The Nova Nickel Project is located in the Fraser Range in Western Australia and consists of a nickel-cobalt-copper underground mining operation and surface processing plant rated at a nominal 1.5 Mt/y, producing copper and nickel concentrates.
The project also includes supporting surface infrastructure of office and workshop facilities, water and power supply, accommodation facilities, airstrip and an access road.
Ausenco delivered an engineering and cost study for this project consisting of the following scope of work:
- Process plant design
- Process plant infrastructure
- Capital cost estimation including the incorporation of estimates provided by Others
- Operating cost estimation for the process plant, paste plant and administration areas.
The battery limits for the study included:
- ROM pad retaining wall
- Run-off capture for the ROM pad and plant site
- Entrance to underground operations (top of decline/shafts)
- Boundary fence for the process plant
- Outfall of the tailings discharge pipe at the TSF
- Inlet end of the return water pipe from the TSF decant facility
- Site access road which finishes in close proximity to the process plant gatehouse
- Boundary fence for aerodrome (excluding services access corridor)
- Receipt of stores at warehouse gate
- Dispatch of product from the concentrate storage shed.
The crushing circuit for the project was developed using a modular crushing station and an emergency crushing and load point which will greatly increase operational flexibility at the plant and also reduce capital costs for the client.
Ausenco also realised an average labour rate 18% below original forecast in delivering the study through intelligent work sharing practices.
This study was delivered to the client ahead of the forecast schedule and was a successful collaboration between the Ausenco offices in Perth, Mumbai and Brisbane.