Officials said that all needed wet concentration plant (WCP) equipment and other associated equipment have been relocated from South Australia to the zircon-rich North Perth Basin open-pit site. Reassembly of the plant is also on schedule.
Open-cut construction first began at Boonanarring in April with topsoil removal and stockpiling, after which overburden for the initial box cut began. Work to move additional equipment and personnel, as well as a ramp up of overburden removal, occurred through July by contractor Piacentini and Son.
The core of the overburden removal fleet in April and May were Hitachi 1800 excavators and Cat 785 trucks. The first of two Hitachi 3600 excavators arrived in late May and the second 3600 was on site earlier this month. It will be commissioned later this month to accelerate overburden removal rates.
With mine construction works well advanced as of the end of July and site infrastructure such as mine access roads installed, exposure of first high-grade ore is scheduled for end of September. Permanent administration offices will also be commissioned this month.
"On an overall project basis, construction at Boonanarring commenced with the site entry road in mid-March 2018 and as at the end of July, the project is within 2% of total budgeted cost and remains on schedule for wet commissioning and first production in the fourth quarter 2018, despite wet weather resulting in six days lost construction time in June," the company said.
The fully funded project is projected to produce 1.1Mt of mineral concentrate from the Boonanarring deposit and an additional 171,000t from the Atlas deposit.
The firmer deposit will be extracted first over a period of five years, with an additional three years after that to come from Atlas.