DISCOVERY MAX-Mega Mina Super Pit. AustraliaFeb 28, 2022
superpitt the largest gold mine in
australiagold is exciting have you heard of the gold rush is it real at the heart of this colossal mine lies in a series of ingenious inventions to prevent disaster here we play with life and death i like to blow things up and i get paid for it for the next five days these inventions will help workers overcome seven crucial challenges as they race to transform shards of rock into gold bars a simple complication could trigger disaster engineering against disaster
australiamonday 7 in the morning in
superone of the 500 gold mines in the world and the largest open pit mine in australia this is one of the most extreme work environments on the planet about 80 people sign up for the day shift 167,000 era the plan ended with 156 thousand eleven 40 titanic dump trucks begin their journey of 5 km to the base of the mine while in the upper part crushed the rock m Ostro rigs come on stream over the next five days workers blast blast haul crush and purify 150,000 tons of hard rock into $10 million worth of gold bullion the price of gold has doubled in the past three years to meet this surge in global demand your profile must maintain maximum production a security van will drive from the perth mint you must collect the bars on saturday noon to reduce the risk of hijacking neither the van and its driver can be filmed the countdown has started the man in charge of this monumental operation is in charge of the mine he has now been in charge for three years I am responsible for the entire mining operation we have so many people working in this environment that the important thing is safety our motto is return home safe and sound every day the super pit gold mine is in western austral ia 600 kilometers northeast of peru the mining town of kalgoorlie sits right next to it in the early 19th century a vein of gold a mile long was discovered the town grew next to the original mines super sits on top of it known historically as the golden mile now we have a single mining operation that will end up being 4 kilometers long a couple of kilometers wide and probably about 720 meters deep what a massive hole in the ground surface miners face seven crucial challenges to process the rock and get gold in just five days in the sweltering heat of the australian outback to extract the gold the miners must first detonate this 150 meter long bed of rock it contains 150,000 tons of rock first challenge the team of 'dale must drill 250 holes in the bench for the explosives this will be risky the ground under the feet of the miners could access at any time under the mine 3,500 kilometers of abandoned drifts are hidden that extend up to 300 meters underground and create dangerous chasms or holes if workers drill just above one of these holes there is a risk that vibrations will cause the rock to collapse to combat this problem the Australian engineers designed an innovative machine for its profile in 1993.
The powerful derrick has an extendable arm so the machine can drill over dangerous holes. The 34-year-old Cairo's job is to locate these deadly holes. 4 years in the making this area has been mined for over 100 years the first miners took the best gold and left us with the worst quality gold and some huge holes to deal with it is essential that they fell are from the sea than any suspected shallow holes the bench before placing the drills in position we are lowering a 3d camera that uses a laser to measure distances will collect about three hundred thousand points and I will process that data and create a model to be able to determine how big the hole is, where it is and what we should do since they are so big that they could cause a lot of damage or even swallow the holes. machines this is what can happen with 12 old mine floor 1980 rock lake louisiana an oil rig breaks through the roof of a salt mine located under the river bed look at 11 billion liters of water draining through the shaft forming a strong eddy the workers escape in time while the drill and 11 barges are sucked into the vortex in its profile there is no lake but if the holes under the bed collapse the tail workers could be in danger every day we operate we have to Keeping that in mind is a real challenge to make sure that the people who work in this environment are safe, this is where high-reach drills come into play. ance the operators park them on safe ground and then extend the boom up to 12 meters above the danger zone a pump at the rear of the rig pumps the fluid through pipes to light hydraulic motors located on the boom the fluid flow makes Rotating the motors that drive the drill head Placing the heavy pumps at the rear of the drill makes the heads light allowing drilling over the deepest holes once the holes have been delineated Batch drilling supervisor and alerts the drilling rigs have been in the position for eight years we only have four of the production drilling rigs the 44 are the white ones the yellow one is what we call powerful the operator extends his arm over the hole he is on safe ground delimited by the tape so we can reach 12 meters the rig is on the edge of the danger zone it takes 30 minutes to drill each 10 meter hole trors deep today there are four working hard to drill the 250 holes for the explosives what happens here is amazing even for me I've been here a long time some days you come in and think I've never seen that before and I probably don't want to see it again the drills work late to finish the drill holes first challenge cleared the team has less than four and a half days before the van from the perth mint arrives to collect the gold now they face an even more dangerous challenge triggering all 250 explosions to make Shattering the rock at Australia's largest gold mine Workers work around the clock to transform 150,000 tonnes of rock into $10 million worth of gold bars Tuesday morning in just four days a security van will arrive to collect the bars and take them to the perth mint the miners still must face six crucial challenges to complete their mission c With 250 holes drilled in this rock bench, the next challenge for the team is to fill them with more than 70 tons of explosives.
Andy White is supervising this crucial step in the operation. Blasting supervisor, he has been in his profile for 21 years. Our average blasting is around 250 and 300,000 tons, but we have made up to 1,200,000 tons of rock, we have already placed half of the charges on the bench and we will need about 70 tons of explosives for the entire blast. The explosive they use is ammonium nitrate mixed with fuel known as anfo andy's team pours 200 kilos into each hole when the anfo is detonated the shock wave will shatter the rock at 2500 meters per second so that it can be processed the aim of the blast is to prepare the rock so that the excavators can work if it is in a block we will not be productive a good blast is one in which the material is adequately shattered the exp The detonation is so powerful that it could cause huge chunks of rock to be thrown out of the area at high speed creating a serious hazard to contain the flying rocks andy's team employs a clever technique sequential detonation developed in the 1950's se leave a millisecond delay between each detonation to control the explosive energy uncontrolled blasting can have deadly consequences july 2007 bear creek work zone in british columbia uncontrolled blasting threw rocks 250 meters away pieces collided with vehicles two workers were injured they were lucky to get out alive andy's team from super pit has developed blasting techniques to prevent dangerous accidents like this the way they load the blastholes is crucial first they put a detonator in each blasthole then pour in the anfo explosive finally fill the last 4 meters with a gravel f Ina known as studs, these contain the explosion and prevent the rocks from being thrown and if we do not place the studs and detonate the charges, a lot of material would be thrown into the air, producing pressurized air discharges, more rocks flying and all kinds of problems, the studs by alone are not enough to contain the dangerous rocks the detonation itself is crucial the detonators closest to the edge of the bench are timed to explode first followed by those in the row behind them precise timing of each explosion allows the rock to be blown moves laterally into the space created by the previous explosion channeling the blast in this way reduces the amount of rock being thrown into the air andy's team connects all the detonators to the detonating cord there we go this one leads to the spark to initiate the blasting and is linked to a detonation unit located 50 meters away.
We are ready to blast as hey we evacuate the mine we establish a 200 meter radius all people and machinery must be within that distance andy and blaster ryan are heading to the detonation point a delay or failure now could derail this week's gold production ready to go we've made sure to take all security measures the mine is vacated and the ramps blocked and a four minute countdown with siren ready to detonate it only takes three seconds to turn 150,000 tons of solid rock into gravel well done we maintain positions to a content the rocks that have not traveled more than 100 meters today's blasting is a success second challenge overcome Wednesday 12 noon there are only three days left before the security van arrives at the super pit to collect valued gold bars at 10 million dollars however the gold remains firmly embedded in this rock the next challenge they'll face the team is to load the rock in dump trucks to take it to the treatment plant to load the dump trucks we have the excavators these huge machines can collect the material that we then take to the storage pile at the crushing facilities and wallace tailings with a weight of 750 tons the komatsu hydraulic excavator is the largest machine on site is the mine engine and can lift 60 tons of rock in a single load commanding this $18 million machine is excavator operator bogans chamberlain, 34, he has been two years digging every child's dream is to get paid to operate a gigantic machine we load the dump truck in reverse and unload in the back we honk to make the dump truck stop and continue loading once it is full we honk again for him to leave bojan will operate the excavator for 12 hours working until late at night to load some 40,000 tons Loading rock into the dump trucks is backbreaking work in this blistering heat but it brings you $100,000 a year the goal is to move dirt we have to move x number of tons per day these are targets to be met the excavator must keep working in temperatures up to 55 degrees Celsius heat is a factor if on very hot days you can have problems with hydraulic fluid overheating to prevent excavators from overheating komatsu german engineers designed an ingenious cooling system using custom temperature controlled fans since 2003 that the excavator gets hot the fans are activated to cool it the weight that they have to transport because it is around 225 tons we try to fill them with four loads so each load carries between 55 and 60 tons an immense hydraulic system moves the huge bucket of the excavator today it works at full throttle to pick up the rock the system pumps more than 8000 liters of fluid per minute creating a force equivalent to the propulsion of two jumbo jets the key to preventing the system from igniting in the heat lies in the excavator's unique design the two huge engines and hydraulics of the excavator machine generate massive amounts of heat if they get too hot the excavator will stop running to keep this monster machine cool it has 8 temperature controlled fans 4 blow air through the engine radiators the others cool the hydraulics as the excavator moves it gets hotter the fans spin faster cooling the this keeps the machine running even in extreme super pit environment with the fans spinning at full speed the excavator can load and unload rock non-stop we need the excavators to work to move the dirt If they stop, we cannot extract the land, therefore we cannot access the mills and by ta So we don't make money and the idea of this is to make money three in the afternoon bojan has loaded fifty dump trucks with more than ten thousand tons of ore and he has only done three hours of his shift the excavators will take 12 hours to load all the rock in the tippers now the team dedaily willface the next big challenge to get the rock to the treatment plant of the mine for this you need nerves of steel if the trucks do not arrive on time to the plant the team will not be able to complete the mission Wednesday 4 pm in super the mine Australia's Largest Gold A team of over a thousand workers battles sweltering heat to excavate load crush and purify 150 tons of ore and transform it into $10 million worth of gold bullion in less than three days a security van will arrive to transport the gold to the imperial mint the countdown continues and they'll team still have four crucial challenges to overcome to meet the deadline as the bulldozers dig a fleet of 40 monster dump trucks transport the precious cargo to the custom treatment plant Since each 400-ton dump truck goes up the mine, there is a risk that the vibrations could destabilize the walls.
Fourth challenge: Prevent a landslide of land the mine is so big that you have to make sure that it is safe there can be no rockfalls nor can tracks or shoulders disappear you have to protect those who work at the bottom of the mine today making sure that the 500 meter high walls the mine does not collapse the geotechnical manager is there anthony gleason has been in his party for three years at the height of the walls it is the biggest challenge any rock that falls from the heights can be very dangerous for those who work below to inspect the walls antonio uses a device invented in south africa and first used in 2006 east slope stability radar can measure movements in walls with pinpoint precision anthony knows that a landslide could be disastrous february 2011 chirola coal mine turkey these images recorded with a mobile phone show what happened when work on the wall exposed a layer of weak rock causing a landslide massive ten people died when 50 million tons of rock rushed into the mine to prevent tragedies like this in its profile engineers introduced slope stability radar the technology we use to monitor the walls is slope stability radars we have deployed around the areas that we think may be potentially unstable they give us information about how fast the walls are moving in which direction the rock mass is moving and if there are any areas of instability the stability radar can detect minute movements in the walls from the mine an antenna projects a beam that scans the dangerous areas to create an accurate three-dimensional image of the wall rescans the wall every two minutes comparing the profile with the original image if part of the slope moves even just one millimeter it is symptom that the wall is unstable the radar detects it and alerts the engineers, taking them enough time to to evacuate the area today antoni identifies a section of the mine wall that could put the miners in serious danger there is an area on ramp x with a potentially unstable piece of rock sitting directly on it we use the ramp to get to the bottom of the mine and we need to make sure it's walkable antonio sends the maintenance crew to reinforce any brittle rock areas to make sure the rock mass of the walls doesn't come loose we use anchors that we drive into them and we also use mesh that help maintain the integrity of the rock mass in certain areas these crucial reinforcements prevent rocks from falling on miners working 500 meters below at the base of the mine disaster averted we rely heavily on radar information and to do of the mine a safe work environment fourth challenge overcome but the mission in your profile is far from over Thursday 9 in the morning transporting the bouldering down these narrow and steep tracks to the treatment plant is no easy task each driver faces 12 hours behind the wheel this is extreme type of driving and poses the next challenge for the team these are not normal trucks they are almost twice as many taller than a double-decker bus and thirty times heavier today behind the wheel of one of these four-hundred-ton goliaths is the tipper driver mandy staff horse she's been a truck driver for four years i'm in green and one day i heard an ad on the radio to drive dump trucks i thought i would love to do that would be awesome drivers like mandi practice for 5 weeks before they can drive one of these
megadump trucks unattended i am hauling about 230 tons it is quite a heavy load i am going up the ramp at a speed of between 10 and 14 kilometers per hour a fairly slow trip it takes mandy 40 minutes to climb the 5 km of road to leave the mine will repeat this dangerous commute more than 10 times during your 12 hour shift not an easy job to stay 12 hours focused we play with life and death we can kill someone with these dump trucks that's the scariest part of fighting deadly fatigue in su lets are testing an innovative device invented in australia and installed in 2011 the driver condition sensor this monitors the driver's face for signs of fatigue before disaster strikes if a driver fell asleep it could have dire consequences february 28 2001 the vile england at 6 in the morning a land robber on the m 62 leaves the road and falls on the tracks causing a fast train to collide with another freight train this devastating accident claimed the lives of 10 people during the investigation concluded that the driver had fallen asleep after staying up all night this tragic accident reveals the dangers of spending long hours behind the wheel most mining operations tend to be run in day and night shifts which works against the human desire to go to sleep after dark what we are testing is a fatigue monitoring system that analyzes people's faces and eyes to see if they start to nod off the driver condition sensor scans for signs of fatigue two led panels project infrared rays into the cabin and an infrared camera monitors the driver's face the recognition program facial locates the eyes and counts the frequency and duration of the blinks when the driver is alert the blinks are short but when he is tired they become longer if he closes his eyelids for more than two seconds the device triggers an alarm in the control room and they contact with the driver on radio 11 today monitoring the drivers is the operator safety per has been on his profile for seven years on the screen at this moment we can see the tipper 238 the operator has had his eyes closed only the time his eyes are closed is recorded and we are talking about the fact that he has had them closed for 3 seconds to the control room he will call the driver and ask him if it's ok if everything goes well basically the third time they detect signs of fatigue they immediately get you out of the truck there have been cases in which they had not realized that they were fatigued until we called them and asked them are you ok if they didn't notice that they were tired and something will happen I guess we would feel responsible the driver condition sensor detects more than 10 signs of fatigue per shift and if you can intervene before an accident occurs with the cameras watching the mandy carefully delivers the first load of the day At the treatment plant, the tipper crew must transport more than 500 loads in 24 hours to accumulate enough rock to produce the lin drips valued at 10 million on time Friday 8 in the morning the collection van will arrive in 28 hours but the gold is still trapped in the ore fragments transforming the rock into wealth in the zinc plant and this depends on the treatment manager brett más fashion has been making gold for 10 years basically this is where it all ends i like to think i have the most important job because i produce all the gold before i can process the ore your team has to extract any scrap metal or wood these could clog the crusher and bring it to a standstill the production this comes from the work in the mine a piece of pipe a metal one wood tubes one day we found a wooden box full of old newspapers it is incredible what can be dumped in the ore in a giant crusher conveyor belts carry it crushed until the finish ton treatment plant here behind are the mills I wanted all the ore and material from the super pit it has to go through the two mills the mill is not a giant drum filled with steel balls the mills rotate making the balls crash against the ore pulverizing it if I stop the production stops so it is very important that they do not stop to extracting the gold from this dust they must use cyanide one wrong move with this deadly chemical could dash the team's hopes of making tomorrow's delivery in western australia at the super gold mine miners work against the clock for gold bullion valued at $10 million friday the 12th noon with only 24 hours to go before the security van arrives to collect the gold brett's team still have two crucial challenges to overcome after turning 150 thousand tons of rock into dust the next task is to to purify and extract the gold in each ton of ore contains 2 grams of gold, that is why we work with these volumes, they must be large to get grams for extra er the gold they add water to the dust creating a mass that they mix with cyanide in huge tanks the cyanide dissolves the gold particles allowing the team to separate it from the steriles however this process creates toxic waste to contain it the super pit engineers have built in the decade of the 90 special storage dams settling ponds their clever design traps debris preventing it from spreading in the middle where it could wreak havoc january 2000 vaya mare gold mine in romania torrential rains caused the water level in the dam to rise The storage tanks were to rise dramatically the dam walls soon burst a tsunami of liquid waste containing up to 100 tons of cyanide flooded rivers conta
minating the water of more than 2.5 million people and killing hundreds of thousands of fish here in super pit purifying the batch of 10 million dollars in gold will create about 100 million liters of waste toxic ios the challenge of containing them rests on the shoulders of the project supervisor frank sharry has been in his profile for seven years our ponds are designed to withstand the 100-year storm that would be up to 150 millimeters of rain in one hour super has five settling ponds watertight reservoirs designed to hold and dispose of deadly cyanide pumps that analyze tailings even reservoirs when one is full is left to dry out while another fills for months sunlight evaporates the water and denatures the cyanide forming harmless waste today the Frank's team is raising the walls of one of the reservoirs.
It takes about three months to fill the reservoirs and to raise the walls a meter and a half around the perimeter we use the wastewater from the interior that gives us a meter and a half depth to pour more water and refill it to the normal height dried sediment in the reservoir is extremely fine after being crushed and ma Chacado is compacted to form a watertight barrier that prevents cyanide from seeping in. The reservoirs are designed to hold three times the amount of water that we discharge without storing the waste. The ore does not work. That is the base with the finished walls.
The reservoir is ready for participate in the operation as the treatment plant team rushes to purify the gold 6 torrey you overcome saturday 8am the security van arrives in just 4 hours now the treatment plant team rises to the challenge most crucial of all pouring the gold this is the santa santorum of super the gold room where the purified ore is transformed into ingots here every year gold worth 500 billion dollars is poured today the person in charge of making the gold is the supervisor of the anís and farc gold room has been mining for 36 years in the gold room we extract the gold from the solution then we divide it into smelting batches and melt it in the furnaces then it is we pour into the molds the furnace heats the gold to 1200 degrees celsius in this way any impurities are burned leaving pure liquid gold that is poured into the molds to manufacture each ingot on average we make about 25 ingots a week and each one weighs about a half 17 kilos each bar has a value of 400 thousand dollars at the end of the day we get a gold bar it is something visible and of course it is also a temptation someone could put it in their pocket and leave with it to follow the trail of the gold the team de denis employs an innovative technique invented here in western australia in the 1990s gold fingerprinting is a chemical barcode that helps law enforcement trace stolen gold back to the mine where the gold was made It is one of the main targets of organized crime November 26, 1983 6 thieves robbed the Bring Mad security warehouse at London's Heathrow airport where three tons of bullion were stored it's gold the thieves threatened the employees and forced them to open the vaults they got away with a loot of 40 million dollars which made it the robbery of the century most of the stolen gold has never been recovered in super pit they don't run no risk denystoma asample every time you pour into the gold we take a sample from each smelt we get a gold nugget we call a trace we keep it until we are confirmed at the perth mint that the gold has arrived each batch of gold has a composition unique mineral giving it a distinctive chemical fingerprint if the super pit gold is stolen the police can use the fingerprints to track it down dennis has to make sure this doesn't happen especially with this 10 million lot the gold room is heavily watched by cameras and security guards and we don't publish any information no one is told when we are pouring gold making shipments once finished workers are bread in the bullion one unique code 12 noon the van arrives at your profile behind closed doors and under top secrecy the security guards load 400 kilos of gold which leaves for the perth mint from there it will go on to feed the world economy gold is sold in a m open market so it could come back as a gold necklace or in a limited edition computer or it could just be kept in a safe the super pit team has completed the mission producing 10 million dollars worth of gold in just 5 days i think a few days at the end you think i don't know how we did it but we did it take this to complete the mission it took more than 1000 workers and seven ingenious inventions that explode benches crushes rock and smelts into gold a disaster averted but the next installment of gold will be only in a few days so the blasting excavations and crushing start again
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