Tag Archives: Pit N Portal

Pit N Portal equips refurbed Sandvik UG rig with Minnovare Production Optimiser

Emeco-owned Pit N Portal says it has recently rolled out a freshly rebuilt Sandvik DL421 underground drill rig equipped with Minnovare’s Production Optimiser™ technology for use at the Marvel Loch gold operations in Western Australia.

The 10-week build at Pit N Portal’s purpose-built complex in Perth, Western Australia harnessed the collective skills of our specialist tradespeople, headed up by Phil Lipscomb, Workshop Manager.

In addition to the complete overhaul, the unit was fitted with Production Optimiser, which improves drilling accuracy, speed and QA/QC – resulting in optimal drilling patterns and improved stope performance, Pit N Portal said. “The flow-on benefits to the mine include reduced average dilution, increased recovery (reduced bridging) and a faster stope cycle time.”

The Sandvik DL421 is an electro-hydraulic, longhole drill rig engineered for large-scale production drilling in underground mines. It is designed for vertical and inclined plane rings and fans, as well as parallel long production holes and long single holes with a diameter of 64-115 mm, and a depth of up to 54 m, Sandvik says.

Minetek to deliver ventilation solution to Mincor’s Kambalda nickel ops

Minetek says it has been awarded a tender to supply the ventilation requirements for the Cassini, Otter Juan and Long declines at Mincor’s Kambalda nickel operation in Western Australia.

The award, which came through Mincor’s contracting partner, Pit N Portal, includes both the secondary and primary vents across all three declines and follows on from a close collaboration over the last six months between the three parties, Minetek says.

Steve Verstegeen, CEO for Pit N Portal, said: “We are always looking at new innovations and technologies that will benefit both us and our clients. Minetek has been able to display that with the use of their modern ventilation technology, where we can look to see production increases through faster re-entry times and reduced capital costs in the total life of the development, delivering value to both us and Mincor.”

Minetek General Manager – Ventilation, Jeremy Sutherland, said: “From the start of early discussions with Mincor and Pit N Portal, it was very evident that both parties wanted to deliver the maximum amount of value for their stakeholders/shareholders in all aspects of the developments. This really excited our team, as it gave us the opportunity, through the release of forecasted production information and mine plans from Mincor and Pit n Portal, to display that we could deliver this through energy savings, production increases and reduced capital expenditure throughout the lifecycle of the developments.”

The “Mincor Nickel Operations” DFS from earlier this year confirmed the potential to develop a five‐year operation forecast to produce 71,000 t of nickel and 5,000 t of copper on a life-of-mine basis at Kambalda, with peak annual nickel-in-concentrate production of more than 16,000 t/y at a forecast life of mine unit cost of $2.35/lb.

Pit N Portal enters open-pit mining services space with Red 5 Great Western contract

Red 5 Ltd has reported an updated resource and maiden reserve estimate for the Great Western gold deposit in Western Australia, at the same time as confirming Pit N Portal, a division of Emeco, will contract mine the open-pit asset.

A satellite deposit located around 55 kms from Red 5’s Darlot gold mine and processing facility, Great Western now comes with a measured, indicated and inferred resource of 870,000 t grading 2.5 g/t Au for 70,300 oz of contained gold. The maiden proven and probable reserve totals 437,500 t at 2.5g/t Au for 35,424 oz of contained gold.

Based on a proposed mining rate of between 30,000-40,000 t/mth of ore, the open pit is expected to be completed over a period of around 13 months, with plans to then access the underground orebody via a portal at the base of the pit, Red 5 says.

The company expects to commence open-pit mining in January with Pit N Portal, with ore from the open-pit operation processed at the existing 830,000 t/y gravity and carbon-in-leach Darlot processing facility (pictured).

Red 5 says studies are already underway for the commencement of underground mining following completion of the open pit.

Steve Versteegen, CEO of Pit n Portal, said: “We are thrilled to be continuing our partnership with Red 5 on this project, and also entering the open-cut mining services space with a long-term customer.

“This project allows Pit N Portal to perform the open-cut operations for Darlot gold mine and provides an opportunity for Pit N Portal to continue with Red 5 when it reviews the potential for an underground option accessed via a portal at the base of the pit.”

Pit N Portal receives Notice to Proceed at Mincor’s Kambalda Nickel Operations

With funding now materially advanced and board approval in place, Mincor says it has issued a “Notice to Proceed” to its underground mining contractor, Pit N Portal, to start work at the Kambalda Nickel Operations in Western Australia.

In line with the binding contract executed in May 2020, Pit N Portal has 60 days to plan and mobilise for commencement of the contract.

The announcement of a final investment decision for the planned re-commencement of nickel mining at Kambalda by Mincor is supported by a credit approved term sheet agreed with two Tier-1 international banks to provide a secured A$55 million ($40 million) project finance facility. The facility, together with the company’s existing cash reserves of more than A$100 million, will allow Mincor to efficiently execute the delivery of its nickel restart plan in line with the definitive feasibility study (DFS) announced in March 2020, it said.

The contract with Pit N Portal encompasses a five-year pact for the new Cassini nickel mine, where early surface works were recently completed, and a three-year contract (plus one two-year option) at the Northern Operations (the brownfields Durkin North and Long nickel mines – both of which are on care and maintenance having previously operated). These two assets (Cassini and Northern Operations) make up the planned nickel operation.

Mincor says there are already several Pit N Portal personnel on-site following the commencement of an early works program.

“With all required key environmental and State Government permitting in place to commence, Mincor anticipates that mobilisation will ramp-up quickly over the coming weeks, with commercial mine development and surface construction expected to be in full swing during the December 2020 quarter,” the company said.

Subject to unforeseen delays, Mincor is targeting commencement of ore production early in the December 2021 quarter. First ore delivery to the BHP Nickel West Kambalda nickel concentrator and first nickel concentrate production is expected in the March 2022 quarter.

The “Mincor Nickel Operations” DFS from earlier this year confirmed the potential to develop a five‐year operation forecast to produce 71,000 t of nickel and 5,000 t of copper on a life-of-mine basis, with peak annual nickel-in-concentrate production of more than 16,000 t/y at a forecast life of mine unit cost of $2.35/lb.

Pit N Portal to help revive Mincor’s Kambalda nickel operation

Mincor Resources has awarded underground mining services and equipment hire group Pit N Portal with the underground mining contract for its 100%-owned Kambalda nickel operations in Western Australia.

The contract encompasses a five-year pact for the new Cassini nickel mine, where early surface works were recently completed, and a three-year contract (plus one two-year option) at the Northern Operations (the brownfields Durkin North and Long nickel mines – both of which are on care and maintenance having previously operated). These two assets (Cassini and Northern Operations) make up the planned nickel operation.

Pit N Portal was awarded the contract following the completion of a competitive tender process and a due diligence process led by Mincor’s Chief Operating Officer, Dean Will, examining safety, Kambalda underground experience and performance, capabilities, equipment availability and cost, the company said.

All key components of the contract are in line with the parameters set out in the Nickel Restart Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) completed in March 2020. This was based on an initial five-year operation from two production centres with all ore processed at BHP Nickel West’s Kambalda nickel concentrator and the resulting nickel concentrate sold to BHP. The DFS envisaged 63,000 t of recovered nickel-in-concentrate output for an estimated pre-production capital expenditure of A$68 million ($41 million at the time).

Mincor has executed a binding contract with Pit N Portal subject to a Notice to Proceed being issued by Mincor before March 31, 2021.

The development company says it is targeting the commencement of mining operations at Kambalda in the second half of 2020, subject to board approval and a final investment decision on its Nickel restart plan. It said previously first nickel-in-concentrate production could be achieved in the second half of 2021, subject to COVID-19-related restrictions.

Established in Kalgoorlie in 2002, Pit N Portal has expanded its capacity and capability to encompass total, whole-of-mine solutions across Australia, and has significant underground mining contracts in Western Australia and Queensland. It was acquired by Emeco Holdings earlier this year.

Mincor’s Managing Director, David Southam, said the award of the contract to a Kalgoorlie-based business was consistent with the company’s commitment to maximise local content, to support local businesses and communities, and to create opportunities for a residential workforce wherever possible.

“We selected Pit N Portal based on a wide range of criteria including safety, performance, contract cost, experience and capability, ability to meet our mobilisation timelines and the size and quality of their contract fleet.

“Their equipment fleet suits our proposed style of mining and, as one of Australia’s largest hard-rock underground mining equipment solutions providers, we will have access to a large range of equipment options and high-class maintenance and rebuild capacity – giving us significant operational and strategic flexibility, which is important when operating a number of underground mines.

“This includes having access to the Emeco operating system, which could add significant value to future operations, as well as having a contracting partner that is willing to embrace the very latest in mining technology and data management and usage, including the proposed use of underground electric vehicles, which we have already trialled.”

Mincor has also completed – on time and budget – all works associated with the Early Works Contract at Cassini project. This work, carried out by Hampton Mining and Civil Services, included clearing of the Cassini site area, excavation of the box-cut (pictured), construction of the site office pad, magazine and waste areas and construction of the surface settling dams and haul road.

Emeco to go underground with Pit N Portal acquisition

Emeco Holdings looks to have found an entry into the underground contract mining and equipment rental space after having signed an agreement to acquire Pit N Portal in a deal that comes with an enterprise value of A$72 million ($49 million).

The binding agreement would see Emeco acquire Pit N Portal Mining Services and Pit N Portal Equipment Hire, two entities that come with over 100 pieces of specialised underground mining equipment, over 500 pieces of infrastructure equipment and employs more than 300 people across strategic locations in Perth and Kalgoorlie and customer sites across Australia.

Emeco made this announcement on the same day it issued its 2020 financial half year results, which saw the company post revenue of A$246 million (up 10% year-on-year), operating EBITDA of A$119 million (up 16%) and operating EBIT of A$67 million (up 12%). The company has, in the last few years, acquired Force Equipment and Matilda Equipment as it looked to strengthen its equipment rental business in surface mining.

The consideration for the acquisition consists of A$62 million in cash and A$10 million in Emeco shares to the vendors, with the buy expected to be earnings per share accretive on a financial year 2019 pro-forma basis, post transaction.

Emeco Managing Director and CEO, Ian Testrow, said: “Pit N Portal allows Emeco to leverage its current core capabilities and expand into a new market. The underground mining sector is undoubtedly growing, and this represents an attractive adjacency for Emeco, providing Emeco with a solid platform for growth. Pit N Portal also provides us with significant commodity diversification by immediately more than doubling our gold exposure with strong opportunities for further growth in hard-rock projects.”

Established in 2002, Pit N Portal specialises in the provision of hard-rock underground mining equipment and services to the Australia underground mining sector. Core operations include equipment rental as well as mining services and maintenance solutions for underground mines. It operates the largest underground equipment rental fleet in Australia, according to Emeco.

Continued growth in Pit N Portal is expected post-completion driven by new project and scope expansion opportunities, with major projects’ earnings realised in the 2021 financial year.

“Pit N Portal’s key services add to the core of Emeco’s existing business, including equipment hire and maintenance solutions,” the company said. “Pit N Portal also adds a vast array of additional value-added services to its customers, providing a complete mining services offering.”

Steve Versteegen, Co-Founder and CEO of Pit N Portal, said: “I truly believe the combination of the two companies will help accelerate the growth of Pit N Portal and am excited by the opportunity to extend the application of what we do to the broader Emeco business.”

Emeco said the transaction provides a strong platform for Emeco to grow as a provider of underground mining services with a solid tender pipeline, particularly in Western Australia-based gold, nickel and base metals projects. There are also potential operational advantages through Pit N Portal’s strategically located workshops in Perth and Kalgoorlie, it added.

It would also significantly diversify Emeco’s commodity exposure, with gold more than doubling immediately to from 12% to 27% of Emeco’s revenue and becoming the number two exposure.

Pit N Portal is also focused on innovation and technology, with tele-remote and autonomous equipment and delivers a wide range of specialised services, the company said.