In 2015, we began construction to expand our Tanami operations located in the remote desert of Australia’s Northern Territory. Recently, Tanami’s general manager, Francois Hardy, gave an update on the expansion project.
“Since 2012, we’ve gotten ourselves into a position where we’ve improved – more than doubled – our production,” Francois said. “We got our total cost down, which enabled us to put a plan forward that showed future growth.”
Engineering on all aspects of the project has been completed and the necessary plans and other deliverables have all been provided to the appropriate contractors. Our engineering team has now shifted its focus to assisting the construction team by answering technical questions that might arise or working with them to resolve any construction issues.
The construction of a 3.2-kilometer decline into the Granites Gold Mine at the Tanami operation was completed in late April, three months ahead of schedule. With two tunnels now leading underground, this will help to increase the output and lower costs.
Another key achievement was the critical first concrete pour at the Pre-Leach Thickener. It was completed safely with 160 cubic meters poured continuously.
The laying of new fiber optic cables, the backbone of the mine’s upgraded communications system, was completed safely and ahead of schedule. In September 2016, work began on installing the mine’s new communications towers. The current plan is to have 4G capacity and the upgraded communications network ready to “Go Live” by mid-November.
A modern mine site employs leading-edge technology and requires best-in-class infrastructure. The majority of the new mechanical equipment the mine requires is now on site and will be installed in accordance with the construction plan. Tanami’s new ball mill is due to be delivered in November 2016, and fabrication, inspection and delivery of the mine’s new fuel tanks is proceeding on schedule.
Upgrades to the existing ventilation shaft as well as renovations to infrastructure at the Granites processing plant are expected to be ready in time for production mid-2017. This project will extend the life of the mine by three years and will create a platform for further exploration of adjacent land.
As construction proceeds at the Tanami site, we will continue to work with the Central Land Council and traditional land owners. At the same time, we are developing a 10-year strategic plan that will help ensure that the longer mine life contributes lasting socio-economic value to the area. Currently, 48 percent of the mine’s employees reside in the Northern Territory and indigenous peoples make up 12 percent of its workforce.
Listen to Francois Hardy talk about the project on ABC Rural in Alice Springs in this audio clip:
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