Tag Archives: Caval Ridge

Jord International addresses pressing issues for BMA Caval Ridge

Jord International has recently taken up a challenge from BHP to come up with a safer solution to filter press maintenance at the Caval Ridge metallurgical coal mine, in Queensland, Australia, as part of the New South Wales-based company’s expanding remit to unlock new technologies for the wider mining industry.

The plant and systems designer, developer and service provider was awarded the project, part of BHP’s Supplier Innovation Program challenge, earlier this year. It has seen Jord design and construct the first concept prototype in tandem with the maintenance team at the mine.

The prototype comprised a belt cartridge installer within a self-contained steel frame that holds a new belt and removes the old, damaged belt. The first commercial belt installer is expected to be in use by July, according to BMA.

Craig Samuel, Jord’s Mechanical Engineer for Aftermarket and Reliability, said the filters the company worked with at BMA Caval Ridge are 3 m wide x 5 m long, with the product path through the filter around 14 m long. While the solution was designed for Caval Ridge specifically, he said it could have applications on any site or with any commodity using filter presses.

“The idea came from the understanding of how the filter belts are installed, and a cartridge-style installer just made sense considering Caval Ridge has a readily available crane to move the cartridge around,” Samuel told IM. “The mechanics of the installer required some out-of-the-box ideas to develop a continuously variable speed ratio between the new belt roll and the old belt roll.”

Samuel said he expected the belt change time to be cut in half with this new solution.

Jord has already applied for another BHP Supplier Innovation Program challenge that could leverage a dust management and cleaning innovation, but the company has also been investing in research and development to commercialise new minerals beneficiation technologies for more efficient and effective liberation of ore, according to Kevin Barber, Jord’s General Manager of Resources.

“Our goal is to unlock new technologies that provide step-change improvements to current processes in the industry,” he said of these new technologies. “It’s about using less energy, using less water and removing some of the environmental challenges with particular focus on tailings. We’re finding alternative ways of dealing with problematic ores and resources.”

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.

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.

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.

BHP consolidates digital project offering with new Brisbane facility

BHP, to more effectively ramp up its use of digital technologies, has opened the first of its ‘digital factories’ in Brisbane, Australia.

Instead of having digital projects delivered by multiple parts of its business, the factory will create a unified ‘community of practice’ among technical roles, according to Rag Udd, BHP Acting Chief Technology Officer.

“The new hubs will abandon the traditional hardware-centric approach to innovation and will help us maximise the use of cloud technologies for rapid digital development in an enhanced digital environment,” he said.

An example of that comes from the company’s coal business where it is launching its “first digital factory”.

Udd explained: “The coal mined from Caval Ridge needs to go through a processing plant. Typically, for every 100 t that enters the plant, around 58 ts of sellable product comes out the back-end. In our digital factory trial, we set the team a challenge of improving this yield using just 12 months’ worth of historical data.”

The team quickly created an algorithm that told the company what the optimal setting for the plant was, based on the blend of coal coming from the mine, according to Udd.

“There is more to do, but this will help us improve our yields and increase the utilisation of our processing facility,” he said. “This is the very definition of productivity: a low cost way to markedly improve an output.”

In the future, BHP hopes to see much more of this type of innovation, according to Udd.

“Our sites are expected to benefit from the rapid deployment of reliable solutions that make their lives easier, minimising variability and unplanned outages,” he said. “The factory will focus on projects that can be delivered quickly, where minimal onsite infrastructure is required and where the return on investment is many multiples of the initial outlay.”

While BHP has started in coal in Brisbane, it plans to also launch digital factories in Chile, North America and Western Australia, according to Udd.

“They will partner with our operations to help solve asset-specific problems,” he said. “Struggling with a well performance issue in the Gulf of Mexico? Speak to your local factory and see if machine learning can provide some insight. Conveyor belt reliability issues in Chile? Let’s see if your ‘digital foreman’ can run some advanced analytics over data from the sensors.”

He concluded: “Other industries have shown us that this model works. With the right people and the right operating model set up, I am confident that we can bring an exciting new element to the way we solve operational problems, and in doing so rapidly create real and lasting value for BHP.”

Thiess extends mining services at BMA’s Caval Ridge coal operation

Thiess has secured a A$150 million ($108 million) contract extension with BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Caval Ridge coal mine in the Bowen Basin of Queensland, Australia.

The variation will see Thiess mine additional overburden through 2020 as per the terms of the contract, after commencing work at Caval Ridge in November 2017.

Thiess will continue to provide mining services for specific components of work including the services required for Caval Ridge Southern Circuit (CRSC).

CRSC is an 11 km overland conveyor system which will transport coal from the Peak Downs mine to the coal handling preparation plant (CHPP) at Caval Ridge. It will result in the CHPP increasing its throughput to reach its 10 Mt/y capacity.

Construction of the project was scheduled to commence in mid-2017 and take 18 months to complete. In addition to the new conveyor and associated tie-ins, the project will also mean a new stockpile pad and run-of-mine station at Peak Downs and, at Caval Ridge, the existing CHPP and stockyard will be upgraded. BMA will also invest in a new mining fleet, including excavators and trucks.

BMA is Australia’s largest coal producer and supplier of seaborne metallurgical coal. It is owned 50:50 by BHP and Mitsubishi Development, operates seven Bowen Basin mines (Goonyella Riverside, Broadmeadow, Daunia, Peak Downs, Saraji, Blackwater and Caval Ridge) and owns and operates the Hay Point Coal Terminal, near Mackay.