Ferrexpo Poltava GOK

Ferrexpo Poltava GOK (Poltava Mining) mines and processes iron ore near the town of Komsomolsk in the Poltava region of Ukraine.

Gorishne-Plavninskoe/Lavrikovskoe (GPL) is the open pit iron ore mine that currently mines approximately 27 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to a depth of approximately 300m below the surface; Poltava Mining has been operating GPL for nearly 40 years. The current business plan includes mining this pit until 2022. To sustain mining in the long term, Poltava must exploit the extension of the orebody into the Yeristovskoe deposit some 3km to the north.

To carry out the plan, SRK has undertaken geotechnical and hydro-geological studies of the rock and soft overburden slopes of the pit and waste dump design. The design team includes the local Institute for the hydro-geological and dewatering of the 70m-thick sand and clayey superficial overburden. The French earthmoving specialist company, DTP, is being considered for contract mining the Yeristovskoe Pit and providing technical input. The projected start date for overburden mining is the last quarter of 2008, with production mining initially targeted in 2011.

SRK has been asked to address a number of issues, including using steeper rock slope angles in order to deepen the GPL open pit and defer the development of the Yeristovskoe Pit, and to verify these changes with monitoring and specific analysis. These steeper angles may be included in the design of the new Yeristovskoe Pit, subject to verification that appropriate conditions exist. A risk-based approach to slope design may allow the optimization of the slope angles, which could be acceptable to the Institute and mining authorities. In addition, for stability and safe operating conditions the slopes in the high, very moist, low strength overburden and the dumps storing large quantities of these materials will need specific design.

SRK’s input to the project involves multi-disciplinary cooperation with the mine planners, hydrologists, local institutes and specialist earthmoving contractors.

Kris Czajewski: kczajewski@srk.co.uk

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