Aditya Birla Minerals Limited (ABY) has been delisted from the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
Aditya Birla Minerals Limited (ABY)
is a publicly listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
About Aditya Birla Minerals
Aditya Birla Minerals (ABY) is an Australian based mining company with a focus on copper production and exploration; located in Perth, Western Australia. Their company holds mining and copper exploration activities at the Birla Nifty Copper Operation (BNCO) in the Great Sandy Desert, Pilbara, WA and the Mt Gordon Copper Operation (MGO) located in the Mt Isa Block, QLD.
Aditya Birla Minerals was established in 2003 to acquire and produce copper in concentrate in Australia, acquiring both its' Nifty and Mt Gordon operations and substantial, prospective adjacent exploration tenements in that year. Since this time, ABY management has turn around the performance of these assets resulting in substantial increases in operational efficiency and production.
ABY was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2006. The company ships copper in concentrate produced from Nifty and Mt Gordon copper mines to the Hindalco copper smelter in India. The company has entered into an agreement to sell the entire life of mine production to Hindalco Industries Limited. ABY is presently 51% owned by Hindalco, the metals flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group and the world's largest aluminium rolling company and one of the biggest producers of primary aluminium in Asia.
Industry Leading Copper Production:
Aditya Birla Minerals produced 44,565t and 69,292t of copper in concentrate for the financial year 2013-14 and 2012-13 respectively. The concentrate produced from each copper mine in WA and QLD is shipped to Hindalco's Dahej copper smelter in India.
Sustainable Copper Exploration:
Aditya Birla Minerals also holds prospective exploration tenements surrounding both copper mines to enhance and further develop copper exploration for copper investment opportunities. The company is committed to professional underground mining and Australian copper exploration that has little impact on the environment.
Aditya Birla Minerals has a team of highly skilled mining and copper exploration industry professionals, each with a strong commitment to integrity, speed, seamlessness and passion.
Hindalco Industries Limited:
Hindalco is an industry leader in aluminium and copper and is the metals flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group. It is the world's largest aluminium rolling company and one of the biggest producers of primary aluminium in Asia. Its copper smelter is the world's largest custom smelter at a single location. The acquisition of Novelis Inc. in 2007 positioned Hindalco among the top five aluminium majors worldwide and the largest vertically integrated aluminium company in India. Hindalco acquired the copper mine in WA and QLD in 2003, where, together with Aditya Birla Minerals utilised copper resources and undertook underground mining for enhanced copper production. The company also owns and operates a copper unit in India, producing copper cathodes, cast copper rods and other products including precious metals, fertilisers, sulphuric acid and phosphoric acid.
Aditya Birla Minerals is an Australian based mining company that conducts copper production and exploration from the Birla Nifty Western Australian copper mine and Birla Mt Gordon copper mine located in Mt Isa, Queensland. The company was established in 2003 and began to mine copper in WA and QLD locations. Later that year, Aditya Birla Minerals obtained adjacent exploration tenements to expand copper exploration at a future date.
The Aditya Birla Group:
Both Hindalco and Aditya Birla Minerals are members of the Aditya Birla Group, one of India's largest conglomerates specialising in copper exploration and production. Aditya Birla Minerals was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2006 thanks to a successful IPO. The company raised $299 million by issuing approximately 159 million shares, resulting in Hindalco's share to be diluted to 51%.
Hindalco still has 51% ownership in Aditya Birla Minerals and is closely affiliated with copper production and underground mining operations in Australia. Other major shareholders obtaining copper investment opportunities include JPMorgan (Institutional Group), Langely Alexander Walker, Black Rock Advisors (Institutional Group), Old Mutual ( Institutional Group), DFA Australia Ltd., Paradise Investment Management Pty Ltd and LSV Asset Management.
Australian Copper Production and Exploration:
Aditya Birla Minerals was established in 2003 to pursue copper production and develop copper in concentrate sources in Australia. The company acquired the Nifty copper mine in WA and Mt Gordon copper mine in QLD, alongside adjacent tenements for prospective copper exploration.
The Birla Nifty copper mine consists of an open pit mine, heap leach pads, a solvent extraction and electrowinning (SXEW) processing plant, which produces copper cathode and an underground mine with a copper concentrate plant. The Mt. Gordon copper operation consists of two underground mines and a copper concentrate plant, allowing Aditya Birla Minerals to undertake underground mining of high standard.
Aditya Birla Minerals understands that excellence in environmental performance is essential to business success, which is why the company's copper production, underground mining, drilling and copper exploration meets environmental laws and regulations. The Queensland and West Australian copper production accounts for approximately 20% of Hindalco's concentrate requirements.
Hindalco owns and operates an integrated copper smelting and refinery facility located in Dahej, India, ("Hindalco Copper"). Hindalco Copper's facility was initially commissioned in 1998 with an annual capacity of 100 ktpa and has been progressively expanded to its current commissioned capacity of 500 ktpa. Hindalco Copper's strategy is to source a significant percentage of feedstock from strategic long-term sources. Aditya Birla Minerals provides copper resources to Hindalco, maintaining their position as industry leader.
Vision and Values
Aditya Birla Minerals is committed to the accountability of economic, environmental and social factors during copper production and exploration operations. The company's well established growth and recognition hinges on the cornerstones of competiveness, quality and global reach. Aditya Birla Minerals looks towards creating genuine copper investment opportunities by exemplifying safe and environmental copper exploration and production.
To be a premium metal's miner
"To create value for shareholders and customers through growth and by maximising asset productivity; while having good safety and environmental practices"
Aditya Birla Group Values:
Copper Production Operations:
Birla Nifty copper mine is located in the Great Sandy Desert Region of the East Pilbara in Western Australia, approximately 1,250 km north of Perth and 350 km east of Port Hedland.
The Nifty operation comprises of an historical open pit oxide mine and an underground sulphide mine with an associated concentrator. The capacity of the plant is to produce approximately 2.5 mtpa of ore processing. Site infrastructure (powerhouse, camp, airfield, tailings storage facility) supports the sulphide operations. A concentrate storage facility is located at Port Hedland where the concentrate is shipped to overseas customer.
The Nifty Sulphide deposit mines chalcopyrite ore treated by standard flotation for production of copper concentrate.
The Western Australian copper mine has a capacity of 2.5 mtpa of ore processing. Concentrate produced is trucked to Port Hedland for shipping to Hindalco Copper's Dahej smelting and refining facility in India.
Underground mining is performed by Birla Nifty, using modern diesel or electro-hydraulic equipment of large capacity. Underground mining is currently carried out using open stoping methods and backfill. This is a bulk mining method where stopes (25m wide, 25 to 50m long and 40 to 60m high) are drilled and blasted and copper ore is loaded and hauled into to an underground crusher and conveying system. The conveying system transports the copper ore to the surface for processing by conventional flotation techniques.
The ore is drilled with electro-hydraulic rigs prior to blasting. Broken ore is loaded using load-haul-dump machines into 60 t capacity trucks for transport to the underground crusher, where it is conveyed to the mill, surface ROM pad or stockpile.
Processing of the sulphide copper ore extracted from underground is by conventional comminution, grinding and flotation, to produce a concentrate that is then filtered and sold as concentrate.
The Nifty copper operation is a fly in–fly out operation with access provided via a sealed airstrip on site, serviced regularly by flights from Perth. The mine is also accessed by bitumen road from Port Hedland to the Woodie Woodie mine, only the final 45 km of road is unsealed. Copper in concentrate is trucked to Port Hedland (distance from Nifty approximately 350 KM) and then shipped to Hindalco Copper's Dahej copper smelting and refining facility in India.
The mine facilities are well supported by modern and efficient infrastructure and services, with significant upgrades and extensions made to village facilities, workshops, power reticulation and offices constructed under the Nifty Sulphide Operation development.
The main power source is a 19.6mW GE dual fuel gas/diesel turbine, with back-up of 5mW solar centaur turbines, 4mW Caterpillar and 2mW Detroit diesel generators. A 46 km spur gas pipeline, owned and operated by Gas Transmissions of Australia Pty Ltd, has been constructed from the Port Hedland to Telfer and is the pipeline to the Nifty Western Australian copper mine. Gas is sourced under contract from Apache Northwest Pty Ltd.
The Nifty copper operation uses groundwater sourced from mine dewatering. Mine water is reticulated from the largest source, the underground mine, to the Fines Dam where suspended solids are settled. Once clarified, the mine water is pumped to either the sulphide concentrator or Raw Water Dam (RWD) for distribution elsewhere on site. In addition to the mine dewatering source, groundwater derived from the East Nifty Borefield is pumped to the RWD or directly to the Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant for desalination.
Open pit mining operations ceased in June 2006 and heap leaching operations ceased in January 2009.
Oxide copper was first discovered at Nifty in 1981 by WMC Limited ("WMC"). Drilling of the oxide resource ultimately led to the discovery of the deep sulphide resource in 1983. WMC commenced an open pit, heap leach, SX-EW operation on the relatively high grade part of the oxide mineralisation in 1993. In 1998, the Nifty operation was purchased by Straits Resources Limited ("Straits Resources"), from which Aditya Birla Minerals acquired the operation and surrounding exploration tenements in March 2003. Before acquisition of Nifty Operations a detailed due diligence was undertaken by Aditya Birla Minerals.
Due diligence of Nifty Operations was Conducted by Various Experts in Their Respective Fields:
- Technical due diligence by SRK Consulting
- Commercial due diligence was done by Cutfield Freeman & Co Ltd
- Financial due diligence was done by Ernst and Young and
- Legal due diligence by Minter Ellison
- Environmental audit by R.W. Corkery& Co Pty Ltd
The due diligence process highlighted significant values in the Nifty underground mine. There were no material adverse findings. Subsequent to acquisition, following the completion of a positive feasibility study, underground development was commenced in January 2004 to exploit the sulphide resource via an exploration decline from the open pit. First sulphide ore was intersected in February 2005. Construction of the concentrator commenced in October 2004, with first concentrate being produced in March 2006. Other plants previously under construction include the paste fill plant, which was completed in August 2009.
Underground mining and copper production at the Birla Nifty copper mine in WA provided opportunities for further copper exploration and development. This includes the extension of mine life via extending resource base in existing ore body and converting more resource in to reserve category and finding another ore body through exploration and evaluation.
Birla Mt Gordon
The Mt Gordon operation is located in northwest Queensland, approximately 120 km north of Mt Isa. The Mt Gordon mine is set up to produce copper in concentrate at an annualized rate of approximately 1.4 mtpa of ore processing.
The operation has been put under Care and Maintenance since April 2013. The operations earlier included mining and processing 1.4 mtpa of ore from the Mammoth underground decline operation. Mining of the Esperanza open cut was completed in November 2005.
Before the operations went into Care and Maintenance in April 2013, the mining operations focused on the Mammoth underground mine. The Mammoth underground mine extends from surface to a depth of approximately 750m. All underground mining was performed by a contractor, using modern diesel or electro-hydraulic equipment of a large capacity.
The ore was drilled with electro-hydraulic rigs prior to blasting. Broken ore was loaded using 7 m3 load-haul-dump machines into 60 t capacity trucks for transport to the surface ROM pad or stockpile, where it was dumped in preparation for feeding into the crushing and grinding circuit.
Underground mining was carried out using the longhole open stoping method with stope sizes averaging 15m width by 30m length and 25m height with pillars remaining between stopes.
The processing plant at MGO consists of a sulphide flotation circuit which produces a saleable copper concentrate.
Blended ore is fed from the run of mine stockpile to the crushing and grinding circuit, which consists of a jaw crusher, crushed ore stockpile, semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill, screening and cycloning tower and regrind ball mill. The slurry produced by the grinding circuit enters the flotation circuit which includes rougher and scavenger cells, with the concentrate reported to a high intensity conditioner operating in an open circuit configuration. The copper grade of the initial concentrate is then upgraded through two cleaning stages of flotation. The final flotation concentrate is dewatered in a filter press before being trucked off-site to Cloncurry. From here copper concentrate is railed or transported by road to Townsville, then shipped to Hindalco Copper's Dahej copper smelting and refining facility in India. Copper in concentrate produced is sold to Hindalco under a LOM off–take agreement based on arm's length terms.
The mine facilities are well supported by infrastructure and services located at the mine site and in the Mt Isa region. The electricity requirement of approximately 10MW is generated at the Mica Creek natural gas fired power station, supplied by Mt Isa Mines power plant located in Mt Isa and finally through 220 kV transmission lines owned by Ergon. Mt Gordon has diesel generators with a total capacity of 1.5MW as a back up for emergency power requirements.
The Mt Gordon operation had a fly in–fly out camp with access provided via a 1.2 km airstrip on site. The mine is linked by 40 km bitumen and 80 km unsealed road to Mt Isa. The Queensland copper mine has several dams, process water storage ponds and a tailings dam.
Copper oxide mineralisation was first discovered in the district at Mt Oxide in 1882, followed by the discovery of the Mammoth deposit in 1927. This was intermittently worked on a small scale until 1969. VAM Ltd, Consolidated Goldfields and Adelaide Brighton produced copper in concentrate and copper cathode from the Mammoth deposit between 1969 and 1995. Aberfoyle purchased the operation in 1995 and delineated the Esperanza deposit before being acquired by Western Metals Limited ("Western Metals") in 1998, which commissioned the ferric leach plant that year to treat Esperanza ores. The Mammoth underground mine was reopened in late 2002and has been operated relatively continuously since then.
Aditya Birla Minerals acquired the operations in November 2003 from the receivers appointed for Western Metals. Aditya Birla Minerals obtained copper exploration tenements around the Mt Gordon copper mine and the Nifty copper mine in WA. Aditya Birla Minerals plans to significantly increase the copper exploration activities at this site and pursue the development of further, copper investment opportunities on site as well as across Australia and worldwide.
As per the Scoping study results announced on ASX on 20th February 2013, there is an opportunity to transform Mt. Gordon into a high production operation with lower per unit operating cost by converting the open stope trucking haulage method into a sub-level caving hoist shaft haulage method. A strategic review of the Mt Gordon operations is presently underway.
Aditya Birla Minerals Limited
256 Adelaide Terrace
+61 8 9366 8800
Fax: +61 8 9366 8805