Ausenco worked with the Newcrest Mining team from the concept stage through to operations for the transition from sub-level to block-cave mining for the Ridgeway gold/copper mine. Our scope included project management, procurement and construction management for the underground fixed plant and associated infrastructure as well as project management, engineering, procurement and construction management for the upgrading of the existing concentrator.
There were a number of aspects of this project which required ingenious solutions:
- The new block cave was located below the sub-level cave mining with all personnel, plant and equipment required to be transported via an eight kilometre decline through the operating mine. All connections to existing infrastructure had to be co-ordinated to suit the existing mine shutdown schedule.
- On the surface, the construction areas for the three facilities were very close to and within operating plants and existing stockpiles.
- The extreme temperatures in the location meant the site could be snow covered or operating in extreme heat or somewhere in between.
- The Ausenco team needed to work very closely with the Newcrest team to ensure impacts on the operation of the mine were minimised.
- Strong team, client and community relationships forged through open, honest and proactive communication and a clear understanding of roles
- Through Ausenco’s innovative approach to design, delivery programs and contracting strategies, the project NPV (net present value) was increased significantly and the project was delivered ahead of the original schedule.
- Ausenco’s expertise in underground mine infrastructure and mineral processing in variable conditions is proven and we continue to work with Newcrest on other projects.