Tag Archives: Karlawinda

Thiess’ sustainability drive accelerates in 2023

With the release of its 2023 sustainability report, Thiess says it has advanced its journey towards sustainable mining, reducing its emissions and diversifying its commodities and services.

Further progress was made towards its 2025 decarbonisation target, reducing Scope 1 emissions by 21% and Scope 2 emissions by 12% during 2023.

These efforts were further enhanced by the group’s diversification of its commodities and services, to rebalance its thermal coal revenue to less than 25% by the end of 2027, which is tracking ahead of schedule. Recognising this, the group has now set an additional diversification target to rebalance its portfolio to consist of less than 20% thermal coal revenue by the end of 2030.

“The group remains committed to supporting a smooth energy transition and will continue to provide sustainable mining services to its thermal coal clients as the use of this commodity continues to support economic growth in many societies,” it said.

These goals have been set alongside the release of Thiess’ 2023 sustainability report, which, itself, reported on several projects helping the decarbonisation cause.

To progress its target of 85% of light vehicles being electric or hybrid by 2030, Thiess began battery electric and hybrid light vehicle trials in Australia, North America and Chile, in 2023, with similar trials expected to begin in Indonesia in 2024.

In Chile, Thiess formalised an agreement to lease two Voltera R6 electric cars, each with a range of 280-300 km, which were delivered to the Llanos copper project in October. This initiative aims to reduce emissions by approximately 7.2 t CO2-e each year. Thiess also partnered with Hualpen, a Chile-based transport company, to trial the use of an electric bus to transport personnel during shift change from the city of Calama to the Llanos copper project, in Minera Centinela, approximately 100 km away. The use of the electric bus results in an estimated emissions saving of approximately 140 kg CO2-e per trip, which Hualpen estimates will result in a total emissions saving of approximately 15 t CO2-e per year.

In the US, Thiess investigated the application of an electric 4×4 light vehicle in the challenging weather conditions at its molybdenum site. The site is around 3.5 km above sea level with temperatures often dropping to -20°C. The chosen engineered solution uses a Hypercraft electric drive system to convert a heavy-duty designed Ford F-250 Super Duty 4×4 (pictured). This fully-electric solution provides a range of 160-225 km and was deployed in December 2023.

At the Mt Pleasant operation in New South Wales, Australia, Thiess has introduced two electric vehicles (EVs) – a Polestar 2 and Kia EV6 – and a hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander, as pool cars. The vehicles provide personnel with an opportunity to trial the experience of driving an EV to encourage wider adoption. Two ABB 22 kW electric chargers were installed to support the trial with a third installed for use by employees and visitors who drive EVs to site.

Outside of light vehicles, Thiess, through MACA, welcomed the first Liebherr R 9300 250-t excavator in Australia into its growing fleet at the Karlawinda gold project in Western Australia. Commissioned in August 2023, the R 9300 uses innovative technology to provide improved performance and better fuel efficiency, Thiess says. Thiess also introduced Komatsu 930E-5 electric drive trucks, with tier 4 engine technology, at two Australian projects to enhance operational efficiency. The trucks are expected to deliver a 5% reduction in fuel consumption compared to other trucks in their class, it says.

In 2023, the MACA team at the Okvau gold project in Cambodia worked with its supplier to reduce the compressor power of all drill rigs to 90% to improve efficiency and reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Since the implementation of the initiative in June 2023, fuel consumption across all six Epiroc drill rigs has been reduced by an average of 20%. This equates to an annual saving of approximately 165,000 litres of fuel and 570 kg of CO2-e emissions. Thiess said: “MACA intends to continue with the reduced compressor power as there has been no adverse effects since the initiative was implemented. Drill performance in normal conditions has been unaffected and no maintenance issues have been reported.”

Building on the success of the initiative, the aim is to extend the modifications to remaining drill rigs of the same model within its fleet.

Also during 2023, Thiess completed a study to determine the optimum horse power (HP) setting for the Cat 794AC trucks at a Queensland project based on application, production capability and fuel burn. The study allowed Thiess to identify the most appropriate setting, considering tonnes moved and fuel consumed, and calculate component life targets based on each setting. The trial resulted in fuel savings of 15.79% across a fleet of seven 794ACs by reducing the HP setting from 3,500 HP to 3,100 HP. According to internal calculations this equated to a saving of A$1.68 million ($1.11 million) per year in fuel, $180,000 in life extension and an annual reduction in emissions of 3,790 t CO2-e.

The site team concluded there was no reduction in asset performance, however the trial indicated a reduction in truck productivity of 4.72%. Although this is a bespoke situation, Thiess says it will look to identify similar cases at other sites where the trial findings may be utilised.

In September 2023, Thiess launched the Thiess Remote Operation Centre (TROC) In Jakarta, Indonesia. Using leading technology, TROC supports fleet management at the Wahana mine over 1,000 km away. This remote technology can help to improve efficiency and productivity of the mining fleet, Thiess says.

Thiess will look to implement the technology at its MSJ mine next, allowing TROC to support additional mines as Thiess continues on its digitisation journey.

Thiess also completed a hydrogen trickle feed trial on 40% of its haul fleet at the Prominent Hill operation in South Australia, in 2023 (now owned by BHP). Findings have been leveraged with the aim to initiate a second trial at a New South Wales project in 2024.

In 2024, Thiess plans to begin trials of hybrid excavators in Indonesia and battery-powered light/medium trucks in Australia, continue dual fuel trials and MACA’s pursuit of fleet retrofit solutions in Australia, complete an additional hydrogen trickle feed technology trial and investigate more fuel-efficient options for its asset rebuilds, it says.

Australia’s first Liebherr R 9300 mining excavator starts work at Karlawinda gold mine

Liebherr-Australia has recently delivered an R 9300 mining excavator to long-term customer MACA at the Karlawinda gold project, in Western Australia, with the machine becoming the first such excavator commissioned in the country.

After a successful launch – with five of these excavators already sold in Indonesia – the commissioning of the first R 9300 in Australia further demonstrates the strength of the machine’s reputation, the OEM says.

The mining excavator was commissioned in late August at Karlawinda, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. MACA, a global contractor that works within the mining, construction and process engineering sectors and is owned by Thiess, is excited to welcome this machine to its growing Liebherr excavator fleet, it says.

It joins three Liebherr R 9200 excavators operating on the site, owned by Capricorn Metals, expanding MACA’s already extensive Liebherr fleet, totalling over 20 excavators.

The R 9300 was chosen not only for its capacity to assist in meeting the production targets of its client, but also for the excavator’s fuel efficiency; its state-of-the-art technology, such as Liebherr’s Assistance Systems; and its operational effectiveness, Liebherr says.

Liebherr-Australia completed the assembly, testing and commissioning of the R 9300 in a matter of four weeks. The company will continue to support the machine and MACA from both its Perth and Newman branches, as well as from the factory for Liebherr mining excavators in Colmar, France.

The R 9300 was launched to the global mining market in June of this year. It is the second Generation 8 excavator within the Liebherr Mining portfolio and comes with the most advanced Liebherr Mining innovations as standard. The R 9300 will replace the R 9250 as the 250-tonne mining excavator in Liebherr’s portfolio in 2024.

You can find out more about the R 9300 in this video interview here.

MACA Interquip delivers to plan at Capricorn’s Karlawinda gold project

The MACA Interquip team has successfully reached completion of services provided to Capricorn Metals at the Karlawinda gold project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, the company has confirmed.

MACA Interquip undertook steelwork procurement and SMP (structural, mechanical, and piping) construction services for the 4 Mt/y three-stage crushing plant, grinding and conventional carbon-in-leach plant.

Plant commissioning is now complete and the MACA Interquip team has begun to demobilise from site after a successful job done.

Project Manager, Brett Smith, said the success of this project is a testament to the skillset, dedication and diligence of the MACA Interquip team.

“Construction is complete and now the plant is efficiently up and running and being ramped up to nameplate capacity. As our works came to a close, our teams remained highly committed to delivering a safe work environment and achieved an LTI-free project,” Smith said.

MACA Mining, meanwhile, is carrying out open-pit mining services including drilling & blasting and loading & hauling at the project as part of an agreement the companies signed recently.

Based on a 1.2 Moz reserve, Capricorn envisages a 12-year mine life at Karlawinda, with an annual production target of 110,000-125,000 oz of gold. The company plans to mine a single large, low strip ratio open pit and process it through the carbon-in-leach plant.

Alltype Engineering gassed up in Western Australia

WestStar Industrial’s engineering construction contracting business, Alltype Engineering, has been awarded contracts to a total value of circa-A$8 million ($6 million) across multiple clients and projects, including A$5 million of contracts in gas transmission.

APA Group has contracted Alltype to deliver multiple gas offtake and metering facility projects throughout the Midwest region of Western Australia. These turnkey multidiscipline projects involve civil, structural, mechanical, piping, electrical and instrumentation scopes, both workshop and site, with remote area working conditions and logistics and eight off-workshop fabricated gas skids to be completed off site.

Included in the projects are a gas lateral offtake and metering station for the Beyondie sulphate of potash project (pictured), a gas lateral offtake and metering project for the Lakeway SO4 potash project, and gas lateral offtake and metering work for Capricorn Metals’ Karlawinda gold project.

WestStar is also scheduled to build a gas lateral metering station for Primero Group at the Kalium Lakes potash project.

WestStar said: “These newly awarded contracts for Alltype continue to demonstrate its strength and reliability in working successfully with APA and the Australian gas industry, including both upstream and downstream projects.

“Furthermore, having fabricated, assembled and FAT tested over 20 modularised gas skid process packages in the last two years, Alltype continue to leverage off this experience and knowhow to fast track aggressive timeline projects with full supply chain control.”

Alltype has commenced the works for APA Group, which are planned to be completed by the March quarter of 2021.

In addition to this work, Alltype says it was awarded its first contract from Newmont at the Boddington gold mine, also in Western Australia. This contract had an aggressive timeline for completion of urgent fabricated plate and piping componentry for a shutdown, which was achieved. The balance of works is in the process of being completed, it noted.

Still in Western Australia, Alltype says it continues to provide goods and services for the three major iron ore developments in the Pilbara, being BHP South Flank, Rio Tinto Gudai-Darri and FMG’s majority-owned Iron Bridge project.

Capricorn Metals moves into final development stretch at Karlawinda gold project

Capricorn Metals has confirmed Way Electrical Pty Ltd will carry out the plant electrical installation at its Karlawinda gold project (KGP) in Western Australia following a competitive pricing process.

The contract is in the order of A$5 million ($3.6 million) and is in line with Capricorn’s budget estimate, it said.

This is the final significant construction contract for the build of the processing plant at Karlawinda.

Based on a 1.2 Moz reserve, Capricorn envisages a 12-year mine life at Karlawinda, with an annual production target of 110,000-125,000 oz of gold. The company plans to mine a single large, low strip ratio open pit and use a 3.5-4.0 Mt/y carbon-in-leach processing plant.

Development of the project is underway, with commissioning expected in the March quarter of 2021.

Alongside this contract award, the company said the manufacture of the ball mill for the KGP had been completed by CITIC in Luo Yang, China.

The mill components have been subjected to and passed all the required manufacture quality control inspections, and tests and are now in various stages of despatch for shipping to Australia, it explained.

With the major (and oversize) components due for departure on November 21, the estimated arrival in Port Hedland is December 10, allowing for the oversize mill components to get to the KGP by mid-December.

In addition to this, the steel pipe for the 40 km of lateral gas pipeline from the Goldfields Gas Pipeline (GGP) to the KGP power station arrived in Fremantle from Korea and has been delivered to site.

APA, the build-own-operator of the pipeline, has (in consultation with Capricorn) awarded the pipeline construction contract to McConnell Dowell, which is currently mobilising to site with a view to commencing construction in December 2020.

Once operational, the lateral pipeline from the GGP to KGP will transport around 3 Tj/d of gas for power generation at KGP.

The KGP power supplier, Contract Power Australia, has progressed fabrication of the power station building at the project, with the eight Cummins HSK78G, 2 MW gas generator units in transit from the US with expected delivery to the KGP site in early February 2021.

Lastly, the KGP open-pit earthmoving contractor, MACA, has commenced mobilising mining equipment to site. Early preparatory works have commenced including haul road construction and limited waste mining mostly to provide materials for surface water bunds and tailings storage facility construction.

The first waste rock blast of material in the Bibra stage 1 pit has been fired successfully, Capricorn said.

Capricorn Metals secures gas power for Karlawinda gold project

Capricorn Metals says it has entered into agreements with APA Group for the transportation of gas from the Goldfields Gas Pipeline (GGP) to the Karlawinda gold project, in Western Australia.

As part of the agreement, APA will also build, own and operate the lateral pipeline that links the GGP to Karlawinda. It is expected that some 3 Tj/d of gas will be transported through the pipeline for power generation at Karlawinda.

Capricorn has also recently executed a power supply agreement with Pacific Energy subsidiary Contract Power Australia where, under the terms of the agreement, Contract Power will build, own and operate a 16 MW gas-fuelled power station with 2 MW of diesel back-up at Karlawinda.

Based on a 1.2 Moz reserve, Capricorn envisages a 12-year mine life at Karlawinda, with an annual production target of 105,000-120,000 oz of gold. The company plans to mine a single large, low strip ratio open pit and use a 3.5-4.0 Mt/y carbon-in-leach processing plant.

Development of the project is underway, with commissioning expected in the March quarter of 2021.

Capricorn Executive Chairman, Mark Clark, said: “We look forward to a successful long-term partnership with these high-quality companies to meet our energy requirements. The completion of these contracts, combined with the current low price of gas in Western Australia, present Capricorn with a very attractive cost of power generation for the operation of the Karlawinda project.”

SMS Mining Services receives A$640 million of new gold project contracts

Western Australia-based contractor SMS Mining Services has been named as the preferred mining contractor for both Capricorn Metals’ Karlawinda gold project near Newman and Adaman Resources’ Kirkalocka gold project near Mt Magnet.

The two contracts are worth A$640 million combined – A$420 million ($301 million) for Karlawinda and A$220 million for Kirkalocka – and push SMS’ contract book past the A$1 billion mark, according to SMS Managing Director Danny Sweeney.

Sweeney added that the company also has contracts in the pipeline extending out to 2027, and a remaining tender pipeline of over A$1.2 billion.

The Karlawinda gold contract is for a duration of eight years and 10 months, representing the entire life of mine. It will consist of open-pit mining services including load and haul, drill and blast, and mine development.

SMS will mobilise new and existing equipment, and deploy significant technology and operational initiatives, the company said.

“We are excited to be part of Capricorn Metals story. We look forward to forging a successful long-term partnership and supporting the company in bringing the Karlawinda gold project into production in 2019,” Sweeney said.

Formal contract award is subject to final contract negotiations which SMS expects to finalise in the coming months. Contract works are due to start in the June quarter of 2019.

A feasibility study on development of the Bibra deposit at Karlawinda was completed in October 2017. This envisaged a a single large open-pit deposit feeding a 3 Mt/y CIL processing plant, producing approximately 100,000 oz/y of gold at an average all-in sustaining cost of A$1,025/oz over the initial mine life.

Meanwhile, the company has also secured preferred contractor status for Adaman’s Kirkalocka project, 70 km south of Mount Magnet. SMS owns a 33% stake in privately-owned Adaman Resources as part of its equity strategy of supporting small and mid-tier miners to enter production.

The four-year contract with an option to extend will consist of open-pit mining services including load and haul, drill and blast, and mine development. Drilling is currently is underway to extend the mine life beyond the current six years.

Again, formal contract award is subject to final contract negotiations which SMS expects to finalise in the coming weeks. Contract works are due to start in late 2018.