Tag Archives: contract mining

Develop to bolster contract mining capacity with Premium Group acquisition

As Develop starts underground work at Bellevue Gold’s Bellevue Mine in Western Australia, it is bolstering its contract mining resources through a planned acquisition of Premium Group.

The Premium Group is a well-established provider of specialist mining personnel and equipment to the underground mining industry, according to Develop.

The two parties have entered into a letter of intent (LOI) pursuant to which Develop has agreed to acquire Premium Mining & Civil Pty Ltd and Premium Mining Personnel Pty Ltd (together, the Premium Group) for total consideration of A$7.46 ($5.3 million) million less net debt, to be satisfied by A$300,000 in cash and the balance in Develop shares.

Subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, Develop said the acquisition would bolster its capabilities in providing underground expertise and equipment, while helping it achieve its goals as a mine owner/developer and “mining services business partner”.

Meanwhile at Bellevue Gold the company said it had started underground work at the Bellevue Mine, in line with the terms of the agreement signed last month (pictured).

Under the contract, Develop’s Underground Services division will undertake construction, development and production activities at the underground mine as part of an agreement valued at circa-A$400 million.

On this milestone, Develop Managing Director, Bill Beament, said: “We have established a world-class team of highly experienced underground mining specialists. Our team includes leading managers in their respective areas and an enviable group of underground mining and maintenance personnel, backed up by the latest mobile equipment.

“Our people, combined with the outstanding management team at Bellevue, will ensure we maximise the huge opportunity offered by the high-grade Bellevue orebody.”

Last week, Develop announced it had completed its acquisition of the Woodlawn zinc-copper mine in New South Wales, bringing with it an underground mine and new processing plant/site infrastructure.

MACA receives contract extension from Regis Resources at Duketon North

MACA has announced the extension of its mining services contract with Regis Resources Ltd at the Duketon North Operations (DNO) in Western Australia, having provided mining services at the project since 2010.

The service offering includes a dedicated workforce of 258 personnel delivering drill & blast, load & haul, plant maintenance and technical services across the Regis open pits in the area.

This extension is expected to generate up to A$50 million ($36 million) per year in revenue for MACA and will utilise the contract miner’s existing fleet on site. DNO continues to run alongside the Duketon South Operations (DSO).

Both parties have signalled their intention to explore conversion of both the DSO and DNO contracts into an amalgamated partnership-style life of mine alliance arrangement post June 2023, MACA said. The asset produced 356,000 oz of gold in the 2021 financial year.

MACA’s work in hand position including this contract is in excess of A$2.6 billion at April 2022.

MACA CEO, Mike Sutton, said: “MACA is delighted to continue its long-standing relationship with Regis at the Duketon North Operation. Our team has a long-standing relationship with Regis and MACA is proud to be an ongoing part of this operation. This project will be undertaken utilising existing fleet and contributes to MACA’s secured mining work in hand in the Goldfields region, ensuring future work continues to consist of a balanced portfolio of commodities.”

Thiess to trial Plotlogic’s OreSense tech at Anthill copper project

Thiess says it is taking another step to be at the forefront of sustainable mining with a technology trial involving Plotlogic’s OreSense solution at the Anthill copper project in Central Queensland, Australia.

With the promise of reduced environmental impact, improved safety and increased productivity the OreSense technology scans rock to distinguish high-grade resources from waste, Thiess explains. The technology provides real-time information, eliminating the need for a week or more waiting for testing results.

The technology is also expected to create environmental benefits through lower fuel usage and machinery consumables and a more optimised heap leaching process, according to Thiess.

Group Executive Growth & Strategy, Abdul Jarrah, said the trial aligned with Thiess’ commitment to use technology to drive sustainable improvements for our clients.

“Investing in technology such as OreSense further enhances our inhouse capability and allows us to offer our clients greater value across the safety, cost, productivity and environmental spectrum,” Jarrah said. “Importantly, our focus on innovation will support our clients to achieve their environmental goals as Thiess continues to establish itself as a leader in sustainable mining practices.”

Group Manager, Geology and Geotechnical, Donna Sheehy, said applications for the technology were far-reaching.

“The machine takes around three minutes to scan a wall or mine face area of 15 m by 50 m – if the trial proves successful there is potential to scan dig faces and stockpiles to determine grade,” she said.

“From machine learning we can use OreSense to give us real time assay – saving lengthy lab processing wait times.

“This allows us to increase the average grade of material fed to the heap leaching process which means we haul less waste, reducing our use of fuel and machinery consumables.”

The trial, set to begin at the Anthill copper project, owned by Austral Resources, on April 27, will run for around four weeks.

Austral says CSA Global completed an updated mining study in April 2021 on Anthill resulting in a JORC 2012 compliant ore reserve of 5.1 Mt grading 0.94% Cu containing 47,700 t of copper. This study outlined that ore will be mined from two pits over a 40-month period. Total recovered copper from the heap leach process will be 40,400 t over a 44-month period.

African Star appoints new mining contractor at Oena diamond mine

Southstone Minerals Ltd’s 43% owned subsidiary, African Star Minerals, has entered into a contract mining and diamond recovery agreement with Oryx Mining for the Oena diamond mine, in South Africa.

Oryx, at its own cost and expense, will provide and maintain all the plant and equipment as required to perform the mining services, Southstone says.

The diamonds produced by Oryx will be sold via a designated tender facility in South Africa and 80% of the gross income of net diamond sales, less commission, will be paid to Oryx for the duration of the 36-month agreement, the company explained. For any individual stones recovered with a gross selling price, less commission, of greater that ZAR10 million ($664,529) Oryx will be paid 70% of the gross income.

Oryx specialises in the processing of alluvial diamond deposits in South Africa and the operation is currently targeting to operate 24 h/d, six days a week with total headfeed capacity of 200 t/h. Equipment and road building is ongoing, and it is expected production will commence in May 2022.

The contract award follows the conclusion of mining by another contractor, Bluedust 7 Propriety Ltd.

Oena consists of an 8,800-ha mining right located along the Orange River in a well-established alluvial diamond-mining province that produces high quality and large sized diamonds.

Thiess to deliver mine planning and engineering services to Tata Steel

Thiess says it has entered into a business cooperation agreement to deliver mine planning and engineering services to Tata Steel.

Under the agreement, the contract miner will also collaborate with Tata Steel to deliver competitive integrated business solutions to the global mining industry.

Tata Steel is one of the world’s most geographically diversified steel producers, providing fully integrated steel operations – from mining to the manufacturing and marketing of finished products.

Thiess Executive Chairman & CEO, Michael Wright, said: “With a shared focus on value creation and sustainability, this agreement is the foundation for a strong partnership and complements our efforts to diversify our services and accelerate our growth across commodities and geographies.”

Tata Steel Vice President (Raw Materials), D.B Sundara Raman, said: “We have been in the mining business for more than a century providing various exploration and mine planning services to our captive mines for sustainable mining. We are pleased to start offering our mine technical services commercially through Tata Steel Industrial Consulting to the mining industry outside Tata Steel.

“This agreement with Thiess will complement our capabilities and capacities to raise the standards of such services in India in particular and internationally in general for more scientific and sustainable mine development.”

Tata Steel will work closely with the Thiess India Engineering Hub, which provides technical support to Thiess’ global operations, including geotechnical and mine engineering, technology service delivery, business process automation and learning & development services.

Thiess wins three-year extension at Harum Energy’s Mahakam Sumber Jaya mine

Thiess says it has been awarded a three-year contract renewal to provide mining services at Harum Energy’s Mahakam Sumber Jaya coal mine in East Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Under the contract extension, commencing from April 1, 2023, Thiess will continue providing mine design and planning, drill and blast, overburden removal, load and haul, asset maintenance and management, rehabilitation, water management and haul road maintenance services.

Thiess Executive Chairman & CEO, Michael Wright, said: “Thiess is proud to continue its longstanding relationship with Harum Energy at MSJ, where we’ve worked with our client to deliver sustainable mining services since the mine was developed in 2008.

“This contract enables us to continue our record of delivering certainty for our client, with a clear focus on safe and sustainable production and rehabilitation.”

Thiess Executive General Manager – Asia, Cluny Randell, added: “This contract renewal is great recognition of our team’s ability to partner and grow together with our client and deliver long-term performance and productivity gains for Harum Energy.

“We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with our client and the community of Kutai Kartanegara, where we’ve worked together during COVID-19 to provide vaccinations for the local communities.”

Thiess to deliver mining services to Mount Holland lithium mine JV

Thiess says it has been awarded a four-year contract by Covalent Lithium to deliver mining services at the Mount Holland lithium mine in Western Australia.

Covalent Lithium is a joint venture between Wesfarmers and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM), one of the world’s largest lithium miners.

Under the contract, Thiess will deliver drill and blast services, mining of overburden and ore, and equipment maintenance with a strong focus on community development and environmental protection, it said. Thiess commenced mobilisation and early mining operations in January.

Thiess Executive Chairman and CEO, Michael Wright, said: “We are very pleased to be selected by Covalent to undertake mining at the Mount Holland mine. This award recognises our team’s ability to deliver sustainable mining solutions and deliver enduring value for our clients across diverse commodities.

“We look forward to working with Covalent Lithium to safely position their operations for optimal efficiency, productivity and cost performance, and contribute strongly to a clean energy future.”

The Mount Holland Mine produces lithium-bearing ore that is concentrated and refined to produce lithium hydroxide, a mineral used to enable electric vehicles and battery-based energy storage systems. EPC contractor, Primero, is currently constructing the Mt Holland concentrator to process ‘run of mine’ ore at a rate of circa-2 Mt/y and produce an output of circa-400,000 t/y of spodumene concentrate to feed the company’s integrated lithium hydroxide conversion refinery situated in Kwinana.

Metarock Group transformation takes shape with new coal contracts

Australia-listed Metarock Group has banked two contract wins this week, one at the Cook Colliery in Queensland and one at the Maxwell underground coal project in New South Wales.

The former has seen its Mastermyne subsidiary become the contract operator at Cook for Constellation Mining, a subsidiary of QCoal Group. The contract term of four years comes with a further two-year option and the company will see work commence immediately under the Mining Services Agreement.

The Cook Colliery was purchased by QCoal in July 2020 and has been maintained under care and maintenance since the acquisition. In July 2021, Mastermyne was selected to carry out a package of work to prepare the mine to re-commence production. This work included recommissioning of existing underground infrastructure, overhauling of mining equipment, establishment of production panels and other associated administrative and procurement works. This first tranche of work has been completed and the mine is now ready to commence production.

Mobilisation underground is already well progressed with the first Joy (Komatsu) miner underground and cutting coal as it forms up the production panels that will see the next Joy machines start production mining using a low-risk place changing methodology, Metarock said.

The project will produce approximately 4 Mt of run of mine coal over four years across three production panels.

At Maxwell underground, Metarock’s PYBAR Mining Services has been named the preferred contractor for the Maxwell Underground Project Access Drifts as part of an executed letter of intent with Malabar Resources. The contract term of 12 months will commence later this year following the execution of a binding Alliance-style mining services pact.

The scope consists of twin parallel drifts around 1.3 km in length, which will provide access to the targeted coal seams. Excavation of the drifts will be carried out with metalliferous-style drill and blast equipment and methods, modified for operating within a coal mining lease.

Having only recently completed the acquisition of PYBAR and the renaming of Mastermyne to Metarock, MD Tony Caruso said: “Mastermyne’s transformation from an underground coal contractor to a diversified mining services provider is taking shape and the awarding of this project (Maxwell) is a major vote of confidence from customers in the new larger business.”

He added: “This project is quite unique in that it brings together the combination of the Mastermyne and PYBAR skill-sets, which is a real differentiator for the Metarock Group.”

NRW to leverage MaxMine tech platform at Dalgaranga gold mine

NRW Holdings’ mining division has entered into an agreement with MaxMine to install its technology across the A$300 million ($216 million) Dalgaranga gold mine contract in Western Australia.

The MaxMine platform harnesses cutting-edge hardware, digital automation, advanced artificial intelligence-based analytics and human-powered coaching to empower mine sites to increase environmental efficiency and operationally productivity, according to the company.

NRW was seeking a mining technology provider who could provide reliable data-driven, automated optimisation of its operations on site, leveraging the existing teams and fleet to further its data and broader technology leadership ambition within the mining industry.

The Dalgaranga gold mine is owned by Gascoyne Resources. NRW reach agreements with Gascoyne to keep providing services at the mine back in 2020 after the miner’s successful A$125 million recapitalisation process.

NRW has invested in building out its internal data analytics capabilities and was ready to step up its approach to partnering with service providers that supply to industrial data quality and help solve big data analytics challenges, it said.

Additionally, a tight domestic labour market has increased operator turnover at all mine sites and is an especially challenging issue for the mining contracting segment.

MaxMine’s technology automatically captures, enhances and contextualises up to 10,000 times more data at open-pit mining operations, relative to the industry standard fleet management system products, according to the company. Its data processing pipelines automatically contextualise all equipment, operator, and site data relative to each other, and dynamically to the conditions within the shift, such as weather, or other external factors.

This contextualised site data (a digital twin) is translated, in tandem with implementation coaching, to generate tangible increases in asset productivity and reliability of equipment, through three primary improvement states. These are: (1) Get in control; (2) Optimise Performance; and (3) Ramp up production rates.

These outcomes are evidenced by existing customers who experience, on average, an 11% payload increase and halve tyre costs after implementing MaxMine, the company said.

NRW Operations Manager, Adam Harper, said continuous innovation and intelligent use of data is core to NRW mining division’s future, and another way NRW is consistently adding value for its customers beyond moving tonnes.

NRW General Manager Mining Division, Tim Abrahams, added: “NRW emphasises good data as a critical enabler of our operational effectiveness and partnering with MaxMine, who are a leader in fleet operations data, allows us to continuously improve our performance for our customers.”

MaxMine Chief Executive Officer, Coert Du Plessis, said the two companies were aligned in pursuing a more sustainable and reliable mining industry.

“The benefits from this cooperation extend beyond MaxMine or NRW; the global challenge of ‘Net Zero’ by 2050 cannot be achieved without an order of magnitude change in mining efficiencies. Working with NRW is another fantastic example of great partnerships helping transform a critically important industry into a safer, more efficient and environmentally-friendly component of the world’s economy.”

The announcement of the agreement with NRW comes one month after MaxMine officially launched MaxMine Carbon, a technology offering that, the company says, will enable mining operators to reduce their carbon emissions by 5-20%, depending on their existing efficiencies, with limited or no additional capital expenditure.

Redpath to take on underground mining work at Aurelia’s Hera operation

Redpath Australia has been awarded the underground mining services contract at Aurelia Metals’ Hera gold-lead-zinc mine in New South Wales.

The project will see production activities continue at Hera from January 2022 with a primarily NSW-based workforce.

While Hera produced 4,650 oz of gold in the September quarter, Aurelia is working on a feasibility study at the Hera-Federation Complex (including Hera and the Federation discovery), due in mid-2022, that could see production increase.

Redpath Australia has also been selected as the contractor for the exploration decline at this project.