QMAG currently mines over 2 million tonnes of ore per year, from six to eight different pits. We choose pits based on their magnesite content and contaminant concentrations. There are always at least two pits mined simultaneously to provide the Parkhurst plant with enough material of suitable quality to support our full suite of products.
When we come to the ore mining process itself, the mining is relatively straightforward.
The first step is to dewater the ore body in preparation for mining. Next, a 120-tonne excavator and haul trucks relocate to the pit to mine the ore in a series of 2-3 m deep benches. The top bench depths are chosen based on anticipated quality. The bottom bench is different. Here, excavator operators use their keen vision and experience to closely monitor contact between the orebody and the underlaying sandstone, as it can change rapidly.
Ore is then loaded onto haul trucks and transported out of the pit. At the KG1 mining area, ore is split between the processing plant and in-pit screen stockpiles. At all other mining areas, all ore is brought to the in-pit screens.
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