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Exact Civil Construction is running ahead of schedule in a major project to expand the tailings storage facility (TSF) at Pajingo mine as the Minjar Gold operation looks to the future.

The contractor refurbished the historic Royal Hotel in Charters Towers to accommodate staff during the construction period, Pajingo gold mine operations general manager Dale Oram said.

Mr Oram said Exact mobilised to site in mid-December 2020, constructing workshop and other facilities for a fleet of up to 12 scrapers, four D10 dozers and various ancillary earthmoving equipment, as well as a crew of 52 operating and supervisory staff.

Their job is to raise the walls of the original Pajingo TSF by 5m, providing capacity for another 18 months of processing throughput and tails deposition.

“Final closure requirements for the operation require the buttressing of the current walls, so this is being incorporated into the new lift,” Mr Oram said.

“Material for the construction is being sourced adjacent to the TSF and from a new borrow pit nearby.

“The advantage of the new borrow pit is that it becomes a readily constructed dam able to be turned into a new TSF for future operational needs a very close distance from the processing plant.”

Modelling and investigation for the new tailings dam construction would start soon for a potential 2023 start to construction, he said.

The measures back Minjar Gold’s commitment to extending the mine life at the operation, where the Lynne decline is targeting a new ore body and the company has invested heavily in work to build the site’s resource base.

“With the success of last year’s exploration and resource definition drilling programs – ‘the year of the drill bit’, and the continuing drilling of nearby and regional targets, this won’t be the last of TSF constructions required at Pajingo as further reserves are added to the project over the coming years,” Mr Oram said.