What do you know about Australia's 'Super Pit'? Find out 10 fast facts and see if it could be your next challenge.
Housing one of the richest gold deposits in the world, the ‘Super Pit’ in Kalgoorlie has long been an attraction for those who want to work at one of Australia’s largest mines.
Managed by KCGM, the mine is a complex system of underground networks with a history that stretches back over the past 100 years, but the challenge is worth it for the treasures to be found.
Because of its history, the Super Pit is like no other mining operation in the world. It is unique in terms of both the work and the experience for miners.
Here are some incredible facts about the famous mine.
- Pit pipped at post
Known as the Super Pit, the Fimiston Open Pit was Australia's largest open-cut gold mine until 2016 when the Newmont Boddington gold mine opened in Western Australia.
- No rush since gold rush
The Super Pit’s history stretches back to 1893 and the Gold Rush era, when Paddy Hannan discovered 100 ounces of gold in Kalgoorlie-Boulder. This sparked the WA gold rush and the discovery of the ‘Golden Mile’, one of the richest gold deposits in the world.
- Good as Gold
Around 15 million tonnes of rock is moved from the Super Pit every year, making this dynamic operation truly worth its weight in gold. Since the Golden Mile’s discovery, 58 million ounces of gold has been mined from it. KCGM’s operations today make it the second-biggest gold producer in the world, second only to China.
- Big where it counts
The Super Pit covers more than 26,000 hectares of leases and is made up of around 260 individual mining leases joined together.
- And so is the machinery..
Each truck on site will use approximately $8 million of fuel and $3 million worth of tyres. Truck tyres can weigh up to five tonnes and it takes two people 45 minutes to change one!
Let’s talk about innovation
For miners the Super Pit is full of challenges and similarly, innovation…
- Avoid the void
Voids are a continual hazard in the Super Pit. With historical underground workings 1,200 metres below the surface at the site, miners have to be constantly aware of ever-changing conditions. Voids complicate mining in the pit as they have to be identified and assessed before every blast pattern can be laid.
- Long reach drills
KCGM has developed a Long Reach Drill to safely navigate voids. This machine allows the rig and operator to remain safely on the ground while the extended drilling arm probes the void.
- There’s no ‘i’ in team
Teamwork is king in the Super Pit. To design the blast, Planning Engineers must work closely with Geologists, Drill and Blast Engineers, and Voids Officers. Then Production Geologists define the position of the ore to be mined and the Geology Team generates a computer model of the ore body.
- The Blast
The mine blasts three to four times a week between 7am and 6pm. Because of its proximity to Kalgoorlie-Boulder, significant monitoring is done before, during and after the blasts to reduce vibrations, dusts and noise.
- Load it Up
The shovels and trucks at the mine work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A round trip for the haul truck can take 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the load’s final destination. And this is just the start of the gold being produced.
If you are an experienced miner looking for your next big opportunity, contact Mining People on 08 9426 1500.