Tag Archives: BHP Mitsubishi Alliance

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.

BHP to cut Queensland coal operation emissions with CleanCo deal

BHP has signed an agreement that could help it reduce emissions from electricity use in its Queensland, Australia, coal operations by 50% by 2025.

The renewable power purchasing agreement to meet half of its electricity needs across its Queensland coal mines from low emissions sources, including solar and wind, is with Queensland’s state-owned clean energy generator and retailer CleanCo, which has a target to support 1,000 MW of new renewable energy generation by 2025. The pact will run for five years from January 1, 2021.

“This will effectively displace an estimated 1.7 Mt of CO2e between 2021 and 2025 – equivalent to the annual emissions of around 400,000 combustion engine cars,” the company said.

BHP owns 50% of the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (Mitsubishi holding the other 50%), which operates several coal mines across Queensland.

The agreement is the first of its kind signed by BHP in Australia and follows the company’s shift to 100% renewables in its Chile operations at Escondida and Spence from the mid-2020s. It will also support the development of new solar and wind farms in Queensland – the Western Downs Green Power Hub, due for completion in late 2022, and Karara Wind Farm, due for completion in early 2023.

BHP’s President Minerals Australia, Edgar Basto, said: “This is an important step forward in BHP’s transition to more sustainable energy use across our portfolio, and a first for our Australian operations. It will diversify our energy supply, help to reduce our energy costs, and reduce BHP’s Australian Scope 2 emissions by 20% from FY2020 levels.”

He added: “This is a prime example of prudent business decisions going hand-in-hand with social value, strengthening our business and benefitting the community.”

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), Asset President, James Palmer, said: “This contract will help our operations across Queensland to further increase their sustainability through reducing the greenhouse gas emissions we generate from electricity use by half. It will also support two greenfield renewable projects that, in turn, are expected to generate regional jobs in Queensland.”

Over the five-year agreement, power will be provided via the grid, and predominantly contracted from a combination of solar, wind, hydro and gas generation, according to BHP.

For the first two years, power will be contracted from CleanCo’s low emissions portfolio which includes hydro and gas generation assets. From late 2022, the newly operational solar and wind farms are expected to progressively contribute up to half the electricity requirements, with the remainder supported by CleanCo’s low emissions portfolio. Combined with large-scale generation certificates, this will enable BHP to reduce Scope 2 emissions from its Queensland operations by 50% by 2025, based on the company’s 2020 financial year levels.

The contract will contribute to BHP’s medium-term, science-based target for the reduction of Scope 1 and Scope 2 operational greenhouse gas emissions – due to be announced shortly.

BMA to invest in autonomous haul trucks at Daunia coal mine

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) has announced a A$100 million ($69 million) investment and new jobs as part of the introduction of 34 autonomous trucks at its Daunia mine in central Queensland, Australia.

The first retrofit trucks will begin working from February next year, with the rollout expected to be completed by the end of 2021, it said.

The 4.5 Mt/y Daunia coal mine opened in 2013 and has a truck fleet that includes Cat 793Fs.

BMA Asset President, James Palmer, said this was a multi-generational investment in the industry and  state at a time when it is needed.

“We acknowledge the important role our business and industry can play in supporting Queensland communities and the local economy during this time,” he said.

“This announcement is a vote of confidence in Central Queensland. At least 10 regional and indigenous businesses will be employed to support the rollout, with contracts worth A$35 million. This will result in 150 additional project roles for BMA people and contractors. This is on top of 56 new permanent roles on site.”

He reiterated that there would be no job losses as a result of the decision and anyone who currently works with the company – as an employee or labour hire worker – would be given the opportunity to continue to do so.

Hastings Deering’s Central Queensland operations will see an additional 30 jobs required to assist with truck and ancillary fleet conversion.

Hastings Deering CEO, Dean Mehmet, said: “This contract is a huge boost to our local business and the region. We will need 30 additional people to support the work that is required to convert the trucks and ancillary mining fleet into autonomous vehicles at Daunia. It’s exciting work to build on that allows us to grow and develop local talent to deliver technology solutions into the resources sector.”

Other examples of local businesses that will directly benefit from this decision include NB Industries, who will complete the light vehicle fleet conversion, and Radlink who will install wireless communication hardware across the mine.

NB Industries is also involved in completing the fit out of ancillary equipment for the AHS rollout at BMA’s Goonyella Riverside mine, in Central Queensland.

Palmer highlighted the employee engagement and training that is central to this decision.

“We have engaged with our workforce at Daunia over the previous 18 months on the possible rollout of autonomous haulage. Our people have told us that they are eager for new job opportunities and skills. That is why we are confident this is the right decision for Daunia.

“It will further increase safety and performance and help the mine remain competitive over the long term.

“We understand this decision represents some change. But it also offers a unique opportunity for people to gain new, highly valued skills that will create additional opportunities for growth into the future.”

To help prepare for Daunia’s autonomous future, it is estimated over 30,000 hours of training will be delivered, ranging from general awareness to extensive training for those operating equipment, interacting with the autonomous haul trucks, or taking on new roles.

In addition to pledging to bring autonomous trucks to Daunia and Goonyella Riverside, BHP is looking to start the roll out of autonomous trucks at its Eastern Ridge mine site in the Pilbara of Western Australia shortly.

Electronic blasting demand sees Dyno Nobel boost manufacturing output

Demand from customers for Dyno Nobel’s electronic blasting technology is, the company says, boosting manufacturing in regional Queensland, Australia.

The Helidon plant, in southeast Queensland, has expanded to increase electronic detonator production, helping boost regional employment, it said.

Since the plant expansion late last year, the number of employees has grown to 103, up 63%, with more people needed at the plant to manufacture the company’s premium technology, which Dyno Nobel says has seen continued growth.

A business of Incitec Pivot, Dyno Nobel’s half-year results released in May showed a 14% increase in electronic initiating systems sales in Asia Pacific, compared with the same time last year.

Incitec Pivot Managing Director and CEO, Jeanne Johns, said: “Dyno Nobel’s overall mining volumes continue to be supported by our premium technology offering. We are seeing strong demand for our technology from customers who want to improve their productivity and safety outcomes, while also reducing the impact on the environment.

“We tailor our premium technology solutions to manage specific sites requirements and issues and, as a result, our customers are getting better blast outcomes.”

President of Dyno Nobel Asia Pacific, Greg Hayne, said Australia’s mining sector was continuing to operate well.

“We are continuing to invest strongly in our technology pipeline, assisting our customers and supporting the Australian economy with local jobs in manufacturing,” he said.

Looking forward, Dyno Nobel is focused on rolling out its DigiShot®Plus.4G system to further improve safety and productivity at mines across Australia. Released in 2018, DigiShot Plus.4G is designed to help reduce overall costs and increase productivity by reducing blasting delays and introducing programming speeds seven times faster than existing systems.

It was this technology that produced a world record blast at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Caval Ridge Mine in Queensland last December.

Dyno Nobel’s record blast saw 8,144 DigiShot Plus.4G electronic detonators fired in single blast event that took 14 days to prepare and involved loading 2,194 t of bulk explosive into 3,899 blastholes.

“As we continue to develop our technology road map, it’s nice to see these types of outcomes, which reinforce the way our technology aligns with the needs of our customers,” Hayne said.