Tag Archives: Aboriginal opportunities

Aboriginal-owned firm strengthens Fortescue ties with Eliwana contract

Mallard Deemey Pty Ltd, a 100% Aboriginal-owned business, is to construct and install a laboratory, storage, and administrative facilities at the Eliwana asset in Western Australia following a contract award from project owner Fortescue Metals Group.

The award continues to build on Fortescue’s commitment to Aboriginal procurement with its Billion Opportunities program. Since inception in 2011, this program has awarded contracts and sub-contracts worth over A$2.5 billion ($1.7 billion) to more than 120 Aboriginal businesses and joint venture partners, the iron ore miner said.

Eliwana is due to include a 30 Mt/y dry ore processing facility and infrastructure. Production is expected to commence at the end of 2020 with a life of mine strip ratio of 1.1.

The contract for Mallard Deemey, jointly owned and operated by Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura member Donna Meyer and Yamatji member Robby Mallard, is valued at over A$11 million. It will lead to the creation of over 100 jobs, with a significant number of employees expected to come from the Pilbara and Carnarvon as well as Perth, Fortescue said.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Supporting and investing in sustainable Aboriginal businesses is at the heart of our approach to ensuring Aboriginal communities benefit from the growth and development of our business.

“Our Billion Opportunities Aboriginal procurement program has provided a platform to demonstrate the skills and capability of Aboriginal businesses and the chance for Aboriginal people to build a future for their communities through economic opportunity.”

Mallard Deemey Director, Donna Meyer, said the contracts clearly showed the capability of Aboriginal businesses, challenging assumptions they could only work on projects of this size as subcontractors and where time schedules were less stringent.

“These contracts are a demonstration of Mallard Deemey’s strong capabilities and will also enable us to commit to our continued training and employment of local Aboriginal people, positioning our business very well for the future,” she said.

With Fortescue’s support, Mallard Deemey was previously engaged as a subcontractor for the deconstruction of the Wheatstone camp in Onslow, ahead of its relocation to Eliwana. Over 40% of the workforce who worked on the Onslow project were Aboriginal employees.

Cundaline Resources to work on Iron Bridge magnetite project

Fortescue Metals Group has awarded 100% Aboriginal owned company, Cundaline Resources Pty, with the contract for the West Canning Basin earthworks at its majority owned Iron Bridge magnetite project, in Western Australia.

The award, which continues FMG’s longstanding commitment to supporting local and Aboriginal businesses, will see the group carry out the earthworks, access preparation and rehabilitation services associated with the hydrogeology drilling program for the Iron Bridge project.

The Iron Bridge project will deliver 22 Mt/y (wet) of high grade 67% Fe magnetite concentrate product, according to FMG, with the first stage completed successfully by building and operating a full-scale pilot plant at the North Star mine site. This pilot project included the use of a dry crushing and grinding circuit, which FMG plans to leverage in stage two.

The second stage of the project comprises the construction of a large-scale process plant, and port infrastructure to support the production of 22 Mt/y (wet) of iron ore.

In FMG’s March quarter results, released late last month, the company said the $2.6 billion project was progressing on schedule and budget, with first concentrate production planned in the first half of calendar year 2022.

Key milestones in the three-month period included detailed engineering passing the halfway mark, procurement of major long lead process equipment committed and the first blast at the ore processing facility site, enabling bulk earthworks to commence.

Fortescue’s Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said Fortescue’s Aboriginal procurement initiative, Billion Opportunities, has awarded over A$2.5 billion ($1.6 billion) in contracts and sub-contracts to Aboriginal businesses and joint venture partners since the program began in 2011.

“We are committed to building on this proud track record through our growth projects, Eliwana and Iron Bridge, which have already awarded over A$60 million in contracts to Aboriginal businesses,” she said.

“Importantly, Billion Opportunities is focused on building the capability and capacity of Aboriginal businesses, and it is very pleasing to see Cundaline, a business which commenced operations as a labour hire company, now expand into earthworks and mechanical maintenance contracting areas.”

Cundaline’s Managing Director, Brenden Taylor, said: “The West Canning Basin Earthworks contract is a milestone project and the first of a number of potential opportunities on the Iron Bridge magnetite project for Cundaline.

“We have worked hard to transition our company from a labour hire specialist to a contracting entity managing and delivering our own projects. I am particularly proud of my team for their professionalism and ‘can do’ attitude and not giving up during the tough times.

“Along this journey we have worked together with other Aboriginal businesses and I especially want to acknowledge Fortescue, through the Billion Opportunities initiative, for making a real difference for a local and Aboriginal business like Cundaline to continue to grow our capacity and capability into the future.”

Fortescue and REMA TIP TOP establish Aboriginal traineeships

Fortescue Metals Group has teamed up with longstanding contracting partner REMA TIP TOP to identify opportunities within its supply chain to increase employment and development opportunities for Aboriginal team members.

This move demonstrates “the company’s ongoing commitment to provide training and employment opportunities for its Aboriginal workforce”, FMG said.

REMA has been providing belt and conveyor maintenance services at Fortescue’s operations for over 10 years, and has now signed an agreement with 100% Aboriginal-owned workforce organisation Karlayura Group to offer belt splicing traineeships.

The program will allow Aboriginal participants to gain on-the-job experience in the installation, maintenance and repair of conveyor belt systems across Fortescue’s operational sites and provide them with sustainable career opportunities, FMG said.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “At Fortescue, we believe that providing economic opportunities through access to employment, training and business development pathways is key to sustainable futures for Aboriginal people.

“We are pleased to be working with our contracting partners to develop programs that support Aboriginal employment, and it is inspiring to see the positive contribution they make to communities.”

REMA Chief Executive Officer Asia Pacific, Benedikt Schneider, said: “Working together with the Karlayura Group, we have created new opportunities for local Indigenous communities through the establishment of belt splicing traineeships.

“Our focus is always on training and development to provide career pathways – not just jobs – and I’m proud to continue partnering with Fortescue to help close the gap by creating meaningful and sustainable employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians.”

Karlayura Group General Manager, Regina Glover, said: “Karlayura has a strong history of building partnerships with various companies within the mining and construction industry. We’re forever grateful for the opportunities we get from REMA and Fortescue as we continue our journey of creating successful outcomes across Australia.”

FMG extends waste management services contract with PTK Environmental Services

Fortescue Metals Group has announced the extension of its waste management services contract to PTK Environmental Services (PTK), an Aboriginal business owned and operated by Palyku member Tammy O’Connor, for a further five years.

The extension of the contract with PTK brings the total value of contracts and subcontracts awarded to Aboriginal businesses and joint ventures under Fortescue’s Billion Opportunities procurement initiative to over A$2.5 billion ($1.7 billion) since the program began in 2011, FMG said.

Fortescue’s Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Our Billion Opportunities program is a critical element of our commitment to provide economic and employment opportunities for Aboriginal people.

“We are incredibly proud to partner with over 120 Aboriginal businesses and joint venture partners and to support the growth and development of driven business leaders like Tammy O’Connor, to build capability and capacity and contribute to the ongoing sustainability of Aboriginal companies.

“We have worked with Tammy and PTK for a number of years and building on the initial services contract awarded in 2017. We are delighted to extend the contract for these significant waste management services for a further five years.”

PTK Director and Shareholder, Tammy O’Connor (pictured, middle), said: “We pride ourselves on the safe, high quality services we provide and it is great to have this recognised by Fortescue with the extension of our contract. The flow-on effect of our work with Fortescue has huge benefits for the community by providing real opportunities for people to get jobs and support their families.”

Fortescue’s Chief Operating Officer, Greg Lilleyman (pictured left), said reducing waste through the prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse of materials produced during operations is a priority for Fortescue.

“Last financial year, Fortescue recycled 91% of non-mineral waste, such as food, packaging and office consumables, from across our sites,” he said. “We look forward to working with Tammy and the PTK team as we continue to reduce and manage our waste.”

During the half year, Fortescue’s Billion Opportunities program supported Aboriginal companies with over A$258 million in new contracts awarded to 16 Aboriginal businesses, FMG said.