Tag Archives: drill & blast

NRW Holdings wins contract mining gig at Allkem’s Mt Cattlin open-pit lithium mine

NRW Holdings Limited says it has been issued with a Letter of Intent from Allkem Limited in respect to the contract for mining services works at the Mt Cattlin open-pit lithium mine in Western Australia.

Formal award of the contract is subject to finalising outstanding terms, but the anticipated value of the contract is circa-A$332 million ($220 million) over a 36-month duration and the project will be supported by a workforce of approximately 140 people, mostly sourced from the surrounding area.

The works to be performed under the contract include load & haul, drill & blast and material rehandling. NRW will use an existing fleet comprising 200-250-t-class excavators and 150-t-class trucks together with ancillary plant. Mobilisation is currently underway preparing for commencement on site in August.

The Mt Cattlin operation produced circa-194,000 t/y of spodumene concentrate grading up to 6% Li20 in the 2022 financial year to June 30, 2022, according to Allkem.

NRW Chief Executive Officer, Jules Pemberton, said: “I am delighted to announce that NRW has been selected by Allkem as its preferred contractor for the mining services contract. NRW is a world leading provider of services across all aspects of the Lithium sector and we look forward to a long and successful partnership with Allkem.”

IMDEX sets BLASTDOG drill and blast tech on commercial course

IMDEX has announced what it says is a “major milestone” for its BLASTDOG™ drill and blast technology.

IMDEX BLASTDOG is a semi-autonomously deployed system for logging material properties and blasthole characteristics at high spatial density across the bench and mine and is commodity agnostic, according to the company. It has been developed in collaboration with Universal Field Robots and tested at mines in Queensland, Western Australia, Chile and Nevada (USA).

At an industry event today, IMDEX said BLASTDOG would move from engineering development to commercial prototype by the end of the year.

Progress was outlined to representatives from development partners from METS Ignited, as well as other mining sector executives.

IMDEX said there is already strong industry interest in BLASTDOG because of its capacity to deliver reliable, real-time data that will enable critical mine planning decisions to be made earlier, introducing greater efficiencies throughout the mining value chain.

IMDEX Chief Executive Officer, Paul House, said no other technology had the capacity to produce the same data and provide as large an impact on downstream processes, including enhancing productivity.

“It has the capacity to improve productivity, efficiency, and safety and is part of IMDEX’s internet of geosensing initiative, and will significantly increase mine to mill efficiency,” House said. “Moving to a commercial prototype is a significant development. We will work with prospective clients to ensure that when it is released IMDEX BLASTDOG will deliver the results, efficiencies, and safety that will be its trademark.”

Among the benefits of IMDEX BLASTDOG outlined by the company are the ability to:

  • Improve fragmentation;
  • Improve material and grade control;
  • Reduce geotechnical risk;
  • Reduce adverse vibrations;
  • Define ore boundaries and prevent ore waste;
  • Indicate reactive ground; and
  • Reduce fume, fly rock and vibration

MACA to become contract miner at Atlas Iron’s Corunna Downs mine

MACA is to carry out open-pit mining at the Corunna Downs iron ore project in the Pilbara of Western Australia following a contract award from owner Atlas Iron.

The contract follows an agreement between the two to upgrade an existing public road and develop an access road at Corunna Downs, announced earlier this year.

The project, some 33 km south of Marble Bar in the Pilbara, will see Atlas develop five open pits using conventional drill and blast, and load and haul methods. Some 23.3 Mt of iron ore will be mined above the water table over an approximate timeframe of six years, according to a filing with the Environmental Protection Authority.

MACA will carry out the drilling and blasting, and loading and hauling as part of the new pact, which is expected to generate around A$230 million ($159 million) in revenue for MACA over the 62-month term.

MACA says it has a long-standing working relationship with Atlas having previously provided services at the Pardoo, Mt Dove, Abydos and Wodgina iron ore operations. It is also currently providing crushing services for Atlas at its Mount Webber iron ore mine on top of the civil works at Corunna Downs.

The contractor’s total work in hand position now stands at A$2.2 billion, it said.

MACA CEO, Mike Sutton, said: “We are pleased to have been selected as the contract miner for Atlas building on our workload in the iron ore sector with an existing client. We look forward to being part of the successful development of this project.”