Tag Archives: Bulgaria

GHH to deliver LHDs, trucks to Breznik gold project in Bulgaria

Germany-based machine manufacturer GHH says it has significantly expanded its market share in Bulgaria with a double-digit number of LHDs and trucks set to head to Breznik Minerals Ltd.

The Bulgarian company is part of the group of companies of Assarel-Medet JSC, which is the leading mining company in the country, carrying out both open-pit mining and copper ore processing.

The acquired machines will be operated in the Breznik gold project, which is the first underground greenfield mine set to be built in Bulgaria for more than 50 years, according to the company. The site has an area of 500,000 sq.m and is some 35 km west of Sofia. The deposit has JORC indicated resources of approximately 1 Mt grading 2 g/t Au and inferred resources of approximately 700,000 t grading 1.8 g/t, along with significant silver resources.

Breznik will take delivery of the first batch of equipment in the September quarter of 2024, with the remainder scheduled for the end of the June quarter of 2025.

“We are looking forward to the delivery of their first GHH machines,” Krum Hristov, one of the founders of Strotech Engineering JSC, a construction, industrial and mining equipment specialist based in Sofia, Bulgaria, which runs several fully-equipped service centres throughout the country, maintaining 2,000 units per year.

The recent order consists of LF-7 LHDs, and MK-20 and MK-30 diesel-powered dump trucks.

The LHDs are designed for a payload of 7 t in bucket sizes up to 4 cu.m. They have the best loading performance in their class at only 2.2 m total height, fully laden, GHH says. The LF-7 is powered by a 164 kW Tier 3/4/Stage 5 engine, comes with a robust design and offers extra safety and comfort for the driver.

The dumpers are designed with 20 t and 30 t of payload, up to 18 cu.m dump box capacities and engines with up to 320 kW power rating. GHH claims that the low operating costs offered by the machines are made possible by the unique frame and system design.

All vehicles can also be monitored remotely to manage maintenance with the GHH inSiTE software, providing a big plus when it comes to machine availability and cost savings.

Dundee Precious Metals reaches production milestone at Krumovgrad

Dundee Precious Metals has achieved first gold concentrate production from its Krumovgrad open-pit gold mine, in Bulgaria, it says.

Following cold commissioning of the processing plant facilities, 650 t of ore was processed through the crushing, grinding and rougher flotation circuits at a rate of around 100 t/h, producing the first concentrate from the Ada Tepe deposit.

Rick Howes, President and CEO, Dundee Precious Metals, said: “With commercial production expected in the second (June) quarter of this year, this is the beginning of a new chapter for DPM, which will deliver significant growth in gold production and free cash flow.”

In the coming weeks, the focus will be on beginning the ramp-up and optimisation of the processing plant to achieve the design throughput of 105 t/h and the design gold recovery of 85%, according to the company.

The forecast capital cost for Krumovgrad remains at $164-$166 million, compared with the original estimate of $178 million. As at February 28, construction of the project was 97% complete with $147 million incurred.

Dundee said: “There is significant operating flexibility during ramp-up given the various grades of stockpiled mined ore at Krumovgrad.”

Gold contained in concentrate at Krumovgrad is expected to be between 55,000-75,000 oz in 2019, but, based on the mineral reserves for Krumovgrad, the mine will produce on average 100,000 oz/y of gold contained in concentrate for the first five years of production, with a life of mine average of some 85,000 oz at a $404/oz cash cost.

Dundee Precious Metals to map underground mines with Exyn A3R autonomous drones

Exyn Technologies says it has signed up Dundee Precious Metals as the first commercial customer for its Autonomy Aerial Robots (A3Rs).

Dundee will use the fully autonomous aerial system for data collection in GPS-denied environments to advance its initiatives focused on the digitisation and automation of its underground mining operations, according to Exyn.

Theophile Yameogo, Vice President Digital Innovation, Dundee Precious Metals, said, “The Exyn A3Rs allow frequent and hi-resolution mapping of underground environments while reducing risks to personnel.”

Yameogo said the company was already very excited at the results of the maps it was seeing. “As we further integrate the A3Rs into our workflow, we anticipate a transformation of operations compared to today’s models,” he added.

Exyn’s A3Rs are driven by the company’s proprietary software, exynAI™, a robust commercially available software platform enabling full autonomy for aerial robots. Exyn has deployed its A3Rs as a service for customers in the US, Latin America and Europe.

By using Exyn’s aerial robots to automate mapping and surveying, Dundee is, Exyn says, transforming its underground operations in three vital areas:

  • Improving the quality of mapping data captured when compared with traditional surveying techniques;
  • Improving safety by reducing the amount of time spent underground by human operators, and;
  • Increasing operational efficiency by having more accurate and up-to-date information for mine planning.

Exyn’s A3Rs operate without the need for a human pilot and in GPS-denied environments. The company said: “They are fully self-contained, intelligent systems designed to operate without the need for any prior information, persistent communication, or GPS. With all intelligence on board, the vehicle is capable of carrying out high-level missions in complex and completely unknown spaces.”

Exyn’s multi-sensor data fusion pipeline allows each robot to assimilate measurements from a variety of on-board sensors including 3D LIDAR, cameras, and inertial sensors to “generate a robust state estimate of itself and surrounding environments”.

When married with Exyn’s real-time navigation software stack, the robots can safely avoid collisions with both stationary and moving obstacles during requested missions, according to the company. “Moreover, its robots are also able to do real-time Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping to enable highly accurate map generation.”

Dundee operates the Chelopech underground copper-gold mine in Bulgaria and is soon to be producing gold at the Krumovgrad project, also in Bulgaria.