Tanami Mine

Tanami Mine

The Challenge

Newmont’s Tanami mine is an underground gold mine situated in the remote Tanami Desert of Northern Territory, Australia, on the Aboriginal freehold land of the Warlpiri people. The mine is a significant economic contributor, including paying $94 million of royalty-related taxes to the Northern Territory government in 2022.

The project involved enhancing the structural integrity and operational longevity within the challenging weathered zones of the mine, requiring precise geotechnical analysis and a design for ground stability that would ensure safety while maintaining the mine’s valuable production output.

The mine faced a geotechnical conundrum; a weathered zone extended down to 50 metres from the surface, compromising the structural integrity of future excavations. The challenge was to achieve a minimum unsupported diameter of 5.7 metres, which was critical for the safety and functionality of the shaft and fan. The project also required the construction of a concrete collar cap to support the shaft during excavation and ensure that shaft tolerances met the strict specifications.  

Our Solution

Master Drilling Australia (MDA) conducted a comprehensive geotechnical analysis, enhancing the stability of the weathered zone. Our innovative design and robust construction of secant piling and collar cap ensured durability against underground pressures.   Using advanced drilling rigs, we achieved a pilot hole with extraordinary precision, maintaining a 0.25% tolerance. Ground consolidation and strategic shaft lining were implemented to significantly reinforce the mine’s structural stability, showcasing our commitment to technical excellence in challenging environments. 

The Result

MDA’s execution of the project demonstrated our capability to deliver superior solutions to meet and overcome engineering challenges. Through close collaboration with partners and principals, we successfully implemented the EPC model, completed the construction of secant piles and collar cap to stringent design and safety standards and achieved drilling accuracy of 0.25% or below.

This precision and quality in complex geotechnical environments showed our commitment to ensuring safety and structural integrity in one of Australia’s most isolated mining operations. 

Project highlights

Stability & structural design
1.2m diameter secant piles to 50m depth
Cutback & construction of collar cap & sump
Directional drill pilot hole 1200m with NOV tool
Back reaming of shaft to 5.7m diameter
Remote shotcrete poor ground 50LM

Download capability statement