The mine plan for the Caravel Copper Project is based on an owner-operator model due to the project’s long mine life of +25 years and the opportunity to utilise technologies such as automation and electric drives that are not currently available with contract mining.
The mine method will be a conventional open-pit bulk mining operation, using RC grade control drilling and autonomous platform rigs for blast hole drilling. Load and haul is based on manned electric shovels and backhoes loading autonomous diesel-electric trucks using trolley assist for grid powered electric drive on ramps and long hauls for both ore and waste.
Western Australia is a global leader in mine technology development and operation, with Caravel’s adoption of these cutting-edge technologies delivering key benefits including:
- Adopting proven autonomous haulage system (AHS) technology – reduces labour costs, reduces operating costs and increases productivity.
- Implementing trolley assist in ~year 5 when pit ramps are deeper – reduces diesel use and increases productivity.
- Grid power supports a fully electrified fleet including excavators and drills to reduce costs and lower emissions.
Mining commences at Bindi with two starter pits, delivering higher-grade ore early in the mine schedule. Bindi will be sequenced and developed in five stages with a similar approach at Dasher which will be developed in three stages. This allows ore feeds to the mill of >0.28% Cu for the project’s first five years.