Innovative Technology

Targeted, electric,
narrow-vein mining

As mining has expanded exponentially, equipment has grown to a massive scale to accommodate the amount of extracted rock and mineral being mined from large ore bodies. In Australia, we have become so accustomed to the ease of large scale mining that we now rarely use the technique of narrow vein, air leg mining, which historically required large manpower and exertion using hand-held equipment.

In recent times, however, there have been significant developments in specialised earth-moving equipment and industries other than mining have seen the rise of comparatively small, adaptable, mobile, even electric equipment. This provides the opportunity to combine air leg mining methods with modern mechanical mining techniques and shaft safety, ideal for application in modern narrow vein mining.

Great Eastern Gold has seized the opportunity to develop a mining method capable of taking advantage of recent developments in earth moving equipment, ground support, transport and processing. The result is the ability to extract and refine mineral from a narrow vein ore body, in a safe, economical and consistent manner, without the exertion or manpower historically required.

The advantages of narrow vein mining are multiple. Firstly, the initial capital expenditure for a narrow vein operation is much lower, as it is a small operation with smaller and less equipment than traditional mining methods.

In addition to the high grade of gold achieved with these techniques, the smaller excavation size means that installation, maintenance and running costs are all significantly less than in large operations. In combination with the small operation size, this will achieve an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) significantly below the industry average, making our projects economically viable even in the face of extreme commodity price movements.

Secondly, narrow vein mining is far more precise in targeting the ore body. In most mining operations, the size of the excavations needed to allow access for their large machinery is much larger, which dilutes the grade of gold they take can take, meaning for every ounce of gold produced, significantly more rock needs to excavated. The Great Eastern Gold narrow vein mining methods allow for a pay gravel grade much higher than the Australian average.