Ledcor was chosen to develop the Isabella Pearl open-pit gold mine in 2018 and is contracted to continue mine operations through at least 2021. The project is located in Mineral County, Nevada, approximately 24 miles east of Hawthorne.
Ledcor’s initial work scopes included general site development, leach pad installation, and open-pit pioneering. Ongoing operations include full-service contract mining, including drilling, blasting, loading, haulage, and direct mining support equipment to mine approximately 7,000,000 tonnes per annum.
In February 2020, Ledcor engaged their explosives supplier to conduct a Wipfrag fragmentation comparison study to better understand the cost-benefit of electronic blasting vs conventional detonators regarding downstream effects on loading productivity and crusher throughput. The results showed conventional blasting had a wide range of particle size distribution and a P80 of over 500 mm. An electronic shot was then analyzed in the same manner, showing much more consistent fragmentation distribution, a P80 reduction of 18%, and a substantial top size reduction of 75%. The use of electronic detonation also provides significant safety advantages over conventional detonators. Ledcor continues to utilize electronic detonation at this site.