Tag Archives: equipment rental

Scotgold rents Epiroc drill rig and LHD as it strives for Cononish milestone

Scotgold Resources is to receive a new Epiroc T1D drill rig and second-hand ST2G Scooptram after signing an agreement with Epiroc UK & Ireland Ltd.

The AIM-listed company, which also announced the full underground development team had returned to work at its Cononish gold and silver mine, in Scotland, said having a second unit of each machine reduced the mechanical availability risk associated with having single units required for Phase 1 production levels (36,000 t/y ore), and also meant only an additional truck is required for any future ramp up to Phase 2 (72,000 t/y ore).

“A further advantage is that the additional machinery will provide an opportunity to increase our training activities,” the company said, adding that both machines were being supplied on a rental with option to purchase basis.

The Epiroc Boomer T1 is a single-boom face drilling rig for narrow drifts and tunnels with cross sections up to 23 sq.m, according to Epiroc, while the ST2G Scooptram is a diesel-powered LHD with 4 t tramming capacity built for small-sized operations.

The current reserve of gold at Cononish is confined to a single narrow, near vertical quartz vein extending above and below the main access on 400 m level, which was originally developed for exploration purposes between 1989 and 1991. The mining method selected for the orebody is retreat, sublevel open stoping.

“This involves the mining of multiple horizontal drives along the orebody at 15 m vertical intervals,” the company said. “Long holes will then be drilled, up and down, between the drives and blasted out to form the stopes; loading out from the lowest level of each stope. Pillars will be left between stopes and at surface to ensure ground stability.”

The company has previously said, at peak production, the mine will operate two single boom drill rigs, two LHDs, two low profile dump trucks, in addition to a roof bolter and scaler.

In the update issued today, the company said blasting activities were being conducted at the mine following the return to work.

“These activities are being conducted in full compliance with the COVID-19 Safe Operating Procedures developed,” it said.

The mine’s former care and maintenance team, which includes around half of the current mining team, is now engaged with the remaining earthworks activities. These include the run of mine pad where gold bearing ore will be stockpiled, and the site and tailings stacks drainage system complete with a new settlement pond.

Critical path activities such as the process plant building, equipment installation and commissioning remain, it said.

Current activities are focused on the building column pads, floor slabs and the preassembly of equipment support infrastructure.

“These are progressing well and the company will provide further updates to the market, including a revised development schedule, in due course,” it said.

The company was previously planning to carry out first gold production earlier this year, but bad weather delays, particularly during January and February, exceeded the planned allowances. COVID-19-related stoppages have pushed this back again.

Richard Gray, CEO, said: “Our key focus is obviously the processing plant, but at the same time we are putting the pieces in place to ensure the long-term success of the mining operation and a reliable supply of ore to treat.”

When ramped up, Cononish is expected to average annual gold production of 23,370 oz over a nine-year life of mine.

Emeco to go underground with Pit N Portal acquisition

Emeco Holdings looks to have found an entry into the underground contract mining and equipment rental space after having signed an agreement to acquire Pit N Portal in a deal that comes with an enterprise value of A$72 million ($49 million).

The binding agreement would see Emeco acquire Pit N Portal Mining Services and Pit N Portal Equipment Hire, two entities that come with over 100 pieces of specialised underground mining equipment, over 500 pieces of infrastructure equipment and employs more than 300 people across strategic locations in Perth and Kalgoorlie and customer sites across Australia.

Emeco made this announcement on the same day it issued its 2020 financial half year results, which saw the company post revenue of A$246 million (up 10% year-on-year), operating EBITDA of A$119 million (up 16%) and operating EBIT of A$67 million (up 12%). The company has, in the last few years, acquired Force Equipment and Matilda Equipment as it looked to strengthen its equipment rental business in surface mining.

The consideration for the acquisition consists of A$62 million in cash and A$10 million in Emeco shares to the vendors, with the buy expected to be earnings per share accretive on a financial year 2019 pro-forma basis, post transaction.

Emeco Managing Director and CEO, Ian Testrow, said: “Pit N Portal allows Emeco to leverage its current core capabilities and expand into a new market. The underground mining sector is undoubtedly growing, and this represents an attractive adjacency for Emeco, providing Emeco with a solid platform for growth. Pit N Portal also provides us with significant commodity diversification by immediately more than doubling our gold exposure with strong opportunities for further growth in hard-rock projects.”

Established in 2002, Pit N Portal specialises in the provision of hard-rock underground mining equipment and services to the Australia underground mining sector. Core operations include equipment rental as well as mining services and maintenance solutions for underground mines. It operates the largest underground equipment rental fleet in Australia, according to Emeco.

Continued growth in Pit N Portal is expected post-completion driven by new project and scope expansion opportunities, with major projects’ earnings realised in the 2021 financial year.

“Pit N Portal’s key services add to the core of Emeco’s existing business, including equipment hire and maintenance solutions,” the company said. “Pit N Portal also adds a vast array of additional value-added services to its customers, providing a complete mining services offering.”

Steve Versteegen, Co-Founder and CEO of Pit N Portal, said: “I truly believe the combination of the two companies will help accelerate the growth of Pit N Portal and am excited by the opportunity to extend the application of what we do to the broader Emeco business.”

Emeco said the transaction provides a strong platform for Emeco to grow as a provider of underground mining services with a solid tender pipeline, particularly in Western Australia-based gold, nickel and base metals projects. There are also potential operational advantages through Pit N Portal’s strategically located workshops in Perth and Kalgoorlie, it added.

It would also significantly diversify Emeco’s commodity exposure, with gold more than doubling immediately to from 12% to 27% of Emeco’s revenue and becoming the number two exposure.

Pit N Portal is also focused on innovation and technology, with tele-remote and autonomous equipment and delivers a wide range of specialised services, the company said.