Tag Archives: Indonesia

Heritage Minerals smashes Dando Terrier percussive drilling depth record

The Heritage Minerals team, led by Drilling Manager, Shane Charlton, has been achieving depths of 46 m with high-quality 86 mm samples using Dando Drilling’s Terrier percussive drill rig, the drilling manufacturer says.

The depth is a record for the Terrier rig, according to Dando.

Heritage Minerals is currently working on the historied Mount Morgan mine in Queensland, Australia. One of Australia’s oldest mines, Mount Morgan was active from 1882 through to the 1980s. In the process, tens of millions of tonnes of tailings were generated.

Today, these tailings present both a problem and an opportunity; a problem because they were subject to old, polluting technologies for processing gold, but an opportunity because they still contain reserves of gold, copper and other minerals.

Heritage Minerals is employing innovative processing technologies such as ReCYN, developed by partner GreenGold Engineering, to clean pollutants from the tailings and returning them to safe land.

It was this technology and the tailings recovery aim IM recently focused on for an in-depth article on Mount Morgan.

Heritage chose a Dando Terrier rig to sample the tailings at Mount Morgan for several reasons, Dando said.

“Foremost, the unconsolidated geology of tailing fines is very hard to sample with conventional rotary equipment,” it said. “The Terrier’s Duplex Sampling System, which is driven into the ground by a 64 kg anvil and simultaneously cases-off and samples, provides excellent recovery in this type of unconsolidated geology for metallurgical and in-situ density measurements.”

Charlton proved and refined the drilling method he used in the mineral sands of Kalimantan, Indonesia, where he sampled alluvials to over 20 m for lab analysis, Dando says. This is an impressive feat for a rig that has a large user base for geotechnical sampling, standard penetration testing and dynamic probe testing, most often at depths of less than 15 m.

More than doubling this to 45 m was no easy task, Charlton explained: “At depth, it took almost 10 minutes to trip the drive rods and retrieve the sample, but the quality of the sample and the economies in terms of cost per metre offset the sometimes slow drilling.”

Heritage has recently purchased a second Terrier rig from a Dando customer in Australia and Charlton has made some modifications to the design to facilitate drilling beyond the original specifications of the rig.

“We’ve fitted a permanent casing extractor to help pull sample tubes and casing if they get stuck, as well as modifications to assist with tripping rods more quickly,” he said.

To achieve these depths, the team are using a reaming method whereby they sample using an 86 mm windowless sampler tube, and then ream out using a larger 116 mm tube before returning to the 86 mm sampler to continue. This reduces frictional forces along the side of the borehole and abrasive tailing materials, according to Dando.

The percussive hammer system allows sampling without flush, minimising the need for cumbersome mud tanks or air compressors while preventing contamination of the sample or the environment, it added.

Cokal secures HPU as contract miner for BBM coking coal project

Cokal has entered into a binding agreement with PT Harmoni Panca Utama (HPU) to provide contract mining services for development and mining of the Bumi Barito Mineral (BBM) coking coal project in Indonesia.

The ASX-listed company named HPU as the preferred tenderer to provide contract mining services for the project back in November.

The five-year agreement represents a significant milestone in Cokal’s strategy for the near-term development of BBM into an operating coal mine for minimal upfront capital costs, producing premium export quality coking and pulverised coal injection coal (PCI) products, the company said.

HPU will carry out contract mining of overburden and associated services, including project management, mine planning, surveying, supervision, site security, materials, equipment, equipment maintenance, labour, transportation, medical services, consumables and site infrastructure, Cokal said.

Use of contract mining provides significant strategic and financial advantages for Cokal, with the costs of these services linked to international coking coal prices, the company said. This is aimed at protecting Cokal’s operating margin through the cycle.

Cokal says it is now endeavouring to commence development of BBM in an expedited timeframe and is working with HPU on the necessary operational and logistical matters.

BBM is in the Central Province of Kalimantan and is Cokal’s most advanced project. It has a mining lease area of 14,980 ha and a remit to produce premium coking coal and PCI products for the nearby Asia steel markets.

Austin Engineering lauds APAC performance as it heads for FY21 guidance hit

Austin Engineering Ltd is on track to hit its earning guidance after securing new orders for more than 100 products, including truck bodies, water tanks and buckets totalling more than A$35 million ($26 million) in revenue over the past few weeks.

This order flow supports previously announced earning guidance of an underlying net profit after tax in excess of A$9 million for its 2021 financial year (to June 30, 2021), which remains in place, Austin said.
Recent confirmed notable purchase orders received include:

  • Seventy-eight truck bodies for a large global miner in the Pilbara region of Western Australia for delivery throughout the balance of the current and next Australia financial years;
  • Twelve truck bodies for a large global mining contractor for delivery into Queensland, Australia – manufactured in Austin’s Indonesian facility;
  • Eight truck bodies for a large global gold miner in Western Australia; and
  • Three stairway access water tanks for a large global miner in Queensland, Australia – manufactured in Austin’s Indonesian facility.

Austin’s order book and committed work is now in excess of 70% of expected revenues, in line with this time in 2019, it said.

The Asia-Pacific region is outperforming expectations with key workshops in Perth and Indonesia well positioned to remain close to capacity for the balance of the financial year and beyond, the company added.

The economic environment in North and South America is less supportive than contemplated at the start of the financial year, Austin said.

“The continued backdrop of the US election and ongoing COVID-19 position in the USA appears to have impacted customer confidence in deploying capital in the short term,” it added. “Austin expects an improvement to this position, post January 2021, with annual budgets of US customers replenished on a calendar year basis, along with a completed Presidential transition. Ahead of this, Austin is currently quoting on a large volume of work in North America with decisions expected early in the third quarter (March quarter) of this financial year.”

Business conditions in South America have been similarly impacted by COVID-19, which has delayed several tender decisions for long-term supply contracts for both new equipment and repair and maintenance in Chile, Austin said. “Austin is well positioned for a number of opportunities but has seen short term softness due to the deferment of decisions,” it added.

Austin Managing Director, Peter Forsyth, said: “The Asia-Pacific region is performing exceptionally well at the moment with a strong line of sight to keeping our two large facilities in Perth and Indonesia close to capacity, and I am very happy with the level of orders and further opportunities in this region. Offsetting this strength, the Americas are currently facing challenging operating environments, and this is a product of the broader economies in those regions. I am heartened by the scale of opportunities in the US, Canada and Chile and we remain confident that the tide will begin to turn early in the New Year in these regions.”

In other innovation-focused developments, Austin said it was recently asked to provide a solution for a Canadian customer that had two key requirements when sourcing truck bodies for their operation: first, to achieve the maximum payload possible; and second, to ensure that the truck bodies would not require any maintenance before replacement.

Austin designed an ultra-light weight body that offered a substantial payload increase on previous designs with sufficient structural integrity to remain maintenance free for a shortened design life of less than two years, it said. This solution will enable the customer to achieve a lower cost per tonne and provides Austin with a more regular replacement cycle of equipment in this mine.

Cokal drafts in PT Harmoni Panca Utama for contract mining at BBM coal project

Cokal Limited has selected PT Harmoni Panca Utama (HPU) as the preferred tenderer to provide contract mining services for the development and mining of Cokal’s BBM coal project in Indonesia.

Aahana Mineral Resources SDN BHD (Cokal’s largest shareholder), through its experience and influence in developing and operating coal assets in Indonesia, significantly contributed to the selection process, Cokal said.

BBM is in the Central Province of Kalimantan, and is Cokal’s most advanced project. It has a mining lease area of 14,980 ha and a remit to produce premium coking coal and pulverised coal injection products for the nearby Asia steel markets.

Through its Indonesian subsidiary, PT Bumi Barito Mineral, Cokal has agreed to contract HPU for a period of five years to provide services such as open-pit overburden removal, provision of the required mining fleet and associated equipment, and coal hauling from in-pit to near-out-of-pit intermediate stockpile facilities.

HPU, one of the largest mining services companies in Indonesia, Cokal says, has agreed to mobilise upon receiving notice from Cokal to do so.

“The appointment of HPU remains subject to finalising formal contracts,” Cokal said. “However, Cokal’s commercial team have negotiated the key commercial terms, which are substantially attractive for Cokal, thus providing the opportunity to achieve favourable profit margins to be enjoyed by Cokal shareholders.”

Cokal Jakarta-based Director, Karan Bangur, said: “The team we have brought together at Cokal have extensive experience in the start-up and logistical solutions for coal mines in Indonesia. They have first-hand experience with major contractors and have ensured this award has been concluded on competitive terms with a strong contractor.

“The use of contract mining enables reduction of upfront capital requirements for commencement of mining and expedites the development of BBM. The company looks forward to working with HPU to maximise value from the production of premium export quality coking coal and PCI products.”

Hydraulink delivers new levels of service and uptime at Indonesia coal mine

An Indonesia coal mining operation in Kalimantan is, Hydraulink says, benefitting from the service availability, spare parts, and cost-efficiencies of partnering with the company’s hose and fittings organisation, as it seeks to maximise uptime of valuable equipment running 24/7.

Through local Hydraulink distributor, PT Intecs Teknikatama Industri (Intecs), the Indonesia mining contractor at the operation recently installed new hose fittings on a Cat 777D haul truck, weighs up to 161 t when full.

Hydraulink Indonesia Country Manager, Puji Wicaksono, said: “We knew this coal mining contractor needed all equipment running as efficiently as possible, with minimal downtime, to maximise their production and profitability. Hydraulics are crucial to reliability – just one broken hose can bring machinery grinding to a halt.

“So, we worked with our trusted and reliable local distributor, PT Intecs, and found that we could provide a better service offering for a lower cost than the customer was paying with their previous supplier.”

Hydraulink operates through more than 400 service points across Australia, New Zealand, Asia-Pacific, and the Pacific Islands, bringing essential, safety-complaint hydraulic hose and fittings, as well as traceable service expertise, to industries requiring prompt, quality 24/7 service either on or off site, it says.

The company services all of Indonesia, through local distributors like PT Intecs. PT Intecs has strengths in the mining market, which made them ideally suited to this job, according to Puji.

One of the challenges of being a supplier to a 24/7 mining operation is maintaining a reliable stock of spare parts of hydraulic hoses, fittings, adaptors and accessories. Hydraulink and PT Intecs worked with the customer to improve this offering compared with what it was receiving from a previous supplier.

“We keep stock of relevant hydraulic parts in the distributor branches closest to the mine site, which helps reduce lead times, and means we can service the mine vehicles more efficiently,” Puji said. “Additionally, all of our products are backed by warranty, so the customer has certainty that Hydraulink will stand by the quality of its products and service.”

To further enhance its offering to the mining contractor, Hydraulink provided tailored stock recommendations based on the machine population, and it also ran advanced training sessions with on-site personnel to ensure relevant employees were trained in the latest safety practices, according to Puji.

“Hydraulink also has a complete range of products, so the customer appreciates that they can source all their hydraulic components from a single source,” he said. “We are always working together with this customer to see how we can further improve our efficient stock management. And we’re available to solve any machinery performance issues that arise in the future.”

Base metal price rise sparks nickel-cobalt laterite activity

With the nickel price having recovered from the late March lows and now trading above the $15,000/t mark on the LME, those miners and developers tied to the base metal have been making moves in the last few months. Alan Taylor at ALTA 2020 Online recently highlighted some of the more significant news in the nickel-cobalt laterite sector.

It comes just two months prior to the start of the virtual conference.

Ravensthorpe restarts

Often viewed as an industry bellwether, the First Quantum-owned Ravensthorpe nickel mine (pictured) in Western Australia is continuing with a restart plan despite coronavirus challenges, the company recently reported.

The acid plant and atmospheric leaching operations restarted in March 2020, with the first high pressure acid leach (HPAL) circuit brought on stream in mid-April, followed by product drying and containerising of nickel mixed hydroxide product.

The second HPAL circuit is scheduled to come online in due course.

Director of Exploration, Mike Christie, said previously at Paydirt’s Africa Downunder conference in September 2019 that the mine plans to ramp-up production to between 20,000-30,000 t/y of nickel over the next few years.

Some 1,979 t of nickel was produced at the operation in the June quarter.

Ramu expansion engineering ready

Looking back to an ASX announcement on October 8, 2018, from Highland Pacific, a minority partner in the Ramu Nickel JV, a A$1.5 billion ($1.1 billion) expansion continues to be investigated.

Ramu is currently rated at 34,000 t/y nickel and 3,300 t/y cobalt as mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP), achieved in 2017.

By way of an update, Craig Lennon, Executive Director of Highlands Pacific (now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Conic Metals Corp), advised Taylor that the expansion project is engineering-ready, although the final decision to proceed is dependent on factors including global markets and final permitting decisions in Papua New Guinea.

Indonesia projects slowed

There are several HPAL projects in Indonesia aimed at producing MHP for the electric vehicle battery industry. They received environmental approvals in January 2020, allowing them to proceed with construction, according to Jack Anderson of Roskill, however, their development depends on Chinese expertise and progress is likely to be slowed due to Chinese workers involved in the construction being quarantined.

Sunrise PEP progressing towards Q3 2020 completion

Fluor Australia Pty, as Project Management Contractor, is working with the Clean TeQ-owned Sunrise nickel/cobalt/scandium project team to develop a comprehensive Project Execution Plan (PEP) for the Sunrise project in New South Wales, Australia, according to reports.

The company expects that completion and announcement of the outcomes will be late in the September quarter.

Clean TeQ advises that the PEP capital estimate will likely be higher than the 2018 definitive feasibility study figure, while the operating costs indicate the project will remain extremely competitive because of strong cobalt by-product credits.

Queensland offers funding for Sconi

The Queensland government has offered Australian Mines a conditional financial support package for the development of the Sconi cobalt-nickel-scandium project in north Queensland, the mine developer says.

The package will be subject to a number of conditions including a timetable for securing an offtake agreement for all of the nickel sulphate and cobalt sulphate production (September 2020); delivery of a detailed execution plan, obtaining approved financing for construction and making a final investment decision; appointing an engineering, procurement, construction management contractor (end 2020); and completion of construction (July 2023).

It also includes conditions for employment of people and engagement of independent contractors working directly on the project.

Australian Mines, in August, became the first mineral resources company to be certified a “Carbon Neutral Organisation” under the Australian Government’s Climate Active program.

Piauí project granted preliminary environmental licence

Brazilian Nickel plc announced the granting of a Preliminary Environmental Licence by the Brazilian Piauí State Environmental Agency on October 22, 2019, for the mining and heap leaching processing plant to produce nickel and cobalt products for the battery industry at its Piauí nickel project.

The company says it is now ready to advance through a bankable feasibility study (BFS) enable financing and application for a construction permit.

An operating demonstration plant has leached 8,000 t of ore in full-height heaps and has achieved first sales of nickel and cobalt products. This will allow the company to expand the existing demonstration plant by a factor of 10 to 1,400 t/y nickel to jump-start the project to immediate producer status without the need for a BFS.

Process innovations

On the process innovation front, there have recently been two major stories from Pure Minerals and Metso Outotec.

Pure Minerals has secured a A$2.55 million grant via its wholly owned subsidiary Queensland Pacific Metals Pty Ltd (QPM) for the Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) project. QPM and project partners Direct Nickel Projects Pty Ltd (DNi) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) successfully applied for the Federal Government grant.

The TECH project will process imported, high-grade nickel-cobalt laterite ore from New Caledonia to produce nickel sulphate, cobalt sulphate and other valuable co-products. If it proceeds it will be the first commercial application of the DNi Process™.

The next step is a pilot plant test work program on a bulk sample received from New Caledonia ore supply partners.

And, finally, Metso Outotec has introduced a new novel superheated steam sulphation process.

The process is a recent development of Metso Outotec, Finland, and has been successfully tested on a laboratory scale. It includes agglomeration of ground laterite with sulphuric acid, then superheated steam treatment at elevated temperature followed by water leaching. Nickel and cobalt are sulphated and solubilised. Iron dissolution is minimised by conversion from goethite to hematite. Sulphuric acid consumption is said to be moderate.

A paper on the process is to be presented by Metso Outotec in the ‘Nickel-Cobalt-Copper Conference’ at ALTA 2020 Online.

Pressure Acid Leaching for the production of nickel and cobalt for the battery industry is one of the key topics of the ‘Nickel-Cobalt-Copper Conference’ to be held on November 10-12 as part of ALTA 2020 Online.

This will be followed on November 13 by a short course ‘The ART of HPAL – The way of Success’. The course presenters played key roles as owner and engineering contractor in Sumitomo’s successful Coral Bay and Taganito HPAL projects in the Philippines.

International Mining is a media partner of ALTA 2020 Online

Fortescue Future Industries to investigate Indonesia’s hydro, geothermal power potential

Fortescue Future Industries has signed its second hydropower agreement in a week, with the Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary agreeing with the Government of Indonesia on a pact that allows it priority to investigate projects using the country’s hydropower and geothermal resources for ‘green’ industrial operations.

This comes on top of the government and Minderoo Foundation, a company chaired by Fortescue Metals Chairman, Andrew Forrest, signing a letter of intent to dramatically reduce plastic pollution in Indonesia’s coastal waters by 2025.

The Deed of Agreement provides first priority to Fortescue Future Industries to conduct development studies into the feasibility of projects using Indonesia’s hydropower and geothermal resources to support green industrial operations, principally for export to global markets, it said.

Subject to the completion of feasibility studies and approvals, individual projects will be developed by Fortescue Future Industries with ownership and project finance sources to be separately secured without recourse to Fortescue.

This follows a similar green hydropower agreement with the PNG government, signed recently.

“Fortescue Future Industries is underpinned by Fortescue’s world-class expertise, operational excellence and proven capability to drive future growth,” the company said. “Fortescue is a values-based business, committed to investing in the long-term sustainability of its core business while pursuing growth and development and delivering returns to shareholders.”

The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment of the Republic of Indonesia, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, said: “Indonesia and Fortescue Future Industries have entered into a preliminary binding agreement to assess the development of Indonesia’s substantial renewable power to drive green industries.”

Minister Luhut and Fortescue’s Forrest said in a joint statement: “The establishment of totally new and future large-scale industries will drive growth in Indonesia’s economy.”

Forrest added: “We have historically always enriched our organisation by providing training for guaranteed employment to local communities who have then strongly supported the projects we have developed together. We expect the new green industries in Indonesia to substantially diversify, broaden and deepen Indonesia’s already skilled workforce.”

Minister Luhut commented: “For too many decades, proposals have been thrust upon Indonesia that rely on the Indonesian people assuming the full financial risk through the purchase of electricity at prices that underwrote these developments. This agreement allows Fortescue Future Industries to access all the major hydropower and geothermal opportunities in Indonesia and establish downstream value adding industry to fully utilise the power created from sustainable energy sites.”

Meanwhile, through a joint partnership with the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, Minderoo Foundation will pilot its ‘Sea The Future’ initiative in Indonesia to scale up recycling and waste collection infrastructure and operations. Sea The Future is a coalition of leading companies in the plastics industry committed to ending plastic leakage to nature and accelerating the transition to a circular plastics economy, according to Fortescue.

SANY delivers first rigid mining truck to Indonesia coal sector

Five SANY excavators, including two SY750Hs, two SY500Hs, one SY215C, and one SRT95C rigid-body mining truck, have recently been delivered to two large coal mines in Indonesia, the China-based equipment manufacturer reports.

The latest delivery, the SY750H, the largest-tonnage SANY excavator in Indonesia at 76 t, added to the SY500Hs and SY215Cs already on site. The SY750H is equipped with a 5.4 cu.m bucket to achieve higher ripping in difficult ground conditions, SANY says. It comes with a fuel-efficient ISUZU engine.

“The SY750H crawler excavators are used specifically for overburden, as well as for loading dumper trucks in the mine,” SANY said. “They have proved their efficiency, cost-effectiveness and reliability in operation.”

The delivery of the SRT95C, meanwhile, represented the first rigid truck to head to a coal mining job site in Indonesia. It came equipped with a Cummins QST high-power engine with electronic fuel injection control and Allison transmission. “This means enhanced acceleration performance and reduced fuel consumption and emissions,” SANY said.

The truck’s frame is made of alloyed structural steel, which features resistance to low temperature, bending, twisting and impact. In addition, McPherson front strut suspension adopted on the front axle and steering mechanism smooth the ride, according to SANY.

“SANY’s equipment has a strong presence in Indonesia as clients across the islands have purchased a range of products, including excavators, cranes and mining trucks, since years ago,” it said. “These machines have proven their outstanding off-road properties as well as a good quality in service.”

The client from one of the coal mines said: “With large grab capacity, high fuel efficiency and rapid working cycles, SANY excavators fully meet our requirements. Also, the productivity and stability in operation and good aftersales service, especially the spare part support, make SANY rigid mining trucks impressive.”

The delivery of these excavators and trucks followed another order from a mining customer in Africa last month.

On July 23, Eritrea’s Bisha Mining Share Company, owned by Zijin Mining, took delivery of nine SRT95C dump trucks it ordered earlier this year from SANY. These trucks will help the copper-zinc mine increase ore production.

BME looks to regain growth in Australia/Asia as COVID-19 lockdowns ease

Having sustained its supply chain through initial COVID-19 lockdowns, BME, a member of the Omnia Holdings Group, says it is looking ahead to continued growth in Australia and Asia.

Brad Bulow, BME’s General Manager Australia-Asia, says its Australia and Indonesia blasting and explosives clients continued to efficiently operate through the initial lockdown period, being successfully supported by BME’s Brisbane and Jakarta offices, which applied a work-from-home policy.

Bulow noted that the company has been able to maintain the supply of AXXIS™ detonators to its customers over the lockdown period by using a combination of “agile manufacturing planning, air and sea freight solutions” along with leveraging inventories in “strategic locations”.

BME recently commissioned a new emulsion plant in Indonesia in support of existing down-the-hole blast loading operations, which helped the situation.

“We are forecasting strong growth for our AXXIS offering in Australia and Asia and have recently introduced two new customers to the product,” Bulow said. “Currently, our mining customers are producing good volumes, and their demand for our products remains high.”

Such strong growth projections will no doubt factor in the release of the latest generation of BME’s AXXIS system – AXXIS TITANIUM™. Expected to launch later this year, it will be the most advanced electronic blast initiation system on the market, according to Tinus Brits, BME’s Global Product Manager for AXXIS.

Back in May, the company said trials of the system in South Africa had proven successful with a 100% success rate to date.

CIMIC eyes more coal work as Q1 financials hold up

Australia-based engineering-led group, CIMIC, posted “robust” operating profit margins in its March quarter results, remarking that the mining market is proving resilient throughout the turbulence caused by the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Revenue came in at A$3.3 billion ($2.1 billion) for the three-month period, slightly down on last year’s A$3.4 billion, while net profit after tax was A$166 million, compared with A$181.1 million in the March quarter of 2019.

Its operating profit margin was 8.4% for the period.

Throughout the quarter, the company said it had witnessed stable investment in capital expenditure to sustain mining operations. Its UGL subsidiary secured contracts to provide maintenance, shutdown and project services for clients in the mining sector, and its Thiess and Sedgman subsidiaries secured framework agreements with Rio Tinto Iron Ore, in Western Australia, and variations to operations contracts in New South Wales, respectively.

The future prospects for the company look good with, as at March 31, around A$90 billion of tenders relevant to CIMIC expected to be bid and/or awarded for the remainder of 2020, and around A$400 billion of projects coming to the market in 2021 and beyond, it said.

Some major projects the company is currently bidding on include the Lake Vermont mining extension contract in Queensland, Australia. CIMIC’s Thiess is currently working on this Jellinbah Group-owned coal asset through a schedule of rates contract that sees it carry out coal mining, clearing and grubbing, topsoil removal, drill and blast, overburden removal and rehabilitation of final landforms. It also provides all mobile plant and equipment and operates and maintains the client’s coal handling and preparation plant at the site, according to Thiess.

Another contract the company is eying up for more work is the Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC) mining extension in Indonesia. Again, Thiess has a schedule of rates contract in place at the 11 Mt/y Sangatta coal operation and the company hopes it can continue its relationship with the mine with a 2022 contract extension.