Tag Archives: engineering

GR Engineering wins Mt Ida EPC contract from Aurenne Alt Resources

GR Engineering Services says it has executed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Aurenne Alt Resources Pty Ltd in relation to the Mt Ida gold project in Western Australia.

Mt Ida, which Aurenne inherited with the acquisition of Alt Resources last year, is in the eastern goldfields of the state.

GR Engineering said the contract sum is approximately A$73 million ($54 million) and work is expected to start immediately.

Geoff Jones, Managing Director of GR Engineering, said: “GR Engineering is pleased to have been awarded the EPC contract by Aurenne and we look forward to working collaboratively with the Aurenne team. This project further reinforces GR Engineering’s reputation as the leading gold EPC contractor in Australia.”

Alt Resources previously outlined the need for a 750,000 t/y processing facility at Mt Ida in a 2020 feasibility study prior to being acquired by Aurenne.

Berco on the latest innovations in mining undercarriage solutions

Berco, part of the thyssenkrupp Forged Technologies Business Unit, is continuing to innovate within the undercarriage component market segment, with Francesco Grenzi, Executive Director of R&D, talking up some of the company’s most recent solutions for demanding applications like mining.

With over 100 years of experience and expertise in the industry, Berco says it manufactures and supplies undercarriage components to the world’s leading heavy machinery OEMs and to the aftermarket.

“Universally renowned for the very high quality of its products, Berco’s reputation is further bolstered by its dedication to providing tailor-made and innovative solutions for applications that operate in both unique and extreme conditions,” Grenzi says.

A recent challenge for Berco has been that of extending the number of hours of its mining excavator application.

“Because of the work efficiency of the most advanced mining excavators, as well as the extremely different working modes used in the open-pit mines, the goal of achieving 20,000 maintenance-free hours was indeed a difficult one,” Grenzi said.

The traveling rate of an undercarriage is also something that can significantly vary between applications. When blasting is being carried out, for example, the heavy machinery will naturally be evacuated from the area before detonation. In situations such as this, the use of carburised bushings is recommended to reduce the speed of wear.

For applications that do not travel frequently, however, undercarriage parts are still often subjected to wear. Continuous hammering of the front shovel, for example, may not lead to quick wear of the bushings, but can cause other side effects such as cracks on bushings.

Berco’s solution in this case was to use both quenched and tempered, and induction hardening and tempering bushings, as well as a quenched and tempered steel with boron to increase hardenability. These specially produced bushings deliver even more added value when fitted on reinforced chains, Grenzi said.

This solution, which is designed for heavy application such as for track chains used on 200-400 t machines, provides high resistance to wear as well as outstanding resistance to impact, according to Grenzi. Being capable of achieving up to 20,000 hours of use in the field, it ultimately reduces ownership and undercarriage costs. Since November 2020, they have been fitted as original equipment on two of the machines the manufacturer has built to perform in Russia’s most extreme environments.

While heavy machinery manufacturers look to Berco for tailor-made solutions, the company goes one step further by placing a large emphasis on R&D to anticipate solutions that are ever-more innovative, Grenzi says. An example of this is the use of ‘rotoforged’ steel in the production of rollers for very demanding mining applications.

This pioneering process will bring significant benefits to machines that have a huge load transfer in their working times, such as mining excavators that weigh above 200 t. For applications of this size and even heavier (350-400 t), the rollers are under pressure as they take all of the inertia of the vehicle. This means that the rollers need to be made of “perfect steel”, which is why the ‘rotoforging’ process is ideal, according to Grenzi.

Steel that has undergone this heat treatment process acquires a high microstructure and compactness, to such an extent it is able to achieve toughness values double those of conventional steel, he said. Continuous casting steel is usually rolled. Rolled steel that undergoes the new ‘rotoforging’ process has its microstructure transformed down to the core, resulting in a much stronger and tougher structure.

“For this reason, rollers made from ‘rotoforged’ steel are suitable for machines which must operate in the most demanding environments around the globe,” Grenzi said. “They offer a very high level of reliability of between 15,000-20,000 hours. This innovation is now ready to enter production.”

Nordic Mining enlists firms for EPC at Engebø rutile and garnet project

Nordic Mining, through its wholly owned subsidiary Nordic Rutile AS, has entered into letters of intent with Sunnfjord Industripartner AS, Åsen & Øvrelid AS, Nordic Bulk AS, and Normatic AS as partners for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the Engebø rutile and garnet project in Norway.

The LOIs are a formalisation of the EPCs deliverables toward the update of the Engebø definitive feasibility study (UDFS), and in line with the optimised contracting and execution strategy developed to ensure the successful construction of the project, the company said.

Sunnfjord Industripartner is a company founded to compete on larger contracts for industry and communication development projects, Åsen & Øvrelid is one of the largest civil and building contractor on the west coast of Norway, Nordic Bulk designs, manufactures and installs plants for processing and handling of bulk material within the mining and quarrying industry, and Normatic is a significant provider of control systems, instrumentation, electrical cabinets, electrical systems and SCADA systems.

The LOIs comprise lump sum EPC contracts covering around 70% of the total plant and mine capital expenditure of $203.4 million. The parties plan to formalise the final EPC contracts by early in the September quarter.

In preparation for construction, Nordic Mining says it will, together with its selected project management consultant and the selected EPC partners, immediately start pre-construction work related to setting up the project management organisational structures and systems and selected detailed engineering activities.

A January 2020 feasibility study on Engebø envisaged an optimised mining plan and scheduling to support an initial 42-year mine life and a 1.5 Mt/y run of mine operation. This would see 15 years of open-pit mining and high-grade processing, and stockpiling of medium/low-grade ore, 19 years underground production, eight years of production with no mining costs based on stockpiled ore, and further project life extension possibilities based on the inferred resources.

Project Manager, Kenneth Nakken Angedal, said: “We are pleased to sign the agreements with the EPCs supporting the project in the update of the definitive feasibility study and, by that, moving the Engebø rutile and garnet project towards execution. Our focus has been to partner with companies on what they are best at, and that have the experience to support in construction and operations, which will support creating value for the region in many years going forward.”

Civmec captures another contract at BMA’s Hay Point coal terminal

Civmec Ltd has been awarded a contract to manufacture wharf girders and associated structures for the development of port infrastructure at the Hay Point loading port, owned by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), in central Queensland, Australia.

The BMA agreement will see Civmec make over 13,500 t of these girders and associated structures, with procurement and shop detailing activities commencing immediately and fabrication starting in the June quarter.

Loadout onto Heavy Lift Vessels is scheduled to start in early 2022, with the last vessel planned for load out in the June quarter of 2022. The project will employ over 350 people during fabrication and assembly at the company’s Henderson facility, in Western Australia.

BMA has already engaged Civmec to fabricate, modularise and commission the 1,800 t SL2A ship loader using pre-contract capital ahead of a large infrastructure replacement project at Hay Point.

Civmec’s Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Tallon, said: “The award for the Hay Point port infrastructure work is the second significant package of works that we have been trusted to deliver for this port upgrade. We look forward to delivering a high-quality product to McConnell Dowell to allow them to have a seamless installation at the site location and welcome the opportunity to work alongside all stakeholders on this project.”

These works are part of the Shiploader 2 and Berth 2 Replacement (SABR) project at Hay Point, which McConnell Dowell is heading up. The SABR project scope encompasses replacement of one of the three berths and shiploaders at the terminal.

SRG Global bolsters South32 relationship with more Worsley Alumina work

SRG Global says it has secured a long-term circa-A$100 million ($72 million) contract with South32’s Worsley Alumina operations to provide specialist refractory services, including gunning and casting and installation of refractory products and anchors.

Works under the contract will commence in October 2020 with a duration of eight years.

South32 has also extended SRG Global’s existing engineered access services contract for a further two years, pocketing the ASX-listed engineering firm another circa-A$25 million. This will see SRG Global continue to provide access services at South32’s Worsley Alumina operations until mid-2027, it said.

David Macgeorge, Managing Director of SRG Global, said: “These contracts are a terrific achievement for SRG Global and we are excited to be expanding our partnership with South32 to continue to deliver long-term value for their Worsley operations.”

As part of the Worsley Alumina operations, bauxite is mined near the town of Boddington, 130 km southeast of Perth, Western Australia. It is then transported on the largest overland conveyor belt in the southern hemisphere, for more than 50 km, to a refinery near the town of Collie, where bauxite is turned into alumina.

AVEVA expands mining offering with Select digital transformation program

AVEVA, a global leader in industrial software, has launched a new program that, it says, is designed to help customers accelerate their digital transformation agendas by leveraging the breadth of the AVEVA software portfolio across its install base.

AVEVA Select has programs designed to suit every product and solution specialisation and industry, according to the company, aligning with both market and technology trends to help companies simplify design, optimise production, reduce energy and maximise performance.

The program will expand AVEVA’s reach to a wider distribution of industries, outside its previous core customer base of mid/downstream oil & gas, heavy chemical, power generation and distribution, to incorporate many other sectors including mining.

The expanded AVEVA Select customer base will be able to leverage their installed Monitor & Control (M&C) and Planning & Operations (P&O) solutions from AVEVA to address new challenges, create opportunities and improve the performance of their industrial operations, the company said.

AVEVA’s engineering, P&O, asset performance, and M&C solutions deliver proven results to over 16,000 customers across the globe, according to the company. Its customers are supported by an industrial software ecosystem that includes 4,200 partners and 5,700 certified developers. This includes mining customers such as MMG and Black Rock Mine operations.

Bob D’Agostino, President of AVEVA Select North, said: “The AVEVA Partner Network continues to grow as a hub for the latest thinking on performance management of manufacturing operations and today it is utilised for the sharing of best practices with the partner community as well as harnessing their collective insights to help solve some of the world’s most complex industrial manufacturing issues.

“The launch of the new AVEVA Select Program comes at a time when industrial customer demand for digital transformation is growing exponentially and it will create new opportunities for the customer base.”

Kerry Grimes, Head of Partners, AVEVA, said the company’s Partner and Channel Network was already one of the most active and supportive global networks in the industrial and manufacturing sector.

“The passion of our people is to bring communities together in order to overcome everyday business challenges as well as develop innovative new ideas,” Grimes said. “This is particularly relevant in times like these where many organisations are feeling the effects of the economic downturn in the COVID-19 world.”

Opt2go and Tata Consulting Engineers combine engineering and digital expertise

Opt2go Pty Ltd has signed a strategic alliance with Tata Consulting Engineers (TCE) aimed at providing the latest proven engineering expertise and digital solutions to the energy, metals & mining and oil & gas sectors in Australia and Oceania.

The combined expertise of the professional service company and digital enabler (Opt2go) and the leading engineering company (TCE) will enable customers to access world-class, cost-effective engineering, digital transformation and optimisation solutions, which will significantly improve business bottom-line performance and operational costs, they said.

Steve Hyslop, Opt2go CEO, said: “Our unique approach, combining process engineering, automation & control and software is not only what differentiates us, but also what makes us successful. We provide a broad range of services and solutions to help organisations facilitate change, achieve their vision and optimise the financial performance and productivity of their assets.”

Rajat Kaushal, VP International Marketing and Sales at TCE, said: “Coming from one of India’s largest and most respected business groups, we are recognised amongst the most reliable engineering consultants, known for several first-of-its-kind projects. The interdisciplinary skills of our 3,000+ engineers substantially support our problem-solving DNA. With our extensive experience and expertise, we are looking forward to scaling new frontiers with focus on industry 4.0.”

One recent mining project TCE has contributed to is the Vedanta Resources-owned Gamsberg zinc project, in South Africa (pictured).

MEC Mining looks to fill geotechnical engineering gap with new services arm

Australia-based engineering consultancy MEC Mining will soon launch a geotechnical services arm to cater for industry demand, the company has announced.

The geotechnical engineering division will be led by MEC Mining’s Technical Services and Western Australia Manager, Erin Sweeney (pictured), who is an internationally experienced Geotechnical Engineer.

MEC appointed Sweeney to open its Perth, Western Australia, branch in November last year and in that short time her team has grown from three to 11, with plans to now employ a geotechnical engineering team as well.

After discussions with clients, and through research, she recognised there was a shortage of geotechnical engineers in the market and knew clients would benefit if MEC offered the service as an in-house speciality division, the company said.

“We are really excited to launch the geotechnical engineering arm, which will complement our technical and advisory service arms,” Sweeney said. “I’d like to see us grow to be the most trusted geotechnical services brand in mining globally.

“We will be providing a one-stop-shop, as previously clients may have had to manage multiple consultants and now all trusted advisers will be working together to collaborate more effectively.

“For our clients in the mining sector, it gives them just one consultancy to go to for both their geotechnical services and mining design needs.”

MEC Mining General Manager, Christofer Catania, said MEC’s move to provide a geotechnical services arm was part of the company’s vision to provide clients a full suite of technical services.

“It’s exciting to further grow MEC’s service offerings to meet the needs of our clients,” Catania said. “Since establishing the Western Australian office in November, our team has continued to grow and it’s a trend we see continuing despite these somewhat challenging economic times.

“We see Western Australia as the front and centre of the next mining uplift, with some great projects coming online.”

Christofer Catania graduates to GM role at MEC Mining

Mining engineer, Christofer Catania, has been appointed General Manager of Australia-based engineering consultancy firm, MEC Mining, almost 15 years after becoming one of MEC’s first university vacation students.

Back then MEC Mining serviced Queensland’s coal industry and Catania was studying at university in Brisbane when he began work for the company’s three founding directors. MEC Mining now has a global presence, working in Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania, and has projects across a variety of mineral sectors – no longer just coal.

Catania has been influential in the company’s growth strategy having worked for MEC for about eight years in total, across four stints, since 2005, the company said. In the past three years at MEC Mining, he has moved from Manager of Consulting, to General Manager of Operations before his current appointment to General Manager.

Catania said he was both “excited and humbled” to be appointed as General Manager.

“I’ve spent a lot of my career invested in making MEC Mining better, so to have any opportunity to lead the company means people must have believed in the commitment I’ve applied and my understanding of the business,” Catania said.

“For MEC Mining, our vision is to further diversify our market and service offerings, including potentially in the complementary technical fields. I’m excited to help navigate through those challenges and grow into a much bigger and more diverse company.”

During Catania’s role as General Manager of Operations, MEC Mining opened a Perth office led by Erin Sweeney and, in March this year, the company created a new Underground Metal Principal role based in Western Australia, filled by Alessandro Dotta.

“A lot of our growth is in the Western Australian market and in underground metals, particularly in the gold market,” Catania said.

“In the past year MEC Mining experienced 25% growth from the year before, largely associated with our growing international presence and our establishment of a WA team, and we look forward to meeting or exceeding that growth in the coming year.”

MEC Mining Non-Executive Director, Simon Cohn, said Catania’s high level of technical and operational expertise, project management, and leadership experience would make him an exceptional General Manager.

“Chris has a deep history at MEC Mining with a proven track record for delivering successful projects at an operational and leadership level, both domestically and overseas,” Cohn said.

“I look forward to working with Chris and the entire leadership team as we further grow MEC Mining and our standalone advisory arm. It is also great to have James Cooney leading MEC Advisory which specialises in strategic management and evaluation of resources projects.”

Catania’s position of General Manager is supported by Chief Financial Officer, Julia Cooper, who celebrated eight years with the company in April.

Worley to help sustain Alcoa of Australia’s mines, refineries and smelter

Worley says it has been awarded a three‐year services contract with Alcoa of Australia for the company’s integrated mining, refining and smelting operations.

Under the contract, Worley will provide engineering and project delivery services for Alcoa’s site‐based sustaining capital program of works.

The contract continues the existing relationship between Alcoa and Worley, and establishes Worley as the preferred engineering services provider for baseload works across the Wagerup, Pinjarra and Kwinana alumina refineries, Bunbury port terminal and the Willowdale and Huntly (pictured) bauxite mining operations in Western Australia, it said. Worley will also support Alcoa’s Portland aluminium smelter in Victoria, Australia.

The services will be executed by Worley’s Australian teams in Perth and Geelong and supported by its global integrated delivery team, the company added.

Chris Ashton, Chief Executive Officer of Worley, said: “As Australia’s leading energy services company, we are pleased to continue supporting Alcoa’s Australian operations. This portfolio is one of the largest in our mining, minerals and metals business and includes our specialist alumina, bauxite and aluminium teams.”