Tag Archives: Australia

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.”

Metso Outotec to help Karara Mining expand tailings filtration at iron ore mine

Metso Outotec has signed a contract with Karara Mining Limited for the design of its tailings filtration plant expansion project at its iron ore mine in Western Australia.

This agreement includes the delivery of key filtration and material handling equipment and associated services, with the typical value for an order like this is in the range of €15-20 million ($11-15 million) depending on the scope of delivery. The order has been booked in Minerals’ June quarter 2021 orders received.

Karara produces a premium, high-grade (65-68% Fe) magnetite concentrate at a design production rate of 8 Mt/y, Metso Outotec said. With this expansion, the operation will increase the current tailings filtration capacity from 30,000 t/d to over 45,000 t/d enabling safe and sustainable storage of the process mine waste, with improved utilisation and recovery of water.

Kai Rönnberg, Vice President, Minerals Sales − Asia Pacific, said: “The Karara mine represents one of the largest filtered tailings facilities in the world. We are very proud that Karara Mining Limited has chosen Metso Outotec to deliver the plant design and key equipment in this expansion project. This is a continuation of earlier delivered proprietary key process equipment and long-term on-site maintenance service agreements.”

Metso Outotec’s scope in this expansion will include the Larox® FFP3512 filter press as primary filtration equipment, material handling conveyor systems and peripheral items. Additionally, spare parts and supervisory services will be supplied to support commissioning and plant ramp-up. Delivery will take place during 2022, and the plant is expected to start production late in the December quarter of 2022.

Mining fleet changes hands at Boggabri coal operation

Most of the major mining equipment used at the Boggabri coal mine in New South Wales, Australia, is to be sold to Boggabri Coal Operations (BCO), part of the Idemitsu Group, following the exercise of an option between BCO and Golding Contractors, a subsidiary of NRW Holdings.

The transaction for the fleet, which includes 38 major mobile mining assets, has a target completion date of the end of July 2021.

Golding will continue to perform maintenance services on site across these, and another 50 (approximately) pieces of major mining equipment, engaging a workforce of over 150 personnel on site, NRW said.

The equipment will be sold for circa-A$81 million ($61 million) of which circa-A$64 million will pay down asset financing debt, NRW said.

NRW’s CEO and Managing Director, Jules Pemberton, said: “The option for BCO to acquire all or part of the associated mining fleet was identified at the time of the acquisition of BGC Contracting. This transaction will reduce debt and increase return on capital employed.

“We look forward to continuing to support BCO to ensure we are best placed to continue to provide our services beyond the current contract completion date of December 2022.”

Bis to provide tailored equipment solution for Anglo American Capcoal contract

Australia-based Bis has secured a new multi-year contract for Anglo American’s Capcoal operations near Middlemount, in the Bowen Basin of Queensland.

The off-road haulage, materials handling and site services contract is the latest in an ongoing relationship between Anglo and Bis that spans more than 20 years.

The contract will see Bis supply a tailored high payload equipment solution for the operation’s rejects haulage. Additionally, the company will deliver site services including road maintenance, dust mitigation and run of mine equipment feed, as well as haulage of topsoil, rock and run of mine coal as required.

Bis Chief Executive Officer, Brad Rogers, said the company’s ability to provide a tailored haulage and logistics solution, specific to this operation, was a key factor in securing the new contract.

“We have a long history of integrating customisable OEM innovations and existing solutions to deliver against specific customer objectives. This competency continues to drive operational efficiencies and reduce costs for our customers. It’s a formula that works.

“For instance, the specific higher payload capacity solution put forward for this project delivers significant advantages for Anglo American. It means a reduction in the total equipment required, vehicle movements and fuel consumption; all three of which directly contribute towards improved safety, sustainability and productivity outcomes for the customer.”

The range of tailored equipment incorporated to deliver the project includes double trailer configuration haulers, wheel loaders, graders, water trucks and a compaction roller.

The fleet is fitted with the latest Bis safety and productivity management systems, including Trifecta, which is a new in-cabin artificial intelligence driver and vehicle monitoring software developed with EDGE3 Technologies. The system collects and analyses data in real time to improve both safety and productivity. The system collects, analyses and reports driver behaviours such as drowsiness, mobile phone use, smartwatch use, smoking, seatbelt and other violations. Trifecta then ‘learns’ over time to pre-empt high risk incidents in real-time through alerts to drivers and supervisors. Bis says it has exclusive rights to use and sell the system across a range of markets.

On site mobilisation for this new contract is expected to commence from August.

New Cat D11 dozer arrives at Stanwell’s Meandu coal mine

Stanwell’s Meandu coal mine in Queensland, Australia, has taken delivery of a new Cat D11 dozer from local distributor Hastings Deering.

Ensuring safe and efficient operation, the dozer provides operators with full command, as well as delivering higher productivity at lower cost, Stanwell said.

The mine, owned by Stanwell, has a 7 Mt/y thermal coal capability and is in Queensland’s South Burnett Region.

Engineered to be rebuilt multiple times, the new D11 has a redesigned main frame delivering lower total cost of ownership over the life of the machine, Cat says. Time-saving service updates reduce daily maintenance and boost machine uptime.

The unit comes with new load-sensing hydraulics, high-horsepower reverse and the latest technology to provide higher material movement at a lower cost per tonne.

The first new generation D11 dozer in the world started work at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Blackwater coal mine in Queensland, in 2019. National Group secured the first of these dozers earlier from Cat dealer Hastings Deering as part of an order that would see six of these machines hauled by its National Heavy Haulage subsidiary.

Thiess in line for contract extension at Mach Energy’s Mount Pleasant

Thiess has been selected as the preferred mining services contractor for the Mount Pleasant thermal coal operation in New South Wales, Australia.

MACH Energy has notified Thiess of its intention to enter into exclusive negotiations to finalise the terms with the view to execute a mining services contract, it said.

Under the contract, Thiess will continue to provide full scope mining services including drill and blast, load and haul, mining and run of mine rehandling services, equipment maintenance and progressive rehabilitation.

Subject to contract finalisation, from April 2022, revenue to Thiess is expected to be around A$925 million ($690 million) over four-and-a-half years.

“Thiess began operating at Mount Pleasant in 2017 as a greenfield mine, applying industry best practice mining development and operations with uncompromising environmental and safety standards,” the company said. “This includes delivering the operation’s first rehabilitation two months before first coal was mined, demonstrating a true commitment to sustainable practices and to the community more broadly.”

Subject to execution, Thiess will continue to draw on local businesses for the provision of goods and services to support the mine and is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse, local workforce.

Metso Outotec, Mineral Resources deliver the next generation of crushing

What will crushing plants of the future look like? Mineral Resources Ltd and Metso Outotec have pondered that question and have since gone on to answer it with the delivery of a modular, scalable and relocatable plant at an iron ore operation owned by one of the world’s biggest miners.

Called ‘NextGen II’, the solution represents a ground-breaking approach to delivering safe and reliable production to the hard-rock crushing industry, Mike Grey, Chief Executive of Mining Services for Mineral Resources, says.

And it all started with a test for one of the company’s most technically minded individuals.

“We were sitting around the boardroom table with David De Haas, one of our key engineers on this project, and gave him the challenge to come up with a crushing plant that we could literally relocate anywhere very quickly, build on a very small footprint, and have it plug and play,” Grey told IM in a recent IM Insight Interview.

Mineral Resources, which counts CSI Mining Services (CSI) as a wholly-owned subsidiary, was in a unique position to deliver on this.

A provider of world-class tailored crushing, screening and processing solutions for some of the world’s largest mining companies, CSI specialises in build, own, operate (BOO) projects where it provides both the capital infrastructure and the operational expertise to ensure these crushing plants operate to their potential on site.

It carries out crushing services for Mineral Resources’ own mines, as well others across the mining sector.

Crushing collaboration

When offering such ‘crushing as a service’ type of contracts, the service must be underpinned by the best equipment possible.

Enter Metso Outotec.

Having initially commenced discussions with the global OEM in early 2019 (when it was still Metso), Mineral Resources, later that year, agreed with Metso on the design and delivery of a new type of crushing solution.

The pair recognised early on in these conversations that the industry was changing and they, as service and solution providers, needed to change with it.

The largest bulk commodity operations in the world are made up of multiple pits that get mined over time. As these operations expand, miners are left with a dilemma: extend the haulage time from the pit to the plant or build another plant.

The NextGen II crushing plant has provided a third option.

(Credit: Mineral Resources Ltd)

De Haas, collaborating with Metso Outotec, has delivered on the board’s brief with the design for a crushing plant able to produce 15 Mt/y using a modular design made up of several stations. The plant can move with the mining, being erected and taken down quickly without the type of in-ground services that can scupper such moves.

The first plant delivered under this collaboration is now operating in the Pilbara at a very well-known iron ore operation.

Customised crushing

Guillaume Lambert, Vice President of Crushing for Metso Outotec, provided some specifics.

“The NextGen II is a crushing and screening plant to crush iron ore and produce lump and fine products,” he said in the IM Insight Interview. “The process starts with a primary station made up of a Metso Outotec apron feeder (below left), followed by a vibrating grizzly scalper.” Then starts the size reduction process with a Nordberg C150 jaw crusher (below middle).

From this primary station, the ore goes to three secondary crushing stations, each comprised of an MF3072 banana screen (below right) and Nordberg HP400 cone crusher.

(Credit: Metso Outotec)

Fines and lump are the products from this secondary station, with the oversize arranged in close circuit with the screen, Lambert said.

The screen was designed specifically for the project – offering the compact dimensions that could fit inside the station’s footprint. Other customised add-ons included specialised cooling rooms for the lubrication units and extensive steel fabrication works.

Lambert added: “Really, the tailoring of design is around the modularity of the different stations. Each station is made up of several modules. All those modules can be pre-assembled and tested in a factory and transported by road to the site. This has been established to enable a fast erection process.”

This turned out to be the case with the very first NextGen II installation.

Despite a timeline setback caused by the global pandemic, the 1,500 t of steel needed for the plant construction was built in 16 weeks, starting in March 2020 and ready by July 25 of that year. It was shipped to CSI’s Kwinana facility in Western Australia for pre-assembly before delivery to site.

Final commissioning took place in early 2021, and the crusher has been working well since.

(Credit: Mineral Resources Ltd)

R U OK?

A distinctive blue colour, the plant reflects Mineral Resources’ commitment to mental health awareness and support, carrying the phone number and colour of Lifeline, a Western Australia-based charity formed to prevent suicide, support people in crisis and reduce the stigmas which can be a barrier to seeking help.

“It is really important for us to promote mental health; our fly-in fly-out workforce has matured over some years, but the challenges around working remotely remain,” Grey said. “It is important that we demonstrate we have the support mechanisms in place to support our workers and their families.

“The NextGen II plant is at the forefront of that – it is the first thing people see when they come to work and the last thing they see when going home. They can always reflect and make sure their work mates are OK.”

(Credit: Mineral Resources Ltd)

Support and service

The plant’s operating success has been helped by a local service and support network from both companies, with Metso Outotec providing critical spares and all large “rotable refurbishments” serviced by CSI’s Kwinana facility.

This is underwritten by a remote condition monitoring service that can see personnel and parts from both companies deployed to site at a moment’s notice.

This comprehensive offering has seen close collaboration between Metso Outotec’s Minerals (capital equipment) business, Service business and MRL’s own service team.

Understanding the challenges and potential delays for parts deliveries due to MRL’s remote location, the companies agreed to a specific consignment inventory close to the site to ensure parts availability and exclusivity for MRL to better support the operation.

In addition, a Metso Outotec service expert is present for maintenance and shutdown events to provide expertise and support to the MRL maintenance team.

Grey and Lambert said the collaboration has been a win-win for both companies.

“Working with Metso Outotec on this project has allowed us to define the scope together, rather than remotely,” Grey reflected. “That allows us to ensure we deliver to the timelines and then make any necessary changes on the run, hand-in-hand. We deliver the solution together.”

Lambert added: “Metso Outotec is an indisputable leader in crushing and screening technology, as well as plant. However, working with MRL, we learned a lot about improving the design of our station to maximise safety and improve accessibility in a very, very compact environment for high-capacity plant.”

In demand

This is unlikely to be the first and last next generation crushing plant to come out of the OEM/service provider collaboration.

While iron ore was the commodity of choice for the first installation, Lambert said there was potential for these types of plants featuring in base and precious metal operations.

“The NextGen II plant is very flexible,” he said. “Each station is individually plugged into the solution, and we can easily upgrade the crusher, the screen, etc throughout the year depending on capacity needs.”

Adding or removing some stations could see the throughput reduced or increased, with Lambert even talking about the ability to construct a 30 Mt/y plant that can be built, erected and relocated in the same way as the first 15 Mt/y plant.

“In addition, NextGen II, today, is designed for iron ore applications with lump and fine products,” he said. “If we want, we can add a tertiary crushing stage in order to produce only fines for iron ore. This can match with copper and gold operations also.”

There are plenty of gold miners extracting ore from multiple pits that could provide a strong business case for the installation of such a plant. Similarly, there is potential for this working at major open-pit copper mines.

Lambert concluded: “There is, for sure, global demand for modular crushing plants. Today, having a fast and safe erection process is a must in many countries and locations. In addition, we have more and more short-term operations emerging in very remote locations, so having the possibility to minimise civil works is key for a lot of our customers.”

To watch the full IM Insight Interview on ‘Mining’s next generation of crushing solutions’, click here.

Cobalt Blue taps Honeywell for process control, automation, energy savings expertise

Honeywell and Cobalt Blue Holdings Limited have announced Honeywell will provide control, automation and energy optimisation solutions to help Cobalt Blue “streamline” its Broken Hill cobalt project (BHCP) and help to reduce the risk levels involved.

BHCP, which covers an area of 63 sq.km in New South Wales, Australia, intends to develop a new, reliable, global source of ethically-sourced cobalt.

Honeywell will deliver a wide range of solutions and services to enable Cobalt Blue to move BHCP seamlessly from pilot to production, including LEAP™ lean project execution; reusable engineering standards and templates; process control, enterprise performance management, energy optimisation solutions; and consulting and engineering services.

The collaboration also includes assistance in the development of a modular cobalt concentrator unit for BHCP, which can be applied for other mining and industrial waste streams project. This will improve cobalt recovery rates on running operations and reduce the environmental impact of old mine tailings, Honeywell said.

Joe Kaderavek, CEO of Cobalt Blue, said: “Our work with Honeywell will help us to de-risk and cost-optimise the process control, automation, and energy savings components of the BHCP project and reduce our time to market. Moreover, it will help us to meet our objective to produce 3,500 t of cobalt per year and meet rapidly increasing market demand.”

Andrew Hird, Director of APAC Growth and Sales Director, Pacific, Honeywell Process Solutions, said: “We’re committed to working with rare earth and green energy mineral partners such as Cobalt Blue to deliver sustainable products that help organisations around the globe achieve their carbon neutrality goals.

“Our technologies are ideally suited for this purpose, from automating operations to ensure a rapid response to evolving energy needs, to giving customers the capability to interpret data to make real-time decisions related to energy management and renewable energy systems.”

Honeywell recently committed to achieving carbon neutrality in its operations and facilities by 2035, building on the company’s record of reducing the greenhouse gas intensity of its operations and facilities, as well as its history of innovation to help its customers meet their environmental and social goals, the company said. About half of Honeywell’s new product introduction research and development investment is directed toward products that improve environmental and social outcomes for customers.