New geotechnical soils lab opened

Adding a zing to soil testing was the opening of a new soils laboratory at Lihir, New Ireland Province.

The project, which took five months to complete, included Newcrest and its business partner Klohn Crippen Berger (KCB) working together to convert a run-down shelter into a state-of-the-art facility.   

The facility brings geotechnical soil testing at Lihir to another level, and is outfitted with precise calibrated, high tech equipment. Only a select few soils laboratories have the capacity to perform these advanced soil tests.

Yes, this ranks the new Lihir laboratory amongst the top echelon of soil testing facilities in the world.  

The laboratory contains consolidation, triaxial and direct simple shear testing machines. 

Bin Yung with KCB highlighted that very few geotechnical engineering companies use the direct simple shear test, saying “it is rarely used in Australia, and probably the only one in PNG and in Canada”.   

He said this test is used to determine how soil materials will react during an earthquake, which is very important as many major projects at Lihir must be designed to withstand large magnitude earthquakes.  

Acting general manager mining Steven Butt said he was proud that Lihir is an industry leader in projects of this nature. 

He also mentioned that the laboratory was revolutionary for Lihir and will be used in a way that will complement the confidence and accuracy of their engineering studies. 

The laboratory also provides an opportunity for Newcrest employees to gain practical and theoretic soil testing skills by working alongside the experienced KCB laboratory personnel.

(State-of-the-art soil testing equipment)

Press release