt mine, in the Fraser Range, is owned by IGO and operated by Barminco. Both companies have been trailblazers in terms of trialling electrified mining technologies and, like Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, they are a part of the Electric Mine Consortium.

Barminco purchased the Sandvik DL422iE, which was commissioned and put to work in July.

Darren Kwok, Head of Mining Electrification and Technology at Barminco, said: “Accelerating decarbonisation is one of our sustainability priorities and there are clear benefits to using battery-electric vehicles in the underground environment. Reducing or eliminating diesel emissions improves working conditions for our people and also has the potential to improve efficiency and profitability. We’re very excited to see the benefits that this new Sandvik rig can provide.”

Chris Carr, Head of Technical Services and Acting General Manager Nova at IGO, added: “At IGO, we believe in a clean energy future, and that extends to our underground mining operations where the electrification of our fleets will create a safer, greener and more productive operation. The arrival of the new Sandvik drill is an important step towards our commitment to be net zero across our direct operations and projects by 2035, if not sooner.”

The Sandvik DL422iE is a fully-automated, battery-powered top hammer longhole drill designed for underground mass mining in 4 x 4 m or larger production drifts, Sandvik says. It can drill vertical and inclined fans and single or parallel Ø89-127 mm longholes up to 54 m in depth using ST58 and ST68 tube rods.

The drill’s electric driveline includes a battery package and electric motor to allow for zero emissions while tramming and also reduced thermal load. The DL422iE also features Sandvik’s patented Charging While Drilling technology; an innovation for reduced battery charging time without the need for additional infrastructure.

Nathan Cunningham, Business Line Manager at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said: “We’re seeing considerable customer interest in Sandvik battery-electric vehicle solutions that help remove diesel from underground mines. If a miner is able to achieve a fully-electric underground operation there can a be a flow-on effect for the ventilation capacity calculations. For new mines, in particular, this can reduce bring a double benefit – better worker health and a reduction in the work required to meet ventilation requirements.”

The DL422iE is part of the Sandvik 400iE series of drill rigs that, together, provide a battery-electric solution to just about every underground challenge.

“Other members of the family include the Sandvik DD422iE mining and tunnelling jumbo and the Sandvik DS412iE rock bolter,” Cunningham says. “The DD422iE was launched in 2016 and has since logged more than 4 million metres of drilled holes and over 18,000 kilometres of tramming with zero emissions. Meanwhile, the DS412iE rock bolter was launched in 2021 and is rapidly transforming mines across the world.”

Kwok added: “Electrification/decarbonisation is a key priority for Barminco and one of the most important trends in the sector at the moment, alongside automation. For this reason, we’re delighted to have Sandvik as a technology partner who is providing industry-leading solutions to the challenges we face.”

Fully owned by IGO, the Nova Operation uses long hole and sub-level open stoping with paste backfill. In thr 2022 financial year, it achieved total production of 26,675 t of nickel, 11,483 t of copper, and 982 t of cobalt.

Barminco acquires two battery-electric Integrated Tool Carriers from BME

As part of its commitment to investigate opportunities to accelerate decarbonisation, Barminco has invested in two battery-electric Volvo L120H Integrated Tool Carriers from Batt Mobile Equipment (BME), with the mining services provider set to deploy the machines later this month at IGO Ltd’s Nova and Cosmos mine sites in Western Australia.

The machines were provided by New South Wales-based BME, which has developed this battery-electric retrofit platform on the back of the TRITEV project, an initiative developed under Project EVmine with the help of METS Ignited.

The BME220 is a 20 t Integrated Tool Carrier battery-electric retrofit system that replaces diesel components in favour of an electric motor and battery pack. The resulting machine eliminates emissions, handles well, and maintains the same weight and capacity, according to Barminco. New South Wales-based 3ME provides BME with the Electric Vehicle Engine packages for these vehicles.

BME estimates its generation 3 machines will save over 81 t of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, when compared with the diesel equivalent.

The BME220s form part of Barminco’s electric vehicle trials that are taking place in partnership with IGO over the following six months.

Regis Resources opens Balkau Decline at Garden Well South underground mine

Regis Resources Ltd has officially opened the Balkau Decline at its Garden Well South underground mine, in Western Australia, named after Regis General Manager of Exploration, Jens Balkau, who passed away in 2021.

Garden Well South underground is an underground extension of the Garden Well open-pit mine, which is a key production source at Regis’ Duketon gold project, located in the Goldfields region of Western Australia.

The original Garden Well deposit was discovered as a “blind deposit” by the Regis exploration team led by Jens Balkau.

Balkau was one of the first and longest serving employees of Regis, joining in January 2006 as the General Manager of Exploration, and remaining in that role until February 2016 when he retired from full-time work. He remained a consultant to Regis before he passed away from a long-term illness in November 2021.

The Balkau Decline provides access to Regis’ second underground operation, located at Garden Well South, which commenced commercial production during May 2023. This is part of the mineralised system that extends for at least 1 km underneath the existing Garden Well open pits, which resulted from the original discovery by the team that Balkau led, Regis said.

This milestone is the culmination of more than two years of preparation, commitment and hard work from Regis teams with support from major mining services providers Barminco and MACA, it added.

Garden Well Underground will become a key part of the wider Duketon operations, which produced 356,000 oz of gold in the year ending June 30, 2021.

The official opening ceremony for the Balkau Decline was attended by Balkau’s family, local Traditional Owners as well as many former and current Regis employees, including Regis Chairman, James Mactier, and Managing Director and CEO, Jim Beyer.

Beyer said: “The official naming of the Balkau Decline yesterday reflects this positive evolution for the Garden Well operation, so it is fitting we name it after the man who led the initial discovery of Garden Well. Jens was a much-loved and valued colleague, friend and mentor to many at Regis. He led the exploration team for over a decade with enthusiasm and an abundant willingness to nurture the next generation of geologists.

“Jens is deeply missed, but his legacy will always be remembered at Regis.”

Solar farm goes live at MMG’s Dugald River zinc-lead mine

MMG says the new solar farm at its Dugald River operations in Australia has hit the commerical operation milestone, two months after construction was completed.

Reporting in its March quarter results, the company said it expected the solar project to reduce the mine’s carbon footprint and provide immediate energy cost savings, with approximately one-third of gas-fired power used in Dugald River operations expected to be replaced.

Back in late-2021, MMG signed an agreement with APA Group to construct 44 MW of capacity to serve the Dugald River zinc-lead mine in Queensland, with operations expected in the March quarter of 2023.

Dugald River resumed production on March 21 after a suspension of 34 days due to a fatal incident at the mine involving two contractors from Barminco. MMG says the mine continues to ramp-up through April with the focus remaining on safely returning its workforce to the underground environment. Production in 2023 is now expected to be in the range of 135,000 t and 150,000 t of zinc in zinc concentrate, lower than the prior guidance of 170,000 t and 185,000 t.

Barminco wins A$90 million contract extension at Newcrest’s Red Chris mine

Perenti subsidiary, Barminco, says it has been awarded a 12-month contract extension at Newcrest Mining’s Red Chris mine in British Columbia, Canada.

Since June 2021, Barminco has continued to progress the development of an underground exploration decline, an essential first stage of works that will provide a platform for future underground exploration activities, and which may also be used to support access to potential block cave workings.

This contract extension enables Barminco to continue underground development works and is expected to deliver approximately A$90 million ($60.4 million) of revenue over the 12-month contract term.

Mark Norwell, Managing Director and CEO of Perenti, said, “Our strategy in North America is to partner with Tier-One operators and long-life assets, where we can add value over the long term. We continue to diligently progress our North American growth strategy and have key executive management personnel based in the region to ensure we develop the right relationships and become engrained within the sector while remaining disciplined in the execution of our strategy.”

Paul Muller, President of Contract Mining, said: “Since mid-2021 our team in North America has worked closely with the Red Chris JV as it transforms the mine into a long life, tier-one underground operation. We have developed very strong relationships with the local communities including a partnership with the Tahltan Nation Development Corporation and are very pleased to be on site at Red Chris for at least the next 12 months.”

An October 2021 prefeasibility study on the Red Chris block cave outlined an initial reserve estimate of 8.1 Moz of gold and 2.2 Mt of copper, with average annual gold production of 158,000 oz and copper production of 48,500 t over the 31-year life of mine.

Barminco wins extended stay at IGO’s Flying Fox nickel mine

Perenti says its Barminco subsidiary has been awarded a nine-month contract extension at the Flying Fox mine, in Western Australia, owned and operated by IGO Ltd.

The contract extension is effective from January 1, 2023, and has a value of approximately A$30 million ($20.2 million) over the nine-month term.

Mark Norwell, Managing Director & CEO of Perenti, said: “In Australia, the labour market is still tight, and inflation and cost escalation remains stubbornly persistent, however strong and collaborative working relationships, like the relationship between IGO and Barminco, are key to the success of our business as well as the success of our clients. By working collaboratively with our clients, we continue to navigate and manage challenging macro-economic conditions.”

Paul Muller, President of Perenti Contract Mining, added: “We have a very long and proud history of operating within the Forrestania Operation and we are pleased to have delivered value and certainty at the Flying Fox mine from a greenfield development project through to a mature operating mine as it is today. We look forward to continuing our relationship with IGO, our largest client in Australia.”

IGO became the owner of the Flying Fox mine, part of the Forrestania Operation, in 2022, as part of the acquisition of Western Areas. It remains one of the highest grade nickel mines in the world. Production commenced in 2006, and the mine now operates at depths of over 1 km underground.

MacLean SS5 battery-electric shotcrete sprayer to be tested at AngloGold’s Sunrise Dam

MacLean is set to showcase its SS5 battery-electric vehicle (BEV) Shotcrete Sprayer at the Underground Operators Conference 2023 (UGOPS), in Brisbane, Australia, next week, but it also has one eye on the unit’s first mine site trial at the AngloGold Ashanti-owned Sunrise Dam operation in Western Australia.

Attendees of UGOPS will get a first-hand look at the EV Series™ product on the company’s booth. This battery-electric shotcrete sprayer has been put through its paces at the Maclean Research & Training Facility in Sudbury, Ontario, and is equipped with the likes of Quickscan thickness imaging and Chemsave accelerant savings technologies.

Alongside celebrating its 50th year of existence as an Ontario-headquartered company, 2023 is a landmark year for MacLean Australia, with multiple MacLean BEVs starting to arrive in-country to be introduced to Australian mining companies and mining contractors. One such contractor is Barminco, which is set to receive the SS5 for testing at Sunrise Dam. Sandvik’s 65-t-payload battery-electric truck, the TH665B, is also set for field testing at the same operation.

MacLean has had a full-service parts and technical support branch in Perth, Western Australia, for over a decade and, in 2021, opened a second service and support branch in Orange, New South Wales, to support a growing fleet of MacLean mining vehicles in underground mining hubs in the eastern region of the country.

Jari Tuorila, MacLean GM for Australasia, said: “We are really looking forward to the UGOPS event and showing – not just telling – the Australian mining industry exactly what the value proposition of MacLean EV Series product line is. When we say, ‘EV-proven, EV-ready’, we mean it. It’s not just a slogan. Over 50 MacLean BEVs have been commissioned around the mining world since the MacLean Fleet Electrification program was launched in 2015, with a quarter million operating hours logged, and we’re only at the starting line for Australia.

“Our message to our industry colleagues is simple – we have a diesel-free production support fleet option for you, right now. We can’t wait to welcome visitors to our booth to see the BEV shotcrete sprayer in person and speak with our team of technical experts, which will include product management and engineering colleagues from Canada.”

Patrick Marshall, MacLean’s Brisbane-based Vice President of Technology, added: “The UGOPS showcase is just the kick-off to a multi-stage introduction of MacLean EV Series technology to Australia across 2023. The minute the show closes on March 29th, the MacLean Australia team will be turning their attention to shipping the BEV SS5 unit to Barminco at Sunrise Dam, where it will be trialled by the contractor throughout the summer. We are committed to seeing this real-world trial succeed and then build on that success to more broadly introduce MacLean fleet electrification to the Australian industry.”

Evolution Mining hits production milestone ahead of schedule at Cowal

Evolution Mining says it has achieved a major milestone in its planned growth of getting the Cowal gold mine in New South Wales, Australia, to circa-320,000 oz in its 2024 financial year, with underground production commencing ahead of schedule.

The first underground stope has commenced being mined and processed this month, with continued ramp up of the underground expected over the remainder of this financial year (to end-June). This is three months ahead of the previously announced original schedule of the June 2023 quarter.

In 2021, the Evolution board and regulators approved the development of the Cowal Underground Mine, which is set to provide a higher-grade ore source that will be blended with the current open-pit operation and stockpile ore.

Perenti’s Barminco underground mining business has been conducting all underground development and production works for the project as part of a A$520 million, four-year agreement signed last year.

The project remains within the original A$380 million ($254 million) budget, according to Evolution, with the completion of the accommodation village and commissioning of the paste plant remaining on track for the June 2023 quarter.

Evolution’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Lawrie Conway, said: “We have achieved a major milestone at Cowal with the early commencement of production from the new underground mine. It is a credit to the project team to be able to commence production ahead of schedule and on budget in the current inflationary market conditions for project development and construction.

“We are now on the pathway to increase Cowal’s production from the current FY23 guidance of ~275,000 oz to FY24 outlook of circa-320,000 low cost ounces.”

MMG brings in new Sandvik equipment for owner-operator transition at Dugald River

MMG Limited has acquired new underground equipment for its Dugald River zinc-lead mine in Queensland, Australia, as it gears up to make the transition from a contract miner-led operation to a run of mine (ROM) owner-operator model in 2023.

Among the purchases are three Sandvik DL421-15C longhole drills that will allow the team to drill holes up to 54 m in length and 115 mm in diameter.

A further seven Sandvik TH663i 63-t-payload underground haul trucks (pictured) have been purchased to support operations.

“These important acquisitions support Dugald River’s new operating model as ROM owner operator into 2023,” the company said.

Dugald River’s mining operations were previously overseen by Perenti-owned Barminco as part of a production and development contract which ends on December 31. Redpath Australia was awarded a new underground mining services contract at the mine, earlier this year.

Perenti’s Barminco to carry out development works at Evolution Mining’s Ernest Henry mine

Australia-based Perenti has provided an operational update and an upgrade to its financial year 2023 guidance to end-June 2023, which includes confirmation of a new contract for Barminco at Evolution Mining’s Ernest Henry mine in Queensland and a variation to expand its work scope at Regis Resources’ Garden Well mine in Western Australia.

The positive momentum noted in the operational update released on November 14 has continued as Perenti heads toward the end of the calendar year, with this momentum expected to continue into 2023, it noted.

“Since the release of the most recent operational update Perenti has secured improvements to commercial conditions across several Australian and African projects, including retrospective rate adjustments in relation to work that has previously been completed,” it said.

“These rate adjustments are the key catalyst in providing a further guidance upgrade one month after our previous upgrade.”

The contract at Ernest Henry (pictured) is for development work at the underground gold and copper mine. As Barminco transitions out of MMG’s Dugald River mine – where it has been carrying out development and production works – early next year, employees and capital resources from Dugald River will be mobilised to the new contract at Ernest Henry, it said. Underground development work at Dugald River, meanwhile, is to be taken on by Redpath Australia.

The Garden Well extension follows the commencement of underground mine development at the deposit in 2021.

On November 14, Perenti updated its FY23 guidance to forecast FY23 revenue of between $2.6-$2.7 billion ($1.7-1.8 billion). With the announcement of improved commercial conditions, and in consideration of securing work at Ernest Henry and scope growth at Garden Well, Perenti now forecasts that the company’s FY23 revenue will be between $2.7-$2.9 billion.

Mark Norwell, Managing Director and CEO of Perenti, said: “In addition to generating greater returns in FY23, we are focused on continuing to pursue business and project optimisation initiatives which will facilitate the delivering our 2025 strategy. Our strategy is designed to drive positive momentum in shareholder value well into the future. Perenti’s outlook is underpinned by our world-class Contract Mining Division, and the continued development of our Mining Services and idoba divisions. Our focus on generating enduring value for our people, clients and communities, will ensure we continue to deliver sustainable returns for our shareholders.”