Tag Archives: BHP

AECON, GGDL to deliver the Wet Mill Area for BHP Jansen Stage 1

Construction at the Jansen potash project in Canada is now 44% complete, with BHP continuing to award important construction contracts such as the one just awarded to deliver the Wet Mill Area for Jansen Stage 1.

George Gordon Developments Ltd (GGDL), an Indigenous owned and operated business in the Jansen area, and Aecon Group Inc, have entered a partnership to form Wicehtowak Aecon Industrial Limited Partnership and have been awarded this contract.

The award of this contract brings total awards to Indigenous businesses to over C$850 million ($622 million) since the sanctioning of Jansen Stage 1 in August 2021.

GGDL is owned by George Gordon First Nation, which is one of the six First Nations in the Jansen area with whom BHP holds an Opportunity Agreement. The Opportunity Agreements were created in 2013, being the first of their kind in the potash industry. The agreements cover areas such as job creation, environmental management, procurement and social investment. They have been key to ensuring BHP is building relationships, working collaboratively and creating value alongside Indigenous communities, BHP says.

The newly awarded contract will see Wicehtowak Aecon LP install pre-assembled units for the construction of the wet mill, tailings and reagents buildings. The pre-assembled units are being fabricated at an Aecon Facility in Alberta, Canada, through a previously awarded contract to Wicehetowak Aecon LP.

“Partnerships are about mutual vision and mutual determination to provide opportunity and mutual desire to build on success,” Don Ross, CEO, GGDL, said. “George Gordon Development Ltd believes in our partnership with Aecon, knowing that together we will create economic sustainability for our Nation and fulfill much-needed services to our client BHP.”

Karina Gistelinck, Asset President Potash at BHP, said: “With the construction of Jansen, we identified an opportunity to be a part of creating sustainable economic growth and prosperity for Indigenous communities in the region. It is excellent to see GGDL and Aecon come together to work with us on this important project.”

BHP, Rio Tinto, Caterpillar and Komatsu agree on Pilbara battery truck testing plan

Days after the conclusion of The Electric Mine 2024 conference in Perth, Western Australia, BHP and Rio Tinto have confirmed they are to collaborate on battery-electric haul truck trials in the Pilbara.

The collaboration reflects the individual commitments made by BHP, Rio Tinto, Caterpillar and Komatsu to support BHP’s and Rio Tinto’s shared ambition of net zero operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, they say.

As part of the collaboration, two CAT 793 haul trucks will be trialled from the second half of 2024, and two Komatsu 930 haul trucks tested from 2026 at mine sites in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

Caterpillar and Komatsu will each provide one truck to both BHP and Rio Tinto for these trials. BHP will trial the Caterpillar trucks, while Rio Tinto will trial the Komatsu trucks. Outcomes of the trials will be shared between BHP and Rio Tinto.

These trials represent the first stage of battery-electric haul truck testing at BHP’s and Rio Tinto’s Pilbara operations.

Ongoing testing, development and refinement of truck and battery design is anticipated with each manufacturer. This will inform the approach for testing a larger number of haul trucks and the potential deployment of battery-electric haul truck fleets into each company’s operations.

BHP President Australia, Geraldine Slattery, said: “Operational decarbonisation relies on breakthroughs in technology and partnerships like this will help drive our industry forward. We are thrilled to work with Rio Tinto, Caterpillar and Komatsu on these trials.

“Replacing diesel as a fuel source requires us to develop a whole new operational ecosystem to surround the fleet. We need to address the way we plan our mines, operate our haulage networks and consider the additional safety and operational considerations that these changes will bring. This is why trials are so critical to our success as we test and learn how these new technologies could work and integrate into our mines.

“We’ve already seen a step-change reduction in Scope 1 and 2 operational greenhouse gas emissions through switching some of our supply to renewable electricity, and we are looking to build on that progress through development of battery-electric technology to reduce diesel usage across our operations.”

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Simon Trott, said: “This collaboration brings together two leading global miners with two of the world’s biggest manufacturers of haul trucks to work on solving the critical challenge of zero-emissions haulage.

“There is no clear path to net zero without zero-emissions haulage, so it’s important that we work together to get there as quickly and efficiently as we can. Testing two types of battery-electric haul trucks in Pilbara conditions will provide better data, and by combining our efforts with BHP we will accelerate learning.

“As we work to repower our Pilbara operations with renewable energy, collaborations like this move us closer to solving the shared challenge of decarbonising our operations and meeting our net zero commitments.”

Hitachi Energy and BluVein to combine technologies in electrification MoU

Hitachi Energy and BluVein, an innovator in dynamic charging technology, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to, they say, accelerate the electrification of heavy haul mining fleets and solve one of the biggest challenges in decarbonising mine operations.

Hitachi Energy’s advanced power electronics and digital charging technologies allow BluVein’s e-rail charging technology to deliver electricity safely and reliably to haul trucks of up to 400 t while transporting materials.

The collaboration will fast-track the development of a high-powered, fast and flexible dynamic charging solution for surface and underground mines and quarries in Australia and across the globe. BluVein will focus on its leading-edge e-rail and connection of the truck, which Hitachi Energy will further complement with advanced power electronics and digital solutions to power and monitor the whole system.

“This strategic collaboration with BluVein will enable our mining customers to trial next-generation dynamic charging solutions vital for achieving net-zero emission targets without compromising on operating practices or productivity,” Marco Berardi, Head of Grid & Power Quality Solutions and Service business at Hitachi Energy, said. “We believe this new collaborative approach will deliver on our common goal to accelerate the transition to all-electric mining and a carbon-neutral future.”

James Oliver, CEO at BluVein, added: “This MoU supports BluVein’s mission of partnering with a technology leader to deliver a universal dynamic connector that facilitates the removal of fossil fuel from mines and help propel the industry globally to meet its decarbonisation goals. Together, we are helping the industry move to a more sustainable and responsible future.”

Hitachi Energy and BluVein are also exploring the off-vehicle hardware requirements for BluVein1 for underground and smaller fleets, while actively cooperating on BluVein Proving Grounds, currently under construction in Queensland, Australia.

DIG CT to bring MinEx CRC’s RoXplorer coiled tubing drilling tech to the market

MinEx CRC says has struck a commercialisation deal with DIG CT, a niche Australia-based drilling company set to bring MinEx CRC’s RoXplorer® coiled tubing (CT) drilling technology to market.

The CT drilling platform enables mineral exploration companies to significantly improve their environmental footprint and productivity by meeting the challenges of exploring in deep cover frontier provinces, barely touched in decades of previous exploration, according to MinEx CRC.

Developed in collaboration with industry partners Anglo American, BHP, Epiroc, LKAB Wassara, South32 and the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA), the CT platform can drill through unconsolidated cover and hard-rock formations to depths of 500 m, delivering safety, efficiency, productivity and high-quality sampling with minimal infrastructure and streamlined operating processes.

“The key feature of RoXplorer CT drill rig is the patented mast design and over-the-hole positioning of the coil reel,” MinEx CRC CEO, Andrew Bailey, said.

“This enables increased coil life, seamless transition between CT and conventional top-drive drilling, rapid loading and unloading of tooling and drill string incorporated on the rig for ease of set up, pack down and transport.”

DIG CT Founder and Director, and Global Drilling Specialist, Craig Lavrick, said: “I’m proud to have been involved with the CT rig platform’s development since its inception, for over a decade. I consider coil tubing technology a ‘game changer’ and necessary next generation equipment to elevate exploration drilling to a safer, greener and more productive industry.”

Since August 2021, the CT platform has safely completed over 14,000 m of drilling in collaboration with Geological Survey of South Australia, Geological Survey of Western Australia, Geoscience Australia, Anglo American and EnviroCopper. Drilling trials demonstrate the system’s success and application to real-world, deep cover exploration scenarios while providing cost, productivity, safety and environmental benefits when compared with conventional drilling platforms.

The commercialisation deal between MinEx CRC and DIG CT will see the RoXplorer CT drilling platform offered as a drilling service for hire, with one initial drill rig in operation, with the intent to grow the fleet as mineral explorers recognise the value and utility of the novel CT technology, MinEx CRC says.

In February 2023 MinEx CRC announced a manufacturing deal with rig manufacturer, Schramm – now a subsidiary of the Epiroc group – who are ready to build the new fleet of CT drill rigs as demand increases, according to the organisation.

BHP, BlueScope and Rio Tinto to investigate Australia low-carbon steelmaking options

Australia’s two largest iron ore producers, Rio Tinto and BHP, and its biggest steelmaker, BlueScope, have partnered in their efforts to accelerate the decarbonisation of steelmaking by agreeing to jointly investigate the development of the country’s first iron making electric smelting furnace (ESF) pilot plant.

Under a new framework agreement, the companies will consolidate the work each party has completed to date, leveraging both BHP’s and Rio Tinto’s deep knowledge of Pilbara iron ores with BlueScope’s operating experience in ESF technology.

The collaboration provides a platform to develop and potentially invest in a pilot facility and aims to demonstrate that production of molten iron from Pilbara ores is feasible using renewable power when combined with direct reduced iron (DRI) process technology, they said. If successful, it could help open a potential pathway to near-zero greenhouse gas emission-intensity operations for steelmakers that rely on Australian iron ore to meet global steel demand.

The parties will assess several locations in Australia for the proposed pilot facility, and will consider factors like supporting infrastructure, available workforce, access to target industry and supply chain partners, and suitability for operational trials. The prefeasibility study work program is expected to conclude at year-end. If approved, the pilot facility could be commissioned as early as 2027.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Simon Trott (right), said: “The carbon intensity of iron and steelmaking requires profound change to meet the needs of our planet and our climate objectives. We must find better ways to enable these materials to be made more sustainably through leveraging technology.

“We firmly believe the best way to tackle a challenge of this scale is through collaboration with industry and importantly this new agreement will leverage the more than two years of work we have already completed with BlueScope on this technology. We are excited to add this partnership to the suite of projects we have underway with our customers and suppliers to find better ways to accelerate their efforts to meet their decarbonisation targets.”

Incoming BHP Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) Asset President, Tim Day (left), said: “We are thrilled to partner with Rio Tinto and BlueScope to progress what we see as a potential breakthrough in reducing carbon emissions from steel production. Collaborations like this are so important for the success of these technologies and build on our work on blast furnace abatement projects, and our ongoing research and development projects with leading steelmakers, research institutes and technology providers around the world.

“Combining our expertise, we hope to help fast track near-zero emission-intensity pathways for steelmakers using Pilbara ores. Technology pathways compatible with renewable energy and scalable to the order of hundreds of millions of tonnes of steel production would be a major step forward in setting up Pilbara ores, and the world, for a low greenhouse gas emission future.”

BlueScope Chief Executive Australia, Tania Archibald (centre), said: “We have a clear vision for BlueScope in Australia as a vibrant, modern and sustainable manufacturer with a clear role to play in enabling Australia’s energy transition. Building a pathway to low emission-intensity iron and steelmaking in Australia is a key priority for our business. We’re excited to be partnering with Rio Tinto and BHP to explore the decarbonisation of the ironmaking process, and leverage the natural advantages of Australia – namely our iron ore resources and the abundant potential for renewable energy.

“We believe DRI is the most prospective technology to decarbonise our Australian business, and the development of ESF technology is key to unlocking Australia’s unique advantages in this decarbonisation journey – and, more importantly, has the potential for wider adaptation across the global steel industry. We believe that this collaboration where we can contribute BlueScope’s unique experience in operating an ESF will be key to cracking the code for Pilbara ores in low emission-intensity ironmaking.”

Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corp backs new wind farm and battery project for BHP Olympic Dam

The Australian Government says it is making the BHP Olympic Dam mine, in South Australia, cleaner and creating jobs by supporting a wind farm and battery project.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is investing A$99 million ($64 million) to boost Neoen’s Goyder wind farm – which will provide electricity to BHP’s copper mine in the northern part of the state. This cleaner and cheaper renewable power will be backed up by Neoen’s Blyth Battery, which is located nearby.

Once completed, the wind farm will generate 203 MW of electricity, and the battery will store 477 MWh, enough to help meet half of Olympic Dam mine’s electricity needs with clean power.

The Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, said the project is important for the South Australian clean energy and resources sectors.

“It’s great to see clean energy powering mining – bringing together key national industrial strengths in renewables and resources, while creating jobs,” he said. “The Albanese Government is excited to support a project that involves three vital things for Australia’s future – wind power, batteries, and strategic materials.”

Blyth Battery is the fifth big battery project financed by the CEFC, bringing their total investment in this technology to over A$390 million.

CEFC CEO, Ian Learmonth, said: “The challenge of reducing emissions across the economy starts with the energy sector. The offtake agreement with BHP demonstrates how reducing energy emissions accelerates decarbonisation across the economy. This innovative solution to provide firmed green energy at Olympic Dam enables a significant energy user to progress its net zero goals while producing a critical mineral like copper more sustainably.”

Neoen CEO, Louis de Sambucy, said: “We are delighted to announce the joint financing of the second tranche of Goyder South Stage 1 alongside Blyth Battery and we sincerely thank the lender group for their trust and commitment. We are looking forward to powering BHP’s Olympic Dam mine with baseload renewable energy.”

BHP, Anglo American, Antofagasta, Codelco, Collahuasi team up to tackle cybersecurity

BHP, together with the mining companies Anglo American, Antofagasta Minerals, Codelco and Collahuasi, have launched the Mining Cybersecurity Corporation in an effort to tackle rising cybersecurity risks in Chile.

More than 4 billion cyber-attacks took place in Chile during the first half of 2023, positioning it as the fifth country in Latin America with the most incidents, according to BHP. The unprecedented technological progress in recent years brings important benefits, but also involves several cybersecurity risks.

Studies indicates that, by 2025, cyber attacks will cost companies approximately $10.5 billion.

Aware of the risks to the industry, these companies have come together in what BHP says is an unprecedented initiative led by Corporación Alta Ley and supported by the Chilean Ministry of Mining. The aim of the partnership is to generate and share cyber-intelligence information for early warning and response, and to promote a culture of cybersecurity in mining operations.

Ezequiel Fagetti, Cybersecurity Manager BHP Minerals Americas, said: “As BHP we are enthusiastic about this initiative and, therefore, we want to contribute with our experience in the protection of assets and systems. Cybersecurity is vital for the proper functioning of the different production systems and, ultimately, for us to continue contributing to the country. If we strengthen this aspect, we strengthen the mining industry as a whole, its value chain, and safeguard the benefits for everyone.”

BHP and HBIS Group exploring alternate electrified pathways of steel production

BHP has signed an agreement with China’s HBIS Group Co Ltd (HBIS), one of the world’s largest steelmakers, to trial direct reduced iron (DRI) production and use of BHP iron ores in blends and progress a separate enhanced lump stage 2 trial aimed at lowering blast furnace (BF) carbon emissions.

To support the development of alternate electrified pathways of steel production for a wider range of iron ores, under this new agreement, the parties aim to trial commercial-scale DRI production using BHP iron ores in blends at HBIS’s newly commissioned DRI plant and then evaluate the performance of the DRI in downstream steelmaking steps. The DRI plant uses hydrogen-rich gas by-products in the steel works to convert ore into a metallic iron product that is further refined for steel.

Additionally, the enhanced lump stage 2 trial will focus on the existing BF steelmaking route, with the aim of reducing carbon emissions by increasing the use of direct charge lump and reducing the need for agglomerated feed which requires fossil fuel energy.

BHP’s latest collaboration agreement with HBIS will tap into the investment of up to $15 million over three years proposed by BHP and HBIS in an earlier Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2021.

BHP’s Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry, said: “HBIS Group is a key partner to BHP and an industry leader in assessing and demonstrating a range of potential pathways to reduce GHG in steelmaking. Our work with customers like HBIS Group, together with our own actions, aims to accelerate progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions right along the value chain.”

BHP’s Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant, said: “I am delighted to build on our existing partnership with HBIS Group, one of the world’s largest steelmakers and an important customer for BHP’s high quality Pilbara iron ores. DRI is an important element of our pathways to near-zero-emission steel production and in the decarbonisation journey of the steel industry.

“We are working with HBIS Group to demonstrate the use of BHP iron ores in DRI production trials. Together with other collaborations we have underway, including electric smelting furnace (ESF) development, the outcomes are expected to provide pathways to reduce carbon emissions from steel production using BHP’s products.”

This new agreement expands on the work streams laid out in the 2021 MoU between the parties and proceeding announced since; phase 1 research and development work announced in 2022 – in conjunction with HBIS and University of Science and Technology Beijing, a recently completed enhanced lump stage 1 trials at one of HBIS’s plants in Hebei province, and the most recent CCUS pilot trials announced in March this year.

HBIS Chairman, Yu Yong, said: “HBIS and BHP are aligned in their aims to help develop greener, low-carbon solutions that can reduce emissions in steelmaking, leveraging on our long-standing and trusted relationship that we have forged over several years. The agreement signed today is another landmark following our substantive cooperation in areas such as CCUS, and highlights HBIS’s efforts to build a low-carbon raw material supply chain.

“HBIS looks forward to strengthening our comprehensive strategic synergy with BHP in the sustainable development of steel in the years ahead.”

BHP, TransAlta solar and battery storage facility set to cut Nickel West Scope 2 emissions

A new solar farm in the Northern Goldfields of Western Australia has been switched online thanks to a collaboration between BHP and renewable energy provider TransAlta, which, BHP says, will reduce Scope 2 emissions at the Nickel West northern operations by 12%.

The Northern Goldfields Solar and Battery Storage Facility is one of the world’s largest off-grid mining solar and battery energy storage systems and features about 70,000 solar panels across 90 ha of land.

The initiative, which will replace power currently generated from diesel and gas, will be a significant step towards BHP’s aim to decarbonise its operations by 30% by the 2030 financial year.

It includes a 27.4 MW solar farm at Mt Keith, and a 10.7 MW solar farm and 10.1 MW battery at Leinster, which is integrated into TransAlta’s Northern Goldfields remote power grid.

Construction on the facility began in 2022, creating more than 100 direct and indirect jobs in the Goldfields and Perth regions, and will support ongoing employment during operations.

BHP Australia President, Geraldine Slattery, said: “Renewables are increasingly powering BHP operations around the globe and this facility – the first we have built on one of our sites – is another step forward in our plans to reduce our operational greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30% by FY30, from FY20 levels.

“Nickel is in high demand for batteries and electric vehicles, and this progress is part of our commitment to delivering more sustainable, lower carbon product to our customers.”

BHP Nickel West Asset President, Jessica Farrell, said the initiative was one of many ways Nickel West was reducing its operational emissions – it was also considering wind farms in the northern and southern Goldfields.

“It’s fantastic to see the Northern Goldfields Solar and Battery Storage Facility switched on,” she said. “It’s on the back of a team of dedicated engineers, technicians and many others bringing new ideas to the table to support the development and integration of reliable and affordable renewable power to our business.

“The initiative will help Nickel West reduce Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions at our northern operations by 12%. This will result in an estimated reduction of 54,000 t of CO2-e per annum – the equivalent of removing 23,000 combustion engine cars2 from the road each year.”

TransAlta’s President and Chief Executive Officer, John Kousinioris, said the company was excited to flick the switch on what was a ground-breaking project for the organisation.

He said: “We are excited to work together with BHP to realise this innovative solution to meet BHP’s renewable electricity needs. This facility represents a first for both companies – it’s BHP’s first on-site, large-scale renewable project globally, and it’s TransAlta’s first renewable energy facility in Australia. It’s also the first time we have combined solar and battery storage to offer a hybrid solution.

“This unique project enabled us to apply the extensive capability and technical knowledge we have to the development of a large-scale facility in a remote part of Western Australia.

“Working under our longstanding relationship with BHP, we were able to collectively solve challenges and break new ground at the same time as playing a part in WA’s exciting and rapidly accelerating transition to a cleaner energy future.”

Raising Australia achieves Rotary Vertical Drilling System record at Wira Shaft

Byrnecut Group’s specialist raise drilling company, Raising Australia, has announced a new Rotary Vertical Drilling System (RVDS) record at the BHP-owned Prominent Hill operation in South Australia.

A total of 702.6 m of development over 324.19 hours makes the pilot hole at the Wira Shaft the longest single unit pass, top to bottom using a MICON RVDS, Raising Australia says.

The previous record set in 2013 was surpassed late last month as part of the shaft sinking project at Wira.

Byrnecut was awarded the Wira shaft work when the mine was under ownership of OZ Minerals – which recently became part of BHP.

BHP noted in its full year results to end-June 2023 that the Wira shaft mine expansion project was under construction. The hoisting shaft is expected to extend the mine life to at least 2036 and may provide access to potential mineralisation outside the current mine plan, it added.

The RVDS is a pre-programmable, self-steering device for drilling vertical holes. It consists of two modules integrated in the lower part of the bottom hole assembly between the drill bit and the first string stabiliser. A read-out unit consisting of a pressure transducer, an interface unit and a computer in the driller cabin complete the system.

In more than 450 projects around the world the RVDS has proven its reliability and accuracy, according to MICON, with, on average, the RVDS pilot holes deflecting less than 0.1% over the drilling distance.