The second mining campaign at Mt Weld was completed within the expected time frame, with the last ore extracted on 9 May 2017. This was despite summer rainfall in Western Australia being the highest on record.
Named Campaign 1B, this was a continuation of the first mining campaign conducted in 2007/08 extending the depth of the original pit by approximately 10 metres. No removal of overburden was required for this short campaign.
A total of 240 kt of ore at 17.8% REO was mined. This is about one year of concentrator feed. The quantity of NdPr (9kt NdPrO) contained in the ore was in line with plan.
Mining was undertaken by a local Goldfields contractor.
The next (third) mining campaign will see the pit extended to the north. Overburden removal will commence in the last quarter of 2017 with ore mining to commence in early 2018.
Pit floor (24 February 2017)
ROM stockpile area (24 February 2017)
Since commissioning in 2011, the Mt Weld concentration plant has been processing ore stockpiled from the first Mt Weld mining campaign (2007/08) in order to produce rare earth concentrate for separation at the Lynas Advanced Material Plant in Kuantan, Malaysia.
The second mining campaign, aptly named Campaign 1B is a continuation of the first mining campaign extending the depth of original pit by 10 metres. There is no overburden removal required for this campaign and the floor of the current pit is high grade ore. Campaign 1B is expected to take about 4 months and will extract approximately one year of mill feed. This ore will be blended with some remaining medium grade ore from the first mining campaign.
The mining is being undertaken by a local Goldfields based contractor. A new access ramp into the pit has been completed and the first ore was extracted on 25 January 2017
New access ramp reached pit floor on morning of 25 January 2017.
First ore from mining Campaign 1B being loaded onto truck (25 January 2017)
First ore from mining Campaign 1B onto the ROM stockpile area (25 January 2017)