Material handling system feasibility study for a gold mine

Opinaca Mines, a subsidiary of Newmont Goldcorp, operates the Éléonore gold mine in northern Québec. As mining activities progressed toward the deepest parts of the mine, increasing ore transporting distances, the company was looking for a consulting engineering firm with solid experience in material handling and geomechanics. It mandated BBA to perform the feasibility study for a material handling system.

Client: Opinaca Mines
Location: Québec, Canada


The objective of the mandate was to complete the engineering designs and study in support of mine production and material flow. The material handling system included 36 deliverables, which were provided to Opinaca Mines in accordance with the work packages. Our experts had to configure multiple bins with multi-dump points on the grizzlies and take into account the impact of geological structures on bin strength and stability.

Pre-feasibility study

  • Perform trade-off studies on material handling options
  • Prepare the underground mine design for the material handling system
  • Perform hoisting system capacity calculations

Feasibility study

  • Prepare the underground mine design for the material handling system, including a geotechnical assessment review
  • Calculate fleet and equipment size
  • Prepare engineering designs for mechanical, electrical and automation systems, as well as piping and structures

Our experts recommended an underground electric/battery truck system, designed to recharge batteries during transport of ore from the ore pass to the ore bin. The selected truck system would have a near neutral discharge/recharge cycle so trucks can be used throughout an entire shift.

Our specialists also recommended installing a tele-remote breaker operator system, controlled from surface, so autonomous haulage trucks could eventually be installed.


BBA expertly managed this vast multidisciplinary project involving mining, electrical, mechanical, automation and structural engineeringOur proposed solution will enable the client to meet production requirements as mining progresses.

Tom Corkal, P.Eng., Project Director


  • Peak capacity of 3,750 tonnes hoisted per day
  • Battery Truck haulage Average 3,000 tonnes per day for a 800 metre one way haul from chute to grizzly.