Sep 22, 2016
Golden Star, Manroc Dev’t agree on Alimak mining method
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Maxwell Adombila Akalaare
Golden Star Resources (GSR) has sealed a three-year deal with Canadian mining contractor, Manroc Developments Inc. (Manroc), to provide specialised mining equipment and training to local staff in the company’s underground mine at Prestea in the Western Region.
It allows Maroc the opportunity to share its Alimak expertise with staff of Golden Star Resources while training them to take over from it on a progressive basis during the contract period.
The General Manager of the Prestea Underground Mine, Mr Jerry Agala, told the Daily Graphic that the deal also enjoined Manroc to ensure maximum technology transfer to staff of Prestea before exiting in 2019.
“With this arrangement, Manroc will provide highly experienced mining and maintenance trainers who will work side-by-side with our own miners and mechanics to implement the Alimak mining method. The method is assessed to be very safe, cost effective and very good for the type of ore body at Prestea,” he said.
The signing of the contract paves the way for Manroc to mobilise to site with its equipment and personnel to help meet Golden Star’s production deadlines.
The company had earlier stated that gold production was expected to resume at the Prestea concession by mid-2017 after going through successful redevelopment over the last 2 years. The mine was previously in production 14 years ago.
Mode of selection
The Alimak mining method, which Manroc prides itself as the inventor, uses an Alimak raise climber to develop a raise in the ore body followed by drilling production holes in the ore body and blasting.
The method requires less ore and waste support development than conventional shrinkage mining and is more efficient to bring into production and to operate.
It is also safer and more cost effective, Mr Agala said.
He said that Manroc was selected after a competitive bidding process that involved three companies.
He explained that the company’s reputation for safety and efficiency endeared it to the Golden Star team who are looking to revive the Prestea Underground mine.
The President and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Star, Sam Coetzer, had earlier said in a statement that the appointment of a mining contract was the next important step in efforts aimed at reviving the mine.
“We remain on track to bring Prestea Underground into production in mid-2017, which will be a significant milestone for Golden Star”, he said.
Prestea Underground is a narrow, high grade deposit with mineral reserves of 1.0Mt at 14.02g/t for 469,000 ounces and substantial exploration upside potential.
It was in production throughout the 20th century on an intermittent basis and has historically produced in excess of nine million ounces.
It was placed on care and maintenance by Golden Star, while evaluation and exploration activities continued.