Tag Archives: METS

Austmine and BHP strengthen METS sector ties

Austmine says it and BHP have announced a strategic partnership focused on bringing people and resources together to “maximise value-chain opportunities and further strengthen the competitiveness of the Australian METS and mining sectors”.

The three-year partnership will see BHP actively involved with Austmine through nationwide industry events, webinars, visits to BHP operations and other innovation projects, according to Austmine.

Austmine is a leading not-for-profit industry association for the Australian mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector with over 600 members nationally.

BHP Group Procurement Officer, Sundeep Singh, said the partnership was about breaking down barriers to access.

“Midway through last year, we brought together a group of representatives from across the Australian METS sector including Austmine to understand the challenges and opportunities in engaging with our business,” he said.

“After hearing the perspectives of the sector, we have since worked with Austmine to design a partnership which will build relationships between the Australian METS sector and BHP personnel at multiple levels.

“We hope this increased access will increase our adoption of technological innovations from around the country and also provide an opportunity to test supply chain improvements through Austmine.”

A recent Austmine member survey indicated it was difficult to do business with Tier One miners, particularly for small firms, the company said.

Austmine’s CEO, Chris Gibbs Stewart, said: “The smaller the company, the more difficult it is to get their foot in the door. Our partnership will enhance communications, build trust and make it easier to do business with BHP.

“We have a world-class METS sector which has a global reputation for problem solving, innovative solutions and advanced technology. Working with BHP in close collaboration, we will no doubt take this reputation to the next level.”

The partnership will contribute to Austmine’s goal of championing the Australian METS sector as global innovation leader and providing growth opportunities to members, Austmine added.

FMG, Sodexo and Aboriginal businesses enter into ‘innovative contract model’

Fortescue Metals Group has entered into an “innovative contract model” that will see Aboriginal businesses carry out catering, accommodation management and lifestyle and recreation services for the Cloudbreak and Karntama villages in the Chichester Hub and Hamilton Village, in Port Hedland, Western Australia.

The Village Facilities Management agreements will be facilitated thorough a pact between Sodexo Remote Sites Australia, a food services and facilities management company, and three Aboriginal businesses owned by Pilbara Native Title groups, FMG said.

With a collective award value of A$165 million ($113 million) over three years, the contracts involve three individual unincorporated joint ventures agreements with Sodexo and 100% owned Aboriginal businesses Palyku Enterprises Pty Ltd, Karlka Facilities Management Pty Ltd and Kariyarra Hospitality Services Pty Ltd.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Fortescue’s Aboriginal procurement initiative and approach to providing opportunities to Aboriginal people has empowered our Native Title partners by building the capability and capacity of Aboriginal businesses.

“These contracts are awarded on merit. Each of our business partners have competitively demonstrated their commercial ability to deliver the contracted services and by working within a joint venture, the Aboriginal businesses have the support and opportunity to increase their active participation and build long term sustainability.”

Across the three Fortescue sites, Sodexo will provide a range of village services, including accommodation services management to approximately 3,000 workers in a typical week, catering services – serving up to 8,500 meals daily, industrial cleaning, retail, health and wellbeing, transport and airport management services, as well as trade-based maintenance services delivery at Hamilton, Sodexo said.

The announcement is an important milestone for Sodexo after acquiring Morris Corp two years ago, which expanded Sodexo’s portfolio of facilities management operations in Australia, the company said. Morris had been Fortescue’s contractor since 2009.

Sodexo Chief Executive Officer of Energy and Resources Asia-Pacific, Darren Hedley, said: “Our ongoing work with Fortescue showed both companies were aligned in improving quality of village life, and valued strong engagement with communities.

“We’re looking forward to working with our joint venture partners, Kariyarra Group, Palyku Group and Karlka Group, and Fortescue as we continue to identify opportunities for constant improvements across the sites to deliver the best outcomes for Fortescue, with a priority being maintaining safety and quality operations for its growing workforce.”

Fortescue says it has awarded A$2.4 billion in contracts to over 115 Aboriginal businesses and joint venture partners since 2011 through its Billion Opportunities initiative.

Komatsu’s Jeffrey Dawes to chair MINExpo 2020

The National Mining Association (NMA) has announced that Jeffrey Dawes of Komatsu will chair MINExpo INTERNATIONAL 2020.

A long-time leader within Komatsu and the industry, Dawes is VP of Komatsu’s Global Mining Business Division, and President and CEO of Milwaukee-based Komatsu Mining Corp.

Held every four years and sponsored by NMA, MINExpo INTERNATIONAL is the world’s largest and most comprehensive global mining event, bringing together worldwide industry leaders ready to purchase the latest equipment and services, explore innovative new technologies, meet face-to-face with suppliers, and make valuable new connections, the NMA said.

“I am honoured and excited to be chairing the 2020 show,” Dawes said. “What an exciting time for our industry and a great moment to gather as one to reveal the future of mining and the latest tools and technologies to meet the world’s demand for essential minerals.

“NMA is a strong and steadfast representative of our industry and has made this event a continued source of inspiration, innovation and excitement. We’re looking forward to a fantastic show together.”

Born in Australia, Dawes studied Metallurgy at the Western Australian School of Mines in Kalgoorlie and completed a PhD at the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Center at the University of Queensland. He began his career as a mining consultant and worked for several mining companies in different capacities before joining Komatsu in 1998.

Rich Nolan, NMA President and CEO, said: “As the leader of a company that represents nearly a century of manufacturing excellence, which consistently advances and showcases our industry’s best technologies, I can’t think of a better chair for MINExpo 2020 than Jeff.

Next year’s MINExpo will bring together more than 40,000 attendees – both those who have been in the industry for decades and those who are just beginning their mining careers, representing domestic and international operations and all phases of mining. With its strong domestic foundation in the US, but extensive global footprint, Komatsu is an ideal partner for 2020.”

MINExpo INTERNATIONAL covers the entire industry – exploration, mine development, open pit & underground mining, processing, safety, environmental improvement and more. It will take place on September 28-30, 2020, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, in Nevada, USA.

NRW Holdings continues spending spree with BGC Contracting buy

NRW Holdings has continued with its M&A spree, agreeing to acquire 100% of BGC Contracting in a deal that comes with an equity value of A$116.4 million ($78.8 million) and expands its Mining Technologies pillar.

BGC Contracting provides services to the resources, energy and infrastructure sectors across three core businesses: mining, construction and DIAB Engineering.

NRW responded to media speculation earlier this month by acknowledging it had been selected as the preferred bidder in the sale of BGC Contracting.

The agreement comes less than a year since NRW Holdings acquired RCR Tomlinson’s Mining and Heat Treatment businesses and a little over two years since it purchased Golding Group.

NRW said: “The business is a strong strategic fit adding significant scale through an expanded service offering to a high-profile client base with a long track record of contract renewal and extension.”

The deal is expected to provide significant strengthening of NRW’s ‘Mining Technologies’ pillar through the addition of DIAB Engineering, which provides specialist industrial engineering, shutdown maintenance and fabrication services and generates “annuity style” revenues, NRW said.

BGC comes with a fleet of over 200 items of “high-quality mobile mining equipment” with a book value in excess of A$200 million, according to NRW Holdings. It also has an existing contract portfolio and order book of around A$1.5 billion, which “delivers a step change in scale”.

NRW says the deal is highly earnings per share accretive and could have pre-tax synergies of A$15 million/y, driven by consolidation and reduction in duplication, including facilities and systems.

Jules Pemberton, CEO & Managing Director of NRW, said: “We are extremely pleased to announce the acquisition of BGC Contracting which is strongly aligned with our objective to pursue opportunities to further diversify our revenues and enhance shareholder returns.”

He added: “We are enthusiastic about the opportunities ahead for the expanded NRW group, to leverage the additional capabilities and regional strengths of the combined group and further capitalise on our strong market reputation.

“Together with our combined workforce of around 6,000 people supporting more than 100 projects around Australia, we are well placed to offer a diverse range of services and project solutions to clients across the infrastructure, resources, industrial engineering, maintenance and urban sectors.”

Kalium Lakes locks in Beyondie gas pipeline, SOP purification plant contracts

Kalium Lakes has been on a contract spree, announcing the award of four contracts in the past week that will move its Beyondie sulphate of potash project, in Western Australia, closer to production.

On Monday, it announced contract awards for the design, supply and construction of its fully-owned gas lateral at the project with Edgen Murray set to manufacture and supply 79.4 km of coated linepipe, Pipecraft to carry out the gas pipeline installation and Primero to design and construct the inlet and delivery station.

This followed, in June, the company securing key contracts with APA Group and Shell Energy Australia for the transportation and supply of gas to meet the requirements of the project.

On Wednesday, the company then confirmed that it had awarded DRA Global’s G&S Engineering a circa-A$20 million ($13.5 million) contract to build the sulphate of potash purification plant at the operation.

The scope of the contract includes completion of all works associated with civil and concrete construction; structural steel assembly and erection; mechanical equipment assembly and installation; platework assembly and installation; piping installation; electrical, instrumentation and controls installation; dry commissioning, and wet commissioning support services in cooperation with Ebtec.

The project aims to commence production at 90,000 t/y of sulphate of potash, before ramping up to 180,000 t/y for domestic and international sale. An initial mine life of between 30-50 years is anticipated for a project designed to be a low cost, long life and high margin producer, Kalium Lakes says.

Austin Engineering commissions Australia’s ‘biggest water tank’

Austin Engineering says it has commissioned the first of its high-performance truck-mounted water tanks which, the manufacturer claims, is the biggest water truck in Australia.

The result of a significant re-design process, the new Stairway Access Tank (SAT) includes several features to improve efficiency, operator safety and truck stability, Austin said.

Custom-built to suit most haul trucks, the new SAT starts at 14,000 litre capacity and includes all spray equipment along with the company’s “Water Wise” system.

The first tank off the production line has a 198,000 litre capacity fitted to a CAT 793C haul truck and is claimed to be the biggest water truck in Australia.

The most obvious external feature of the Austin water tank is a stairway from the top of the tank structure down to a large (137 cm x 259 cm) access port for easy entry and exit for personnel and maintenance equipment to the tank interior. The fill port is located behind the water dam to ensure any overflow flows away from the cab and deck to the rear of the truck, Austin says.

Inside the tank, the design of the new Austin SAT directly tackles the safety concerns surrounding the confined workspace in mine site water tanks, addressed by a recently-completed 10-year study by the US-based National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Part of the NIOSH study looked at operator access to the tank and ease of movement once inside, according to Austin.

“Traditional access inside the tank has been through a series of semi-circular portholes in the baffle system which, although adequate, slowed access and movement, especially in the case of an emergency,” the company said. “The diameter of the portholes – generally 600 mm wide x 740 mm high – also restricted operator manoeuvrability and the physical size of any equipment that could be used inside the tanks.”

The new SAT from Austin features a series of oversize rectangular access ports – 630 mm wide x 1,550 mm high – throughout a unique baffle system to replace the traditional portholes and significantly improve operator safety and comfort inside the tank, it said.

The engineered corrugated baffle system, which interlocks the baffles for increased structural integrity, controls both transverse and longitudinal water surging and reduces the overturning forces by 19% to improve truck stability, according to Austin. Maximum overturning force is delayed by about one second – providing an increase in the time to react to any side force, it explained.

The design of the corrugated baffle system also allows for a lighter-weight tank, which translates to additional payload and lower operating costs. Additionally, the alignment of the oversize access ports, combined with the horizontal baffle system, gives unobstructed movement within the tank, Austin claims.

To improve the worksite environment inside the tank during maintenance periods an air exchange system has also been developed for the tank.

MACA on the road again at Iron Bridge magnetite project

MACA says it has been awarded a bulk earthworks contract at the Iron Bridge magnetite project, a joint venture development in the Pilbara of Western Australia between Fortescue Metals and Formosa Steel IB.

The contract is for access roads and infrastructure at the $2.6 billion project, 145 km south of Port Hedland.

MACA said this work is expected to generate revenue of A$26 million ($17.6 million) for the company, with the scope including general earthworks for camp expansion, construction of 26 km of mine access road, construction of the explosive facility and access road, and a further 23 km of road upgrade works.

MACA, which has already started work on the contract, becomes the latest mining equipment, technology and services contract to find work at Iron Bridge, which is expected to deliver 22 Mt/y of high-grade 67% Fe concentrate production following start up in 2022.

Just last month, Weir Minerals was awarded its largest ever individual mining order from the project.

 

Minprovise keeps crushing on track at Hope Downs 1 iron ore mine

Minprovise says it has completed a jaw crusher replacement project at Rio Tinto and Hancock Prospecting’s jointly owned Hope Downs 1 iron ore mine site in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The crusher in question, a Metso Nordberg C160, is Hope Downs’ primary crusher. Minprovise was selected for this project due to the positive references it has previously received carrying out similar work in the field, the mineral processing equipment and site services provider said.

The crusher replacement was the second such project completed in the last year by Minprovise, the first being undertaken at the West Angelas mine site (part of the Rio-majority owned Robe River joint venture), located in Newman, in late 2018.

Hope Downs 1 is part of the Hope Downs joint venture. The Hope Downs 1 and 4 deposits produced 46.9 Mt of iron ore in 2017, according to Rio.

“The large-scale site maintenance project required careful quality control and site safety management in the lead up to, and during, the crusher replacement,” Minprovise said. The team were required to safely and efficiently remove the old jaw crusher model and replace it with the newer C160 model in its already established and confined structure, according to the company.

“Minprovise’s end-to-end business model and internal manufacture and fabrication capabilities meant that the team were also able to fabricate the appropriate and tailormade transport frames, jigs and chute covers for the optimised safety of the project,” it said.

To complete the lift, the company used a 500 t crane to safely manoeuvre the 78 t crusher mainframe into place.

As the sole provider of the install process, Minprovise was required to coordinate between the client, the transport agency, the crane provider and the crusher manufacturer to ensure a smooth and time efficient process, it said. “Minprovise’s phase of the replacement project was completed in the originally quoted and designated amount of time, with no hiccups or costly time-delays.”

The fabrication and install of the crushers casting plates to take the full impact of the crushers vibrations was also undertaken by Minprovise employees.

Throughout the entire process – which included concrete cutting and jackhammering of the support base, removal and replacement of the casting plates, re-grouting of the new base and plates and heavy lift and install of the crusher – zero safety incidents or minor injuries were reported, according to the company.

Africa startups to pitch to industry at Mining Indaba

Three startup technology companies will have the chance to present at the world’s largest mining investment event as part of an agreement between energy and resources open innovation platform Unearthed and organisers of the Investing in African Mining Indaba conference.

The trio of companies will get this pitching opportunity as part of the Startups Unearthed Africa initiative, taking place on day three (February 5, 2020) of the Mining Indaba, in Cape Town, South Africa.

The announcement follows a collaboration between Mining Indaba and Unearthed that gave four emerging technology businesses from Africa the chance to present at the 2019 event.

Unearthed explained: “Startups Unearthed Africa aims to shine the light on partnerships between startups and industry operators or service providers that have delivered value to the resources sector.”

Applications are open to any technology company based, or operating, within Africa that has a case study to share showcasing the successful adoption of an innovative mining technology solution, according to the organisers. The three successful applicants will then get the chance to present to around 750 investors and dealmakers, leaders from over 220 mining companies, and 34 government ministers, Unearthed said.

In addition to awarding three pitching spots, each partnership will receive one full complimentary pass to Mining Indaba, taking place from February 3-6. Finalists will also receive recognition and exposure through Unearthed media channels to the broader mining industry.

Industry Lead – Crowdsourcing at Unearthed, Holly Bridgwater will moderate this session, saying that the organisers wanted the presentations to highlight where resource sector leaders and startups are working together successfully to solve key problems for the mining industry, showing the rest of the industry how this is done.

Investing in African Mining Indaba Senior Conference Producer, Catriona McDavid, said: “Startups are undoubtably a driving force for innovation. Through our Mining 2050 Programme, we are proud to play our part in advancing digital economy opportunities for Africa, and we look forward to welcoming the three successful startups and their partners to present to our global audience, and hope this stimulates greater industry collaboration across the startup community.”

To apply for Startups Unearthed Africa, visit: https://unearthed.link/SUA20 and submit your application before October 14, 2019.

CEEC gets behind mining industry water use initiatives

The Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC) is looking to build on the industry success it has had with its free Energy Curves tool with the development of a global Water Curves tool.

In its efforts to develop this, around 40 leaders from the mining, METS, research and support services world came together in Vancouver, Canada, this month for “a groundbreaking workshop” to do exactly this.

Jointly organised by Canada Mining and Innovation Council and CEEC, with facilitation by KPMG, the project definition workshop at Teck Resources’ Vancouver headquarters explored many important questions, such as: what the industry requires from Water Curves, what metrics are required to benchmark water use, how information could be gathered and assessed, and how the project could be funded, CEEC said.

“The Water Curves approach builds on the success of CEEC’s trusted free Energy Curves tool, which has been used since 2015 to assess and map operational energy efficiency improvements and options,” the organisation said.

Workshop speakers included CMIC CEO, Carl Weatherell; CEEC CEO, Alison Keogh; CEEC Director, Simon Hille, Newmont Goldcorp Group Executive Global Projects, and, Metso VP Product RTD (Mining and Aggregates, Minerals Consumables).

The workshop was timed to follow the SAG Conference, in Vancouver, which brought together all those engaged in the field of autogenous, semi-autogenous and HPGR grinding in the industrial and metalliferous mineral industries and took place on September 22-26 at the Marriott Parq Vancouver.

It also follows closely on the heels of ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service saying in a report that scarcity costs associated with securing reliable sources of water represents “an elevated risk”.

Moody’s Senior Vice President, Carol Cowan, said: “Many countries, including Peru, Chile, Australia, South Africa and Mongolia, have large mining operations exposed to decreasing water availability. In the next 20 years, all of these countries will be in the high to extremely high ratio of water withdrawals to supply, which will make it difficult for companies to secure reliable sources.”