Tag Archives: Mark Ackroyd

Wolff Mining breaks monthly drilling record at BMA Saraji Mine

Wolff Mining, part of the National Group, has been breaking records at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Saraji mine, having recently achieving a drilling milestone at the Queensland coal operation.

Wolff Mining is known for its heavy earthmoving capabilities, being a key supplier of heavy earthmoving equipment to the mining sector on a dry hire or wet hire basis, with drilling equipment and services also offered.

For the past 16 months, the company has been assisting BMA Saraji in a “sprint drilling capacity”, providing drilling equipment and full contract mining services.

It currently supplies BMA Saraji with a Cat MD6420B drill with GPS, and provides operational labour such as supervisors, drillers and fitters.

The MD6420B is one of Cat’s heavy-duty drills designed for open-pit mining, delivering reliable performance and operational safety. It is one of the favoured models by drillers around the world and encompasses leading features from the ultra-class to the mid-size rotary drill line, according to Wolff.

Some of the advanced features available include improved fuel efficiency, electro-hydraulic controls that provide increased operator safety and precision, computer-controlled drilling, enhanced diagnostics and autonomous ready functions, it said.

November drilling at BMA Saraji has been undertaken in 270 mm holes ranging in depth from 30-65+ m in tertiary material, according to Wolff.

The company recently achieved a milestone of 43,794 drilled metres (dm) for the month of November, beating the previous record of 41,500 dm at BMA Saraji.

“The performance of our Cat MD6420B drill has been exceptional,” notes Mark Ackroyd, National Group Managing Director. “It is very rare that a drilling company exceeds 40,000 dm a month, so breaking the site record of 41,500 dm at BMA Saraji, and setting a new record of 43,794 dm for the month of November, is a great achievement.”

He added: “To achieve a milestone such as this takes a highly skilled and motivated team and a high-quality piece of mining machinery such as the Cat MD6420B drill. I would like to congratulate the team here at Wolff Mining for their outstanding efforts and praise the performance of the Cat drill.”

National Group ups the excavating ante at NSW gold mine with Liebherr R 9200

National Group, through National Plant & Equipment, has supplied a Liebherr R 9200 excavator to an open-pit gold mine in western New South Wales, Australia.

The Liebherr R 9200 offers the biggest payload in its class with the 12.5 cu.m bucket capacity enabling sustainable performance and peak fuel burn efficiency in the most challenging conditions, according to the OEM.

Equipped with a Cummins QSK38 engine, with a rating of 810 kW at 1,800 revolutions per minute, the R 9200 is available powered by both diesel and electric motors. It can also be fitted with backhoe and face shovel attachments.

National Group Managing Director, Mark Ackroyd, said the arrival of the Liebherr R 9200 had further diversified the company’s already impressive fleet of equipment.

“The feedback from site is that the Liebherr R 9200 has been very well received,” Ackroyd told Australian Mining. “Our customers have been impressed with the performance of the Liebherr R 9200; it’s a very good machine and is competitive with other machines of a similar size and type.”

National Group is known across Australia for its dry hire of heavy earthmoving equipment. Working alongside Liebherr, it selected the R 9200 excavator for site, applying the joint understanding of the mine, the work being completed there and previous success using Liebherr equipment.

Liebherr-Australia Major Account Manager, Ben Kerr, explained: “Liebherr’s relationship with National, and understanding of the gold mine site requirements, allowed us to put forward the appropriate sized excavator and tailored bucket size to suit both National’s and site’s requirements.

“The addition of this R 9200 to National’s fleet further expands their range of mining equipment, building on the strong relationship and ease of doing business between the two companies.”

RPMGlobal’s AMT helps National Plant & Equipment bolster fleet availability

National Plant & Equipment has successfully increased fleet availability during a heightened period of growth after implementing RPMGlobal’s leading asset management solution, AMT™.

Mark Ackroyd, National Group Managing Director, said: “AMT assisted the company in adopting a forward-looking, proactive approach to asset management that has been critical to its success.

“National Plant & Equipment has been on a strong growth trajectory and AMT has enabled us to scale effectively during this period.”

He said the asset management solution permitted the company to gauge the true costs of operating equipment across a multitude of sites while simplifying issues that accompany growth.

AMT, RPMGlobal’s intelligent asset management software, helps mining companies, contractors, original equipment manufacturers and their dealers effectively manage their assets using a unique Dynamic Life Cycle Costing (DLCC) engine, RPMGlobal says.

This DLCC engine enables mining organisations to take a proactive approach to asset management. This includes the ability to identify asset life cycle risks and opportunities; control and curtail maintenance costs; reduce unplanned downtime; and report and analyse the critical engineering, maintenance process, application, and operational drivers of asset performance.

National Plant & Equipment selected AMT during a period of growth that enabled it to consistently meet reliability and availability targets by harnessing AMT’s DLCC engine, RPMGlobal said.

With enhanced visibility of day-to-day asset maintenance requirements that could scale alongside its growth, National Plant & Equipment was able to gauge the costs of operating equipment across more than 40 different sites.

“AMT can seamlessly integrate with any Enterprise Resource Planning system and provides a live zero-based forecast at any time, ensuring National Plant & Equipment consistently achieves an accurate, on-demand maintenance budget at all times,” the company said.

Prior to implementing AMT, National Plant & Equipment managed its assets through multiple spreadsheets. As a result, this made it very difficult to nurture relationships with its customers and optimise asset effectiveness, according to RPMGlobal.

“We are now able to conduct real-time maintenance budgeting instead of relying on static maintenance plans, which has eliminated room for error,” Ackroyd said. “With AMT, we now have one source of truth for the business nation-wide, giving us an accurate view of asset management.”

RPMGlobal Australian General Manager, Michael Baldwin, said it was critical for mining contractors to have a centralised management solution to optimise asset management activities.

“Being proactive about asset management is a key competitive advantage for contractors, providing the ability to reduce unplanned downtime of equipment and keep operational costs low to maximise overall asset performance,” he said.

“RPMGlobal remains passionate about empowering our customers so they can better measure and manage their asset management improvement journey, and it’s great to see companies such as National Plant & Equipment achieve such a high level of success with AMT.”

National Group’s NPE delivers Cat 994K wheel loader to Rio’s Marandoo iron ore site

National Group says its National Plant & Equipment (NPE) subsidiary has delivered Australia’s first rental Cat 994K wheel loader to Rio Tinto’s Marandoo iron ore mine in Western Australia.

After arriving in Perth from the Caterpillar manufacturing facility in Decatur, Illinois, USA, the wheel loader began pre-assembly on February 17 by WesTrac at its Reid Road facility, in WA. From there, the oversized load was disassembled for transportation from Perth to the Pilbara, where final assembly took place on site at Marandoo before being handed over to Rio Tinto to begin work in early May.

Marandoo is one of Rio’s Pilbara iron ore assets to feature autonomy. Back in 2017, Cat and Rio Tinto signed an agreement to retrofit 19 Cat 793F mining trucks for autonomous operation at the site, making it the first fleet of Cat autonomous trucks deployed by Rio Tinto.

National Group said Cat large wheel loaders are well known as the ‘top of their class’ due to their sheer size and durability that ensures maximum availability through multiple life cycles. “The 994K doesn’t disappoint, with a net power of 1,297 kW, an operating weight of over 240 t and a bucket capacity range of 19.1 – 24.5 m³ for hard-rock conditions (up to 43.6 m³ for soft rock), making it the largest wheel loader currently manufactured by Caterpillar,” it said.

Mark Ackroyd, National Group Managing Director, said: “With optimised performance and simplified serviceability, the 994K allows mine sites to move more material efficiently and safely at a lower cost per tonne.

“They are the ideal machine for large mining companies such as Rio Tinto to maximise their efficiency and productivity and reduce the level of ongoing maintenance required.”

Geoff Bailey, WesTrac Executive General Manager of Sales, said: “WesTrac have worked closely with NPE for more than seven years and we’re proud to continue to support the business with industry-leading equipment and technology.

“The 994K can handle large payloads even in tough conditions, loading a matched Cat 789 or 793 haul truck in five to six passes, respectively. It’s a highly efficient option for our WA mining customers.”

Ackroyd said there was currently less than 10 994Ks in Australia, “so we are very excited to own a brand new model and to see it go to work with one of our key clients”.

As many businesses and industries come to a halt due to COVID-19 restrictions, National Group says it is preparing to deliver a range of other machinery to mine sites around Australia in the coming months.

National Group buys semi-autonomous dozer contractor specialist Wolff Group

National Group says it recently acquired Wolff Group, bolting on a range of automated and innovative solutions such as large scale satellite bulk dozer push and semi-autonomous blast hole drilling to its existing range of mining services.

Wolff, the first company in Australia to use Command for dozing, a Cat® Minestar™ offering, also provides contract mining services, excavator pre-strip fleets, civil earthworks, site clearing and rehabilitation works, according to National Group.

The National Group, meanwhile, comprises companies from the mining, resource, logistics and personnel supply industries that, through its National Heavy Haulage and International Global Logistics subsidiaries, regularly delivers mining equipment nationally and internationally.

National Group Managing Director, Mark Ackroyd, sees the acquisition providing niche business opportunities.

“Adding Wolff to the National Group will allow us to deliver additional services in autonomous operations, so it was a logical choice for us,” he said.

“Terry (Wolff, Managing Director of Wolff Group) and his team at Wolff have a very similar organisational culture to ours and that was one of the most important things we spoke about during our discussions. The other was their work in autonomous operations and the focus towards the future of mining.

“We want to provide our customers with the best there is and staying on the cutting-edge of technology goes a long way in allowing us to do that.”

As part of the acquisition, National Group and Wolff have agreed to adopt a “business as usual” approach to ensure minimal to no effect on the current Wolff workforce and customer base, National Group said.

Terry Wolff, who will stay actively involved in the business, said: “National Group met all of our foundations and culturally aligned with the way we already do business here at Wolff, so that made this decision a lot easier for us. We couldn’t think of a better company to pass on the baton to.

“National Group values our people, autonomous expertise and our ability to operate in the segments where we have a depth of knowledge and experience.”

Wolff is well-known in the industry for its focus on innovation and technology and already has an established partnership with Caterpillar and Hastings Deering to implement and optimise semi-autonomous tractor system technology in a world’s-first application into a mining production environment, National Group said.

Ackroyd concluded: “Here at the National Group, we are excited for the future and look forward to further extending the range of automated features for our expansive fleet of dozers and drills.”

National Group brings Hitachi and Liebherr excavators to Bowen Basin coal mines

The National Group has delivered a pair of new excavators to two coal operations in the Bowen Basin of Queensland, Australia.

The first of these excavators, a Hitachi EX5600 (pictured below), was added to BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s Peak Downs site where the National Group previously handed over five Liebherr Ultra-Class T 282C Trucks in September.

The second excavator, a Liebherr R 996B (pictured above), was delivered to its sister mine Poitrel, part of BHP’s other Queensland joint venture, BHP Mitsui Coal. The excavator is the first piece of equipment National Group has at the coal mine.

National Group Founder and Managing Director, Mark Ackroyd, said: “We have been working with BHP for some time now, especially at Peak Downs, so to be adding more equipment there is a testament to the machines we currently have operating for them and speaks volumes of our team on-site who do a great job with maintenance when needed.

“Poitrel, on the other hand, we are very excited to be adding our first piece of equipment there and for it to be the ever reliable Liebherr 996 digger. We’re confident they are going to love this machine and hope it is just the beginning of things to come.”

Bringing such big equipment to this part of Queensland is a complex process. National Group says it has the capabilities to handle all transport, assembly and delivery, giving customers peace of mind when securing these long-term rentals.

Ackroyd said: “We know how difficult it can be to get the bigger gear to Australia first of all, let alone having to worry about everything else once it arrives here. That is why we have worked very hard to build brands that complement each other in the entire journey of port-to-pit.”

National Group is coming off one of its best years to date, it said, however the company has no plans to slow down in 2019 with future plans already to invest in technology and enter the automation space.

Ackroyd said: “The mining industry is now following the technology trend around the world and automation is at the forefront of this. It is all about finding different ways to help your customers succeed and embracing innovation to get that edge over competitors.”