Tag Archives: MACA

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.

Sandvik looks to shape the surface drilling electrification conversation

“We are showing what technology can do today.”

These were the words Mats Eriksson, President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, during the Capital Markets Day in Tampere, Finland, last week when describing the launch of Sandvik’s latest battery-electric concept surface drill rig.

This rig is representative of more than just technological advances in the mining industry, also acting as a tangible example of Sandvik’s efforts to become a leader in the surface drilling space.

It has been four years since Sandvik announced this ambition, with the company having made significant headway on achieving this goal.

Sandvik doubled its order intake for rotary drills from 2019 to 2022. Over this three-year period, the company launched the Leopard™ DI650i down-the-hole (DTH) drill rig to support fully autonomous drilling operations and went on to capture major autonomous drilling contracts in Latin America, Australia and Finland.

The OEM is looking to at least double its surface mining revenue from 2022 to 2028. Key contracts in 2023 from Boliden and MACA have already provided early positive momentum towards such a goal.

There is potential for Sandvik to steal a march on its competitors in this space – companies who have already been able to automate the largest blasthole drills in key markets in the Americas and Australia – by leveraging the electrification expertise it has built up underground.

This was highlighted by Eriksson last week and was reiterated further when IM spoke to the company’s experts in Tampere in front of the second battery-electric surface concept rig.

The concept vehicle is the first in its size class, capable of drilling DTH holes up to 229 mm in diameter and blending the autonomy of battery with the continuous endurance of power cable, Sandvik says.

Dan Gleeson, IM Editor (centre), with Petri Virrankoski, President of the Surface Drilling Division (left), and Lauri Laihanen, Vice President, R&D of the Surface Drilling Division (right)

Flexibility and optionality are the name of the game, with the rig equipped with a battery able to carry out seven hours of tramming or one hour of drilling based on Sandvik research, plus plug into electrical infrastructure with a  37-mm diameter, 180-m-long tethered cable.

Lauri Laihanen, Vice President, R&D, Surface Drilling Division, Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, told IM at the Sandvik Capital Markets Day event last week: “The main benefit of this battery-electric solution is the ability to tram independently for up to seven hours.

“When you need to move the rig after drilling a certain portion of the pit ahead of blasting, you can disconnect the cable and tram the rig away from the pit independently without worrying about managing the cable logistics. Then, when you have carried out the blasting and explosives loading process and are ready for the next drilling sequence, you can tram back without recharging in between.”

Petri Virrankoski, President of the Surface Drilling Division, added: “The application where these drills are used is somewhat different to rotary drills. To a degree, they are used in production drilling, but in a very dynamic way – carrying out pre-splits or blasthole patterns on smaller benches, for example.

“They need to manoeuvre around more, so there are more demands placed on them from a flexibility and cable management perspective.”

There are other potential benefits Laihanen talks up – the ability to carry on drilling or tramming during “black outs” and, on mine sites where cable-electric equipment is already used, connect the rig to the grid after diesel-electric blasthole drills and cable shovels have started up (to avoid power surges).

“For some of our frontrunner customers that have already adopted electrification on surface and have the infrastructure in place, they would only need to add one transformer to lower the voltage level from what their larger pieces of equipment are working off to start using this rig for drilling and tramming,” he added.

This type of talk – more practical than conceptual – is representative of Sandvik ‘making the shift’ when it comes to electrification in surface mining.

It has only been just over a year since the company unveiled its first electric concept rig, based off a much smaller top hammer drill rig meant for urban construction, but the understanding of what it may take to electrify these large rigs has grown tremendously.

“From a technology development and demonstration point of view, it is crucial to understand the framework that you have from the lower and upper end of the drilling portfolio,” Laihanen said. “This helps you track it with the customer base and finalise your productisation plan to hit that 2030 goal of having an electrified offering for the whole range.”

Eriksson says the company is confident in being able to offer electric surface drilling products across its range by 2030, with Sandvik’s continued advances in underground mine electrification spurring this on.

It is worth, therefore, noting some of the numbers that came out of the Capital Markets Day from the underground load and haul division.

Brian Huff, Vice President of New Technologies for the Load and Haul Division within Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said the company had won more than 75% of the tenders it had been involved in from January-October this year, with more than 15% of the company’s load and haul order intake over this period representing battery-electric equipment.

One can also add sales of the company’s underground battery-electric drills, which started to be offered to the market from 2016, to these numbers.

The company’s Test Mine in Tampere, which IM visited last week, has played a key role in this growing Sandvik underground battery-electric population, and the recent announcement that Sandvik will look to replicate this on surface with the Sandvik Test Pit – some 40 km away – is another indicator of how serious the company is about becoming an open-pit drilling major.

Virrankoski explained: “If you look at the peak capabilities that have enabled us the successes underground, one of these is the Test Mine. This has been helpful for testing and developing not only the drill rigs, but also tooling, digital tools, automation, rock drills, etc.

“It became pretty clear about four years ago that we needed a similar capability for surface.”

This location just outside of Tampere was chosen due to the “good rock” availability, the ability to offer significant scale where the company could test out all boom and rotary drill rigs up to the DR413 class at the same time as providing customer showcases both on electrification and automation, the ability to cross-fertilise underground learnings from the existing Test Mine with surface drilling developments, and the continued development of existing and new Sandvik surface mining engineers.

The Sandvik Test Pit, which has previously served as a quarry, will be developed by its own drilling plan

The company already has multiple rigs, both boom and rotary, at the site – which is still being setup for testing – with the new electric concept rig expected to soon join it.

“The next action after that is to begin customer trials next year,” Laihanen said. “We have had preliminary discussions with several customers, but we need to finalise our own internal development testing before locking in these trials.”

This is indicative of the emphasis the company is placing on surface mining and the opportunity it has to shape the battery-electric conversation in the surface drilling space.

“For us, it is important to have a physical specimen to have these conversations with customers,” Laihanen said. “When you have something available, it makes the conversation around capabilities and limitations a lot easier, taking these discussions to a whole new level.”

Virrankoski added: “This will lead to a conversation around maintenance processes, the skills requirements, the service models, etc.

“Having a machine that can play in a real-life sandbox is very different to showing a model on a screen.”

Sandvik has laid its surface drilling marker down. The market will now decide if this is the direction it wants to move in.

MACA takes delivery of first Sandvik DR410i rotary blasthole drill rig at Gruyere

MACA says the first of six Sandvik DR410i rotary blasthole drill rigs has arrived at the Gruyere gold mine as part of a complete replacement of an ageing mixed fleet at the open-pit operation.

This compact yet imposing rig boasts a single pass depth of 14 m and capacity for holes some 32.3 m deep, further enhancing the capabilities of MACA’s strong fleet at Gruyere, it said. MACA, owned by Thiess, was recently awarded a five-year contract extension at the operation.

Gruyere, jointly owned by Gold Fields and Gold Road Resources, is 1,200 km northeast of Perth. The long-standing partnership began in 2017 and was founded on an aligned focus for safe mining practices and operational excellence.

The strengthened drilling fleet – which will amount to nine rigs in total – will assist MACA to achieve production goals, it says.

The six Sandvik DR410i units will also be joined by two Leopard DI650is and a Pantera DP1500i, representing MACA’s significant investment in leading mining technology to deliver value to clients, it said.

MACA to replace Gruyere open-pit surface drilling fleet with Sandvik rigs

Leading Australian mining, civil and minerals processing contracting group, MACA, has selected Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions to supply nine new surface drill rigs as a complete replacement for an ageing mixed fleet at the Gruyere open-pit gold mine in the Western Australian Goldfields, where it was recently awarded a five-year contract extension.

The order, which was booked in the June quarter of 2023, includes six Sandvik DR410i rotary blasthole drills, two Leopard™ DI650i down-the-hole (DTH) drill rigs and a Pantera™ DP1500i top hammer drill rig. Deliveries began in July and will continue through April 2024.

MACA, part of Thiess, has specialised in mining, crushing, civil construction, infrastructure and mineral processing for more than 20 years. It employs more than 3,000 people across operations in Australia and internationally.

MACA has provided various services at Gruyere, a joint venture between Gold Fields and Gold Road Resources, since the contractor initiated bulk earthworks in 2017. Gruyere is expected to produce an annual average of 350,000 oz of gold through a current mine life of at least 2032.

Sandvik DR410i rotary blasthole drill rigs (pictured) are compact, powerful and technologically advanced, the OEM says. They are designed for rotary and DTH holes up to 254 mm, with a mast offering a first pass capability of 14 m and a maximum depth of 32.3 m.

The Leopard DI650i is a self-contained, crawler-mounted, intelligent DTH drill rig designed for demanding high-capacity production drilling applications, Sandvik says, while the Pantera DP1500i is a hydraulic, self-propelled top hammer drill rig, ideal for production or pre-split drilling in large quarries or open-pit mines and construction sites.

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.

Regis Resources opens Balkau Decline at Garden Well South underground mine

Regis Resources Ltd has officially opened the Balkau Decline at its Garden Well South underground mine, in Western Australia, named after Regis General Manager of Exploration, Jens Balkau, who passed away in 2021.

Garden Well South underground is an underground extension of the Garden Well open-pit mine, which is a key production source at Regis’ Duketon gold project, located in the Goldfields region of Western Australia.

The original Garden Well deposit was discovered as a “blind deposit” by the Regis exploration team led by Jens Balkau.

Balkau was one of the first and longest serving employees of Regis, joining in January 2006 as the General Manager of Exploration, and remaining in that role until February 2016 when he retired from full-time work. He remained a consultant to Regis before he passed away from a long-term illness in November 2021.

The Balkau Decline provides access to Regis’ second underground operation, located at Garden Well South, which commenced commercial production during May 2023. This is part of the mineralised system that extends for at least 1 km underneath the existing Garden Well open pits, which resulted from the original discovery by the team that Balkau led, Regis said.

This milestone is the culmination of more than two years of preparation, commitment and hard work from Regis teams with support from major mining services providers Barminco and MACA, it added.

Garden Well Underground will become a key part of the wider Duketon operations, which produced 356,000 oz of gold in the year ending June 30, 2021.

The official opening ceremony for the Balkau Decline was attended by Balkau’s family, local Traditional Owners as well as many former and current Regis employees, including Regis Chairman, James Mactier, and Managing Director and CEO, Jim Beyer.

Beyer said: “The official naming of the Balkau Decline yesterday reflects this positive evolution for the Garden Well operation, so it is fitting we name it after the man who led the initial discovery of Garden Well. Jens was a much-loved and valued colleague, friend and mentor to many at Regis. He led the exploration team for over a decade with enthusiasm and an abundant willingness to nurture the next generation of geologists.

“Jens is deeply missed, but his legacy will always be remembered at Regis.”

Civmec, CPB Contractors, Primero and MACA receive work on Western Range iron ore development

Western Australian businesses have so far been awarded contracts totalling A$1 billion ($670 million) as construction progresses at the Western Range mine in the Pilbara, a joint venture between Rio Tinto (54%) and China Baowu Steel Group Co. Ltd (46%), Rio says.

In September, the two companies agreed to enter into a joint venture with respect to the Western Range iron ore project in the Pilbara, Western Australia, investing $2 billion to develop the mine. Western Range’s annual production capacity of 25 Mt of iron ore will help sustain production of the Pilbara Blend from Rio Tinto’s existing Paraburdoo mining hub. The project includes construction of a primary crusher and an 18 km conveyor system linking it to the existing Paraburdoo processing plant. Construction was expected to begin in early 2023 with first production anticipated in 2025.

The aforementioned contract awards include:

  • Civmec: awarded a contract valued at more than A$330 million for the construction of a new run of mine pad, primary crushing facility, overland conveying circuit, and modifications to the coarse ore stockpile and downstream conveying system;
  • CIMIC Group’s CPB Contractors: awarded a contract valued at approximately A$250 million to deliver the main infrastructure bulk earthworks;
  • Primero Group: awarded a contracted valued at approximately A$54 million for the design, supply, construction and commissioning of the non-process infrastructure facilities on site;
  • MACA: awarded a contract valued at approximately A$60 million to construct a camp pad and access road as well as crushing and screening work; and
  • Pilbara Aboriginal Businesses: contracts totalling A$39 million.

Western Range aligns with Rio Tinto’s local procurement strategy which aims to increase opportunities for Pilbara, West Australian and Australian businesses to be a part of the company’s supply chain. Last year, Rio Tinto increased its spend with more than 2,400 suppliers in Western Australia to A$8.6 billion. Of this spend, A$618 million was spent with Pilbara-based businesses and a record A$504 million was spent with Indigenous businesses in Western Australia. This included A$439 million spent with Traditional Owner businesses – an increase of 45% on the previous year, Rio says.

Construction at Western Range, which will help sustain production from Rio Tinto’s existing Paraburdoo mining hub, commenced in the March quarter of this year and is expected to support approximately 1,600 jobs.

China Baowu said: “We are very pleased to see the Western Range project is progressing smoothly, with huge benefits brought to business and local communities in Western Australia. Baowu is committed to becoming a world-class international company. We will promote overseas projects following ESG standards, aiming to contribute to the localisation of the project and community development.”

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Simon Trott, added: “Rio Tinto spends billions of dollars with local suppliers across Western Australia and the Pilbara every year, helping support thriving communities across the state by providing local jobs for local people. The spending of A$1 billion with Western Australian businesses at Western Range marks a considerable milestone for both the project and those local businesses we are partnering with.

“The connection between Rio Tinto and China Baowu in the Pilbara extends more than 40 years and we are pleased to be further deepening our relationship through our joint commitment to study opportunities for the production of low-carbon iron in Western Australia.”

MACA wins load and haul contract with Atlas Iron’s McPhee Creek project

MACA says it has been awarded the mining contract at Atlas Iron’s McPhee Creek project, in the northeast Pilbara region of Western Australia, approximately 100 km north of the Roy Hill Mine.

Thiess Group Executive Australia West and MACA CEO, David Greig, said: “MACA has a strong, 20-year history servicing the resources and construction industries, and has built long standing client relationships during this period. We are now operating as a Thiess company, and I am delighted with the effort between both companies to continue to support these relationships and critical project development in Western Australia.”

“We’ve been working with Atlas for almost 15 years across our crushing, civil and mining businesses, and I look forward to working with them once again on the McPhee Creek project,” he said.

Thiess Executive Chair and CEO, Michael Wright, added: “It is very pleasing to see MACA’s ongoing commitment to their clients. They have great people who pride themselves in providing value across a broad range of services.”

The three-year project scope includes mine load and haul of up to 10 Mt/y, before being transported to Roy Hill for processing. The project is anticipated to employ 145 people at peak operations and will include partnerships with local Indigenous businesses.

Thiess in leading position to take over fellow contract miner MACA

Thiess looks like winning the acquisition tussle for fellow contract miner MACA after an increased all-cash offer was recommended by the MACA Board and NRW Holdings said it would no longer be pursuing a potential deal.

Thiess recently increased its offer price from A$1.025 ($0.71) of cash per MACA share to A$1.0751 of cash per MACA share, with the increased offer price representing a premium of 49.2% to the MACA one-month volume weighted average price as at July 25, 2022.

This followed a merger approach from NRW Holdings in August, which implied a consideration of A$1.085/share, valuing the equity of MACA at A$375 million. MACA said it did not consider this merger proposal as superior to the existing Thiess offer, continuing to recommend shareholders accepted the offer from Thiess.

Following this latest increased offer from Thiess, NRW confirmed it no longer intended to pursue the acquisition of MACA.

Including the acceptances received from MACA founders and MACA directors, Thiess’ total relevant interest in MACA is currently 15.9%.

Thiess, in its initial Bidder Statement, said it intends to operate MACA in materially the same manner supported by MACA’s workforce, brand and assets, and to continue its highly regarded community partnerships.

The proposed acquisition of MACA by Thiess is consistent with its diversification strategy, with a particular emphasis on increasing its presence within metals and minerals hard-rock mining operations in Western Australia, it says.

To this point, the company’s Western Australian hard-rock mining exposure has consisted mostly of work with BHP’s Western Australia nickel assets, in addition to a recent contract award at the Covalent Lithium Joint Venture project.

MACA has exposure to the state’s iron ore sector thanks to contracts with Fortescue and BHP; the burgeoning gold segment through contracts with Regis Resources, Ramelius Resources, Capricorn Metals and Red 5; and nickel and lithium exposure from the Ravensthorpe mine and Pilgangoora project, respectively.

Thiess also said in its Bidder Statement that it sees “a significant opportunity to combine the operational capability of both companies to continue enhancing service quality, particularly in relation to technical solutions such as deploying autonomous machinery or reducing the carbon emissions of mining services on project sites”.

Back in March, MACA announced a partnership with SafeAI to form an MoU to retrofit a mixed fleet of 100 mining trucks across multiple locations with autonomous mining technologies.

With the satisfaction of the ACCC condition on August 26, 2022, the Thiess offer is only subject to FIRB approval, no Prescribed Occurrences, no issue of convertible securities, derivatives or other rights and 90% minimum acceptances, Thiess says.

Thiess’ revised offer is scheduled to close on September 12 unless otherwise extended.

Thiess targets WA hard-rock mining sector expansion with MACA offer

Thiess looks like gaining further market share in the key hard-rock mining market of Western Australia after having a bid accepted for fellow mining contractor MACA.

The all-cash offer to acquire 100% of the shares of the company at A$1.0251/share represents a 42.2% premium to the MACA one month volume weighted average price as of July 25, 2022.

MACA’s Board has unanimously recommended that its shareholders accept the offer in the absence of a superior proposal and subject to an independent expert concluding, and continuing to conclude, that the offer is favourable to MACA shareholders.

Thiess says it intends to operate MACA in materially the same manner supported by MACA’s workforce, brand and assets, and to continue its highly regarded community partnerships.

The proposed acquisition of MACA by the Thiess is consistent with its diversification strategy, with a particular emphasis on increasing its presence within metals and minerals hard-rock mining operations in Western Australia, it says.

To this point, the company’s Western Australian hard-rock mining exposure has consisted mostly of work with BHP’s Western Australian nickel assets, in addition to a recent contract award at the Covalent Lithium Joint Venture project.

MACA has exposure to the state’s iron ore sector thanks to contracts with Fortescue and BHP; the burgeoning gold segment through contracts with Regis Resources, Ramelius Resources, Capricorn Metals and Red 5; and nickel and lithium exposure from the Ravensthorpe mine and Pilgangoora project, respectively.

Thiess also said in its Bidder Statement that it sees “a significant opportunity to combine the operational capability of both companies to continue enhancing service quality, particularly in relation to technical solutions such as deploying autonomous machinery or reducing the carbon emissions of mining services on project sites”.

Back in March, MACA announced a partnership with SafeAI to form an MoU to retrofit a mixed fleet of 100 mining trucks across multiple locations with autonomous mining technologies.

Michael Wright, Executive Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Thiess, said: “We believe our offer is an attractive opportunity for MACA shareholders as it provides certainty of cash, a strong premium and an ability to achieve liquidity for their entire MACA shareholding. We are pleased to have the support of the MACA Board for our Offer.

“The proposed acquisition of MACA is an important part of Thiess’ strategy to diversify its operations across commodities, services and geographies. Thiess has a high regard for MACA’s service quality, and we believe our industry experience positions us well to enhance MACA’s value proposition to clients and employees. We recognise and intend to maintain and grow MACA’s strong brand and presence in the Western Australian market. Thiess also looks forward to supporting MACA to meet the evolving needs of its client base through promoting further investment in low emission and technology-led solutions.”