By ERWIN CHLANDA
The Newmont gold mine north-west of Alice Springs plans to build a spur from the Pam Valley to Darwin pipeline to switch its electricity generating fuel from diesel to gas, according to Mining Monthly.
The online magazine says Newmont’s Tanami operations have two diesel-fired power stations – one at the Granites open pit mine and processing plant and the other at the Dead Bullock Soak (DBS) underground operation, about 44km away. Those stations generate a combined 28 to 34 MW.
With the DBS mine going deeper, the power draw there is needed to increase as ventilation and refrigeration demands rise.
“The average rock temperature at the sort of depths DBS will be heading to is 58C.
“Newmont is working on a further expansion of the underground operation, which will likely take it below two kilometers depth and add several years to the mine life there.”
The magazine says a pipeline would also make the mines less vulnerable to being cut off by heavy rain, as was the case earlier this year.
Meanwhile Chief Minister Michael Gunner recently opened a $154m expansion to the mine enabling it produce up to an additional 80,000oz of gold per year.
“Around 120 jobs were created during construction of the expansion and up to 18 additional jobs will be created as a result of the expanded operations,” says Mr Gunner.
The expansion includes the construction of a 3.2 km second decline to underground workings and an increase in the size of the processing plant and mill. This involved adding a ball mill, thickener and gravity circuit.
The mine has a 4.5 million ounce gold reserve and has produced around 8 million ounces of gold since it commenced in the early 1990s, Mr Gunner says.
Photo Mining Monthly.
By ERWIN CHLANDA