Tag Archives: mineral transport

Pacific National signs up Matrix to help increase freight load capacity

ASX-listed Matrix Composites & Engineering Ltd has agreed to build four prototype transport systems that could significantly increase the freight load capacity of bulk transportation, according to the company’s CEO Aaron Begley.

The A$2.4 million ($1.8 million) contract, for the largest combined rail freight company in Australia, Pacific National, will see Matrix use composite materials that have lightweight, rigid and fabrication advantages over traditional steel materials.

It follows on from a January letter of intent between the two companies that originally envisaged a $2 million contract for up to 10 prototype systems.

Pacific National has expertise in coal, in particular, with nearly 6,000 specialised coal wagons, 600 locomotives and 10,000 people in teams throughout Australia.

Matrix will start manufacturing the prototypes at its Henderson facility in Western Australia, with the initial stage expected to be completed in the second half of 2019. A second stage to manufacture 110 units is also planned, subject to a successful functional commercialisation assessment of the prototypes.

Begley said the contract is suited to Matrix’s expertise: “This contract is perfectly in line with our strategy to combine Matrix’s proven capabilities in advanced materials, with our state of the art composite manufacturing facility to develop lightweight composite structures for the large and growing transportation market here in Australia and overseas.”

Under the contract, Matrix has been awarded a 20-year licence to market the product to other potential customers in Australia and to extend this internationally.

The company said other opportunities for lightweight transportation structures are also being pursued with discussions having commenced with major bulk transport and freight transport companies for fleet upgrades.

Torex Gold’s Media Luna PEA to feature innovative Muckahi transport option

Torex Gold is weighing up the use of an innovative technology that could provide an efficient and cost effective means of moving people, mining devices, and ore out of steep underground mines.

The company, which is back in action at its ELG gold mine in Mexico after a long strike at the operation that started in 2017, said in its June quarter results that it had recently come to an agreement with its CEO, Fred Stanford, to acquire his interests in ‘Muckahi’.

Stanford conceptualised and patented the Muckahi process and has been working with Canada-based engineering firm MEDATECH to develop his methods and come up with the necessary equipment to make his process work.

Muckahi makes use of overhead rails as an efficient and cost effective means of moving people, mining devices and ore out of steep underground mines. The modififed machinery also allows for increased production rates and less handling, moving the process towards continous production, according to MEDATECH.

The mining system is currently in the evaluation stage, but is being considered for use at Torex’s Media Luna gold project in Mexico. There is a revised preliminary economic assessment on Media Luna due soon that is expected to feature the use of this technology.

The 2015 PEA on Media Luna envisioned an underground operation with expected average annual production of 313,000 oz of gold-equivalent at an average all-in sustaining cost of $636/oz.

The recovery of the Media Luna resource was planned to be through underground mining methods at 7,000 t/d with the mineralised material transported via a hybrid underground/aerial/underground rope conveyor to the ELG processing plant. The conveyor belt would be 6.7 km in length with a 360 m vertical drop over its length.

Torex said it was planning to run a technical session for investors and analysts on the Muckahi process next month.