Tag Archives: Warrawoona

RocketDNA Ltd seals first autonomous xBot contract with Calidus Resources subsidiary

RocketDNA Ltd (RKT), a global drones-as-a-service provider, says it has signed its first long-term contract for an autonomous xBot® solution with Keras (Pilbara) Gold Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Calidus Resources Limited.

The contract will see the provision by RKT of an autonomous xBot solution, which includes:

  • Supply and maintenance of one xBot drone-in-a-box surveying system (SurveyBot®). The SurveyBot is a site-ready, integrated hardware system that supports a surveying drone which is monitored by a pilot located at an off-site remote operating centre (ROC). It is built to meet the stringent requirements of the national aviation safety regulator (Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)) and includes DJI drone hardware, communications systems (ethernet, Wi-Fi, cellular & Starlink connectivity), power management system, weather station and CCTV;
  • Remote operation of the SurveyBot from RocketDNA’s ROCs in Perth and Adelaide. RKT will provide a pilot operating under its CASA-approved deployment and operational risk methodology and policies, allowing the customer to focus on data outputs and insights rather than drone flying. RKT leverages significant cost savings from the ability to manage multiple xBots from a single office site with low travel and site safety overhead;
  • Strayos AI software licence to enable automated processing, analysis and reporting for the open-pit operations using the SurveyBot data. RKT operates a commercial partnership with Strayos which provides mining operators with an array of AI-driven data applications that generate operational efficiencies and insights; and
  • RocketDNA SiteTube® data visualisation platform. SiteTube is RKT’s proprietary data visualisation platform, allowing enterprise customers to host & access their data securely on locally-based cloud servers.

The SurveyBot system will initially be deployed at Calidus’ Blue Bar pit, a satellite open-pit operation that is 70 km by unsealed road from Calidus’ Warrawoona gold project in Western Australia and 25 km south of the township of Marble Bar, in Western Australia. The surveys provided will include:

  • Daily surveys of the open pit for drill and blast design, pit conformance reporting, volumetric reporting;
  • Stockpile surveys for volumetric reporting;
  • Daily imagery and video to provide up-to-date situational awareness of the operation to the clients’ off-site personnel; and
  • Ability for live-streaming of video

The overall solution is expected to generate significant operational efficiencies for the customer including:

  • Reducing the frequency of physical surveying activity, which requires significant road travel and on-site time;
  • Leveraging rapid data processing time and AI insights for mine optimisation; and
  • Providing oversight of mining operations to remote senior management

Calidus Resources Managing Director, David Reeves, said: “Calidus is currently commencing operations at various satellite pits that are up to 70 km distance from our main processing facility. The pits are generally smaller in size and do not justify their own survey team on site. The xBot not only allows daily pickups for survey to be completed efficiently, the associated video also allows our planning team in Perth to understand exactly how the operations are progressing and allow for rapid reaction if required.

“We look forward to partnering with RocketDNA and see great potential for this technology on our other sites as they come on line”

RocketDNA CEO, Christopher Clark, said: “We are delighted to announce this first long-term xBot contract. Although we already have other xBots deployed, the long-term format of this contract will allow us to partner with the customer and potentially provide for further specific needs of the site. The components within this specific contract also demonstrate the breadth of our product suite – and how the different components of XBot, ROC, Strayos and SiteTube can be harnessed to provide an overall solution which is cost effective and value adding for the customer.”

The three-year contact (monthly billing) is conditional on RocketDNA gaining area approval by the CASA. RKT has in place broad CASA approval for autonomous and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations, however, under Australian legislation, further authorisation is also required at the project level to attach additional areas of operations to our current approval. RKT anticipates no impediments in achieving this step.

RKT is currently completing the assembly of its first batch of five xBots from in-stock components, one of which has been allocated to Calidus. After safety reviews and on-site preparation, it will be commissioned within the next 3 months, considering the CASA approvals mentioned above.

Zenith Energy to roll out 5B Maverick solar system across Australian mine sites

Renewable energy penetration is set to increase on major mine sites in the Goldfields and Pilbara regions of Australia, after Zenith Energy and 5B signed a deployment agreement that could see the 5B Maverick™ system rolled out.

Zenith, one of Australia’s leading independent power producers, and 5B, a clean energy technology provider, signed an Ecosystem Framework Agreement-Deployment, permitting Zenith to be a deployment partner of the 5B Maverick system within Australia.

The 5B Maverick system solar array is prefabricated, allowing rapid deployment while increasing the ability of Zenith to expand renewable assets across existing and future sites, Zenith said. Each 5B Maverick array consists of up to 90 solar panels, mounted on specially designed racks, and optimised for the 540-550 W module class of the utility scale solar industry.

Zenith Managing Director, Hamish Moffat, said the partnership represents the next step in reducing emissions across Zenith’s legacy portfolio.

“We’ve been looking to increase renewable assets across multiple sites for some time; the question has always been around how we can achieve that in such a way that is economically viable,” he said. “The 5B Maverick system is re-deployable, meaning it can be integrated on mines with shorter tenure, and moved at the end of operations at those sites.”

He added: “It offers Zenith greater ability to leverage value from our initial capital expenditure, making it more cost effective to offer expanded renewable energy solutions for our clients.”

5B Co-Founder and CEO, Chris McGrath, said the strategic partnership is an important validation of 5B Maverick’s ability to reduce deployment complexity.

“This has been a major barrier for solar installations on mine sites worldwide,” he said. “The agreement also shows that our cost reduction efforts over the past two years have worked – we’ve hit the price point where 5B Mavericks can be viably packed up and redeployed elsewhere, substantially reducing the risk of stranded assets in mining, agricultural and industrial operations.”

Moffat said Zenith is looking to integrate the 5B Maverick system across three sites initially. These include:

  • Nova: The 5B Maverick will play a major role in Zenith’s industry first ‘engine-off’ project at IGO’s Nova nickel mine, allowing the site to operate on up to nine consecutive hours of renewable energy through the installation of an extra 10 MW of solar, and a 10 MW battery energy storage system;
  • Warrawoona: Zenith recently committed to the supply, installation, and commissioning of a 4 MW DC Solar Farm, using the 5B Maverick, as well as a 3 MW/3 MWh AC battery energy storage system at Warrawoona, owned by Calidus Resources. The hybrid power station configuration will reduce gas use, which in turn results in a reduction in emissions; and
  • King of The Hills: Work is currently underway to install 2 MW of 5B Maverick on the Red 5 site, also supported by a battery energy storage system.

Moffat said the 5B agreement is another key milestone on the company’s journey toward ‘net zero’.

“Our 2035 ‘net zero’ target strikes a balance between ambition and ability to achieve, with the 5B partnership a clear demonstration of our progress and commitment to this goal,” he said.

McGrath said 5B was keen to partner with Zenith, given the independent power producer’s strong reputation and credibility in providing renewable energy solutions to the mining and resources industry.

“We’re keen to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with like-minded companies, and Zenith definitely fits the bill,” he said. “It is great to see Zenith leveraging the ability of the 5B Maverick solar arrays to deploy up to 10 times faster, more safely than single axis tracker and fixed tilt solar systems, to deliver a full solution for their customers.”

Moffat said the partnership offers both Zenith and 5B the opportunity to continue to lead the industry, demonstrating the ability and capacity to effectively integrate renewable energy solutions.

“We have continually said we want to be part of the renewable solution, not just by developing the concepts needed, but by also actively deploying and proving the technology,” he said. “The partnership with 5B allows us to do this and continue to bring our clients on the glide path to ‘net zero’.”

Calidus to incorporate solar power, battery storage into Warrawoona power mix

Calidus Resources has executed an agreement with Zenith Pacific for the construction of a 4 MW solar farm with 3.5 MW battery energy storage system at its Warrawoona gold project in Western Australia.

Zenith is currently constructing the 11 MW gas-fired power station at Warrawoona under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The construction of the solar farm is part of the PPA whereby Calidus purchases power from Zenith.

The solar farm will be constructed in the second half of 2022 and will feed into the distribution line between the power station and accommodation village.

Calidus Managing Director, Dave Reeves, said the decision to proceed with the solar farm and battery storage was in line with the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives.

“Calidus is committed to carbon reduction as part of its ESG policy,” he said. “This renewable microgrid is a cornerstone to our carbon reduction plan which includes the use of LNG, not diesel, and the ability of the LNG gensets to use up to 25% hydrogen.

“We are pleased to extend the relationship with Zenith to incorporate this renewables project, and look forward to its construction in the second half of this year.”

Calidus plans to start mining at Warrawoona in the June quarter of this year, and is forecast to initially produce 105,000 oz/y of gold.

Macmahon Holdings finalises Calidus Warrawoona gold project contract

Macmahon Holdings Ltd says it has now finalised a mining services contract with Calidus Resources Ltd for the Warrawoona gold project in Western Australia.

The news follows Macmahon’s selection as the preferred contractor for the project in 2020.

This contract involves the development of a new open-pit mine in the Pilbara region, with the scope of work for Macmahon expected to include all open-pit mining activities until December 2026. Macmahon anticipates the contract will generate revenue of approximately A$210 million ($154 million).

This contract is in addition to the early-stage civil works Macmahon is currently undertaking on site with 65 personnel. The company expects the main mining equipment to arrive on site in the March quarter of 2022, with the project to eventually employ around 120 Macmahon personnel.

Macmahon CEO and Managing Director, Michael Finnegan, said: “We are delighted to finalise this mining contract with Calidus Resources for its Warrawoona gold project, which follows on from the civil work we are currently undertaking on site. This contract will add approximately A$210 million to our order book and is a welcome addition to our growing portfolio of Western Australian gold projects. We have built a strong relationship with the Calidus team since we commenced on site earlier this year and look forward to developing this project with them.”

Macmahon, GR Engineering on board Calidus Resources’ Warrawoona gold project

Calidus Resources has started construction ahead of schedule at its Warrawoona project, as well as made two key appointments to deliver on its gold mine development in Western Australia.

It has appointed Macmahon Holdings as the preferred mining contractor for the project, while GR Engineering Services has been awarded preferred tenderer status for the process plant engineering procurement and construction.

While construction activity has already commenced ahead of the main project construction activities, which are expected to kick off in the March quarter of 2021, these contract tenders will allow finalisation of major contracts as part of the ongoing feasibility study at Warrawoona, due for completion this month, Calidus said. It will also help facilitate front end engineering and design for the project and the placing of orders for long lead items.

This project involves the development of a new open-pit mine in the Pilbara region, with the scope of work for Macmahon to include all open-pit mining activities, and potentially some early stage civil works.

Macmahon estimates the open-pit mining work will generate around A$220 million ($160 million) in revenue over 54 months and require capital expenditure of circa-A$30 million. There is also potential for the Warrawoona project to include underground mining, which could represent a further opportunity for Macmahon when this is developed, it said.

Macmahon expects it will start work on site in the first half of 2021, with the project to eventually employ more than 120 of its personnel.

GR Engineering, which has completed the last two gold plants in Western Australia, according to Calidus, will work on the design and construction of the process plant and associated infrastructure, meanwhile.

A prefeasibility study on Warrawoona completed in July 2019 outlined average gold production of 97,000 oz/y at an all-in sustaining cost of $1,159/oz over an initial six-year mine life via a 2 Mt/y conventional CIL processing circuit with single stage crush and SAG mill.

Among the initial works the company has started are 7 km-long access road to the village and process plant (pictured); the installation of the 240 room village that has been previously purchased by Calidus; the installation and operation of communications by Telstra; and the installation and equipping of water bores.

GR Engineering lends gold study expertise to Calidus’ Warrawoona project

Calidus Resources has appointed GR Engineering Services to carry out the prefeasibility study (PFS) on its Warrawoona gold project in Western Australia.

The PFS is scheduled to be completed in the September quarter.

Calidus said: “GR Engineering are an ASX-listed engineering company that has successfully managed 19 gold feasibility studies and the construction of three gold processing plants in Western Australia in the last two years and has an excellent track record of delivering process plants on time and on budget.”

Calidus Managing Director, Dave Reeves, said: “The appointment of GR Engineering to undertake the PFS for Calidus is another step towards development of the Warrawoona gold project.

“Detailed inputs for the study have been collected over the last 12 months to ensure an accurate representation of the economics can be provided to investors on the completion of the PFS and allow discussions to commence with debt financiers.

“With regional drilling of untested anomalies due to commence next month in parallel with the PFS, we believe we are just starting to unlock the true value of this untested greenstone belt in Western Australia.”

Calidus has outlined a resource of 21.3 Mt at 1.83 g/t Au for 1.25 Moz at Warrawoona, which includes a higher-grade component of 14.6 Mt at 2.37 g/t for 1.1 Moz. Around 64% of the resource is classified as indicated.