Africa|Construction|Conveyors|Copper|Design|drives|flotation|Flow|Infrastructure|Installation|Materials Handling|Mining|OPENCAST|PROJECT|Service|Services|Surface|System|Underground|Water|Equipment|Flow|Shaft Sinking|Infrastructure|Operations
Africa|Construction|Conveyors|Copper|Design|drives|flotation|Flow|Infrastructure|Installation|Materials Handling|Mining|OPENCAST|PROJECT|Service|Services|Surface|System|Underground|Water|Equipment|Flow|Shaft Sinking|Infrastructure|Operations

Lift II copper project, South Africa – update

Image of copper ore

1st December 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Lift II copper project.

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 since 1956, 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 the orebody footprint undercut level and of the ore production level;
  • extraction drives – dedicated personnel and production equipment tunnels around the footprint., with the production level also to 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 with Pachuca (including pumpstations), clean and dirty water dams and degrit plant
  • Crusher 5 and 6 complexes;
  • ore flow system with seven conveyors (CV 20 – 26);
  • a ventilation level;
  • access ramps, with the associated large and vertical excavations;
  • two large jaw-gyratory crushers, to allow for a larger material lump size of 3m x 1.6 m and a better material reduction ratio for final product dimensions for conveying.

The surface works scope includes:

  • the 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 allow for real-time monitoring of milling performance (particle-size distribution); and
  • the upgrade of the existing concentrator facilities through the installation of a new flotation circuit to maximize metallurgical performance.

Lift II will have a design capacity of 32 500 t/d, 400 m below Lift I, with a mine life to 2040.

Capital Expenditure
The project is estimated at R16.3-billion.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
Murray & Roberts Cementation achieved a milestone at the end of July 2023, 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); UMM; Bgrimm; Lion; Xingye; Laelo (owner manage); and Sperosens.

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

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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