Tag Archives: Northern Star Resources

OZ Minerals Prominent Hill joins Aqura 5G Underground Initiative

Aqura says its 5G Underground Initiative in Australia is progressing to plan, with the company having recently added OZ Minerals’ Prominent Hill mine to the project, joining representatives from one of Northern Star Resources’ operations in the project.

Aqura, recently acquired by Telstra Purple, was awarded a grant back in 2021 from the Australian Government under the 5G Innovation Initiative to augment the organisation’s own development work to address the challenge of delivering underground 5G LTE. This development work included technical architectures, commercial model development and installation of a live Private 5G LTE network in an operating mine.

The 5G Underground Initiative leverages learnings from a 2017 project where Aqura successfully delivered Private 4G LTE in an underground mine in the Kalgoorlie region of Western Australia.

Aqura says it has onboarded Northern Star and OZ Minerals by providing a detailed design for both of its chosen mines.

“Having two different mines involved in the project will greatly extend the diversity of the technology architectures developed to suit more mine operation types,” it noted.

Site visits to validate terrain and existing infrastructure are currently in progress. Equipment acquisition is also underway, with works expected to commence at both sites in August 2022, Aqura said.

Schlam delivers 1,500th Hercules dump body in Australia

Schlam has now reached the milestone of manufacturing its 1,500th Hercules dump body in Australia, with the dump body in question delivered to Glencore’s Mt Owen complex in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales.

Now in its 14th incarnation, the Schlam Hercules has become the dump body of choice for many of the most significant Tier 1 operators, OEM truck builders and mining contractors in Australia, Schlam says.

Schlam Chief Executive Officer, Matt Thomas, said it was a team effort to reach this milestone.

“Our manufacturing division – Schlam Payload Solutions – is filled with some of the most dedicated and hardworking individuals I’ve ever met. And, when they work together, anything is possible.

“The pandemic and supply chain concerns have pressured our team, however, they have managed these challenges superbly while maintaining our commitment to quality and customer service.”

The first Hercules was manufactured in Australia in 2003, and it took 17 years to reach the 1,000th milestone. It took the company just 22 months to then reach the 1,500th mark.

Thomas says that long-term national supply contracts with BHP, Fortescue, Glencore, Northern Star Resources, Newmont and other significant miners mean that the Hercules is set to continue along this upward growth path.

“We are creating efficiencies in our manufacturing processes through robotics, automation and ‘LEAN thinking’ to support this growth while maintaining quality,” he said.

“We’re also growing our sales and aftersales teams, ensuring that customer service is exceptional at every step of their experience with Schlam. We pride ourselves on following our products into the field and believe this has been a critical element in our growth.

“I thank the whole team – no matter where they work in the company – for helping us reach this milestone, and I look forward to many more to come.”

RME supplies Northern Star’s Thunderbox mine with 500th Mill Relining Machine

In what it says is a major milestone, Russell Mineral Equipment (RME) has designed and completed production of its 500th Mill Relining Machine (MRM) for Australia-based gold producer Northern Star Resources Ltd.

This custom-made RUSSELL MRM will be accepted by Northern Star at a ceremony at RME’s global headquarters in Toowoomba, Queensland, this month. This MRM will service Northern Star’s new SAG mill at its Thunderbox project in the Goldfields of Western Australia.

RME and Northern Star began their relationship at the Kanowna Belle Operations, some 30 years ago with the purchase of RUSSELL MRM number five (MRM005). Northern Star owns six RUSSELL MRMs, including the 400th RUSSELL MRM, commissioned in 2018 at Kanowna Belle. Thismachine replaced a RUSSELL MRM that had been in operation at Kanowna Belle for 25 years.

The 500th RUSSELL MRM is a RUSSELL 7-axis, 6,000-kg capacity machine. The RUSSELL 7 is RME’s signature model sold globally, and this unit also comes with advanced RME INSIDEOUT™ technologies. These proprietary new technologies, developed by RME, enable placement and removal of grinding mill liners without any crew working on the charge inside the mill, greatly reducing exposure of personnel to significant hazards, the company says.

Since the introduction of the very first RUSSELL 7-axis MRM in 1992, traditional mill relining times have been quartered and many health and safety hazards have been eliminated, RME says.
Chief Customer Officer, Cherylyn Russell, says RME is a proud supplier to the hard-rock mining and mineral processing industry, primarily those processing gold and copper.

“This milestone is a chance to acknowledge the technology and safety advances of the RME Mill Relining System that enable giant grinding mills to get back to work quicker after regular relining,” she said. “Mill relining is the most specialised maintenance task in the mineral concentrator process and often dictates the length of shutdowns. RME’s innovative, customised, robust equipment helps increase mine site profitability, all while improving the safety of the working environment.”

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.”