Tag Archives: Redpath

Sandvik delivers 100th automated loader in APAC region

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions says it has delivered its 100th loader connected to the AutoMine® platform in the Asia Pacific region.

A Sandvik LH621i loader was delivered to Byrnecut Australia in March, making it Sandvik’s 100th automated load and haul unit to be delivered in APAC.

Sandvik has 30 AutoMine systems installed across Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines, with customers including Barminco, OceanaGold, Redpath, and Byrnecut, who now have 11 sites in Australia connected to AutoMine. The first AutoMine system in the region was delivered and commissioned in 2008 for Mount Isa Copper Operations, now owned by Glencore.

AutoMine is Sandvik’s automation system for autonomous and tele-remote operation for a wide range of Sandvik and non-Sandvik underground and surface equipment. It provides a safe and controlled process to increase mine productivity and profitability, as well as protect operators and other mine personnel in underground and surface operations.

AutoMine can be scaled from tele-remote or autonomous operation of a single machine to multi-machine control and full fleet automation with automatic mission and traffic control capability. Operators can simultaneously control or monitor multiple machines from the comfort and safety of a remote control room, Sandvik says.

Sandvik recently demonstrated this capability with the successful trial remote operation of a LH621i loader at OZ Minerals’ Prominent Hill mine in South Australia. The LH621i was successfully operated from the Remote Operating Centre in OZ Mineral’s Adelaide office, taking OZ Minerals a step closer to realising its goal of remote operations from home.

“The digitalisation field has developed significantly over the years and we have adapted to meet the industry needs along the way,” Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions Technical Support Manager – Mine Automation, Ty Osborne, said.

“We have seen our customers change their mindset from ‘this technology is nice but won’t work in our mine’, to, ‘what do have to do to make this work in our mine?’. Our customers are now seeing the value of including digitalisation in their mine planning and recognise the tangible benefits an automated fleet can bring to their operation.”

Redpath to deliver Pumpkin Hollow ramp-up, Nevada Copper says

Nevada Copper has engaged mining contractor Redpath USA to implement its ramp-up strategy for its underground copper mine at Pumpkin Hollow, in Nevada.

The company commenced production at the underground mine in December and is now entering into a new phase of development supporting its ongoing operations. It said it has “high confidence” in Redpath’s ability as a partner during the ramp-up to full commercial production in 2020.

Redpath replaces the previous mining contractor and will be the company’s principal underground mining contractor going forward, Nevada Copper said. “Redpath is a highly experienced mining contractor with experience of delivering complex projects both internationally and in Nevada, ahead of schedule and under budget,” it added.

Matt Gili, Chief Executive Officer of Nevada Copper, said: “Nevada Copper made the transition to producer in Q4 (December quarter) 2019 and we have developed a clear, straightforward strategy for ramping up our Pumpkin Hollow underground project to full commercial production. Redpath is considered throughout the mining industry as the partner of choice for production ramp up and we are excited to be working with them during this important period of growth.”

Nevada Copper has previously said it is focused on ramping up the mine, in Yerington, to reach nameplate capacity in the first half of 2020.

The 2017 prefeasibility study plan for the underground mine outlined a 5,000 t/d project able to produce some 50 MIb/y (22,680 t/y) of copper, 8,000 oz of gold and 150,000 oz of silver over a 13.5-year life at all-in sustaining costs of $1.96/Ib of copper. It also laid the foundations for a larger integrated project that includes open-pit development and could increase throughput to 70,000 t/d.

Glencore, Redpath and Sandvik in it for the long haul at Lady Loretta

Automation and equipment monitoring are helping Redpath Australia exceed expectations at Glencore’s restarted Lady Loretta zinc mine, according to a Sandvik Solid Ground story.

Glencore awarded Redpath Australia the Lady Loretta zinc mine contract in December 2017, encompassing the entire underground and surface operations and associated facilities management.

Redpath’s responsibilities at one of the world’s highest-grade zinc operations range from crushing the ore it extracts and loading it onto road trains for haulage to Glencore’s processing facility in Mount Isa, Queensland, to managing the camp and keeping lawns manicured, Sandvik said.

“Redpath also holds full statutory responsibility for the operation, a unique role for a contractor typically tasked with driving a decline or undertaking development and production,” Sandvik said.

John McKinstry, Redpath’s Operations Manager for Lady Loretta, said: “Operating a mine is an exciting proposition for Redpath. A normal contractor scope is to put down a heading or undertake a specific task, but we have a much broader scope here. The infrastructure’s already in place, so it’s quite a different role for a contractor. Being a life-of-mine contract is unusual in itself. Most mines evolve as you develop and find more ore, but this orebody is very well-defined.”

Redpath recommissioned the mine within months of winning the contract, firing the first development round in March 2018. Production ramped up quickly and, by July 2018, Redpath was meeting Glencore’s production and development targets. Monthly production grew to 100,000 t, with a full production capacity targeting 133,000 t/mth.

The contract length enabled Redpath to invest in a brand-new fleet for Lady Loretta, according to Sandvik.
McKinstry said: “We wanted to meet or exceed targets right from the start, so we brought in new, cutting-edge technology to minimise operating costs and maximise productivity, knowing that we’ve got a good life to work the equipment over and amortise assets.”

Two Sandvik DD421 jumbos with 10/16 split feeds have outperformed since commissioning, according to the mining equipment maker. Redpath has consistently achieved 400 m/mth of development using one Sandvik DD421, with the second serving as a backup and handling any rehabilitation work.

Ore is removed by a fleet of four Sandvik LH621 LHDs. Two are operated conventionally for development, manual production and truck loading while the other two are equipped with AutoMine Lite for remote operation.

“The 621, I think, in a lot of people’s eyes at the moment is probably the loader to be using in the bigger operations,” McKinstry said. “It’s a big machine. It’s a very productive machine, very comfortable machine for operators, and then having the AutoMine on top of that just means it really sells itself in many ways.”

Redpath’s motivation for implementing automated loading was simple: regain the productivity lost during each shift change, Sandvik said.

McKinstry said: “There’s a long period of time from when a blast occurs to when you can re-enter the mine. If we can operate those machines from the surface over shift change, we can pick up up to a couple of hours a day in productivity. The other thing about AutoMine is that it does the same thing time and time and time again without banging the walls. It really does just run the perfect line each time.”

Redpath runs three levels at any one time, optimising the loading process.

The connectivity provided by a Wi-Fi network underground has not only enabled Redpath to implement the automated loading from the surface, the contractor can also monitor and manage its fleet in real time through My Sandvik Productivity, the cloud-based version of OptiMine Monitoring, Sandvik said.

“OptiMine has been synonymous with equipment monitoring in the Australian mining industry since its first installation in 2014,” Sandvik said. “My Sandvik Productivity mobile fleet monitoring allows Redpath to keep tabs on equipment condition online and act more quickly to remedy any issues that arise.”

The solution provides detailed, readily analysed data. Each connected LHD collects data onboard and uploads it when it comes within range of a Wi-Fi antenna. The data can be accessed from any computer or tablet, according to Sandvik.

The condition monitoring helps Redpath’s Lady Loretta maintenance staff improve its predictive maintenance planning. My Sandvik Productivity also identifies trending behaviours that can damage equipment or shorten component life, revealing training opportunities, Sandvik said.

Lady Loretta Maintenance Manager, Shane Timothy, said: “When it brings up log codes and faults and alarms, it actually tells you what that means. So you can hover across your icons, for instance, where it says that there’s a brake fault, and it would tell you that your operator is perhaps pressing the brake and accelerator pedal at the same time, which isn’t something that we want them to be doing unless they’re going at a very low ground speed.”

McKinstry believes having better-informed operators who understand their equipment and its limitations will reduce downtime: “We hope that by giving operators the feedback that they’ll change their behaviour in their operation of the machines. And, if we can address it early, then I believe we’re going to get better availability out of this equipment.”

Harte Gold to go commercial at Sugar Zone mine in Ontario

Harte Gold has been given the go ahead by the government of Ontario to start commercial production at its Sugar Zone mine, paving the way for full-scale output of 1,400 t/d in 2021.

This approval means the company is fully permitted to mine, process ore and pour gold on site at Sugar Zone.

Even though Harte has only just received provincial signoff for Sugar Zone’s commercial plan, it has been busy on site where it has already completed a 70,000 t advanced bulk sample, mined 30,000 t of ore under a Phase 1 Commercial Production permit and built an 800 t/d processing plant.

With this permit ticked off, the company can now proceed with its commercial production plan. This envisages a start-up of operations at 540 t/d at Sugar Zone, increasing to 800 t/d in the December quarter of 2019 and, subsequently, to 1,400 t/d from January 2021.

A preliminary economic assessment envisaged the total upfront capital cost at C$58 million ($45 million) and production, from 2019, of 80,700 oz/y at an all-in sustaining cost of $708/oz over an 11-year mine life.

This would see 904,000 oz of total recovered gold production over the mine life, approximately two thirds of the combined indicated and inferred resources announced back in February, Harte noted in the PEA.

In the latest press release, Harte Gold said full commissioning of the mill complex was nearing completion, while testing of the crushing and conveyance system was complete. Water had been successfully circulated through the mill and the power line to site was built, with all electrical equipment delivered and installed.

Underground development work, meanwhile, continues to exceed targeted rates, Harte said.

“For the month of July, 254 m of development was completed, or 8.2 m/d. Development completed to-date has opened up several areas in the Sugar Zone deposit, particularly in the near-surface Upper Zone area, to provide early high-grade stopes,” the company said. Redpath Canada is helping the company out with underground development.

The February resource statement showed indicated resources of 714,200 oz of contained gold averaging 8.52 g/t and 760,800 oz of inferred resources grading 6.59 g/t.