Tag Archives: CIMIC Group

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.

Artemis awards Blackwater gold EPC contract to Sedgman Canada

Artemis Gold Inc says it has made an award for the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPC) scope of works for the processing plant and associated infrastructure at its Blackwater project in British Columbia, Canada, to Sedgman Canada Limited, a CIMIC Group company.

The award amount of approximately C$312 million ($243 million) is consistent with the prescribed budget for the process plant and selected infrastructure scope of works in the 2021 feasibility study.

Sedgman Canada Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary company of Sedgman Pty Limited, a CIMIC Group company. CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM) is an engineering-led construction, mining, services and public private partnerships leader working across the lifecycle of assets, infrastructure and resources projects.

The EPC contract is expected to be executed by June 30, 2022, with the contract supported by performance security including bank letters of credit, which will underwrite the financial performance and obligations of the contractor under the contract.

While the parties finalise the definitive EPC contract, in order to maintain the project schedule, an interim services agreement has been agreed which could cover procurement and pricing of long lead equipment and optimisation through refined scope changes, among other aspects.

The project schedule supporting the award to Sedgman includes the following assumptions:

  • Construction mobilisation and major works preparations commence in Fall 2022 with process plant bulk earthworks scheduled to be completed prior to the start of major works;
  • Commissioning activities of the process facility to commence in Q1 (March quarter) 2024; and
  • First gold pour expected in the first half of 2024.

The final EPC contract terms will provide for potential cost adjustments of certain components of construction representing approximately less than 15% of the total contract amount, including the potential for cost adjustments from further quantity definition, Artemis said. Standard adjustments, including currency exchange rates for certain equipment purchases also apply, and further optimisation of the processing plant with final engineering will occur.

Artemis is also considering awarding additional construction packages under an EPC agreement type structure to further enhance the risk management of the total capital expenditure for Blackwater, it said.

When combined with the EPC for the Power Transmission Line announced on August 18, 2021, the percentage of the estimated total capital expenditure for Blackwater under EPC is on track to target circa-60% of the initial Stage 1 development capital of C$645 million in a lump sum EPC type arrangement by the September quarter of 2022.

Stage 1 development should lead to the building of a 6-9 Mt/y operation (6 Mt/y in years 1-4 and 9 Mt/y in year 5) able to produce around 312,000 oz/y of gold.

Steven Dean, Chairman and CEO, said: “The award of the EPC job for the process plant at Blackwater is another significant milestone for Artemis, reflecting a competitive process involving multiple bidders. We are very pleased to be working with a world-class engineering firm in Sedgman. In partnership, we will work to finalise the design and engineering of the Blackwater project in advance of a start of major development activities. Blackwater remains on track for a start of major construction activities following receipt of Mines Act and other permits in Fall 2022 with a first gold pour in H1 2024.”

CPB Contractors to help BHP debottleneck Nelson Point at Port Hedland

CIMIC Group says its CPB Contractors business has been selected by BHP to deliver the structural, mechanical, piping, electrical and instrumentation package for the port debottlenecking project at Nelson Point, Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The contract will generate revenue of approximately A$100 million ($72 million) to CPB Contractors.

CIMIC Group Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Juan Santamaria, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting BHP with this project. Our mining and resources experience and history in the Pilbara means we can collaborate on the project’s high standards of safety and quality.”

CPB Contractors Managing Director, Jason Spears, added: “This project builds on CPB Contractors’ substantial experience in delivering resources infrastructure. We are pleased to continue our long-term partnership with BHP, to deliver another important resources project in the Pilbara.”

The project involves delivering both greenfield and brownfield works, with work commencing this year and expected to be completed in 2023.

Last year, Civmec also received a contract linked to the port debottlenecking project, which, in Stage 1, includes a new stockyard planned for the South Yard at Nelson Point.

Thiess in line for contract extension at Mach Energy’s Mount Pleasant

Thiess has been selected as the preferred mining services contractor for the Mount Pleasant thermal coal operation in New South Wales, Australia.

MACH Energy has notified Thiess of its intention to enter into exclusive negotiations to finalise the terms with the view to execute a mining services contract, it said.

Under the contract, Thiess will continue to provide full scope mining services including drill and blast, load and haul, mining and run of mine rehandling services, equipment maintenance and progressive rehabilitation.

Subject to contract finalisation, from April 2022, revenue to Thiess is expected to be around A$925 million ($690 million) over four-and-a-half years.

“Thiess began operating at Mount Pleasant in 2017 as a greenfield mine, applying industry best practice mining development and operations with uncompromising environmental and safety standards,” the company said. “This includes delivering the operation’s first rehabilitation two months before first coal was mined, demonstrating a true commitment to sustainable practices and to the community more broadly.”

Subject to execution, Thiess will continue to draw on local businesses for the provision of goods and services to support the mine and is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse, local workforce.

Aspire signs up Sedgman for Ovoot coking coal project FEED study

Aspire Mining Ltd has contracted Sedgman Pty Limited to prepare a Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) study on coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) infrastructure to support commencement of operations at the Ovoot coking coal project (OCCP) in Mongolia.

Sedgman, a wholly owned subsidiary of CIMIC, is a leading provider of integrated minerals processing solutions with experience delivering processing solutions. It has provided technical input and various studies supporting the economics of the OCCP from discovery of the deposit in 2010.

The FEED study will be conducted in a phased approach, over a period of approximately five months. Stage 1 will comprise trade-off analyses to identify the most appropriate concepts and technologies, which will take approximately eight weeks. Stage 2 will then focus on the agreed path and will produce accurate estimates of capital and operating costs, and designs to enable tendering for construction. The work will be completed under a schedule of rates arrangement, with total cost of A$600,000 ($464,583) estimated, Aspire said.

The intended CHPP infrastructure to be investigated will be based on existing modular designs and will enable low impact processing of approximately 1.5 Mt/y of run-of-mine coal, with capability for later expansion, Aspire said. Important criteria for the design include low energy and water consumption, and stringent dust control.

Sedgman Managing Director, Grant Fraser, said: “Sedgman appreciated the opportunity to work with Aspire and is focused on delivering value through progressing an innovative solution for the project.

“This study is a great opportunity to work with one of our longstanding clients to support the future development of the OCCP.”

Sedgman books tailings dewatering work at QCoal’s Byerwen coal mine

CIMIC Group’s minerals processing company, Sedgman, has been awarded a contract to design and construct a tailings dewatering facility at QCoal’s Byerwen coal mine in central Queensland, Australia.

The project will result in a lower operational risk profile, less power usage, and improved water recovery and management of dewatering chemicals, Sedgman says.

Sedgman Managing Director, Grant Fraser, said: “We are pleased to continue working with QCoal with a key focus on reducing impacts and undertaking environmentally responsible practices. The tailings dewatering contract at Byerwen is a great opportunity to achieve joint goals in ESG, an important focus for the industry.”

Construction work for the Byerwen mine will commence this month and the project will conclude in mid-2022.

Back in October, Sedgman was awarded two contract extensions by QCoal to continue to operate and maintain its Sonoma and Byerwen mines processing plants in Queensland.

Thiess equity transaction on target for end of 2020, CIMIC Group says

CIMIC Group says it has signed all relevant material documentation including financing agreements for the sale of 50% of Thiess, one of the world’s largest mining services providers, to funds advised by Elliott Advisors (UK) Ltd.

This encompasses the satisfaction of a number of conditions precedent, including the required regulatory approvals, CIMIC noted.

Back in October, CIMIC announced the deal with Elliott, one of the oldest fund managers of its kind under continuous operation, saying the transaction would strengthen CIMIC’s balance sheet by generating cash proceeds on completion of A$1.7-A$1.9 billion as well as reducing CIMIC’s factoring balance by around A$700 million and CIMIC’s lease liability balance by some A$500 million.

Thiess delivers open pit and underground mining in Australia, Asia, Africa and the Americas, providing services to 25 projects across a range of commodities, CIMIC says. It has a diverse fleet of plant and equipment of more than 2,200 assets, a team of around 14,000 employees and generates annual revenues in excess of A$4.1 billion.

CIMIC noted that transaction completion, including receipt of cash proceeds, is expected to occur prior to the end of 2020.

As previously advised, the price for 50% of the equity interest in Thiess implies an enterprise valuation of approximately A$4.3 billion ($3.3 billion).

Sedgman to operate Mount Pleasant CHP facility for another three years

CIMIC Group’s minerals processing company, Sedgman, has been awarded an extended operations and maintenance services contract at the MACH Energy-owned Mount Pleasant coal mine in New South Wales, Australia.

Sedgman will operate and maintain MACH Energy’s 1,500 t/h Mount Pleasant Coal Handling and Preparation facility for an additional three years, with the extension generating revenue of A$120 million ($91 million) to Sedgman, bringing total revenue from the contract to A$200 million.

CIMIC Group Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Juan Santamaria, said: “Sedgman and the CIMIC Group have a strong history with MACH Energy which we’re pleased to continue. Sedgman’s leadership in minerals processing will ensure maximum resource recovery for our long-term client.”

Sedgman Managing Director, Grant Fraser, said: “This contract is testament to the partnership we have forged with MACH Energy, and the integration of our engineering and operations capability.”

Sedgman completed the construction of this facility and has been operating the plant since 2019.

Elliott funds take 50% stake in CIMIC’s Thiess

CIMIC Group says it has entered into an agreement with funds advised by Elliott Advisors (UK) Ltd regarding the acquisition by Elliott of a 50% equity interest in Thiess, a leading mining services provider.

Elliott is one of the oldest fund managers of its kind under continuous operation and manages more than $40 billion in assets, including equity positions in private and listed companies, in Australia and globally, CIMIC says.

Thiess, meanwhile, delivers open pit and underground mining in Australia, Asia, Africa and the Americas, providing services to 25 projects across a range of commodities. It has a diverse fleet of plant and equipment of more than 2,200 assets, a team of around 14,000 employees and generates annual revenues in excess of A$4.1 billion ($2.9 billion). Thiess is included in CIMIC’s Mining and Mineral Processing segment with CIMIC company Sedgman, a leading provider of minerals processing and associated infrastructure solutions to the global resources industry.

Following closing of the deal, CIMIC and Elliott will jointly control Thiess in accordance with a Shareholders’ Agreement, which contains governance arrangements as well as Thiess’ financial and dividend policies, among other items.

The price for Elliott’s 50% equity interest in Thiess implies an enterprise valuation of approximately A$4.3 billion (based on 100% of Thiess), subject to certain adjustments. The transaction will strengthen CIMIC’s balance sheet by generating cash proceeds on completion of A$1.7-A$1.9 billion as well as reducing CIMIC’s factoring balance by around A$700 million and CIMIC’s lease liability balance by some A$500 million, it said.

CIMIC Group Executive Chairman, Marcelino Fernández Verdes, said: “The sale agreement reflects Thiess’ ongoing strategic importance as a core activity for CIMIC. It capitalises on the robust outlook for the mining sector and, together with Elliott, we will pursue market opportunities in line with Thiess’ growth and diversification strategy.”

Back in July, CIMIC Group announced that it had signed an exclusivity agreement and was in advanced negotiations with funds advised by Elliott regarding the potential investment by Elliott into 50% of the share capital of Thiess.

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.