Tag Archives: Gold Road Resources

Gekko installs OLGA, Carbon Scout solutions at Gruyere as part of collaborative project

Gekko Systems, as part of a collaborative project to collect and analyse real-time gold reconciliations and automate gold processing plants, has installed its OLGA and Carbon Scout solutions at the Gruyere gold mine in Western Australia.

In October 2020, METS Ignited Industry Growth Centre announced the consortium of Gold Fields, Orway IQ, CSIRO, Curtin University and Gekko Systems as recipients of the Tranche 4 Collaborative Project Funds. The METS Ignited funding will assist the development of this project.

In a world-first, the project draws together a range of technologies, including the Gekko OLGA and Carbon Scout, and skill sets that are the first step to truly understanding what is happening in a gold production plant in real time and will eventually lead to a fully autonomous gold plant, Gekko said.

Gekko recently installed the OLGA and Carbon Scout at Gruyere (a joint venture between Gold Fields and Gold Road Resources), the site where the project will become reality.

“The Gekko OLGA and Carbon Scout will revolutionise the industry’s ability to measure gold circuit inventory and recovery in real time, move it into the digital world and provide opportunity for full automation,” Gekko said.

OLGA is a world first on-stream analyser designed to continuously read low grade gold grades in slurries and solutions, giving operations the ability to see and control their plants in real time, the company says. The alternative traditional sampling methods involve significant delays – of up to one or two days for feedback.

The Carbon Scout is a self-contained, ground-level sampling system to improve carbon concentration measurements in carbon-in-leach and carbon-in-pulp circuits to an accuracy of ±0.5 grams of carbon per litre of pulp. Uniquely, multiple other data points include slurry density, pH, DO and gold loading on carbon, Gekko explained. Data profiles are provided in every tank, every hour.

“The combination of OLGA and Carbon Scout, supported by the Gekko Sample Delivery System, means all CIL/CIP sampling can be done conveniently and safely at ground level,” it said. “Each tank is sampled by a patented pumpless delivery system. All samples in the plant including leach feed and tails will be delivered through this system to potentially alleviate the need for expensive cross-cut samples.”

The team of Orway IQ will deliver the data through the Trinity program. With the MillROC data system and the Gekko technical team using the data for system analytics.

The ultimate aim of the project is to have gold process and recovery data being analysed within minutes rather than days from anywhere in the world and for production to be adapted to reflect this data, Gekko said.

Gold Road energises UEA renewables hub at Yamarna exploration camp

Gold Road Resources’ Renewable Energy Hub at its Yamarna exploration camp in Western Australia, designed and delivered by Unlimited Energy Australia, is now operating on renewable energy.

The hub was officially opened by WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Bill Johnston, at the end of last year.

The 187 kW system is comprised of a surface-mounted photovoltaic (PV) solar array including up to 580 solar panels with 60 cells each, combined with a 408 kWh TESVOLT lithium-ion energy storage system.

Unlimited Energy said the drive for this custom-designed system was the requirement to offset the use of existing on-site diesel generators, thereby reducing the associated carbon emissions, as well as the cost of diesel and related logistics and maintenance costs.

In this regard, the hub can reduce diesel runtime from 24 hours to 2.4 hours, producing in excess of 1 MWh of renewable energy every day, according to Unlimited Energy.

Sharon Goddard, General Manager – Social Performance & External Relations Gold Road Resources, said: “The minimum impact on the environment, modular design, ability to relocate, economic viability and extendibility of the system are the main benefits that led Gold Road to install Unlimited Energy Australia’s renewable energy solution.”

The modular energy hub design enabled fabrication to be completed off-site, thereby minimising installation time on the remote site, as well as the ability to relocate or repurpose the system to meet a variety of potential future exploration needs if required, according to Unlimited Energy.

In the early stages of the project, Unlimited Energy developed an Energy Optimisation Plan. Decisions pertaining to the technology solution, system sizing and installation were derived from the substantial amounts of load and demand data collected from the site.

Unlimited Energy Australia’s CEO, George Zombori, said: “We design energy solutions that meet the specific needs of our clients and make good economic sense. Tracking a client’s usage patterns is critical in designing a solution which drives energy and cost saving strategies.”

The company added: “The innovative design significantly expedited the installation process delivering a system that is reliable, re-deployable, modular and scalable.”

Torsten Ketelsen, Managing Director Unlimited Energy Australia, said: “We know that there is a perception that battery storage technology is an emerging technology, so eliminating the risk was of utmost importance to us. Our TESVOLT technology selection ensures one of the safest battery cells on the market, long-term performance warranties and batteries that have been tried and tested in conditions common in such remote Australian locations.

“Our successful deployment of this system will certainly provide confidence to the resources sector that these technologies are now readily available, technically advanced and economically viable to serve their energy needs.”

MACA increases open-pit scale by acquiring Downer EDI’s Mining West business

MACA has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Downer EDI Limited’s Mining West business in a deal that could involve a consideration of A$175 million ($132 million).

Just last week, MACA said it was considering the potential purchase of Downer EDI Limited’s Mining West division as part of a stated plan to explore and pursue growth opportunities that will deliver “value to shareholders on an ongoing basis”.

The Mining West business currently comprises four large contracts at the long-life assets of Karara (Ansteel), Eliwana (Fortescue Metals Group), Cape Preston (CITIC Pacific) and Gruyere (Gold Fields, Gold Road Resources).

MACA’s CEO and Managing Director, Mike Sutton, said the acquisition provided MACA with a very meaningful addition of a large-scale mining fleet currently engaged across these projects. This comprises 14 excavators and shovels, 65 dump trucks, 11 surface drills and 36 other ancillary machines.

The fleet being acquired is currently fully utilised, or in the process of being deployed to projects, with the equipment having mixed life (with machines being on average mid-life). MACA says its due diligence has confirmed the machines are in good working order, having been well maintained by Mining West’s internal plant department.

With the inclusion of Mining West, MACA now has total contracted work in hand of over A$3.4 billion, which provides a robust revenue base well past its 2025 financial year, Sutton added.

Solar and gas power to energise Gruyere gold mine expansion

APA Group has been contracted to expand the power generation capability of the Gruyere gold project, in Western Australia, as part of a contract that will include the addition of a renewable energy hybrid microgrid, solar power and battery energy storage system.

This news came within Gold Road Resources Limited’s and Gruyere Mining Company’s report on power expansion initiatives at Gruyere, a 50:50 joint venture between Gold Road and Gold Fields, around 200 km east of Laverton.

APA has been contracted to install an additional 4 MW reciprocating gas-fired engine by mid-2021 (Phase 1) and build, own and operate a 13 MWp solar farm and 4.4 MW battery-energy storage system by the end of 2021 (Phase 2) under the existing Electricity Supply Agreement (ESA) that runs until November 2033.

The cost of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 expansion will be amortised over the term of the ESA and is forecast at A$32-38 million ($24-28 million). Phase 1 and Phase 2 will increase the installed power capacity at Gruyere to 64 MW.

The benefits of the sustainable power expansion at Gruyere include:

  • Reduction of carbon emissions by an estimated 16,000 t/y CO2-e;
  • Anticipated 5% power supply unit cost saving (MWh), at current gas market prices;
  • Ameliorating gas power generation capacity constraints, including the derating of gas engine performance at high ambient temperatures;
  • Enable increased plant throughput up to the target of 10 Mt/y;

Gold Road Managing Director and CEO, Duncan Gibbs, said: “Gold Road is proud to be part of this green energy initiative. We have long stated our intention to be an ESG leader, and this initiative follows on from the recent commissioning of a solar and battery power solution at our Yamarna exploration facility.

“The power expansion at Gruyere provides an elegant technical solution that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, decreases costs and enables an increase in plant capacity up to a targeted 10 Mt/y from the current nameplate design of 8.2 Mt/y. This will not only see increased annual cash flow generation for the business, but it will help drive additional unit cost reductions as Gruyere is further defined as a Tier One, low cost and long-life gold producer.”

Gold Fields Executive Vice President, Stuart Mathews, said: “The installation of renewables as part of our total power solution at Gruyere reflects Gold Fields’ strategic objective to strengthen energy security, optimise energy costs and reduce our carbon footprint through the adoption of innovative new technologies. The success of the recently completed renewable energy projects at our Agnew and Granny Smith mines has given Gold Fields the confidence to ramp up use of these technologies across our global operations.”

Gold Road and Gold Fields achieve Gruyere first pour

Gold Road Resources and Gold Fields have announced the first gold bar pour from the jointly-owned Gruyere gold project in Western Australia.

The three doŕe gold bars totalling an estimated 1,139 oz were produced from the carbon‐in‐leach (CIL) and elution circuits, with the inaugural pour in line with the June quarter estimates. The companies noted that commissioning of the less complex gravity circuit was in progress.

Gold Fields Executive Vice President, Stuart Mathews, said: “The pouring of the first gold at a global Tier 1 gold mine like Gruyere is a significant achievement. Gruyere is a tremendous asset based on a world‐class orebody and a forecast long mine life. The Gruyere JV’s focus now shifts to the safe and successful ramp‐up to nameplate capacity to allow us to deliver full value to all stakeholders.

“I would like to acknowledge the outstanding safety performance of the construction team which achieved 3 million construction hours without a lost time injury.”

Gold Road Managing Director and CEO, Duncan Gibbs, said the gold pour is a significant milestone given the Gold Road team discovered the Gruyere orebody less than six years ago.

“Our work is far from done – we remain committed to exploring the highly prospective Yamarna Greenstone Belt to unlock the potential through the discovery of more resource ounces for Gruyere and new discoveries that could be developed as stand‐alone gold mines. I want to thank the entire Gold Road team and our Gruyere JV partner, Gold Fields, for the safe and successful delivery of first gold at Gruyere.”

With the delivery of first gold bars, the focus now turns to commissioning of the final components of the process plant, in particular the ball mill, which is anticipated to be completed early in the September quarter. Commissioning of the gravity gold recovery circuit is in progress and follows reinstallation of pipe work required for the safe operation of the circuit, the companies said. Gold production will continue until the ball mill is fully operational and is integrated into the circuit.

During the commissioning and initial stages of ramp‐up, lower grade stockpiled ore will be processed to reduce gold losses associated with lower recoveries anticipated as the plant operations are stabilised.

Commencement of the operation of the ball mill will mark the start of an anticipated ramp‐up period of six to seven months. The Gruyere JV forecasts attaining commercial production mid‐way through the ramp‐up period, with anticipated gold production for 2019 to be between 75,000-100,000 oz.

The final forecast capital cost estimate remains in line with the previously announced A$621 million ($428 million).

Gruyere’s life‐of‐mine average annual production is forecast at approximately 300,000 oz/y at average all‐in sustaining Costs over a 12‐year life of approximately A$1,025/oz.

Gold Road and Gold Fields Gruyere JV on track for June quarter pour

Gold Road Resources and Gold Fields’ jointly-owned Gruyere gold project in Western Australia is on track to pour first gold in the June quarter, the companies said in a construction and commissioning update this week.

Construction of the project, around 200 km east of Laverton in WA, was 91.2% complete as of January 18, 2019, with first ore mined on schedule this month. Downer, the mining contractor, has commenced double‐shift operations as part of the production ramp‐up, the companies said.

Gruyere is expected to produce 85,000-120,000 oz of gold in 2019. Once steady state production is achieved, the average annual production is forecast at 300,000 oz.

To de‐risk the project start‐up, a significant amount of ore is expected to be stockpiled in advance of first gold production, the companies noted, adding that construction works in the primary crusher area were substantially complete. Ore commissioning of the primary crusher to coarse ore stockpile circuit is in progress, they said.

The remaining process plant construction works are concentrated in the milling, carbon-in-leach and elution areas, and include piping, electrical and instrumentation installations and progressive commissioning of systems and equipment through these areas.

The project team at Gruyere includes a joint venture EPC contractor, Amec Foster Wheeler Civmec Joint Venture, MACA Ltd, which is carrying out bulk earthworks at Gruyere, and Downer EDI, which was previously awarded a five-year mining services contract.

Gold Road and Gold Fields said the project remained on schedule for first gold production in the June quarter and within previously announced forecast total cost estimates of A$621 million ($445 million).