A $65million project currently underway to upgrade two shafts at CSA Mine is expected to be completed in the second half of next year.
Cobar Management’s projects manager at the Glencore CSA Mine John Barnes said the two shaft upgrades were being carried out concurrently.
“Both shafts were sunk in the 1960s,” Mr Barnes told The Cobar Weekly.
“The No 1 shaft was decommissioned in the late 1990s and is utilised predominantly as a down cast ventilation shaft to supply refrigerated air to the underground workings to allow workable conditions on the work front.”
Mr Barnes said after feasibility studies were conducted in 2014 and 2015, upgrade work on the No 1 shaft commenced in October 2015 with the engineering design.
He said they are currently in the construction stage of the project.
“We are installing in-shaft service (services pipes which will be a ring feed into the mine), electrical cables and the winder.
“The refurbishment of the shaft entails a new winder (drum, electrical motor and gearbox), as well as the recommissioning of all shaft infrastructure above and below ground.”
The drum, which is four metres in diameter and weighs 50 tonnes, arrived in Cobar last Tuesday and was hoisted into place on site by a 400 tonne crane.
“CSA has a bright future with multiple ore lenses that are open at depth and this will increase production output from underground workings that needs to be hoisted to surface,” Mr Barnes said
“The current shaft infrastructure will not be able to sustain the increase in production output and alternative options were investigated.
“The more suitable option was to refurbish and commission the shaft that was decommissioned in the late 1990s,” he said.
The upgrade work will increase the No 1 shaft to a depth of 1,100m.
“Due to the change in legislation by the NSW Department of Trade and Industries, the second shaft, which is the current operational shaft, needs an upgrade of the electrical and mechanical systems to be compliant with legislation,” Mr Barnes explained.
Both the shafts are scheduled to be legislation complaint in the second half of 2017.