Tag Archives: METS

Civmec banks new work from BHP, Roy Hill and Rio Tinto

Civmec Ltd says it has received three notices of award from several repeat mining customers for maintenance and capital works projects collectively worth approximately A$130 million ($97 million).

These orders – from BHP, Roy Hill and Rio Tinto – bring its total order book to about A$1.05 billion as at September 30, 2021.

For BHP, Civmec is to carry out a civil and earthworks job as part of the miner’s Port De-bottlenecking Project Stage 1, which includes a new stockyard planned for the South Yard at Nelson Point, in Port Hedland, Western Australia.

The scope of work includes dewatering, piling, ground improvement, associated earthworks, concrete foundations, new roads, high voltage poles and underground power works.

Civmec says mobilisation will commence this quarter, with completion expected in the March quarter of 2022.

With Roy Hill, Civmec is due to carry out a greenfield construction package related to an extension of the existing Wet High Intensity Magnetic Separation (WHIMS) plant at Roy Hill’s mine site north of Newman, in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

The scope of work includes greenfield installation and pre-commissioning of pre-assembled modules, piping, electrical and tie-in works. Mobilisation will commence immediately and completion is scheduled for the March quarter of 2022.

At Rio Tinto’s Boyne Island Smelters operation, Civmec is to supply refractory trades and other associated disciplines for maintenance, rebuild and reduction cell reconstruction works on carbon bake furnaces. The contract term is for three years with two one-year extension options.

Civmec’s Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Tallon, said: “We are delighted to secure these project wins with three of our long-term Tier 1 customers. The projects combine multi-year maintenance works along with two projects within our newly formed Maintenance and Capital Works – Resources and Energy area. With the BHP PDP1 project located in the Port Hedland region, it provides an ideal opportunity for Civmec’s newly opened regional branch to support the project, validating Civmec’s recently announced plans to invest in a purpose-built facility in Port Hedland.”

MACA wins 12-month extension at Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora lithium project

MACA Ltd has announced the extension of its mining services contract with Pilbara Minerals for a further 12 months at the Pilgangoora lithium project, in Western Australia, following Pilbara Minerals exercise of its 12-month option.

The Pilgangoora project consists of open-pit mining services including drilling and blasting and loading and hauling, and the extension is expected to generate approximately A$70 million ($51 million) in revenue for MACA over the 12-month term through to November 2022. MACA’s work in hand position as of September 21 is A$3.1 billion, it says.

MACA CEO, Mike Sutton, said “MACA is very pleased to be able to continue working with Pilbara Minerals at the Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project, having commenced operations on site in 2017. We strongly value the collaborative working relationship established with the Pilbara Minerals team over the previous four years and are proud to be an ongoing part of this project.

“For MACA, this extension secures our strong position in the Pilbara region and also provides continued involvement in the lithium industry.”

Mitchell Services bolsters drilling fleet as it senses market opportunities

Mitchell Services, noting the strongest demand for drilling services since 2008, is raising funds to take advantage of opportunities in its native Australian market.

The company is undertaking a fully underwritten accelerated non-renounceable entitlement offer to raise around A$10.5 million ($7.7 million) to support funding of a sizeable organic growth opportunity, it said.

The ASX-listed company expects to generate revenue of A$200-$220 million and EBITDA of A$40-44 million in its 2022 financial year to June 30, 2022.

Mitchell has a material capital investment program underway, which includes the purchase of nine Boart Longyear LF™ 160 drill rigs with a staggered delivery through until December 31, 2021, and includes an option for an additional three rigs.

Boart’s LF 160 coring rigs come with a depth capacity of 1,800 m (NRQ™ V-Wall), according to Boart (photo supplied by Boart).

Based on the anticipated size of the fleet, post-implementation of the growth strategy, the business would have the capacity to generate A$50-$60 million EBITDA and to deliver material earnings per share growth, it said.

These rigs were pre-ordered and will be delivered during a period of significant and increasing lead times for rig supply, Mitchell added.

“Other barriers to entry for mining services providers are high and growing, including challenging access to funding with limited lender appetite in the sector, a tightening labour market and a highly complex regulatory environment,” Mitchell Services said. “The company is expecting business conditions to continue improving in the near term with productivity increases (utilised rigs working more shifts), price increases due to the evolving supply and demand landscape, and improvements in general contract terms (for example, larger mobilisation and demobilisation charges, take or pay contracts and pricing flexibility).”

Laser Technologies cleaning solution rises to the top in BHP Supplier Innovation Program

BHP, working through its Supplier Innovation Program, is to start trialling a new laser cleaner to remove surface corrosion and prepare metal surfaces for repainting to ensure protection from the elements at its jointly owned Hay Point Coal Terminal operations in Queensland, Australia.

Traditionally pressurised blasting using water or sand has been used for this process.

As part of BHP’s Supplier Innovation Program, a challenge was launched with businesses in the Australian Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector to propose alternatives to pressure blasting that would achieve the same results, but reduce risk to personnel from exposure to high pressure and noise, and minimise waste, which currently requires careful management.

Perth, Western Australia-based joint venture Laser Technologies was selected following a competitive proposal and evaluation process to trial a hand-held 1 kW fibre laser, capable of removing old paint and surface corrosion from metal surfaces to a depth of 6 mm, and burning the waste product into harmless vapour.

The Supplier Innovation Program was launched in Australia in 2020 as part of a A$450 million ($330 million) commitment made by BHP to increase support and engagement with METS sector businesses.

The program models a similar initiative that has been running with for the past decade to address business challenges at BHP’s Escondida operations in Chile.

Under the terms of the program, participating businesses are permitted to retain the intellectual property for their designs, enabling them to further commercialise their new products following successful pilot trials with BHP.

In its 2021 financial year, BHP launched eight challenges across its Minerals Australia operations, and plans to establish another 20 challenges this financial year.

Bevan Gostelow, Maintenance Manager at Hay Point for BHP Mitsubishi Alliance, said the Laser Technologies laser cleaner had the potential to be “a real game changer” for industry because of the reduction of risks to personnel and reduced environmental impact.

“High-pressure blasting has been effective in asset integrity maintenance for many years, but the process requires a lot of controls to ensure the safety of our people doing the work, and to prevent the spread of the waste product to protect our environment,’’ Gostelow said.

“The laser cleaner is safe, quiet and easy to use and will not require all of the scaffolding and shrouding to catch waste product, because it is all burned off at the laser head.”

Brendan Tritton, one of two Directors at Laser Technologies, said having the opportunity to present their product to BHP through the Supplier Innovation Program was a “foot in the door that was worth its weight in gold”.

“We have participated in a few innovation programs in the past, but the BHP program has been by far the most effective,” Tritton said. “The team at BHP were really clear about their objectives for this challenge from the start, and that made it easier for us to develop a suitable proposal.

“I think it’s brave of BHP to be running a program that invests in METS businesses because there is the element of risk and reward when you trial new products and technologies.”

James Agar, BHP Group Procurement Officer, said the identification of Laser Technologies for this challenge was the perfect example of what the Supplier Innovation Program was designed to achieve.

“The Suppler Innovation Program was designed to provide Australian METS businesses with opportunities to showcase the new ideas and technologies they are developing, while helping BHP challenge what is possible to improve safety and performance at our operations,’’ he said.

Bis and GFG Alliance agree on Whyalla mining and steelworks contract extension

Bis is set to continue its long-standing commercial relationship with GFG Alliance’s integrated mining and steelworks at Whyalla, in South Australia, after the two companies signed a new multi-year materials handling and export facilities services contract.

The materials handling service involves the movement and processing within the steelworks of bulk materials, iron and steel slag, scrap and semi-finished products; while the export facilities service includes train unloading and ship loading at the harbour and management and maintenance of the export facilities.

The contract will help drive continuous improvement, resulting in significant efficiencies while providing greater opportunities to optimise each company’s assets and workforce across multiple work-fronts, Bis said.

Bis has been operating various service contracts at Whyalla for the last 60 years, with the contract extending its long history of providing essential core services at the integrated mining and steelwork operations.

AusIMM and METS Ignited look to improve METS sector productivity, competitiveness

AusIMM has announced a new partnership with industry-led, Australian government-funded industry growth centre, METS Ignited, to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the mining equipment and technology and services (METS) sector.

AusIMM will work with METS Ignited to build recognition of innovation in the resources sector and highlight a shared vision of industry growth, it said.

AusIMM CEO, Stephen Durkin, welcomed the collaboration between two major representative bodies in the Australian resources sector.

“With over 300,000 people directly employed by the METS sector in Australia alone, this workforce is at the forefront of Australia’s contribution to the global mining industry,” he said. “This partnership ensures that AusIMM can support the careers of professionals working in the METS sector, providing them with the leadership and development necessary to sustain a booming national industry.”

As part of the partnership, METS Ignited CEO, Adrian Beer, will feature as a panellist during AusIMM’s Thought Leadership Series.

Beer said: “METS Ignited welcomes the formal partnership between our Industry Growth Centre and AusIMM to deliver greater collaborative opportunities between the resources sector and Australia’s leading tech innovators from the METS sector.

“The AusIMM Thought Leadership Series provides a significant platform to promote the technology and innovation coming out of the sector that addresses our future industry needs, such as low emissions technology, social and environmental responsibility, the future skills for our resources workforce, and capitalising upon the emerging critical minerals demand.”

Aqura Technologies improves BHP connection with Managed Services Support contract

Veris Ltd’s wholly owned subsidiary, Aqura Technologies, says it has secured a new agreement to provide Managed Services Support for BHP West Australian Iron Ore (WAIO) accommodation village entertainment networks across nine sites.

Aqura’s in-house team will provide managed support services for village entertainment network and Wi-Fi access across BHP WAIO village accommodation rooms and public areas as part of this agreement.

Close to a week earlier, Aqura was awarded several work packages by BHP WAIO to upgrade and extend the technology and communications infrastructure at a range of accommodation sites surrounding the township of Newman in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The latest contract award leverages the internal investment undertaken by Aqura over recent periods to develop leading-edge Content Access Networks As a Service solutions, it says. “These provide capability to generate multi-year managed services frameworks with clients across a range of sectors while delivering best of breed user experiences replicating their at-home experience in a remote setting,” Aqura explained.

Travis Young, Aqura Technologies’ Chief Executive, said the engagement was a significant recognition of Aqura’s capability and skills in the delivery and efficient operation of large-scale networks and further solidifies the company’s strategic transition to a product and service-based business.

“This engagement continues a highly successful relationship supporting BHP’s In-room Communications and Entertainment Solution (IRCES), which saw Aqura upgrade over 12,000 rooms to provide high-quality connectivity access for their workers when they are away from home,” he said.

“We are proud to continue supporting BHP who have further shown their commitment to local businesses with this three-year engagement to ensure the IRCES network continues to deliver reliable and cost-effective access for many years to come.”

Veris, following a strategic review, has made plans to pursue a demerging of Aqura Technologies, explaining such a transaction will simplify the group structure and better position both Aqura and Veris Australia for growth.

WesTrac to rebuild Rio’s Pilbara dozers at Geraldton facility

Rio Tinto, WesTrac and the Western Australia Government have agreed on a project that will see dozers from Rio’s Pilbara operations head to WesTrac’s Geraldton facility for rebuilds, with up to 54 machines committed between 2021 and 2025.

Western Australia Regional Development Minister, Alannah MacTiernan, welcomed the news, saying it would provide a major boost for the Mid-West’s mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector.

The project was negotiated between the State Government through the Mid West Development Commission and industry after feasibility studies identified WesTrac’s Perth and Pilbara facilities were at capacity and unable to accommodate the additional repairs and maintenance required by Rio’s mining operations.

The Geraldton facility will receive up to 12 dozer rebuilds annually, from various Pilbara operations, according to the statement.

The project will support two new, localised apprenticeship opportunities in the Mid-West as well as creating new local skilled jobs and providing pathways to employment with Rio Tinto, the government said. The project also reduces transport times and negates logistical difficulties mining companies face getting heavy machinery in and out of the metropolitan area.

“The state will look to expand the initiative into a cross-regional Smart Specialisation project with linkages to the Kimberley and Goldfields regions, using the Mid-West as a demonstration pilot,” it added.

MacTiernan said: “This is a fantastic initiative that will see more work carried out in our regional centres, rather than shifting to Perth. It confirms that geography is not a barrier to global success for our regionally-based METS facilities, but in fact an advantage.”

Rio Tinto Port, Rail and Core Services Managing Director, Richard Cohen, said: “Rio Tinto is committed to growing regional Western Australia by supporting jobs and training opportunities for local people. Regional investment initiatives like the METS project will deliver ongoing benefits to the local economy.

“By unlocking the capabilities of the Geraldton WesTrac branch, we are significantly reducing transport time by removing the roughly 900-km round trip to Perth. This will lower costs, improve productivity and reduce the risk of driving related incidents that can occur on congested metropolitan roads.”

WesTrac CEO, Jarvas Croome, said the company was committed to developing capacity and capability throughout the state.

“Like many providers in the METS sector, WesTrac is seeing strong demand across all areas of our business due to the level of mining and construction activity,” he said. “That applies to new and used equipment sales, training, maintenance services and equipment rebuilds, and if there are opportunities to expand our offerings in regional centres and provide efficient outcomes for our customers, we’ll happily consider them.”

As well as multiple metropolitan operations, WesTrac currently has branches in eight regional centres including the major Western Australia mining regions. The company also operates as the authorised dealer of Caterpillar equipment in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

Bis to provide tailored equipment solution for Anglo American Capcoal contract

Australia-based Bis has secured a new multi-year contract for Anglo American’s Capcoal operations near Middlemount, in the Bowen Basin of Queensland.

The off-road haulage, materials handling and site services contract is the latest in an ongoing relationship between Anglo and Bis that spans more than 20 years.

The contract will see Bis supply a tailored high payload equipment solution for the operation’s rejects haulage. Additionally, the company will deliver site services including road maintenance, dust mitigation and run of mine equipment feed, as well as haulage of topsoil, rock and run of mine coal as required.

Bis Chief Executive Officer, Brad Rogers, said the company’s ability to provide a tailored haulage and logistics solution, specific to this operation, was a key factor in securing the new contract.

“We have a long history of integrating customisable OEM innovations and existing solutions to deliver against specific customer objectives. This competency continues to drive operational efficiencies and reduce costs for our customers. It’s a formula that works.

“For instance, the specific higher payload capacity solution put forward for this project delivers significant advantages for Anglo American. It means a reduction in the total equipment required, vehicle movements and fuel consumption; all three of which directly contribute towards improved safety, sustainability and productivity outcomes for the customer.”

The range of tailored equipment incorporated to deliver the project includes double trailer configuration haulers, wheel loaders, graders, water trucks and a compaction roller.

The fleet is fitted with the latest Bis safety and productivity management systems, including Trifecta, which is a new in-cabin artificial intelligence driver and vehicle monitoring software developed with EDGE3 Technologies. The system collects and analyses data in real time to improve both safety and productivity. The system collects, analyses and reports driver behaviours such as drowsiness, mobile phone use, smartwatch use, smoking, seatbelt and other violations. Trifecta then ‘learns’ over time to pre-empt high risk incidents in real-time through alerts to drivers and supervisors. Bis says it has exclusive rights to use and sell the system across a range of markets.

On site mobilisation for this new contract is expected to commence from August.

Warraikal to provide maintenance and shutdown services to Fortescue’s Pilbara ops

Following a competitive tender process, Warrikal Pty Ltd, has been awarded a five-year A$350 million ($263 million) contract as one of the providers of maintenance and shutdown services across Fortescue’s Pilbara operations.

Founded by Koori businesswoman, Amanda Healy, and her business partners, Roy Messer and David Flett, Warrikal was established in 2017 to provide innovative engineering solutions across the mining, marine and resource sectors. The company has been providing mechanical maintenance, shutdown and project services across Fortescue’s sites over the last three years.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Fortescue is committed to supporting sustainable long-term opportunities for Aboriginal businesses. Procurement is one of the most powerful levers for social and economic change, and from experience we know that a strong Aboriginal business sector is best placed to create employment and development opportunities for their communities.

“I am pleased to announce this significant contract with Warrikal, the largest to be awarded by Fortescue and also among the biggest contracts to be awarded in Australia to a majority-owned Aboriginal business.”

Warrikal Chief Executive Officer, Amanda Healy, said the contract built on the company’s longstanding relationship with Fortescue.

“We look forward to further developing our relationship over coming years, continuing to grow our operational footprint in the northwest of Western Australia and strengthening our long-term commitment to the region and the communities in which we operate.

“The award of this contract and the continual business growth is a testament to our amazing personnel and our reputation for delivering ‘Innovative Engineering Solutions’ across multiple disciplines, whilst maintaining a high standard of safety and quality as a true reflection of each and every Warrikal team member.”

Fortescue’s Billion Opportunities program was established in 2011 as part of the company’s commitment to deliver business development opportunities for Aboriginal people with a strong focus on Traditional Custodian involvement. Since its inception, the program has awarded over A$3 billion in contracts to Aboriginal businesses and joint ventures.