Tag Archives: Newcrest Mining

Macmahon books A$600m of work with Newcrest, AngloGold and Vale

Macmahon Holdings has bolstered its order book with a number of contract extensions involving the Tropicana and Telfer gold operations, in Western Australia, and the Hu’u copper-gold project, in Indonesia.

At the Tropicana mine, a joint venture between AngloGold Ashanti Australia Ltd (70% and operator) and Regis Resources Ltd (30%), Macmahon has been providing mining services since open-pit mining started in July 2012 under a life of mine alliance contract.

The additional work for Macmahon follows the completion of a detailed final cutback study of the Havana pit and subsequent confirmation of the optimal method to mine the deeper ore in the Havana ore body. Macmahon has now been provided with the scheduling detail for the cutback, which will add 155 Mt to the material to be mined from 2024.

The final cutback of Havana will extend the open-pit mine life by four years, from 2023 to 2027, and is expected to generate additional revenue of approximately A$470 million ($340 million), it said.

Macmahon has also extended its life of mine contract with Newcrest for the Telfer mine.

On August 12, Newcrest announced it will proceed with the West Dome Stage 5 cutback at Telfer. This new scope of work is expected to generate revenue of circa A$138 million and will extend Macmahon’s work on site to September 2024. This new work has been negotiated on updated rates, which are forecast to achieve the company’s internal financial hurdles, Macmahon explained.

In Indonesia, Macmahon has received a letter of award to construct an 11 km access road at the Hu’u copper gold exploration project on Sumbawa island. This work is valued at approximately A$18 million and is a further step in the company’s strategy to increase its revenue from mining support services.

Subject to finalisation of contract documentation, the project is forecast to commence in September 2021 and employ approximately 150 people. The Hu’u project is 80% controlled by Vale SA. Vale has previously said the project could produce more than 250,000 t of copper and more than 200,000 oz of gold.

Macmahon CEO and Managing Director, Michael Finnegan, said: “We are pleased to have secured this additional work which adds approximately A$600 million to our order book. A key highlight is the extension of our long-term alliance contract at Tropicana, which has been a cornerstone of our surface mining business in Western Australia for many years and has recently expanded into underground mining.”

Vale, Glencore, Newcrest and others join BluVein’s next gen trolley charging project

Seven major mining companies have financially backed BluVein and its “next generation trolley-charging technology” for heavy mining vehicles, with the industry collaboration project now moving forward with final system development and construction of a technology demonstration pilot site in Brisbane, Australia.

BluVein can now refer to Northern Star Resources, Newcrest Mining, Vale, Glencore, Agnico Eagle, AngloGold Ashanti and OZ Minerals as project partners.

Some additional mining companies still in the process of joining the BluVein project will be announced as they officially come on board, BluVein said, while four major mining vehicle manufacturers have signed agreements to support BluVein controls and hardware integration into their vehicles.

BluVein, a joint venture between EVIAS and Australia-based Olitek, is intent on laying the groundwork for multiple OEMs and mining companies to play in the mine electrification space without the need to employ battery swapping or acquire larger, heavier batteries customised to cope with the current requirements placed on the heaviest diesel-powered machinery operating in the mining sector.

It is doing this through adapting charging technology originally developed by Sweden-based EVIAS for electrified public highways. The application of this technology in mining could see operations employ smaller, lighter battery-electric vehicles that are connected to the mine site grid via its ingress protection-rated slotted Rail™ system. This system effectively eliminates all exposed high voltage conductors, providing significantly improved safety and ensures compliance with mine electrical regulations, according to BluVein. This is complemented with its Hammer™ technology and a sophisticated power distribution unit to effectively power electric motors and charge a vehicle’s on-board batteries.

BluVein has been specifically designed for harsh mining environments and is completely agnostic to vehicle manufacturer. This standardisation is crucial, BluVein says, as it allows a mixed fleet of mining vehicle to use the same rail infrastructure.

While underground mining looks like the most immediate application, BluVein says the technology also has applications in open-pit mining and quarrying.

It is this technology to be trialled in a demonstration pilot in a simulated underground environment. BluVein says it plans on starting the trial install early works towards the end of this year for a mid- to late-2022 trial period.

The BluVein project will be managed by the Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC).

Charge On Innovation Challenge sparks more miner interest

The organisers of the Charge On Innovation Challenge have reported an overwhelming response to the preliminary phase, which closed on July 31, with 21 mining companies joining as patrons, over 350 companies from across 19 industries registering their interest as vendors, and more than 80 organisations submitting expressions of interest (EOI).

The challenge, a global competition, is expected to drive technology innovators across all industries to develop new concepts and solutions for large-scale haul truck electrification systems aimed at significantly cutting emissions from surface mining. It also aims to demonstrate an emerging market for charging solutions in mining, accelerate commercialisation of solutions and integrate innovations from other industries into the mining sector.

BHP, Rio Tinto, and Vale, facilitated by Austmine, launched the Charge On Innovation Challenge in May of this year, initiating the EOI process on May 18. Since the initial launch, Roy Hill, Teck, Boliden, Thiess, Antofagasta Minerals, Codelco, Freeport McMoRan, Gold Fields and Yancoal came forward as patrons by early July.

The latest release has highlighted another nine miners to join as patrons. This includes Barrick Gold, CITIC Pacific Mining, Evolution Mining, Harmony Gold, Mineral Resources Ltd, Newcrest Mining, OZ Minerals, South32 and Syncrude.

The patrons, supported by Austmine, will assess the proposals over the next month and select a shortlist of vendors who will then formally pitch their challenge solutions.

At least one of these proposals has come from ABB, which confirmed earlier this month that it had submitted its ideas for the challenge using its mine electrification, traction and battery system eand charging infrastructure expertise.

At the end of the pitch phase, the challenge patrons will look to select the most desirable charging concepts identified as having broad industry appeal and application, as well as providing a standard geometry that enables chargers to service trucks from different manufacturers. The first concepts could be ready for site trials in the next few years, according to the organisers.

BHP’s Charge On Innovation Challenge Project Lead, Scott Davis, said: “The Charge On Innovation Challenge is a great example of the current collaborative work being done by the mining industry in seeking solutions to decarbonise mining fleets. The challenge received interest from companies based in over 20 countries, showing the truly global reach of the opportunity to help reduce haul truck emissions.”

John Mulcahy, Rio Tinto’s lead for the Charge On Innovation Challenge, said: “Twenty-one mining companies, all focused on lowering carbon emissions, have joined as patrons. Together we’re encouraging technology innovators to help us introduce large-scale haul truck electrification solutions. The sooner we bring these technologies to market, the sooner we can introduce them to our fleet, and reduce emissions.”

Vale’s Charge On Innovation Challenge Project lead, Mauricio Duarte, said: “We are very happy with the results of the first phase of the project. It´s still early to talk about the success of the challenge, but it is clear that the industry has reached a new level: we worked together on a common sustainability agenda and we will work collectively to reach our goals, gaining safety and speed on our way to low carbon mining.”

DDH1 drilling contractor debuts on ASX after stellar IPO

DDH1 Ltd has officially commenced trading on the Australian Securities Exchange following an initial public offering last week that saw the drilling contractor secure gross proceeds of A$150 million ($115 million) through the issue of around 40% of its shares.

The IPO proceeds were used to allow existing shareholders to realise part of their investment in the company and to repay company borrowings, the company said. The IPO was one of the largest by a Western Australia-based business in the past decade, according to DDH1.

“The ASX listing marks a significant milestone in the evolution of DDH1, which was established in Perth in 2006 with the vision to create Australia’s premier mineral drilling contractor,” the company said. “Over time, DDH1 has earned the custom of Australia’s premier mining companies through its repeated and meticulous service offering of gathering the critical geological data that supports the decision making in respect of all mining activity through the complete cycle of a mine’s life.”

DDH1 has a portfolio of approximately 102 clients, with a financial year 2020 pro-forma revenue of A$249.8 million. Its earnings are diversified across multiple commodities and geographies, with a client base that includes Newcrest Mining, BHP, Evolution Mining, Gold Fields, Independence Group, Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines, Newmont Corp, Ramelius Resources, Rio Tinto, Roy Hill Iron Ore and St Barbara.

It offers both surface and underground drilling services, with diamond coring and reverse circulation rigs on offer.

Sy Van Dyk, DDH1’s Managing Director and CEO, said: “The growth and success of DDH1 to date is testament to the commitment of the whole team, which strives to ensure the safety of all stakeholders while delivering exceptional service to our clients.

“Our long-term client relationships are built on the provision of quality drilling services and a deep understanding of our client’s business needs. The company’s significant market position reinforces the strong levels of industry recognition.”

He concluded: “There is growing demand in the Australian mineral drilling sector for DDH1’s services because of increased exploration, development and production spending by minerals exploration and mining companies. As an ASX-listed company with a strong balance sheet, a committed shareholder base, a disciplined approach to growth and access to capital markets, DDH1 is well positioned to pursue its growth strategy.”

Newmont sets up global centre to promote meaningful engagement with Indigenous Peoples

Newmont Corp has launched the Newmont Global Center for Indigenous Community Relations as a key part of the company’s aim to promote meaningful engagement with Indigenous Peoples.

The centre will be a resource for the company and the mining industry as a way to promote awareness, education and engagement between industry and Indigenous Peoples, the gold miner said.

Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer, explained: “Newmont recognises the special connection between Indigenous Peoples and the land, and that mining can affect this connection in some challenging ways. The entire industry has a great opportunity to learn and improve our practices.

“Through the centre, meaningful partnerships will be formed to create a space for dialogue and sharing with the aim of improving outcomes for Indigenous communities around our operations and act as a catalyst for improvement within the mining industry.”

The centre seeks to establish a respected source of dialogue, collective knowledge and experiences in order to improve the company’s practices and contribute in advancing the industry’s approach to engagement with Indigenous communities, Newmont said. It has identified three focus areas and a set of three-year strategic objectives to orient meaningful outcomes. These focus areas are:

  • Partnership and learning network;
  • Respect for customs and culture; and
  • Opportunities for Indigenous People.

Based in Vancouver, Canada, the centre will work collaboratively with the Advisory Council on Indigenous Community Relations, a group of external experts who advise the Safety and Sustainability Committee of the Board of Directors.

An internal working group comprised of diverse representatives from within Newmont will also share experiences, best practices and identify ways to improve collaboration. The centre will work across all of Newmont’s jurisdictions around the world, the miner said.

Eriez HydroFloat technology to help improve recoveries at Newcrest’s Cadia operation

Eriez Flotation is to supply four HydroFloat® Separators to Newcrest Mining for use in Stage 2 of the miner’s Cadia Valley Operations (Cadia) expansion project in New South Wales, Australia.

This announcement follows the successful delivery, commissioning and ramp up of four Eriez CrossFlow Separators and two HydroFloats as part of the Cadia Coarse Particle Flotation demonstration plant in 2018.

Eriez Flotation Global Managing Director, Eric Wasmund, says: “When Stage 2 of the Cadia Expansion Project is complete, 100% of the Concentrator 1 tailings will be re-treated, significantly improving overall plant recovery for a coarser primary grind.”

The Stage 2 Cadia Expansion project primarily comprises the addition of a second coarse ore flotation circuit in Concentrator 1, using Eriez’s HydroFloat technology, and equipment upgrades in Concentrator 2, Newcrest said back in October. These changes are expected to see plant capacity go from 33 Mt/y to 35 Mt/y, while life of mine gold and copper recoveries could increase by 3.5% and 2.7%, respectively. Alongside this, the company was expecting a A$22/oz ($16/oz) drop in its all-in sustaining costs.

Newcrest is the first mining company to commercialise HydroFloat coarse particle flotation in sulphides and the first
in a tail scavenging application.

Wasmund added: “Eriez has been very fortunate to partner with Newcrest on coarse particle flotation. As partners we have learned many lessons together.”

Eriez-Australia Managing Director, James Cooke, noted: “During the commissioning of the demonstration plant, Eriez and Newcrest Mining worked closely together to perfect the technology. The decision was subsequently made to expand the application.”

Early works kick off for Havieron box cut and exploration decline

Following signoff of the $112 million construction of the box cut, exploration decline and associated surface infrastructure at the Havieron gold project in Western Australia, Greatland Gold, one of the joint venture owners, says early works activities have commenced at the project.

Operated by Newcrest under this JV agreement with Greatland, Havieron has an initial inferred resource of 52 Mt at 2 g/t Au and 0.31% Cu for 3.4 Moz of gold and 160,000 t of copper.

The commencement of early works by Newcrest, as manager of the JV, follows receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals to commence these construction activities.

Gervaise Heddle, Chief Executive Officer of Greatland Gold, said: “The commencement of early works activities at Havieron marks a major milestone for the project and for the company.

“Earthmoving activities to prepare for the construction of the box cut and decline have begun and we will continue to update shareholders as work progresses. In addition, we look forward to advancing the 2021 growth drilling program at Havieron, where mineralisation remains open in multiple directions outside of the initial inferred mineral resource estimate.”

Work is ongoing to finalise the Water Management Plan for the early works program and to progress further approvals and permits that will be required to commence development of any operating underground mine and associated infrastructure at Havieron, Greatland said.

In addition, the development of any underground mine at the Havieron project will also be subject to further studies, board approvals and a positive decision to mine.

Wärtsilä takes on power plant performance contract at Lihir gold mine

Wärtsilä is to help optimise the performance of the Lihir gold mine’s 170 MW power plant, in Papua New Guinea, as part of a 10-year tailored guaranteed asset performance agreement signed with Lihir Gold Ltd, part of Newcrest Mining.

The agreement has shared business case incentives based on key performance indicators (KPIs), which reduce operational cost and enhance power availability, supporting the mine’s production targets, according to Wärtsilä.

The 10-year agreement, worth over €150 million ($183 million), was signed in October and is targeted to take effect from the end of the March quarter. The expected revenues for 24 months of operation, some €20 million, have been included in Wärtsilä’s order book in the December quarter.

Lihir’s 170 MW power plant provides a critical electricity supply to run the operations of the mine. It has 22 Wärtsilä engines, of which the last one was commissioned in 2013.

The incentivised KPIs will lead to an increase in revenue and a reduction in operational cost, according to Wärtsilä, with the partnership enabling Lihir Gold to focus on gold production while Wärtsilä takes care of optimising the power plant performance.

The agreement will also provide the customer with maintenance and parts cost predictability, including a reduction in working capital.

The agreement includes full technical support, real-time monitoring of the equipment from Wärtsilä’s Expertise Centres, condition-based maintenance and asset diagnostic reporting, operational advisory support, as well as all planned and unplanned maintenance of the generator sets and auxiliaries. The agreement KPIs with shared incentives are based on fuel and oil consumption and power availability, with the option to adjust these KPIs by mutual agreement should the market change.

Daniel May, Manager – Power, Utilities, Projects & Engineering, Lihir, Newcrest Mining, said: “During the initial market engagement process, it was determined that Wärtsilä’s experience, track record and capabilities in Papua New Guinea made them the best partner to further develop the partnership agreement that has now been signed. This is a flexible solution that delivers incentives and benefits to both parties.”

Henri van Boxtel, Energy Business Director, Wärtsilä Energy, added: “This agreement takes a holistic approach to the plant’s operations and maintenance, and reflects the importance of the strategic partnership between Wärtsilä and the customer. By linking the availability and performance of the power generating plant to the mine’s productivity, we are establishing a flexible and beneficial business case that promotes efficiency and delivers real value over the entire lifecycle of the power plant. We are at the same time aiming to increase the reliability of the electrical supply, which can help raise the mine’s output.”

The total installed base of Wärtsilä’s power generating equipment in a number of projects in Papua New Guinea is 381 MW, of which 170 MW has been supplying power to Lihir Gold.

Newcrest shores up wind energy input at Cadia mine with Tilt Renewables PPA

Newcrest Mining has entered into a 15-year renewable Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Tilt Renewables Ltd to secure a significant part of the future projected energy requirements of its Cadia copper-gold mine in New South Wales, Australia.

The PPA, together with the forecast decarbonisation of NSW electricity generation, is expected to deliver a circa-20% reduction in Newcrest’s greenhouse gas emissions and is a significant step towards achieving Newcrest’s target of a 30% reduction by 2030, the miner said.

Tilt Renewables is the owner and developer of the Rye Park Wind Farm, located north of Yass and east of Boorowa in New South Wales. From January 2024, when commercial operations are targeted to commence, Newcrest will contract for around 55% of Rye Park’s planned circa-400 MW output, which is equivalent to more than 40% of Cadia’s projected energy demand from 2024.

Rye Park Wind Farm, which comes with a capital expenditure bill of A$700 million ($530 million), will become the largest wind farm directly enabled by a corporate PPA in Australia, according to Newcrest, and the project is now expected to move from the development stage into financing and construction.

The PPA is conditional on Tilt Renewables achieving financial close for the project and is a contract for difference requiring no upfront capital investment by the miner. “The PPA will act as a partial hedge against future electricity price increases and will also provide Newcrest with access to large-scale generation certificates which it intends to surrender to achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” the company explained.

Newcrest Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sandeep Biswas, said: “This new contract secures renewable energy for our Cadia operations, reduces carbon emissions and helps us maintain competitive energy costs.

“This is a critical step in our transition to sustainable energy use at our operations. As part of our Climate Change Policy, released last June, we have committed to a significant reduction in emissions intensity, and this agreement is a major step towards delivering on that objective.”

He concluded: “We continue to explore ways to reduce Cadia’s emissions intensity and our long-term aim is to virtually eliminate Cadia’s energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, we continue to pursue emissions-intensity reduction initiatives at our other operating sites.”

Newcrest, Epiroc and MacLean achieve interoperability first at Cadia East

Newcrest Mining’s Cadia Valley Operations has achieved a world first in mobile equipment interoperability – integrating a remotely operated MacLean water cannon into its Epiroc automation fleet at Cadia East, in New South Wales, Australia.

In 2018, Cadia commenced a loader (LHD) automation trial with Epiroc, with the aim of removing operators from the Cadia East underground environment, while maintaining productivity and performance. The loader trial proved successful and the next phase involved integrating non-Epiroc machinery into the existing automation fleet, Epiroc said.

Cadia’s Mining Innovation & Automation team worked with Epiroc and MacLean to integrate a MacLean water cannon capable of localisation with Epiroc’s traffic management system and safety hardware, so that it could be introduced into the automation safety system.

Water cannons are used for secondary break operations, using high pressure water to release wedged rocks in underground drawpoints.

By integrating the MacLean IQ Series tele-operation system with Cadia’s automation safety system, the water cannon could be safely operated from the surface in a tele-remote capacity, allowing it to work alongside Cadia’s semi-automated loaders, Epiroc said.

The water cannon was trialled and commissioned during July and August and is now in use at Cadia East, according to Epiroc.

Cadia General Manager, Aaron Brannigan, said that integrating the water cannon into Cadia’s automation system has improved the efficiency of the production level and removed human exposure from drawpoints.

“We are constantly pushing the envelope of change in the innovation and technology space,” Brannigan said. “Automated machinery allows for shift in technical capabilities of our workforce, while ensuring we continue to eliminate safety risks from our operation.”

The success of this milestone paves the way for further integration of other key pieces of secondary break equipment into the automation system, according to Epiroc, which added: “This project is part of Newcrest’s ongoing drive to increase its automation and innovation focus on site.”