Tag Archives: Macmahon Holdings

Macmahon books A$600m of work with Newcrest, AngloGold and Vale

Macmahon Holdings has bolstered its order book with a number of contract extensions involving the Tropicana and Telfer gold operations, in Western Australia, and the Hu’u copper-gold project, in Indonesia.

At the Tropicana mine, a joint venture between AngloGold Ashanti Australia Ltd (70% and operator) and Regis Resources Ltd (30%), Macmahon has been providing mining services since open-pit mining started in July 2012 under a life of mine alliance contract.

The additional work for Macmahon follows the completion of a detailed final cutback study of the Havana pit and subsequent confirmation of the optimal method to mine the deeper ore in the Havana ore body. Macmahon has now been provided with the scheduling detail for the cutback, which will add 155 Mt to the material to be mined from 2024.

The final cutback of Havana will extend the open-pit mine life by four years, from 2023 to 2027, and is expected to generate additional revenue of approximately A$470 million ($340 million), it said.

Macmahon has also extended its life of mine contract with Newcrest for the Telfer mine.

On August 12, Newcrest announced it will proceed with the West Dome Stage 5 cutback at Telfer. This new scope of work is expected to generate revenue of circa A$138 million and will extend Macmahon’s work on site to September 2024. This new work has been negotiated on updated rates, which are forecast to achieve the company’s internal financial hurdles, Macmahon explained.

In Indonesia, Macmahon has received a letter of award to construct an 11 km access road at the Hu’u copper gold exploration project on Sumbawa island. This work is valued at approximately A$18 million and is a further step in the company’s strategy to increase its revenue from mining support services.

Subject to finalisation of contract documentation, the project is forecast to commence in September 2021 and employ approximately 150 people. The Hu’u project is 80% controlled by Vale SA. Vale has previously said the project could produce more than 250,000 t of copper and more than 200,000 oz of gold.

Macmahon CEO and Managing Director, Michael Finnegan, said: “We are pleased to have secured this additional work which adds approximately A$600 million to our order book. A key highlight is the extension of our long-term alliance contract at Tropicana, which has been a cornerstone of our surface mining business in Western Australia for many years and has recently expanded into underground mining.”

Macmahon defies labour tightness to bolster contract mining order book

Macmahon Holdings Ltd has added around A$1.35 billion ($988 million) of work to its order book with the signing of three previously flagged contract mining gigs, plus announced the addition of surface mining work at Northern Star Resources’ Julius gold project in Western Australia.

The three projects making up the A$1.35 billion of contract mining works are the 5-year agreement with St Barbara Ltd at the Gwalia gold mine, a three-year pact with Anglo American at Dawson South and a five-year contract with Red 5 Ltd at King of the Hills.

The contract with Northern Star Resources at Julius is expected to deliver revenue of A$25 million over the next 12 months. Production from the Julius deposit is expected to complement output from NSR’s Jundee operations.

In addition to these projects, Macmahon says it is well progressed in finalising the commercial arrangements for Phase 8 of its Batu Hijau copper-gold project in Indonesia, an operation owned by PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara.

Macmahon commented: “While Macmahon has observed a tightening of the labour market in Australia over the past year, it can confirm that the Gwalia, Dawson South and Julius projects have commenced operations by the times required in those contracts.

“Macmahon has existing strategies for responding to challenges in the availability of labour, and believes it is well placed to continue to manage this operational issue into the foreseeable future, and to continue to deliver value for its clients.”

Commenting on today’s announcement, Macmahon CEO and Managing Director, Michael Finnegan, said: “Macmahon is continuing to build on its track record for delivery and to advance its growth strategy.

“It is very satisfying to have secured significant new work during financial year 2021, which provides us with a strong order book and excellent earnings visibility for FY22 and FY23. The underground work at Gwalia and King of the Hills also adds scale to our underground business, which is an important step in our strategy to diversify Macmahon.”

Felix equips Macmahon with tools to manage supply chain risk

Felix Group Holdings Ltd has been awarded a three-year enterprise software contract with Macmahon Holdings for its Vendor Management and Sourcing solutions that, it says, is intended to be rolled out across the contract miner’s global operations.

Felix’s enterprise solution enables organisations to create efficiencies and manage supply chain risk by transforming and digitising the way they manage and engage with their third-party suppliers and subcontractors, it says.

The resources sector Macmahon operates in is an important part of Felix’s strategy as it continues to expand its platform into sectors beyond engineering and construction.

The contract is effective from July 1, 2021 and will run for 36 months, Felix says.

Felix CEO, Mike Davis, said: “We are very pleased to have won this contract with Macmahon, a market-leading mining services contractor. While not financially material, this represents an important milestone for Felix as we continue to expand our platform into new sectors.

“Macmahon undertook a comprehensive process to select a suitable solution to digitise their source-to-contract processes and create efficiencies across their operations. We look forward to partnering together and delivering sustainable value to Macmahon.”

Macmahon to start mining Anglo’s Dawson South met coal mine

Macmahon Holdings says it has been selected to provide surface mining services at Anglo American’s majority-owned Dawson metallurgical coal mine in Queensland, Australia, starting from July.

The work at the Dawson South operations, which forms part of the Dawson Mine, an open-pit met coal mine owned in a joint venture between Anglo American and Japan’s Mitsui Group, will generate around A$200 million ($153 million) in revenue over the three-year term, Macmahon said.

Signing of the mining services agreement is expected to occur in the near future, the company added.

Macmahon’s CEO and Managing Director, Michael Finnegan, said: “We are very pleased to be selected for the Dawson South operation by Anglo American, a leading global mining company. We look forward to working very closely with our new client to ensure a smooth transition period and continuity of safe operations. This new project further strengthens our growing east coast presence.”

Macmahon lines up open-pit/underground work at Red 5’s King of the Hills gold project

Macmahon Holdings Ltd has been awarded its second major contract in as many weeks in the Goldfields region of Western Australia, receiving a letter of intent to carry out contract mining services at Red 5 Ltd’s King of the Hills (KOTH) gold project.

The KOTH project is an open pit and underground gold deposit with a projected mine life of over 16 years. This could see the company produce 176,000 oz/y of gold over the first six years, according to a recent feasibility study.

Red 5 has commenced the construction of the camp and processing facilities on site and is planning for mining to commence in early 2022. First gold production is expected to occur in June 2022.

Just last week, Macmahon was appointed the underground mining contractor at St Barbara’s Gwalia gold mine at Leonora Operations in Western Australia.

Following a detailed tender process for both the surface and underground mining activities, Red 5 has issued a letter of intent to Macmahon for a proposal combining both scopes of work. Under the agreement, the parties are working to finalise the documentation by which Macmahon will provide all surface and underground mining services to the project over a five-year contract term, commencing in the March quarter of 2022.

Macmahon expects this documentation will be completed by June 2021 and that the contract will add over A$650 million ($497 million) to the company’s order book.

Macmahon’s CEO and MD, Michael Finnegan, said: “We are delighted to be in advanced discussions with Red 5 for its King of the Hills gold project in Western Australia. We have a strategy to expand our presence across the mining services value chain, and this project highlights the benefits of being able to offer a combined surface and underground mining solution from the outset. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Red 5 team and supporting their development of this important project.”

Macmahon expands underground work with Silver Lake Deflector contract

Macmahon Holdings’ underground mining division has been awarded a four-year contract with Silver Lake Resources to perform the mining works at the Deflector gold-copper mine in Western Australia.

A Macmahon subsidiary, GBF, has been providing underground mining services at the Deflector mine since mining commenced in early 2016. Macmahon acquired 100% of GBF in 2019, and this business is now an important part of the company’s strategy to expand in the underground mining services market, it said.

The company also recently had its stay extended at Silver Lake’s Mount Monger gold operations, in Western Australia.

The contract is a full service mining contract and, therefore, incorporates all underground development, ground support and production activities, including the provision of all labour and mobile mining equipment. Anticipated to run until April 2025, the contract is expected to generate around A$220 million ($170 million) in revenue for the company over this period.

Macmahon’s CEO and Managing Director, Michael Finnegan, said: “This new contract is an important milestone in our strategy to expand our underground business, and is a clear demonstration of the benefits we are now realising from the GBF acquisition.

“Importantly, the Deflector mine is a high-grade gold and copper asset in Western Australia, so is an attractive project in the current macro environment. We look forward to continuing to support the development of Deflector, and to achieving further scale in the underground market.”

Macmahon Holdings books open pit coal and underground gold work

Macmahon Holdings has added another A$270 million ($201 million) of work to its books with the formal award of preferred contractor status at the Foxleigh coal project and a two-year contract extension for its GBF business at Pantoto Ltd’s gold operation.

After being selected as preferred contractor in October, Macmahon’s work at the Foxleigh joint venture operation (pictured) in Queensland, Australia, will commence on March 1. The contractor will provide equipment hire and maintenance services at the open pit, truck and excavator operation in the Bowen Basin, with the contract expected to generate circa-A$250 million of revenue over a five-year term.

The work with Pantoro will see GBF take on additional work at the Wagtail and Nicolsons underground gold operations near Halls Creek in Western Australia. This contract will extend GBF’s tenure at the project to October 2023, and is worth around A$20 million, it said.

Macmahon CEO and Managing Director, Michael Finnegan, said: “The formal award of the Foxleigh project adds A$250 million to our order book and further diversifies and expands our east coast presence. We are now looking forward to building on the relationship with our new client.

“We are also delighted to continue the strong relationship that GBF has built over many years with Pantoro. The contract extension is another important step in our strategy to further expand in the underground market and we remain very well placed to continue growing our underground business.”

Macmahon, GR Engineering on board Calidus Resources’ Warrawoona gold project

Calidus Resources has started construction ahead of schedule at its Warrawoona project, as well as made two key appointments to deliver on its gold mine development in Western Australia.

It has appointed Macmahon Holdings as the preferred mining contractor for the project, while GR Engineering Services has been awarded preferred tenderer status for the process plant engineering procurement and construction.

While construction activity has already commenced ahead of the main project construction activities, which are expected to kick off in the March quarter of 2021, these contract tenders will allow finalisation of major contracts as part of the ongoing feasibility study at Warrawoona, due for completion this month, Calidus said. It will also help facilitate front end engineering and design for the project and the placing of orders for long lead items.

This project involves the development of a new open-pit mine in the Pilbara region, with the scope of work for Macmahon to include all open-pit mining activities, and potentially some early stage civil works.

Macmahon estimates the open-pit mining work will generate around A$220 million ($160 million) in revenue over 54 months and require capital expenditure of circa-A$30 million. There is also potential for the Warrawoona project to include underground mining, which could represent a further opportunity for Macmahon when this is developed, it said.

Macmahon expects it will start work on site in the first half of 2021, with the project to eventually employ more than 120 of its personnel.

GR Engineering, which has completed the last two gold plants in Western Australia, according to Calidus, will work on the design and construction of the process plant and associated infrastructure, meanwhile.

A prefeasibility study on Warrawoona completed in July 2019 outlined average gold production of 97,000 oz/y at an all-in sustaining cost of $1,159/oz over an initial six-year mine life via a 2 Mt/y conventional CIL processing circuit with single stage crush and SAG mill.

Among the initial works the company has started are 7 km-long access road to the village and process plant (pictured); the installation of the 240 room village that has been previously purchased by Calidus; the installation and operation of communications by Telstra; and the installation and equipping of water bores.

Macmahon and Redsands looking at rehab, contract mining opportunities in WA

Macmahon has signed an agreement with Redsands Rehabilitation to jointly pursue rehabilitation and contract mining opportunities in the northern Goldfields region of Western Australia.

Redsands is an Indigenous-owned business focused on the rehabilitation and revegetation of land disturbed by mining. The company was founded by Dennis Sceghi, who has worked in the mining industry as an equipment operator and contractor for over 30 years and is also an elder of the Kultju native title group.

Macmahon CEO and Managing Director, Michael Finnegan, noted that by working together, Macmahon and Red Sands will have an enhanced ability to identify work, offer economic opportunities to Indigenous people and improve the sustainability of the mining industry.

“Redsands is a regional business with very specialised environmental expertise, drawing on the skills of traditional owners,” he said. “With this agreement we will be able to target new opportunities which may not have been available to us individually. We also hope to be able to create additional Indigenous employment and expand our rehabilitation services in Western Australia.”

Macmahon, Flanders help automate Cat drills at Tropicana gold mine

The rollout of a A$6 million ($4.3 million) autonomous drill fleet at the Tropicana gold mine in Western Australia is believed to be an industry first for hard-rock mining, according to the mine’s contractor, Macmahon Holdings.

Macmahon says the use of hammer drilling versus the more traditional rotary concept when it comes to blasthole drilling is unique in the hard-rock space.

AngloGold Ashanti Australia (AGAA), with support from Flanders, a technology innovator and leader in autonomous drilling, and Tropicana Mining Alliance partner, Macmahon Holdings, now has five autonomous CAT MD6250 drill rigs and seven manned rigs as part of its drilling fleet.

Mining at Tropicana, which is 70% owned and managed by AngloGold Ashanti Australia and 30% by IGO, is carried out by Macmahon.

The fit out of the fifth rig in August comes only four months after the first rig was commissioned on April 27 and incorporates the ARDVARC drill control system with multi pass and down-the-hole modes to provide seamless operations with the site’s recently-installed long term evolution (LTE) telecommunications network, Macmahon said.

The project was initiated by AGAA Manager: Technology, Martin Boulton, who developed the original project scope before engaging Macmahon to further develop the business case.

He has been integral in developing the roll out schedule and managing the various technical linkages such as running the solution on the Tropicana LTE platform, according to Macmahon. This work led to the project taking out the AngloGold Ashanti Zero HARM (Hazard & Risk Management) Award in 2020.

“The autonomous drill fleet roll out has had many benefits with increased operating efficiency and asset utilisation as the equipment can operate through lightning and inclement weather, explosive detonation and eliminates the need for operator fatigue breaks,” Boulton said.

It also introduces a safer, risk-reduced method in production drilling, increases asset availability and operating efficiency and decreases asset wear, according to Macmahon.

While still early days, the autonomous fleet has already recorded an 8% increase in instantaneous penetration rates compared with the manned rigs, along with a 14% reduction in delay times in June compared with May.

These improvements can be attributed to the rigs’ ability to continue to drill safely during live blasts and lightning storm, while delays have also been removed from water refills and shift changes, the company said.

Tropicana Autonomous Drilling Systems Specialist, Richard Hill, said the autonomous project was testament to the team on site and at Flanders, and had come a long way in a relatively short period of time.

One person (drill controller) can operate up to five rigs from the one console located in the administration building at Tropicana with the automated rigs supported by two ground crew on the pit floor. To date, up to three rigs have been operated from the one console.

With roster changes on a two weeks on and one week off swing, that equates to three crews (with one back-up per crew).

“The plan is to have six drill controllers when fully mobilised, one main controller and a backup per crew,” Hill said.

However, like any new concept, it was not without some early teething problems.

The first was rod feed rates, particularly when it came to transitional ground, but the solution came with development of a new bit chasing logic and the plan is to also develop an automated bit changer that would further reduce delay times, Macmahon said.

Another challenge was managing the autonomous operating zones, which are currently required to run separately from the manned rigs as they were not equipped with collision avoidance software.

“We are working on that now and within the next couple of weeks should be able to incorporate those in the collision avoidance, and that will then increase our production as we will not have to change work areas as often,” Hill said.

Manning has also been an issue in terms of availability of ground crews to support the drill controller, but the role will now be classified as an entry-level position with a clear career pathway progression for new entrants.

Macmahon General Manager Plant & Maintenance, Mark Hatfield, said the company was thrilled with the overall performance of the fleet having achieved full conversion from design to installation and commissioning of the drill and remote operation centre in just eight weeks.

“The Flanders team have worked alongside our people providing specialist support for the duration of the trial on site, and remotely, and will work to provide continuous improvements in the coming months,” he said.

“The system provides an agnostic solution with a customisable capability, with all available drill data providing valuable insights for analysis and improved planning, and importantly, improving site safety conditions for our people.”