Mining contractor Byrnecut has boosted its work book, finalising a $350 million contract at the Kibali gold project in Africa to add to its recent win at St Barbara’s Gwalia Deeps mine, where its new equipment is tipped to achieve a 25 per cent efficiency gain.
Managing director Steve Coughlan said the Kibali contract positioned Perth-based Byrnecut as the largest underground mechanised mining contractor in Africa.
The five-year Kibali contract includes the decline development of a large scale underground mine from the surface, commencing in September this year, through to first stage production.
The mine is a joint venture between Randgold (operator) and Anglo Ashanti, and is located in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Randgold announced last month that open pit mining has commenced at Kibali, with first production expected towards the end of next year.
Byrnecut's other African contracts include Rio Tinto’s Palabora copper mine in South Africa, Implats’ Shaft 20 in South Africa and Avion Resources’ Tabakoto gold mine in Mali.
Beyond Africa, Byrnecut’s other international contracts include the Voskhod chromite mine in Kazakhstan and the Jabil Sayid copper mine in Saudi Arabia.
The Kibali contract follows the recent awarding of a three-year contract at Gwalia Deeps, where Byrnecut has replaced arch competitor Barminco.
Byrnecut was already the mine contractor at St Barbara’s King of the Hills operation, also near Leonora.
Barminco is the contractor at St Barbara’s smaller Marvel Loch mine near Southern Cross, but that is due to go on care and maintenance at the end of 2012.
The Gwalia Deeps project will see the application of a fleet of DAT60 trucks for the long decline haul.
These high-performance trucks have been developed through collaboration between Brisbane-based mine haulage specialist Powertrans, Byrnecut, its subsidiary Murray Engineering and gold miner Newcrest.
St Barbara expects the new trucks will lift efficiency by 25 to 30 per cent over the haulage trucks previously in service, the miner said in its latest quarterly report.