Tag Archives: GR Engineering Services

GR Engineering to deliver feasibility study on Ta Khoa nickel project

Blackstone Minerals Ltd has appointed GR Engineering Services Ltd (GRES) as the primary consultant in the delivery of the Upstream Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for its Ta Khoa nickel project (TKNP), in Vietnam.

As the primary consultant, GRES will focus on the delivery of major workstreams including process infrastructure, metallurgical test work and co-disposal tailings storage. GRES will also coordinate, collaborate with and collate information from other key workstreams including mining studies, Blackstone said.

Blackstone says GRES has a proven track record and relevant experience to deliver the TKNP DFS, having completed a DFS for OZ Minerals on its West Musgrave nickel project and completed engineering, procurement and construction work on the Cosmos Expansion project (Western Areas Ltd), the Nova Nickel project (now IGO Ltd), the Cosmic Boy nickel project (Western Areas) and the Sinclair nickel project (now Northern Star Resources Ltd).

Further, GRES provides full life-cycle engineering services from feasibility studies through to delivery of projects under both EPC and engineering, procurement and construction management models, Blackstone said.

Scott Williamson, Blackstone’s Managing Director, said: “GRES adds to an already impressive team of engineers that are contributing to the design and development of the Ta Khoa Project.

“Blackstone continues to de-risk its development strategy both from a technical and funding perspective, and looks forward to updating the market as we take key steps towards a final investment decision.”

The TKNP is 160 km west of Hanoi in the Son La Province of Vietnam and includes an existing modern nickel mine built to Australian standards, which is currently being used to process nickel ore delivered by the underground bulk sample program, the company said. The Ban Phuc nickel mine successfully operated as a mechanised underground nickel mine from 2013 to 2016.

In February 2022, Blackstone completed a prefeasibility study for the TKNP, and presented this on an integrated basis with the proposed Ta Khoa Refinery (TKR) development. The TKR is being designed to have a refining capacity of 400,000 t/y, with feedstock provided from a combination of concentrate from the TKNP and third-party feed sources.

GR Engineering to refurb and upgrade Cosmos nickel concentrator

GR Engineering Services Ltd is set to carry out an upgrade of the existing nickel concentrator at the Cosmos Nickel Operations, owned by Western Areas Ltd, after signing an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with one of the miner’s subsidiaries.

The project is 30 km north of Leinster in Western Australia.

Western Areas says it has plans to refurbish and expand the concentrator to achieve 900,000 t/y throughput. In its most recent quarterly report, it said long lead items for the project had been identified with ordering taking place in the December quarter. Most of the plant refurbishment and upgrade is due to commence in the March quarter of 2022.

The contract sum is A$48 million ($36 million) and GR Engineering has commenced work immediately, the contractor said.

Geoff Jones, Managing Director, said: “GR Engineering has a long history of working with the Western Areas management team and have a strong track record of delivering projects for Western Areas on time and on budget. GR Engineering is excited to work with Western Areas on another important project and we are looking forward to delivering safe and successful outcomes for the project.”

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.

Bardoc and GR Engineering get to work on optimising gold processing plant plan

Bardoc Gold has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with GR Engineering Services that confirms its status as preferred tenderer for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the processing facility and associated infrastructure at the Bardoc gold project near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

The appointment of GRES as preferred tenderer represents another significant step for Bardoc as work continues to accelerate on key project optimisation strategies aimed at streamlining the mining and production schedule, growing the production rate and improving project economics and returns, Bardoc said.

It follows Bardoc recently initiating a Cash-flow Optimisation Study, which is aimed at increasing the forecast production rate, margins and cashflow of the project. The definitive feasibility study, published earlier in the year, outlined a 2.1 Mt/y project with average annual gold sales of 135,760 oz over 8.2 years of mill production.

The LoI contemplates Bardoc working closely with GRES to complete the optimisation work currently underway as the company moves towards project financing and a Final Investment Decision before the end of the year.

Further updates on the optimisation work will be provided in the coming weeks, with results expected to be provided to the market by the end of August, Bardoc said.

GR Engineering has recently completed the construction of several comparable processing plants in Western Australia, according to Bardoc.

Progressing from the current LoI to a formal EPC contract will be subject to various conditions, including board approvals, project financing, statutory approvals and final contractual pricing and terms.

Bardoc Gold CEO, Robert Ryan, said: “Bardoc is moving rapidly towards the development of a new high-quality, high-margin gold project near Kalgoorlie. The competitive EPC tender process has drawn a number of quality submissions, reflecting the rapid progression of the Bardoc Gold Project and the high-quality work completed as part of the definitive feasibility study.

“The appointment of GR Engineering marks another key step in the development of the project and establishes an important relationship with a leading design and construction group. We look forward to working with the GRES team over the coming weeks and months.”

GR Engineering to help double processing capacity at NSR’s Thunderbox

GR Engineering Services says it has executed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Northern Star Resources in relation to the Thunderbox 6 Mt/y expansion project in Western Australia.

Located 45 km south of Leinster, the Thunderbox operations currently have a 3 Mt/y processing capacity. The asset was owned by Saracen Mineral Holdings prior to a merger with Northern Star.

The works will involve the design, engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of the project, with the contract sum amounting to A$101 million ($74.3 million) and work is expected to start immediately.

GR Engineering has carried out several projects on the Thunderbox operations, including EPC work on the Thunderbox paste plant work, which has seen a new 150 cu.m paste backfill plant built.

Commenting on the recent award, Geoff Jones, GR Engineering Managing Director, said: “GR Engineering is excited to continue working with Northern Star, one of the world’s leading gold producers, to safely deliver the Thunderbox Expansion project. We have worked with the Northern Star team over many years and see this award as a strong endorsement of our proven EPC delivery capability.”

On award of Northern Star’s largest infrastructure project to date, Northern Star’s General Manager Processing, Simon Tyrrell, said: “The Thunderbox expansion increases the operation’s hard-rock processing capacity to 6 Mt/y from the current 3 Mt/y, and decreases processing costs as outlined in the 2021 Investor Day Presentation. Northern Star is pleased to be working with GR Engineering again, a local company with vast project delivery experience in the Australian mining industry.”

In this same presentation, the company said the processing capacity boost would involve the addition of a new 18 MW mill and classification circuit; new leach tanks, elution and gold room upgrades; and new tailing thickener and tailings pumping. The plant would be designed for 100% fresh ore, NSR said.

GR Engineering to tackle surface infrastructure for Tanami Expansion 2

GR Engineering Services Ltd has executed a subcontractor agreement with RUC Cementation Mining Contractors Pty Ltd in relation to work on Newmont’s Tanami gold mine in the Northern Territory of Australia.

RUC has been engaged by Newmont under a head contract to complete certain construction works for the Tanami Expansion 2 project. Included within this is shaft lining, equipment and headframe construction.

The scope of work for which GR Engineering is responsible comprises the construction and commissioning of the temporary and permanent works associated with the surface infrastructure.

Based on the current budget for the scope of work, it is anticipated that revenue from the subcontractor agreement will be approximately A$68 million ($51 million), GR Engineering said. Work is expected to be completed by April 2023.

Back in November, the two companies signed a “teaming agreement” related to the project.

Geoff Jones, Managing Director of GR Engineering, said: “GR Engineering is pleased to have executed this first subcontractor agreement with RUC and we look forward to working with RUC to deliver safe and successful outcomes for Newmont and on other future projects. GR Engineering continues to build its pipeline of work for financial year 2022 and financial year 2023.”

The Tanami Expansion 2 project 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.

Condor Gold looks to GRES’ Hanlon for SAG mill advice at La India

Condor Gold says it has selected Hanlon Engineering & Associates to develop a feasibility study level design for a new processing plant built around its recently acquired SAG mill at the La India gold project in Nicaragua.

A wholly owned subsidiary company of GR Engineering Services Limited (GRES), Hanlon is based in Tucson, Arizona. As lead engineer for this study, Hanlon will be responsible for the engineering designs, the capital cost and operating costs of the processing plant to a FS level of design.

Condor, earlier this year, entered into an agreement to purchase a completely new Metso Outotec SAG mill package from First Majestic Silver to serve La India.

The feasibility study design will develop costs to a +/- 15% level of accuracy for the design, capital expenditure and operating expenditure of a fully engineered processing plant package, which is normally a mandatory requirement of debt financing. The processing plant will be designed to a nominal capacity of 2,300 t/d, but have the built-in capacity in several key areas to potentially upgrade throughput to 2,850 t/d. At the 2,300 t/d rate, initial production is expected to be 80,000-100,000 oz/y of gold.

Hanlon is due to deliver the FS level engineering designs for a new processing plant within 12 weeks, working in conjunction with its GRES and using their extensive global experience with the design, construction and expansion of gold processing plants.

Mark Child, Chairman and CEO, said Hanlon Engineering was previously engaged by First Majestic Silver, the vendor of the SAG mill, to help design the new SAG mill recently purchased by Condor.

“Their knowledge of the SAG mill and involvement with many similar process plant designs completed to date will help fast track the delivery of the feasibility study design,” he said.

Abra project heads for first lead-silver production in 2023

The Abra base metals project in Western Australia is racing forward to first production in 2023 after the project owners signed off a positive final investment decision (FID) for the mine’s development.

The FID was made following the satisfaction of key conditions to draw in excess of $30 million under a debt facility.

As of May 31, 2021, the project is 17% complete, with completed works including: construction and commissioning of a 280-unit mine site village; mining of the box cut (pictured); box cut ground support works; installation of site communications; and various site clearing, roadworks and civil works.

“As a result, Abra is largely prepared for the deployment of key contractors for the construction of the plant and auxiliary infrastructure, and deployment of the underground mining contractor,” Galena Mining, the 77.28% owner of the project, said.

Among the key contractors at Abra is GR Engineering Services, which is set to deliver a 1.2 Mt/y lead sulphide flotation process plant and ancillary infrastructure under a A$75 million ($58 million) guaranteed maximum price arrangement. The underground mining services contract has been awarded to a tier one Australian mining contractor, Galena said without naming the contract recipient.

“Under the current project schedule, procurement of certain long-lead items will take place immediately,” Galena said. “The underground mining contractor is expected to initiate the portal and decline development in the third (September) quarter of 2021 calendar year and physical on-site plant construction is expected to commence in the fourth (December) quarter of 2021 calendar year.”

Related to the decision to move ahead with development, Galena said it was appointing Anthony James as Managing Director of the company, a mining engineer with senior underground operational and development experience. He will replace current MD Alex Molyneaux who will remain a director of the company.

This definitive feasibility study outlined development of a mine and processing facility with a 16-year life producing a high-value, high-grade lead-silver concentrate containing around 95,000 t/y of lead and 805,000 oz/y of silver after ramp-up.

Pantoro enlists GR Engineering to build Norseman gold processing plant

Pantoro Ltd has signed a Letter of Intent with GR Engineering Services that is likely to see the ASX-listed contractor take on the engineering, procurement and construction works for the processing facility at the Norseman gold project in Western Australia.

The gold company, which owns 50% of the asset, said detailed engineering works will commence immediately and orders will be placed for long lead items including the 3.3 MW ball mill. Contract documentation is being finalised and is expected to be executed before the end of February.

The contract value is around A$57 million ($44 million) and will be awarded as a guaranteed maximum price agreement, Pantoro noted. This value is inclusive of the crushing circuit associated with the plant.

The DFS announced in October 2020 contemplated a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) arrangement for the crusher at Norseman with the transfer planned in year three.

This study also outlined average production of 108,000 oz/y over a seven-year phase one life, peaking at 119,000 oz in year two of production. It also provided for a processing plant capacity of 1 Mt/y with flexibility to expand to 1.5 Mt/y.

Separately, demolition works for the existing plant on site have been awarded with commencement of site works planned for mid-February.

Pantoro Managing Director, Paul Cmrlec, said: “We are pleased that GR Engineering Services will undertake work with their proven track record in new processing plant builds in recent years. GR Engineering has been the dominant supplier of new processing plant builds in Western Australia in recent times, and we look forward to drawing on their experience in construction of the plant at Norseman.”

Ora Banda Mining hits its stride at Davyhurst Gold Process Plant

Ora Banda Mining Ltd is pleased to advise that the Davyhurst Gold Process Plant, in Western Australia, has been successfully recommissioned, with the first gold poured on February 7.

All supporting infrastructure required to sustain ongoing processing activities at the processing plant’s rated capacity of 1.2 Mt/y is now in place and has been commissioned, the company said.

This includes the new 8.25 MW gas and diesel fired power station, extensively upgraded and commissioned bore fields (for both potable and process water supply), process plant chemical storage facilities, upgraded road infrastructure for ore supply routes and an upgraded 172 room camp at Davyhurst.

Practical completion for the remedial work program undertaken by GR Engineering Services was achieved on January 24, 2021, following which a commissioning blend of low-grade oxide and transitional ore stock together with primary ore from the Golden Eagle underground deposit was introduced into the plant.

Processing operations are currently stable and running at a throughput rate approaching 1 Mt/y with targeted grind size of P80 – 106 µ being achieved. Throughput will continue to ramp in line with the definitive feasibility study (DFS) schedule. This DFS outlined a production target of 418,000 oz of gold over an initial five-year mine life based on an ore reserve of 460,000 oz (6.1 Mt at 2.4 g/t Au) from six deposits within 50 km of the existing 1.2 Mt/y plant.

The company says it is well placed to progress process circuit optimisation and production ramp up with in excess of 200,000 t of run of mine stocks currently available for processing.

Ora Banda Managing Director, David Quinlivan, said: “Yesterday’s gold pour marks a significant milestone for Ora Banda – our transition from developer to producer. We are pleased to reach this important milestone and congratulate all who have been involved on the accomplishment. It has been an impressive team effort to deliver this project into production under the uniquely challenging circumstances of 2020 and 2021.

“Our focus now remains on the continued ramp up of activity as we progress toward steady state and the ultimate goal of delivering a long-life and sustainable gold operation.”