Tag Archives: Mincor Resources

Minetek to deliver ventilation solution to Mincor’s Kambalda nickel ops

Minetek says it has been awarded a tender to supply the ventilation requirements for the Cassini, Otter Juan and Long declines at Mincor’s Kambalda nickel operation in Western Australia.

The award, which came through Mincor’s contracting partner, Pit N Portal, includes both the secondary and primary vents across all three declines and follows on from a close collaboration over the last six months between the three parties, Minetek says.

Steve Verstegeen, CEO for Pit N Portal, said: “We are always looking at new innovations and technologies that will benefit both us and our clients. Minetek has been able to display that with the use of their modern ventilation technology, where we can look to see production increases through faster re-entry times and reduced capital costs in the total life of the development, delivering value to both us and Mincor.”

Minetek General Manager – Ventilation, Jeremy Sutherland, said: “From the start of early discussions with Mincor and Pit N Portal, it was very evident that both parties wanted to deliver the maximum amount of value for their stakeholders/shareholders in all aspects of the developments. This really excited our team, as it gave us the opportunity, through the release of forecasted production information and mine plans from Mincor and Pit n Portal, to display that we could deliver this through energy savings, production increases and reduced capital expenditure throughout the lifecycle of the developments.”

The “Mincor Nickel Operations” DFS from earlier this year confirmed the potential to develop a five‐year operation forecast to produce 71,000 t of nickel and 5,000 t of copper on a life-of-mine basis at Kambalda, with peak annual nickel-in-concentrate production of more than 16,000 t/y at a forecast life of mine unit cost of $2.35/lb.

Pit N Portal to help revive Mincor’s Kambalda nickel operation

Mincor Resources has awarded underground mining services and equipment hire group Pit N Portal with the underground mining contract for its 100%-owned Kambalda nickel operations in Western Australia.

The contract encompasses a five-year pact for the new Cassini nickel mine, where early surface works were recently completed, and a three-year contract (plus one two-year option) at the Northern Operations (the brownfields Durkin North and Long nickel mines – both of which are on care and maintenance having previously operated). These two assets (Cassini and Northern Operations) make up the planned nickel operation.

Pit N Portal was awarded the contract following the completion of a competitive tender process and a due diligence process led by Mincor’s Chief Operating Officer, Dean Will, examining safety, Kambalda underground experience and performance, capabilities, equipment availability and cost, the company said.

All key components of the contract are in line with the parameters set out in the Nickel Restart Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) completed in March 2020. This was based on an initial five-year operation from two production centres with all ore processed at BHP Nickel West’s Kambalda nickel concentrator and the resulting nickel concentrate sold to BHP. The DFS envisaged 63,000 t of recovered nickel-in-concentrate output for an estimated pre-production capital expenditure of A$68 million ($41 million at the time).

Mincor has executed a binding contract with Pit N Portal subject to a Notice to Proceed being issued by Mincor before March 31, 2021.

The development company says it is targeting the commencement of mining operations at Kambalda in the second half of 2020, subject to board approval and a final investment decision on its Nickel restart plan. It said previously first nickel-in-concentrate production could be achieved in the second half of 2021, subject to COVID-19-related restrictions.

Established in Kalgoorlie in 2002, Pit N Portal has expanded its capacity and capability to encompass total, whole-of-mine solutions across Australia, and has significant underground mining contracts in Western Australia and Queensland. It was acquired by Emeco Holdings earlier this year.

Mincor’s Managing Director, David Southam, said the award of the contract to a Kalgoorlie-based business was consistent with the company’s commitment to maximise local content, to support local businesses and communities, and to create opportunities for a residential workforce wherever possible.

“We selected Pit N Portal based on a wide range of criteria including safety, performance, contract cost, experience and capability, ability to meet our mobilisation timelines and the size and quality of their contract fleet.

“Their equipment fleet suits our proposed style of mining and, as one of Australia’s largest hard-rock underground mining equipment solutions providers, we will have access to a large range of equipment options and high-class maintenance and rebuild capacity – giving us significant operational and strategic flexibility, which is important when operating a number of underground mines.

“This includes having access to the Emeco operating system, which could add significant value to future operations, as well as having a contracting partner that is willing to embrace the very latest in mining technology and data management and usage, including the proposed use of underground electric vehicles, which we have already trialled.”

Mincor has also completed – on time and budget – all works associated with the Early Works Contract at Cassini project. This work, carried out by Hampton Mining and Civil Services, included clearing of the Cassini site area, excavation of the box-cut (pictured), construction of the site office pad, magazine and waste areas and construction of the surface settling dams and haul road.

Mincor’s Kambalda nickel restart plans ramp up

Mincor Resources says the definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the integrated nickel restart plan at its Kambalda assets in Western Australia progressed well during the December quarter, with mining contractor awards expected to occur soon.

The restart will operate in two distinct areas: the Northern Operations (Long and Durkin mines) and the Southern Operations (Cassini and Miitel mines).

Mining contract tender pricing updates for the Southern Operations were received in late December and are currently under review, while, for the Northern Operations, updated mining inventory, mine design, mine schedules and contractor pricing are expected this month for assessment, Mincor said. A tender for surface haulage was sent to contractors for pricing, with submissions also expected this month.

During the quarter, Mincor progressed the pricing for an early capital works program at Cassini, which includes minimal site clearance and a box-cut. A decision on the award of this contract is expected shortly, it said.

The DFS, meanwhile, is still expected to be delivered this quarter.

Following the completion of the updated Cassini mineral resource in November, the total nickel resources across Mincor’s Kambalda tenements now stands at 4.9 Mt at 3.8% Ni for 187,900 t of nickel.

In October at the Paydirt 2019 Australian Nickel Conference in Perth, Western Australia, Mincor Resources’ David Southam said the restart of the Kambalda nickel mine would act as a “global showcase” for all-electric underground light vehicles.

Electric underground light vehicles coming to Kambalda, Mincor’s Southam says

Mincor Resources’ David Southam said the restart of the company’s Kambalda nickel mine in Western Australia will act as a “global showcase” for all-electric underground light vehicles when it opens in the next few years.

Southam, the company’s Managing Director, made such a statement at the Paydirt 2019 Australian Nickel Conference in Perth, Western Australia, this week.

The company is currently running a definitive feasibility study (DFS) at the project, at the same time as completing drilling to add resources to the property. First site works could occur in the March quarter, according to Southam.

So far, Mincor has built up a 4.7 Mt resource base grading 3.7% Ni for 175,300 t of contained nickel. The company hopes to deliver initial throughput of between 400,000-600,000 t/y of ore over an initial four-to-five-year period, which it will sell to BHP’s nearby Kambalda operations as part of an offtake agreement with the major miner.

Southam said the company’s decision to restart underground nickel mining operations using new light electric vehicles such as Safescape’s Bortana EV (with system integration from 3ME Technology and Agrale) would reduce ventilation costs and diesel particulate counts.

The Bortana EV, specifically, has had a prototype undergo local mine site testing in Newcastle, New South Wales, before an extended trial with Kirkland Lake Gold’s Fosterville mine in Victoria.

Southam also said the company had a longer-term aim to transition larger mining vehicles to electric once infrastructure was established.

“This mine restart will be a global showcase for this new and more environmentally-friendly mining technology,” he said.