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Lift II copper project, South Africa – update

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11th August 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Lift II copper project.

Location
Limpopo, South Africa.

Project Owner/s
Palabora Copper, a subsidiary of the Palabora Mining Company.

Project Description
Palabora Copper has been producing copper in South Africa for more than 50 years, initially as a large opencast operation and thereafter as an underground block cave operation in 2002, known as Lift I.

The Lift II project scope includes:

  • development of twin decline roadways to provide access to the Lift II orebody
  • a conveyor belt decline and a service decline, extending beneath the current Lift I infrastructure, for access and materials handling
  • development of vertical shafts for ventilation
  • raisebored rises between the Lift I and Lift II levels that will provide fresh and return airways for the Lift II development and block caving operations
  • development of orebody footprint undercut level and of the ore production level
  • extraction drives – dedicated personnel and production equipment tunnels around the footprint. The production level will also comprise the production crosscuts and draw point tunnels.
  • an off-set herringbone pattern draw point layout, similar to Lift l will be used for Lift II, including tunnel and draw point spacing of 34 m x 17 m
  • construction of all services and infrastructure to support the Lift II block cave development and steady-state production
  • crusher chambers and access drives development
  • a workshop
  • a sumps and pump chamber
  • Crusher 5 and 6 complexes
  • a CV 22 conveyor leg
  • a ventilation level
  • access ramps, as well as associated large and vertical excavations
  • ore flow, including conveyors and crushers
  • two large jaw-gyratory crushers, to allow for a larger material lump size and a better material reduction ratio for final product dimensions for conveying.

The surface works scope includes:

  • installation of two optical electromagnetic ore sorters prior to the autogenous milling circuit
  • the upgrade of the secondary milling plant circuit in the existing processing plant using improved feed distribution to the mills, modifications to improve cyclone classification efficiencies and provision of particle size analysing equipment to enable real-time monitoring of milling performance (particle size distribution)
  • the upgrade of the existing concentrator facilities by the installation of a new flotation circuit to maximize metallurgical performance.

Lift II will have a design capacity of 33 500 t/d, 380 m below Lift I, with a mine life to 2033.

Capital Expenditure
The project is estimated at R9.3-billion.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
Murray & Roberts Cementation achieved a milestone at the end of July when it successfully reached the 1 000 m mark on its contract to sink the 1 200 m ventilation shaft at the Lift II expansion.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Murray & Roberts Cementation (shaft sinking).

Contact Details for Project Information
Palabora Copper, tel +2715 780 2911.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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