Tag Archives: gold

Redpath on board with Red 5’s Darlot, King of the Hills plan

Red 5 Ltd has awarded a mine development contract for its Darlot gold mine in Western Australia to Redpath Australia.

The contract, which has been awarded following the completion of a competitive tender process, is for 12 months with an option to extend at six-monthly intervals. The initial contract value is A$13 million ($9 million) and will be funded by cash flow from the Darlot operations.

The Redpath mining team and equipment have mobilised at site and underground mine development commenced on October 1, 2021.

Consistent with the revised Darlot mine plan and King of the Hills processing hub strategy announced on August 2, 2021 – which will see Darlot ore processed at the King of the Hills processing plant – Redpath will be undertaking 3 km of rapid underground mine development at Darlot, separate from the mining activities being conducted by Red 5’s existing mining teams. This will provide access to new mine areas in Burswood, Pedersen, Middle Waters South and Thompson that underpin Darlot’s current mine plan to June 2023, Red 5 says.

The option to extend the mine development contract would open further additional mining areas within Darlot’s 1.2 Moz underground mineral resource, the company says.

The recently announced transition strategy for Darlot will see it become an underground satellite mine to the King of the Hills Processing Hub, with the new processing plant expected to produce first gold in the June Quarter 2022. It will also see the processing capacity rise from the previously envisaged 4 Mt/y (for solely King of the Hills ore) to 4.7 Mt/y.

The investment in mine development at Darlot is a key aspect of the transition strategy at Darlot, reducing dependence on remnant mining and opening up new mine areas, the company says.

“The lower cost base of the King of the Hills processing hub has the potential to extend the Darlot underground mine life for several years,” it added.

Vast sees path forward at Manaila with help of TOMRA’s XRT ore sorting solution

Vast Resources says it is continuing to evaluate the recommencement of production at its Manaila polymetallic mine in Romania and, as part of this process, has been working with TOMRA to assess the suitability of X-ray Transmission (XRT) ore sorting technology to optimise the mine’s production profile.

The assessment has demonstrated, to date, that by installing an XRT machine at the plant to pre concentrate ore at the pit, the technology would be highly effective for three main reasons:

  • A reduction in transportation costs as improved mass reduction would significantly reduce the material being transported from the mine to the processing plant;
  • A reduction in processing costs due to reducing the throughput at the plant; and
  • Higher-grade product being delivered to the plant.

It is anticipated that processing and transportation costs could be reduced by up to 55%, according to Vast.

“This cost reduction could have a dramatic impact on the mine’s financial performance,” the company says.

Samples from both types of mineralisation at Manaila, massive sulphide and disseminated sulphide, were sent to the TOMRA Test Centre in Wedel, Germany, to ascertain improved mass reduction and grade upgrade potential. Both mineralisation types showed amenability to the XRT process with metal content recovery on the massive sulphides at 95.4% for copper, 93.6% for lead and 95.2% for zinc in 71% of the mass, the company explains. The disseminated sulphides returned a metal content recovery of 84.2% for copper, 67.2% for lead and 84.4% for zinc in 35% of the mass.

The combined results show that 93.1% of copper, 82.2% of lead and 92.4% of zinc metal could be recovered in 45% of the mass when mining the polymetallic ore on a ratio of three tonnes disseminated sulphide to one tonne of massive sulphide, being the typical historical ratio of mining at Manaila.

Andrew Prelea, Chief Executive Officer of the Vast Resources, says: “These results clearly underpin our view that Manaila is economically viable, and the management team are considering various mine plan scenarios of bringing Manaila back into production.”

The 138.6 ha Manaila-Carlibaba exploration licence contains a JORC 2012 compliant measured and indicated resource of 3.6 Mt at 0.93% Cu, 0.29% Pb, 0.63% Zn, 0.23 g/t Au and 24.9 g/t Ag with inferred resources of 1 Mt at 1.1% Cu, 0.4% Pb, 0.84% Zn, 0.24 g/t Au and 29.2 g/t Ag. Comprising the Manaila polymetallic mine (currently on care and maintenance) and the Carlibaba extension project, Vast intends to establish a larger mining and processing facility at Manaila-Carlibaba which would eliminate the need for costly road transport of mined ore to the existing processing facility located at Iacobeni, around 30 km away.

Preliminary studies by the company indicate the potential for a new open-pit mine to exploit mineral resources to a depth of some 125 m below surface, and to simultaneously develop a smaller higher-grade underground mine below the open-pit mineral resources.

Agnico Eagle and Kirkland Lake Gold merger to create ‘Canadian mining champion’

Agnico Eagle Mines and Kirkland Lake Gold have entered into an agreement to combine in a merger of equals, with the combined company to continue under the name Agnico Eagle Mines Limited.

The merger will establish the new Agnico Eagle as the gold industry’s highest-quality senior producer, with the lowest unit costs, highest margins, most favourable risk profile and industry-leading best practices in key areas of environmental, social and governance (ESG), the companies said.

Upon closing of the merger, the company is expected to have $2.3 billion of available liquidity, a mineral reserve base of 48 Moz of gold, (969 Mt at 1.53 g/t Au) – which has doubled over the last 10 years, and an extensive pipeline of development and exploration projects to drive sustainable, low-risk growth, they added. Expected production of the two companies for 2021 is approximately 3.4 Moz.

“The merger will create a best-in-class gold mining company operating in one of the world’s leading gold regions, the Abitibi-Greenstone Belt of north-eastern Ontario and north-western Quebec, with superior financial and operating metrics,” Agnico and Kirkland Lake said. “Consolidation within the Abitibi will also provide the new Agnico Eagle with significant value creation opportunities through synergies and other business improvement initiatives. Additionally, the company is established uniquely as the only gold producer in Nunavut and well positioned internationally with profitable and prospective assets in Australia, Finland and Mexico.”

The combined entity is also set to be a leader in energy performance and GHG emissions intensity, with a commitment to be Net Zero by 2050 or earlier, they said.

Under the merger agreement, which the Board of Directors of both companies have unanimously approved, the new Agnico Eagle will be led by a combined board and management team including Sean Boyd (Executive Chair), Tony Makuch (CEO), Ammar Al-Joundi (President), Jeffrey Parr (Vice-Chair of the Board) and Jamie Sokalsky (Lead Director).

The transaction is expected to close in December 2021 or in the March quarter of 2022.

Pursuant to the agreement, Kirkland Lake Gold shareholders will receive 0.7935 of an Agnico Eagle common share for each Kirkland Lake Gold common share held, implying a combined market capitalisation of approximately $24 billion. Upon closing, existing Agnico Eagle and Kirkland Lake Gold shareholders will own approximately 54% and 46% of the combined company, respectively.

Sean Boyd, Agnico Eagle’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “This merger starts a new chapter in Agnico Eagle’s 64-year history and creates the leading low risk global gold company with growing production, low costs and strong ESG leadership. The transaction creates a company with a strong platform of people, assets and financial resources to continue to build and operate a long-term sustainable and self-funding business.

“Kirkland Lake is an excellent cultural fit with Agnico Eagle, and we look forward to working together to further grow our business through exploration, mine development and optimisation of our high-quality asset base. Over time, we believe that the gold industry will continue to evolve and consolidate and with this transaction we are well positioned take advantage of high-quality opportunities and be a true Canadian mining champion.”

Tony Makuch, President and CEO of Kirkland Lake Gold, added: “We are very pleased and excited to be entering into a combination with Agnico Eagle. It is a unique ‘strength-on-strength’ transaction that combines the two global gold producers with the best track records for increasing per share value. The deal creates an industry leader with a dominant position in the Canadian market that is deserving of a premium valuation and is poised to generate superior long-term shareholder value going forward. The transaction represents a true merger of equals, with the business of both companies to benefit from the significant financial strength of the merged company, the extensive pipeline of development and exploration projects to drive future growth, and the potential to realize significant operational and strategic synergies along the Abitibi-Kirkland Lake corridor. It is the right deal for our company and its shareholders, our people, the communities where we operate, and all of our key stakeholder groups.”

Boliden invests $160 million in leaching plant, underground repository at Rönnskär

Boliden has opened a new leaching plant and underground repository at its Rönnskär operations in Sweden as it looks to extract additional metal from residual materials at the smelter and store any remaining waste in a sustainable way.

For many years, residual materials from smelting processes containing copper, zinc and lead, among other elements, have been stored temporarily at the Rönnskär site.

These residual materials, together with future residues from production, will from this point pass through the newly built leaching plant where further metal extraction will take place. The remaining material will then be transported straight down to the underground repository, which is located about 350 m below the site.

This will see Rönnskär become the only copper smelter in the world with a long-term, sustainable on-site storage solution, according to Boliden.

Investments in the two facilities have amounted to SEK 1.4 billion ($160 million), Boliden says.

Daniel Peltonen, President Boliden Smelters, says: “Our aim is to extract as much metal as possible from our raw materials while ensuring the best achievable environmental and climate performance. The investments we have now made represent a new chapter in Rönnskär’s history in both of these areas.”

Rönnskär produced 226,000 t of copper, along with 33,000 of zinc clinker, 28,000 t of lead, 506,000 t of sulphuric acid, 524,000 kg of silver and 14,000 kg of gold last year, according to Boliden.

MTS, Ericsson deploy Russia’s first commercial 5G-ready private network at Polymetal’s Nezhda

Mobile TeleSystems PJSC, a leading provider of media and digital services, has completed the construction and launch of operations of what it says is Russia’s first commercial 5G-ready Private network at Polymetal International plc’s Nezhdaninskoye gold deposit in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

The planned installation of the network, built on the Ericsson Dedicated Networks solution, was announced last year.

Within the project, MTS deployed a wireless network for Yuzhno-Verkhoyansk Mining Company JSC, affiliated with Polymetal. The network supports integrated mining dispatching systems, positioning, remote and automated control of various equipment, including excavators, drilling rigs, measuring devices, monitoring systems for remote equipment and video monitoring.

Within the project a full range of turnkey works and services has been implemented, including site inspection, network architecture design, supply and installation of radio base stations, network core and auxiliary equipment, network testing and commercial launch, MTS says. At the first stage, the network built on Ericsson solutions will operate in the LTE standard with the possibility of smooth and fast upgrade to 5G, according to the company.

The network is built on Ericsson Dedicated Networks solution, which complies with the 3GPP standards and includes a full-fledged carrier-grade network core. It supports 4G and 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) simultaneously and allows dual-mode core capability to support 5G New Radio Standalone (5G NR SA). An enterprise can use all the carrier grade packet network functions for its own mission-critical applications, MTS says.

Georgy Dzhabiev, Director, Digital Solutions, MTS, says: “We are grateful to our partner Polymetal for cooperation that resulted in the creation of the first commercial Private LTE network in Russia for remote monitoring and managing critical processes in difficult geographic and weather conditions. I am sure that the competence and experience of MTS in the implementation of unique network and IT solutions, digitalisation and automation of production processes will help our customers to increase their business efficiency and improve the working conditions.”

Alexander Laguta, Head of Information Technology and Communications department, Yakutsk branch of Polymetal, says: “The system is already showing its effectiveness and is ready to move to next stage of introducing innovative technologies in production. The Private 5G-ready network will significantly increase the speed of transferring large amounts of data and reduce the cost of maintaining the technological network. One of the first projects on the basis of this network will be launch of dispatching systems, remote control of drilling rigs and video monitoring.”

Alexander Romanov, Head of Private Networks, Ericsson Russia, says: “The Private Network is the backbone of critical communications infrastructure and the Industrial Internet of Things, not only in mining, but also in other industries with a high demand for seamless coverage, performance, security and reliability while supporting mission-critical business processes in a new digital reality.”

At the next stages of the project, the implementation of a dispatch radio communication system based on MC-PTT (Mission Critical Push-to-Talk) over LTE network is planned, along with integration with the internal telephone network of the enterprise.

Macmahon Holdings finalises Calidus Warrawoona gold project contract

Macmahon Holdings Ltd says it has now finalised a mining services contract with Calidus Resources Ltd for the Warrawoona gold project in Western Australia.

The news follows Macmahon’s selection as the preferred contractor for the project in 2020.

This contract involves the development of a new open-pit mine in the Pilbara region, with the scope of work for Macmahon expected to include all open-pit mining activities until December 2026. Macmahon anticipates the contract will generate revenue of approximately A$210 million ($154 million).

This contract is in addition to the early-stage civil works Macmahon is currently undertaking on site with 65 personnel. The company expects the main mining equipment to arrive on site in the March quarter of 2022, with the project to eventually employ around 120 Macmahon personnel.

Macmahon CEO and Managing Director, Michael Finnegan, said: “We are delighted to finalise this mining contract with Calidus Resources for its Warrawoona gold project, which follows on from the civil work we are currently undertaking on site. This contract will add approximately A$210 million to our order book and is a welcome addition to our growing portfolio of Western Australian gold projects. We have built a strong relationship with the Calidus team since we commenced on site earlier this year and look forward to developing this project with them.”

Mastermyne looks for hard-rock exposure with PYBAR Mining buy

Mastermyne has accelerated its hard-rock mining strategy with an agreement to acquire PYBAR Mining Services in a cash and share deal that comes with an expected equity purchase price of A$47 million ($35 million).

The acquisition for PYBAR Holdings, owner of PYBAR Mining Services, will see Mastermyne, a metallurgical coal-focused contractor, exposed to PYBAR’s gold, copper, zinc and lead-related revenues, it said.

The deal is expected to create a leading Australia-based diversified mining services business with material scale, it said, adding that the combined group will have a A$1.7 billion-plus order book and an active tender pipeline of A$2.7 billion-plus after completion.

To reflect the changing make up of revenues, Mastermyne is proposing to change its name to Metarock Group Ltd.

Mastermyne MD and CEO, Tony Caruso, said: “The PYBAR acquisition is highly complementary to Mastermyne’s existing underground business and expands the combined group’s addressable markets to support ongoing growth, in addition to increasing the earnings resilience of the group by diversifying our commodity exposure.”

PYBAR Mining Services was established in 1993 and has gone on to become one of Australia’s largest underground mining contractors, serving the likes of Glencore (Black Rock mine), Diversified Minerals (Dargues gold mine), Gold Fields (Hamlet North mine), Evolution Mining (Cowal gold mine), OZ Minerals (Carrapateena) and more.

It has a large fleet of equipment, which includes Sandvik DD421 and DD421i series drills, a fleet of Cat R1300, R1700, R2900 and Sandvik LH621i LHDs, Cat AD45V-AD60 sized trucks and several Sandvik TH663s haul trucks. It provides services such as mine development, raiseboring, mine production, shotcreting, cable bolting and production drilling.

Mastermyne says PYBAR will continue to operate as an independent business unit within the group with the existing management team should the deal go through.

Subject to Mastermyne shareholder approval and the satisfaction or waiver of other conditions associated with the transaction, Mastermyne anticipates the deal completing by the end of the year.

Cora Gold adds SENET, CSA Global and Epoch Resources to Sanankoro DFS team

Cora Gold Ltd has made key appointments related to the definitive feasibility study (DFS) it is carrying out on the Sanankoro gold project in southern Mali, bringing SENET, CSA Global and Epoch Resources into the study team, as well as naming Russell Bradford as Project Manager.

SENET, a DRA Global group company, has been appointed as independent project manager to oversee the critical elements of the DFS, while CSA Global, a member of the ERM group of companies, will be the geological and mining consultant, tasked with managing the updated mineral resource estimate and mining study. Epoch Resources has been appointed to oversee the tailings storage facility of the DFS.

The DFS will build upon the January 2020 scoping study, which outlined average annual production from Sanankoro of 45,632 oz.

Following positive metallurgical test work results in the second half of 2020, in addition to more recent positive drilling results, the company says it is likely it will look to focus on a conventional gravity/carbon in leach processing route at Sanankoro to allow higher recoveries.

Bert Monro, CEO of Cora Gold, said: “2021 has seen significant activity at Sanankoro with exceptional results reported from our largest ever drill campaign at the project. These results will support an updated mineral resource estimate in the coming months, which, in turn, will be used as the basis for our DFS aimed at outlining the optimum route to develop Sanankoro into a new gold mine in Mali.

“Last year’s scoping study highlighted the potential high returns for Sanankoro and fuelled our confidence in Sanankoro’s strong fundamentals, and the company looks forward to publishing the DFS in the first half of 2022.”

GR Engineering wins Mt Ida EPC contract from Aurenne Alt Resources

GR Engineering Services says it has executed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Aurenne Alt Resources Pty Ltd in relation to the Mt Ida gold project in Western Australia.

Mt Ida, which Aurenne inherited with the acquisition of Alt Resources last year, is in the eastern goldfields of the state.

GR Engineering said the contract sum is approximately A$73 million ($54 million) and work is expected to start immediately.

Geoff Jones, Managing Director of GR Engineering, said: “GR Engineering is pleased to have been awarded the EPC contract by Aurenne and we look forward to working collaboratively with the Aurenne team. This project further reinforces GR Engineering’s reputation as the leading gold EPC contractor in Australia.”

Alt Resources previously outlined the need for a 750,000 t/y processing facility at Mt Ida in a 2020 feasibility study prior to being acquired by Aurenne.

Newmont starts Rokion R400 battery-electric vehicle trial at Tanami

Newmont’s Tanami operation in the the Northern Territory of Australia has started trialling a new electric vehicle in its underground operations.

The Rokion R400 will initially be used to transport team members up and down the mine, the company said in a post on Facebook. The vehicle is equipped for the transport of 12 people and comes with a battery capacity of 100 kWh.

Newmont said the vehicle is fitted with good suspension and ergonomics, being designed for passenger comfort.

Early indicators show the vehicle has the capability to complete several trips to and from the bottom of the Tanami mine without requiring recharging, Newmont said.

“We hope the trial proves to be successful, and can become the starting point for the future of electric vehicles both light and heavy at Newmont Tanami,” it added.

This is not the first Canada-manufactured Rokion battery-electric vehicle to make an entrance in Australia. The company has previously tested both a Rokion R200 and Rokion R400 at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s Broadmeadow mine in Queensland.

Newmont, meanwhile, is in the process of expanding the Tanami operation through the Tanami Expansion 2 project. This is expected to increase the annual capacity of the processing site to 3.5 Mt/y, from 2.6 Mt/y, and extend the life of the mine beyond 2040.