Tag Archives: Mineral Resources

Mineral Resources achieves Aussie first with new gen Epiroc blasthole drill rig

Mineral Resources Ltd says it has become the first company in Australia to start up Epiroc’s new generation SmartROC D65 drill rig.

The updated SmartROC D65 delivers high-quality blast holes with accuracy and precision and is loaded with smart features such as automated drilling and rod handling, according to the miner and technology and service provider. It also uses less hydraulic oil than previous versions and has fewer hoses and pumps. This helps to reduce costs and makes servicing easier, while increasing sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of the rig, Minerals Resources says.

Back in October 2019, Epiroc’s Kris Thomas, Product Manager – SED at Epiroc Australia, told IM that Australia was the first big target market for this new rig, with the new model already having been put forward in several major tenders, particularly in the Western Australia iron ore industry.

Mineral Resources’ own portfolio of iron ore assets comprises numerous known deposits and highly prospective targets across two of Western Australia’s premier iron ore provinces – the Yilgarn and the Pilbara.

“We decided to bring our drill and blast function in-house to enable greater agility, innovation and optimisation,” Mineral Resources said. “We’re always looking at ways to reduce our environmental footprint, not only with the work we perform but also in our choice of equipment.”

Having the new drill rigs on site allows for further efficiencies, the company says, as a platform drill is no longer required to drill up to 229 mm blastholes.

“By being more efficient in everything we do means we’ll continue to achieve our aim of being a leading provider of innovative and sustainable mining services and a low cost mining operator,” the company concluded.

MRL and Metso Outotec NextGen II crushing plant installation on track

Mineral Resources and Metso Outotec’s plans to deliver their NextGen II modular crushing plant to BHP’s Mt Whaleback mine remain on course, with the fabricated steelwork having arrived in Western Australia.

In January 2020, the joint venture awarded a fabrication contract to three separate companies in Turkey: Birikim and Mass Makina, in Ankara, and Bilim Makina, in Bursa, around 100 km south of Istanbul.

The contract was to procure, fabricate, trial assemble, surface treat, and deliver to the port about 1,400 t of fabricated steel work. This effort was led by Mineral Resources Technical Director, David De Haas, and Fabrication Manager, Michael Killeen.

Mineral Resources’ wholly-owned subsidiary, CSI Mining Services, has now received this infrastructure, with all NextGen II works to be assembled at CSI’s Kwinana workshop during a six-week period, working 24/7.

The assembly of the 12 Mt/y plant will be completed on site at BHP’s Mt Whaleback mine, replacing the existing CSI crushing plant at the iron ore operation. This contract was announced last month.

“The manufacture of NextGen II has been completed in very difficult times internationally as the coronavirus pandemic swept the world and the whole team is to be congratulated for their efforts,” Mineral Resources said.

“We look forward to the successful construction, installation and commissioning of the new plant at Mt Whaleback, and are confident this will be the first of many opportunities for this ground-breaking approach to deliver safe, reliable production for the hard-rock crushing industry.”

The company concluded: “CSI is already the world’s largest crushing contractor and NextGen II will help us maintain our position as the partners of choice for the mining industry.”

The first 12 Mt/y portable and modular NextGen crushing plant was installed in 2018 at the Pilgangoora lithium project, owned by Pilbara Minerals, in Western Australia.

KPS to power up Tropicana underground expansion project

Power generation specialist Pacific Energy’s subsidiary, Kalgoorlie Power Systems (KPS), has secured up to a 6 MW expansion under its existing contract with AngloGold Ashanti Australia for its majority-owned Tropicana gold mine, in Western Australia.

An initial 4 MW is to be commissioned by December 2019 with a further 2 MW to be installed at AngloGold’s option, which would take the gas fuelled power station at Tropicana to 50 MW capacity.

The increased power is required for the Boston Shaker underground project at the Tropicana gold mine in Western Australia, an expansion project that will enable Tropicana gold production to be maintained at between 450,000-500,000 oz/y over the five years to and including the 2023 financial year, AngloGold and Independence Group (30% owner of the mines) said.

KPS has also recently secured an additional 2 MW in capacity expansions with other customers, Pacific Energy said.

“The above organic contract expansions, together with the previously announced 6 MW expansion currently being undertaken for St Barbara and the soon to be commissioned new 5 MW Juardi power station, will see Pacific Energy bring an additional 17 MW of new power generation capacity on line by the end of this calendar year,” Pacific Energy said.

The company’s Contract Power subsidiary, as well as KPS, are both currently in discussions with several of their customers regarding other likely contract expansions.

Pacific Energy also advises that the 52 MW gas-fuelled power station recently undertaken by Contract Power for Mineral Resources has now achieved practical completion.

Valmec secures gas pipeline facility contract at Mineral Resources’ Wodgina lithium project

Energy services group Valmec has secured a number of sustaining capital works contracts across its Energy & Infrastructure division, with one of these being for Mineral Resources’ Wodgina lithium project in Western Australia.

Its new works contracts – which include the Wodgina agreement, a compression installation for Beach Energy Ltd and infrastructure development works for Pilbara Ports Authority and Water Corp – have a combined value of A$10 million ($7.2 million).

The Wodgina contract will see the company complete a facility for an 81 km, 10 inch (0.25 m) gas pipeline feeding a combined 64 MW power station at the project. This pipeline is expected to be commissioned in the March quarter and be operational in the June quarter, according to Mineral Resources.

In March, Mineral Resources commenced onsite construction of essential non-process infrastructure services and utilities assets, a new crushing plant and a new 750,000 t/y spodumene concentrate beneficiation plant to produce 6% spodumene concentrate at Wodgina.