Tag Archives: DRA Global

DRA Global to help debottleneck Anglo American Platinum’s Unki PGM concentrator

DRA Global says it has been awarded an engineering procurement and construction management contract to expand Anglo American Platinum’s Unki platinum group metals concentrator, in Zimbabwe.

The engineering company was previously enlisted to carry out a feasibility study on the expansion, referred to as the “debottlenecking” project by Anglo American Platinum, and will now help increase throughput capacity to 210,000 t/mth, it said.

The Unki concentrator, built in 2010, can currently treat up to 180,000 t/mth according to Anglo American Platinum. It processes material from the Unki mine, one the world’s largest PGM deposits outside of South Africa, the miner says.

Anglo American Platinum, in its 2019 results released earlier this year, said it had signed off on the R700 million ($39 million) debottlenecking project and expected commissioning to be completed in the September quarter of 2021.

Unki has steadily been ramping up production in recent years. In 2019, it produced a record 202,000 oz of platinum group metals, up from 193,000 oz in 2018 and 166,000 oz in 2017.

Dargues gold mine on the road to production: DRA Global

DRA Global says it is in the final stages of the implementation of the engineering procurement and construction (EPC) of the gold concentrate plant for Diversified Minerals’ Dargues gold project, in New South Wales, Australia.

The engineering company was awarded the EPC contract back in January 2019 after detailed design for the project commenced in March 2018. At this point, first ore was expected to be processed in early 2020.

As of March 2020, the plant construction and wet commissioning has been completed, DRA said. Hot commissioning is planned to take place soon and expected to be completed in early April. After this, the DRA team will hand over the 330,000 t/y plant to the client’s operations team, it said.

Dargues, owned by Diversified Minerals, an associated company of PYBAR Mining Services, was previously expected to have a 355,000 t/y capacity gold processing facility comprising crushing, milling, flotation and filtration circuits to produce a sulphide concentrate for export. This could see Dargues produce an average of 50,000 oz/y of gold in the first six years of production.

The mine, which will be operated by PYBAR, is also set to incorporate tele-remote loading. In December, Diversified Minerals took delivery of a second new Cat R1700 underground LHD following commissioning of the first loader during August.

The new machines are equipped with Caterpillar’s next generation Command for Underground technology, giving them automation capabilities that will allow them to be driven via tele-remote from the surface from early-2020. This will realise significant productivity, efficiency and safety gains, according to PYBAR.

Members of the Austmine Board were recently invited to a tour of the Dargues gold mine (pictured).

DRA to run the ore sorting numbers at Nova Minerals’ Korbel gold deposit

Nova Minerals has engaged DRA Global to conduct Phase 1 and 2 ore sorting test work at the Korbel gold deposit, in Alaska, USA.

This work will help continue Nova’s progression of the deposit towards a future low strip, bulk minable, heap leach operation, it said.

This is not the first ore sorting remit the engineering firm has had. Back in November, DRA was instructed by Snow Lake Resources to look into ore sorting options at the Thompson Brothers lithium project, in Manitoba, Canada. Snow Lake Resources was previously spun out of Nova Minerals.

The objective of the study through 2020 is to assess the suitability of sorting applicable to the specific style of mineralisation contained at Korbel. It will also involve test work, design, management and supervision to determine ore sorting amenability. Additionally, the study will assess the overall impact of the ore sorting circuit in a future flowsheet. This will include completion of a dynamic simulation in phase 2 to establish ore sorting stockpile and ore sorting requirements for the optimal capital expenditure (capex), operating expenditure, operability and maintainability of the overall process plant.

High level deliverables will include generation of process mass and water balances, mechanical equipment list, and a concept level (AACE Class 5) capex estimate for the entire plant.

The company said: “Nova recognises the need for sorting studies early on in the mine development cycle. These kinds of studies help to keep moving the project towards prefeasibility.”

In addition, the sorting study will run concurrently with the 2020 resource drilling program. Subject to drilling and positive results, Nova sees various processing options at Korbel. These options include heap leach, carbon-in-pulp (CIP) circuit, or a combination of the two.

Nova Minerals Managing Director, Avi Kimelman, said: “We are very pleased with the progress that the company is making towards delivering on its plan to rapidly unlocking the Estelle Gold District through both significantly increasing resources and fast tracking the Block B ‘Starter Pit’ to development. This sorting test work commencing simultaneously with our drilling maintains our strategy of saving time, resources and money by streamlining data and productivity to deliver strong shareholder returns in as short a timeframe as possible whilst still ensuring that the technical and economic possibilities are fully understood and progressed.”

Kimelman said Nova’s greatest accomplishment in 2019 was proving up 2.5 Moz of gold in the inferred resource category in a very short period of time and demonstrating “exceptional” gold leach recoveries averaging 76% at the Korbel deposit (one of 15 known prospects).

“We look forward to amplifying our exploration and project development efforts in 2020 and are committed to keeping our shareholders constantly updated on our progress.”

Minas-Rio could feel the effects of coarse particle flotation tech, Anglo says

The coarse particle flotation technology being explored as part of Anglo American’s FutureSmart Mining™ platform is gaining traction after the company announced it was to carry out a prefeasibility study on applying it at the Minas-Rio iron ore mine, in Brazil.

The announcement, made during a “Bulks Seminar & Site Visit” in Brisbane, Australia, comes shortly after DRA Global confirmed it had been awarded a feasibility study contract to build a coarse particle recovery plant at Anglo’s Quellaveco copper project, currently in construction in the Moquegua region of Peru.

During the seminar, Anglo said the application of coarse particle flotation technology could see 20% of feed rejected as silica sand, improving the product quality and consistency at Minas-Rio. It also said it could potentially provide a circa-$500 million net present value uplift at the operation, on top of a 15% water saving and 20-30% mill energy reduction.

The coarse particle flotation technology is expected to play a key role in the company’s aim to ultimately eliminate tailings dams, according to Anglo American Technical Director, Tony O’Neill.

It should allow the company to coarsen grind size while maintaining recoveries – thereby reducing the energy required to grind ore, as well as reducing water intensity by more than 20%. When combined with dry-disposal technology, the company is targeting a reduction in water intensity of more than 50%.

The company previously said it was set for trials of the technology at its Amplats operations in 2020.

The flowsheet at Minas-Rio currently includes crushing, screening, milling, desliming, grinding and flotation, with 38% Fe grade ore upgraded to a 67% Fe pellet feed product.

Snow Lake, DRA and Steinert investigate ore sorting at lithium project

Snow Lake Resources is the latest company to eye up ore sorting to reduce costs and increase productivity, with the exploration company asking DRA Global to come up with an effective strategy for its Thompson Brothers lithium project, in Manitoba, Canada.

Brent Hilscher of DRA will be in charge of this ore sorting project, examining the best laser or X-ray method to help separate out waste material from the spodumene pegmatite at Thompson Brothers, thereby increasing the overall grade of the final product at a low cost per tonne.

Snow Lake has collected 120 scoping samples from the company’s drill core library as part of this test work, with these samples to be sent to Steinert in Kentucky, USA, for analysis.

The company also created four bench test “bulk samples” from the existing core library, which will be used as trial material at Steinert on a full-scale ore-sorting machine once DRA Global concludes the appropriate algorithm for sorting, it said.

As part of the ore-sorting strategy, the company says it will need a higher degree of understanding of the mineral assemblage of the spodumene pegmatites at its project.

The company has, so far, collected nine core samples from the company’s core library and left them with the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) in Saskatoon, Canada. These samples will go through QEM-SCAN petrography analysis at SRC, providing DRA with a report on the mineral assemblage of the pegmatite.

From the nine samples, the company will select three samples for microprobe analysis of the various mineral phase.

Snow Lake said: “These studies will give the company an understanding of the mineral chemistry of the feldspar phases. This will help support the X-ray sorting works, as there may be a chemical element that the X-ray sorter can focus on to eliminate the feldspars from the spodumene pegmatite feed.”

As part of a bulk sample program for 2020, the company will also provide samples to SRC to conduct acid–base accounting testing to help assess the acid-producing and acid-neutralising potential of rocks prior to large-scale excavations at the project.

Snow Lake is expecting to publish a maiden indicated resource on the Thompson Brothers project in the near term, given that the company, its consultants and external laboratories have all the data in hand for the study.

DRA graduates from FEED to plant EPCM at Yangibana rare earths project

DRA Global’s Pacific division has been rewarded for previous work on Hastings Technology Metals’ Yangibana rare earths project, in Western Australia, with the company now receiving the engineering, procurement, construction and management (EPCM) contract for the project’s processing plant.

The EPCM contract, the single largest dollar value contract associated with the project, will cover all aspects of the design and construction of the processing facility and associated non-process infrastructure capable of producing 15,000 t/y of mixed rare earths carbonate (MREC), Hastings said.

The appointment followed a series of value engineering studies and the front end engineering design (FEED) completed by DRA Pacific during 2018 and 2019. Works directed under the EPCM contract have an estimated value of around A$350 million ($241 million).

The key component of the contract terms is the comprehensive performance guarantee linked to ore throughput for the entire process flowsheet at Yangibana, in Western Australia, according to Hastings.

“The appointment of DRA Pacific as the EPCM contractor for Hastings represents another critical milestone for the project, reinforcing that Yangibana is execution ready,” Hastings said.

“Choosing DRA Pacific was the logical choice given the already close working relationship built up over the last 15 months, and the experience in rare earths processing plant design that DRA Pacific bring to the table.”

Charles Lew, Hastings Executive Chairman, said DRA’s knowledge and experience in developing successful minerals processing projects made them the “ideal candidate” to manage the construction of the project.

He added: “The award of the EPCM contract moves the Yangibana rare earths project firmly into development phase to commence project execution and progress to production of our mixed rare earth carbonate by 2022.”

Andrew Naude, Chief Executive Officer of DRA Global, said: “Awarding the execution of this internationally important rare earths project on the Australian Continent to DRA is testament to DRA’s position as the preferred technical partner for projects of this nature.

“We have put together a very strong team for the delivery of the project and our Project Manager has significant experience in delivering successful projects.”

The EPCM contract is a fundamental requirement of Hastings’ debt providers and hence is pivotal to the project financing process, Hastings said. A definitive feasibility study in 2017, based on a 5.15 Mt reserve, detailed a production rate of 1 Mt/y to produce up to 15,000 t/y of mixed rare earths carbonate.

Kalium Lakes locks in Beyondie gas pipeline, SOP purification plant contracts

Kalium Lakes has been on a contract spree, announcing the award of four contracts in the past week that will move its Beyondie sulphate of potash project, in Western Australia, closer to production.

On Monday, it announced contract awards for the design, supply and construction of its fully-owned gas lateral at the project with Edgen Murray set to manufacture and supply 79.4 km of coated linepipe, Pipecraft to carry out the gas pipeline installation and Primero to design and construct the inlet and delivery station.

This followed, in June, the company securing key contracts with APA Group and Shell Energy Australia for the transportation and supply of gas to meet the requirements of the project.

On Wednesday, the company then confirmed that it had awarded DRA Global’s G&S Engineering a circa-A$20 million ($13.5 million) contract to build the sulphate of potash purification plant at the operation.

The scope of the contract includes completion of all works associated with civil and concrete construction; structural steel assembly and erection; mechanical equipment assembly and installation; platework assembly and installation; piping installation; electrical, instrumentation and controls installation; dry commissioning, and wet commissioning support services in cooperation with Ebtec.

The project aims to commence production at 90,000 t/y of sulphate of potash, before ramping up to 180,000 t/y for domestic and international sale. An initial mine life of between 30-50 years is anticipated for a project designed to be a low cost, long life and high margin producer, Kalium Lakes says.

DRA Global and M3 Engineering on board Jervois ICO cobalt-copper project

Jervois Mining says it has selected DRA Global and M3 Engineering as lead engineers for finalisation of a bankable feasibility study (BFS) for its 100%-owned ICO cobalt-copper project in Idaho, US.

The selection of engineers comes only two months after Jervois got its hands on the project following a completed merger with eCobalt.

Jervois said: “DRA and M3 have extensive study and construction experience across all the relevant unit operations for the ICO, providing a strong basis for successful BFS delivery. They were chosen due to their strong track record with relevant process plant studies as well as construction and operating implementation phases, as Jervois looks to move seamlessly into construction after BFS and project financing close.”

The joint engineering team has extensive global experience across both cobalt and copper mining operations and concentrator flowsheets, while also having a detailed understanding of project delivery in the US, specifically local conditions in Idaho and regional contractor capabilities, Jervois said.

Finalisation of the BFS will be based on a flotation mill processing 1,200 short tonnes per day (1,089 t/d) of ore, as well as ancillary facilities. The project will ultimately consist of an underground cobalt-copper mine, a flotation mill processing 1,200 st/d as well as ancillary facilities. The latter will include aspects such as the mine and related infrastructure, run of mine pad and crushers, fine ore conveyor and silo, mill and flotation, tailings, waste rock and water storage facilities, water treatment plant, soil stockpile area, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System discharge outfall and non-process infrastructure to support the development and mine operations.

Jervois expects the BFS will be concluded in the March quarter of 2020 and summarised in a NI 43-101 compliant feasibility study soon after. The company has commenced a diamond core drilling program at ICO to supply metallurgical samples for test work to support the BFS update, and to infill drill the RAM deposit during initial years of envisaged mining operation.

ICO will initially produce and sell separate cobalt and copper concentrates as Jervois formed a view early in its due diligence of ICO that reversion to separate concentrates was commercially necessary in the absence of a US refinery. In comparison to the partially completed mine and mill, the refinery is at a preliminary level of study and technical certainty, and so cannot be realistically constructed within the same timeframe as mine to concentrate.

Jervois has commenced discussions with offtake partners for an initial period covering mine ramp up and stabilisation. Jervois will also commission a refinery engineering study to consider commercially proven technology to process concentrates, including third party feed through to refined cobalt and copper.

With the ICO BFS team now established, DRA and M3 will progress the engineering design for the process plant and infrastructure. In parallel, Jervois has commenced discussions with potential lenders and a data room is being prepared to facilitate due diligence. Upon project financing close and opening of the ICO mine portal and decline, Jervois expects a 12-month construction period with first saleable concentrate in the second half of 2021

Mkango gives SENET the leading role for Songwe Hill rare earths DFS

Mkango Resources has appointed DRA Global’s SENET as Lead Engineer and Project Manager for completion of a feasibility study on the Songwe Hill rare earths project in Malawi.

SENET’s appointment is another key milestone for completion of the study, which is being funded by Mkango’s strategic partner Talaxis Ltd. A number of workstreams are underway, including mining studies, comminution, flotation, hydrometallurgical test work, and studies in relation to the environmental, social and health impact assessment.

Mkango says SENET has longstanding experience in project management and in providing detailed multidiscipline engineering, procurement, logistics management, and construction services to the mining, mineral processing, infrastructure and materials handling industries. It has carried out many studies for mining companies throughout Africa and boasts the largest and most advanced hydrometallurgical process engineering team on the continent, according to Mkango.

William Dawes, Chief Executive of Mkango, said: “The selection of SENET was measured against a range of criteria, and its technical capabilities and African experience were key factors in the decision. Mkango has the right financial and technical partnerships in place to enable development of Songwe into Africa’s leading producer of rare earths.”

The main exploration target in the 51% -held Phalombe licence is the Songwe Hill rare earths deposit. This features carbonatite-hosted rare earth mineralisation and was subject to previous exploration in the late 1980s. Mkango completed an updated prefeasibility study for the project in November 2015, with a feasibility study currently underway, the initial phases of which included a 10,900 m drilling program and an updated mineral resource estimate. In March 2019, the company announced receipt of a £7 million ($8.7 million) investment from Talaxis to fund completion of the study.

DRA Global to carry out feasibility study work on Managem’s Tizert copper project

DRA Global says it has been awarded the bankable feasibility study (BFS) contract for the Managem Group-owned Tizert copper project, in the Souss-Massa province of Morocco.

The Tizert copper deposit is located on the northern edge of Igherm Precambrian buttonhole and is the largest copper deposit in the western Anti-Atlas Copper Belt, according to DRA. The underground mine, with a targeted production of 3.3 Mt/y of ore, is expected to use multiple mining methods including room and pillar and long hole stoping.

An aerial ropeway system will be used to convey the ore from the mine site to the process plant across an 800 m wide and 250 m deep canyon. The process plant will be a flotation concentrator producing oxide and sulphide copper concentrates.

DRA’s Montreal office has been awarded the full BFS scope which will include mining, backfill, ore transport, process plant and infrastructures. The BFS is expected to be completed in the June quarter of 2020.

Pierre Julien, DRA’s Executive Vice President Americas, attributes the winning of the contact to an excellent working relationship with Managem: “The DRA team has been working closely with the Managem leadership team for almost two years, and through a dedicated and collaborative approach has built a partnership which culminated with the award of this BFS contract.”