Tag Archives: EPCM

Newmont to add to Ghana gold production with Ahafo North development

Newmont Corp’s Board of Directors has approved advancing the Ahafo North project, in Ghana, into the execution phase, setting the company up to develop four open-pit mines and a standalone 3.7 Mt/y plant.

The project exceeds the company’s required internal rate of return, adding profitable production from the best unmined gold deposit in West Africa, it said.

Newmont President and CEO, Tom Palmer, said: “I am pleased to announce the approval of full funding for the Ahafo North project, expanding our existing footprint in Ghana and adding more than 3 Moz of gold production over an initial 13-year mine life. The development of this prolific orebody will leverage our proven operating model and will be supported by our existing world-class Ahafo South operation.

“The project will be developed and operated in a sustainable and responsible manner to create value for all our stakeholders.”

Located some 30 km north of Newmont’s existing Ahafo South operations (pictured) – which are expected to produce 515,000 oz of gold this year – Ahafo North’s production is expected to average approximately 275,000-325,000 oz/y with all-in sustaining costs of $600-$700/oz for the first five years. Projected capital costs are estimated to be between $750-$850 million with construction expected to be complete in the second half of 2023. At current gold prices, the project is expected to deliver more than a 30% internal rate of return, Newmont said.

The project will create approximately 1,800 jobs at the peak of construction with more than 550 permanent roles created once the mine is operational.

“Newmont will work to create lasting value for host communities through local sourcing and hiring,” the company said, adding that a key aspect of the Ahafo North project’s workforce planning will be a target to achieve gender parity in the workforce when operations begin.

The full scope of funding will be deployed to high-impact activities, including but not limited to finalising engineering and EPCM services, relocating the national highway and support of additional resettlement activities, mining development for four open pits, constructing and commissioning a 3.7 Mt/y plant, constructing a tailings and wastewater management storage facility, long-lead sourcing including the acquisition of 14 Caterpillar 770 haul trucks.

Fluor celebrates BHP South Flank iron ore achievements

Days after BHP achieved “first ore” at its South Flank iron ore development in Western Australia, Fluor’s Mining & Metals business has announced its construction delivery scope has been achieved on budget and on schedule at the $3.6 billion operation.

The project is the largest iron ore processing facility ever built in Western Australia, according to Fluor.

Together with the existing Mining Area C, it will form the largest operating iron ore hub in the world – producing 145 Mt/y of iron ore, according to BHP.

The engineering firm provided engineering, procurement and construction management support on the project, which includes an 80 Mt/y crushing and screening plant, state-of-the-art overland conveyor systems and rail-loading facilities. Construction began in July 2018.

Tony Morgan, President of Fluor’s Mining and Metals business, said: “It is always very gratifying and rewarding to see a project of this magnitude completed on time and on budget.

“We are proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish with BHP from the pre-construction feasibility study to improving the project’s capital efficiency, optimising costs and schedules, and hiring indigenous and local team members. All of this was accomplished while navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Quinton Brand, BHP’s Head of Western Australia Major Projects, said: “We would like to thank the entire Fluor team from the design engineers to the fabrication and construction teams. Fluor made an important contribution to the delivery of South Flank’s first ore.”

juwi South Africa to build solar PV plant at Pan African’s Evander Mines

Pan African says it has entered into an engineering, procurement and construction (EPCM) agreement with juwi South Africa to construct its 9.975 MW solar photovoltaic plant at Evander Mines in the country.

Construction will commence in the March quarter of 2021, with first power expected in the September quarter of 2021, it said.

Part of the international juwi Group, juwi South Africa is one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies. To date, juwi South Africa has built six utility scale solar plants totalling 207 MW under the South African Government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme, Pan African said.

The Evander Mines solar photovoltaic plant will utilise bi-facial module technology to maximise its yield and it will be constructed on previously disturbed land owned by Evander Mines, Pan African said. The plant will provide an estimated 30% of Elikhulu’s power requirement during daylight hours and is expected to materially reduce electricity costs at this operation. Furthermore, the Evander solar photovoltaic plant is expected to enhance the reliability of the power supply during daylight hours and result in an expected CO2 saving of more than 26,000 tonnes in its first year of its operation.

Elikhulu has capacity to process an estimated 1 Mt/mth of tailings with a projected output of approximately 55,000 oz/mth of gold.

The total cost of the Evander solar photovoltaic plant is ZAR140 million ($9.4 million), with a calculated payback on this investment of less than five years, Pan African said.

“This solar photovoltaic plant further reduces Elikhulu’s environmental impact and is just one of a number of initiatives in the group’s commitment to producing high-margin ounces in a safe and efficient manner, while investing in local communities and minimising the environmental impact of operations,” it added.

Pan African is also assessing the merits of expanding the Evander Mines solar photovoltaic plant in due course to provide for a clean energy feed to its Egoli project, and of a similar solar photovoltaic plant at the group’s Barberton Mines operations.

Pan African CEO, Cobus Loots, said: “The Evander Mines solar photovoltaic plant is integral to the group’s purpose of ‘Mining for a Future’ and pursuing ESG initiatives that go beyond compliance. This plant will be one of the first of its kind in the South African mining space. We look forward to commissioning the operation during 2021, on budget and on schedule.”

Wood to deliver EPCM contract at IAMGOLD’s Côté Gold project

Wood, the global engineering and consulting company, has confirmed it will deliver the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract for the $1.3 billion Côté Gold open-pit mine for operator IAMGOLD Corp, supported by JV partner Sumitomo Metal Mining.

Côté is a world-class deposit located in northern Ontario, with estimated contained gold reserves of over 7 Moz. IAMGOLD wants to develop the site to be a model of a modern Canadian mine as it seeks to efficiently unlock the reserves, with Wood providing EPCM services for the project. This project is anticipated to generate over 1,000 jobs during construction and 450 during operations.

Dave Lawson, President, Mining & Minerals at Wood, said: “This project strengthens our relationship with IAMGOLD as a trusted full life cycle delivery partner and it solidifies Wood’s position as a global leader in the development of gold mines.

“Beginning with work on the initial scoping study in 2011, we have worked closely with IAMGOLD to guide the project toward successful execution, helping to identify more than $450 million of improvements in net present value. We were able to do so because of our unrivalled expertise in gold extraction technology having worked on some of the largest and most technically complex gold projects in the world.”

Over the last eight years, Wood has been working with IAMGOLD in every aspect of the project, adding, it says, value at every stage with innovative design and project delivery solutions. Wood’s latest scope of work includes engineering, procurement and construction management for the 36,000 t/d conventional gold processing plant, tailings and water management.

Gordon Stothart, President and CEO of IAMGOLD, said: “We are pleased to move to construction on the Côté Gold Project with our long-time engineering partner Wood. We look forward to bringing this project from concept to reality with their team.”

The Côté project is expected to expand IAMGOLD’s production profile for future growth, by bringing greater geographic diversity and a reduction in costs – enabling sustainable reserve growth and supply stability as demand factors shift in an uncertain environment, Wood said.

Construction of the gold mine commenced in late 2020, and is expected be completed in mid-2023. It is expected to leverage both autonomous drilling and haulage technology.

DRA under budget and ahead of schedule at NST’s Jundee expansion project

DRA Global says it has completed its engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract under budget and ahead of time for Northern Star Resources at the Jundee gold mine, near Wiluna, Western Australia.

The Jundee mining operation is situated in the Northern Yandal Greenstone Belt, with the mine yielding a record 300,000 oz for Northern Star in the year ending June 30, 2020.

Jundee’s processing circuit comprises a two-stage crushing circuit, SAG and ball mill, and conventional carbon-in-leach plant. The ball mill upgrade, undertaken by DRA, increased processing plant capacity to a nominal design throughput rate of 2.7 Mt/y, from 2.2 Mt/y.

DRA delivered the EPCM project scope under budget and ahead of time, with ore commissioning achieved some six weeks ahead of schedule in a total duration of 35 weeks, it said.

“DRA’s project team achieved this outcome by working in close collaboration with the Northern Star project and operations team, the equipment vendors and construction sub-contractors,” it said.

Delivery of the project required overcoming challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, including risk mitigation strategies being initiated to maintain the accelerated project schedule, according to the company.

Northern Star’s General Manager Processing, Simon Tyrrell, said DRA had consistently met and exceeded performance expectations through a collaborative approach to the Jundee ball mill project delivery.

DRA was engaged on the EPCM contract after having completed an engineering and cost study which included scope definition, design, planning, capital and operating cost estimation. The project follows several previous plant upgrades and studies successfully completed by DRA at the Jundee gold mine, which have contributed towards the continuous production growth seen at the mine over the last four-to-five years, DRA said.

The process plant shutdown and tie-in of the new ball mill was performed in conjunction with the Northern Star operations team and contractors without incident, and the process plant has since ramped up to run consistently above nameplate design capacity, the company added.

Clean TeQ spells out battery raw materials potential of Sunrise project

Clean TeQ Holdings and Fluor Australia have come up with a Project Execution Plan (PEP) for the Sunrise Battery Materials project in New South Wales, Australia, that, Clean TeQ says, confirms the asset’s status as one of the world’s lowest cost, development-ready sources of critical battery raw materials.

This builds on a 2018 definitive feasibility study on Sunrise that modelled the first 25 years of production at the project.

In production, it will be a major supplier of nickel and cobalt to the lithium-ion battery market, and scandium to the aerospace, consumer electronics and automotive sectors, according to Clean TeQ.

The PEP scope of works included a range of studies which have optimised metal production rates while holding autoclave ore feed constant at the approved maximum 2.5 Mt/y, it said. This saw average annual (metal equivalent) production rates of 21,293 t of nickel and 4,366 t of cobalt in years two to 11; and 18,439 t of nickel and 3,179 t of cobalt from year two to 25.

On top of this, the PEP considered a scandium oxide refining capacity of up to 20 t/y installed from year three, which can readily be expanded to 80 t/y with around A$25 million ($18 million) capital expenditure on additional refining capacity.

“As the scandium market grows, future investment in a dedicated resin-in-pulp scandium extraction circuit and further refining capacity offers the potential to increase by-product scandium production to up to approximately 150 tonnes per annum,” Clean TeQ said.

The pre-production capital cost estimate of $1.658 billion (excluding $168 million estimated contingency) reflects a significantly de-risked capital cost, with approximately 79% of total equipment and materials costs covered by vendor quotations, Clean TeQ said. Submissions were also obtained from contractors to validate the labour costs included in the total direct cost.

On the operating expenditure side, C1 costs came in at $4.31/Ib ($9,503/t) of nickel before by-product credits in years 2-11 and $4.58/Ib before by-product credits over years 2-25.

Using weighted average forecast (metal equivalent) sulphate prices over the life of mine of $24,200/t (including sulphate premium) for nickel and $59,200/t of cobalt, the project would generate a post-tax net present value of $1.21 billion, the company said.

Future value optimisation studies to assess opportunities to reduce capital expenditure in areas of off-site pre-assembly, modularisation and low-cost offshore procurement could further improve this return, it said.

The PEP assumed the project execution on an engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) basis. Prior to making a final investment decision, Clean TeQ will select an EPCM contractor for the engineering, procurement and construction phase of the project, it said.

Clean TeQ Co-Chairman, Robert Friedland, said: “Auto supply chains are coming to realise they are playing a game of nickel and cobalt musical chairs. We are half-way through the second verse and the music will eventually stop.

“We have a clear vision for how to create a sustainable auto supply chain of the future. Our team is proud to present that vision today. Sunrise is a long-life, low-cost, development-ready asset which is a template for consistent, sustainable and auditable nickel and cobalt supply. We cannot anticipate how long it will take to have the project funded and in development, but we can be patient with such a strategically important asset, and we are fully committed to ensuring it is developed with partners who understand the value that responsible supply chain integration brings.”

Although the level of activity associated with the PEP study and engineering works will now significantly reduce, Clean TeQ said a range of work-streams will continue in order to progress a number of value-adding deliverables aimed at minimising project restart time once funding is secured:

  • Work will be progressed on the long-lead electrical transmission line (ETL) work scope. The ETL application to connect to the NSW electrical grid is currently in progress and will continue through the 2021 financial year;
  • Progressing ongoing commercial discussions with landowners, local councils, the New South Wales state government and other impacted parties required for land access agreements for key infrastructure including the water pipeline and the ETL;
  • Surveying and planning for autoclave and oversize equipment transport routes to site;
  • Preliminary investigations to be undertaken on exploration licences for limestone resources, a key process reagent for which the company currently has a supply contract in place with a third party;
  • Test work and engineering assessing opportunities for potential further downstream processing of sulphates into battery precursor materials;
  • Ongoing environmental work including monitoring and compliance reporting;
  • The Sunrise Community Consultative Committee will be maintained along with several local community engagement/support programs; and
  • A range of scandium alloy development programs will continue to be progressed, consistent with Clean TeQ’s long term strategy to work with, and assist, industry players to investigate and develop new applications for scandium-aluminium alloys.

DRA to design, supply and construct SOP processing plant for Kalium Lakes

DRA Global says it has been awarded the engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the Kalium Lakes-owned Beyondie sulphate of potash (SOP) project in Western Australia.

The scope of work will be the design, supply, and construction of the 90,000 t/y SOP processing plant, with a provision for future expansion to 180,000 t/y, the company said.

“As a total solutions partner, the awarding of the Beyondie EPC contract highlights the confidence in DRA’s specialised expertise,” Greg McRostie, Executive Vice President of DRA Global in APAC, said. “We are excited to be partnering with Kalium Lakes Limited on this innovative Australian project.”

DRA was already involved with the purification plant at Beyondie, having been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction management contract last year.

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.”

GR Engineering to grow Americas footprint with Hanlon Engineering buy

GR Engineering Services has entered into an agreement to acquire Hanlon Engineering & Associates Inc as it looks to grow its existing footprint within the Americas.

Hanlon, based in Arizona, USA, is a multi-disciplinary engineering services firm that provides engineering, procurement and construction management services to the mining sector in North America. It was established in 1999 and employs around 40 people. Hanlon also has a satellite office in Elko, Nevada.

Among the list of mining companies Hanlon has carried out work for is Agnico Eagle Mines, Barrick Gold, BHP, Freeport McMoRan Hecla Mining and Newmont.

GR Engineering’s Managing Director, Geoff Jones, said the acquisition of Hanlon was aligned with GR Engineering’s growth strategy.

“We are pleased to be acquiring the Hanlon business,” Jones said. “Hanlon has a strong local brand with an excellent safety record and longstanding relationships with major mining clients. Hanlon has an experienced management team capable of taking advantage of the numerous growth opportunities that exist in the Americas.”

Based on Hanlon’s current workflow, identified growth prospects and GR Engineering’s existing pipeline of work in the Americas, GR Engineering anticipates the business will immediately contribute to GR Engineering’s revenue and become earnings per share accretive for the company in the financial year ending 30 June 2021.

The acquisition remains subject to the satisfaction of several conditions precedent customary for an agreement of this nature. It is anticipated that the acquisition will be completed by the end of February.

BHP’s South Flank on course for 2021 first iron ore deadline

Fluor says BHP’s $3.6 billion South Flank iron ore project, in the Pilbara of Western Australia, is on track for first ore in 2021, with the engineering firm having erected the first 1,500 t of modules in the ore handling plant.

This construction milestone is in the critical sequence to first ore and comes after achieving 50% project completion, announced by BHP in October 2019, Fluor said.

Fluor is providing engineering, procurement and construction management services on South Flank.

In December, Mammoet said it had started transporting the first heavy components for the under-construction mine, with around 1,900 items including prefabricated and modular mine processing plant units of various sizes set to be moved from Port Hedland to the new mine site.

When operational, South Flank will be one of the largest iron ore processing hubs in the world. The project will include an 80 Mt/y crushing and screening plant, an overland conveyor system and rail-loading facilities. The mine will replace production from BHP’s Yandi mine, which is nearing the end of its life.

South Flank engineering and procurement work is being performed from BHP’s office in Perth, with Fluor working together with BHP as an integrated project team, it said.

Tony Morgan, President of Fluor’s Mining and Metals business, said: “We are extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish with BHP on this project including our commitment to achieve diversity through the hiring of indigenous and local team members.

“The pioneering integrated team approach on this project is truly a collaborative effort. We look forward to continuing our long and successful relationship with BHP on this project and beyond.”

Richard Gerspacher, Project Director, said: “Based on the project routines and culture we’ve created, I am confident that the project will continue to proceed in a positive manner as we work towards first ore.”

Fluor previously performed the feasibility study for the project before it was awarded the follow-on construction and project management scope. Over the life of the project, it is expected that more than 9,000 people will be engaged in the South Flank work force.

Construction began in July 2018 and first production of iron ore is anticipated in 2021.