Tag Archives: Australia

Lycopodium builds on Talison Lithium relationship with CGP3 EPCM contract

Lycopodium says it has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services contract for Talison Lithium Australia’s Chemical Grade Processing Plant #3 (CGP3), to be developed at its Greenbushes site in Western Australia’s southwest.

Talison Lithium and its predecessor companies have been producing lithium minerals from the Greenbushes lithium operations since 1983, with the area recognised as the longest continuously operated mining area in Western Australia (circa-1888).

The mining and processing operations at Greenbushes have been upgraded and expanded over the decades to increase production and incorporate new technologies as demand for lithium minerals has grown.

The development of this third chemical grade lithium processing plant at Greenbushes will enable Talison to continue to supply the downstream lithium processing facilities of its shareholders currently being established in Western Australia and its facilities in China, Lycopodium says.

Lycopodium’s EPCM services on CGP3 incorporate engineering and design, including earthworks, civil, structural, mechanical, piping, electrical and instrumentation, as well as providing overall project management, including procurement and contracts management, expediting logistics and materials management, and construction and commissioning management services through handover of operational facilities to Talison Lithium.

Lycopodium is very familiar with the Greenbushes site and has an established relationship with Talison Lithium in the development of its Greenbushes operations including the previously awarded EPCM services for the new Mine Services Area project where Lycopodium is currently in the detailed engineering design, critical equipment procurement and pre-mobilisation phase for the project.

Lycopodium’s incorporated joint venture with Monadelphous (Mondium) is also currently delivering the Tailings Retreatment project at the mine.

Lycopodium Limited’s Managing Director, Peter De Leo, said: “We have been working in partnership with Talison for a number of years now, and having supported them through the development phases to optimise the CGP3 project, it is very pleasing to see it is now progressing to implementation.”

Talison Lithium is owned by two companies under a joint venture arrangement Tianqi Lithium Corp/IGO Limited JV (51%) and Albemarle Corporation (49%).

TNG brings Clough into Mount Peake Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project fold

TNG Ltd has appointed a subsidiary of engineering and construction company, Clough, to work with TNG’s project development team and the SMS Group on its flagship Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project in the Northern Territory of Australia.

TNG announced in September that it had decided to progress development of the project with a fully-integrated mining and processing operation within its existing mining leases. As part of this strategy, it was considered by the TNG team important to have a suitable Australian-based engineering group on board.

Following a tender process, Clough Projects Australia Pty Ltd was selected to work with TNG’s team to initially develop an optimised plant layout for the integration of the TIVAN® processing facility (TPF) and beneficiation plant at the mine site, on the basis of the deliverables prepared under the front-end engineering and design (FEED) study completed by SMS group.

Clough, TNG says, will work with SMS and TNG’s team given the severe restrictions on travel between Europe and Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic that have impacted SMS’ ability to deliver a team in Australia.

TNG previously engaged Clough to assess the definitive feasibility study for the project and this new contract expands on this early work to progress the overall mine development, it says.

The optimised layout will be unconstrained compared with the size and shape requirements at the former Darwin site. This offers the potential to capitalise on improving constructability, operability and maintenance for the project, as well as further cost optimisations from integrated infrastructure, the company says.

The integrated plants will be positioned within the company’s existing Mining Lease 29855, which has a size of 1,460 ha. This area is capable of hosting a fully-integrated operation encompassing mining activities and waste storage, the beneficiation plant, the TPF and non-process infrastructure, according to TNG.

TNG’s Managing Director & CEO, Paul Burton, said: “From a strategic and logistical perspective given the continued global COVID-19-related travel restrictions, it is an advantage to have a locally-based engineering group working on this phase of the Mount Peake project with TNG and SMS.

“We expect the integrated plant layout will pave the way for further optimisation work that will tie back into the recently completed FEED study. These work programs are already underway. We look forward to working closely with Clough and our other engineering partners to rapidly advance the Mount Peake project.”

Located 235 km north of Alice Springs, Mount Peake is expected to be a long-life project producing a suite of high-quality, high-purity strategic products for global markets including vanadium pentoxide, titanium dioxide pigment and iron ore fines. The project, which is expected to be a top-10 global producer, has received Major Project Status from the Northern Territory and Federal Governments.

Primero bags Finniss lithium process plant EPC contract

Core Lithium has awarded Primero Group with the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the Finniss lithium process plant in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Primero’s award status has been updated from the initial preferred status awarded in 2019 and continues the long-standing relationship in the development of the project with the Core Lithium team and follows on from the successful delivery of Core’s definitive feasibility study and subsequent study updates, NRW Holdings, the parent company of Primero, says.

The project will commence immediately and is fully funded with site works planned to commence in March 2022 with commissioning of the facility due to commence in October 2022, according to NRW.

Primero’s work on the Finniss dense media separation (DMS) plant will entail project management; engineering and detailed design; equipment and materials procurement; DMS plant construction; quality assurance and construction verification, and ore commissioning on receipt of first ore, according to Core.

Primero Managing Director, Cameron Henry, says: “The Primero brand is synonymous with the processing and operation of battery metals and future energy and the Core Lithium project is another example of the quality of our processing knowledge in these industries. The working relationship with the Core team has been a four-year journey and we look forward to delivering on this contract and continuing the relationship with Core.”

NRW CEO, Jules Pemberton, added: “The NRW Holdings business continues to diversify its business streams into the future metals and energy space with another great award to the Primero Group team in the electric vehicle space with Core Lithium.”

The August definitive feasibility study on Finniss outlined a Stage 1 mine life of eight years with average production of 173,000 t/y at 5.8% Li2O.

New Century Resources and Senex Energy agree on natural gas supply pact

Senex Energy Ltd has announced a sales agreement involving around 7 PJ of natural gas over three years with New Century Resources Ltd.

New Century, which owns and operates the Century zinc mine in Queensland, Australia, will receive this natural gas supply from the Diamantina Power Station in Mount Isa (owned and operated by APA Group), with the 7 PJ being enough to operate the mine, it said.

Under the three-year agreement starting January 1, 2022, Senex will provide around 7 PJ of natural gas to support New Century’s processing operations at a fixed price, in line with current market levels. Senex will further supply around 1 PJ of additional natural gas at New Century’s election by mid-2022 in support of material increases in production levels associated with the potential development of existing in-situ deposits at Century.

Senex Managing Director and CEO, Ian Davies, said: “Century Mine generates significant state royalties and export earnings and is a critical project in the Queensland Government’s Strategic Blueprint for the North West Minerals Province.

“Senex also acknowledges APA as an important part of the value chain delivering energy to Mount Isa.”

Redpath Australia wins cut and flit contract at Whitehaven’s Narrabri operations

Redpath Australia says it has been awarded the Cut and Flit Development Contract for Whitehaven Coal at its Narrabri operations in New South Wales, Australia.

Situated around 28 km southeast of Narrabri on the North West Slopes in New South Wales, the Narrabri operations mine site is one of Australia’s most productive underground coal mines. Whitehaven is the majority owner – with a 77.5% interest – and the operation has approval to extract up to 11 Mt/y of coal from the longwall operations.

Mark Donghi, General Manager – Mechanical Excavation for Redpath, says the project will employ around 55 personnel and the aim is to start recruiting immediately.

Redpath Australia’s Managing Director, Gavin Ramage, said the company is looking forward to working closely with Narrabri operations in delivering the project safely and efficiently.

The company said: “As a market leader in providing advanced development solutions to mine owners across Australia and around the globe, Redpath is well placed to deliver this project for Narrabri Coal Operations.”

Rio Tinto and Sumitomo Corp look at hydrogen pilot for Yarwun refinery

Rio Tinto and Sumitomo Corporation have announced a partnership to study the construction of a hydrogen pilot plant at Rio Tinto’s Yarwun alumina refinery in Gladstone, Australia, and explore the potential use of hydrogen at the refinery.

The two global companies have signed a letter of intent that focuses on Yarwun as the location for a Gladstone hydrogen plant that Sumitomo has been studying. If the project proceeds, the pilot plant would produce hydrogen for the recently announced Gladstone Hydrogen Ecosystem, Rio said.

The study supports the efforts of Australian, Queensland and local governments to establish Gladstone as a clean hydrogen hub of the future, according to the company.

Rio Tinto Australia Chief Executive, Kellie Parker, said: “Rio Tinto has a long relationship with Sumitomo and we are delighted to partner with them to explore the possibilities of hydrogen, not only for our own refinery, but for Sumitomo to supply industry more broadly in Gladstone.

“Reducing the carbon intensity of our alumina production will be key to meeting our 2030 and 2050 climate targets. There is clearly more work to be done, but partnerships and projects like this are an important part of helping us get there.”

Sumitomo Corporation’s Energy Innovation Initiative Director, Hajime Mori, said: “We are excited about working together with Rio Tinto as our long-term partner to develop this hydrogen project in Gladstone and working toward our company’s vision of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

“We believe the pilot plant will play a significant role in establishing the Gladstone Hydrogen Ecosystem.

“Sumitomo has commenced the Design Study and Preliminary Master Planning to build the Gladstone hydrogen ecosystem and we will continue to work towards future hydrogen exports from Gladstone.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Steven Miles, said Gladstone is an industrial powerhouse and this partnership presents a great opportunity for the region and for Queensland.

“This is only the beginning of a wave of international collaborations that will lead to new industries and new jobs underpinned by the supply of renewable energy,” Miles said.

“With the Palaszczuk Government’s strong commitment to creating more jobs in emerging industries, we will work to keep Queensland at the forefront of renewable hydrogen and the opportunities that come with it.”

The Sumitomo partnership complements a recently announced feasibility study into using hydrogen to replace natural gas in the alumina refining process at Yarwun and provides the potential for larger-scale implementation if the studies are successful, Rio added.

Deswik JORC reserve update provides another 10 years of life at TerraCom’s Blair Athol

TerraCom Ltd has extended the life of the Blair Athol Mine in Australia following a coal reserve update that has brought total JORC marketable reserves to 19.5 Mt.

The company engaged Deswik Mining Consultants to complete a revised JORC assessment of the operation in Clermont, Queensland.

As of June 30, the total reserve of 19.5 Mt and the company’s 2 Mt/y sales profile would see the operation extended for approximately a further 10 years, TerraCom said.

Executive Chairman, Craig Ransley, said: “This latest JORC reserve result means that the Blair Athol operation will effectively be able to operate for 14 years under TerraCom ownership (since acquisition in May 2017).”

NRW’s Golding set for contract extension at Coronado’s Curragh coking coal mine

Golding Contractors, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NRW Holdings Ltd, looks set to keep mining at the Curragh coking coal complex in Queensland, Australia, after the contractor and Coronado Curragh, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coronado Global Resources, signed a letter of intent (LoI) to extend the current six fleet mining services contract beyond September 30, 2021.

Under the terms of the LoI, the mining services contract continues such that negotiations underway in respect of a proposed amended contract can be completed with the intention, subject to agreement as to terms, to extend the relationship with Curragh to December 31, 2026.

The expected contract value is anticipated to be between A$1-1.4 billion ($734 million-1.03 billion), dependant on final scope.

Under this new arrangement, it is anticipated that Golding will spend up to A$46 million on capital equipment, continuing to employ around 500 people at the mine, most of which live in the Central Queensland region.

NRW CEO and Managing Director, Jules Pemberton, said: “This agreement maintains the relationship Golding have established at Curragh Mine since 2014 and reflects our continued ability to support of our client’s mine plans.”

Curragh has been operating since 1983 and, in 2017, was the sixth largest metallurgical coal mine in Australia by met coal production, according to Coronado Global Resources.

Kovatera secures first battery-electric vehicle sale to Drivetrain Australia

Kovatera has announced the sale of its first battery-electric vehicle to Drivetrain Australia, its authorised dealer in Australia.

Drivetrain has purchased a Kovatera KT 200e, the electrified version of the diesel-powered KT 200.

The vehicle is destined for a key mining customer in Australia not satisfied with the battery-electric vehicle offering available on the local market, according to Kovatera. The KT 200e provides a “fit for purpose” underground hard-rock-mining-ready vehicle different to the electrified on-highway vehicles available locally to the customer, it added.

Upon release of the KT 200e last year, Kovatera said the vehicle “outperforms the competition in all categories”.

The vehicle is fitted, as standard, with a 44 kWh battery, but, if a longer range is required, the company offers a battery upgrade that doubles the range to 50-90 km between charges.

Mastermyne to re-start QCoal’s Cook Colliery met coal mine

Mastermyne Group has been selected by Constellation Mining Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of QCoal Group, to operate its Cook Colliery metallurgical coal mine in Central Queensland, Australia.

The project will be restarted over two distinct phases with the first phase commencing immediately, according to Mastermyne.

The Stage 1 works will see the company re-commence the underground operations including bringing the operation out of care and maintenance and transitioning back into production. Stage 1 works will include re-commissioning of underground infrastructure, overhauling of mining equipment, establishment of production panels and all other associated administrative and procurement works. Stage 1 works are scheduled to commence immediately and be completed by late this calendar year.

The Cook Colliery was previously owned and operated by Bounty Mining, which went into administration after placing the operation in care and maintenance at the end of 2019. QCoal then acquired the asset in 2020.

In parallel to the Stage 1 works, the parties will finalise a Mining Services Contract for the underground operations (Stage 2). The expected contract value will be determined and communicated once negotiations for Stage 2 are complete, Mastermyne said.

Mastermyne, in conjunction with QCoal, has carried out a review of the mine and the previous mining methods used. The new planned mining areas and operational methods chosen have been based on a thorough assessment of the risks and opportunities, it said. The parties are confident that a measured, low risk approach will deliver consistent results over the extended contract term.

The company will provide further information to the market as the contract process progresses.

Mastermyne CEO, Tony Caruso, said: “QCoal is a very experienced and well-regarded mining organisation that is well known for developing high-quality assets utilising both owner-operated, and contractor-operated models. Both organisations have carefully considered the mining conditions and are confidently progressing with this project using the right methodology and under the right contracting model, which will result in a successful project for all parties.

“We are pleased to be commencing the Stage 1 works, and we look forward to building a long-term successful relationship with QCoal as we recommence mining operations at Cook Colliery.”