Tag Archives: South Australia

Hawsons Iron takes another step towards securing export for Supergrade magnetite concentrate

Hawsons Iron Ltd says it has signed a two-year option agreement to purchase three contiguous parcels of land suitable for developing an export facility for its namesake project at Myponie Point on South Australia’s eastern Spencer Gulf.

The agreement gives Hawsons the right to purchase the three blocks of land totalling 1,000 acres (405 ha), for A$14 million ($9.7 million) at any time within two years of the execution date.

A full Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) for the Hawsons Iron Project is underway and scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022. The Hawsons orebody’s softness, relative to ‘hard rock’ magnetite orebodies found in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, offers clear commercial advantage, the company says. It requires less energy during crushing and grinding to extract the magnetite concentrate, while a higher, 70% Fe grade is achieved because the ore is easily separated from impurities and waste.

The company has defined a 2012 JORC-compliant resource of 3,060 Mt at 13.1% Davis Tube Recovery (DTR) at a 6% cutoff for 400 Mt of concentrate with a planned production rate of 10-20 Mt/y over a 20-plus-year mine life.

Managing Director, Bryan Granzien, said the export facility agreement strategically underpinned the Memorandum of Understanding executed earlier with Flinders Ports Pty Ltd, moving Hawsons closer again to its goal of supplying high-grade products, essential for decarbonising steelmaking.

“This agreement secures a crucial export site required for the planning and development of our 20 Mt/y project and, importantly, provides significant additional space to accommodate expansion of the Myponie Point Port into a multi-user, bulk commodity export facility,” he said.

“Now that we have identified our port location, planning and detailed design work can continue on the deep-water port facility and the underground slurry pipeline from Broken Hill, including all approvals and land access agreements along the 392-km pipeline route.”

Granzien said Hawsons stood to gain from an opportunity to participate in the future growth of the Myponie Point Port as its ‘cornerstone’ customer by securing additional space required to support development and expansion. Myponie Point Port is expected to be ready to start exporting Hawsons’ Hawsons Supergrade® magnetite concentrate by the second half of 2024.

ZERO Automotive commissions second battery-electric ZED70 Ti at Carrapateena

ZERO Automotive has delivered its second ZED70 Ti battery-electric conversion to OZ Minerals at Carrapateena in South Australia.

This vehicle was successfully commissioned within a day after a prior inspection and collaboration with the underground operations team, according to ZERO Automotive.

This latest addition to the OZ Minerals zero emissions fleet has dual AC/DC-DC charging with the CCS Combo2 connection, and an In-Vehicle Monitoring System. This provides the capability to monitor the battery status remotely, the company said.

The first ZED70 Ti became one of the first Australia-made street legal light electric vehicles to enter an underground mine after making a trip into the Tjati Decline at Carrapateena back in early 2021.

SRG Global captures SIMEC Mining contract in South Australia

SRG Global Ltd says it has been awarded a mining services contract valued at around A$150 million ($108 million) with OneSteel Manufacturing Pty Ltd that will see it carry out work at SIMEC Mining’s iron ore operations in South Australia.

The scope of the contract includes the provision of specialist drill and blast services across multiple mine locations at SIMEC Mining’s operations. The five-year contract will commence immediately.

David Macgeorge, SRG Managing Director, said: “This term contract is a significant achievement for our Mining Services business. It demonstrates the strength of our drill and blast capability and adds another high-quality client in the desirable iron ore sector. We look forward to building a strong working partnership with SIMEC Mining.”

Howden to supply complete mine cooling system for OZ Minerals’ Prominent Hill mine

Howden says it has won a contract to supply a cooling system for the expansion of OZ Minerals’ Prominent Hill mine in South Australia.

The solution provided by Howden will be for the complete mine cooling system, with Howden’s equipment ensuring safe productive outcomes at depth and additional efficiencies to reduce environmental impact for current and future carbon footprint compliance.

Howden will focus on sustainability and the solution will include closed circuitry on both condenser and evaporator circuits and R717 (Ammonia) compressors which emit no harmful CO2 or HFCs, the company said. The system consumes no water, using the ambient air as the cooling medium and Howden will supply chillers, air cooled condensers, bulk air coolers, pumps, electronic controls and hydraulic design.

Camille Levy, President of Howden APAC, said: “Howden works in partnership with customers to create solutions for their needs which are of the highest functionality, while supporting their net zero targets. This project is no exception. Our unique combination of manufacturing excellence, technical and project deliverables, and our global experience, also contributes to the reduction of carbon impact of operations.”

The use of Howden refrigeration screw compressor technology coupled with supplies of condenser coolers and bulk air coolers were other supporting factors in the successful offer which will be delivered by the Howden team in China, the company said.

The OZ Minerals Board approved construction of a hoisting shaft at the Prominent Hill copper-gold mine in South Australia last year, paving the way for a mine life extension and throughput expansion.

Iluka taps into hybrid power at Jacinth-Ambrosia after KPS project completion

Pacific Energy says its subsidiary, KPS Power Generation, has completed the conversion of Iluka Resources’ 10 MW diesel power station at the Jacinth-Ambrosia mineral sands mine in South Australia to a hybrid power facility.

The “world first” hybrid power station incorporates both solar photovoltaics and electric turbo compounding (ETC) technology, combined with an upgraded control system, Pacific Energy said. ETC technology allows generators to maintain the same power output using less fuel and producing lower CO2 emissions, making generators work more cleanly and effectively by recovering waste energy.

The reduction in diesel consumption and improvement in fuel efficiency is expected to save over 2 million litres of diesel and over 5,500 t/y of CO2 at the operation, according to Pacific Energy.

KPS has operated the 10 MW diesel power station at the Jacinth-Ambrosia site since 2009. Under the new contract, which runs for an initial term of seven years, KPS will:

  • Install 3.5 MW of solar power generation;
  • Integrate the solar array with the diesel power station; and
  • Introduce ETC technology to each of the 10 1 MW generators.

juwi Renewable Energy Pty Ltd, the Brisbane-based subsidiary of juwi AG, constructed the medium penetration solar/diesel hybrid power solution for Jacinth-Ambrosia, with KPS owning and operating the hybrid project. It is expected to deliver almost 21% of the mine site’s annual electricity needs.

Shane Tilka, General Manager, Australian Operations at Iluka, said: “The move from diesel to hybrid energy at Jacinth-Ambrosia marks an important evolution in Iluka’s Australian operations. It also offers a potential blueprint for the future use of renewable energy at the company’s other existing and planned operations.”

Pacific Energy Group CEO, Jamie Cullen, said: “We are thrilled to work alongside Iluka, a valued long-term client to deliver a world-class, world-first solar PV and ETC hybrid power facility, and to assist them with reducing carbon emissions and transitioning to net-zero emissions.”

South Australia Government extends Accelerated Discovery Initiative

The South Australia Government says it will extend its Accelerated Discovery Initiative (ADI) until 2025, committing another A$11.5 million ($8.2 million) to the program.

The ADI provides co-financing to mineral exploration activities to attract greater exploration investment, bringing forward new mineral resource discoveries, jobs, Aboriginal employment opportunities and royalties, according to the government. It also has a focus on supporting innovative technologies, collaboration and new exploration concepts to fast-track mineral exploration across South Australia.

Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the ADI plays an important role in maintaining South Australia’s international leadership in mineral exploration development.

“We expect to receive a high level of interest during round three, with a funding of up to A$3 million reflecting the global significance of ADI and the calibre of proposals,” van Holst Pellekaan said. “ADI is Australia’s most diverse exploration co-funding program, offering support for traditional drilling and geophysics, as well as other non-conventional exploration techniques, frontier logistics support, technology and research innovation.

“With a heavy emphasis on new technologies, scientific endeavour, and upskilling, to boost discovery while reducing risk, ADI reflects the changing drivers in exploration.

“Successful projects will bolster activities and support innovative technologies to generate and test new exploration ideas and increase new data sets to help accelerate data sharing between entities within the exploration sector.

“In additional to innovative exploration programs, ADI initiatives have fostered meaningful employment and upskilling of Aboriginal employees and businesses. So far, during rounds one and two, funding of A$7.4 million was allocated to 36 initiatives.”

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Barton Gold, Alexander Scanlon, said the ADI has allowed Barton to accelerate its innovation-driven exploration approach to the central Gawler Craton region of South Australia.

“ADI facilitated a trial of deep ground penetrating radar (GPR) in the region and early results are compelling,” Scanlon said. “The technique has not only found over 25 shallow new structures, but also their orientation, giving us clear, shallow targets for precise, high-efficiency and low-cost drill testing.

“We are looking at an order of magnitude gain in cost and time to target delineation, acquiring these targets for less than $200,000 over a 1-2 month period, versus A$2-3 million of drilling over a 1-2 year period of time,” he said.

Barton is an ASX-listed gold exploration company with a total attributable circa-1.1 Moz of gold in the resource category (28.74 Mt at 1.2 g/t Au), a pipeline of advanced exploration projects and brownfield mines, and 100% ownership of the only regional gold mill in the central Gawler Craton of South Australia, the company says.

van Holst Pellekaan said Barton’s recent success is another example of the benefits of the ADI not only delivering results for Barton but sharing the results publicly that will help other explorers unlock new discoveries.

“It was pleasing to see round two heavily over-subscribed, with a total of 76 high quality applications received with 22 projects assessed against the project criteria to receive funding,” he said. “We are anticipating a similar amount of interest for round three.”

The extension of the ADI will significantly contribute to increased exploration activity and discovery of new mineral resources to achieve the South Australian Growth State target of A$300 million in annual exploration investment, the government says.

Komatsu MC51 gets cutting at Hillgrove’s Kanmantoo copper project

The world’s first portal cut using “transformational continuous mining technology” is now underway with the help of Hillgrove Resources’ team at the Kanmantoo copper mine in South Australia and Komatsu’s MC51 machine, powered by DynaCut tech.

The underground decline at Kanmantoo commenced last Friday, just over a month after Hillgrove announced that the South Australian Government had awarded it a A$2 million ($1.5 million) grant to trial the new underground mining technology.

The continuous mining technology, which is also being tested at Vale’s Garson mine in Ontario, Canada, and has previously been trialled at Newcrest’s Cadia mine, removes the need for blasting, providing the potential to transform the traditional underground development process and result in improved safety and operational performance, Hillgrove said.

On top of this, the Komatsu MC51 technology is 100% electrically powered, providing a mine development option for companies pursuing zero-emission mining.

The Komatsu MC51 will be used to develop a portal and a circa-500 m underground decline at Kanmantoo, a former-operating open-pit mine that is transitioning to underground operations. This transition is permitted and benefits from having all existing infrastructure in place, including an operational 3.6 Mt/y processing facility and tailings storage facility, Hillgrove said.

The continuous cutting trial will focus on demonstrating the commercial viability of the machine and trial new materials handling and ground support processes. Ground support assistance is to be provided by PYBAR Mining Services.

“The underground decline has multiple benefits to Hillgrove, including the development of underground drilling platforms which reduce drilling cost as Hillgrove continues to expand and infill drill the existing Kanmantoo Underground resource,” the company has previously said.

It could also help bring forward potential first copper production and reduce future development costs, Hillgrove added.

Hillgrove CEO and Managing Director, Lachlan Wallace, said the development of the underground decline and establishment of underground drilling platforms was a key milestone in the Kanmantoo Underground development program.

“We are also excited to advance the mine development in a way that leads the industry towards zero-emission mining, which is without question the way of the future,” he said.

On top of the A$2 million grant from the South Australian Government, Hillgrove says it has secured favourable payment terms from Komatsu, which sees no payments until funding for the mine development is secured. The deferred and contingent nature of the agreement and grant funding results in minimal cash outflow to Hillgrove while the company focuses on the drilling program.

Hatch to move forward with process plant DFS for Magnetite Mines’ Razorback iron ore project

Magnetite Mines Ltd says it has appointed Hatch to complete the process plant section of the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) on its Razorback iron ore project in South Australia.

This, Magnetite Mines says, is an important contract award for the company and represents the largest component of the DFS expenditure and completes the appointment of major engineering roles.

Hatch’s scope builds upon the process plant design and AACE Class 4 Estimate that was completed as part of the prefeasibility study (PFS). This study supported the declaration of a maiden ore reserve of 473 Mt based on 12.8 Mt/y plant throughput and 2 Mt/y of high-grade concentrate. It also included plans to incorporate ore sorting technology.

Key areas of work for Hatch on the DFS include:

  • Designing a metallurgical test program to confirm comminution and processing properties;
  • Improving and defining the process flow sheet based on metallurgical results and optimisation reviews;
  • Developing the mechanical, piping, electrical, structural, and civil engineering to support an AACE Class 3 Capital Cost estimate; and
  • Providing construction and procurement input to develop the contracting strategy for execution.

At completion of this scope of work, Hatch will provide design deliverables and cost estimate, developed in line with the AACE guidelines for a Class 3 estimate (18R-97) for the process plant, Magnetite Mines says. The deliverables will be to a standard and level of detail that will allow Magnetite Mines to include them in a tender package to obtain proposals for a predominantly fixed price design and construct contract or an engineering, procurement and construction management contract on market terms for procurement of the process plant.

Claude D’Cruz, Director – Metals, Australia-Asia for Hatch, said: “Following the successful delivery of the previous study work, Hatch is very excited to continue our association with Magnetite Mines through to the DFS and to be able to apply our considerable magnetite processing experience to the development of Razorback.”

Magnetite Mines Limited Executive Chairman, Peter Schubert, said: “The PFS confirmed the process plant scope and the attractiveness of producing high-grade iron ore products at a competitive cost from the first stage of development of the company’s extensive iron ore resources. The DFS will undertake more detailed engineering and generate the tender packages for construction, supporting a decision to mine.

“This continues our strategy to carefully and systematically progress the project with the guidance of best-in-class technical consultants. We look forward to working with Hatch, as we develop Razorback into a successful operating iron ore business.”

BHP contracts indigenous-owned Zancott Knight for Olympic Dam refuelling services

In the lead-up to the 20-year rebuild of the flash furnace at BHP’s Olympic Dam mine in South Australia, the miner has awarded a A$1.8 million ($1.3 million) contract for refuelling services to local, indigenous-owned company Zancott Knight.

The flash furnace rebuild is part of the current smelter maintenance campaign, SCM21, at Olympic Dam, with BHP actively seeking out opportunities for local, small and indigenous businesses to be part of the action, Jenny Purdie, Asset President Olympic Dam, told attendees at the Copper to the World Conference in Adelaide, yesterday.

Purdie said Zancott Knight is a local, indigenous-owned company closely connected to the Arabana community. She added that Zancott Knight has brought in a sub-contracting partner, WB Enterprises, who are closely connected to the Kokatha community, to carry out the refuelling services contract.

Both these groups make up two of the Traditional Owner partners Olympic Dam engages with, she said.

BHP’s global operations spend approximately $2 billion with small, local and indigenous businesses each and every year, Purdie added.

OZ Minerals Board gives go ahead for shaft expansion at Prominent Hill

The OZ Minerals Board has approved construction of a hoisting shaft at the Prominent Hill copper-gold mine in South Australia, paving the way for a mine life extension and throughput expansion.

Prominent Hill mine began operation in 2009 as an open pit and is now an underground mine producing 4.5 Mt/y, moving to 4.5-5 Mt/y from 2022 via a trucking operation.

Coming with a pre-production capital expenditure of A$600 million ($436 million), the Wira Shaft expansion project will see the underground production rate increase to 6 Mt/y from 2025. At this point, the average annual copper and gold production is expected to be circa-54,000 t and circa-108,000 oz, respectively, some 23% more than expected in the current trucking operation.

The study leverages close to 100 Mt of mineral resources outside the previous Prominent Hill ore reserves of 38 Mt of underground material.

Sinking of the shaft is expected to commence in the March quarter of 2022. Mining and installation of underground and surface infrastructure is scheduled for completion along with commissioning of the Wira shaft at the end of 2024, with nameplate capacity expected in the first half of 2025.

The shaft design comprises a 1,329-m-deep, concrete-lined shaft with a diameter of 7.5 m. Construction of the shaft will be via conventional strip and line method, with the sinking period approximately two years.

The shaft mine expansion also enables generational province potential with further mine life extensions possible as 67 Mt of resource remains outside the shaft expansion mine plan, OZ Minerals says. Further, an exploration program has also identified that mineralisation remains open at depth beyond the current resource boundary, potentially accessible via the shaft.

Announcing the expansion today, OZ Minerals Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Cole, said: “We are thrilled to see a long and productive future for Prominent Hill with the Wira shaft mine expansion enabling access to areas previously thought uneconomic and opening up potential new prospects.

“Prominent Hill is a quality orebody and remains open at depth. The reliable performance of the operation and its consistent resource to reserve conversion rate were all influential in the decision.”

For the first time, the company has used a carbon price in determining the project valuation, a practice it plans to adopt in other OZ Minerals projects going forward, Cole said.

The company plans to reduce its underground loading fleet to eight vehicles, from nine after the shaft expansion, with its trucking fleet going from circa-14 to five, post-shaft.

Scope 1 emissions intensity per tonne of concentrate are also expected to drop from 0.47 t CO2-e/t to 0.28 t CO2-e/t after the shaft installation.

The pre-production capital of A$600 million, which was an increase on the A$450 million outlined in the November 2020 expansion study, enables transformation of the site in line with the strategic aspirations of OZ Minerals, it said.

Provisions have been included in site capital projections to support this transformation, including progressing underground fleet electrification, upgrading some of the existing infrastructure, remote operation capability and automation.

The company expanded on this: “A battery-powered mining fleet is part of the future vision as OZ Minerals moves towards its zero-carbon emission aspiration. For this study, diesel trucks were assumed. However, installation of enabling infrastructure is included in the Prominent Hill Expansion case to minimise future disruptions when the switch to an electric fleet occurs. This, implemented as part of the asset’s site-wide electrification aspiration, would contribute to a further reduction in Scope 1 emissions.”

A pilot study is also being undertaken to review a low-energy dry grinding option. The Prominent Hill Expansion Study is not directly connected to, nor dependent on this ongoing work, however, the work presents potential future cost reduction and other opportunities, OZ Minerals said.