Underground Expansion of an Open Pit Mine using DSI Mining Products
Ernest Henry Mine, a copper-goldmine, is located approximately 115km east of Mount Isa and 40km north of Cloncurry. It started production in 1997 and has been owned by the Xstrata Group, a globally operating metal and mining group, for several years. Each year, approximately 100,000t of copper and 125,000 ounces of gold are extracted from the ore that is produced in the Ernest Henry Open Pit Mine. Open pit ore is predicted to be exhausted by 2010. However, research showed that a notable amount of ore layers still exists in deeper grounds.
Following plans to continue the exploitation at Ernest Henry Mine, Xstrata announced its plans for continuing the production underground in November 2007.
Pre-research concerning security and profitability for underground production showed positive results. Furthermore, several possibilities resulted from the pre-research that are going to be investigated further during the construction of the first tunnel.
At the end of 2007, the company Barminco secured a contract to drive the first 3.2km long underground decline. From early 2009 on, approximately 75,000t of copper concentrate are expected to be produced in a time span of approximately 3 to 4 years.
As agreed in the supply contract with Xstrata Copper, DSI Australia will supply its high quality and reliable DSI Mining Products for the underground expansion of Ernest Henry Mine.