Tag Archives: BHP Mitsubishi Alliance

Monadelphous adds to mining work with BHP, Rio and Codelco contracts

Monadelphous Group Ltd says it has secured a number of new construction and maintenance contracts in the resources sector totalling approximately A$200 million ($146 million).

In Queensland, Australia, Monadelphous has been awarded a new three-year contract with Queensland Alumina Ltd to continue to provide general mechanical maintenance services at its operations in Gladstone. The company has also secured a 10-month extension to its existing contract with BHP Mitsubishi Alliance for provision of dragline shutdown and maintenance services to its operations in the Bowen Basin.

Monadelphous has secured a number of contracts in the iron ore sector in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

This includes two contracts with BHP under its existing WAIO Site Engineering Panel Agreement. The first is for the refurbishment of cells and rotating equipment on BHP’s Nelson Point Car Dumper 1, with work expected to be completed in the December quarter of 2021, and secondly, an extension to the haul road at the Jimblebar mine, with work expected to be completed in the June quarter of 2022.

A contract has also been secured with Rio Tinto for construction associated with the Marandoo Dewatering Sump Project, with work expected to be completed in the March quarter of 2022.

In Chile, Monadelphous’ maintenance and construction services business, Buildtek, has secured a construction contract with Codelco for work associated with the development of a new underground section of the El Teniente copper mine in Rancagua. Work is expected to be completed in the March quarter of 2023.

The company acquired a majority stake in Buildtek back in 2019.

Monadelphous Managing Director, Rob Velletri, said these new contracts and extensions continued to demonstrate the company’s solid track record of delivering for its customers.

“We are pleased to have secured this work and look forward to continuing to build on our valued long-term customer relationships,” he said.

Laser Technologies cleaning solution rises to the top in BHP Supplier Innovation Program

BHP, working through its Supplier Innovation Program, is to start trialling a new laser cleaner to remove surface corrosion and prepare metal surfaces for repainting to ensure protection from the elements at its jointly owned Hay Point Coal Terminal operations in Queensland, Australia.

Traditionally pressurised blasting using water or sand has been used for this process.

As part of BHP’s Supplier Innovation Program, a challenge was launched with businesses in the Australian Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector to propose alternatives to pressure blasting that would achieve the same results, but reduce risk to personnel from exposure to high pressure and noise, and minimise waste, which currently requires careful management.

Perth, Western Australia-based joint venture Laser Technologies was selected following a competitive proposal and evaluation process to trial a hand-held 1 kW fibre laser, capable of removing old paint and surface corrosion from metal surfaces to a depth of 6 mm, and burning the waste product into harmless vapour.

The Supplier Innovation Program was launched in Australia in 2020 as part of a A$450 million ($330 million) commitment made by BHP to increase support and engagement with METS sector businesses.

The program models a similar initiative that has been running with for the past decade to address business challenges at BHP’s Escondida operations in Chile.

Under the terms of the program, participating businesses are permitted to retain the intellectual property for their designs, enabling them to further commercialise their new products following successful pilot trials with BHP.

In its 2021 financial year, BHP launched eight challenges across its Minerals Australia operations, and plans to establish another 20 challenges this financial year.

Bevan Gostelow, Maintenance Manager at Hay Point for BHP Mitsubishi Alliance, said the Laser Technologies laser cleaner had the potential to be “a real game changer” for industry because of the reduction of risks to personnel and reduced environmental impact.

“High-pressure blasting has been effective in asset integrity maintenance for many years, but the process requires a lot of controls to ensure the safety of our people doing the work, and to prevent the spread of the waste product to protect our environment,’’ Gostelow said.

“The laser cleaner is safe, quiet and easy to use and will not require all of the scaffolding and shrouding to catch waste product, because it is all burned off at the laser head.”

Brendan Tritton, one of two Directors at Laser Technologies, said having the opportunity to present their product to BHP through the Supplier Innovation Program was a “foot in the door that was worth its weight in gold”.

“We have participated in a few innovation programs in the past, but the BHP program has been by far the most effective,” Tritton said. “The team at BHP were really clear about their objectives for this challenge from the start, and that made it easier for us to develop a suitable proposal.

“I think it’s brave of BHP to be running a program that invests in METS businesses because there is the element of risk and reward when you trial new products and technologies.”

James Agar, BHP Group Procurement Officer, said the identification of Laser Technologies for this challenge was the perfect example of what the Supplier Innovation Program was designed to achieve.

“The Suppler Innovation Program was designed to provide Australian METS businesses with opportunities to showcase the new ideas and technologies they are developing, while helping BHP challenge what is possible to improve safety and performance at our operations,’’ he said.

Miller Tech’s battery-electric Relays start up at BMA’s Broadmeadow coal operation

Miller Technology has announced the sale and delivery of the first BEV Relays to BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s Broadmeadow operation in Queensland, Australia.

This battery-powered light duty vehicle (LDV) is capable of completing its bulk charge in less than 20 minutes, providing enough range to complete a typical mining shift of 10 hours, according to Miller. The regenerative braking capability, meanwhile, can add up to two hours in a mine with optimised topology.

This run time and fast charging is made possible by an advanced battery management system (BMS), which monitors battery temperature, with its enclosed refrigeration temperature monitoring system keeping the temperature within the optimal narrow temperature range. The BMS responds instantly to varied demands, while charging and in use, helping the Relay to provide 10 years of battery life, according to Miller.

James Palmer, BMA President, said: “The new electric transporters are a major step towards safer and more sustainable underground workings. This is another positive step in our journey to achieve zero emissions by the year 2050.”

Darren Wood, Project Manager BMA, added: “Diesel machines create a real hazard in an underground mine and we’ve been on a journey over the past four years to reduce these diesel particulate matter emissions in the ventilation system. We’re thrilled to have found the perfect solution in these battery-electric vehicles, which will be used by our maintenance personnel to travel in ‘negligible-explosion risk zones’ throughout the underground mine.

“Hopefully, within the next two years, we will have electric vehicle options available that can enter all areas of our underground coal mines. We couldn’t be more excited to be at the forefront of these new global initiatives.”

Miller’s BEV Relays are not yet certified as ‘Explosion/Flame Proof’ in Australia, but IM understands the company is working on achieving this certification in around the next 18 months. The electric LDV has previously had a trial run at Alamos Gold’s Young-Davidson mine in Ontario, Canada.

Miller Technology said: “Unlike traditional battery-electric vehicle mining LDVs, which are modifications of donor vehicles, typically Toyota’s Land Cruiser, the ground-up design of the Relay BEV has meant ‘everything that is mining’ has been incorporated into every aspect of the design and production.”

(Photo: Daryl Wright)

The Canada-based company says it has invested over a decade of research and development into the Relay BEV, focusing on serviceability and modularity, with a rugged design and construction. The Relay BEV was designed completely in-house by Miller Technology and uses an RESS (Rechargeable Energy Storage System). The system is rated for a maximum continuous 3C charging rate and maximum continuous discharge rate of 5C.

“Utilising the CCS (Combined Charging Strategy) protocol via Combo-2 connection and NMC-G cells (nickel manganese cobalt cathode and graphite anode) offers charging with the most convenient and most widely adopted chargers worldwide,” the company said.

Power is directed to a mid-mounted motor with dual drive output shafts providing 150 kW (peak) to both front and rear differentials. With a drive shaft exiting each end of the electric motor, the 4×4 system minimises moving parts and negates the need for a transfer case, capitalising on drivetrain reliability and power efficiencies, according to the company.

The dual-cab configuration can accommodate four mining-equipped, work-ready adults comfortably and can carry a 2 t payload. Around 1,550 Nm of torque is available from the motor, with the ability to offer the same drivetrain in the Miller Technology BEV Underground Grader.

A ROPS/FOPS Level 2 structure is integrated into the cabin structure, while telemetry diagnostics are data logged on board and transmitted to a control room through Wi-Fi or LTE networks. The data transfer is bi-directional, enabling on-board software to be updated remotely from a control room or mobile tablet.

Paul Summers, Lead BEV Engineer, Miller Technology, said: “The technology in the Relay creates a game-changing vehicle. The unique BMS battery management system and cooling/temperature monitoring process offers a vehicle at the top of its game that is environmentally friendly and the safest, most efficient vehicle of its kind available today.”

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance tasks Jord International with filter press maintenance challenge

Jord International has been tasked to develop a safer solution to filter press maintenance at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s Caval Ridge metallurgical coal mine, in Queensland, Australia, as part of BHP’s Supplier Innovation Program challenge, launched in partnership with Austmine in 2020.

The program follows a model that has operated successfully in BHP’s Minerals Americas business for the last decade, the miner says.

In January, Jord signed a Collaborative Agreement with BHP – the first under this new challenge – to design and construct the first prototype of this idea, working hand-in-hand with the maintenance team at BMA’s Caval Ridge metallurgical coal mine, near Moranbah.

Jord is proposing a safer way to perform maintenance on filter presses that removes moisture from coal rejects at the wash plant. It comprises a belt cartridge installer within a self-contained steel frame that holds a new belt and removes the old damaged belt.

The first belt installer is expected to be in use by July, according to BMA, with the pilot to run for six months. If successful, the new approach will be implemented permanently at Caval Ridge, and potentially at other BMA sites using filter presses to remove moisture from coal rejects, BMA added.

Jord’s Mechanical Engineer for Aftermarket and Reliability, Craig Samuel, developed the concept and says it eliminates the need for operators to be in physical contact with the filter press.

“Creating a safer environment is the pinnacle of an engineer’s ethos and it’s incorporated in everything we design,” Samuel said. “We know from experience that efficiency and reliability are critical to mining operations, so I’m proud that this idea will make a traditionally time-consuming task much faster and I’m looking forward to working closely with the Caval Ridge team.”

When developing the award submission, Samuel consulted with Jord’s field service team to ensure the concept was practical and rigorous enough to meet the demanding operating conditions.

Jord’s General Manager of Resources, Kevin Barber, said he is proud of his team for having the drive and innovative thinking required to solve this long-standing industry challenge.

“We would like to thank BHP for their recognition and for the opportunity to participate in genuinely collaborative discussions about real challenges faced in the industry,” he said. “At Jord, we live by the motto ‘ideas engineered’, which means we encourage our people to share new ideas. We often invest in research and development initiatives with a goal to commercialising new products.

“We look to add value in all our projects, whether it’s increasing safety, reducing risk, producing a higher-grade product, increasing plant capacity, minimising environmental impacts, or conclusively proving new industrial processes.”

BHP says its Procurement Innovation & Community team is currently developing another six Supply Innovation Program challenges across Minerals Australia, with the goal of announcing more pilot contracts in coming months.

Civmec captures another contract at BMA’s Hay Point coal terminal

Civmec Ltd has been awarded a contract to manufacture wharf girders and associated structures for the development of port infrastructure at the Hay Point loading port, owned by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), in central Queensland, Australia.

The BMA agreement will see Civmec make over 13,500 t of these girders and associated structures, with procurement and shop detailing activities commencing immediately and fabrication starting in the June quarter.

Loadout onto Heavy Lift Vessels is scheduled to start in early 2022, with the last vessel planned for load out in the June quarter of 2022. The project will employ over 350 people during fabrication and assembly at the company’s Henderson facility, in Western Australia.

BMA has already engaged Civmec to fabricate, modularise and commission the 1,800 t SL2A ship loader using pre-contract capital ahead of a large infrastructure replacement project at Hay Point.

Civmec’s Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Tallon, said: “The award for the Hay Point port infrastructure work is the second significant package of works that we have been trusted to deliver for this port upgrade. We look forward to delivering a high-quality product to McConnell Dowell to allow them to have a seamless installation at the site location and welcome the opportunity to work alongside all stakeholders on this project.”

These works are part of the Shiploader 2 and Berth 2 Replacement (SABR) project at Hay Point, which McConnell Dowell is heading up. The SABR project scope encompasses replacement of one of the three berths and shiploaders at the terminal.

Wolff Mining breaks monthly drilling record at BMA Saraji Mine

Wolff Mining, part of the National Group, has been breaking records at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Saraji mine, having recently achieving a drilling milestone at the Queensland coal operation.

Wolff Mining is known for its heavy earthmoving capabilities, being a key supplier of heavy earthmoving equipment to the mining sector on a dry hire or wet hire basis, with drilling equipment and services also offered.

For the past 16 months, the company has been assisting BMA Saraji in a “sprint drilling capacity”, providing drilling equipment and full contract mining services.

It currently supplies BMA Saraji with a Cat MD6420B drill with GPS, and provides operational labour such as supervisors, drillers and fitters.

The MD6420B is one of Cat’s heavy-duty drills designed for open-pit mining, delivering reliable performance and operational safety. It is one of the favoured models by drillers around the world and encompasses leading features from the ultra-class to the mid-size rotary drill line, according to Wolff.

Some of the advanced features available include improved fuel efficiency, electro-hydraulic controls that provide increased operator safety and precision, computer-controlled drilling, enhanced diagnostics and autonomous ready functions, it said.

November drilling at BMA Saraji has been undertaken in 270 mm holes ranging in depth from 30-65+ m in tertiary material, according to Wolff.

The company recently achieved a milestone of 43,794 drilled metres (dm) for the month of November, beating the previous record of 41,500 dm at BMA Saraji.

“The performance of our Cat MD6420B drill has been exceptional,” notes Mark Ackroyd, National Group Managing Director. “It is very rare that a drilling company exceeds 40,000 dm a month, so breaking the site record of 41,500 dm at BMA Saraji, and setting a new record of 43,794 dm for the month of November, is a great achievement.”

He added: “To achieve a milestone such as this takes a highly skilled and motivated team and a high-quality piece of mining machinery such as the Cat MD6420B drill. I would like to congratulate the team here at Wolff Mining for their outstanding efforts and praise the performance of the Cat drill.”

BMA, Whitehaven pour funds into research on human aspects of mine automation

Researchers from The University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) have secured funding from the mining industry to undertake research that aims to ensure increased system automation is accompanied by improvements to safety and health.

The funding will support several projects as part of the Human Aspects of Mining Automation research program developed by SMI’s Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre and involve researchers from across UQ.

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) is contributing A$300,000 ($218.653) and Whitehaven Coal, as part of an enforceable undertaking, is contributing A$225,000 to a multi-year collaborative research consortium initially focused on four priority human aspects of automation topics: risk analysis; human-centred design; training; and health.

UQ Human Aspects of Automation Program Leader Professor, Robin Burgess-Limerick, said the funding would ensure automation would improve safety as well as productivity.

“Australia is at the forefront in the automation of mining equipment, with approximately 40% of all automated fleet installations globally,” Professor Burgess-Limerick said.

“It’s likely that automation will be a net benefit for safety and health because people are being removed from hazardous areas, however, to ensure that is the case, systems need to be designed with people’s capabilities and limitations in mind.”

BMA Head of Production, Frans Knox, said that the research would help BMA further build upon its current health and safety processes.

“Our workforce is fundamental to mine automation and their safety remains our number one priority,” Knox said. “This includes their health – both mental and physical – so it is critical that we invest in understanding how our workforce can interact with these new systems in the safest and healthiest way.”

Autonomous haulage is in use at BMA’s Goonyella Riverside mine and will soon be introduced at Daunia.

“We are seeing some early positive signs from our Goonyella Riverside operation, who are at the beginning of their automation journey,” Knox said. “Their performance to date continues to build further confidence in the safety case for autonomous haulage.”

Thiess to continue operations at BMA Caval Ridge coal mine

CIMIC Group’s global mining services provider, Thiess, has been awarded a contract extension by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) to provide mining services at the Caval Ridge coal mine in Queensland, Australia.

The 12-month contract extension will generate revenue of A$110 million ($79 million) to Thiess, CIMIC said.

Under the contract variation, Thiess will continue to operate and maintain three 600 t excavator fleets to move additional overburden for the Caval Ridge operation, an open-pit coal mine with a 10 Mt/y throughput capacity.

Back in 2018, Thiess and BMA signed a contract variation that saw the contract miner move additional overburden through 2020 as per the terms of the contract.

CIMIC Group Chief Executive Officer, Juan Santamaria, said: “This contract extension builds on our relationship with BMA and reinforces our commitment to work with our clients to safely position their operations for optimal efficiency, productivity and cost performance.”

CIMIC Group Executive Mining and Mineral Processing and Thiess Managing Director, Douglas Thompson, said: “We’re proud to continue our work at Caval Ridge where we have a proven track record of delivering innovative and low-cost mining solutions. It is a testament to the team’s continued focus on delivering a safe and productive operation for our client.”

The contract extension will commence in December 2020.

Last week, CIMIC confirmed that it was close to bringing in a new equity investor for its Thiess contract mining business.

Civmec to build and supply modules for BMA Hay Point shiploader, Iron Bridge project

Civmec says it has secured new contracts with a combined value of around A$175 million ($126 million) including new projects with BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) and the Iron Bridge magnetite project.

BMA has engaged Civmec to fabricate, modularise and commission the 1,800 t SL2A ship loader using pre-contract capital ahead of a large infrastructure replacement project at Hay Point Coal Terminal (pictured, still subject to final board approval by BHP and Mitsubishi).

The contract awarded to Civmec includes the supply and assembly of the complete ship loader, up to the no-load commissioning stage. The large material handling equipment will be fabricated at the company’s Henderson manufacturing facility in Western Australia and will be assembled undercover in the company’s newly built assembly hall from where it will be delivered Free Along Side to the Australian Marine Complex Wharf for loading onto a heavy lift ship.

Work will commence immediately, with completion anticipated in the second half of 2022, Civmec says. The award of this scope of work will provide an estimated peak of 150 jobs in Perth.

The Iron Bridge JV contract includes the supply of 4,700 t of conveyor, trusses and trestles for the Iron Bridge Magnetite project, a joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary FMG Iron Bridge and Formosa Steel IB.

Work will commence this month, with most of this completed in Civmec’s 2021 financial year. The scope will be predominately delivered from the company’s Henderson facility.

Back in July, Civmec was awarded a standalone civil contract to build the structural concrete components for the dry plant at Iron Bridge.

In addition to the above contracts, Civmec has recently secured new and increased scope packages across its Minerals & Metal and Oil and Gas Sectors, including the replenishment of orders for the fabrication of tray bodies for dump trucks from the Newcastle manufacturing facility.

Civmec’s Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Tallon, said: “We are extremely pleased to be given this opportunity to further support BHP in the delivery of a ship loader. This contract follows on from other smart modules and machines delivered by Civmec for BHP projects as part of our partnership delivering high quality, complex machines.”

He added: “We are delighted to extend our relationship with Fortescue with further work awarded on the Iron Bridge project. Having recently commenced the on-site activities for the recently awarded civil concrete package for the same project and, as we draw closer to completion on the Eliwana project for Fortescue, it is pleasing to get the opportunity to further underpin the relationship.”

Monadelphous expands BHP relationship with iron ore, coal, Olympic Dam work

A month after securing several major contracts with BHP, Monadelphous Group has announced another series of works packages with the major miner that come with a combined value of around A$120 million ($87 million).

Two of the construction and maintenance contracts were awarded under its WAIO Asset Panel Framework Agreement with BHP.

This includes a contract to provide structural, mechanical and electrical upgrades at the Newman Hub site in the Pilbara of Western Australia, where work will commence immediately and is expected to be completed before the end of 2021.

The second agreement is at BHP’s Jimblebar iron ore mine site, in Newman, where the company will be dewatering surplus water from the operation.

In addition, Monadelphous has entered into the Olympic Dam Asset Projects Framework Agreement with BHP to provide multi-disciplinary construction services at the Olympic Dam copper mine, in South Australia (pictured). The first contract secured under this agreement is for the supply and construction of acid storage tanks and connection to the existing operating acid plant.

Finally, the company’s Maintenance and Industrial Services division has been awarded a contract to undertake a major dragline shutdown for BHP Mitsubishi Alliance at its Saraji coal mine, located near Dysart, Queensland. The work will be completed by the end of December 2020.

Last month, Monadelphous’ latest construction and maintenance contract awards from BHP included a contract for the supply and installation of the Jimblebar Transfer Station project, and a contract for the refurbishment of Car Dumper 3 at Nelson Point, Port Hedland.