Granny Smith Mine (GSM) is an underground gold mining operation located 740km northeast of Perth, Western Australia. Access to the site is via private charter flight.

Granny Smith Mine – Mining Global Magazine

Mining administration and maintenance is located at the Wallaby mine. Ore is processed at the Granny Smith CIP processing plant under campaign milling conditions and is located 12km east of the Wallaby underground mine.

Granny Smith Gold Mine Plan.pdf

Camp Life

Fully contained ensuite rooms with Foxtel, 4G WIFI and Telstra phone coverage available for all residents. There are also well-equipped recreational facilities, including a swimming pool, fully equipped gym, two squash courts, two multi-use sports courts (tennis, basketball, indoor soccer/cricket), mini golf, pool and table-tennis tables and a lawned gazebo area for special functions.

An active Social Club organises special events throughout the year including family visits over Christmas.

There is a very special Gold Lounge where residents can watch a movie or catch up with friends in a quiet and comfortable lounge setting and a music room for musicians to practice in sound proof rooms or get together with others and enjoy a jam session.  Bring your own instruments or use Gold Fields’ provided equipment.

There is a Health and Wellness Officer on site who coordinates Group Activities and classes including CrossFit, Yoga, Pilates, Boxing, Mixed Netball to name just a few.

There is also a tavern located adjacent to the camp’s dining facilities, with an ATM and a convenience store accessible to all residents.

The site is exclusively Fly in, Fly out from Perth with a flight time of around one hour. Most roles operate on an 8 days on, 6 days off roster. There are other rosters in operation including 4 days on, 3 days off; 8 days on, 6 days off; and, 7 nights on, 7 days off, with the latter typically reserved for production employees.

Brief History

The Goanna and Granny Smith deposits were discovered in 1979 by CSR Ltd. In 1988 Placer Pacific acquired CSR’s 60 percent interest with the remaining 40 percent held by Delta Gold NL.

In 1989, mining at the GSM commenced in the Granny Smith pit and continued in subsequent years with the development of the Goanna pit, the Windich pit and nearby satellite pits. First gold was poured in 1990.

The Wallaby deposit was discovered in 1998, 12km west of Granny Smith, with first open pit ore delivered to the mill in November 2001. The Wallaby open-pit was mined from October 2001 until December 2006 and produced 1.5 million ounces of gold. Underground mining at Wallaby commenced in December 2005 and is ongoing. At the end of 2015 a total of 1.95 million ounces of gold had been mined.

Gold Fields acquired 100 percent of the Granny Smith Gold Mine on 1 October 2013 as part of the purchase of the Yilgarn South operations and has a mine life expectancy of ten years.

Ironically, it has remained in continual operation since commissioning and at the end of 2015 had produced a total of 7.3 million ounces of gold.

Mining Operations

The current operations consist of the Wallaby underground mine with mining occurring in four ore lenses – Zone 70, Zone 80, Zone 90 and Zone 100.

Access to the Wallaby underground mine is via a portal established within the completed Wallaby open-pit. The mine operation is trackless, with underground truck haulage via the pit ramp to the surface.

Two primary underground mining methods are used, with minor adjustments to suit localised geometry; Inclined Room and Pillar (IRP) is used in areas with a moderate dip (10° to 35°) and moderate width zones (four to six metres), and Transverse Long-hole Stoping (TLHS) is used in zones which are thicker (six metres to 15m) with variable dips. Two other mining methods are used to a lesser extent: Narrow Vein Long-hole Stoping may be applied in some areas with the benefit of reduced planned footwall dilution, and Bulk Long-hole Stoping is used in thicker zones (15m plus) under varying dip conditions.

The annual production of the Wallaby mine is in-excess of 250,000 ounces per year.

Processing Plant

The Granny Smith process plant has a capacity of 3.0 million tonnes per annum. The plant was originally commissioned in 1990 to treat oxide gold ores mined from the Goanna, Granny Smith, and Windich pits. The plant has been periodically upgraded, with the last expansion completed in 2001/2002 to facilitate processing of the sulphide ore mined from the Wallaby underground deposit.

The plant consists of a two-stage crushing circuit, a standard SAG and Ball mill (SABC) grinding circuit, a gravity circuit, a Leach/Carbon in Pulp (CIP) train, a pressure Zadra elution circuit, a tailings recovery (TR) circuit and a thickened tailings storage facility (TSF). Currently, the overall metallurgical recovery averages around 92.6 percent.

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