Connect with us

Mining

Let’s Drill!

Published

on

A world first scientific drilling program is set to reveal Australia’s hidden wealth.

MinEx CRC, the world’s largest mineral exploration collaboration has launched a world-first scientific drilling program, the National Drilling Initiative (NDI), which will sample rocks from vast undercover and unexplored regions of Australia.

The NDI will help us to understand the evolution of our continent, provide clues about where to search for new mineral deposits and bring forward the next generation of mineral exploration technology.

Australia has a rich mining heritage and is blessed with abundant mineral resources. However, vast areas of Australia are poorly understood because prospective rocks are hidden below younger rocks, soils and sand.

In collaboration with Geoscience Australia and geological survey organisations in every state and territory, the NDI will manage and deliver a seven-year program with multiple drilling campaigns spread across the continent. Holes are now being drilled in regions to understand the geology in three dimensions.

The NDI is not an exploration program itself; instead, it seeks to provide new evidence about the existence of mineralising systems for exploration companies to encourage them to take up the search.

“It is a necessary action by Government to lower the risk for explorers to come into previously unexplored terrain. Without this pre-competitive work, explorers will invest their money elsewhere, most probably outside of Australia,” said MinEx CRC CEO, Andrew Bailey.

“Drilling is vital to mineral discovery; however, it’s also expensive and consumes significant energy and water. MinEx CRC seeks to push costs down and improve the safety and efficiency of drilling.”

In addition to utilising conventional drilling methods, the NDI will deploy innovative mineral exploration technologies currently being developed by MinEx CRC and sponsoring organisations.

These technologies will reduce the environmental footprint of the drill program (smaller drill site, lower water and energy usage), improve safety and deliver greater volume and detail of information at a lower cost. The NDI will provide a testing platform to refine and optimise these technologies, bringing them closer to market.

Novel drill monitoring and optimisation technology, sampling techniques, downhole geophysical sensors and low-cost Coiled Tubing (CT) drilling technology will be deployed in each of the NDI programs planned.

The first of the NDI drilling campaigns is already underway in the Northern Territory. Drilling in NSW is due to commence in 2022 through a collaboration with MinEx CRC and the Geological Survey of New South Wales (GSNSW).

GSNSW is a major participant in the NDI program, committing $16 million to the program over 10 years. The program will focus on five areas in our state’s central and far west, where metallic minerals potentially exist under a layer of younger barren geology. The areas selected are North Cobar, South Cobar, Broken Hill (Mundi), Forbes and Dubbo.

GSNSW will undertake geological mapping, airborne electromagnetic and other geophysical surveys, hydrogeochemistry, biogeochemistry, and drilling from 2019 to 2028. Drilling is planned from 2022 to 2026 and will avoid sensitive areas such as state significant aquifers and national parks.

Equipment

Good. Better. Best.

Published

on

Hitachi’s range of mining excavators is a dominant force in Australia. With six machines in their mining line up, they have a solution for every size and type of mine, from the versatile 120t EX1200-7 excavator through to their EX8000-6 weighing in at a whopping 837t.

Available in backhoe and face shovel configurations, these machines are highly regarded and operate globally. Instantly recognisable in their distinctive Hitachi orange, you’re most likely to find the EX2600, EX3600 and EX5600 backhoes working in the Valley.

Sitting in the sweet spot of Hitachi’s diggers is the EX3600. A stalwart of the Australian mining industry, Hitachi has deployed locally over 100 of these 370t excavators since launching the EX3600-5. Now in its third iteration, the Japanese manufactured EX3600-7 is Hitachi’s latest generation machine built upon industry feedback and the Company’s learnings in the field to produce more fuel efficient product for customers.

In a development immediately broadening the appeal of this excavator, miners now have an option of power plant with both the Cummins QSKTA60 or MTU 12V4000 on offer.

Combined with improvements in the machine’s hydraulic system, operators can reasonably expect reductions in fuel consumption between 4 – 7% compared with the previous model (the EX3600-6 with Cummins engine configuration). Further, intelligent management systems including main pump electric regulators on each individually controlled hydraulic pump as well as, a hydraulic regeneration circuit, permit this machine reduced pump demand, enhancing engine power, lowering fuel consumption and increasing productivity.

All too aware of the detrimental effects of dust and moisture ingress, Hitachi has introduced slit-less solid conduit harnesses and junction boxes. In the instance of damage, electrical harnesses between junction boxes can be replaced individually, ultimately reducing maintenance time and cost. Likewise, the cab riser now features a pressuriser system to minimise dust infiltration and extend the service life of electronic components within.

Improving upon a product that customers already like, the hydraulic hoses between the boom and main piping have been rearranged from an arch to underslung configuration removing the need for clamps, reducing deflection and increasing reliability. And I could go on, with features too numerous to contemplate in this article.

Find out more today by contacting your local Hitachi representative or go online at https://hitachicm.com.au/products/excavators.

THANKS TO COMPONENTS ONLY, OUR HEAVY EQUIPMENT EXPERTS

Continue Reading

Mining

NSW Leads Nation with New Facility

Published

on

Australia’s only independent underground mine explosives testing facility has opened at Freeman’s Waterhole NSW.

Paving the way for improvements in mine safety and innovation in the mining industry, the new testing facility is under the control of the NSW Resources Regulator’s Mine Safety Technology Centre (RR).

The facility, which is discreetly built on the site of a quarry to reduce impact on the surrounding environment, will be used to determine if locally made explosives are viable and meet vital safety requirements to protect the wellbeing of workers.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro recently launched the first round of explosives testing at the new facility and stated that it positions NSW as the nation’s leader in mine safety development.

“Currently, there are few explosives that can be used in underground coal mines and these kinds of explosives have a very short shelf life, they don’t travel well and need to be developed and tested locally,” Mr Barilaro said.

The RR is responsible for regulating the mining industry in NSW, which includes work, health safety matters through to environmental issues such as mine rehabilitation.

Anthony Keon, Executive Director of the Resources Regulator said the new testing facility is critical to ensure that people can have confidence in the materials and explosives being used underground. “The establishment of this facility will ensure that we’re not stifling innovation,” said Anthony.

“It will give industry and explosive manufacturers access to this test which has previously been unavailable for almost decades.

“There are limited facilities of this type throughout the world and because of the limited shelf life on these products we really need something locally based in order to open up those opportunities for NSW companies and for the NSW mining industry.”

“What the test is trying to do is ensure that explosives when used properly don’t ignite methane; and we’ve seen through numerous incidents throughout the world and even recently in Queensland the ramifications of when there isn’t an ignition of methane.”

Geoff Slater, Manager at Mine Safety Technology Centre said the development of explosives specifically for underground coal mines started back in the1890s at the Greenwich Naval Facility London. Early tests used a small bore cannon and this influenced majority of test facilities since that time.

“The facility at Freemans Waterhole uses concrete culverts and water bags to reduce the noise emissions during testing,” said Geoff.

“Extensive computer simulations were used to determine the best optimum use of the water.”

Test rounds at the facility will be scheduled to meet the needs of industry, at up to two to three times per year, restricted to work hours on weekdays.

Continue Reading

Community

Students Have A Yarn

Published

on

St James’ Muswellbrook welcomes a newly constructed yarning circle thanks to the generosity of Malabar Resources.

Fully funded by Malabar, the Yarning Circle will give students and teachers at St James’ Primary School in Muswellbrook the opportunity to sit together and enhance their understanding of Indigenous culture.

A Yarning Circle is an important part of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and a harmonious and collaborative way of communicating. It promotes respectful relationships and provides an open environment to share cultural knowledge.

In August Malabar designed and installed the Yarning Circle which involved the placement of more than 5000kg of sandstone blocks.

Malabar’s Manager of Health, Safety, Environment and Community, Donna McLaughlin said, “We are delighted to continue building our relationship with St James’ and other schools in the region by providing resources that help their specific needs.”

“We look forward to seeing the Yarning Circle develop as native plants and artwork are added to the space, which will further facilitate cultural learning and understanding.”

The new space was enthusiastically received by students. “Thank you for this amazing and respectful area where we can teach others about our customs and traditions,” said year 6 student Tushawn.

St James’ Aboriginal Education Teacher, Tania Thompson expressed how thankful they are to have a designated place for our CREST Crew to meet and yarn.

“When we meet as a whole group from K-6 around the Yarning Circle, it gives students the opportunity to bond, form strong ties, and unite as one mob,” she said.

“Communicating, sharing and problem solving as a team are some of the extremely important life skills that we refine when meeting for Yarning Circle.”

“We learn to listen to one another and to respect the ideas and opinions of others regardless of their age, as we all have wisdom to share.”

St James’ will use the Yarning Circle as an extension of their classrooms and teaching practice to foster knowledge of Indigenous culture by engaging both indigenous and non-indigenous students and teachers.

Continue Reading

Trending