Underground mining contractor African Underground Mining Services is a 50/50 joint venture between ASX-listed Ausdrill and Barminco Holdings.
The five year contract entails the supply of all underground mining services for the Subika underground mine – including development and production activities, diamond drilling and associated services.
The contract has an estimated value of US$280 million.
African Underground Mining Services is looking forward to renewing the partnership with Newmont Ghana Gold, and expects to begin activities in the second quarter of 2017.
Newmont Ghana Gold’s Ahafo expansion – referred to as the Subika expansion – aims to extend profitable production at Ahafo operation by building a new underground mine and expanding plant capacity by more than 50%.
The Subika underground mine is expected to produce 1.8 Moz of gold over an 11-year mine life, and features ore grades of 4.7 g/t. The mill expansion entails increasing capacity to nearly 10 Mt by adding a crusher, grinding mill and leach tanks to the circuit and is expected to improve margins and support profitable production at Ahafo through at least 2029.
The current scope of works at Subika calls for 48 000 m of development; 1.2 Mt of production; 164 000 m of diamond drilling; 5 000 m of vertical development; and the installation of underground conveying and crushing infrastructure to sustain a 2 Mtpa production rate from a long hole open stoping method using backfill of primary stopes.
The Subika expansion project team is progressing the project ahead of schedule and is actively looking at innovative ways to advance the project to be Newmont’s first underground mine in Africa.
African Underground Mining Services’ work to date in Ghana includes work at Kinross Gold’s Akwaaba Deeps and Paboase projects and Resolute Mining’s Bibiani project.