Tag Archives: DRA

Construction nears at Colluli potash project following Eritrea ministry nod

Danakali and the Eritrean Government’s plan to put the Colluli potash mine into production is accelerating after the Eritrean Ministry of Energy & Mines accepted the project’s Notice of Commencement of Mine Development.

Acceptance of the notice is one of the conditions precedent to the financing for the Colluli project and is a positive step toward achieving financial close of the project facilities, Danakali said.

Prior to issuing this notice, the jointly-owned Colluli Mining Share Company (CMSC) had satisfied several key Colluli development preconditions including executing a Mining Agreement and having a Mining Licenses issued; submitting and obtaining approval for the Social & Environmental Impact Assessment Study and Social & Environmental Management Plans; and submitting the commercial sulphate of potash production expectations over the life of the mine.

Colluli, owned 50:50 by Danakali and the Eritrean National Mining Corporation, has a JORC-2012 compliant measured, indicated and inferred resource of 1,289 Mt at 11% K20 equivalent and 7% kieserite.

Upon accepting the notice, the ministry, Danakali said, also showed support for the financing of the Colluli project by:

  • Granting time to commence the commercial production within 36 months from submission of the notice, (mid-December 2022);
  • Consenting to the security to be granted in support of the financing; and
  • Consenting to the account structure for the financing for the Colluli project.

The notice was submitted to the ministry by the CMSC on December 17, 2019, however the process has been slower than expected due to COVID-19-related lockdowns in Eritrea.

In accordance with the Mining Agreement, CMSC has 36 months from submission date to spend $200 million within the Mining Licence Area, Danakali said.

Along with the acceptance of the notice, the ministry has also granted all required permits, licences and authorisations for infrastructure construction and development outside the Colluli Mining Licence area. This includes the Sea Water Intake and Treatment Area at Anfile Bay (WITA); pipeline and access corridor of 87 km between the WITA and the Colluli process plant; and Colluli site access road of 57 km connecting Colluli to Marsa Fatuma.

Niels Wage, CEO of Danakali, said: “This year, the project team has made significant progress through management of DRA during Phase 1 and 2 of the EPCM works and most recently by commencing the necessary test works, enabling us to maintain forward momentum of the project development.

“I look forward to updating the market on the progress of our project in due course.”

The company has previously said production could commence in 2022.

DRA Global wins Lola graphite project EPCM contract

SRG Mining has selected DRA Global as the provider of engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services for its Lola graphite project in Guinea.

This selection is the result of a competitive tender process where several international engineering firms were invited and responded with qualifying and attractive proposals, SRG Mining said.

Over the past three years, DRA has assisted SRG with the evaluation of the Lola graphite project, having been involved from the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) stage to the most recent feasibility study. This latter study outlined a project costing $88.5 million to build and producing 54,600 t of graphite flakes over a 29-year mine life.

DRA and its subsidiaries such as SENET have a long and successful history of delivering resources projects in Africa, most recently being involved in the construction of Alufer’s Bel Air bauxite project and Managem’s Tri-K gold project, both in Guinea, SRG Mining said.

“This historic knowledge and experience, combined with expertise of the latest processing technology, enable DRA to successfully design and execute mining and minerals processing projects, particularly in West Africa,” the company added.

The engineering phase of the project will be carried out through the DRA offices in Montreal and Toronto and the site-based execution will be led by DRA’s subsidiary SENET.

Ugo Landry-Tolszczuk, President and Chief Operating Officer of SRG, said: “Our tender process cemented our belief that DRA is the best partner for SRG to successfully complete the design and construct our Lola graphite project.”

Andrew Naude, CEO of DRA Global, said: “Awarding the execution of this internationally important graphite project on the African Continent to DRA is testament to DRA’s position as the preferred technical partner for projects of this nature. It reinforces DRA’s position as the preferred partner for the delivering of projects on the Continent.

“DRA has put together a very strong team for the EPCM of the project all of whom carry industry leading experience in delivering successfully on projects, in Africa.”

Wood’s cobalt and copper refining expertise tapped for Jervois ICO project

Having recently sewn up the lead engineers for finalisation of a bankable feasibility study (BFS) at its 100%-owned ICO cobalt-copper project in Idaho, US, Jervois Mining has selected Wood as its preferred engineering contractor to progress the refinery scoping study at the project.

The ICO, planned to be the only domestic cobalt mine within the US, is expected to commence commercial concentrate production in the second half of 2021.

Jervois said Wood has expertise in the refining of sulphide concentrates through to both battery-grade crystal and refined LME copper and 99.8% LMB cobalt metal, which will be of use in this study. The company said: “Wood is well placed to lead the engineering study which includes an initial high-level review of commercially available technology for the refining of sulphide concentrates through to metal.”

Battery recycling technology and third-party feed processing will also be considered to highlight future market opportunities that may enhance the refineries strategic importance within the US and further improve the economic returns, Jervois said.

Mineralogy and metallurgical test work progressing at SGS will optimise the selective cobalt concentrate chemical characteristics and be applied in the flowsheet options study.

“As part of the current feasibility study being led by DRA and M3, preliminary results obtained from the SGS test work have achieved satisfactory separation and selectivity between copper and cobalt,” Jervois said, adding that locked cycle tests are planned to define the improved selectivity.

The Wood refinery study will be completed during the March quarter in conjunction with the previously announced feasibility study to concentrate.

DRA to push Dargues gold project forward to production

DRA Global’s DRA Pacific Pty subsidiary has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the Dargues gold mine in New South Wales, Australia.

Dargues is owned by Diversified Minerals, an associated company of PYBAR Mining Services. As a leading underground mining services company within Australia, Pybar will be developing and operating the project’s underground mine and other infrastructure, according to DRA.

DRA’s project scope entails the engineering, procurement and construction of a 355,000 t/y capacity gold processing facility and mine backfill plant at Dargues. The processing plant will comprise crushing, milling, flotation and filtration circuits and produce a sulphide concentrate for export. The mine is expected to produce an average of 50,000 oz/y of gold in the first six years of production.

Greg McRostie the Executive Vice President for DRA in the Asia Pacific Region, said: “This EPC contract further enhances DRA’s global position as the partner of choice for the delivery of projects to clients in the gold industry. Over the past five years, DRA has successfully delivered 10 projects and completed in excess of 35 studies for our client’s gold projects across the globe.”

DRA Global has been involved with Dargues since 2011, supporting Diversified Minerals through various studies and optimisations culminating in the final project execution phase about to start.

“This relatively long partnership and strong relationship developed over the project definition phase is a true reflection of the client focused approach of DRA,” McRostie said.

Site work will commence in February 2019 and first ore is expected to be processed in early 2020.

Nouveau Monde Graphite’s all-electric Matawinie mine plan stacks up

Quebec, Canada-based Nouveau Monde Graphite’s latest economic study on the West Zone deposit of the Tony Claim Block, part of its Matawinie graphite property, in Saint-Michel-Des-Saints, has shown an all-electric open-pit mine can be built that delivers ample shareholder returns and the reduced carbon footprint the company was after.

The feasibility study builds on a prefeasibility study that envisaged a 52,000 t/y graphite concentrate operation being built for C$179 million ($137 million) for a post-tax internal rate of return of 25.9%.

The latest study has upped the production ante – looking at a 100,000 t/y concentrate operation over 25.5 years – as well as the potential shareholder returns. The feasibility study estimates the mine can be built for C$276 million, can operate at a cash operating cost of C$499/t and bring in a 32.2% after-tax IRR based on a life-of-mine average sales price of $1,730/t.

These results have proven so favourable the company is already set on completing the project’s Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, in addition to starting the engineering, procurement, construction and management phase. This could see the mill constructed in 2020 and production starting in 2022.

Met-Chem, a division of DRA Americas, prepared this latest study, which has fleshed out some of the company’s plans for an all-electric open-pit mine.

“The mine will be using an all-electric, zero-emission mine fleet, consisting of electric battery-driven 36.3-t mining trucks, battery-driven front-end loaders, cable reel excavators and bulldozers, and battery-driven service vehicles,” Nouveau Monde said.

The mine will also use an electric in-pit mobile crusher and overland conveyor system to feed crushed material to the plant, according to the company.

Medatech Engineering Services Ltd and ABB Inc were responsible for developing the technology used in this fleet. The two companies, part of Nouveau Monde’s Task Force Committee for the project, assisted Met-Chem in preparing a fully-electric equipment fleet estimate. This information was then passed onto a mining contractor to establish a technical and commercial proposal for the mine operation on a contractual basis as well as on the basis of a fully-electric equipment fleet, Nouveau Monde said.

Nouveau Monde’s COO, Karl Trudeau previously told IM that Doppelmayr Canada would supply the company with ore handling solutions (RailCon® technology), while a mobile charging station, including fast-charging capability of up to 600 kW,  was to be positioned in the pit to charge the trucks and other equipment.

In addition to the eco-friendly nature of the mining fleet, the company has also looked to reduce the footprint of the mine’s infrastructure.

The processing plant and the co-disposal of tailings and waste rock will be located less than 500 m from the mine to minimise truck cycle times and lower the project’s operating costs, while progressive backfilling of waste rock and tailings will take place to “further minimise the project’s environmental footprint”, while allowing site rehabilitation during the operating life of the mine. The mine waste rock and tailings management plan, as well as the water management infrastructure, was designed by SNC-Lavalin.

The flowsheet for the 2.35 Mt/y mine consists of in-pit crushing, followed by multiple steps of grinding and flotation separation circuits. The graphite concentrate is then filtered, dried and classified to recover over 94% of the graphite and produce four products with various flake sizes, all with finished product purity above 97%.

Eric Desaulniers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nouveau Monde, said: “We have designed a state-of-the-art mine that not only maximises efficiency but also aims to be one of the most eco-friendly mines in the world, having a very low carbon footprint relative to our peers. This is a key product differentiator, especially for our electric vehicle manufacturing customers whose environmental and social acceptability values align perfectly with our own.”

Karl Trudeau, Chief Operating Officer, Nouveau Monde Graphite; Michel Serres, VP Mining Solutions North America, ABB Canada and David Lyon, Business Development Manager, MEDATECH will be presenting ‘The NMG journey to the all-electric open-pit mine: innovation from collaboration’ at The Electric Mine conference in Toronto, Canada, on April 4-5, 2019. For more information about the event, please click here.

DRA bolsters Australia business with G&S Engineering acquisition

DRA has entered into an agreement to acquire Queensland-based G&S Engineering, as it looks to expand its footprint and project execution capabilities in Australia.

The conditional sale and purchase agreement for the acquisition has been signed with G&S’ owner Calibre Group.

DRA said: “The acquisition provides DRA with a significantly expanded footprint in Australia, specifically on the east coast where G&S Engineering has an extensive presence. It will also significantly extend DRA’s procurement, project management, construction, commissioning, and operations and maintenance capabilities in Australia, opening up new long-term opportunities, and providing increased scale to DRA’s Australian operations.”

G&S Engineering has extensive experience encompassing the entire project lifecycle from construction, through maintenance and optimisation to final decommissioning and deconstruction of a project. Its core services include:

• Maintenance and asset management services – providing maintenance, shutdown, optimisation and sustaining capital solutions for new and existing surface and underground fixed and mobile plant; and

• Construction – delivering both greenfield and brownfield capital projects for clients’ operational assets and infrastructure.

It has offices in MacKay, Brisbane and Perth and employs approximately 1,000 people across its three main divisions.

Greg McRostie, Managing Director of DRA for Asia Pacific, said the acquisition is very much in line with the company’s rapid growth strategy in the Asia Pacific region.

“Australia is a key market for DRA and this acquisition gives us a well-established maintenance and optimisation platform as well as a greater presence in the region, while broadening the scope of services we can offer our clients. The management team at G&S has a strong track record and relationships with a number of Australian resources companies, and we look forward to working with them and the broader G&S team as we grow our business.”

G&S has previously worked with Roy Hill on its iron ore mine in the Pilbara, and BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s Caval Ridge coal mine and Hay Point coal terminal (the latter pictured above), both in Queensland.

The sale and purchase is conditional on a number of conditions and, subject to satisfaction of those conditions, is expected to complete in late July 2018.