Engineering & Mining Journal

FEB 2019

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 17 of 75

REGIONAL NEWS - AUSTRALIA/OCEANIA 16 E&MJ • FEBRUARY 2019 Development Begins on New Northparkes Block Cave China Molybdenum Co. (CMOC) and Su- mitomo have started development of a new block cave mine at their Northparkes Mines joint venture 27 kilometers (km) northwest of Parkes, New South Wales. Ownership of the joint venture is 80% CMOC and 20% Sumitomo. The new mine will be called E26 Lift 1 North. Investments will total more than $200 million over a 3.5-year period, with construction beginning in January and full production planned for mid-2022. The project will produce approximately 40 million metric tons (mt) of ore over a 10-year period. The project includes 11 km of under- ground development, installation of an underground primary crusher, conveying systems, and associated infrastructure. At the peak of construction, it will employ up to 180 people, including employees and contractors. The project is covered by current Northparkes approvals, licenses, and permits. An upgrade to the ventilation system is currently being developed that will provide the new mine with suffi cient air fl ow to support development and production activities. E26 Lift 1 North operations are designed to utilize an in- creased level of automation and digitiza- tion, helping to deliver a safer and more productive mine. "We are really excited to see this pro- ject come to fruition and to watch North- parkes continue to develop and grow," CMOC Group Executive Chairman and CEO Steele Li said. "Northparkes plays a pivotal role in our strong and long-term presence in Australia as an internationally renowned mining company." Northparkes has been operating for 24 years and was the fi rst mine in Austra- lia to use the block cave mining method. In 2015, it became the world's most au- tomated underground mine, with 100% of production from automated loaders. The operation has outstanding Zero Harm performance across all areas of health, safety, environment. In 2017, Northparkes transported 134,114 mt of copper concentrate by rail and sea to customers in Japan and China. As of December 31, the mine had reserves of 125 million mt of ore, plus an additional 471 million mt of resourc- es. The mine has operating capacity to process 6 million mt/y of ore, containing roughly 60,000 mt of copper and 50,000 oz of gold. Economic viability of the mine is projected to extend at least until 2032. "We know the exploration potential of Northparkes, and we believe we will discover more copper and gold deposits to take us even further into the future. Northparkes is the world's most automat- ed underground block-cave mine, and we are proud of our history and achieve- ments," Northparkes Acting Managing Director Hubert Lehman said. OceanaGold Receives Permits for Martha Underground, Mine Life Extension at Waihi OceanaGold Corp. announced that the stat- utory appeal period for the Martha Under- ground Project permitting process has con- cluded with no appeals fi led. As a result, the project has received its resource con- sents (permits) to commence operations. "Receipt of the permits at the Martha Underground represents a tremendous outcome that will benefi t the company, its shareholders, the town of Waihi and New Zealand," said Mick Wilkes, presi- dent and CEO. "The Waihi operation has had a long, rich history of operating to the highest of environmental and social standards globally while contributing sig- nifi cant socio-economic benefi ts to Waihi and the country. We are excited to be granted the consents and for the oppor- tunity to continue over 140 years of gold mining history at Waihi." The company has started preparing management plans and detailed mine de- signs to allow mining operations to begin, which will include stope and infrastruc- ture development. It expects that at full underground mining rate at Martha, the Waihi operation production would return to more recent historic levels. During the ramp-up phase, the OceanaGold will continue to drill the Martha Underground targets using four diamond rigs from the two underground drill drives located beneath the Martha open pit to further discover and add re- sources. Based on studies and explora- tion to-date, the company has an explo- ration target of between 5 million metric tons (mt) and 8 million mt grading 4 grams (g) per mt to 6 g/mt within the Martha Underground. As of August 9, 2018, the Martha Underground hosted a Measured & Indicated (M&I) Resource of 140,000 oz of gold and an Inferred Re- source of approximately 339,000 oz of gold, which was based on only one-third of the planned drilling program. Since this date, the Company has continued to drill from underground and has budgeted a further 42,000 m in 2019 to further test the exploration target. The world's most automated mine plans to expand.

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