Tag Archives: mine engineering

GR Engineering to build Thunderbird mineral sands processing plant

GR Engineering Services has been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Thunderbird Operations Pty Ltd (TOPL) for a mineral processing plant and associated facilities for the Thunderbird mineral sands project in Western Australia.

TOPL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kimberley Minerals Sands Pty Limited (KMS), which is 50% owned by Sheffield Resources Limited (ASX: SFX) (Sheffield) and 50% owned by YGH Australia Investment Pty Limited. The contract sum is A$179.5 million ($134.3 million).

GR Engineering will commence limited work under the contract until being issued with a full notice to proceed, ahead of a final investment decision being made by KMS to pursue the development of the project, it said. The final investment decision is expected in mid-2022 with project delivery scheduled to occur over an approximate 18-month period.

In May 2021, GR Engineering restarted early engineering and design works for the project and has been progressing critical path design and procurement activities. The company has a long-standing relationship with the project since 2017.

Geoff Jones, Managing Director, said: “We are extremely pleased to have been engaged to perform a key role in the development of the world-class Thunderbird mineral sands project. GR Engineering has been associated with the project over a number of years and it is exciting to see this project progress to the next stage of development.”

In a bankable feasibility study released on the same day as this announcement, Sheffield Resources outlined a A$484 million Stage 1 project using a Single Mining Unit Plant that underpinned a 10.4 Mt/y mining operation and a processing plant design feed rate of 170 t/h. The Stage 2 project saw a duplication in year five of Stage 1 mining underpinning a 20.8 Mt/y mining operation and an increase in the processing plant feed rate to 290 t/h.

Michelle Tracey joins SNC-Lavalin’s Mining & Metallurgy business

SNC-Lavalin, a fully integrated professional services and project management company with offices around the world, has welcomed Michelle Tracey as Senior Project Director for its Mining & Metallurgy business.

Tracey has more than 30 years of experience in the engineering field, with a track record of delivering operational excellence and leading the execution and delivery of major projects, including pre-feasibility and feasibility studies for investments. As an experienced leader in her field, she is a passionate advocate for equality, diversity and inclusion. She consistently provides insight and perspective, pushing to make a difference in the mining industry.

After graduating in 1988 with a degree in chemical engineering, Tracey spent 12 years with an aluminum smelting company, working her way up through various roles while also completing her MBA. From there, she changed her focus to project delivery, working for both the owners’ companies and for EPCM consultants and contractors around the world including in China, Canada, Jamaica, Solomon Islands, Chile, USA, Colombia and Peru.

“Ms Tracey has a stellar track record in delivering projects for customers in the Mining & Metals business all over the world,” Cesar Inostroza, CEO Mining & Metallurgy, SNC-Lavalin, said. “She is a great addition to our team.”

Tetra Tech expands water management practice with Piteau Associates buy

Tetra Tech, a provider of high-end consulting and engineering services, has further expanded its sustainable water management practice with the addition of Piteau Associates, based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Established in 1976 by Dr Douglas Piteau, the firm is a global leader in sustainable natural resource analytics including hydrologic numerical modelling and dewatering system design. Its staff pioneered the development of discrete element numerical models to simulate rock mass behaviour for slope design and hydraulic integrity, Tetra Tech said.

“With the majority of its staff having advanced degrees, the Piteau team solves the natural resource industry’s most complex geotechnical and water-related challenges and has been an important contributor to key industry textbooks, scientific publications, and best practice guidelines involving applied rock mechanics, hydrogeology, hydrology and geochemistry,” the company said. “Recognised global experts on the Piteau Associates team serve on numerous technical review boards and audit and assurance teams on projects around the world.”

Dan Batrack, Tetra Tech Chairman and CEO, added: “Tetra Tech has a long history of Leading with Science® through the application of advanced analytics to water management. The addition of Piteau Associates further expands our expertise in the specialised analysis of sustainable water management and geotechnics for our commercial resource management clients.”

Mark Hawley, Piteau Associates Chairman and CEO, said: “We are excited to join the Tetra Tech family, and to add our expertise to Tetra Tech’s comprehensive scope of engineering and consulting services. We share Tetra Tech’s strong commitment to providing high quality, sustainable and practical solutions based on sound engineering, and focus on projects and developing long-term client relationships. By joining Tetra Tech, we can collaborate on highly technical multi-disciplinary projects, further our global growth strategy, and provide new opportunities for our team and a broader scope of services to our clients.”

Piteau Associates is joining Tetra Tech’s Commercial/International Services Group.

Ausenco receives engineering gig with Bemisa Holding at Água Azul

Bemisa Holding SA has awarded Ausenco the Conceptual and Basic Engineering for the second phase of the Água Azul gold project in Pará, Brazil, the mine engineering and consultancy company says.

Applying its cost-effective design approach and extensive gold project experience in the country, Ausenco says it will design a 1.5 Mt/y gold processing facility.

Água Azul is in the southeast of Pará, close to the polymetallic district of Carajás, according to Bemisa, which said drilling surveys to define resources and reserves are in progress, together with bench tests and pilot scale tests.

Clough works up integrated design layout for TNG’s Mount Peake project

TNG Ltd says an integrated design layout for its flagship Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project in the Northern Territory of Australia has been developed and delivered by Australian engineering and construction company, Clough Projects Australia Pty Ltd.

As announced in October, TNG appointed Clough to work with its project team and SMS group for Mount Peake following a strategic decision to progress a fully-integrated operation at the Mount Peake mine site and given the severe restrictions on travel between Europe and Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic that have impacted SMS’ ability to deliver a team in Australia.

Clough, together with TNG’s project team, has developed the integrated layout on the basis of the deliverables prepared under the front-end engineering and design study completed by SMS. The layout comprises the beneficiation plant, TIVAN® processing facility and plant utilities located within the mining lease footprint of Mount Peake site.

The integrated plants will be positioned adjacent to the western boundary of the designated mining areas within the company’s existing Mining Lease 29855, which covers an area of 1,460 ha. This area is capable of hosting a fully-integrated operation encompassing mining activities and waste storage, the beneficiation plant, the TIVAN processing facility and non-process infrastructure.

The integrated layout will be “unconstrained” compared with the size and shape requirements at the former Darwin site, TNG said. This offers the potential to capitalise on improving constructability, operability and maintenance for the project, as well as further cost optimisations from integrated infrastructure.

TNG has now commissioned Clough to progress value engineering to optimise outcomes in cost/schedule; and design aspects incorporating, civil, structural and architectural, mechanical, piping, electrical and instrumentation engineering disciplines, logistics and non-process infrastructure.

Clough will work with TNG’s project team and have support from SMS to undertake this next engineering and design stage and deliver an updated capital cost estimate for the development of Mount Peake, with this stage expected to be completed by May 2022.

TNG’s Managing Director and CEO, Paul Burton, said: “The completion of this design paves the way for value engineering and final design work to commence, which in turn will underpin an updated capital cost estimate and pave the way for project finance completion.”

Clough’s CEO and Managing Director, Peter Bennett, added: “We are excited with our ongoing collaboration with TNG on their Mount Peake project as we develop sustainable solutions for the resources sector in Australia. We are proud of our role and long history of delivering world-class engineering and construction projects and critical infrastructure both in Australia and overseas.”

Located 235 km north of Alice Springs, Mount Peake is expected to be a long-life project producing a suite of high-quality, high-purity strategic products for global markets including vanadium pentoxide, titanium dioxide pigment and iron ore fines. The project, which is expected to be a top-10 global producer, has received Major Project Status from the Northern Territory and Federal Governments.

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.”

SENET wins EPCM gig at AMAK’s Moyeath copper-zinc project in Saudi Arabia

Al Masane Al Kobra Mining Co (AMAK) has awarded SENET, a wholly owned subsidiary of DRA Global, the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract for the design and execution of the Moyeath copper-zinc project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, SENET says.

AMAK has been producing copper, zinc in concentrate and gold and silver in doré from its operations in the country since 2012.

Moyeath is a third major orebody (together with Saadah and Al Houra) discovered in the immediate vicinity to the AMAK underground mines. The Moyeath orebody is a high-grade copper-zinc volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit, SENET says.

The planned 400,000 t/y run of mine flotation process plant will produce copper and zinc concentrates, while filtered tailings will be trucked to an existing dry stacking area operated by AMAK, which handles tailings from its Al Masane (pictured) and Guyan process plants.

Preliminary test works shows it is possible to produce saleable copper and zinc concentrates, with most of the gold and silver reporting to flotation concentrates, SENET noted. The mineralogy of the Moyeath orebody is complex and requires a similarly complex approach to produce copper and zinc concentrates at favourable recoveries and saleable concentrate grades.

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.

MACA Interquip delivers to plan at Capricorn’s Karlawinda gold project

The MACA Interquip team has successfully reached completion of services provided to Capricorn Metals at the Karlawinda gold project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, the company has confirmed.

MACA Interquip undertook steelwork procurement and SMP (structural, mechanical, and piping) construction services for the 4 Mt/y three-stage crushing plant, grinding and conventional carbon-in-leach plant.

Plant commissioning is now complete and the MACA Interquip team has begun to demobilise from site after a successful job done.

Project Manager, Brett Smith, said the success of this project is a testament to the skillset, dedication and diligence of the MACA Interquip team.

“Construction is complete and now the plant is efficiently up and running and being ramped up to nameplate capacity. As our works came to a close, our teams remained highly committed to delivering a safe work environment and achieved an LTI-free project,” Smith said.

MACA Mining, meanwhile, is carrying out open-pit mining services including drilling & blasting and loading & hauling at the project as part of an agreement the companies signed recently.

Based on a 1.2 Moz reserve, Capricorn envisages a 12-year mine life at Karlawinda, with an annual production target of 110,000-125,000 oz of gold. The company plans to mine a single large, low strip ratio open pit and process it through the carbon-in-leach plant.

Sigma hires Promon for Grota do Cirilo lithium project design and construction

Sigma Lithium Resources Corp has appointed Promon Engenharia Ltda of Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the design and construction of Phase 1 of its Grota do Cirilo hard-rock lithium project in the country.

Promon joins Primero Group of Australia as Sigma’s international engineering team for construction of the project.

The announcement came at the same time as Sigma confirmed it had initiated significant earthworks activities at the project, breaking ground with topsoil removal, clearing and grubbing in the site area (plant and mine). These activities followed completion of the geotechnical assessment for the civil engineering and evaluation of impact on the foundation design and earthwork quantities for construction of the foundation for the production plant for Phase 1 of the project. This phase is designed to allow for expansion design features incorporating a future second production line.

Sigma said it continued to advance detailed engineering activities with Promon, which now joins Primero to provide technical and engineering services to Sigma in the construction of the project.

Sigma said Promon was selected for its substantial experience in the advanced metallurgical and chemical industries and for its detailed and focused engineering process. Its portfolio of large-scale projects include: processing and mining plants, oil refineries, petrochemical plants, maritime terminals, hydroelectric, thermal and nuclear power plants, power transmission systems, steel mills, automotive and aeronautical manufacturing plants and commercial buildings.

Primero, meanwhile, is one of the few engineering firms with direct experience in lithium plant construction commissioning and operations as a result of its work in several successful producing projects in Australia, including the previous experience of its personnel at the Talison Greenbushes mine, Sigma said.

“Primero perfected the technology for automating and digitally controlling dense media separation in lithium processing facilities,” it added. “Together with the company, Primero has developed the ‘green’ circuits for the processing flowsheet for the commercial production plant for the project, including the water recycling and dry stacking.”

Initial production of 220,000 t/y of “high purity lithium concentrate” is on track for the September quarter of 2022, it said.

Earlier in the month, the company published results from a preliminary economic assessment for phase two production, which estimated Production could increase from 220,000 t/y (33,000 t of lithium carbonate equivalent) planned for 2022 in Phase 1, to 440,000 t/y (66,000 t of LCE), within approximately one year. This would involve the addition of a second dense media separation line within its plant.