Xstrata Frieda River Ltd
  • Supervision of Site Investigation
  • Geological Mapping
  • Laboratory Testing
  • Factual & Interpretive Reporting


Frieda River Project

Xstrata Frieda River Ltd is currently undertaking a Feasibility Study which comprises the potential development of a mine and its associated infrastructure at Horse Ivaal, Papua New Guinea. The infrastructure would include a crushing and process plant, two conveyor tunnels, camp sites, an airport, a river port, a concentrate pipeline, a tailings dam, a hydro-electric dam and power plant and over a 120 km’s of access roads. The site is one of the most isolated and technically challenging mine sites in the world. There are no roads and one small airstrip on the Frieda River specially built to service the project site. The site’s complex geology and geomorphology continue to be shaped by tectonics and surface processes. Consequently, the project faces many potential geohazards including active faulting, soft ground, flooding, liquefiable soils, river avulsion, pyritic soils, active landsliding and  earthquakes.

The mine site is characterised by a dense jungle canopy which drapes steep mountains incised by rivers. To the north, the proposed access will skirt or cross 60 km of the Sepik River Flood Plain to Kubkain Village and the proposed port facility. The Flood Plain is a flat lying, jungle covered peat swamp and presents a challenge to the design and construction of the road and pipeline.
Douglas Partners were involved with the Extended Scoping Study (2009), the Pre-Feasibility Study (2010) and the Feasibility Study (2011). Over 40 dedicated professionals from our offices in Sydney, Brisbane, Wyong, Melbourne, and Newcastle have been involved. The work involved supervision of the drilling contract, in-situ field testing, detailed geological mapping, factual and interpretive reporting. Key to the project was overcoming many logistical challenges from, mobilising people and equipment to and from site, to communicating and coordinating with site teams and consultants spread across PNG, Australia, the USA, Switzerland, the UK and Chile. Douglas Partner’s involvement with the FS Study finished in October 2011.
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