Tag Archives: contract mining

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.

Altaley Mining engages MGA Contratista Minera SA as Tahuehueto mine contractor

Altaley Mining Corp has engaged MGA Contratista Minera SA de CV as the underground mining contractor for the soon-to-be-operating Tahuehueto gold mine, in north-western Durango state, Mexico.

MGA is, Altaley says, a prominent mining contractor located in Durango city with over 20 years of underground mining  and civil engineering experience. Its clients have included Newmont (Goldcorp), Pan American Silver, Endeavour Silver, Grupo Mexico, Fresnillo, First Majestic Silver, Omega and others.

MGA is now mobilising its mining equipment (including a Caterpillar R1300G LHD and a Komatsu Joy DR-1SB hydrualic jumbo drill) to Tahuehueto to continue underground drift and stope development to advance the mine into production. Previous underground development during 2018 and 2019 completed between 70-80% of required development for the initial one to two years of mine production.

MGA will complete the development work required to initiate mine production and continue as the project’s primary underground mining contractor in the initial years of Tahuehueto’s production.

First production through the mill, which is at an advanced stage of construction, is anticipated near the end of 2021 when the first ball mill is to be commissioned. In the March quarter of 2022, the second ball mill will be installed and brought online to, thereafter, ramp up production to the mine’s anticipated 1,000 t/d capacity.

Altaley said construction at the Tahuehueto mine site is on time and budget, and management is not expecting any cost overruns at this point in time.

Ralph Shearing, CEO and President, stated: “MGA is a highly qualified professional underground mining contractor which ensures that mill feed tonnages will be available to sustain continuous milling operations on an ongoing basis. Altaley is pleased to have secured MGA as Tahuehueto’s underground mining contractor and is counting down the weeks remaining to reach production near the end of this year.”

Thiess to continue mining at PT Wahana Baratama Mining coal mine in Indonesia

Thiess says it has secured a three-year A$220 million ($164 million) contract renewal to continue providing mining services at PT Wahana Baratama Mining’s coal mine in South Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Having operated at the project since 2007, Thiess will provide full mining services for Wahana, which is owned by Bayan Resources, including mine planning, environmental and water management, drill and blast, and mining and pit hauling services, it said. The contract renewal commences from November 2021.

Thiess CEO and Executive Chairman, Michael Wright, said: “This extension builds on our long-term partnership with Wahana and recognises Thiess’ ability to deliver sustainable and competitive mining solutions tailored to their operational needs.”

Thiess Executive General Manager Asia, Cluny Randell, said: “We’re proud to continue delivering value at Wahana, a unique operation where Thiess has mined two adjoining mines for two different clients. Our team is focused on continuing to optimise resource recovery and extending the mine’s reserves to deliver long-term value for Wahana.

“Alongside this, we’re looking forward to building on our COVID-19 vaccination efforts, extending our employee and family vaccination program into the community next month.”

Bayan Resources says the Wahana Baratama mine currently produces around 1-2 Mt/y of high calorific value bituminous quality coal.

DEVELOP’s new Underground Services division sets sights on Bellevue Gold project

DEVELOP, formerly Venturex Resources, has implemented what it says is another key plank of its growth strategy by establishing the company’s Underground Services division.

DEVELOP Underground Services will specialise in providing a range of underground mining services to cater to both DEVELOP’S own requirements at the Sulphur Springs copper-zinc-silver project in Western Australia and to service other Australian projects on a contractual basis.

In line with its strategy of also providing services on a contractual basis, DEVELOP has been invited to tender for the mining contract at Bellevue Gold’s Bellevue project in Western Australia.

Bellevue Gold’s stated commitments on environmental, social and governance initiatives, which includes a plan to become Australia’s “greenest gold miner”, and its project’s credentials, makes this tender a great opportunity aligned to DEVELOP’s own core beliefs, DEVELOP said.

DEVELOP Managing Director, Bill Beament, said DEVELOP Underground Services would enable the company to leverage the extensive underground mining skills and experience of its world-class underground DNA.

“We have quickly built an exceptional team, many of whom have worked together at some of the most successful and productive mines and companies across Australia,” Beament said.

“We are delighted to be given the opportunity to tender for the mining contract at Bellevue, which is clearly on the path to joining this list of world-class Western Australia projects. With a resource grade of 6 g/t and forecast production of 200,000 oz a year (years 1-5) at an all-in sustaining cost of just A$922/oz ($692/oz), Bellevue is about to join an exclusive global club of gold miners.”

He added: “There are only seven other mines in tier-one locations that can boast these metrics.”

Beament said Bellevue’s recently-released Stage Two Feasibility Study was testimony to the remarkable achievements of the Bellevue team.

This study outlined a 1 Mt/y asset with forecasted greenhouse gas intensity of 0.202 t CO2e/oz, with planned integration of renewable energy.

The DEVELOP Underground Services team and former Northern Star Resources head, Beament, will be helped in its pursuit of this contract by the additions of Paul Nilsson and Aaron Armstrong.

Nilsson, an alumni of Northern Star Resources and Barminco, has become Manager Mining Underground, while Aaron Armstrong, another ex-Northern Star Resources employee, has become Maintenance Manager Underground.

Centric partners with SFTP Mining to unlock key mining metrics

SFTP Mining, a Côte d’Ivoire-based mining contractor, has partnered with Centric Mining Systems, part of the Datamine family, to, it says, provide efficient access to key project metrics not only for SFTP but also for its mining clients.

Centric Mining Systems has now been implemented at two SFTP projects, with plans for continued expansion. Further partnerships and integrations are planned, as existing Centric mining clients, including Perseus Mining (part of the fleet at the Sissingue mine pictured here), look to collaborate with their contractors to further access and share data.

“Working with Centric Mining Systems on this project is not only beneficial to SFTP given Centric’s demonstrable track record of success across Africa, but also to the wider contract mining services sector as it continues to develop in Africa,”  Hendrik Kruger, Country Operations Manager at SFTP Mining, says.

Centric’s data collection and management solutions eliminate inaccurate reporting and wasted time. Instead of hours of paperwork, unreliable spreadsheets and uncertainty in data accuracy, Centric helps bring mining operations into the 21st century, the company says.

Chris Novak, CEO of Centric Mining Systems, says: “SFTP knows that productive mines and projects depend on proven solutions that standardise workflows, ensure accountability and improve collaboration. We are confident that Centric will unlock significant value for SFTP Mining by ensuring end-to-end visibility of the entire production process and the ability to adapt faster to changes and opportunities.”

With a focus on health and safety, production metrics, and equipment utilisation, staff at the project site can accurately track and report all production-related activities, anticipate risk and foresee opportunities to enhance performance, Centric says.

Novak added: “In today’s mining industry, access to information is essential to achieve operational excellence. The value of a digital mine lies in the wealth of data available across the value chain and the insight to make decisions that will affect the short-term and long-term future of your business.”

Centric is a global software solution provider that specialises in data acquisition, systems integration, data warehousing, knowledge generation and decision support solutions specific to the mining industry.

Redpath on board with Red 5’s Darlot, King of the Hills plan

Red 5 Ltd has awarded a mine development contract for its Darlot gold mine in Western Australia to Redpath Australia.

The contract, which has been awarded following the completion of a competitive tender process, is for 12 months with an option to extend at six-monthly intervals. The initial contract value is A$13 million ($9 million) and will be funded by cash flow from the Darlot operations.

The Redpath mining team and equipment have mobilised at site and underground mine development commenced on October 1, 2021.

Consistent with the revised Darlot mine plan and King of the Hills processing hub strategy announced on August 2, 2021 – which will see Darlot ore processed at the King of the Hills processing plant – Redpath will be undertaking 3 km of rapid underground mine development at Darlot, separate from the mining activities being conducted by Red 5’s existing mining teams. This will provide access to new mine areas in Burswood, Pedersen, Middle Waters South and Thompson that underpin Darlot’s current mine plan to June 2023, Red 5 says.

The option to extend the mine development contract would open further additional mining areas within Darlot’s 1.2 Moz underground mineral resource, the company says.

The recently announced transition strategy for Darlot will see it become an underground satellite mine to the King of the Hills Processing Hub, with the new processing plant expected to produce first gold in the June Quarter 2022. It will also see the processing capacity rise from the previously envisaged 4 Mt/y (for solely King of the Hills ore) to 4.7 Mt/y.

The investment in mine development at Darlot is a key aspect of the transition strategy at Darlot, reducing dependence on remnant mining and opening up new mine areas, the company says.

“The lower cost base of the King of the Hills processing hub has the potential to extend the Darlot underground mine life for several years,” it added.

Macmahon Holdings finalises Calidus Warrawoona gold project contract

Macmahon Holdings Ltd says it has now finalised a mining services contract with Calidus Resources Ltd for the Warrawoona gold project in Western Australia.

The news follows Macmahon’s selection as the preferred contractor for the project in 2020.

This contract involves the development of a new open-pit mine in the Pilbara region, with the scope of work for Macmahon expected to include all open-pit mining activities until December 2026. Macmahon anticipates the contract will generate revenue of approximately A$210 million ($154 million).

This contract is in addition to the early-stage civil works Macmahon is currently undertaking on site with 65 personnel. The company expects the main mining equipment to arrive on site in the March quarter of 2022, with the project to eventually employ around 120 Macmahon personnel.

Macmahon CEO and Managing Director, Michael Finnegan, said: “We are delighted to finalise this mining contract with Calidus Resources for its Warrawoona gold project, which follows on from the civil work we are currently undertaking on site. This contract will add approximately A$210 million to our order book and is a welcome addition to our growing portfolio of Western Australian gold projects. We have built a strong relationship with the Calidus team since we commenced on site earlier this year and look forward to developing this project with them.”

Redpath Australia wins cut and flit contract at Whitehaven’s Narrabri operations

Redpath Australia says it has been awarded the Cut and Flit Development Contract for Whitehaven Coal at its Narrabri operations in New South Wales, Australia.

Situated around 28 km southeast of Narrabri on the North West Slopes in New South Wales, the Narrabri operations mine site is one of Australia’s most productive underground coal mines. Whitehaven is the majority owner – with a 77.5% interest – and the operation has approval to extract up to 11 Mt/y of coal from the longwall operations.

Mark Donghi, General Manager – Mechanical Excavation for Redpath, says the project will employ around 55 personnel and the aim is to start recruiting immediately.

Redpath Australia’s Managing Director, Gavin Ramage, said the company is looking forward to working closely with Narrabri operations in delivering the project safely and efficiently.

The company said: “As a market leader in providing advanced development solutions to mine owners across Australia and around the globe, Redpath is well placed to deliver this project for Narrabri Coal Operations.”

Volvo ADTs, excavators hit the ground running at Weda Bay nickel project

At the Weda Bay nickel project in Central Halmahera, Indonesia, a fleet of Volvo articulated haulers and excavators are, the mining OEM says, offering excellent stability on soft ground for safety-conscious mining service contractor Samudera Mulia Abadi, while also delivering high uptime, productivity and fuel efficiency.

Samudera Mulia Abadi, headquartered in Manado, North Sulawesi, is one of Indonesia’s leading service contractors for the mining of gold and other minerals. The privately-owned company specialises in mine preparation – including infrastructure and site establishment, earthwork and land clearing, and project management – as well as excavation, loading and hauling in open-pit mines, and on- and off-road haulage.

The company’s latest endeavour is a five-year contract on a $30 billion project to extract nickel ore and transport it to the smelter at the Weda Bay nickel project in Central Halmahera. The main challenge here is the soft terrain in the pit and on the hauling roads.

“We try to remain efficient in carrying out any work in order to achieve the best return and there is no compromise on safety,” Willson Sastroamijoyo, Commissioner PT Samudera Mulia Abadi, says. “Every line of work must prioritise safety. Given the pit and hauling conditions, Volvo articulated haulers are the perfect choice as our production unit. Volvo excavators are also suitable to handle ore material like this.”

When the project began in August 2020, Samudera Mulia Abadi commissioned a fleet of 17 Volvo articulated haulers (six A40G and 11 A60H models) and 12 Volvo crawler excavators (two EC200D, five EC210D, two EC300DL and three EC480DL models), which will remain on site for as long as possible.

On delivery, dealer Indotruck Utama provided training to Samudera Mulia Abadi’s staff to promote safe operation and help them get the most value out of the machines. Since then, the dealer has continued to carry out refresher training as operator behaviour and safety procedure on site play an important part in increasing safety in eastern Indonesia.

The A60H is the largest Volvo articulated hauler with a 33.6 cu.m body volume and 55,000 kg payload capacity, while the A40G is the third largest, offering a 24 cu.m body volume and 39,000 kg payload capacity. On both models, the matched drivetrain, automatic drive combinations including 100% differential locks, all-terrain bogie, hydro-mechanical steering and active suspension ensure excellent traction and operator comfort on the most difficult terrain.

They are also designed for extreme durability and high fuel efficiency so that operators can reliably move more tonnes per hour at a lower cost, according to Volvo. The Hill Assist, Dump Support System and Rear View Camera, meanwhile, help to minimise the safety risk on site.

The Volvo crawler excavators, ranging from 20 t to 50 t in capacity, likewise offer excellent stability, fast cycle times and low fuel consumption, promoting safe, productive and profitable operation, Volvo said

“Our operators are happy to work with Volvo machines because they are comfortable and user-friendly. The quality, durability and comfort of the products have benefited us in many ways,” Sastroamijoyo says.

Volvo CE says: “Samudera Mulia Abadi works the machines hard – typically up to 22 h/d across two shifts, seven days a week – so machine availability is closely linked with productivity and profitability. It is crucial that they are durable enough to withstand such high utilisation and have simple service and maintenance requirements fulfilled by a responsive and reliable dealer. By always being ready to work, the machines help Samudera Mulia Abadi achieve its tonnes per hour and cost per tonne production targets.”

Because of this, the company has also relied on machinery from Volvo Construction Equipment on several other of its contracts over the last five years, including the Gag Island nickel project in West Papua and the Toka Tindung gold mine project in North Sulawesi.

At these two sites, Samudera Mulia Abadi operates a total of 116 Volvo machines, including 50 A40Fs, 17 A40Gs, five A45Gs and three A60H articulated haulers; one EC200D, eight EC210Bs, five EC210Ds, 12 EC350DLs, six EC480DLs, six EC950ELs crawler excavators; and one SD110 compactor.

“The overall machine performance is good and physical availability is above the target,” Sastroamijoyo says. “Of course, we are aware that the machines experience some occasional downtime, even if they are the toughest. The important thing is our how the dealer responds when these unfortunate situations occur.

“We have a good working relationship with our dealer Indotruck Utama. Their skilled service team speeds up the servicing time, while the consigned parts on site ensure high parts availability. Overall, the performance of the machines and the quality of product support increase our profitability.”