Commissioning activities are underway at Heron’s Woodlawn combined underground mine and tailings retreatment project, with first production scheduled for Q1 2019.
|Hydraulic mining water reclaim, trash screen and transfer pump station|
The hydraulic mining operation, alongside the underground operations that commenced in September 2018, will provide a second ore source to be processed through the new processing plant. The hydraulic mining operation covers the recently arrived hydraulic monitors and the associated high-pressure water, reclaim and slurry transfer pumps. The commissioning activities have involved the functional testing of equipment in the circuit including the commissioning of the trash screen and transfer pumps at the transfer station.
Commissioning activities are expected to ramp up over a four to eight week period and will include the hydraulic excavation of the main channels in preparation for ore commissioning of the process plant with progression to full production rates.
The EPC contractor has commenced its commissioning activities in the main process plant, with low voltage and control circuit testing underway. These activities (dry, wet and ore commissioning) will continue through stages into Q1 2019 when first production is expected. As at the end of November the EPC contractor reported commissioning at 5 per cent complete.
An integral component of the Woodlawn process plant is the water treatment plant that is well into the commissioning phase. This important area has been configured to allow treatment of any out of specification surface and underground water into high-quality make up water suitable for use in the processing operations.
In conjunction with the commissioning preparation related activities that have been occurring over the past few months, the Woodlawn site team have also been progressing production readiness preparations. First fill consumables orders have been placed, and the operation is at full manning requirements for initial commissioning.
Heron Resources Managing Director, Wayne Taylor confirmed that commencement of the commissioning activities marked the start of the final phase in the construction program for the Woodlawn Project.
“We have now been under construction for 16 months, and while there is still much to do, this is an exciting time as various components of the process plant are powered up,” Mr Taylor said.
“We have also been busy readying ourselves for the commencement of production activities to make our transition to becoming a significant new base metal producer early in 2019 as rapidly as possible.”