Barminco, RUC Mining progress works for Savannah underground expansion


The Savannah nickel mine. Image: Barminco

Panoramic Resources is edging closer to underground mining at the Savannah nickel operation in Western Australia as key contractors continue development works at the site.

Mining contractor Barminco has completed 468 metres of horizontal underground development to connect with the vertical ventilation shaft at Savannah.

The completion of this work by Barminco has allowed specialist raise borer RUC Mining to begin setting up the raisebore rig on the surface of the mine, installing the reamer head at 1675 reduced level (RL).

This task, which Panoramic has described as “complicated and critical” was completed safely and efficiently as per the company’s plans so the 1675 RL intersects into the fresh air raise (FAR) #3.

RUC Mining commenced its next task of back-reaming FAR #3 last weekend, which is expected to be finished during the March 2021 quarter.

The contractor will back ream a total of 354 metres at a diameter of 3.85 metres to provide sufficient ventilation to support full-scale mining operations from Savannah North.

Panoramic updated its future mine plan to include underground mining at Savannah North during July, when it confirmed an updated ore reserve of 8.3 million tonnes at 1.23 per cent nickel, 0.59 per cent copper and 0.08 per cent cobalt.

This pushes Savannah’s mine life out to 13 years with the majority of ore sourced from Savannah North and an average annual production from years one to 12 of 8810 tonnes of nickel, 4579 tonnes of copper and 659 tonnes of cobalt.

A restart to mining operations at the Savannah underground site could restart in the first half of the 2021 calendar year, subject to the completion of back-reaming FAR #3.

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