Tag Archives: DRA Global

STRACON and RIPCONCIV look to collaborate on Curipamba-El Domo copper-gold mine build

Adventus Mining Corporation and Salazar Resources Limited have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the award of a mining and construction contract to a joint venture between STRACON S.A., an established Peruvian mining contractor with operations throughout Latin America, and RIPCONCIV, a large and respected Ecuadorian infrastructure construction contractor, related to development of the Curipamba-El Domo copper-gold project in central Ecuador.

The LOI allows the parties to immediately commence activities relating to local community-targeted training and employment, constructability reviews, logistics studies and execution planning – all of which are value-add activities directly supporting Adventus and Salazar’s plan to formally commence construction of the project in the June quarter of 2023.

A definitive agreement is expected to be executed in the December quarter of 2022, which will be structured in an alliance-partnership model to ensure focus on the best solutions for the project while ensuring that risks are allocated to the parties best equipped to manage and mitigate. The STRACON-RIPCONCIV JV will be responsible for the successful construction of the open pit, tailings facilities, and associated mine infrastructure as well as the first two years of mine operation.

In 2021, Adventus and Salazar released an open-pit mine feasibility study and updated preliminary economic assessment on a separate underground mine option for the project. This outlined a 10-year open-pit operation producing, on average, 21,390 t/y of copper-equivalent over the 10-year life-of-mine, alongside 20,000 t/y of copper-equivalent payable output from years 11-14 from the underground.

On site, focus has been on drilling to support the detailed engineering program and the implementation of health, safety, security and environmental management plans in anticipation of formal construction commencement in the June quarter of 2023.

Work continues to advance on site with an ongoing pre-construction program involving activities such as geotechnical and hydrogeological drilling, camp installation, IT, infrastructure, logistics planning, community hiring, public and private security provisions, water management and electrical power systems.

A contract for the detailed engineering and design of the tailings storage facility (TSF), waste rock facilities (WRF) and associated infrastructure was recently awarded to engineering firm Klohn Crippen Berger (KCB). Design work has commenced and is expected to be completed in the March quarter of 2023, prior to the start of construction.

In June 2022, KCB completed a study to optimise the use of waste rock during the pre-strip period for use as construction material. This work resulted in an anticipated overall reduction of pre-strip volume of approximately 3 Mt of waste, which is expected to reduce construction costs and provide more schedule flexibility during the pre-production period of project development. An updated mine plan based on the reduced pre-strip quantities is expected to be completedthis month, which will then be used by the STRACON-RIPCONCIV JV to finalise fleet selection and manpower planning.

Engineering for the project process plant and surface infrastructure is now well underway by engineering firm DRA Global, the lead detailed engineering consultant for the project. Work is on schedule and currently focused on the negotiation and award of long lead equipment packages from mining equipment vendors, with a 30% progress milestone review planned for late September 2022.

Following the successful receipt of ESIA technical approval from the Government of Ecuador in May 2022, Adventus and Salazar are continuing to plan for the public consultation process. The Government of Ecuador is in the process of redefining the requirements for this consultation process and the President of Ecuador is expected to enact a corresponding decree in 2022.

The final control capital budget for the project is expected to be announced in the June quarter of 2023. To date, the companies have seen some reductions in projected capital costs such as from improvements in the TSF design, which are tending to offset cost pressures associated with inflation and global geopolitical instability.

At a project level, the Curipamba-El Domo copper-gold asset is owned 75% by Adventus and 25% by Salazar.

DRA Global offloads G&S to KAEFER Integrated Services

DRA Global and KAEFER Integrated Services have executed an agreement for the sale and purchase of the business of G&S Engineering Services Pty Ltd and G&S Support Services Pty Ltd (collectively G&S), comprising selected contracts, assets and liabilities for A$8 million ($5.6 million).

The sale is subject to conditions precedent standard for a transaction of this nature and is currently expected to complete before the end of the September quarter of 2022.

G&S, based in Mackay, Queensland, has a 25-year track record of delivering services to the Australian resources sector, with a focus on maintenance and shutdown services and structural mechanical piping (SMP) construction services.

KAEFER Integrated Services is a provider of technical industrial services specialising in insulation, access, surface protection, passive fire protection, as well as mechanical services.

DRA Interim Chief Executive Officer, James Smith, said: “DRA has been undertaking a strategic review of its business, to ensure that we re-focus on our core strengths of engineering, project delivery and operations management. G&S, with its focus on operational maintenance, SMP construction and shutdown services, is not part of this core focus.

“We believe the G&S business will be best served under the ownership of KAEFER, where it can benefit from having an owner that is strategically aligned to providing the required investment and management focus.”

The sale comprises certain key contracts, assets and liabilities of G&S. Importantly, the new owner, KAEFER, is committed to building on G&S’ work program and connection with clients and suppliers and maintaining a strong workforce, DRA says.

DRA previously announced the cessation of its APAC construction business, with G&S currently seen as loss-making, as a result of some poorly performing construction projects. As a result, it is no longer considered a core part of DRA’s activities.

For the financial year ended December 31, 2021, G&S contributed approximately 20.1% of group revenue, EBITDA and profit contributions were negative, and accounted for approximately 10% of Group assets. Those proportions have since decreased.

The re-focus of DRA’s APAC business on engineering, project delivery and operations management requires a restructure to optimise these operations, the company says. Further, the group is finalising the outcomes of its previously announced operating model review which is also expected to optimise the group’s corporate overhead structure.

Jervois gears up for Idaho Cobalt Operations commissioning

Jervois Global is progressing the build of the Idaho Cobalt Operations (ICO) in the US, with the mill set to be commissioned in September and full production slated for February 2023.

Once in production, ICO is billed as being the only primary cobalt mine in the US, able to supply a critical metal necessary for electric vehicles, energy generation and distribution, defence and other industries.

In its latest project update, Jervois said that it had come up with a revised construction budget of $107.5 million that had board approval. This was up from the previous $99.1 million outlined, reflecting a heighted inflationary environment in the US.

This adjusted final forecast capital expenditure and schedule will form the basis of a “Cost to Complete” test by independent engineer RPMGlobal, who has been engaged by the trustee acting for bondholders under the terms of Jervois’ $100 million Senior Secured Bonds. RPM engineers are scheduled to visit site in early July to undertake the final Cost to Complete test ahead of the planned second tranche bond drawdown of $50 million later that month.

Mine development, meanwhile, continues at circa-25 ft/d (7.6 m/d), the company noted. Planned increases to underground working faces, improved water management and road conditions, as well as additional personnel and mining equipment on site, are expected to increase mine development productivity, it said.

“Jervois and its mining contractor, Small Mine Development, remain confident in the revised mining production targets that underpin the capital cost update,” the company stated.

Jervois says it is achieving infill drilling rates over 200 ft/d as part of a 19,000 ft underground campaign to decrease hole space aiming to enhance orebody knowledge. The drilling is improving the robustness of the resource model to generate a production block model for mining, it added.

The SAG mill, ball mill and crusher are each in place, and work continues with facilities construction and equipment placement, Jervois noted, saying that an official opening ceremony was scheduled at site for October 7, 2022. The SAG mill, a 4.7-m diameter and 2.5-m-long 750 kW installation, is provided by Metso Outotec.

A 2020 bankable feasibility study, managed by a joint team of DRA Global and M3 Engineering, was based on extracting 2.5 Mt of ore at an average grade of 0.55% Co, 0.8% Cu and 0.64 g/t Au. The initial mine life within the study was seven years.

Evaluate ore sorting options at prefeasibility study stage, TOMRA’s Rutledge says

TOMRA Mining is making a case for its sensor-based ore sorting solutions to be evaluated earlier in the mining project evaluation phase, with Jordan Rutledge, Area Sales Manager, arguing that consideration of its use at the very beginning of flowsheet discussions can influence up- and down-stream equipment selection.

The company’s sensor-based ore sorting systems have spread across the mining sector, migrating from industrial minerals and diamond operations to base and precious metals.

Speaking at a sensor-based sorting seminar in Toronto, Canada, held late last month, Rutledge (pictured) said the use of the technology needed to be considered early in the mine development scope in order to leverage the most benefit for the operation.

“Sensor-based sorting should be considered in the flowsheet from the beginning and evaluated in prefeasibility studies to see if it is suitable for the project and will add value to the plant,” she said.

“In many cases, sorting works really well and, as we continue to go towards a green economy, the use of our resources is vitally important. In order to make the best use of them, sorting plays a critical role.”

Rutledge, an event organiser and presenter, joined 40 participants from across Canada at the seminar, which included representatives from miners such as Agnico Eagle, Capstone Mining and Cheetah Resources; from laboratories such as testing and certification company SGS and the Saskatchewan Research Council ; from engineering companies such as DRA Global, Primero, CIMA and Halyard; and students from the University of Toronto.

“The event highlighted the important role of sensor-based sorting technologies in green mining and their potential to unlock significant value in mining projects, as well as the possibilities of digitalisation for supporting customers and managing connected equipment,” TOMRA said.

Cora Gold adds SENET, CSA Global and Epoch Resources to Sanankoro DFS team

Cora Gold Ltd has made key appointments related to the definitive feasibility study (DFS) it is carrying out on the Sanankoro gold project in southern Mali, bringing SENET, CSA Global and Epoch Resources into the study team, as well as naming Russell Bradford as Project Manager.

SENET, a DRA Global group company, has been appointed as independent project manager to oversee the critical elements of the DFS, while CSA Global, a member of the ERM group of companies, will be the geological and mining consultant, tasked with managing the updated mineral resource estimate and mining study. Epoch Resources has been appointed to oversee the tailings storage facility of the DFS.

The DFS will build upon the January 2020 scoping study, which outlined average annual production from Sanankoro of 45,632 oz.

Following positive metallurgical test work results in the second half of 2020, in addition to more recent positive drilling results, the company says it is likely it will look to focus on a conventional gravity/carbon in leach processing route at Sanankoro to allow higher recoveries.

Bert Monro, CEO of Cora Gold, said: “2021 has seen significant activity at Sanankoro with exceptional results reported from our largest ever drill campaign at the project. These results will support an updated mineral resource estimate in the coming months, which, in turn, will be used as the basis for our DFS aimed at outlining the optimum route to develop Sanankoro into a new gold mine in Mali.

“Last year’s scoping study highlighted the potential high returns for Sanankoro and fuelled our confidence in Sanankoro’s strong fundamentals, and the company looks forward to publishing the DFS in the first half of 2022.”

SENET wins EPCM gig at AMAK’s Moyeath copper-zinc project in Saudi Arabia

Al Masane Al Kobra Mining Co (AMAK) has awarded SENET, a wholly owned subsidiary of DRA Global, the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract for the design and execution of the Moyeath copper-zinc project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, SENET says.

AMAK has been producing copper, zinc in concentrate and gold and silver in doré from its operations in the country since 2012.

Moyeath is a third major orebody (together with Saadah and Al Houra) discovered in the immediate vicinity to the AMAK underground mines. The Moyeath orebody is a high-grade copper-zinc volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit, SENET says.

The planned 400,000 t/y run of mine flotation process plant will produce copper and zinc concentrates, while filtered tailings will be trucked to an existing dry stacking area operated by AMAK, which handles tailings from its Al Masane (pictured) and Guyan process plants.

Preliminary test works shows it is possible to produce saleable copper and zinc concentrates, with most of the gold and silver reporting to flotation concentrates, SENET noted. The mineralogy of the Moyeath orebody is complex and requires a similarly complex approach to produce copper and zinc concentrates at favourable recoveries and saleable concentrate grades.

Zest WEG carrying out EC&I works at Anglo Platinum’s Mogalakwena CPR plant

Zest WEG is installing a range of electrical control and instrumentation equipment at Anglo American Platinum’s Mogalakwena mine in Limpopo province, South Africa, working closely with engineering group DRA Global.

The construction is taking place within the Mogalakwena mine’s existing North Concentrator Plant, around various plant areas. The Electrical Control Instrumentation (ECI) package is being led by Eben Kleynhans, E&I Electrical Project Engineer from DRA.

According to Calvin Fisher, Electrical and Instrumentation Construction Proposals Manager at Zest WEG, the Zest WEG work is being conducted for the mine’s Coarse Particle Rejection (CPR) plant, and will be completed in the second half of 2021.

“In addition to applying the highest level of workmanship and professionalism, we are carrying out the project in line with our client’s Mining Charter requirements on local procurement,” Fisher says. “This means that over 70% of people involved in our scope of work will be drawn from local communities, and we are sourcing a significant level of our supplies from local businesses.”

Equipment to be installed includes three 2 MVA transformers, stepping down from 11 kV to 550 V, and a 630 kVA mini substation for lighting and small power requirements. Containerised motor control centres (MCCs), complete with variable speed drives (VSDs), an HVAC unit, cable racking, cables, lighting and small power also form part of the scope of supply. In addition, two back-up generators will be installed – one of 630 kVA capacity and the other 330 kVA.

“The three new containerised MCCs and VSD sets will be placed on plinths near the CPR feed tank, CPR process water area and CPR building and a steel roof structure erected over the containers,” he says. “The new transformer bay will be constructed next to the MCC, also with a roof over the transformer.”

About 70 km of cable will be laid – ranging from low voltage to medium voltage cable – as well as 3,300 terminations and almost 2.5 km of cable racking. The various structures that Zest WEG will install require some 9 t of steel. The instrumentation to be installed will comprise about 170 instruments including flow transmitters, pressure gauges, level switches, temperature gauges and density transmitters. There will also be around 250 lights installed, mainly outdoors.

Fisher notes that the electrical installation specialists are typically among the last contractors on a project, and must be quite flexible to accommodate certain modifications that may have been required in the civils, structural and mechanical work completed beforehand.

“Wherever necessary, we work closely with the client to implement the plan smoothly while meeting their need for safe access to the equipment being installed, to allow maintenance to be readily conducted,” he says.

In addition to the installation contract, Zest WEG is supplying some of the actual items of equipment for the expansion project, including WEG motors and containerised generators. The electrical installation work is expected to take about six months.

“We are proud of the high level of quality that we bring to projects like this, where we apply our successful model of procurement to support our clients in meeting their critical local expenditure targets,” he says. “This also allows Zest WEG to make a valuable contribution to uplift local companies wherever we can.”

Mkango, Grupa Azoty PULAWY assess potential for Polish rare earth separation plant

Mkango Resources has joined with Grupa Azoty Zakłady Azotowe Pulawy SA to work towards development of a rare earth separation plant in Poland.

A new Polish wholly owned subsidiary of Mkango, Mkango Polska, has been established, with an experienced Country Director for Poland, Jarosław Pączek, appointed. Pączek will be joined by rare earth separation experts, Carester, and a strong team of technical advisors and engineers to help steer the collaboration.

Grupa Azoty PULAWY is part of The Grupa Azoty Group, the EU’s second largest manufacturer of nitrogen and compound fertilisers, and a major chemicals producer. Its products are exported to over 20 countries around the world, including Europe, the Americas and Asia, according to Mkango.

The parties have signed an exclusive lease option agreement for a site adjacent to Grupa Azoty PULAWY’s large-scale fertiliser and chemicals complex at Pulawy in Poland. This location is served by excellent infrastructure, access to reagents and utilities on site, and an attractive operating environment, resulting in a highly competitive operating cost position for the plant, based on scoping studies to date, Mkango says.

“Located within a Polish Special Economic Zone, the site provides excellent access to European and international markets,” it added. “Production from the plant will strengthen Europe’s security of supply for rare earths, used in electric vehicles, wind turbines and other green technology and strategic applications, and aligns with European initiatives to create more robust, diversified supply chains.”

The plant is expected to initially produce approximately 2,000 t/y of neodymium, praseodymium and/or didymium (NdPr) oxides as well as a heavy rare earth enriched carbonate, containing approximately 50 t/y dysprosium and terbium oxides. It is also expected to produce lanthanum cerium carbonate. Mkango is also evaluating marketing and processing options for the heavy rare earth enriched carbonate and lanthanum cerium carbonate.

“The plant will use best-in-class, conventional and proven technology, and will benefit from excellent rail and road infrastructure as well as the direct supply of the required processing reagents from Grupa Azoty PULAWY,” Mkango said. “It will also have access to a local skilled workforce, on-site engineering and project development expertise and R&D science institutes.”

Based on scoping studies undertaken to date, the plant is expected to have highly competitive operating costs.

Further feasibility studies will be completed by Carester, SENET (a DRA Global Group company) and a local engineering firm, Prozap, together with support from Grupa Azoty PULAWY. Mkango is also working closely with ANSTO to optimise feed specifications for the plant.

Development of the plant is expected to be underpinned by the sustainable supply of a purified mixed rare earth carbonate from Mkango’s Songwe Hill project in Malawi (pictured). Mkango will also evaluate the potential to process third-party feeds. The feasibility studies for the plant will run in parallel with those for the Songwe Hill rare earths project.

Mkango says it will also seek to maximise the renewable energy content and minimise the carbon impact of the developments in both Malawi and Poland, as part of the feasibility studies.

William Dawes, Chief Executive of Mkango, said: “Development of this plant will underline Mkango’s unique positioning in the rare earths sector. Our integrated ‘mine, refine, recycle’ strategy, encompassing sustainably sourced light (NdPr) and heavy (Dy/Tb) rare earths from Malawi and rare earth magnet (NdFeB) recycling in the UK, via our interest in HyProMag, is now enhanced by the opportunity to create a rare earths separation and downstream hub in Poland, working with one of Europe’s largest chemical and fertiliser companies.

“Rare earths are a vital component of magnets required in many technologies needed for the green energy transition. Therefore, their security of supply is becoming increasingly important to governments worldwide, especially in Europe and the US.

“We have carried out extensive due diligence on the site and believe the development of the plant in Poland will enhance the sustainable supply of rare earths into Europe, as well as bringing significant benefits to the region, creating new jobs and potential, additional, downstream developments.”

Andrzej Skwarek, Management Board Member of Grupa Azoty PULAWY, said: “We look forward to working together with Mkango on this exciting project, which complements the adjacent activities of Grupa Azoty PULAWY, benefiting from synergies in relation to reagents, by-products, utilities and infrastructure. As an industry leader in Poland, Grupa Azoty PULAWY welcomes this potential new development to the region and will continue to support Mkango as it progresses through the feasibility studies.”

Jarosław Pączek, Mkango’s Country Director for Poland, said: “This is a very exciting development for Poland at a time when Europe is focused on strengthening supply chains for critical materials and transitioning to a greener economy. The creation of a new European hub for rare earths at the heart of central Europe in Poland complements battery, electric vehicle and renewable energy developments in the region, with a site strategically located for European trade and transport routes and benefiting from plug and play access to reagents and utilities. I look forward to working with Mkango and Grupa Azoty PULAWY on this ground-breaking project for Poland and Europe.”

Anglo’s Quellaveco to receive the coarse particle recovery treatment

Anglo American has approved the construction of a coarse particle recovery (CPR) plant at its in-development Quellaveco copper project in Peru.

The announcement came within the company’s 2020 financial results, which showed Anglo generated underlying EBITDA of $9.8 billion and a profit attributable to equity shareholders of $2.1 billion for the year.

CPR, Anglo says, is one of many significant breakthrough technology initiatives that has the potential to increase throughput and productivity, while simultaneously reducing environmental footprint, through rejection of coarse gangue (near-worthless waste material), dry stacking of sand waste, minimising the production of traditional tailings and reducing overall water consumption.

The CPR plant signoff at Quellaveco follows a full-scale demo plant installation at the company’s El Soldado mine in Chile – which is ramping up to full capacity by mid-2021 – and the decision to construct a full-scale system at the Mogalakwena North PGM concentrator in South Africa.

The El Soldado plant used the HydroFloat™ CPR technology from Eriez’s Flotation Division. Here, a single 5 m diameter HydroFloat cell, the largest in the world, treats 100% of mill throughput, with the objective of proving the waste rejection process at full scale.

Anglo said of the Quellaveco CPR plant: “This breakthrough technology will initially allow retreatment of coarse particles from flotation tailings to improve recoveries by circa-3% on average over the life of the mine. This investment will also enable future throughput expansion which will bring a reduction in energy and water consumption per unit of production.”

The capital expenditure of the CPR project is around $130 million, with commissioning of the new plant expected in 2022. DRA Global previously carried out a feasibility study for the CPR plant at Quellaveco.

In terms of Quellaveco project progress, Anglo said today that, despite the COVID-19-related slowdown, first production was still expected in 2022. This was, in part, due to the excellent progress achieved prior to the national lockdown, and based on optimised construction and commissioning plans, Anglo said.

Key activities in 2021 include the start of pre-stripping, which will see the first greenfield use of automated hauling technology in Peru; progressing construction of the primary crusher and ore transport conveyor tunnel to the plant; completion of the 95 km freshwater pipeline that will deliver water from the water source area to the Quellaveco site; completing installation of the shells and motors for both milling lines; and completion of the tailings starter dam.

The mine, owned 60% by Anglo and 40% by Mitsubishi Corp, comes with a production blueprint of 300,000 t/y over the first 10 years of the mine.

DRA Global to deliver Carmichael coal handling and preparation plant

DRA Global has won its second major contract on the Bravus Mining & Resources-owned Carmichael coal project, in Queensland, Australia, with the engineering firm set to deliver the project’s A$140 million ($108 million) coal processing plant.

Bravus CEO, David Boshoff, said DRA was known for its exceptional service to the Australian resources sector, and previous work on the Carmichael project building the coal handling plant (CHP) had demonstrated its experience and capability.

The coal handling plant (CHP) and the coal preparation plant (CPP) will work together to prepare and process the coal to meet market specifications at Carmichael.

The CPP is designed to process the coal, using recycled water and density separation processes so that the product that goes into market is more energy efficient and environmentally friendly, DRA says.

DRA will carry out the engineering, design and construction of the CHP and the CPP at Carmichael. Included within this is the supply and construction of coal processing infrastructure; supply and construction of coal sizing and conveying equipment; construction of coal stockpiling infrastructure; and construction of the train load out infrastructure to enable loading of trains.

According to the original project description from October 2013 authored by engineering services company GHD, the project’s coal handling and preparation plant has been designed to receive, size and process a maximum throughput of 74.5 Mt/y run of mine coal, producing 60 Mt/y of product coal. However, this is the maximum approved production level. Initial mine production will be 10 Mt/y with a surface mine capacity of 40 Mt/y, rising to 60 Mt/y when the underground mine comes online.

DRA Global CEO, Andrew Naude, said: “DRA is delighted to have been awarded an additional major contract on the Carmichael project and to be able to continue creating employment opportunities and supporting the Central Queensland region.”

Boshoff said: “The CHP resizes the coal and the CPP processes the coal to meet final product quality requirements and in doing so it is more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. It is these facilities that will see Carmichael coal become some of the better-quality coal from around the world.”

He added: “Every week we are reaching exciting new major milestones on the Carmichael mine and rail projects bringing us a step closer to the reality of completion. We are on track and looking forward to producing first coal in 2021.”