15 Nov 2022

Striking gold in Australian mine

Our biggest tophat order for a decade is on its way to Australia to help expand Newmont's Tanami underground gold mine.

The first shipment - 250 tonnes of special profiles - has just set out on its journey from our mill in Skinningrove to Australia where the profiles will help construct a 1,460m shaft for the Tanami gold mine expansion. This will be quickly followed by 2 more shipments later this year to complete the order.

David Waine, Commercial Director at Special Profiles, said: “Winning this order for 700 tonnes of tophats is great news. To date, most of our tophat profiles have been used in mining applications in South Africa with some also supplied to projects in Canada and Finland. To be growing sales in to the Australian market is very encouraging.”

Tophats, so called because their cross-section resembles a top hat, are used as shaft guides, guiding cages and skips in mineshafts, and offer much-enhanced performance compared to alternative products.

David said: “Our tophats give mine operators much better productivity in service – their superior dimensional control and straightness mean lifts can operate at higher speeds and enable heavier loads to be lifted.

“They’re 30% cheaper than the traditional hoisting system, are easy to install and require reduced maintenance due to their enhanced corrosion resistance and durability. And with their outstanding strength and longer lifespan in comparison to alternatives, our tophats are an ideal choice for vertical mineshafts.”

The Tanami mine is owned and operated by Newmont and is situated in the Tanami desert in Australia’s Northern Territory. Production first started in 1983 and the mining operations have since produced more than 10 million ounces of gold.

Our tophats will play a central role in the mine’s second expansion with the new shaft reaching 1,460m below the surface to facilitate ore recovery. Due to be commissioned next year, the mine extension is expected to increase ore production from 2.6mtpa to 3.5mtpa.

David said: “We’ve worked closely with WorleyParsons, the company appointed by Newmont to design and install the new shaft. We have a strong track record with Worley, having collaborated with them on multiple mines in South Africa. For them, tophats are a tried and tested product that will deliver an effective solution.”

Discover more about our products for the mining sector, including tophats >