Tag Archives: Perenti

Panoramic, Primero and Barminco get to work on restarting Savannah nickel operation

Panoramic Resources Ltd, after a 12-month review process, has approved the restart of the Savannah Nickel Operation, in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

The decision hinges on a 12-year mine life with an average annual production target of 9,072 t of nickel, 4,683 t of copper and 676 t cobalt in concentrate; as well as an offtake agreement with Trafigura that will also see the trading company provide a loan facility of up to A$45 million to cover the A$41 million of upfront capital cost required to restart the mine.

Savannah is set to operate at average site all-in costs of A$6.36/lb of payable nickel, net of copper and cobalt by-product credits and royalty payments. This equates to roughly $4.86/Ib or $10,714/t.

Savannah, with more than A$100 million already invested, has been maintained since the suspension of operations in April 2020 with a view towards operational readiness and project optimisation. This includes the recent completion of the FAR#3 ventilation raise, underground capital development on four mining levels at Savannah North and ancillary capital works on surface and underground infrastructure, which are currently being completed, Panoramic said.

The restart decision has led to divisions of Perenti and NRW Holdings being awarded significant contracts related to the resumption of mining activities.

Barminco, a subsidiary of the Perenti Group, has been awarded a four-year underground mining contract under a binding letter of intent and is scheduled to mobilise to site in July 2021. The contract will be serviced by new underground mining equipment including the use of tele-remote mining equipment, expected to deliver both safety and productivity benefits, Panoramic said.

The contractor was formally awarded the A$200 million contract back in February.

“Based on Barminco’s previous working knowledge at Savannah, opportunities to increase ore production and reduce dilution have also been identified,” the company added, explaining that underground mining is planned to commence in August, with ore to initially be sourced from both the Savannah and the Savannah North deposits.

Following an evaluation of an owner-operator model for the processing plant and a competitive contract tender process, Panoramic has also signed a non-binding letter of intent worth A$35 million with Primero (owned by NRW Holdings), which envisages a three-year agreement. The agreement relates to all processing and maintenance work at the Savannah processing plant, which has been maintained in “excellent condition” during the suspension, Panoramic said.

“A number of opportunities for improved recoveries through enhanced operating practices and minor capital projects have been identified,” the company added. As a result, the non-binding letter of intent with Primero has been structured to incentivise achieving higher than budget recoveries.

Panoramic is working with Primero to complete a binding contract in the coming months, but ore processing is set to restart in November 2021, allowing ore stockpiles to build for around three months (100,000 t) to de-risk ore supply issues.

The process plant at Savannah was commissioned in August 2004 and comprises a single stage crusher, SAG mill, flotation, thickening and filtering stages to produce a bulk nickel, copper, cobalt concentrate. Over the 2004 to 2016 initial operating period, metallurgical recoveries averaged 86-89% for nickel, 94-97% for copper and 89-92% for cobalt. The plant was originally designed for a throughput of 750,000 t/y, but consistently outperformed the design specifications with rates exceeding 1 Mt on an annualised basis, Panoramic said.

First concentrate shipment from the Wyndham Port is targeted for December 2021.

Barminco set for Normet battery-electric Charmec trial at IGO’s Nova operation

Normet’s Charmec MC 605 VE Smart Drive battery-powered emulsion charger is continuing its tour of Australia, with Barminco signing up to trial the machine for three months at the Independence Group-owned Nova nickel-copper-cobalt underground mine in Western Australia.

Barminco, a Perenti company, says the trial is part of its commitment to improving performance and driving sustainability initiatives across its business. It represents the contractor’s first heavy-duty battery electric vehicle (BEV) trial, coming on top of the short trial it conducted with Safescape’s Bortana light electric vehicle, also at Nova.

The MC605 VE Smart Drive will be a direct replacement for the diesel-powered MC605 D Barminco uses at its underground client sites, with the battery-electric trial likely involving a mix of production and development operations.

“Along with the maintenance and cost benefits of using battery-electric equipment underground, it will also provide an improved work environment for our people,” Barminco said.

OZ Minerals, in October, became the first miner in Australia to take delivery of a battery-powered Normet Charmec MC 605 VE SD. The charging unit, which arrived at the Carrapateena copper-gold mine in South Australia, was also put through a three-month trial.

The work at Carrapateena involved the charging of 30 faces – all of which were charged without any major problems – with tramming times of 5-15 minutes and tramming distances of 1-3.5 km from the explosives warehouse to the face and back, according to Normet. The process saw 4.5 m long cuts and an average of 65 holes, with 300-400 kg of emulsion loaded per cut.

The trial involved the use of an on-board 1.5 t Emulsion Charging Module system provided by Normet and the application of Downer Blasting Services’ HEAT® 9000 ammonium nitrate emulsion.

The unit carried out charging with and without a trailing cable plugged into the mine site’s electricity infrastructure and a SmartDrive CT40 DC-charging trolley was also employed.

Reflecting on the Carrapateena trial, Normet said: “SmartDrive battery-electric vehicle architecture proved its ability for emulsion charging as this process is extremely energy efficient and enables independent operations even without a trailing cable plugged in.

“Silent slope performance as well as exhaust-, heat- and noise-free charging operations made a real impression on all users of the SD Charmec.”

Back in 2019, Normet made history with the MC 605 VE Smart Drive by demonstrating battery-electric emulsion charging in an underground production environment for the first time in Europe at the Pyhäsalmi mine, in Finland.

Barminco bags A$200 million contract extension at Gold Fields’ Agnew mine

Perenti’s hard-rock underground miner Barminco says it has been awarded a A$200 million ($153 million) contract extension at Gold Fields’ Agnew gold mine in Leinster, Western Australia.

The extension is for full underground mining services, driven by an increase in development and production “physicals” at the mine, Perenti said, adding that Barminco has been operating at Agnew since 2010.

Perenti Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mark Norwell, said: “We are delighted to be extending our relationship with our long-standing client, Gold Fields.

“Part of our 2025 group strategy is to organically grow this part of our business. The recent achievements of Barminco in this regard are a result of the strong relationships we share with our clients and the value we create for them through our world-class underground mining capabilities.”

Perenti Mining Chief Executive Officer, Paul Muller, said: “We have been providing safe and efficient underground mining services at Agnew for more than 10 years and we are very pleased to be supporting Gold Fields with their increased development and production requirements. This extension will take our current term out to December 2023.”

Gold Fields to trial Caterpillar dual-fuel solution on haul trucks at Tarkwa mine

Gold Fields plans to test the use of LNG to power haul trucks in a trial at its Tarkwa open-pit gold mine in Ghana, CEO Nick Holland told attendees of the IMARC Online event this week.

Speaking on a panel reviewing progress of the Innovation for Cleaner, Safer Vehicles (ICSV) initiative – a supply chain collaboration between the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) – Holland said the trial would involve a mix of LNG and diesel fuel at the operation, and four trucks would initially be tested with the fuel combination in 2021.

Gold Fields later confirmed to IM that the trial would take place in the second half of 2021 and involve the use of Caterpillar’s dual-fuel LNG Dynamic Gas Blending (DGB) retrofit system on four of the mine’s Cat 785C 146 t payload dump trucks.

The DGB conversion kits, available on Cat 785C and 793D haul trucks, are a dual-fuel technology that enables miners to substitute diesel fuel with LNG, according to Cat. The use of LNG has been proven to reduce emissions by up to 30%, as well as lower costs by up to 30%, Cat says.

DGB vaporises liquid fuel into natural gas, then replaces diesel fuel with LNG when possible. On average, DGB replaces about 60-65% of diesel with LNG, according to Cat.

Tarkwa, which is 90% owned by Gold Fields, produced 519,000 oz of gold in 2019, 1% lower than the 525,000 oz produced in 2018. It employs Engineers & Planners Co Ltd as mining contractor.

While this trial will potentially lower the company’s carbon emissions – as will Gold Fields’ plan to fit “diesel filters” on all its machines underground in the next 12-18 months – Holland pointed to a much loftier long-term goal during the ICSV panel.

“The challenge to our teams and OEMs is to move away from diesel completely,” he said.

Such a move could see the company employ both battery-powered and hydrogen-powered solutions at its underground mines, he added.

Ausdrill commissions automation-ready Cat MD6250 drill at Boggabri

Ausdrill says it has just commissioned the first of four new Caterpillar MD6250 drills at the Boggabri coal operations in New South Wales, Australia.

The machine has been successfully commissioned on site four weeks ahead of the contract start date, according to the Perenti company, with the help of the WesTrac team at Tomago, NSW.

These M6250 drills come with the next level of drill automation and driller assist, Ausdrill says, including one touch auto levelling and auto drilling functions combined with Cat MineStar Terrain for drilling to improve safety, productivity, reliability and accuracy.

Back in February, Perenti reported its Surface Mining Industry Sector Group had been awarded A$155.5 million ($113 million) in new and extended contracts. This included a three-year contract (with options to extend) for production drilling services with Boggabri Coal Operations (a part of Idemitsu Australia Resources Group) at Boggabri.

The MD6250 is designed for both down-the-hole drilling in hard rock and rotary drilling in softer rock. The blasthole drill carries out single-pass drilling and multi pass, as well as angle drilling, according to Cat.

MACA is currently running an MD6250 at the Bluff coal mine, in Queensland, while AngloGold Ashanti Australia, with support from Flanders and Tropicana Mining Alliance partner, Macmahon Holdings, now has five autonomous Cat MD6250 drill rigs as part of its drilling fleet at the Tropicana gold mine, in Western Australia. Thiess, Cat and WesTrac have also introduced an MD6250 drill rig with autonomous drilling capability at Mount Pleasant, in New South Wales, in a phased 12-month pilot project.

Barminco starts round one of portal development at Barrick Hemlo

Barminco says it has mobilised to start the development of the new underground portal at Barrick Gold’s Hemlo gold mine in Ontario, Canada.

The installation of the portal ground support has been completed and a new Sandvik DD421 jumbo is being used to drill the first round of what will be the entrance to the new decline ramp, Barminco said.

It added: “Barminco is proud to be introducing high speed development capabilities at Hemlo, adding value to the already well-established mine.”

Earlier this year, Barminco was issued a letter of intent to provide underground contract mining services at Hemlo following Barrick’s decision to phase out open-pit mining and move to an underground contract mining model at the operation.

Perenti, Barminco’s parent company, said back then that its underground contract mining division would “bring industry-leading technology and productivity to Hemlo in support of Barrick’s goal to modernise and improve the performance of the mine and establish it as a Tier Two asset within its group”.

Barminco, Ausdrill transport Rhino 100 raise borer to Regis’ Rosemont gold mine

Having become the first company globally to have taken delivery of a mobile raiseboring machine with uphole, downhole, and back reaming capability, Barminco is transporting a Rhino 100 Raise Borer to another client site in Australia.

With the help of its Perenti surface mining partner, Ausdrill, the newest addition was recently transported to Regis Resources’ Rosemont gold mine in Western Australia.

Just last year, Barminco sealed a three-year underground mining services contract with Regis at Rosemont, which has been transitioning from open-pit to underground mining at the operation.

Barminco said: “Through safe and rapid mobilisation, we are able to meet our clients’ needs and transport our equipment across multiple sites to complete a range of drilling campaigns.”

Since April 2019, Barminco’s first Rhino has travelled a combined 15,000 km between four client sites in the Goldfields of Western Australia, drilling a total of 3,843 m.

The Rhino is manufactured by TRB-Raise Borers in Finland but is equipped with Sandvik tools and is distributed by Sandvik. It is a fully mechanised and self-contained electro-hydraulic mobile raiseborer designed for slot raising in underground mining. The latest models also have an optional back reaming module.

In addition to helping transport Barminco’s latest Rhino to Regis’ site, Ausdrill has recently added a new Boart Longyear LF™160 drill rig and FREEDOM™ Loader combination to its diamond drilling fleet.

This rig reduces the crew’s “Hands On Steel” interaction, while improving overall safety standards, Ausdrill said.

When paired with the FL262 FREEDOM Loader, the LF160 combination is ideal for contractors who want to target sophisticated surface drilling exploration contracts that stipulate some of the highest safety standards, without compromising on productivity, Boart Longyear says.

Perenti’s AUMS wins two-year extension at Roxgold’s Yaramoko mine

Perenti subsidiary, African Underground Mining Services (AUMS), has been awarded a contract extension at Roxgold’s Yaramoko mine in Burkina Faso.

The contract extension is valued at around A$200 million ($146 million) over two years, from December 2021 to December 2023. It follows on from the existing development and production scope currently being executed, taking the total contracted work-in-hand at Yaramoko to some A$350 million as at the end of August 2020, Perenti said.

AUMS is an operating business unit of Barminco and has been successfully operating at the mine since the development of the Zone 55 portal in 2015. The project, 200 km southwest of Ouagadougou, has now grown to include the Bagassi South mine.

In the June quarter, Yaramoko produced 32,812 oz of gold, according to Roxgold.

Barminco’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Muller, said: “The high-grade Yaramoko complex is an important project for Roxgold, Barminco and the people of the Yaramoko community. We are very pleased to extend our contract with Roxgold to December 2023 and look forward to continuing to create enduring value and certainty for our client, employees, shareholders and the people of Yaramoko and Burkina Faso alike.”

Perenti Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mark Norwell, said Barminco and AUMS, combined, are a global leader in hard rock underground mining, with this contract extension reinforcing this sector leading position.

Barminco to take on Odysseus nickel mining gig for Western Areas

Perenti’s hard-rock underground miner Barminco has been awarded a development and production contract at Western Areas’ Odysseus mine, in Western Australia.

The contract at Odysseus, part of the Cosmos nickel operation, is valued at around A$200 million ($146 million) over five years and follows on from the earlier rehabilitation works completed by Barminco at the mine.

Western Areas acquired Cosmos in October 2015 and commenced the redevelopment of Odysseus in January 2019. Once in production, Odysseus is expected to produce 14,000-15,000 t/y of nickel concentrate, becoming Western Areas third nickel mine in Western Australia.

Western Areas Managing Director, Dan Lougher, said today (September 8) that excellent progress had been made on the underground and surface infrastructure works at Odysseus, with minimal COVID-19 impacts.

“We have reached a critical milestone with the firing of the full-face development of the Odysseus decline, which is now heading across to the orebody,” he said. “A significant amount of preparation and support work has been delivered across the site to reach this milestone.

“We now have our eye on the delivery of the first ore tonnes mined from underground in the first quarter of financial year 2022.”

Barminco’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Muller, said the company was excited to continue its relationship with the Western Areas team, which began in 2005 at the Forrestania mine and has now grown to include the Cosmos nickel operation.

“Odysseus is a significant project to bring on-stream, and the five-year term demonstrates the trust and confidence Western Areas has in Barminco to continuously improve and deliver for them,” he said.

RCT brings ControlMaster automation tech to SEMAFO-owned Siou underground mine

OEM-agnostic autonomous solutions specialist RCT says it has executed a project with Perenti-owned African Underground Mining Services (AUMS) at the Siou underground gold mine, in Burkina Faso.

Earlier this year, RCT commissioned its ControlMaster® Guidance Automation technology on two of Siou’s Caterpillar R2900G underground LHDs and supplied two associated Automation Centres.

Siou, owned by SEMAFO, is a gold deposit some 20 km from the Mana mine. Conversion of Siou open pit into underground mining operations began in the September quarter of 2018 with full underground production expected shortly, according to SEMAFO.

Guidance Automation enables the loaders to operate with minimal intervention by machine operators located in the Automation Centres, either on the surface of the mine or in a secure location in the underground mine, RCT said.

“The automation solution improves safety onsite by relocating mine personnel away from the mine face and reducing unplanned maintenance downtime by eliminating machine operator errors,” RCT said.

RCT says its Africa-based staff has provided comprehensive training to machine operators and will continue to provide ongoing after-sales support to AUMS.