Mining & Processing Operations
Mining of the Mt. Fubilan Ore Reserves is carried out as a large open pit operation using conventional drill and blast techniques, with shovel and excavator loading equipment.
The current pit design and pit sequencing has been developed to maximise value while meeting environmental constraints agreed with mine-affected communities
With approximately 9,000 mm of rainfall per annum, incident rainfall and runoff contributes significant volumes of free water draining into the pit. Rainwater also permeates into the rock mass contributing to instability due to increased pore pressure.
Comprehensive monitoring of hydrological and geotechnical factors are incorporated in our mining strategy and plans to ensure safe operations.
Ore is mined and processed at an onsite flotation processing plant capable of treating up to 24 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa). The plant currently recovers copper, gold and silver into a saleable concentrate.
The primary ore is crushed and ground using Semi-Autogenous Grinding and Ball mills to a final grain size of approximately 180 microns.
The finely ground material is treated in two mineral floatation circuits to extract the copper, gold and silver as a copper concentrate.
A portion of gold is also separately captured utilising a gravity gold circuit.
The concentrate is then piped 156 kilometres south to the Kiunga port facilities located on the Fly River. The concentrate is dried, stored and shipped by barge down the Fly River to a storage vessel which is predominately anchored in Port Moresby’s Fairfax Harbour.
It is then transferred to a silo and storage vessel before being exported (using commercial shipping) to customers in Japan, Philippines, Germany, South Korea and India where it is refined to produce copper metal and gold and silver bullion.