New block cave project at Northparkes Mines gets go-ahead

The new block cave mine at Northparkes Mines called E26 Lift 1 North has been approved. Construction is scheduled to start this month.
The new block cave mine at Northparkes Mines called E26 Lift 1 North has been approved. Construction is scheduled to start this month.

China Molybdenum Company (CMOC) and Sumitomo have announced the final approval of a new block cave mine at Northparkes Mines (Northparkes) called E26 Lift 1 North (E26L1N).

The investment will be more than $200M over a three and half year period with construction scheduled to commence this month and with full production expected in mid-2022. 

The project will produce approximately 40Mt of ore over a 10 year period.

Executive Chairman and CEO, CMOC Group, Steele Li said, everyone is really excited to see this project come to fruition and to watch Northparkes continue to develop and grow.

“Northparkes plays a pivotal role in our strong and long-term presence in Australia as an internationally renowned mining company,” he said.

The project will deliver 11km of underground development, an underground primary crusher, conveying systems and associated infrastructure.

At the peak of construction, the project will employ up to 180 people which will be a mixture of employees and contractors.

This project is covered by the current project approvals, licences and permits.

An upgrade to the ventilation system is currently being developed which will provide the new E26L1N mine with sufficient air flow to support development and production activities.

The E26L1N operation will be designed to utilise an increased level of automation and digitisation, helping to deliver a safer and more productive mine.

Northparkes Acting Managing Director Hubert Lehman said this is a major investment in the future of the business and a very exciting time for Northparkes.

“We look forward to continuing to contribute to the local community in which we live and work for years to come,” he said.

Northparkes was the first mine in Australia to use the highly efficient block cave mining method, becoming a more widely used mining method throughout the world.

In 2015, Northparkes became the worlds most automated underground mine with 100% of production from automated loaders.

The operation has outstanding Zero Harm performance across all areas of Health, Safety, Environment and Community thanks to the continuous effort by our dedicated employees.

Northparkes has approved development consent to mine until 2032.

As of December 31, 2017, Northparkes has reserves of 125 million tonnes of ore and in addition resources of 471 million tonnes.

We know the exploration potential of Northparkes and we believe we will discover more copper and gold deposits to take us even further into the future

Hubert Lehman, Acting Managing Director

“We know the exploration potential of Northparkes and we believe we will discover more copper and gold deposits to take us even further into the future,” Mr Lehman said.

“Northparkes is the world’s most automated underground block-cave mine and we are proud of our history and achievements.

“The mine has been operating for 24 years and we have a vision of a century of mining together, here in NSW’s Central West.” 

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