Tag Archives: Australia

Austin Engineering’s ultra-lightweight High Performance Tray finds its market

Austin Engineering says it has received orders for, or been notified of award of, in excess of 210 truck tray orders in the December 2022 to January 2023 period, improving the company’s order book and revenue outlook for the second half of 2023.

The orders over the period represent approximately 40% (approximately 500 expected in the 2023 financial year) of orders received in a normal full year.

These orders have come from multiple customers across the globe and will be manufactured and delivered from Austin’s four operating sites located in the Asia Pacific (Australia and Indonesia), North America (Wyoming) and South America (Chile), it said.

Production of the trays is either already underway or planned to commence shortly, with most of the deliveries scheduled through 2023 but with significant revenue to be booked in the second half of the 2023 financial year.

Approximately 120 of the truck tray orders are for the recently launched, ultra-lightweight High Performance Tray (HPT). The HPT can, according to Austin, deliver significant additional ore per year due to its lighter weight and increased volume efficiency. In an early application, the truck body design could deliver an additional 45,000 t/y of ore per tray compared with previous comparable truck trays developed by Austin.

Austin expects the market interest in the HPT to continue due to its attractive design and operational benefits, it said. Austin has received several proposals to tailor the design for different geographies, suggesting it will become a mainstay in the company’s global product portfolio, complementing Austin’s existing four truck tray types.

Austin has previously announced manufacturing capacity expansions to deal with an anticipated surge in demand, which has now occurred. The expansions, now largely complete, were in Indonesia, Chile and in Western Australia, where a specialised bucket facility for Austin and Mainetec buckets has been commissioned.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “The increased orders reflect an increased win rate in contracts across the business aided by the release of improved product designs such as the HPT, which is receiving significant market interest because of its attractive operational efficiencies.

“We had confidence to commit capital to capacity expansions at some of our major manufacturing sites, namely Indonesia, Chile and Australia. We have also invested in upgraded equipment in the workshops to enable efficiency and quality improvements across our product lines.

“Pleasingly, the capacity expansions have aligned with increased orders ensuring customer delivery timeframes can be maintained. The continuing and increasing strength in the order pipeline suggests that high utilisation levels in all jurisdictions will continue.

“We believe that our commitment to product design and development, our focus on cost control and developing capacity to meet our mining customer needs is driving this improvement in workload.”

MMG brings in new Sandvik equipment for owner-operator transition at Dugald River

MMG Limited has acquired new underground equipment for its Dugald River zinc-lead mine in Queensland, Australia, as it gears up to make the transition from a contract miner-led operation to a run of mine (ROM) owner-operator model in 2023.

Among the purchases are three Sandvik DL421-15C longhole drills that will allow the team to drill holes up to 54 m in length and 115 mm in diameter.

A further seven Sandvik TH663i 63-t-payload underground haul trucks (pictured) have been purchased to support operations.

“These important acquisitions support Dugald River’s new operating model as ROM owner operator into 2023,” the company said.

Dugald River’s mining operations were previously overseen by Perenti-owned Barminco as part of a production and development contract which ends on December 31. Redpath Australia was awarded a new underground mining services contract at the mine, earlier this year.

Epiroc to acquire Australia-based GET player CR

Epiroc is bolstering its exposure to the ground engaging tools (GET) market through the planned acquisition of Australia-based CR.

The company has agreed to acquire the GET and related digital solutions company as part of a plan to expand its “first-rate offering” of essential consumables and digital solutions, it says.

CR, which has an offering covering surface and underground mining, is headquartered in Brisbane and operates globally. The company’s products include cast lips, teeth, and protective shrouds installed on mining buckets and loaders. Its digital solutions include, among other offerings, the real-time GET loss detection system, GET Trakka, and the Titan 3330 payload management system. The solutions strengthen safety and productivity, and protect against expensive delays in the mining operations, according to CR.

CR has about 400 employees and had revenues of about A$240 million ($163 million) in the 12 months ending September 30, 2022.

“This acquisition will expand our offering of innovative and high-quality consumables and digital solutions that strengthen customers’ productivity and safety,” Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s President and CEO, says. “We look forward to welcome the strong team at CR to Epiroc.”

The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first half 2023.

MyPass to help BHP keep track of contractor workforce across the globe

MyPass Global says it has been awarded a contract by BHP to power its Global Contractor System and worker Skills Passport, with the software set to connect safety-critical data related to contractor on-boarding, mobilisation and management.

MyPass will be an enterprise-wide central record for BHP’s service contractor workforce, according to the company.

The Global Contractor System will provide BHP with new risk controls, reporting tools and improved data, including competency and conduct, according to MyPass.

BHP contractors will use a digital Skills Passport to manage compliance information. This way, contractors will be assigned a unique identification number that will follow them across all future BHP engagements, it added.

This month Nickel West (one of its open-pit mines, pictured) became the first BHP asset to adopt MyPass, due to be followed by Spence mine in Chile in January 2023. This will lead the way for a global rollout across the 2023 to 2025 financial years.

Matt Smith, Chief Executive Officer at MyPass Global, said: “This endorsement creates an even stronger incentive for other companies to join the ecosystem to simplify, standardise and share. The contract also demonstrates we can do more onshore in Australia, implementing our homegrown technology to benefit multiple industry sectors.

“We acknowledge this commitment to support Australia’s mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector, and METS Ignited for their grant funding program that is supporting this roll-out as part of our ongoing commercialisation goals.”

MyPass Global is a digital workforce management system designed to streamline safety and compliance in highly regulated industries. Founded in 2013, MyPass says it addresses a universal problem – workforce compliance tracking – by connecting workers, employers, sites and training providers in one central, cloud-based portal. MyPass is creating a global worker credentialing platform designed to save time and reduce risk in the workplace.

Delta Drone and Strayos team up to improve mine site decision making

Drone-based data provider, Delta Drone International Limited, has announced a new product addition to its data solutions business model via its partnership and distribution agreement with AirZaar Inc, a corporation doing business as US-based, mining-focused software provider Strayos.

The arrangement will allow DLT to distribute software licences across Africa and Australia, either directly or via resellers and consultants. DLT will apply the solution in an integrated way
for existing and new customers to process and value-add drone captured data. In addition, customers will gain extra value from the Strayos platform more broadly, given its multi functionality to generate ongoing operational insights across business operations.

DLT CEO, Christopher Clark, said: “We have been assessing the markets in which we predominantly operate, being Australia and Africa, and have identified that our customers want a stronger vertically integrated solution that not only includes data capture but also data insights. Overlaying AI-intelligence in our current data workflows adds a higher value proposition to the end user, resulting in faster turnaround of reporting and ultimately simplifying decision making within these complex environments.”

Clark said the partnership with Strayos was mutually beneficial, with Delta Drone International seeing an increased revenue mix of software sales while Strayos would leverage the drone-focused provider’s global presence and geospatial experience “to ensure customers receive seamless on-boarding and continuous support”.

Strayos, Delta Drone says, has developed a unique software platform with advanced image processing, digitalisation and artificial intelligence tools designed to improve safety, efficiency and productivity in mining job sites.

DLT added: “Strayos’ software is primarily data-enabled by aerial imagery and LiDAR, captured by drones, and used to create digital twins of sites. The digital twins can be further enhanced by adding data from additional sensors from mining equipment. Strayos AI generates insights that help mining management and engineers make faster more informed decisions and ensure conformance across their operations.”

Strayos CEO, Ravi Sahu, said: “By partnering with Delta Drone, customers in Africa and Australia will be able to take advantage of Strayos’ AI powered solutions and insights to optimise their operations for safety, sustainability and productivity from mine to mill. Delta Drone is an excellent partner for this market expansion as they can immediately expand the products and value add they offer to their current customers and are well-positioned to support new customers.

“Working with Delta Drone is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in making advanced AI solutions easily available to the mining industry.”

New Cat 994K wheel loader improves ROM productivity at Batchfire’s Callide mine

Batchfire Resources says the arrival of a new Cat 994K wheel loader has brought with it a 150% improvement in material movement efficiency and reduced carbon footprint at its Callide coal mine in Queensland, Australia.

The operation recently retired its old Cat 994 after 100,000 hours of use, replacing it with a more efficient, safer, high-productivity Cat 994K.

The upgrade was made under Batchfire’s joint initiative with Hastings Deering to modernise its pre-strip mining fleet, future-proofing its operations with the latest technology.

The new 994K was customised with an oversized bucket, offering a 14 cu.m capacity, generating 150% more material movement without increasing carbon emissions, the company said.

Batchfire Resources Superintendent Mobile – Engineering and Maintenance, Daniel Boal, said: “There’s a huge difference in payload. It used to take us 10 buckets to load a Cat 789 truck on the run of mine. With the new 994K, we can do that in four.”

Batchfire has already seen a reduction in emissions, as well as a lower cost per tonne on the run of mine, despite the 994K featuring 500 horsepower (373 kW) more power than its predecessor. The unit also offers greatly improved operator comfort with its new high-cab design, air-suspended seat and lower noise emissions, the company says.

The 994K takes safety to another level at Callide, offering improved access, visibility and reducing tailpipe emissions – improving air quality and keeping the mine site safe, the company says.

Boal said the investment in new machinery ensured a more sustainable and efficient run of mine operation.

“On a ROM, what you need is a reliable loader, it’s probably one of the most critical parts of the mine,” he said. “We’ve got 500 hp more in the new 994, so we can do it quicker and more efficiently.

“This journey started in 1993. The old 994 has pretty much been in service the whole time. The way Caterpillar build things, they are made to last; they’re built for a long-term investment. It was an easy decision in the end to go for the new 994K loader.”

Core Lithium hits crushing milestone at Finniss lithium operation

Core Lithium Ltd says crushing of lithium ore from the Finniss lithium mine in the Northern Territory of Australia has recently commenced, with the direct shipping ore (DSO) now making its way from the operation to Darwin Port where it will be shipped towards the end of the month.

Last month, Core announced it completed the first sale of a spodumene DSO product (1.4% Li2O) from Finniss.

The 15,000 dry metric tonne DSO sale was tendered on a CIF basis to several pre-screened participants active in the lithium-ion battery supply chain.

Core CEO, Gareth Manderson, said: “The transportation of DSO today is another signification milestone for Finniss, and is a very positive step towards our objective to export from Darwin Port before the end of the year.”

CSI Mining Services, a subsidiary of Mineral Resources Ltd, is providing crushing services at the operation via a relocatable crushing and screening plant designed to achieve a production rate of 1.2 Mt/y.

Mastermyne goes back to Whitehaven’s Narrabri coal mine

Mastermyne, a subsidiary of Metarock Group Ltd, has secured a new two-year fixed term contract (plus two-year extension option) with Whitehaven Coal, a Tier 1 client, for the cut and flit mining method at its Narrabri Mine, in New South Wales, Australia.

This contract is a remobilisation of a former similar cut and flit contract which Mastermyne performed for Narrabri from 2017-2020.

The scope includes the installation and retraction of the panel conveyor belts, associated ventilation and mining services, the company said, adding that the contract reinforces its strong reputation to deliver quality development services.

Narrabri mine, which has been operating successfully since 2012, is Whitehaven’s only underground operation. It is approved to produce 11 Mt/y of high-quality thermal coal until 2031.

The Narrabri longwall is fully automated and is one of the most advanced in Australia, according to Whitehaven.

NRW Holdings’ Primero to operate and maintain Finniss lithium processing plant

NRW Holdings Limited’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Primero Group, has executed a long term contract for the operations and maintenance (O&M) of Core Lithium’s processing plant and related infrastructure at its Finniss lithium project in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Under the terms of the contract, Primero will operate and maintain the processing and infrastructure facilities at Finniss for an initial term of five years, with option to extend.

The estimated value of the contract is A$60 million ($38 million), and follows on from the current contract in execution for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of Finniss, awarded to Primero in September 2021.

The O&M contract signed between Core Lithium and Primero highlights the unparalleled industry expertise and proven track record in lithium processing and operational excellence outcomes, NRW said.

“Primero continues to grow its portfolio of contract operation and maintenance services across the base and battery metals sectors with a strong track record of delivery and giving customers assurance of safe outcomes, accelerated plant ramp-up, ongoing operational excellence practices, and continuous improvement to achieve cost effective and optimised production outcomes,” it added.

Primero says it has the majority of key personnel on hand for deployment into the contract commencing from October 2022 and expects to complete all remaining recruitment and operational readiness activities by December 2022, ready for first production.

NRW CEO, Jules Pemberton, said: “The diversification of the Primero business into longer term operational contracts is continuing to grow with this award showcasing the depth and operational knowledge of the group, especially within the battery minerals sector. The capability to develop and operate assets of this nature is well aligned with the group’s strategy over the coming years and will continue to evolve with build own operate and equity style investments in projects. We look forward to a long-term relationship with Core Lithium.”

In mid-2021, Core released a definitive feasibility study for the Finniss project, marking a major milestone in its goal to become Australia’s next major lithium producer by the end of 2022.

The study highlighted an average production of 173,000 t/y of high-quality lithium concentrate at a C1 operating cost of $364/t and a start-up capital cost of A$89 million ($56 million) thanks to the incorporation of a 1 Mt/y DMS processing plant in the project’s design.

Evolution Mining taps AGL Energy Ltd for new power supply at Cowal

Evolution Mining Limited says it has secured a competitive, long-term power supply agreement for its Cowal gold operation, in New South Wales, Australia, under a new eight year partnership with AGL Energy Limited, commencing in January 2023.

Power costs represent approximately 7% of Evolution’s total costs. This agreement provides ongoing long-term security of power supply to Cowal at competitive pricing which is consistent with Evolution’s previously reported financial year 2023 guidance and financial year 2024 outlook, it said.

This long-term agreement also includes a renewable energy component.

Under the terms of the partnership with AGL, a growing portion of the power will be from renewable sources and provides Evolution a clear pathway to meeting its commitment to reduce energy (Scope 1 and Scope 2) emissions by 30% by 2030, the miner said.

Evolution’s Executive Chair, Jake Klein, said: “This is a very important milestone for Evolution. In a very challenging energy market, we have been able to secure both a long-term, competitively priced power contract for Cowal and a growing renewable component that provides us a clear pathway to reducing our energy emissions by 30% by 2030.

“We will continue to look for new ways to further reduce emissions from our fixed plant and mobile equipment to deliver on our net-zero commitment by 2050.”

AGL General Manager, Commercial and Industrial Customers, Ryan Warburton, said: “AGL has been working with Evolution Mining for a tailored solution for their Cowal Gold Mine to help lower their energy costs, provide ongoing long-term security of power supply and assist in reducing their carbon emissions.

“From leading food, agri-business and now to gold mines, AGL is working with our customers to develop bespoke renewable energy solutions to meet their changing needs. This announcement with Evolution Mining is another great example of how AGL is partnering with industry to help them reduce their carbon emissions and lower their energy costs. Through innovative partnerships like this, we are delivering on a low-carbon future with our customers and communities as we transition towards net zero.”

The Cowal mine produced 227,105 oz of gold in Evolution’s 2022 financial year. The company has a plan to expand production to 350,000 oz/y as the mine goes underground.