Zone 5 Mining

The Zone 5 mine will be a bulk mechanised mine, designed for a total production rate of 3.65Mtpa through three (3) mining corridors, with a single mining corridor production rate between 1.0 Mtpa to 2.0 Mtpa. The ore will initially be transported via a truck ore haulage system. The mine design is based on a Long Hole Open Stoping (LHOS) mining method. The first section of the mine will use pillar and no fill medium, and then as depth increases the use of a fill medium to improve overall resource recovery.

Mine construction, development and stoping will be undertaken utilizing a mining contractor.

Stope production has been estimated around the use of 9m3 (21 tonne) loaders and 60 tonne haul trucks. In the mining area, the loaders would transfer the ore from the ore passes to the trucks. The preferred option for material movement for the Zone 5 resource is trucking via the declines. Given the current depth of the known mineral resource, trucking was deemed the most practical option. From the loading points, the trucks will traverse the decline/s to the surface for deposit of the material.

Zone 5 Overall Mine Layout

Given the orebody has a strike length more than 4km, it necessitated dividing up the orebody into mining corridors due to the mining method selected. The twin decline layout allows for more than 1,000m coverage of lateral strike extent of the orebody, subsequently the ore body was partitioned into three mining corridors.

The decline profile has been designed to be 6m x 6m to permit the passage of the largest fleet item, the haulage trucks, as well as for ventilation requirements, while maintaining required and statutory stand-off distances to the excavation walls and associated construction services (air, water, pumping, power, communications, and secondary ventilation). An ergonomic style decline configuration with a minimum radius of 25m has been designed to provide optimal access to levels every 25 vertical metres, while also allowing trucks to operate at a safe productive speed when travelling up and down the decline. The downward gradient has been designed at 1:7 to maximize the capability of the haulage fleet whilst minimizing decline length per vertical metre.

Typical Level Layout Twin Decline Arrangement

For the mine plan, the level intervals for the LHOS area have been designed at 25m vertical floor to floor based on a maximum hole length of approximately 30m.The flat level access is a horizontal drive that marks the beginning of a mine level, linking the decline access to the ore drive. Level accesses have been designed at 50m vertical intervals however this increases to 60m when passing the sill pillar locations.From the flat level access, level accesses incline and decline to intersect the orebody on the 25m vertical level spacing utilized for stoping. The declines and associated orebody accesses have been positioned on the centroid of mass to maximise the corridor’s productivity.

The estimated mine life is 22 years, and C1 cash costs over the life of mine are estimated at approximately $1.47 per pound of copper at consensus pricing and $ 1.67 per pound including sustaining capex.

*Based upon first 10 years of average production.

Click on the YouTube clips below to view the Zone 5 Phase 3 isometric animations: