Terrain Levelling heads underground for Newcrest – Cadia East Project

Posted 5 August 2011

UEA Civil & Mining was engaged by Newcrest Mining Limited in April 2011 to provide Terrain Leveling services on the Cadia East Project, located in the Orange District in Central New South Wales. The Cadia East Project will develop the massive Cadia East deposit into Australia’s first panel cave. The gold and copper mine will be the deepest panel cave in the world and Australia’s largest underground mine.

UEA Civil & Mining is using Terrain Leveling technology to level the conveyor drives in the Cadia East Project, which is a relatively new method of underground roadways development.  UEA was awarded this six month contract following the successful roadways project for Rio Tinto at their North Parkes mine where, in a world first, UEA took the Vermeer T1255 Terrain Leveler underground to level the extraction drives in their Block Cave mine E48.

UEA operators are using the Vermeer T1255 Terrain Leveler at Cadia East to lower and level the floors in the conveyor drives to allow trucks to travel under the conveyor, which will be bolted to the ‘backs’ of the drives. The highly competent rock and the 18.8 degree grade has been challenging to cut, but with services already running in the drives to supply development below, this has proved to be a more efficient method to address the ‘tights’.

UEA Civil & Mining are pioneers in the use of GPS Mining technology. To ensure accuracy UEA have fitted all Terrain Levelling machinery with the Trimble GCS900 Grade Control System.  The Vermeer T1255 Terrain Leveller with Trimble laser control system onboard has been able to construct the 18.8 degree drives, leaving behind an even grooved floor that traffic can drive on immediately after the spoil is removed.

The Cadia East Project has been at the forefront of mine development with new technologies, like Terrain Leveling being utilised to maximise underground development rates. Completion of the conveyor drives is expected by the end of the year.