Tag Archives: Brandon Craig

Rio Tinto, BHP, Hancock among miners supporting new Western Australia community initiative

The McGowan Government in Western Australia has launched what it says is a state-first Resources Community Investment Initiative, backed by major mining companies, which will facilitate investment in iconic state infrastructure projects and community and social initiatives across Western Australia.

Established with founding partners Rio Tinto, BHP, Hancock Prospecting, Roy Hill, Atlas Iron, Woodside Energy, Chevron Australia and Mineral Resources Ltd, the initiative provides a state government-backed platform for direct contribution to iconic infrastructure and social projects in the Western Australia community that will make the state an even better place to live for generations, the government said.

The initial commitments total A$750 million ($496 million) from Rio Tinto (A$250 million), BHP (A$250 million), Hancock Prospecting, Roy Hill and Atlas Iron (A$100 million), Woodside Energy (A$50 million), Chevron Australia A($50 million) and Mineral Resources (A$50 million).

Government will work with The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia and other companies to encourage additional investment from across Western Australia’s resources sector, it said.

An initial pipeline of projects has already been identified, including the Aboriginal Cultural Centre, the Perth Zoo Master Plan, the Remote Aboriginal Communities Fund, the Perth Concert Hall redevelopment and additional contributions to Telethon.

It will also extend to include transformational projects across the state, to enable companies to collectively contribute to achieving long-term social and economic outcomes in the regions they operate in, in areas such as education and training, health, Aboriginal wellbeing and energy decarbonisation projects.

Each company will decide the projects they wish to nominate funding to and individual project agreements will be established with agreed project milestones.

An advisory committee, comprising of an independent chair as well as government and industry representatives, will be convened to oversee the initiative and ensure the highest standards of governance.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Simon Trott, said: “This initiative is a great example of government and industry working together to support critical projects that will enable our community to prosper for generations to come. We want to leave a lasting, positive legacy wherever we operate, and this initiative will build on our more than 50 years of work helping to create thriving and resilient communities across Western Australia.”

BHP Asset President WA Iron Ore, Brandon Craig, said: “BHP has a long and proud history in Western Australia, and we welcome the collaborative approach taken by the Western Australia Government and the mining industry to strengthen our significant contribution to this great state. We look forward to furthering our support for long-term social and economic outcomes in the regions where we operate, and for all West Australians.”

Hancock Prospecting Executive Chairman, Gina Rinehart, said: “Hancock Prospecting, Roy Hill and Atlas Iron have invested in programs and infrastructure in West Australia over many years and we are pleased to make a further A$100 million contribution through the RCII initiated by Premier McGowan.”

Mineral Resources Ltd Managing Director, Chris Ellison, said: “Western Australians have played a vital role in the success of MinRes and our industry. As a proud Western Australian company, MinRes is continuing to grow, creating jobs and building projects in this great state. It is only natural that we support an initiative that is building a better future for all Western Australians.”

Rio Tinto, BHP, Fortescue devise pilot program to tackle sexual harassment, bullying and racism

Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue are launching a pilot program aimed at helping to eliminate disrespectful behaviour in the resources industry including sexual harassment, bullying and racism.

The launch comes after the three companies formed a partnership in October last year as part of their combined response to reports of unacceptable sexual harassment in the mining industry.

The three companies have worked together with leading experts to design and develop the industry-first program aimed at educating new entrants to the sector, they said.

The evidence-based program will educate participants about the impact of sexual harassment, bullying and racism, including how to recognise and report these behaviours.

The Building Safe and Respectful Workplaces pilot program project, managed by the Australian Minerals and Energy Skills Alliance (AUSMESA), will be delivered on November 15 and 16 by experienced facilitators from Griffith University. The pilot program will be completed by 30 volunteers who are currently undertaking apprenticeships or traineeships with the three companies.

The results of the pilot will be fully evaluated and feedback from the participants will be used to finalise the learning program.

It is intended the program will be delivered from early in 2023 with a particular focus on new entrants to the mining industry.

As part of an ongoing commitment to educate about respectful behaviour, the companies will engage across industry and education providers on how to broaden the reach of the program.

It is anticipated the training course will be made available to other industries in the future through a range of education pathways.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Simon Trott, said: “The launch of this pilot is a key milestone in our broader commitment to create a workplace culture that is safe, respectful and inclusive. Building awareness through education on how we can create safer work environments through the prevention and elimination of sexual harassment, bullying and racism is vital to ensuring those joining our industry feel safe.

“We’re proud to be collaborating with experts in this field, in partnership with industry leaders, and we look forward to the findings from the pilot and the opportunity to share with broader industry for the benefit of all Australians.”

BHP WA Iron Ore Asset President, Brandon Craig, said: “Programs such as this help educate the next generation of workers to ensure our workplaces are safe, respectful and inclusive. While we know there is more to do, this pilot is part of our redoubled efforts to eliminate sexual harassment, and is in addition to a range of other measures including improved security at accommodation villages, additional public disclosures, specialised resources and company-wide training.

“We’re proud to be working with leading industry partners to deliver this important program as we work together to eliminate disrespectful behaviours from our industry.”

Fortescue Chief Operating Officer Iron Ore, Dino Otranto, said: “At Fortescue, safety is our first priority and we have zero tolerance for inappropriate behaviour. We remain firmly committed to ensuring that Fortescue has safe and inclusive workplaces, and that the mining industry as a whole is a safe and welcoming place for everyone who works within it.

“We’re pleased to be working with our industry peers towards the common goal of ensuring that sexual harassment, bullying and other inappropriate behaviours do not occur in the mining industry.”

BHP collaborates with CIMIC’s UGL and QRRS on ‘flat pack’ rail cars for the Pilbara

An industry-first initiative to construct 140 ‘flat pack’ iron ore cars over the next four years in Perth, Western Australia, will develop capability and boost the state’s manufacturing sector, through a collaboration between BHP, UGL, QRRS and supported by the State Government, BHP says.

In an initial trial, BHP has shipped ore car components from QRRS’s factory in China to UGL’s Bassendean facility as ‘flat packs’, where the UGL team has assembled, welded and commissioned the cars before delivering them to BHP’s Pilbara operations.

For over a decade, iron ore cars have traditionally been built offshore. On average, BHP orders several hundred each year.

To date, five iron ore cars have been completed and delivered to the Pilbara. A further 15 are due to be built and delivered by February 2023. At least 12 UGL jobs have been sustained through the project, according to BHP.

Following the trial’s early success, BHP has committed to constructing an additional 120 cars over the next four years in Western Australia.

BHP says it is continuing to build local content through manufacturing and maintenance opportunities to ensure the local ore car supply chain is sustainable and competitive.

BHP’s Asset President WA Iron Ore, Brandon Craig, said: “BHP makes a significant contribution to the WA economy, and we want to keep building and strengthening that contribution through more local manufacturing.

“We are taking the first important step by working together with the expert teams at UGL and QRRS to build ore cars right here in WA.

“Through this investment, we will support the WA manufacturing sector to strengthen its capability and create new opportunities for business growth and local employment.

“This is a terrific initiative that we’ve been able to develop with our partners and the West Australian Government, and we thank them for their support.”

Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan MLA, said: “This project is a testament to the work of our Iron Ore Railcar Wagons Manufacturing and Maintenance Action Group, which is committed to boosting local manufacturing and securing local jobs.”

Doug Moss, UGL Managing Director, said: “We are proud to be the only Australian manufacturer of freight locomotives and we’re pleased to extend this capability through the re-introduction of rail ore car assembly into Australia, and particularly in Western Australia.

“We look forward to continuing this program with BHP and creating a strong and sustainable ore car assembly capability in the state.”

UGL is CIMIC Group’s specialist end-to-end engineering and services provider.

Zhang Quanyong, QRRS Managing Director, said: “As a long-term supplier of BHP, QRRS will continue to support all projects that BHP is involved in. We are pleased to take this partnership further and supply more good products and service to BHP.”

BHP looks to halve WA Iron Ore port facility emissions with Alinta Energy pact

BHP says it expects to halve emissions from the generation of electricity used to power its WA Iron Ore port facilities in Port Hedland by the end of 2024, following the signing of a large-scale renewable Power Purchase Agreement with Alinta Energy.

The halving of reported emissions, based on current forecast demand and compared with financial year 2020 (FY2020) reported emissions, will contribute to BHP’s medium-term target to reduce operational emissions by at least 30% from FY2020 levels by 2030 and the company’s long-term goal of achieving net zero operational emissions by 2050.

This agreement between BHP and Alinta will see the construction and connection of a 45 MW solar farm and 35 MW battery energy storage system into Alinta Energy’s existing Port Hedland power station, approximately 14 km from BHP’s port facilities, BHP says.

The construction of the solar farm, subject to final regulatory approvals, is expected to begin in December 2022 and create 200 jobs.

Once completed, it is expected that 100% of the forecasted average daytime energy requirements for BHP’s port facilities will be powered by solar generation, with the remaining power requirements to be met through the integrated battery energy storage system and market access to Alinta Energy’s existing gas fuelled power station facilities.

BHP is the foundation customer of Alinta’s solar battery hybrid project, which is expected to be the first large-scale renewable facility at Port Hedland and will support the expansion of the renewable energy industry in Western Australia.

In addition, BHP and Alinta Energy have entered into a memorandum of understanding in relation to the development of the Shay Gap Wind Farm. The Shay Gap Wind Farm is currently planned to be 45 MW, with a potential first-generation date of 2027.

The PPA is the latest milestone in BHP progressing its plan to reduce operational emissions in line with BHP’s climate targets and goals.

In recent years, it has signed power purchase agreements to provide renewable energy to BHP’s Nickel West operations in Western Australia, Olympic Dam operations in South Australia, BMA operations in Queensland and the Escondida copper mine in Chile.

BHP’s WA Iron Ore Asset President, Brandon Craig, said: “The world needs WA’s high quality iron ore to support economic development and decarbonisation, and we are committed to supplying iron ore more sustainably while investing in WA and creating local jobs. We are delighted to expand our partnership with Alinta Energy as we seek to lower emissions from our WA iron ore business.”

Alinta Energy MD and CEO, Jeff Dimery, said that BHP was once again demonstrating strong leadership in the transition to net zero.

“This is exactly the kind of leadership, progress and smart use of renewables and storage that we need from companies like BHP to show the way forward for Australia,” he said. “We’re excited to get the project underway and thank BHP for their partnership and vision.”

BHP signs up PMW Industries for crushing and screening plant gig at Mining Area C

BHP has celebrated what it says is an historic agreement with PMW Industries and its Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) team, which will see the 100%-owned-and-operated Banjima Pilbara Aboriginal Traditional Owner business maintain a semi-mobile crushing and screening plant at its Mining Area C operation, in the Pilbara, supported by new strategic partner and Mineral Resources Limited owned company, CSI Mining Services.

Led by Banjima business owner, Paula White (pictured on the right), PMW will operate on country at the iron ore operation as part of this large-scale, long-term scope of work. It is expected to create up to 30 new employment and training opportunities for Banjima and Indigenous people.

The agreement builds upon WAIO’s existing relationship with PMW, which started more than three years ago through its Local Buying Program.

WAIO Asset President, Brandon Craig (pictured on the left), said he was proud of the growing relationship between BHP and PMW Industries, saying the crushing contract award was one of the largest in WAIO’s history.

“Our Mining Area C iron ore operation is on Banjima country – in line with our commitment to become the partner of choice for Indigenous people, this partnership is founded on respect and mutual benefit,” he said. “We are working hard to create more opportunities for Indigenous businesses to support the growth of Indigenous enterprise, partnering for the future.”

White added: “PMW Industries is very proud to be partnering with BHP and CSI to enable more employment and economic empowerment for Traditional Owners and Indigenous people. As a Banjima woman and business owner, I’m also delighted to be creating opportunities for other Indigenous women and young girls to follow their dreams.”

This step forward builds upon BHP’s commitment to drive more sustainable, profitable and enduring partnerships with Indigenous businesses across its operations. In WAIO alone, by the 2024 financial year, BHP expects to double its current annual spend with Indigenous businesses to over A$300 million ($204 million).

“At the same time, we are actively improving our sourcing systems and procurement processes, in partnership with Traditional Owner and indigenous businesses,” BHP says. “This was demonstrated with the PMW agreement, which followed a competitive Banjima-only tender, structured specifically to enable Traditional Owner businesses to operate on country.”

BHP reaches autonomous drilling milestone at WA iron ore operations

BHP’s Western Australia Iron Ore division has reached a significant milestone, with its drills operating autonomously for more than 479,607 hours, drilling more than 25 million metres, the company said.

WAIO’s remotely operated drilling program commenced at Yandi in late 2016 and has since expanded to a total of 26 rigs across five Pilbara mine sites.

The rigs are all controlled remotely from the Integrated Remote Operations Centre (IROC) in Perth, Western Australia.

WAIO Asset President, Brandon Craig, said: “This is an exciting milestone in WAIO’s autonomous journey and one we should all be proud of.

“The autonomous drilling program sought to eliminate the risk of safety incidents and serious injuries to our people and, by removing them from the drilling frontline, we’ve also seen an increase in overall drill productivity.”

WAIO now has one of the biggest autonomous drill fleets in the world – which is managed by 32 crew members and one engineer all based at IROC.

IPRO Control Operations Manager, Clayton Hanrahan, added: “This achievement was made possible by a huge team of stakeholders, including the original Project Team, Technology, our vendor Epiroc, IPRO, IROC Drill and Control, all of our site partners in the Pilbara Drill and Blast teams and many more.”

Congratulations to everyone involved on reaching the milestone of autonomously drilling more than 25 million metres.

The automation journey begain with Yandi completing a successful 18-month trial of three autonomous drill rigs, paving the way for a staged approach across other WAIO mine sites.

Mining Area C introduced autonomous drilling in January 2017 before, in October 2017, the technology was implemented at Newman’s Eastern Ridge mine. In December of that year, Jimblebar introduced autonomous drilling and, in March 2018, Newman’s Whaleback mine implemented autonomous drill rigs. The journey has been rounded out by, in 2020, the introduction of autonomous drill rigs at South Flank, making WAIO’s drill rig program fully autonomous.

BHP continues to innovate with Port Hedland automation, dust control measures

BHP has completed Australia- and world-firsts at Port Hedland, in Western Australia, involving the award of a wind fences contract and testing of two new automated shiploaders at the port operations.

The automation world first is aimed at providing significant safety, production and cost benefits, BHP said, using 3D laser scan technology as part of the A$50 million ($36 million) project to fully automate eight shiploaders by 2023.

The eight shiploaders – at BHP’s Nelson Point and Finucane Island operations – are responsible for loading about 1,500 bulk ore carriers every year, exporting approximately 280 Mt of iron ore to global customers in 2021.

The project is expected to enable an increase in production of more than 1 Mt/y, through the combination of greater precision, reduced spillage, faster load times and equipment optimisation, BHP said.

An additional 12 jobs have been created through this project, located in the Integrated Remote Operations Centre in Perth. The number of Port Hedland-based roles remains unchanged, with existing staff being deployed across the shiploaders and through a range of other production-based roles.

BHP’s Asset President WA Iron Ore, Brandon Craig, said: “The shiploader automation project shows that our Pilbara teams are at the forefront of innovation, technology and operational excellence. Automating our shiploaders will improve safety for our people and allow us to load our ships more precisely and efficiently, including through automatic adjustments for weather, hazards and other variable port conditions.”

The shiploaders will transition towards becoming fully automated later this year. Once completed, the ship loading operations will be operated from the Integrated Remote Operations Centre in Perth.

Australia’s first wind fences, meanwhile, are designed to reduce dust emissions as part of BHP’s A$300 million air quality commitment. They will be built in Port Hedland by CIMIC Group’s CPB Contractors.

Announcing the successful tender in Port Hedland, BHP and CPB Contractors said three fences would be built at BHP’s Nelson Point and Finucane Island operations. Construction of the wind fences is expected to start in August 2022 and take 14 months to complete.

Up to 150 employees will be involved in the construction of the project, with up to 10% Indigenous employment.

Designed for the Pilbara’s unique weather conditions, and rated specifically to withstand cyclones, the fences will include mesh panels designed to reduce wind speeds, shielding BHP’s stockpiles and reducing the potential for dust lift-off, it said.

The fences will abate dust emissions in current operations and ensure no net increases in dust emissions should operations expand over time.

BHP Port General Manager, Cindy Dunham, said: “The wind fences will be constructed using global best practice dust management and air quality control technology.

“The investment forms part of our Pilbara Air Quality Program and demonstrates our commitment to the region and contribution to the revitalisation of the West End.”

CPB Contractors General Manager WA, SA & NT, Andrew Giammo, said: “Construction of the wind fences will involve the fabrication of 3,000 t of structural steel – this work will be undertaken here in WA and will be a major boost to local industry.”

The wind fences, which will be fabricated and built in Western Australia, are designed to control dust from BHP’s port operations and will be the first of their kind in Australia.

The 30-m-high fences, which span a length of 2 km, will include mesh panels designed to reduce wind speeds, shielding the stockyard and reducing the potential for dust lift-off. As the wind speed reaches a certain limit, the mesh curtain opens, to let the air flow through the fence.

Rio, BHP and Fortescue partner on new learning programs to create safer workplaces

Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) have agreed to partner and fund what they say are innovative, industry-first learning programs as part of a continued commitment towards mining sector workplaces that are free from sexual harassment, bullying and racism.

Through this partnership, the miners will fund and contribute to the design, build and implementation of new social awareness education packages for deployment through a range of education providers such as TAFE, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), universities and high schools.

By starting conversations on these vital topics through education providers, the industry can make an important contribution to raise awareness of social wellbeing and related behaviours (collectively referred to as “psychosocial harm”) for the benefit of all Western Australians, they said.

The collaboration partners will invite leading experts in social wellbeing to form part of a working group bringing together government, community, industry and educators across TAFE, RTOs, universities and high schools in Western Australia to design and implement the program.

A pilot program for TAFE students will be developed through South Metropolitan TAFE. The pilot, to be developed in 2022, will form part of core learning requirements for students who may be planning to join Rio Tinto, BHP or Fortescue. South Metropolitan TAFE will go on to share this education package through the broader WA TAFE network.

The partnership will also explore the potential to work with universities and high schools to encompass broader education pathways across the state, as well as for delivery in workplaces. In time, these packages will be made available for application across broader industries and across other parts of Australia, the miners said.

The education program is one of a number of initiatives introduced by mining companies to address sexual harassment, bullying and racism in Western Australia’s mining sector.

All three companies joined with the Chamber of Minerals and Energy earlier this year to pledge support for the parliamentary enquiry into sexual harassment against women in the FIFO mining industry and committed to work together to eradicate these behaviours from the sector.

Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Iron Ore, Simon Trott, said: “Our number one priority is the safety, health and wellbeing of our people and our communities. We recognise that we have some way to go to achieve workplaces free from sexual harassment, bullying and racism across our industry and we are committed to making the changes needed to create a safer work environment where respectful behaviour is experienced by everyone.

“Education is one part of a range of measures Rio Tinto is introducing to create safer workplaces, including building leadership capability, improving our camp facilities, new rules on the consumption of alcohol, as well as improving the way we prevent, respond to, report and investigate incidents in order to build a respectful, safe and inclusive culture.

“We expect this partnership with BHP and FMG will help build a safer workplace and help empower our future workforce to create the culture we need.”

BHP WA Iron Ore Asset President, Brandon Craig, said: “Sexual assault and sexual harassment have no place at BHP or anywhere in our industry. We are committed to providing a safe and inclusive workplace at all times, where disrespectful behaviours are eliminated. Education and training are critical to ensuring common understanding of the behaviours that are appropriate and acceptable at BHP.

“This industry collaboration will complement our existing internal training programs, leadership training, communication campaigns, and upgrades to camp security, and support services available to anyone who experiences disrespectful behaviour.”

Fortescue Metals Group Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “The safety and wellbeing of the Fortescue family is our highest priority and we are strongly committed to providing a safe, diverse and inclusive work environment for all our team members. There is no place for harassment and bullying of any kind in the mining sector or in any workplace, and we will continue to work with industry partners to take decisive action to ensure our workplaces are safe for everyone.

“In line with our value of empowerment, this partnership with Rio Tinto and BHP will provide young West Australians looking at a career in the mining sector with the skills to identify and speak up against inappropriate behaviour and enhance the safety, culture and experience of working in Western Australia’s mining sector.”