Tag Archives: Savannah

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.

RUC Mining, Barminco keep Panoramic’s Savannah nickel restart plan on track

Panoramic Resources says underground development at the Savannah nickel project in Western Australia is moving ahead as planned, with both its raisebore contractor and contract miner striving towards the ASX-listed company’s first half 2021 restart goal.

In a progress update, the company said mining contractor, Barminco, had completed the 468 m horizontal underground development drive, connecting with the vertical ventilation shaft to complete Fresh Air Raise (FAR #3) development at Savannah North, in late September.

Since then, specialist raiseboring contractor, RUC Mining, has been setting up the raisebore rig on the surface and installing the reamer head at the 1675 RL, which was developed to intersect into the existing FAR #3 raise.

“This complicated and critical task was completed safely and efficiently as planned,” Panoramic said on October 19. “RUC is tasked with the FAR #3 back-reaming, which commenced over the weekend and expected to be completed in the March 2021 quarter.”

A total of 354 m will be back reamed at a diameter of 3.85 m, according to the company. This is planned to provide sufficient ventilation to support future full-scale mining operations from Savannah North in line with the Mine Plan released in late July.

Managing Director and CEO, Victor Rajasooriar, said: “We now have a firm foundation to recommence underground pre-production development next month, to complete ventilation works for Savannah North and complete areas of capital development to lay further groundwork for a potential restart of operations. This work will be concluded towards the end of the March quarter 2021 and we expect to be in a position where the project is capable of being restarted in the first half of 2021.”

The Savannah Mine Plan outlined a mine life of around 13 years, with the majority of ore sourced from the Savannah North orebody. Average annual production for years 1-12 would be 8,810 t of nickel, 4, 579 t of copper and 659 t of cobalt in concentrate, with all-in costs for these years of $5.27/lb of payable nickel, net of copper and cobalt by-product credits.

Barminco to start contract mining at Savannah next month

Less than a month after being named preferred contractor for the Savannah nickel-copper-cobalt project in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, Perenti’s Barminco has formally been awarded a contract to start work on the Panoramic Resources-owned asset.

Under the circa-A$200 million ($132 million) contract, Barminco will undertake mine development, production, and haulage over a three-year term at the project, with around 170 people expected to be employed.

Barminco says it has been in discussions with Panoramic over recent weeks to develop a mobilisation plan and contract mining of the first stoped ore was expected to commence in early March 2020.

Perenti Managing Director, Mark Norwell, said: “We are pleased to have been formally awarded the contract and look forward to working closely with Panoramic to deliver on this project.”

Panoramic looks to Barminco for Savannah nickel-copper-cobalt ramp up

Perenti’s hard-rock underground mining subsidiary, Barminco, has been selected as the preferred contractor by Panoramic Resources at its Savannah nickel-copper-cobalt project in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

The contract, worth around A$200 million ($135 million), will see Barminco carry out mine development, production, and haulage over a three-year term. Work is expected to commence in March 2020.

Barminco anticipates it will employ around 170 people for the project and use predominately new equipment, which has been included in the capital guidance previously provided, to deliver the project.

Savannah, 110 km north of Halls Creek in Western Australia, saw mining operations recommence in December 2018, with the first shipment of concentrate departing Wyndham in February 2019. The miner is currently developing the higher-grade Savannah North orebody focusing on high speed development and a ramp up to full production in 2020, Perenti said.

Perenti Managing Director, Mark Norwell, said: “This project demonstrates our ability to capture organic growth opportunities, with the Barminco business now well integrated into the Perenti group whilst further embedding itself as a leader in underground mining.”

Underground Chief Executive Officer, Paul Muller, added: “We look forward to working closely with Panoramic Resources in driving the development of the Savannah North orebody safely and efficiently as it ramps up to full production.”

Panoramic’s Savannah nickel-copper-cobalt project rises again

The first shipment of bulk nickel-copper-cobalt concentrate from Panoramic Resources’ recently recommissioned Savannah project, in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, has departed Wyndham bound for Lianyungang, China, the company says.

The MV Heemskerkgracht (pictured) departed with 7,735 t (wet) of concentrate on-board, with a preliminary invoice value of approximately A$ 8.6 million ($6.1 million), Panoramic reported.

Panoramic’s Managing Director, Peter Harold, said: “It is wonderful to see Savannah concentrate being shipped again from Wyndham. This is a significant milestone in the recommissioning of the mine and processing plant at Savannah and I would like to thank the team at Savannah for their efforts to get the project going again.”

Panoramic successfully commissioned the $65 million Savannah project in late 2004 and then, in 2005, purchased and restarted the Lanfranchi nickel project, near Kambalda. In its 2014 financial year, the company produced a record 22,256 t of contained nickel and produced 19,301 t contained nickel in the year after.

The Lanfranchi and Savannah projects were placed on care and maintenance in November 2015 and May 2016, respectively, pending a sustained recovery in the nickel price.

After delivering an updated feasibility study on Savannah in October 2017, securing an offtake customer and putting in place project financing in July 2018, the company made the decision to restart operations at Savannah. The Lanfranchi project was sold, in December 2018, for a total cash consideration of A$15.1 million, providing additional financial support for the reopening of the Savannah project.

Savannah is expected to ramp up to full production over 15 months to a forecast life of mine average annual production rate of 10,800 t of nickel, 6,100 t of copper and 800 t of cobalt metal contained in concentrate.