The Goldfields is the largest gold producing region in Australia, and only the fourth in the world to have produced more than 50 million ounces of gold. Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM) is the current manager of a very important part of Australian mining real estate, and history.That is the Super Pit, located on the famous Golden Mile.
KCGM manages the assets for joint venture partners, Newmont Mining Corporation and Barrick Australia Pacific.
The Super Pit is owned by Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines , a company owned 50/50 by Barrick Gold Corporation and Newmont Mining Corporation.
The Super Pit is an open-cut gold mine approximately 3.6 kilometers long, 1.6 kilometers wide and 512 meters deep. It was created by Alan Bond, who bought up a number of old mine leases in order to get the land area needed for the Super Pit. Every now and again the digging reveals an old shaft containing abandoned equipment and vehicles from the earlier mines. The mine operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and a visitor centre overlooks it.
The mine blasts at 1:00 pm every day, unless winds would carry dust over the town. Each of the massive trucks carries 225 tonnes of rock and the round trip takes about 35 minutes, most of that time being the slow uphill haul. Employees must live in Kalgoorlie; it is not a fly-in fly-out operation. The mine is expected to be productive until about 2017. At that point, it is planned to abandon it and allow the groundwater to seep in and fill it. It is estimated it will take about 50 years to fill completely full.
KCGM plans to assimilate waste rock dumps and tailings storage facilities as soon as these areas become available, this is known as progressive rehabilitation. The benefits of progressive rehabilitation include the early establishment of vegetation, which reduces dust levels and improves visual surroundings.
In addition this also results in a significant reduction in the amount of rehabilitation required when mining is completed.