Discovered in October 2013, the Gruyere Gold Project sits on the South Dorothy Hills Trend, approximately 20kms away from the Yamara Belt discovery, Central Bore. Three years after the founding, Gold Fields and Gold Road announced a 50:50 joint venture in operation, development and construction of the Gruyere Gold Project. This included the Attila, Central Bore and Alaric deposits, along with the YAM14 and Toto Prospects, representing 144km² of prime mineral-rich land across Western Australia.
Approximately 72% of engineering projects and close to 33% of construction projects are completed, which means the Gruyere Gold Project has reached the half-way point of development. It’s a significant success as budget and schedule continue to run smoothly.
The Gruyere Gold Project has reached the half-way point of development.
Sim Lau, Director of the Gruyere Project said: “A great deal has been achieved in the past 12 months, which is testament to the efforts of the project team and our contractors. With project engineering 72% complete and construction 32% complete, we remain confident that the Gruyere Gold Project will be brought into production on schedule and within budget in early 2019.”
Having now signed a five-year, $400 million mining services contract with Downer EDI, a leading infrastructure, mining and rail company across Australia and New Zealand, Downer is set to mobilise its construction workforce in March 2018 to begin work on the mining infrastructure itself.
As a result of the size of the construction works, land works, and infrastructure required to begin operations of the large-scale development, various construction groups have been appointed to head up projects across the development.
Nacap Australia, an Australian pipeline facilities construction specialist, has been appointed to construct the Yamara Gas Pipeline, a channel covering approximately 198kms. The specialist is set to establish a 200-person construction camp and the pipeline route. If everything remains on schedule, construction work will begin in February, and is expected to be completed in the Jun 2018 quarter.
The specialist is set to establish a 200-person construction camp and the pipeline route.
After early appointment in the development, MACA Civil, a specialist civil and mining construction business, has made significant progress with the major earthworks. Having completed several components including an airstrip, a 28km Gruyere main access road and various storage and pit clearing, the earthmoving company will soon begin works on the Mt Shenton-Yamarna Road and TSF embankment walls, using materials sourced from staging.
The airstrip itself, which has been widely-recognised as an excellent example of modern earthworks, is currently only able to accept aircraft carrying up to 30 passengers due to the awaiting Civil Aviation Safety Authority certification. As it is expected to be fully approved in the coming months, the airstrip will soon be able to house larger aircraft of up to 100 passengers. It will also be able to serve as a key method of workforce transportation across the region.
Finally, the Amec Foster Wheeler and Civmec Joint Venture, the two construction companies appointed for engineering, procurement and construction, have poured approximately 4,200m³ of concrete in development of the main process plant. Having completed the largest single pour to date, approximately 750m³ for the primary crusher raft slab, the joint construction companies have a remaining 10,500m³ of concrete to be poured before completion of the processing plant.
“Winning this contract is testament to how we are delivering on our strategy to expand our EPC business."
The AUD$298 million contract is the second major gold project awarded in the last 12 months to Amec Foster Wheeler and marks strong growth of the construction company. When discussing the contract, Dave Lawson, President of Mining at Amec Foster Wheeler mentions that the company “has worked on some of the largest and most technically complex gold projects in the world.”
“Winning this contract is testament to how we are delivering on our strategy to expand our EPC business, and our ability to work across all phases of a project to deliver solutions for customers. We look forward to drawing on our extensive international gold expertise to deliver a world class facility for Gruyere, one of the largest undeveloped gold deposits in Australia,” says Mr Lawson.
With 300 workers being employed on site for engineering, procurement and construction, and 50 jobs opening in Perth for the fabrication of the enormous infrastructure and components needed for the project, there is still a long way to go before the completion of the works. Seven carbon-in-leach tanks, flooring and annular plates, the first structural steel components for the process plant and various other necessary mining components are yet to be completed.
Overall, the Gruyere Gold Project marks a long-life, low-cost project set to significantly boost the Australian mineral market.
Overall, the Gruyere Gold Project marks a long-life, low-cost project set to significantly boost the Australian mineral market. The processing plant at the site will be processing millions of tonnes of fresh ore a year after $532 million spent on the development of the facility.
Having completed a full Feasibility Study in 2016, Gold Road suggests the large-scale, open pit mine will feed approximately 7.5 million tonne per annum through the processing plant, producing an average of 270,000 ounces of gold annually for the first 13 years of the project. The project is expected to provide a serious boost to the Western Australian economy, supplying stable employment for local communities and using locally-sourced materials for any current or future construction.