Tag Archives: drilling

Vast Resources to leverage new equipment and XRT ore sorting at Baita Plai

Vast Resources has devised a new mechanised mine plan for its Baita Plai polymetallic mine in Romania that will see mining capacity increase by 65% and ore sorting employed to increase mill feed grades.

The new mine plan includes the acquisition of three LHDs (including at least one narrow-vein electric LHD), an Aramine face jumbo drill rig, two Resemin Muki 22 long hole drilling rigs and a TOMRA X-ray Transmission (XRT) ore sorter.

Execution risk is expected to be significantly reduced compared with the old labour-intensive plan through the employment of senior international staff; the use of increased mechanisation; and the fact that shortly, with the expediated development plan now possible through the new equipment, the mining areas will be in areas newly drilled by the company and not in less stable old mining areas, the company said.

The company, in co-operation with TOMRA Mining, has concluded an initial investigation on ore from Baita Plai as part of the development of the new mining and processing plan. The objective of the work was to determine the amenability of ore from Baita Plai to be pre-concentrated using TOMRA sensor-based sorting technologies to produce a high-grade pre-concentrate, pre-milling feed.

“The study showed a clear amenability for the ore to be separated using TOMRA’s advanced XRT technology to identify both massive mineralisations, as well as fine mineral inclusions, using its proprietary combination detection algorithms to produce a high-grade pre-concentrate and eliminate non-grade containing waste material,” the company said.

The XRT implementation and processing plant upgrades are set to be completed by December 2021, the company said, with mill feed grades expected to be concentrated by 1.25-1.75 times. This would see the sensor-based sorter shift 60% of tonnage into the accept stream for the mill and 40% into the reject stream, with a 92% yield in the accept tonnage.

The new mine plan presents a cost reduction of 21% in dollars per mined tonne with an operational efficiency of 63 tonnes per total employee costed (TEC) at steady state, versus the previous plan efficiency metric of 43 tonnes per TEC, Vast Resources said. It also sees mining capacity rise to 22,000 t/mth, from 13,300 t/mth.

Andrew Prelea, Chief Executive Officer of Vast Resources, said: “This is a robust and comprehensive mine plan which has been developed using rigorous technical parameters. On behalf of the board, I believe the plan set out to shareholders today represents a benchmark for us to deliver on over the coming years in tandem with our broader expansion plans at Baita Plai and across our wider portfolio.”

Fortescue rewards Monadelphous and Pentium Hydro with more Pilbara work

Fortescue Metals Group has handed out new work to Monadelphous Group and Pentium Hydro at its iron ore operations in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

Engineering company Monadelphous has secured a new five-year crane services contract, valued at around A$150 million ($117 million), with the miner.

The contract is for the provision of crane services supporting general repairs, maintenance and shutdown activities at Fortescue’s Solomon (pictured) and Eliwana operations.

Monadelphous has provided crane services to Fortescue’s Solomon operations since 2017 and, last year, expanded those services to Fortescue’s Eliwana operations.

Vysarn Ltd subsidiary Pentium Hydro, meanwhile, advises that it has amended, via a Deed of Amendment, the agreement for hydrogeological borefield drilling and construction services with Fortescue’s wholly owned Chichester Metals Pty Ltd and FMG Solomon Pty Ltd subsidiaries, previously announced in November 2019.

This amendment will see the term of its contract increased to 36 months, with the option of a two-year extension exercisable by Fortescue. The scope of work has also been amended to include the provision of dual tube flooded reverse drilling services, with an additional drill rig expected to be deployed by April.

At the same time, the companies have amended the revenue model for the contract.

Revenue from works in the original contract was based on key performance indicators for a number of production and monitoring bores and was subject to metres drilled and drill rates. Revenue from works will now be based on a combination of day rates and a schedule of hourly rates, Vysarn said.

DDH1 drilling contractor debuts on ASX after stellar IPO

DDH1 Ltd has officially commenced trading on the Australian Securities Exchange following an initial public offering last week that saw the drilling contractor secure gross proceeds of A$150 million ($115 million) through the issue of around 40% of its shares.

The IPO proceeds were used to allow existing shareholders to realise part of their investment in the company and to repay company borrowings, the company said. The IPO was one of the largest by a Western Australia-based business in the past decade, according to DDH1.

“The ASX listing marks a significant milestone in the evolution of DDH1, which was established in Perth in 2006 with the vision to create Australia’s premier mineral drilling contractor,” the company said. “Over time, DDH1 has earned the custom of Australia’s premier mining companies through its repeated and meticulous service offering of gathering the critical geological data that supports the decision making in respect of all mining activity through the complete cycle of a mine’s life.”

DDH1 has a portfolio of approximately 102 clients, with a financial year 2020 pro-forma revenue of A$249.8 million. Its earnings are diversified across multiple commodities and geographies, with a client base that includes Newcrest Mining, BHP, Evolution Mining, Gold Fields, Independence Group, Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines, Newmont Corp, Ramelius Resources, Rio Tinto, Roy Hill Iron Ore and St Barbara.

It offers both surface and underground drilling services, with diamond coring and reverse circulation rigs on offer.

Sy Van Dyk, DDH1’s Managing Director and CEO, said: “The growth and success of DDH1 to date is testament to the commitment of the whole team, which strives to ensure the safety of all stakeholders while delivering exceptional service to our clients.

“Our long-term client relationships are built on the provision of quality drilling services and a deep understanding of our client’s business needs. The company’s significant market position reinforces the strong levels of industry recognition.”

He concluded: “There is growing demand in the Australian mineral drilling sector for DDH1’s services because of increased exploration, development and production spending by minerals exploration and mining companies. As an ASX-listed company with a strong balance sheet, a committed shareholder base, a disciplined approach to growth and access to capital markets, DDH1 is well positioned to pursue its growth strategy.”

Robit to supply drilling consumables to Agnico Eagle’s Kittilä gold mine

Robit and Agnico Eagle have signed a long-term cooperation agreement for drilling consumables supply to the Kittilä gold mine, in Finland, with the deliveries to start on May 1, 2021.

The company previously supplied diamond button bits to Kittilä mine for production drilling, thus, the mine and conditions are familiar to Robit, it said.

Tommi Lehtonen, CEO of Robit Group, said: ”We are happy to start this cooperation, which is a result of a long-time work and is an important reference to the company. It is also an investment in the domestic market. We are excited of this collaboration, which, in addition to product supply, offers an opportunity to develop our products together with one of the leading mining companies.”

Jari Kolehmainen, Production Manager at Kittilä mine, Agnico Eagle Finland Oy, added: “We are delighted with this agreement and expect a long-term and close collaboration. Together we have an opportunity to develop drilling consumables, eg diamond button bits and Sense Systems products, to serve customer needs even better.”

Kittilä mine is the largest gold mine in Europe. It extracts annually about 1.6 Mt of ore, yielding about 7,000 kg of gold. At current production volumes, the mine’s known ore reserves are expected to produce gold until 2034.

Barminco to debut Epiroc Diamec Smart 6M in the Goldfields of Western Australia

Barminco says it has become the first company in the world to debut the new generation of Epiroc’s Mobile Carrier Rig (MCR) – the GEN 2 Epiroc Diamec Smart 6M.

This second-generation underground mobile core drill rig uses the drilling capacity of the Diamec Smart 6 automated operating system, and the mobility and sturdiness of the S2 Boomer carrier with the addition of Epiroc’s automated rod handler, the contractor said.

Epiroc says the the Diamec Smart 6M combines the best of two worlds – the high productivity and accuracy of a Diamec core drilling rig, with the mobility of a robust carrier designed for underground use.

The Rod Handling System, coupled with the Smart 6 Rig Control System, allows for full automation, increasing operator safety and productivity, according to Barminco.

The company said: “Combining Epiroc’s cutting-edge technology of their drilling and rod handling operating systems brings the underground drilling industry a step closer to having ‘no hands on steel’ and taking a giant step forward towards a safer environment for the operators.”

The contractor is due to commission the rig next month at a client site in the Goldfields of Western Australia.

Barminco added: “The addition of the Epiroc GEN 2 MCR to our state-of-the-art fleet supports our Diamond Drill team to Enable Tomorrow, work Smarter Together and take No Shortcuts. Following these Barminco Principles will help create a safer environment for our people and will assist our client in consistently achieving production targets.”

Swick Mining Services goes all-in on underground drilling

Swick Mining Services has decided to sell its surface drilling business and concentrate on underground mining in a move Managing Director, Kent Swick, says is a logical step for the company “aligned with our strategy”.

The Surface Reverse Circulation (RC) Drilling business is being sold to K-Drill Pty Ltd and K-Drill Equipment Pty Ltd.

The sale includes six surface RC rigs, associated equipment, inventory, personnel and contracts, with the transaction expected to complete in the March quarter of 2021.

Including the recent sale of a number of residual RC assets to other parties, Swick will receive total proceeds for its RC business and assets of around A$6.4 million ($4.8 million) in cash and will report a profit on sale of some A$1.2 million before tax, it said.

K-Drill is a new RC drilling company that will be specialising in providing high quality, safe and productive drilling solutions to the Australian mining industry, Swick said. It will be building on the foundations set by Swick and will be led by Managing Director, Brendan O’Shea, who is Swick’s current Business Development Manager.

The Surface RC Drilling business provides reserve definition and exploration drilling to clients and its sale enables Swick to focus on its core Underground Diamond (UD) Drilling business; a 70-rig fleet providing reserve definition and grade control drilling at producing mines. This business represents 96% of annual revenue, Swick says.

O’Shea said: “This opportunity will allow K-Drill to focus completely on surface drilling and we are pleased to provide clients with peace of mind in knowing that we will be bringing all current Swick RC employees and Swick’s existing robust operating systems to K-Drill, ensuring a smooth transition for existing clients.”

After the disposal of the RC division, Swick’s drilling revenue will be generated entirely by the company’s UD Drilling division. This division drills around 100,000 m/mth of core across four countries – Australia, USA, Portugal and Spain. It is on track to deliver a forecasted revenue of A$68-$70 million, with utilisation remaining strong with 13 rigs operating internationally, 25 in Western Australia (including two DeepEX rigs) and 20 across the rest of Australia in December 2020.

On top of the Surface RC drilling business sale, and in response to increased market demand, Swick has agreed to manufacture and sell its “world-class” GenII mobile drill rigs, it said. These rigs are the smallest footprint, but highest-powered mobile drill available on the market, according to Swick, with many unique features including a “world-class automation package”.

Four GenII rigs are currently under construction for two large global drilling contractors for use outside of Australia, Swick said.

In response to increased demand for drill rigs from both Swick’s in-house drilling division and expected interest by external customers, Swick is gearing up its engineering facility at its South Guildford, Western Australia headquarters, to meet this demand, it said.

Swick Engineering has appointed an experienced senior mechanical engineer for the role of Production Manger that will manage the engineering business and oversee the efficient builds and rebuilds of the GenII drills.

Roy Hill contracts Pentium Hydro for more bores at iron ore mine site

Pentium Hydro’s specialised drill rigs will extend their stay at Roy Hill’s iron ore mine in the Pilbara of Western Australia after the Vysarn Ltd subsidiary received a notice of contract award for hydrogeological drilling from the miner.

The new contract, which follows on from a general works contract Roy Hill and Pentium signed back in 2019, comes with an estimated revenue based on the initial scope of work of around A$12 million ($9 million).

It also stipulates for the issue of individual work requests for the supply of one or more drill rigs and comes with a three-year and five-month contract term starting from January 1, 2021, with a one-year extension option by Roy Hill.

The scope of work as defined under the contract is to provide the drilling and installation of production, injection and monitoring bores to support mining and exploration activities across Roy Hill mine site locations within the Pilbara, Pentium said, with revenue from these works based on a schedule of rates.

Pentium currently has one dual rotary drill rig and associated ancillary equipment on a Roy Hill mine site working under the terms of the previous contract announced on November 1, 2019. This drill rig and/or similar drill rigs in the Pentium fleet will start the execution of the scope of work defined within the new contract from January 1, 2021.

JSW, BBURG HD2500RC drill rig impresses at Fortescue’s Solomon iron ore mine

JSW Australia’s ambition to leverage the latest drilling and automation technology is coming to fruition with the deployment of a new high powered, small footprint drill rig to Fortescue Metals Group’s Solomon iron ore mine in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The planned arrival of the HD2500RC was announced around a year ago.

Leveraging IDAT (Intelligent Drilling Applications & Technology) technology, developed by German manufacturer BBURG and customised in conjunction with IDAT, the rig underwent site commissioning in July and its initial production performance to date has been impressive, according to JSW.

The HD2500RC was designed especially for the challenging terrain at Solomon where the preparation of drill pads is difficult and expensive, the company says.

“With JSW’s years of experience on-site and first-hand knowledge of the challenges, along with IDAT’s technology expertise and BBURG’s engineering capability, we had a powerful collaboration for the development of the new rig,” JSW CEO, Warren Fair, says.

He said overall the rig was proving to be more productive, safer and quieter than the existing technology on site.

The HD2500RC joins other new technologies in JSW’s fleet including the Equus green drills developed specifically for bauxite mines and new drilling technology for magnetite mines being developed by IDAT in partnership with German manufacturer Bauer.

Fair concluded: “IDAT brings the technology, JSW brings the operational know-how. So far, it’s proving to be a winning formula.”

Capital bolsters Barrick Bulyanhulu work with laboratory, drilling contracts

Africa-focused mining services company, Capital, says it expanded its operations at Barrick Gold’s Bulyanhulu gold mine in Tanzania with the award of two new contracts for its drilling and geochemical laboratory services divisions.

The contracts include a five-year laboratory services contract for Capital’s MSALABS subsidiary, together with a two-year underground grade control drilling agreement.

Capital commenced operations at Bulyanhulu in February 2020, undertaking a complex deep hole delineation drilling program. The company’s execution of the program resulted in an expansion of services, with two underground rigs added to operations from May, it said. The new contract will expand the underground fleet at Bulyanhulu to four, using two rigs from the existing fleet and including the acquisition of a further two underground rigs.

MSALABS, meanwhile, will undertake initial laboratory design and deliver ongoing laboratory management and analysis services under the laboratory services contract. Analysis capabilities will include fire assay together with new Chrysos PhotonAssay technology that uses X-ray technology to determine the gold content of mineral ores more quickly and accurately than traditional methods.

The contract terms are expected to be finalised imminently for a five-year term, key personnel recruitment and training is now complete and initial commissioning processes are underway, Capital said, adding that the new contracts were scheduled to commence on December 1.

Stuart Thomson, MSALABS CEO, said: “We are excited to commence this new contract with Barrick to manage their on-site laboratory at the Bulyanhulu mine. The use of the ground-breaking new Chrysos PhotonAssay technology will significantly increase assay throughput at Bulyanhulu, while delivering a much faster sample turnaround time for Barrick.”

Capital’s Executive Chairman, Jamie Boyton, said: “We are very pleased to be expanding our services at the Bulyanhulu Gold Mine and continue our valued relationship with Barrick. It is particularly pleasing that our team’s successful execution of the initial deep hole drilling program has contributed to this expansion and we are now delivering multiple services at the site.

“This aligns to Capital’s growth strategy of expanding services with existing customers at established mine sites, with the laboratory services contract to contribute to an increase in the company’s non-drilling revenues.”

Varel becomes Terelion as it refocuses on mining sector

Varel Mining and Industrial is changing its name to Terelion, as the drilling company looks to focus solely on the mining sector.

The new brand will continue to design, manufacture, and deliver quality drill bits and complementary products for its blasthole drilling clients around the world, it said. Terelion is headquartered in Carrolton, Texas, USA, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sandvik Group.

“With the recent sale of their oil and gas division, Terelion has developed a new business strategy allowing them to focus solely on the mining industry,” the company said. “While rotary drill bits and down-the-hole products for surface mining will be the core part of their business, drill bits for water well, construction, and other industrial applications will also be included in the Terelion portfolio.”

Terelion’s President, David Harrington, said: “Terelion will continue to build on the proud heritage of the Varel brand. Refining our product line allows us to strengthen our R&D and marketing efforts, while continuing to supply world-class products and services for our mining customers.”

With an established presence in all the major surface mining markets around the world, the company is already well placed to serve its global customer base, it said. The company said it is looking forward to a phase of dynamic expansion, innovation and collaboration with stakeholders.