Orion Minerals Ltd has awarded a six-month trial mining contract to P2 Mining (PTY) Ltd, a subsidiary of South African mining contractor Newrak Mining Group, to undertake the early works trial underground mining programme at the Prieska Copper Zinc-Mine (PCZM) in the Northern Cape Province.
The trial mining will target the +105 Level Crown Pillar, using conventional and alternative underground mining methods. The trial mining will comprise 120 m of footwall ramp development, before accessing the high-grade supergene ore of the +105 block with ore development along strike for 150 m on either side of the primary access as the primary in a cut-and fill mining cycle.
In addition, the Newrak contract also covers the opening of the 143 Level historical stope draw-points for selective loading and hauling to surface of broken ore remaining in the stopes, in order to perform bulk sampling and metallurgical trials on the material. If successful, this exercise will continue to build a stockpile on surface for future processing once the concentrator plant is commissioned.
Part of the trial mining contract with Newrak is to test an ITC120 continuous loader and two 20 t bi-directional trucks in the underground development cycle. This machine trial is being undertaken at Orion’s request with equipment secured from Germany.
Errol Smart, Orion’s Managing Director and CEO, comments:
“This is a tremendously exciting period for Orion as we move to active trial mining at Prieska and start our transition from developer to operating mining company. We have spent the past two months completing essential preparations, such as installing underground refuge chambers, upgrading hoisting capacity of the emergency escapeway to surface and sourcing and installing key ventilation equipment.
“With these essential safety and environmental preparations now complete, we can finally mobilise the mining contractor to commence drilling, blasting and hauling ore to surface.
“The trial mining phase will also see Orion apply our core philosophy of bringing proven, innovative methods matched with appropriate skills and experience to our operations, while at the same time training and upskilling our host community members so that we can ultimately source our staff locally. We also aim to develop local enterprises to service Orion’s mines and the South African mining industry, encouraging our service providers and contractors to support these endeavours and contribute to the skills transfer and enterprise development.”
Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/mining/06092023/orion-awards-trial-mining-contract-to-newarks-p2-mining/
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