Rose­berry Mine

MMG’s Rose­bery mine in Tas­ma­nia re­cently achieved an im­por­tant mile­stone – min­ing and milling 1 mil­lion tonnes on a rolling 12-month ba­sis, for the first time in its more than 80-year his­tory.

The Australian Mining Review - - CONTENTS - EMMA DAVIES

ROSE­BERY’S record re­sult was achieved fol­low­ing im­prove­ments to the mine’s tail­ings dam, in­sourc­ing of the mine devel­op­ment work, and an up­graded fleet.

MMG Rose­bery gen­eral man­ager Jenkins Kroon said he was pleased with the site’s pro­duc­tion rates.

“In the third quar­ter of 2018 Rose­bery pro­duced 19,218 tonnes of zinc in zinc con­cen­trate, broadly flat when com­pared to the sec­ond quar­ter of 2018 and up 12 per cent on the prior cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod,” Mr Kroon said.

“The strong pro­duc­tion was driven largely by an­other record quar­ter for both min­ing and milling rates, which con­tin­ues to off­set the trend of lower grades.”

Mr Kroon said it was a con­sid­er­able achieve­ment con­sid­er­ing that in the past five years min­ing at the Rose­bery site had be­come more dif­fi­cult.

“For­tu­nately for Rose­bery, our team was ready for this and able to pivot, with im­prove­ments hap­pen­ing be­cause we have great peo­ple, work­ing to­gether, do­ing great work in many dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the busi­ness,” he said.

“The team fo­cussed on key con­straints (bot­tle­necks) through­out the busi­ness and ap­plied their skills to re­solve them.

“We’re now en­joy­ing the fruits of that labour.”

Since tak­ing over mine devel­op­ment from Barminco, Rose­bery had not only in­creased sav­ings but in­creased ore mined, achieved record mill through­put, and com­pleted a $52 mil­lion tail­ings dam.

Mr Kroon said bring­ing the devel­op­ment team into the MMG team had also ben­e­fit­ted ex­ist­ing em­ploy­ees.

“Bring­ing the Barminco devel­op­ment team in house has strength­ened the Rose­bery team,” Mr Kroon said.

“It al­lows us to op­er­ate as one united min­ing team with an aligned goal, to safely pro­duce as much metal as pos­si­ble.”

Op­er­a­tional Im­prove­ments

The cur­rent fo­cus was to drive op­er­a­tional im­prove­ments on site, with MI­CROMINE’s Pitram team re­cently vis­it­ing to train Rose­bery em­ploy­ees in the fleet man­age­ment and mine con­trol soft­ware.

Train­ing was pro­vided for Rose­bery’s Pitram op­er­a­tors, pro­duc­tion en­gi­neers, drill and blast en­gi­neers and ge­ol­o­gists, and cov­ered tech­ni­cal is­sues, faults and prob­lems, work­flows, best prac­tice pro­ce­dures, and how to use the data and re­port­ing more ef­fec­tively.

Mr Kroon said the com­pany would con­tinue to man­age its con­straints as

“We are cur­rently do­ing ex­plo­ration drilling from sur­face and from un­der­ground to find more ore and we are con­fi­dent that we will be able to ex­tend to cur­rent mine life.”

smartly as pos­si­ble.

“At the mo­ment our fo­cus is on set­ting our­selves up with an un­der­ground net­work that will al­low us to use a num­ber of tech­no­log­i­cal so­lu­tions to im­prove safety and pro­duc­tiv­ity,” he said.

“This fol­lows the re­cent in­vest­ment in new mo­bile fleet, the suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of the in­sourc­ing of mine devel­op­ment work and the com­ple­tion of the new 2/5 tail­ings dam this year.

“Com­bined these ac­tions are set­ting us up for a bright fu­ture.

“Watch this space.”

Look­ing Ahead

Over the next 12 to 18 months, MMG will in­vest sig­nif­i­cantly in re­source ex­ten­sion drilling at Rose­bery with the aim of ex­tend­ing the cur­rent five years of re­main­ing life.

“Our mine is an in­te­gral part of the lo­cal com­mu­nity and most of our em­ploy­ees and sup­pli­ers at Rose­bery are lo­cal to the area,” he said.

“Our con­tri­bu­tions – be­yond lo­cal em­ploy­ment and eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties – in­clude run­ning stand-alone pro­grams, in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment, and spon­sor­ships.

“Rose­bery also runs a fruit pro­gram with the lo­cal schools and is in the process of com­mis­sion­ing a walk­ing trail so that the lo­cal com­mu­nity and tourists can more eas­ily en­joy the amaz­ing flora and fauna in the lo­cal area.”

The com­pany reg­u­larly hosts pub­lic groups like uni­ver­si­ties, fam­i­lies of em­ploy­ees, com­mu­nity mem­bers and other in­ter­ested peo­ple, able to tour the con­cen­tra­tor, var­i­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal ar­eas and sur­face op­er­a­tions.

“This hope­fully lets ev­ery­one learn and un­der­stand the way we work in Rose­bery and will hope­fully in­spire the next gen­er­a­tion of min­ing pro­fes­sion­als,” Mr Kroon said.

Rose­bery also re­cently cel­e­brated an­other mile­stone of long ser­vice awards for six staff mem­bers who had worked on site for between 30 and 45 years — a big feat con­sid­er­ing the av­er­age life of the Rose­bery mine had al­ways been about five years.

“It is amaz­ing to see the com­mit­ment and care that our peo­ple have for the Rose­bery busi­ness,” Mr Kroon said.

“While the mine has been around for more than 100 years, and the pro­cess­ing plant has been op­er­at­ing con­tin­u­ously for 83 years, Rose­bery has al­ways had an av­er­age mine life of ap­prox­i­mately five years.”

Mr Kroon said that while ex­tend­ing the mine life was an ongoing chal­lenge, it was one that had been over­come many times be­fore.

“We are cur­rently do­ing ex­plo­ration drilling from sur­face and from un­der­ground to find more ore, and we are con­fi­dent that we will be able to ex­tend the cur­rent mine life,” he said.

“To­gether we will con­tinue to make progress for our peo­ple, host com­mu­nity and share­hold­ers for many more years.”

Im­ple­ment­ing tech­no­log­i­cal im­prove­ments are set to im­prove safety and pro­duc­tiv­ity on site.

MMG Rose­bery mine pro­duc­tion en­gi­neer Caro­line Dun­ning (sec­ond from left) re­cently won the 2018 Ex­cep­tional Young Woman in Tas­ma­nian Re­sources Award.

The pro­cess­ing plant has been op­er­at­ing con­tin­u­ously for 83 years.

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