Argyle Diamond Mine

Rio Tinto (Technical Services) engaged Bamser to complete two separate feasibility studies on the application of continuous tunnelling methods for the US$760 million block cave underground project at its wholly owned Argyle diamond mine in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Bamser Involvement In The Project

The studies included detailed interaction with both the Rio Tinto Technical Services Group and the site based Argyle Diamonds team. Specific focus was required on using Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM’s) and roadheader tunnelling to create much of the ‘Extraction Level’ development. First principles analysis and productivity assessments were completed to justify a trial against the drill and blast benchmark.
The study economics were based on an integrated approach optimising the development advance rate, lower over break thus reduced civil engineering required for the extraction level work, reduced ventilation requirement and the labour comparison.

The underground expansion has now commenced and the continuing operation of the world’s largest diamond mine is certain until at least 2020.

Bamser Contact

Tim Brown Director - Major Project Delivery
(07) 3217 5153

Project Details

Client / Argyle Diamond Mine

Location / Perth, WA; Kimberly Region, WA

Infrastructure Owner / Rio Tinto (Technical Servies)

Timeframe / May 2005 — October 2006

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