Tag Archives: Carrapateena

Eriez to supply HydroFloat CPF technology to OZ Minerals Carrapateena operation

Eriez says it has won a contract to supply its HydroFloat technology to OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena copper-gold project in South Australia. The project’s goal is to increase the recovery of copper and gold from the ore through a more efficient and sustainable extraction process, Eriez says.

James Cooke, Eriez Australia Managing Director, said: “This is a significant milestone for our company, and we are proud to have been chosen as the preferred supplier for this innovative mining project.

“Our expertise in mineral processing, combined with our commitment to providing tailored solutions to our clients, made us the preferred choice for OZ Minerals. We look forward to working closely with their team to achieve the project’s objectives and deliver value to all stakeholders involved.”

HydroFloat coarse particle flotation technology has been used successfully at the likes of Newcrest Mining’s Cadia copper-gold project, in Australia, and at Anglo American’s El Soldado mine in Chile. It will also soon be commissioned at Anglo’s Quellaveco copper operations in Peru.

OZ Minerals navigating Carrapateena mine traffic issues with Mobilaris solutions

OZ Minerals, through the implementation of Mobilaris Situational Awareness and Mobilaris Onboard, has improved traffic flows at its Carrapateena copper-gold mine in South Australia, according to a recent case study.

Having implemented the solutions from Mobilaris, owned by Epiroc, the mining company gained a better understanding of where machines and people were physically located underground – and operations became safer.

Since commencing production in December 2019, the Carrapateena mine has become, over the past decade, one of the biggest mining projects in the state. The ore must be hauled from the production levels to the crusher level via a short decline with limited passing areas, which poses challenges.

To optimise haulage flows, OZ Minerals deployed Epiroc’s Mobilaris Mining Intelligence decision support system to digitise the mine.

Daniel Bruce, Superintendent, OZ Minerals Carrapateena, said: “We saw potential to remove some of the constraints we have underground. You can’t see around corners, and you can’t see through rock, so understanding where things are – where people and machines are – is a lot more difficult than in a typical workplace on the surface.”

OZ Minerals rolled out the first feature in 2019: Mobilaris Situational Awareness, a solution for surface control room operators. Mobilaris Onboard, a solution for underground operators in vehicles, followed in 2021. Thanks to real-time 3D visualisation, anybody with access to a tablet or a PC can quickly understand where machines are operating, according to Epiroc.

“Mobilaris Situational Awareness allows you to see, live, at any point in time, where all the equipment and people are in the mine,” Bruce said. “It also allows you to navigate to locations, equipment and refuge chambers.”

OZ Minerals had initially installed Wi-Fi tags on all its vehicles, which provided accuracy to around 150 m. With Mobilaris Onboard, it can achieve location accuracy of 5-10 m without any extra infrastructure, and all that is needed are basic OBD2 adapters or a Doppler radar, Epiroc says. Implementation started with trucks and loaders, and now the entire underground fleet has been equipped.

This has significantly improved real-time position information, according to Amelia Schmidt, Senior Technician in the site operations team at Carrapateena.

“Everyone at the site operations centre – dispatchers, mine controllers and haulage control – is now using Mobilaris Situational Awareness,” she said. “Previously, it could take quite a bit of time to search for a piece of equipment, but it only takes seconds now to see its last location.”

The system also helps OZ Minerals with its fleet management – to determine where trucks are, for instance – thus becoming a tool in the decision-making process.

Schmidt said: “For those who are perhaps new to the mine, we’ve been able to insert points of interest on the map, for example where it is best to hold. Cycle times are well managed, despite underground operations becoming a lot busier.”

OZ Minerals then implemented a second Mobilaris feature: Mobilaris Onboard, a tablet in a vehicle that acts just like a car navigator but without any need for a dedicated tracking infrastructure. This provided everyone underground with a tool that enabled them to easily understand how equipment was positioned around them.

Bruce added: “This is another piece of information that the operator can use to make a decision – and all of these minute decisions add up to a more productive and safer workplace.”

For Carrapateena Truck Captain, Joel Dodd, everyday work has become easier thanks to Mobilaris Onboard.

“One of the main benefits is that we’re able to travel down and get to our locations a lot better,” he said.

OZ Minerals now has around 200 tablets in vehicles underground – in trucks, LHDs, face drill rigs and light vehicles – and the feedback has been very positive.

“When people can see more clearly where other people are, it helps them avoid unwanted interaction,” Bruce said.

This is an edited version of an Epiroc Customer story published here

Swift Access to entertain and engage OZ Minerals Carrapateena FIFO workers

Swift says it has secured an installation agreement and a new three-year subscription agreement with OZ Minerals Limited to service its Carrapateena mine site, in South Australia, with Swift Access.

The total contract value of both agreements is A$1.4 million ($954,680) over the three-year subscription term and includes associated installation revenue, with installation expected to be completed in the first half of the 2023 calendar year.

Swift said this contract represents ongoing subscription revenue for Swift Access: Swift’s premium entertainment and engagement solution powered by proprietary technology developed specifically to enable a reliable service within low bandwidth environments, Swift’s local 24-hour support and other additional channels.

Swift Access will allow OZ Minerals staff to cast their favourite streaming apps from their mobile device straight to their room’s TV, all while maintaining user privacy and offering smart device setup and allows management to improve efficiencies for facility staff.

As part of the agreement, Swift Access will provide OZ Minerals staff with Swift’s full content library including first-release movies and sector-specific mental health and indigenous education resources. Swift Access also allows facility managers to easily upload and distribute site information such as inductions, health and safety messages and more, directly to TVs across the site.

The entire Swift Access experience is managed by Swift’s unique bandwidth management platform and includes support services over the three-year term.

Swift CEO, Brian Mangano, says: “This new contract continues the roll out of Swift Access to the mining industry and is another significant step in our goal to be the product of choice. We are excited to work together with OZ Minerals and look forward to creating new, innovative solutions to address the challenges of the FIFO (fly-in fly-out) lifestyle.”

OZ Minerals breaks through at Carrapateena sub-level cave

OZ Minerals has announced that the Carrapateena cave safely propagated to surface on December 29, 2022, marking the transition from development to production planning at the operation in South Australia.

OZ Minerals Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Cole, said: “The Carrapateena cave safely breaking through to surface marks a significant milestone for the mine and an important de-risking event for ongoing operations. With the cave now through to surface it enables mine planning to be optimised for production rather than prioritising the safe development of the cave, which has been the primary focus over the first two years of the mine’s life.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Carrapateena team for their dedication and focus to deliver a safe working environment and successfully managing the cave propagation to surface.”

Close to a year ago, the Crusher 2 level for the sub-level cave mine at Carrapateena was reached, enabling commencement of the Block Cave Expansion declines and an increase in sub-level cave production rates to from circa 4.7 to 5.0 Mt/y from 2023.

The expansion, which will involve converting the lower part of the current sub-level cave into a series of block caves, is expected to prolong operations at the copper-gold mine, while boosting production to 12 Mt/y. This will see average copper production come in at 110,000-120,000 t/y and gold output average 110,000-120,000 oz/y from 2026, compared with production of 55,262 t and 89,778 oz, respectively, in 2021.

OZ Minerals Carrapateena debottlenecking accelerates with HIGmill addition

OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena operation in South Australia is gaining momentum with its processing plant running in excess of nameplate through a cost-effective and efficient debottlenecking strategy.

The latest sign of this strategy taking shape comes in the form of the installation of a second HIGmill from Metso Outotec.

This high-intensity grinding mill has been installed in parallel to the existing mill at the copper-gold operation to increase regrind capacity for all ore types to maintain optimal concentrate grades, the company says.

“We selected HIGmills due to the simplicity of installation and the total cost of ownership,” the company told IM. “As both HIGmills are identical, this allows for commonality of spares and predictable operation.”

The initial processing plant at Carrapateena was designed to produce at a nameplate of 4.25 Mt/y, yet, through debottlenecking and continued process improvement, the plant has recently run at annualised run rate in excess of 5 Mt/y, the company said. This is also an increase on the 4.6 Mt/y processed in 2021.

Like other ‘connected’ equipment within the Carrapateena processing plant, the new HIGmill has been fully integrated into a SCADA system monitored by the control room. It can also be monitored remotely at OZ Minerals’ Adelaide remote operations centre, the company added.

Beyond debottlenecking, OZ Minerals is planning a major expansion at Carrapateena through the development of a block cave operation, which was signed off by the OZ Minerals Board in early 2021.

The expansion, which will involve converting the lower part of the current sub-level cave into a series of block caves, is expected to prolong operations at the copper-gold mine, while boosting production to 12 Mt/y. This will see average copper production come in at 110,000-120,000 t/y and gold output average 110,000-120,000 oz/y from 2026, compared with production of 55,262 t and 89,778 oz, respectively, in 2021.

Under the expansion project, the company is targeting block cave 1 to begin operations by 2026 and block cave 2 by 2038.

While the block cave is being established, a second process plant will be built in parallel to the existing one. Below surface, construction of the second crusher is expected to be completed towards the end of next year, and processing plant optimisation is ongoing. These will help produce a concentrate to be transported to port and subsequently to smelters by ships, the company told IM.

BHP eyes South Australian copper basin consolidation with latest OZ Minerals offer

BHP has submitted a revised non-binding indicative proposal to the Board of OZ Minerals Limited (OZL) that, subject to a successful four-week due dilligence period, could see the major miner acquire the mid-tier base metal-focused miner.

The offer to acquire 100% of OZ Minerals by way of a scheme of arrangement for a cash price of A$28.25/share ($18.9/share) is a 13% increase on the offer BHP previously put forwad and was rejected by the OZ Minerals Board. It, according to BHP, represents the best and final price the mining major is willing to offer under, in the absence of a competing proposal.

The OZ Minerals Board has confirmed to BHP that it intends to unanimously recommend the revised proposal to OZ Minerals shareholders as being in their best interests in the absence of a superior proposal, subject to the parties entering into a binding scheme implementation agreement (SIA) following completion of BHP’s confirmatory due diligence and an independent expert concluding that the revised proposal is in the best interests of OZ Minerals shareholders, it said.

The proposed transaction, valuing OZ Minerals at an enterprise value of A$9.6 billion, is expected to deliver significant value creation for both BHP and OZ Minerals shareholders, BHP says, explaining that OZ Minerals shareholders would receive an offer price significantly above trading levels and average broker price targets, prior to BHP’s initial proposal on August 5, 2022. At the same time, BHP shareholders would gain increased exposure to future-facing commodities, adding copper and nickel resources that are essential to support the global megatrends of decarbonisation and electrification.

The deal would also create a South Australian copper basin, which, according to BHP, could unlock potential operational synergies due to the proximity of OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena and Prominent Hill operations with BHP’s existing Olympic Dam asset (pictured) and Oak Dam development resource.

The West Musgrave project, meanwhile, will add a large greenfield nickel option to BHP’s Nickel West premier nickel sulphide resource position in Western Australia.

BHP has now entered into a Confidentiality and Exclusivity Deed with OZ Minerals in relation to the revised proposal. This has seen OZ Minerals grant BHP four weeks to undertake exclusive confirmatory due diligence and negotiate a binding SIA reflecting the key terms of the revised proposal. The four-week period is expected to commence on or around November 21, 2022.

BHP CEO, Mike Henry, said: “BHP’s proposal represents a highly compelling offer for OZ Minerals shareholders, providing certainty at a time of macroeconomic uncertainty and market volatility, and increasing risks for the industry.

“The combination of BHP and OZ Minerals’ assets, skills and technical expertise provides a unique opportunity not available under separate ownership, with complementary resources including the Oak Dam exploration prospect and existing facilities within close proximity, backed by BHP’s strong balance sheet, capital discipline and commitment to sustainable development.”

OZ Minerals Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Cole, said: “BHP’s revised proposal is a clear reflection of OZ Minerals’ unique set of highly strategic, quality assets in quality jurisdictions and an enviable multi-generational growth pipeline of copper and nickel
assets in strong demand due to global electrification. We look forward to working with BHP in a collaborative way to progress the revised proposal in the best interests of OZ Minerals’ and its stakeholders.”

Byrnecut to use six Sandvik 18-t-payload BEVs at OZ Minerals mines

Leading Australia-based contract miner Byrnecut is embracing the many benefits of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) by purchasing six Sandvik battery-powered loaders with AutoMine® for use at OZ Minerals’ operations in South Australia.

Under a deal with Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, Byrnecut will take delivery of the LHDs in 2023 and 2024 for use at the Prominent Hill copper, gold and silver mine, south-west of Coober Pedy, and the Carrapateena copper and gold mine, north of Port Augusta. Byrnecut has been engaged by OZ Minerals to provide underground mining services at the mines and currently has a fleet of Sandvik LH621i loaders equipped with autonomous solutions operating on both sites.

We’re excited to be leading the way with battery-electric vehicles in Australia by putting these six Sandvik loaders into service over the next two years,” Max Woods, Asset Manager for Byrnecut, said. “Not only will the use of electric vehicles significantly improve the working environment underground, but it will also help our customers to work toward their emissions reduction goals – something that is increasingly important in the mining sector.”

Woods says the purchase of the electric loaders is part of Byrnecut’s commitment to explore and embrace new technologies that make its operations safer, more efficient and more sustainable.

“Eliminating emissions from loaders from the underground environment helps us create a better workplace, as does AutoMine technology that enables operators to work from comfortable remote control rooms,” he said.

Another major benefit to Byrnecut is the anticipated increased performance the new loaders could provide, Sandvik says.

The company worked closely with Sandvik prior to purchase to model various application scenarios, including both manual and automated operation.

“We’re expecting the loaders to provide greater throughput in both manual and automated modes while delivering a similar total cost of ownership per tonne delivered to their predecessors,” Woods says.

The new Sandvik loaders are also expected to bring major cost savings across their entire lifecycles, according to Woods. They are likely to require fewer replacement parts than their predecessors, and servicing is also more efficient and simpler.

Sandvik 18-t battery loaders are the most compact on the market, according to the OEM. The powerful electric motors, innovative electric driveline and the smaller tyres on the rear compared with the front, result in a small machine size, high payload with good visibility and unmatched speeds.

Battery machines produce no underground exhaust emissions and significantly less heat than traditional diesel engines, supporting the mines to reach sustainability targets, through reduced CO2 emissions.

Andrew Dawson, Business Line Manager for Load & Haul at Sandvik, praised Byrnecut for helping to pioneer the use of BEVs in Australia.

“The first Sandvik battery-electric loaders only began arriving in the country about a year ago, and the interest has been extremely strong,” he says. “We’re very pleased that Byrnecut and Oz Minerals see the benefits of this technology and is demonstrating it to the rest of the industry. We have always had an excellent working relationship with Byrnecut and look forward to cooperating with them throughout the roll-out and beyond.”

Zero Automotive overcoming barriers with BEV conversion offering

Zero Automotive is one of several Australia-based companies looking to supply the clean and green light utility vehicles the domestic hard-rock sector requires over the next decades to achieve crucial sustainability goals while retaining high productivity levels.

Thanks to the support of a significant copper-gold miner in Australia, its membership of the Electric Mine Consortium (EMC) and METS Ignited backing, the company finds itself in a strong position to deliver these machines against a backdrop of supply chain issues and ever-evolving safety and regulatory requirements.

“We’ve got commitments for six machines altogether and are in the process of offering our production version to the market,” Dan Taylor, Business Development Manager for Zero Automotive, says.

The first and second units are already running at OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena copper-gold mine in South Australia – Zero Automotive’s home state.

The first machine – a ZED70 Ti™ battery-electric light vehicle – was originally delivered to the mine at the back end of 2020 for testing. After successful trials, the company acquired this unit outright and, in early-2022, added a second Zero Automotive ZED70 Ti to enable its workforce to familiarise themselves with the capabilities and charging methodology that come with electric light utility vehicles.

Since then, the company has delivered a third ZED70 Ti conversion to Barminco, which is now on site at its client IGO Ltd’s Nova nickel-copper-cobalt operation in Western Australia. This vehicle is the first single cab conversion developed by Zero Automotive and will be deployed to site foremen to allow the mining contractor to gain a good understanding of its capabilities.

All three of these machines – and the three to follow – are based off battery-electric conversions of the Toyota LandCruiser 79 Series, a vehicle that has been part of the Australian mining landscape for many years.

The modular nature of the Zero Automotive platform enables its long-life battery energy system to be reused in multiple chassis, lowering the total lifecycle cost of the fleet as well as the cost of Scope 1 emissions, according to the company.

They also include dual AC-DC charging with the CCS Combo2 connection, which is becoming increasingly standardised in the mining space.

Data and feedback from the second OZ Minerals machine and the initial Barminco vehicle will be fed back into the EMC ecosystem under the Light and Auxiliary Equipment Working Group as part of the consortium’s continual improvement and knowledge sharing remit.

The EMC said of the consortium’s ongoing light and auxiliary equipment electrification ambitions: “Converting light and auxiliary vehicles as rapidly as possible to electric is key to the industry building the broader understanding and familiarity with electric equipment and infrastructure that will accelerate adoption across all aspects of operations.”

The EMC is a growing group of over 20 mining and service companies driven by the imperative to produce zero-emission products for their customers and meet mounting investor expectations. The objective of the EMC, backed by METS Ignited, is to accelerate progress toward the zero-carbon and zero-particulate mine.

The following three machines are also expected to be deployed to EMC members, with METS Ignited agreeing to provide some A$400,000 ($297,938) of funding towards the diesel-to-battery conversion projects outside of the vehicles already delivered to OZ Minerals.

“The key thing with all of these vehicle deployments is the ZED70 Ti being able to do the job the miners need to perform safely and reliably, getting the associated charging infrastructure right and working with key stakeholders on the change management process,” Dave Mitchell, founder and CEO of Zero Automotive, says. “Operators also need to get used to the power under the hood and how to maximise the battery re-charging capabilities when going down ramp.

“As a matter of course, we train up and educate the sites about the best way to utilise these vehicles,” he said.

To this point, the two prototype vehicles already operating out at Carrapateena have shown that they can work for a typical shift without requiring a re-charge and can then utilise the battery’s AC/DC-DC fast-charge option during shift changeover to enable another user to run the machine for the following shift.

The use of LTO (Lithium Titanate Oxide) battery chemistry and a 60-kWh battery capacity has been behind this performance. This electric motor can generate continuous power of 75 kW and peak power of 134 kW, plus 358 Nm of continuous torque. These values will be increased to 100 kW, 200 kW and 520 Nm (1,200 Nm peak) for the production version.

To this point, the power dimension has often been the main metric quoted with any battery-electric machine, but Taylor pointed out that safety and regulatory considerations were often the biggest barriers to overcome in terms of getting machines operating at underground mines – a hurdle that Zero Automotive has cleared.

“We were able to successfully commission our second ZED70 Ti for OZ Minerals within two days of the machine arriving on site,” he said. “A lot of people are putting out offerings for light utility vehicles, but the required risk analysis in terms of deploying a vehicle underground has not been successfully worked through. This is rightfully a high bar to clear.

“We address any safety or regulatory considerations during our design process – not when the machine is on site – to make sure that operators can start using them quickly.”

Mitchell adds: “The user case is what we are focused on. That has allowed us to scale our offering quickly and ensure our clients can start running the machine underground as soon as they have it on site.”

Zero Automotive is expecting to deploy the other three machines on its books to the same companies (OZ Minerals and Barminco), but the final two machines of the six to be delivered will be under a revised platform to the original ZED70 Ti.

“It will be a platform that is designed from the ground up that incorporates the desired features and learnings from the first conversions, but we will simplify it to reduce complexity, weight and cost,” Mitchell said. “We’re sticking with the same battery configuration – which has proven itself in terms of power, safety and longevity – but we’re adding some auxiliary power outputs and ensuring the machine is multi-purpose.”

The latter element is tied to the company’s medium-to-long-term ambitions, which include the potential to supply battery-electric machines specific to the extended range space too.

For now, Zero Automotive is focused on getting its machines underground at hard-rock operations, ensuring operators and mining companies start realising the productivity and emission benefits that come with these zero-emission conversions.

OZ Minerals turns down BHP’s A$25/share cash offer

OZ Minerals says it has rejected an unsolicited, conditional and non-binding indicative proposal from BHP to acquire all shares in the company for A$25/share ($17.3/share) in cash, valuing the company at an reported A$8.34 billion.

Having assessed this proposal, which represents a 13.1% premium to the volume weighted average price (VWAP) of OZ’s share price for the six months prior, the Board has unanimously determined that the offer significantly undervalues OZ Minerals and, as such, is not in the best interests of shareholders.

For its part, BHP points out in a separate press release that the consideration represents an “attractive premium” of 32.1% to OZ Minerals’ closing price of A$18.92/share on August 5 and 41.4% to OZ Minerals’ 30-day VWAP of A$17.67/share up to and including August 5.

OZ Minerals says the proposal is subject to a number of conditions including:

  • The completion of extensive financial, legal, technical and operational due diligence over a proposed six-week timeframe;
  • Various financial assumptions;
  • A unanimous recommendation of the OZ Minerals Board; and
  • Entry into a scheme implementation agreement subject to a range of conditions including no material adverse change, regulatory, shareholder and court approvals and conduct of business restrictions.

OZ Minerals says the Board has been advised by BHP that it has accumulated an interest in OZ Minerals shares via derivative instruments amounting to an interest of less than 5%.

OZ Minerals Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Cole, said: “We have a unique set of copper and nickel assets, all with strong long-term growth potential in quality locations. We are mining minerals that are in strong demand particularly for the global electrification and decarbonisation thematic and we have a long-life resource and reserve base. We do not consider the proposal from BHP sufficiently recognises these attributes.”

In coming to its decision, OZ Minerals says the Board considered that the proposal does not adequately compensate shareholders for:

  • The unique nature of OZ Minerals’ core business which represents a high-quality portfolio of copper and nickel assets, located in a Tier-1 mining jurisdiction with long mine lives, first quartile cost positioning and extensive strategic optionality;
  • The unique investment proposition which OZ Minerals provides as the only primary copper company in the ASX 100;
  • The low carbon intensity of OZ Minerals’ assets relative to its peers with a defined and market- leading plan for further decarbonisation to meet our target of net zero Scope 1 and 2 operational emissions by 2030;
  • The high-quality nature of OZ Minerals’ growth projects which include the West Musgrave project (final investment decision scheduled for H2 2022), the Carrapateena Block Cave and the Prominent Hill Extension which together are expected to generate significant production growth over the next five years;
  • The strong long-term outlook for both the copper and nickel markets underpinned by increasing geological scarcity, global electrification and accelerating decarbonisation, to which OZ Minerals is highly leveraged; and
  • The strong and consistent returns that the OZ Minerals management team has delivered with a total shareholder return of circa-145% over the past five years.

In addition to the above, OZ Minerals would deliver significant synergies and other benefits to BHP which the Board considers are not reflected in the value of BHP’s indicative proposal.

Among there are the operational synergies in both South Australia (between Olympic Dam, Carrapateena and Prominent Hill) and in Western Australia (between Nickel West and West Musgrave).

BHP says the cash offer it has made would deliver immediate value to OZ Minerals shareholders and de-risk any value which may (or may not) eventually be reflected in the company’s share price.

BHP CEO, Mike Henry, said: “Our proposal represents compelling value and certainty for OZ Minerals shareholders in the face of a deteriorating external environment and increased OZ Minerals operational- and growth-related funding challenges.

“We are disappointed that the Board of OZ Minerals has indicated that it is not willing to entertain our compelling offer or provide us with access to due diligence in relation to our proposal.”

ZERO Automotive commissions second battery-electric ZED70 Ti at Carrapateena

ZERO Automotive has delivered its second ZED70 Ti battery-electric conversion to OZ Minerals at Carrapateena in South Australia.

This vehicle was successfully commissioned within a day after a prior inspection and collaboration with the underground operations team, according to ZERO Automotive.

This latest addition to the OZ Minerals zero emissions fleet has dual AC/DC-DC charging with the CCS Combo2 connection, and an In-Vehicle Monitoring System. This provides the capability to monitor the battery status remotely, the company said.

The first ZED70 Ti became one of the first Australia-made street legal light electric vehicles to enter an underground mine after making a trip into the Tjati Decline at Carrapateena back in early 2021.