Tag Archives: Ausdrill

Ausdrill commissions automation-ready Cat MD6250 drill at Boggabri

Ausdrill says it has just commissioned the first of four new Caterpillar MD6250 drills at the Boggabri coal operations in New South Wales, Australia.

The machine has been successfully commissioned on site four weeks ahead of the contract start date, according to the Perenti company, with the help of the WesTrac team at Tomago, NSW.

These M6250 drills come with the next level of drill automation and driller assist, Ausdrill says, including one touch auto levelling and auto drilling functions combined with Cat MineStar Terrain for drilling to improve safety, productivity, reliability and accuracy.

Back in February, Perenti reported its Surface Mining Industry Sector Group had been awarded A$155.5 million ($113 million) in new and extended contracts. This included a three-year contract (with options to extend) for production drilling services with Boggabri Coal Operations (a part of Idemitsu Australia Resources Group) at Boggabri.

The MD6250 is designed for both down-the-hole drilling in hard rock and rotary drilling in softer rock. The blasthole drill carries out single-pass drilling and multi pass, as well as angle drilling, according to Cat.

MACA is currently running an MD6250 at the Bluff coal mine, in Queensland, while AngloGold Ashanti Australia, with support from Flanders and Tropicana Mining Alliance partner, Macmahon Holdings, now has five autonomous Cat MD6250 drill rigs as part of its drilling fleet at the Tropicana gold mine, in Western Australia. Thiess, Cat and WesTrac have also introduced an MD6250 drill rig with autonomous drilling capability at Mount Pleasant, in New South Wales, in a phased 12-month pilot project.

Barminco, Ausdrill transport Rhino 100 raise borer to Regis’ Rosemont gold mine

Having become the first company globally to have taken delivery of a mobile raiseboring machine with uphole, downhole, and back reaming capability, Barminco is transporting a Rhino 100 Raise Borer to another client site in Australia.

With the help of its Perenti surface mining partner, Ausdrill, the newest addition was recently transported to Regis Resources’ Rosemont gold mine in Western Australia.

Just last year, Barminco sealed a three-year underground mining services contract with Regis at Rosemont, which has been transitioning from open-pit to underground mining at the operation.

Barminco said: “Through safe and rapid mobilisation, we are able to meet our clients’ needs and transport our equipment across multiple sites to complete a range of drilling campaigns.”

Since April 2019, Barminco’s first Rhino has travelled a combined 15,000 km between four client sites in the Goldfields of Western Australia, drilling a total of 3,843 m.

The Rhino is manufactured by TRB-Raise Borers in Finland but is equipped with Sandvik tools and is distributed by Sandvik. It is a fully mechanised and self-contained electro-hydraulic mobile raiseborer designed for slot raising in underground mining. The latest models also have an optional back reaming module.

In addition to helping transport Barminco’s latest Rhino to Regis’ site, Ausdrill has recently added a new Boart Longyear LF™160 drill rig and FREEDOM™ Loader combination to its diamond drilling fleet.

This rig reduces the crew’s “Hands On Steel” interaction, while improving overall safety standards, Ausdrill said.

When paired with the FL262 FREEDOM Loader, the LF160 combination is ideal for contractors who want to target sophisticated surface drilling exploration contracts that stipulate some of the highest safety standards, without compromising on productivity, Boart Longyear says.

Ausdrill kicks off Middlemount coal contract

Perenti’s Ausdrill says it has officially started a three-year contract at the Yancoal/Peabody-owned Middlemount coal mine in Queensland, Australia.

Two new Caterpillar MD6310 rotary blasthole drills (pictured) are up and running, as of January 1, as part of a full turnkey drill and blast contract for the client, Ausdrill said.

Middlemount produces low volatile pulverised coal injection coal and hard coking coal, with contracted rail and port capacity through Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal and Abbot Point Port, in Queensland.

It is an open-pit mine, 90 km northeast of Emerald in Queensland’s Bowen Basin. Full scale operations commenced in November 2011, with mining activities using conventional truck and shovel techniques.

 

 

Vysarn’s new waterwell drilling business wins FMG Cloudbreak work

Pentium Hydro is in the process of mobilising a drill rig and auxiliary plant to Fortescue Metals Group’s Chichester iron ore operations, in the Pilbara of Western Australia, as part of a purchase order that could see the Vysarn subsidiary pocket A$800,000 ($549,866).

Following the purchase order, Pentium has already started transporting the equipment to Newman, Western Australia, for final inspection. Following signoff of the equipment, it will then head to Cloudbreak with Pentium expecting to commence drilling, subject to a formal agreement being signed, by the end of September.

In addition to this latest contract win at Cloudbreak, part of the Chichester Hub operations which has an annual production capacity of 100 Mt/y, Pentium says the first of two scheduled drill rigs has arrived on site at BHP’s Olympic Dam mine in South Australia (pictured).

This delivery is part of a dry hire agreement signed between Pentium and Easternwell WA, which was previously announced on August 16. The second rig destined for Olympic Dam has been despatched from the company’s yard in Canning Vale, with the company expecting these units to begin operating and produce income during this month. The hire rates for this equipment, while on site, are (in aggregate) A$4,500/shift, with each rig able to operate for a maximum of two shifts per day.

This agreement provided for the equipment to be hired on site for a period of at least three months and no more than six months (unless the scope is reduced by BHP).

As Pentium Managing Director, Sheldon Burt, implied, this latest business is significant considering Vysarn only completed the acquisition of Pentium from Ausdrill at the end of last month.

“We are pleased with the quality of the assets purchased and are confident of our ability to become a major provider of waterwell drilling services to the resource, agriculture and infrastructure industries,” he said.

West African picks Ausdrill’s AUMS for Sanbrado open-pit mining

Ausdrill, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, African Mining Services (AMS), has been selected by West African Resources as the preferred open-pit mining contractor for the Sanbrado gold project, in Burkina Faso.

Sanbrado, a low-cost, high-grade operation only 90 km from the country’s capital, Ouagadougou, will be the 14th commercial gold mine in Burkina Faso in 14 years. It is forecast to have average annual production of 217,000 oz/y of gold at all-in sustaining costs of less than $600/oz in its first five years of mine life.

The AMS scope of work includes a full suite of open pit mining services – including site preparation, drill and blast, load and haul, and maintenance works – over a five-year term, generating approximately A$235 million ($160 million) in revenue under a schedule of rates contract, Ausdrill said.

AMS anticipates it will employ some 190 personnel at the project, with the workforce to be predominantly local, and use a mix of new and existing equipment to deliver on the project.

AMS and West African Resources are in the process of finalising the contract terms, which will include the provision of an optional deferred payment arrangement for up to $10 million at a commercial interest rate, with works expected to commence in early 2020. West African Resources said mobilisation activities were expected to commence in November, ahead of open-pit mining commencement in January 2020.

Ausdrill Group Managing Director, Mark Norwell, said: “A key focus for the new Ausdrill group has been to enhance our surface operations in Africa and target substantial growth opportunities across a range of commodities in select African countries.

“Being selected as preferred contractor at the Sanbrado gold project is a significant achievement and represents the excellent progress we are making in building on the suite of quality projects on which AMS operates in the region.”

West African Resources Managing Director, Richard Hyde, said: “Sanbrado is the highest margin gold project in construction in West Africa and we are on target for approximately 300,000 oz of gold in the first 12 months of production. We look forward to partnering with AMS to bring this fully funded project into production in mid-2020.”

Barminco ready to mobilise at Khoemacau copper-silver underground project

Ausdrill’s Barminco subsidiary is proceeding with mobilisation and readiness to commence execution of the Zone 5 underground mine at Cupric Canyon Capital’s Khoemacau copper-silver project in northwest Botswana, the Gaborone-based company said.

Following closing of a finance package for Khoemacau’s 3.6 Mt/y starter project, the contractor is now expected to start work on the underground mine in December. This is part of the five-year, US$560 million underground mining contract the two parties signed last month.

This starter project is expected to involve processing ore from a 91 Mt resource base at a head grade of 2% Cu and 21 g/t Ag. First copper concentrate output is scheduled for the first half of 2021, with annual production averaging 62,000 t of copper and 1.9 Moz of silver for over 20 years.

Cupric noted that early construction activities on the underground project had been taking place since the start of the year.

“There are now more than 700 people on site carrying out construction work including boxcuts for underground access, roads, a water pipeline and terraces for surface infrastructure,” the company said.

To date, some 7.8% of the project capital cost, or $31 million, has been spent on these activities, with around 57% of the costs committed, the company said on July 18.

BTP and Peabody Australia extend Hunter Valley, Bowen Basin coal partnership

Ausdrill’s earthmoving parts and equipment subsidiary, BTP, has secured a three-year extension to its existing contract with Peabody Australia.

The extension, worth A$126 million ($85 million) and effective from April 1, will see BTP continue to rent mining and ancillary equipment to Peabody’s coal mines in the Hunter Valley (New South Wales) and Bowen Basin (Queensland). Peabody has an option to extend the term of the agreement by a further two years should it so wish.

Ausdrill Managing Director, Mark Norwell, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract extension and look forward to continuing to provide equipment and related services to Peabody, building on the strong relationship BTP has formed with Peabody over a number of years.”

Ausdrill transformation starts to take shape following Barminco buy

Less than four months after acquiring Barminco, Ausdrill says the integration of the two businesses is on target to deliver synergies of around A$11 million/y ($7.8 million/y) from its 2020 financial year.

This exceeds the previously stated target of A$5 million and is representative of both the new business structure Ausdrill has implemented and its growth strategy, the company said.

For the six months to end-December, Ausdrill said revenues were up 45.6% year-on-year to A$640.2 million, while underlying earnings before interest and taxes rose 27.6% to A$67.1 million. These results included two months contribution from the Barminco acquisition, which also included an additional 50% share in the two companies’ AUMS joint venture.

Ausdrill Managing Director, Mark Norwell, said the half-year results demonstrated the strength and diversity of the expanded Ausdrill group. “Importantly, the expanded Ausdrill group also secured over A$2 billion in new work since July 1, 2018, and successfully integrated the Barminco business, ensuring the company is set to deliver on its FY2019 guidance and is well positioned for FY2020.”

“Looking forward, we now have a more diverse and less capital-intensive group and have achieved this whilst maintaining a strong balance sheet that supports dividends and provides the flexibility to deliver on the strategy that has now been established.”

Ausdrill said the acquisition of Barminco made the company Australia’s second-largest mining services company.

Recently appointed Managing Director, Mark Norwell, said: “Ausdrill has done a great job in growing into a multi-national mining services company, but with the acquisition of Barminco and a refreshed structure, we have the opportunity to ensure the new Ausdrill has the best standards, a leading safety culture, and a constant focus on efficiencies to deliver for our customers, shareholders, communities and our 7,500 committed employees.

“In particular, a key focus is to transform our above ground operations in Africa, divest businesses that do not fit strategically, and ensure we are achieving best practice in the way we win and deliver work for clients across the group.

“We are also looking at ways to grow the business, such as expansion into new markets where we can have a competitive edge and into adjacent services that complement our existing portfolio.

“We expect to see continued strength in our core markets, particularly underground, and the Company remains on track to deliver its FY19 guidance of $98 million underlying net profit after tax.”

Barminco wins extension at Hindustan Zinc-owned Rampura Agucha zinc-lead mine

Ausdrill’s recently added subsidiary, Barminco, has been awarded an underground mining services contract at the Rampura Agucha zinc-lead mine in India from Hindustan Zinc worth approximately A$100 million ($71 million), the ASX-listed company says.

Hard-rock underground miner Barminco has operated at Rampura Agucha for Hindustan, a subsidiary of Vedanta Limited, since late 2016. The new underground mining services contract is for a three-and-a-half-year term, subject to review and mutual agreement of rates after the first year.

The scope of work includes the extension of development works that were being provided under a recently completed contract, plus the addition of production work in the Barminco-developed area of the mine. Under the contract, Hindustan will provide capital equipment and consumables. Barminco will commence work immediately, Ausdrill said.

Barminco CEO, Paul Muller, said: “We are very pleased to have been awarded a contract that extends our operations at the Rampura Agucha mine with an expanded scope to include production works. We look forward to deepening the relationship we have built with Hindustan Zinc over the past few years by delivering on this extended scope of works both safely and efficiently.”

Rampura Agucha is the second largest zinc mine in the world, according to Hindustan, with production of 3.9 Mt in the company’s 2018 financial year. It has a zinc-lead reserve grade averaging 15.7% Zn+Pb, with total reserves of 46 Mt as of March 31, 2018.

The ongoing underground mine project is being developed with a vision of producing 5 Mt/y of ore and includes a main production shaft of 955 m depth, 7.5 m diameter and hauling capacity of 3.75 Mt/y; two ventilation shafts, two declines from surface and paste fill plants, according to Hindustan.

Ausdrill’s Barminco to go underground at Regis Resources’ Rosemont gold project

Having recently closed a deal to acquire fellow contractor Barminco, Ausdrill has announced A$171 million ($123 million) in new work across the mining space.

Its Barminco business has sealed a three-year underground mining services contract with Regis Resources at the Rosemont project (worth A$113 million), in addition to receiving the nod to perform decline rehabilitation and development works at Western Areas’ new Odysseus mine. Meanwhile, Ausdrill has booked a 12-month contract from Consolidated Minerals for the provision of exploration drilling services at the Woodie Woodie manganese mine. This comes on top of a similar contract with Bellevue Gold at its namesake project in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia.

Ausdrill Managing Director, Mark Norwell, said: “These new projects demonstrate the diversity of the expanded Ausdrill group across different projects and resources, solid progress of Barminco, and the professional service our businesses have been providing to our customers.”

Rosemont has been a fully operational open-pit gold mine since March 2013 and is one of three Regis projects in the Duketon deposit area, 130 km north of Laverton in the Goldfields region of Western Australia.

Regis recently approved expansion of the mine to an underground operation located directly below the current Rosemont open pit, with Barminco to perform development and production work at the underground deposit. In August, the Regis board announced it had approved the development of an underground mining operation directly below the current Rosemont open pit exploiting the maiden underground mineral resource estimate of 1.4 Mt at 5.1 g/t for 230,000 oz of gold.

Barminco will commence mobilisation immediately and expects to employ around 100 staff at the project. Onsite works will commence in the March quarter, including commencing portal development at the southern end of the Rosemont Main open pit.

Barminco CEO, Paul Muller, said: “This project adds to Barminco’s extensive experience in the Western Australia Goldfields, with current mining projects at Sunrise Dam and Agnew. We will draw on our deep capability across Barminco’s people, equipment, systems, processes, and expertise in underground mining to ensure we provide a safe and reliable service at Rosemont and look to build a strong, long-term relationship with Regis.”

Meanwhile, the company has already mobilised on the 14-month contract to carry out decline rehabilitation and development works at Western Areas’ Odysseus mine. The contract builds on Barminco’s 14-years of continuous service for Western Areas at Forrestania, which includes the Spotted Quoll and Flying Fox mines where Barminco is the mining services provider.

Ausdrill’s work at the Woodie Woodie manganese mine, in the Pilbara of Western Australia, will commence next month, will run for 12 months and will require five RC drill rigs and one diamond drill rig to be drawn from the company’s existing fleet.

The company has already kicked off work at the Bellevue gold project, which will require around four diamond rigs to be drawn from the existing fleet.