Tag Archives: Dino Otranto

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.”

Iron Bridge Magnetite project progresses with first ore feed milestone

Fortescue Metals Group has reached a new milestone on its majority-owned Iron Bridge Magnetite project in the Pilbara of Western Australia, with first ore fed into the processing plant.

With first production anticipated in the March 2023 quarter, Iron Bridge will see the world’s fourth largest iron ore miner deliver an enhanced product range and create 900 new jobs, it said.

Significantly, it could become one of Fortescue’s first fossil fuel free sites, enabled by the recently announced $6.2 billion decarbonisation investment to reach “real zero” Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.

At a milestone event held at Iron Bridge today, Fortescue’s Executive Chairman, Andrew Forrest, was joined by Chief Operating Officer Iron Ore, Dino Otranto, Fortescue Board members, Elizabeth Gaines and Penny Bingham-Hall, representatives from joint venture partner Formosa, Western Australian Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Roger Cook, along with company executives, valued partners and suppliers.

Traditional Custodians also attended the milestone event to welcome over 100 guests to Nyamal country.

Iron Bridge, 145 km south of Port Hedland, will deliver 22 Mt/y of high grade 67% Fe magnetite concentrate. This product enables Fortescue to enter the high iron ore grade market segment, providing an enhanced product range while also increasing annual production and shipping capacity, it said.

Since the investment decision in April 2019, more than 12.8 million workhours have culminated in the design and construction of the mine, pipelines, village and infrastructure at Iron Bridge. There are currently 3,470 people working across the Ore Processing Facility and pipelines scope of work.

Forrest said: “At Fortescue, we take pride in the fact that we consistently deliver what we say we will, and Iron Bridge is no different. Building on our track record of safely and successfully developing and operating iron ore projects in the Pilbara, Iron Bridge will lead the way for magnetite operations in Western Australia.

“This project demonstrates Fortescue’s commitment to our strategic pillars of investing in the long-term sustainability of our iron ore business, investing in growth, maintaining balance sheet strength, as well as delivering strong returns to our shareholders.

“As we transition to a global green energy, technology and resources company, Iron Bridge is an obvious choice to be considered as one of our first decarbonised, fossil fuel free sites, as we deliver on our target to achieve real zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.”

Otranto said: “The Iron Bridge high grade magnetite product is a significant differentiator for Fortescue, and led by the highly experienced project team, I am incredibly pleased with the significant progress made to achieve first ore feed into the processing plant.

“This is a project that has been delivered during a challenging environment, and despite a global pandemic, rising inflationary pressures and a tight labour market, the Fortescue Values have risen to the forefront and demonstrated our ability to continue delivering this ground-breaking project.”

The nature of the Iron Bridge orebodies and Fortescue’s use of a dry crushing and grinding circuit together contribute to the project’s operational efficiency across energy, water use and cost.

Low cost power will be delivered to Iron Bridge through Fortescue’s investment in the Pilbara Energy Connect project, which includes energy transmission line infrastructure, solar gas hybrid generation and associated battery storage solution.

The Iron Bridge Magnetite project is an unincorporated joint venture between FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd (69%), and Formosa Steel IB Pty Ltd (31%). The joint venture partners are each responsible for their equity share of the total capital expenditure.

Komatsu’s MC51 hard-rock cutting tech up and running at Vale’s Garson mine

Vale and Komatsu’s mechanical rock excavation (MRE) collaboration has moved into another gear, with the Komatsu MC51 machine featuring DynaCut mechanical cutting technology now operating underground at Vale’s Garson nickel mine in Sudbury, Canada, Vale’s Dino Otranto confirmed at MINExpo 2021, in Las Vegas, today.

Speaking at the ‘Creating value together: Special one-time presentation with Vale’ event on Monday, Otranto, Chief Operating Officer of North Atlantic Operations and Asian Refineries for Vale, said the machine was in operation, 2.5 km underground at Garson after recently being assembled.

The machine is scheduled to carry out a 1,400 m initial test run at the mine, according to Komatsu, with the exercise seen as a way to bring the technology to market quicker for Vale and other customers, Rudie Boshoff, Director of Hard Rock Cutting systems at Komatsu, said during the presentation.

Andy Charsley, a Principal Mining Engineer at Vale, says this trial is the largest hard-rock cutting trial Vale has ever committed to.

Through more than 10 years of research and development, Komatsu says it has determined how to break rock continuously and precisely through a fully electric system that outputs zero emissions. By automating and controlling processes so the machine can be operated remotely via line of site, Komatsu customers have the opportunity to move their operators further from the cutting face and from harm’s way leveraging DynaCut technology and the MC51 machine. DynaCut technology, which has previously been tested at Newcrest Mining’s Cadia underground mine in Australia, is billed as offering cutting accuracy of within 50 mm to plan.

Otranto says the partnership with Komatsu is the first step to “really prove and understand the technology, while meeting our high standards for safety”.

Last year, Charsley and colleague Luke Mahoney spoke to IM about this partnership, which is part of the mechanical cutting demonstration within the CMIC (Canada Mining Innovation Council) Continuous Underground Mining project.

Vale said back then that the trial planned to demonstrate the ability to cut rock in excess of 250 MPa; cut at a commercial rate of more than 3.5 m/shift; quantify the cost per metre of operation and start to look at the potential comparison with conventional drill and blast development; assess the health, safety and environmental suitability of the MRE process; and gain insight into the potential of an optimised MRE process.

Charsley says the integration of the MC51 with bolters, trucks, scoops and other equipment at the operating mine will be included within the company’s assessment of the technology.

Since announcing this collaboration, the South Australian Government has awarded a A$2 million grant to Hillgrove Resources to trial the new underground mining technology being progressed by Komatsu.

Komatsu and Vale’s DynaCut Garson collaboration to be highlighted at MINExpo

Komatsu and Vale are set to reveal more about their underground hard-rock mechanised cutting technology collaboration at the upcoming MINExpo 2021 event next month.

The companies, through the Canada Mining Innovation Council, have been engaged on a project to advance the future of underground hard rock excavation through optimising use of Komatsu’s DynaCut mechanical cutting technology.

The technology was previously tested at the Cadia underground mine in New South Wales, Australia, operated by Newcrest Mining, which IM revealed last year as part of an exclusive interview with Vale’s Luke Mahony, Head of Geology, Mine Engineering, Geotechnical and Technology & Innovation for the Global Base Metals Business; and Andy Charsley, Project Lead and Principal Mining Engineer, Technology & Innovation.

Vale and Komatsu will start trialling DynaCut’s capabilities on Komatsu’s new MC51 machine at Vale’s Garson Mine in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, shortly, working together to increase the pace at which the innovative technology will be available to the larger market.

The machine is set up at Garson and expected to start cutting in the next month, IM understands.

“True innovation requires effective collaboration between the end user and suppliers to ensure the technology meets the needs of the industry,” Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer of North Atlantic Operations and Asian Refineries for Vale, said. “This partnership is that first step to really prove and understand the technology, while meeting our high standards for safety.”

Through more than 10 years of research and development, Komatsu says it has determined how to break rock continuously and precisely through a fully-electric system that outputs zero emissions. By automating and controlling processes so the machine can be operated remotely via line of site, Komatsu customers can move their operators further from the cutting face and from harm’s way leveraging DynaCut technology and the MC51 machine, it said.

Rudie Boshoff, Director of Hard Rock Cutting Systems at Komatsu, said: “We’re excited to be trialling this new machine and technology because it offers the potential to really change the way our customers mine. Not only does the DynaCut technology provide a very controllable way of cutting rock – within 50 mm accuracy to plan – the machine itself, the MC51, is designed to advance more sustainable mining methods by reducing the amount of equipment required to get to the orebody.”

Komatsu and Vale will be co-presenting about their partnership to drive innovation on September 13, 2021, on stage at the Komatsu booth in Las Vegas.

Just this week, Hillgrove Resources said it was set to trial the DynaCut technology on an MC51 machine to develop a portal and underground decline at the Kanmantoo mine in South Australia following a A$2 million grant from the South Australia Government.