KCGM starts work at Kalgoorlie Super Pit extension

The Super Pit is expanding. Image: KCGM.

The Kalgoorlie Super Pit gold mine in Western Australia is being expanded for the first time in nearly a decade.

Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM), the Super Pit joint venture between Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining, started mining the Morrison layback yesterday with the first production blast in the area.

It is the first new layback at the mine since Golden Pike started in 2009.

The layback is at the southern end of the Fimiston open pit and has been called the Morrison starter pit.

KCGM general manager Cecile Thaxter said the start of mining at Morrison was a big step forward considering the challenges the Super Pit open pit operation had faced since the West Wall failure in March 2017.

“Our people worked collaboratively and tirelessly to redesign the pit and allowed for mining to commence at Morrison despite the loss of Y Ramp due to the May 2018 rock falls on the East Wall,” Thaxter said.

“Although the starter pit is smaller than the originally contemplated Morrison and Brownhill laybacks, it does provide flexibility with an additional mining area, while we continue to progress remediation plans.”

KCGM produced 150,000 ounces of gold at the Super Pit during the September quarter as investigations into how to remediate this year’s wall collapse continued.

The September quarter output was below the 192,000 ounces produced at the mine in the previous quarter.

May’s rock falls forced KCGM to reduce mining rates and cut more than 150 positions at the Super Pit.