Tag Archives: PYBAR

PYBAR addressing training needs in underground mining sector

PYBAR says it has gained approval from the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) for its Registered Training Organisation (RTO), the Australian Institute of Mining (AIM).

AIM was established by PYBAR to address the need for quality, nationally recognised training for the underground mining sector.

AIM will facilitate Certificate II and III in Underground Metalliferous Mining programs as well as numerous short courses, providing significant opportunities for employees, and assisting PYBAR in achieving its goal of offering nationally recognised training for its workforce, the company said.

In addition to the RTO approval, AIM has gained approval from the New South Wales Resources Regulator to offer the one-day ‘Learning from disasters’ course which will be rolled out across NSW from January 2020.

The course, developed by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, is designed for mine managers and supervisors, ensuring lessons from past mining disasters are learnt.

As part of the RTO application process, PYBAR conducted a complete review of existing training and assessment packages offered by its Safety, Health, Environment & Training (SHET) team and recommended updates to ensure these packages met the national framework requirements, it said.

In addition, PYBAR consulted with state governments and held discussions with the Tasmanian Government to reduce barriers to traineeships in the underground metalliferous mining sector, according to the company.

As a result, 52 workers from the Henty gold mine, in Tasmania (owned by Diversified Minerals, an associated company of PYBAR Mining Services), are already enrolled in the Certificate III program in Underground Metalliferous Mining.

PYBAR CEO, Brendan Rouse, said: “This approval is a significant step in enabling PYBAR to develop its workforce in line with national standards. It will also ensure that we are able to offer training that is current, relevant, and applicable immediately in the workplace across the full range of roles.”

He added: “The establishment of the Australian Institute of Mining forms part of our commitment to the long-term sustainability of our business, supported by our ability to offer ongoing professional development opportunities for our employees.”

PYBAR SHET Manager, Robert Paterson, said the company’s ability to offer a wide range of training, including the Certificate II and III programs, supported the development of its workforce as well as the regions in which we operate.”

PYBAR to trial autonomous loading at Dargues underground gold mine

PYBAR Mining Services says it is applying new technology to several automation projects it is currently working on, including Diversified Minerals’ Dargues underground gold asset and the Heron Resources-owned Woodlawn zinc-copper operation, both of which are in New South Wales, Australia.

Chief Technology Officer, Andrew Rouse, says the company’s approach has always been to get the basics right using traditional means and then adding technology to enhance its capabilities. “This guiding principle is being applied to several current automation projects,” he said.

New Cat R1700 underground loaders being deployed at the Dargues gold mine are undergoing staged testing that will result in them moving towards improved automation in early 2020, according to PYBAR.

Dargues is owned by Diversified Minerals, an associated company of PYBAR Mining Services. The mine is expected to have a 355,000 t/y capacity gold processing facility comprising crushing, milling, flotation and filtration circuits and produce a sulphide concentrate for export. Dargues is expected to produce an average of 50,000 oz/y of gold in the first six years of production.

Testing of the LHDs has featured the use of Cat’s next generation MXZ technology, which includes traction control and Autodig, where the machine digs the load instead of the operator, PYBAR said. “Both technologies have made an impact with full buckets consistently being achieved,” the company added.

The next step in the process will involve setting up tele-remote operation from the surface in time for stoping in early 2020, according to the contractor.

PYBAR was part of the team at Ramelius Resources’ Vivien gold mine in Western Australia where the first global underground trial of the Cat R1700 loader took place in October 2017. This followed a global launch of the machine at MINExpo 2016.

Another project has seen PYBAR collaborate with Emesent to test automated drones at the Dargues and Woodlawn operations.

LiDAR and SLAM (Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping) technology is used to track the drones underground and keep them away from obstacles, according to PYBAR, with the trials having delivered some favourable outcomes; among them the swift processing of information gathered by the drones.

“The technology has great potential and PYBAR is investigating how best it can be applied to our business,” it said.

Heron Resources kicks off commissioning at Woodlawn zinc-copper mine

Heron Resources has started commissioning at the Woodlawn zinc-copper-lead project in New South Wales, Australia, paving the way for first production in the March quarter.

The ASX-listed company said the owners and contractor commissioning teams for the combined underground mine and tailing retreatment project were now in place, while the hydraulic tailings retreatment preparations had started with infrastructure energised and water testing underway.

In addition, the process plant commissioning had started with testing of the plant control circuits. Heron noted commissioning of the water treatment plant was well advanced.

Heron said: “The hydraulic mining operation, alongside the underground operations that commenced in September 2018, will provide a second ore source to be processed through the new processing plant.”

The hydraulic mining operation covers the recently arrived hydraulic monitors and the associated high-pressure water, reclaim and slurry transfer pumps, with commissioning activities involving the functional testing of equipment in the circuit (including the commissioning of the trash screen and transfer pumps at the transfer station).

Commissioning is expected to ramp up over a four-to-eight-week period and will include the hydraulic excavation of the main channels in preparation for ore commissioning of the process plant with progression to full production rates, Heron said.

“The EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor has commenced its commissioning activities in the main process plant, with low voltage and control circuit testing underway,” Heron said.

“These activities (dry, wet and ore commissioning) will continue through stages into quarter one, 2019, when first production is expected. As at the end of November, the EPC contractor reported commissioning at 5% complete.”

“In conjunction with the commissioning preparation-related activities that have been occurring over the past few months, the Woodlawn site team have also been progressing production readiness preparation.”

This has led to the first fill consumables orders being placed, in addition to the operation being bulked out with enough personnel for initial commissioning.

Woodlawn is envisaged as a 1.5 Mt/y operation able to produce 40,000 t/y of zinc, 10,000 t/y of copper and 12,000 t/y of lead at steady-state production over a 9.3-year mine life. This is based on a reserve base of 2.8 Mt at 14% ZnEq from underground and 9.5 Mt at 6% ZnEq from reprocessed tailings.

Underground mining, being carried out by contractor Pybar, kicked off in October.

Pybar to move into underground development and production at Aurelia’s Peak Mines ops

Pybar has recently signed a contract with Aurelia Metals to carry out all underground development and production mining activities at Peak Mines near Cobar, New South Wales, Australia.

The mining contractor has been at the operation since October 2017, providing underground development services and then labour hire to support the existing workforce, it said. This followed Aurelia Metals acquiring the operation from Toronto-listed New Gold.

Pybar CEO Brendan Rouse said: “We have a long-standing partnership with mine owner Aurelia having been contracted at its Hera (gold-lead-zinc) project since it started in 2013. We look forward to further strengthening that relationship, and our ties with the local Cobar community, as we expand our presence at Peak.”

The company said it is currently working closely with Aurelia to ensure ongoing employment for the Aurelia workforce at Peak Mines, should personnel choose to transfer. Some 40 additional new positions are also available at the site which Pybar is seeking to fill to achieve the increased production schedule.

The Pybar team at Peak Mines will be ramping up over the next few months with an initial tenure of five years and the potential to extend.

Peak Mines consists of a series of polymetallic high-grade orebodies dominated by gold, copper and zinc. There is a 750,000 t/y processing plant there, which takes ore from two underground mines.

Oz’s Carapateena underground copper-gold project on schedule

Oz Minerals’ Carapateena underground copper-gold project in South Australia remains on track, with total development at 6,285m as of the end of June, the company said.

Contractor Pybar Mining Services achieved record monthly development of 505m during May and, in accordance with Oz’s plan, transitioned over to Downer EDI for underground mining services in June with limited impact.

Carapateena is envisaged as a 4.25 million tonne per annum underground operation costing some A$916 million to build and producing 65,000 tonnes of copper and 67,000 ounces of gold per year over a 20-year mine life.

The deposit, which is shaped like a near vertical pipe and sits under some 500 m of unmineralised rock cover, will be mined using sub-level caving. The deposit will be blasted in 25-m sections with ore collected by loaders before being crushed and loaded onto a conveyer belt to surface.

Oz is now in phase two of construction with commissioning expected by the end of 2019.

In the company’s quarterly production results, it said underground development works, which were at 435m vertical depth at the end of June, would be expanded to include access development for future underground crusher installations in the current three-month period.

The first raisebore hole commenced in the June quarter (see photo) in preparation for installing and commissioning the first ventilation raise in the September quarter.

Site earthworks for the processing plant are now underway, with engineering progress exceeding 70%.

PYBAR awarded underground contract for Red River’s Far West zinc mine

Red River Resources has confirmed PYBAR has been chosen to carry out contract mining at its Far West underground zinc mine, part of its Thalanga operations in Queensland, Australia, for a term of at least seven years.

This is PYBAR’s third contract with Red River – it is already carrying out surface development work at Far West and undertaking underground mining operations at the West 45 underground mine (both at Thalanga).

Development activities at Far West kicked off in May, with the company saying today (July 6) that the first Far West decline cut had been completed (see photo). This should lead to first ore from Far West in early 2019.

Far West has a current JORC reserve of 1.5 Mt at 12% zinc equivalent and a minimum mine life of five years. It is the down-dip extension of the Thalanga West mineralisation, and is classified as volcanogenic-massive-sulphide-style of mineralisation where copper, zinc, lead and silver mineralisation is found associated with sulphide minerals. It is located some 500m from the Thalanga mill and 1km from the West 45 mine.