Tag Archives: Downer

MACA signs three-year extension with CITIC Pacific at Cape Preston

MACA Ltd says it has finalised the hire and maintenance contract for CITIC Pacific Mining Management at the Cape Preston Sino Iron magnetite project, 100 km southwest of Karratha in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The contract is expected to generate A$200 million ($152 million) in revenue for MACA over a 36-month term commencing in April. MACA’s work-in-hand position as of February 2021 is A$3.4 billion, the company said.

MACA CEO, Mike Sutton, said: “MACA is very pleased to continue working with CITIC Pacific Mining at the Sino Iron magnetite project, and we value the long-standing relationships we have with our clients at this pioneering mega project.

The current CPM contract was novated from Downer to MACA, following the acquisition of the Mining West business, and it’s pleasing to have now secured this three-year extension.”

In February, MACA completed the acquisition of Downer’s Mining West business, bringing with it four contracts at long-life mining assets in Western Australia, including the Cape Preston agreement.

MACA expands WA presence with Mining West acquisition

MACA Ltd has completed the acquisition of the Mining West business from Downer EDI Ltd, bringing with it four contracts at long-life mining assets in Western Australia.

The Mining West business currently comprises four contracts at Karara (Ansteel), Eliwana (Fortescue Metals Group), Cape Preston (Citic Pacific) and Gruyere (Gold Fields, Gold Road Resources), with each of the four novating successfully to MACA, taking effect from completion, MACA said.

Additionally, in excess of 96% of the Mining West workforce has accepted employment with MACA, the ASX-listed contractor said.

MACA’s CEO and Managing Director, Mike Sutton, said: “Acquisition of the Mining West business will provide MACA with a very meaningful addition of a large-scale mining fleet that is currently engaged across four long-life projects, all with quality customers that are well known to me and other key members of MACA’s management team.”

This fleet comprises 14 excavators and shovels, 65 dump trucks, 11 surface drills and 36 other ancillary machines.

“With the inclusion of Mining West, MACA now has total contracted work in hand of A$3.3 billion ($2.5 billion) at December 31, 2020, that provides a robust revenue base well past financial year 2025. MACA remains very active with its tendering activities and is well placed to pursue a significant number of opportunities across both current and new projects.”

Downer says it will receive over A$200 million in cash proceeds as a result of the sale.

Polymathian finds funding for automation work at OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena

Polymathian will be spearheading a A$2 million ($1.5 million) industrial mathematics project funded by industry partners and METS Ignited, and focused on OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena mine in South Australia.

This project will form part of the Industry Growth Centre’s latest Tranche 4 Collaborative Project funds totalling a combined investment of A$6 million, METS Ignited said.

The grant was awarded to Polymathian’s project at OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena copper-gold mine where, in collaboration with OZ Minerals, Downer, Deswik and others, the company is applying industrial mathematics to deploy the world’s first highly automated short interval control (SIC) system for the near real-time optimisation of sub-level cave development and production mining.

Project Lead and Partner at Polymathian, Steven Donaldson, said: “This funding allows us to marry industrial mathematics, automation and mine planning to optimise asset value at Carrapateena and explore how SIC can be done going forward.”

By applying industrial mathematics to the SIC process, the project collaboration automates the optimisation of the mine plan and autonomously dispatches tasks to the underground fleet by responding to live data.

Plans can be updated to respond to dynamic changes in the mine, as live data is received and assumptions change, according to the company. For example, at a weekly level, plans are updated as required for a rolling seven-day window, rather than on a set schedule for a fixed seven-day period. This avoids having fixed weekly plans that are at risk of becoming out-dated.

Matthew Fargher, OZ Minerals’ Senior Engineer for Long Term Planning at Carrapateena, said: “This project pursues a world first in mine planning where the mine plan is autonomously optimised and tasks dispatched in semi real-time to the underground fleet. By doing so, we can potentially remove value destroying constraints such as self-imposed time horizons and subjectivity in decision making to deliver the next best decision.

“We are excited to be a part of the team that’s delivering the blueprint for mine planning and executional change globally.”

Donaldson added: “The potential market for this tool is really quite large as the way we are solving the problem is very generic. We see this solution having potential to optimise operations across all hard-rock underground mines in Australia and globally.”

The project also has the potential to create new jobs at Polymathian including accelerating the growth of its newly opened Perth office.

METS Ignited Chief Executive, Adrian Beer, says the quality and capability of the funding applicants is becoming increasingly more sophisticated, with a number of the solutions having broader applicability across a number of sectors.

“This round of project fund recipients demonstrates just how capable our leading global METS sector is, and what is possible within our local technology sector,” Beer said.

“We are extremely proud of what has been achieved by the project fund recipients to date, and this new addition to the project funding shows that we have a huge potential to build upon.”

Primero, Mineral Technologies enlisted for Strandline’s Coburn mineral sands project

Primero Group has been awarded preferred EPC status on a substantial contract with Strandline Resources on the Coburn mineral sands project in Western Australia.

The total volume of awarded engineering procurement and construction (EPC) works totals around A$150 million ($107 million), according to Primero, and follows an initial eight-week Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) process that provided further definition of the delivery strategy and project deliverables between the groups. It also coincided with the appointment of Mineral Technologies (MT), a global services provider and leader in the design and supply of mineral sands processing facilities (and a subsidiary of Downer Group), as the strategic technology partner alongside Primero for the project delivery.

Strandline said the contract involved the engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning and performance testing of the Wet Concentration Plant (WCP), Mineral Separation Plant (MSP) and associated processing circuits at the operation.

The Coburn WCP is designed to beneficiate the heavy minerals (ilmenite, leucoxene, rutile, zircon and monazite) and reject the non-valuable, lighter minerals through multiple stages of high capacity gravity separation and classification, according to Strandline. The rich heavy mineral concentrate produced from the WCP will be transported to the MSP and stockpiled ready for processing.

“The WCP infrastructure is relocatable and is planned to be moved several times during the mine life as the mine advances along the orebody,” Strandline said. “The MSP design comprises conventional electrostatic separation, gravity and magnetic fractionation to recover a range of premium-quality final products, including chloride ilmenite, rutile, premium zircon and zircon concentrate.”

The full project award is subject to Strandline Resources approving a Final Investment Decision in the coming months, Primero said. The ECI process came after Strandline’s recent A$18.5 million equity raising.

Primero Managing Director and CEO, Cameron Henry, said: “This award is an excellent example of Primero’s ECI phase in action and adds to our growing book of projects in preferred contractor status. We have worked intensively with Strandline over the past two months in designing a delivery solution that best meets the key project objectives and value drivers, while also minimising execution risks.”

Strandline has also already appointed Piacentini & Son to design and construct three mobile dozer mining units for the project, while Macmahon has been named as the principal contractor to provide site-wide civil and bulk earthworks construction services for the project.

New Downer contract at Eliwana will phase into autonomous truck fleet maintenance

Downer EDI Ltd has announced that it is expanding its relationship with Fortescue Metals Group through the provision of a Early Mining and Maintenance Services contract at the Eliwana iron ore mine, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

This is the second Eliwana project package to be executed by Downer, the first being the Bulk Earthworks contract which commenced in late 2019. The new agreement is valued at approximately A$450 million ($299 million) over five years. Under the agreement, Downer will complete early works operations over two years as the mine site is established.

After this initial two-year term, the operations will transition to Fortescue’s autonomous mining fleets, according to Downer, who will remain at the mine site and provide maintenance services for a further three years.

Chief Executive Officer of Downer, Grant Fenn, said Downer was a leading provider of mining services in Australia.

“Downer has a long-standing relationship with Fortescue and we are very pleased to be expanding our services,” Fenn said. “We are proud to be supporting the development of the Western Hub and the communities that will benefit from the mine.”

In addition to the incorporation of automation, Eliwana is due to include a 30 Mt/y dry ore processing facility and infrastructure. Production is expected to commence in December 2020 with a life of mine strip ratio of 1.1.

Perenti considering further Australia mining services consolidation

In response to media speculation, Perenti has confirmed it is “currently giving consideration” to the potential purchase of Downer EDI’s mining services division.

“The process is ongoing and Perenti would only put forward an offer to acquire the business if it were to align with its strategy and deliver value for the company’s shareholders,” it said.

Downer confirmed in November that it would be undertaking a portfolio review “to determine whether there are opportunities to enhance the alignment” of its portfolio, noting that an important area of focus for the review was the mining business.

Perenti, a global mining services firm, has expanded substantially in the past few years, acquiring Barminco in late 2018 to become Australia’s second-largest mining services company.

Downer to deploy Carlson machine guidance solutions across Australia mine sites

Downer has recently invested in Carlson high precision machine guidance solutions to be deployed across four mine sites in Australia, the software solutions company confirmed.

In total, 27 machine systems will be installed across a fleet of dozers, excavators, drills, and supervisor vehicles to increase productivity and optimise mine site operations, Carlson said.

“As a leading mine contractor in Australia, Downer invests in technology and innovation to maximise safety, productivity, and operational efficiency across all stages of the mining lifecycle,” Carlson explained. “Supported throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia by Carlson’s Oceania distributor, Position Partners, Downer has implemented a tried and tested high precision machine guidance solution that is reliable, effective, and user friendly.”

Andrew Granger, Position Partners’ Mining Business Manager, said Downer and the company have worked closely on tailored mining solutions since 2014, when the company purchased its first Carlson high precision machine guidance system.

“Through a deep understanding of Downer’s requirements, along with a commitment by Carlson to listen to customer needs and design solutions to meet them, we were able to deliver a customised volumetrics module to get maximum productivity gains from their technology investment,” he said.

Carlson’s custom-designed volumetrics module is integrated into the Carlson Command software platform to provide office reporting tools to Downer on productivity and utilisation of high precision machine guidance systems.

“It’s a management tool that provides an in-depth understanding of machine and fleet performance,” Granger added. “It gives mine managers visibility into exactly how machines are operating, including the volume and location of material moved per hour.”

Nicholas Duggan, Technology Support Specialist from Downer, said: “Downer is committed to utilising innovative technology that delivers valuable insights and productivity gains to our mining operations. We partner with local companies where possible that have both technical capability and boots-on-the-ground support, which is why Position Partners with the Carlson solution is a preferred supplier.”

The Carlson Machine Guidance products purchased by Downer include:

  • Drill Grade – Carlson’s guidance and monitoring solution for drills;
  • Excavator Grade – Carlson’s digger guidance and monitoring solution for diggers;
  • Dozer Grade – Carlson’s guidance and monitoring solution for dozers;
  • Grade Supervisor – Carlson’s solution to allow supervisors to check production and see how they are performing against targets, and;
  • Carlson Command – Carlson’s office database solution to capture all data coming in from the machines for real-time viewing, reporting, and data analysis.

Granger said: “Carlson’s high precision machine guidance, combined with a robust reporting capability, offers a proven solution for mine sites. The systems are reliable, the interface is simple, and the productivity gains are tangible.”

Downer wins five-year rail renewal services contract with Rio Tinto

Downer has recently been awarded the preferred supplier role for a five-year rail renewal services contract with Rio Tinto.

The five-year contract, with options to extend for a further five years, builds on the work the company has been delivering for Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore division, including tyre management and track construction. Work has already commenced, according to Downer.

Executive General Manager of Downer’s Infrastructure Projects, Mark Mackay, said: “Our values very strongly align to Rio’s values when it comes to safety, delivery, thought leadership and relationships – this includes how we build and grow relationships and partnerships with local suppliers, contractors and the local community. For example, this new work will see us set a target of 35% local content, including partnerships with local business to develop a Pilbara rail workshop facility as well as the delivery of rail training to improve the skills and capability of local suppliers.”

Matt Baartz, General Manager – Rail Maintenance at Rio Tinto Iron Ore, confirmed Downer has been identified as the preferred supplier for inland renewals, adding: “Downer has a strong safety record and has performed well over a sustained period of time working across Rio Tinto.”