Tag Archives: Northern Star Resources

Northern Star shores up KCGM energy supply with Newmont Kalgoorlie power deal

Newmont has agreed to sell its Kalgoorlie power business to Australia’s Northern Star Resources Ltd in a deal that could see the leading gold miner pocket $95 million of cash.

The deal follows the January 2020 sale of Newmont’s 50% stake in Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM). Of the $95 million in cash, $25 million relates to an option payment previously received from Northern Star as part of this stake. The cost of the option will be deducted from the final purchase price, leaving Northern Star to pay the balance of $70 million at completion, expected to occur in December 2021.

Newmont said the Kalgoorlie power business has been a profitable asset for Newmont since the sale of its stake in KCGM. It supplies electricity to KCGM via a suite of contracts, licences, approvals and third-party arrangements, including a 50% interest in the 110 MW duel fuel gas turbine Parkeston Power Station near Kalgoorlie, owned in joint venture with Canadian energy utility, TransAlta Corp.

Northern Star said the purchase provided the company with significant synergies and value, including infrastructure and power security to support the requirements of KCGM; lower power costs at KCGM; further options for Northern Star to implement renewable energy.

Northern Star Managing Director, Stuart Tonkin, said: “The purchase means our Kalgoorlie power supply will now form part of our studies into ways to meet our commitment to becoming carbon-neutral.”

Newmont President and CEO, Tom Palmer, added: “Australia is a critical contributor to Newmont’s global portfolio of world-class assets, located in top-tier jurisdictions. With the sale of this non-core asset, we will continue our regional focus on delivering long-term value at our Boddington and Tanami operations and advancing our future project pipeline through active exploration campaigns.”

New Cat 793Fs start arriving at KCGM’s Super Pit gold operations in Kalgoorlie

Northern Star Resources has started to welcome the first of its 39 new Caterpillar 793F haul trucks to its KCGM Operations in Western Australia.

The first of these haul trucks arrived in September, with the remaining trucks to arrive at site between now and April 2022, Northern Star said. They will be transported from Perth to Kalgoorlie-Boulder on the Great Eastern Highway.

Part of an open-pit fleet replacement program, the trucks will offer “improved visibility and comfort” to Northern Star’s 200-plus local operators working in the Super Pit, while supporting KCGM’s life of mine plans to 2034, the company said.

The trucks are fitted with Schlam’s Hercules dump bodies, which have been custom designed to suit the hard-rock mining environment of the Super Pit and KCGM’s mining plan, Schlam said.

At KCGM, open-pit mining rates continued to ramp-up in the September quarter, with an increased production rate of 72 Mt/y achieved at quarter end.

Northern Star and Nomadic Energy boost solar power capacity at Carosue Dam

Northern Star Resources has recently worked with Nomadic Energy to commission an additional 3.3 MW of solar power at its Carosue Dam gold operations in Western Australia.

Nomadic worked with the Carosue team to install and commission the solar farm over a six-week period using pre-fabricated mobile arrays, pre-made DC harnesses and modular inverter stands.

The solar project has a DC capacity of 3.32 MW, which was made up of 8,100 410 W panels on 90 pre-fabricated mobile arrays. The maximum AC output of the farm is 2.75 MW AC, which, in combination with the original solar farm, brings the total site solar penetration to 3.5 MW AC.

Northern Star says the project is planned to offset an additional circa-3,548 t/y of CO2.

Metso Outotec set for SAG mill Premier at Northern Star’s Thunderbox

Metso Outotec says it will deliver a high-capacity, high-powered Premier™ SAG mill to Northern Star Resources Limited’s Thunderbox gold mine expansion project in Western Australia.

The typical value of such a delivery is approximately €15 million ($17.7 million) depending on the final scope, according to the OEM. The order has been booked in the company’s Minerals’ first half of 2021 orders received.

On award of Northern Star Resources’ largest mill 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 per annum from the current 3 Mt/a, and decreases processing costs as outlined in our 2021 Investor Day Presentation.

“Northern Star’s selection of Metso Outotec for the mill supply is supported by their locally-based expertise, large mill supply history and ongoing collaboration with Northern Star.”

Earlier this month, GR Engineering Services executed an engineering, procurement and construction contract with Northern Star Resources in relation to the expansion project.

Christoph Hoetzel, Head of Grinding Business Line at Metso Outotec, said: “We are pleased to be chosen as a supplier for the Thunderbox expansion. The gear-driven Premier SAG mill to be delivered will feature 18 MW of motor power.

“With the Premier mill range, we advance our unrivaled innovation legacy providing our customers with most reliable technology, engineered to exceed their specific requirements. We are looking forward to continue the collaboration with Northern Star Resources and to be part of their success story.”

The Premier horizontal grinding mills are customisable solutions built on state-of-the-art grinding mill technology, process expertise and design capability, the company says. The Premier horizontal grinding mills are engineered to “excel and create vast possibilities” for customers and applications.

These mills can be integrated with Metso Outotec mill reline equipment and are supported by the company’s extensive services network to ensure optimisation during the mills’ lifetime, the company says.

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).

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.

Macmahon defies labour tightness to bolster contract mining order book

Macmahon Holdings Ltd has added around A$1.35 billion ($988 million) of work to its order book with the signing of three previously flagged contract mining gigs, plus announced the addition of surface mining work at Northern Star Resources’ Julius gold project in Western Australia.

The three projects making up the A$1.35 billion of contract mining works are the 5-year agreement with St Barbara Ltd at the Gwalia gold mine, a three-year pact with Anglo American at Dawson South and a five-year contract with Red 5 Ltd at King of the Hills.

The contract with Northern Star Resources at Julius is expected to deliver revenue of A$25 million over the next 12 months. Production from the Julius deposit is expected to complement output from NSR’s Jundee operations.

In addition to these projects, Macmahon says it is well progressed in finalising the commercial arrangements for Phase 8 of its Batu Hijau copper-gold project in Indonesia, an operation owned by PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara.

Macmahon commented: “While Macmahon has observed a tightening of the labour market in Australia over the past year, it can confirm that the Gwalia, Dawson South and Julius projects have commenced operations by the times required in those contracts.

“Macmahon has existing strategies for responding to challenges in the availability of labour, and believes it is well placed to continue to manage this operational issue into the foreseeable future, and to continue to deliver value for its clients.”

Commenting on today’s announcement, Macmahon CEO and Managing Director, Michael Finnegan, said: “Macmahon is continuing to build on its track record for delivery and to advance its growth strategy.

“It is very satisfying to have secured significant new work during financial year 2021, which provides us with a strong order book and excellent earnings visibility for FY22 and FY23. The underground work at Gwalia and King of the Hills also adds scale to our underground business, which is an important step in our strategy to diversify Macmahon.”

MLG Oz bolsters NSR Jundee work, adds Norton Gold Fields and Mincor to contract mix

MLG Oz says it continues to experience historically high levels of tendering opportunities for its suite of mining services, with three new integrated site services and haulage contracts recently added to its remit across its Western Australia operations.

MLG, which listed on the ASX earlier this year, says it offers a range of value added services from bulk haulage, crushing and screening, aggregate and sand supplies through to export logistics.

At Northern Star’s Jundee gold operation in Western Australia, the company has been awarded preferred contractor status for an expansion of its services, providing integrated site support and haulage capacity at the mine. Subject to negotiation and execution, this new three-year contract is expected to commence around August and deliver some A$12 million/y ($9.2 million/y) in revenue.

The scope of works will consist of integrated site support to the company’s mill feed operations from both its Jundee central underground mines and its regional satellite operations, MLG said. It will see the ASX-listed contractor conduct all crusher feed, bulk haulage and site civil works for the operations under its integrated operating platform.

MLG has added two new clients to its roster, too – Norton Gold Fields and Mincor Resources.

Norton Gold Fields has chosen MLG as its successful tenderer to provide integrated site support services and haulage for its Paddington gold operation over a three-year period expected to commence in September. Revenue from this opportunity is estimated to be around A$14 million/y, with formal contract documentation anticipated to be finalised in the coming weeks.

And, in line with MLG’s desire to broaden its service offering across different commodities and, in particular, the battery metals space, it has executed a contract with Mincor Resources for the provision of the logistics services associated with its Kambalda nickel operation. The contract is expected to deliver approximately A$3 million/y in revenue over four years and is expected to commence in the March quarter of 2022.

Reviewing these contract awards, MLG Founder, Managing Director and majority shareholder, Murray Leahy, said: “We are very pleased to be given the opportunity to continue to support and grow with Northern Star which has been a long-standing customer of MLG.

“We are delighted that the Norton Gold Fields Board has selected MLG to support the Paddington processing facility. The mill is 35 km northwest of Kalgoorlie and aligns very strongly with our existing Kalgoorlie network.

“Our new contract at the Kambalda operations is an important first step for MLG in developing a longer-term relationship with Mincor in support of its goal of being a key supplier of nickel to the emerging battery metals market.”

In addition to announcing these contract awards, MLG also provided a market update on its crushing and screening activities.

It said: “MLG’s crushing and screening operations, which account for 20% of MLG’s forecast financial year 2021 revenue of A$241.6 million, have experienced a reduction in available material to process from several clients across the last quarter of financial year 2021, due to production constraints at various client operations. We anticipate this will negatively impact the crushing and screening revenue in the first half of financial year 2022. Despite this, and given the company’s current pipeline, including as evidenced above, the board expects the overall impact of this to be mitigated in the second half of financial year 2022.”

DRA under budget and ahead of schedule at NST’s Jundee expansion project

DRA Global says it has completed its engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract under budget and ahead of time for Northern Star Resources at the Jundee gold mine, near Wiluna, Western Australia.

The Jundee mining operation is situated in the Northern Yandal Greenstone Belt, with the mine yielding a record 300,000 oz for Northern Star in the year ending June 30, 2020.

Jundee’s processing circuit comprises a two-stage crushing circuit, SAG and ball mill, and conventional carbon-in-leach plant. The ball mill upgrade, undertaken by DRA, increased processing plant capacity to a nominal design throughput rate of 2.7 Mt/y, from 2.2 Mt/y.

DRA delivered the EPCM project scope under budget and ahead of time, with ore commissioning achieved some six weeks ahead of schedule in a total duration of 35 weeks, it said.

“DRA’s project team achieved this outcome by working in close collaboration with the Northern Star project and operations team, the equipment vendors and construction sub-contractors,” it said.

Delivery of the project required overcoming challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, including risk mitigation strategies being initiated to maintain the accelerated project schedule, according to the company.

Northern Star’s General Manager Processing, Simon Tyrrell, said DRA had consistently met and exceeded performance expectations through a collaborative approach to the Jundee ball mill project delivery.

DRA was engaged on the EPCM contract after having completed an engineering and cost study which included scope definition, design, planning, capital and operating cost estimation. The project follows several previous plant upgrades and studies successfully completed by DRA at the Jundee gold mine, which have contributed towards the continuous production growth seen at the mine over the last four-to-five years, DRA said.

The process plant shutdown and tie-in of the new ball mill was performed in conjunction with the Northern Star operations team and contractors without incident, and the process plant has since ramped up to run consistently above nameplate design capacity, the company added.

CSIRO senses a new way forward for mineral exploration

A project focused on the Capricorn region of Western Australia has indicated mining companies could more accurately pinpoint reserves of valuable minerals using a new water-tasting approach developed by the national science agency, CSIRO.

In research supported by the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA), broad “haloes” of altered water chemistry around known deposits of gold, uranium, and other minerals were discovered where interaction with the ore systems had left distinctive traces in the water.

CSIRO Researcher, Dr Nathan Reid, led a team of scientists analysing samples of groundwater from the Capricorn region, where layers of sediment and weathering are believed to hide potential ore deposits from view.

Dr Reid explained: “Groundwater penetrates through covering sediments and interacts directly with the bedrock, dissolving trace amounts of the minerals present into solution. By sampling those waters, our instruments can essentially ‘taste’ the geology they have come into contact with.”

Where the underlying rocks contain a valuable ore deposit, the chemical flavour of that mineralisation extends much further than the concentrated mineralisation itself, according to Dr Reid, comparing this with a teaspoon of salt making a whole glass of water taste salty.

These haloes of altered water chemistry could help geologists identify areas where other ore deposits might still lie hidden below the surface, helping to focus mineral exploration in the right areas, according to CSIRO.

Chemical anomalies identified in groundwater from sediment-covered areas of the study region have already stimulated further exploration investment from companies seeking to identify undiscovered mineral deposits, according to CSIRO. Industry sponsors of the project include Marindi Metals, Thundelarra Resources, Sandfire Resources, Northern Star Resources, MMG, Gascoyne Resources, Auris Metals, RNI, Erongo Energy and Independence Group.

MRIWA CEO, Nicole Roocke, said the innovative work in this project by scientists across CSIRO, the Centre for Exploration Targeting and Curtin University will play an important role in encouraging mining industry investment in under-explored areas of Western Australia.

“This work demonstrates the exciting mineral exploration potential remaining in the Capricorn, and we anticipate this innovative approach to mineral exploration will stimulate renewed interest in many similar areas of Western Australia where we know richly endowed geology lies buried below younger rocks,” she said.

“By supporting this fundamental research, the Western Australian Government is helping to provide the mineral exploration industry with the tools it needs to invest in identifying the next generation of ore deposits in this state.”

The technical report summarising the findings of this research can be found here.