Located 740km north east of Perth, WA is Gold Fields’ underground gold mining operation, Granny Smith Mine (GSM).

Four days a week, our team fly to site via a chartered jet from Perth Airport, which takes about 85 minutes. Or for those living in the host community towns of Laverton and Kalgoorlie, they travel by road.

Wallaby is the operation’s active mine, with mining administration and maintenance located close by. Ore is processed at the Granny Smith Carbon-in-pulp (CIP) processing plant under campaign milling conditions and is located 12km east of the Wallaby underground mine.

Camp Life

Village rooms consist of a fully contained ensuite, with Foxtel, 4G WIFI and Telstra phone coverage available.

Staff can enjoy use of well-equipped recreational facilities, including a swimming pool, gym, squash courts, two multi-use sports courts (tennis, basketball, and indoor soccer/cricket), golf practice driving nets, pool and table-tennis tables, as well as a grassed gazebo area for special functions.

The Gold Lounge is a dedicated area for relaxation and socialising, where residents can watch a movie or mingle.

There is also a soundproof music room for residents to enjoy their instrument solo, or get together with others to enjoy a jam session. Bring your own instruments or use Gold Fields’ provided equipment.

An onsite Health and Wellness Officer coordinates group activities and classes including CrossFit, yoga, boxing, mixed netball and soccer.

The recently refurbished tavern has ATM facilities, while a nearby village convenience store stocks an array of items, including the newspaper from Monday to Thursday, and sells barista coffee.

A variety of events – including family visits during Christmas – are held often, thanks to an active social committee.

Mining Operations

Just over 10km from the Granny Smith pit, the Wallaby deposit was discovered in 1998, with the first open pit ore delivered to the mill in November 2001.

The Wallaby open pit was mined from October 2001 until December 2006, and in that time it produced 1.5 million ounces of gold.

Underground mining at Wallaby began in December 2005 and is ongoing, with a mine life expectancy of ten years.

 Access to the Wallaby underground mine is via a portal established within the completed Wallaby open pit. The mine operation is trackless, with underground truck haulage via the pit ramp to the surface.

Two primary underground mining methods are used, with minor adjustments to suit localised geometry; Inclined room and pillar (IRP) is used in areas with a moderate dip (10° to 35°) and moderate width zones (four to six metres), and transverse long-hole Stoping (TLHS) is used in zones which are thicker (six metres to 15m) with variable dips.

Two other mining methods are used to a lesser extent. This includes narrow vein long-hole stoping that may be applied in some areas with the benefit of reduced planned footwall dilution, and bulk long-hole stoping is used in thicker zones (15m plus) under varying dip conditions. In Zone 110 and Z120 paste fill is used to confine extracted stope hanging walls.

Gold Fields acquired 100% of the Granny Smith Gold Mine in October 2013 as part of the purchase of the Yilgarn South operations. The annual production of the Wallaby mine is in-excess of 250,000 ounces per year.

Processing Plant

The Granny Smith processing plant has a capacity of approximately 3 million tonnes per annum treating fresh ore from the Wallaby underground mine.

The plant is made up of a two-stage crushing circuit, a 4MW SAG and 4MW Ball mill (SABC) grinding circuit, gravity recovery including two 40” Knelson concentrators and a Gekko In-line leach reactor, seven Leach and six Carbon in Pulp (CIP) agitated tanks, sulphide tailings retreatment including spirals and regrind tower mill, pressure Zadra elution circuit and a thickened upstream tailings storage facility (TSF).