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.
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.”
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.”
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.