De Beers Selects Contractor for Venetia Mine Transformation
De Beers has chosen Murray & Roberts Cementation (M&R) as its contractor of choice in the transformation of its Venetia mine in South Africa, awarding the $245 million contract to convert the open pit diamond mine into an underground operation.
According to M&R group CEO Henry Laas: "This is a flagship project for Murray & Roberts and our local project team has been complimented with project management and operational capacity from our cementation mining companies in Australia and Canada, demonstrating the breadth of capability and experience available in our group.”
The contract with Murray & Roberts includes constructing an entire underground mine, including sinking, equipping and commissioning of a decline shaft and two vertical shafts. It also includes building a horizontal tunnel, loading levels, associated ventilation and ground and water handling infrastructure.
The project is expected to extend the life of the mine until 2042.
“The more advanced Canadian shaft sinking methodology will be utilized for sinking the vertical shafts and Cementation Canada, who is recognized as leaders in applying this methodology, will be providing specialist training of the shaft sinking crews,” says Laas.
"The Canadian shaft-sinking model is designed for all activities in the shaft-sinking production cycle to be undertaken in-line. Although good sinking rates are possible with this methodology, the primary drive in the transition to this methodology is improved safety, as no concurrent shaft sinking activities are required."
The Venetia mine is located in the northeast providence of South Africa. The mine contributes to nearly 40 percent of the country’s annual production, making it the largest producer of diamonds in South Africa.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.