Tag Archives: Mount Pleasant

Thiess in line for contract extension at Mach Energy’s Mount Pleasant

Thiess has been selected as the preferred mining services contractor for the Mount Pleasant thermal coal operation in New South Wales, Australia.

MACH Energy has notified Thiess of its intention to enter into exclusive negotiations to finalise the terms with the view to execute a mining services contract, it said.

Under the contract, Thiess will continue to provide full scope mining services including drill and blast, load and haul, mining and run of mine rehandling services, equipment maintenance and progressive rehabilitation.

Subject to contract finalisation, from April 2022, revenue to Thiess is expected to be around A$925 million ($690 million) over four-and-a-half years.

“Thiess began operating at Mount Pleasant in 2017 as a greenfield mine, applying industry best practice mining development and operations with uncompromising environmental and safety standards,” the company said. “This includes delivering the operation’s first rehabilitation two months before first coal was mined, demonstrating a true commitment to sustainable practices and to the community more broadly.”

Subject to execution, Thiess will continue to draw on local businesses for the provision of goods and services to support the mine and is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse, local workforce.

Sedgman to operate Mount Pleasant CHP facility for another three years

CIMIC Group’s minerals processing company, Sedgman, has been awarded an extended operations and maintenance services contract at the MACH Energy-owned Mount Pleasant coal mine in New South Wales, Australia.

Sedgman will operate and maintain MACH Energy’s 1,500 t/h Mount Pleasant Coal Handling and Preparation facility for an additional three years, with the extension generating revenue of A$120 million ($91 million) to Sedgman, bringing total revenue from the contract to A$200 million.

CIMIC Group Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Juan Santamaria, said: “Sedgman and the CIMIC Group have a strong history with MACH Energy which we’re pleased to continue. Sedgman’s leadership in minerals processing will ensure maximum resource recovery for our long-term client.”

Sedgman Managing Director, Grant Fraser, said: “This contract is testament to the partnership we have forged with MACH Energy, and the integration of our engineering and operations capability.”

Sedgman completed the construction of this facility and has been operating the plant since 2019.

Thiess, Cat, WesTrac collaborating on Mount Pleasant autonomous drilling project

Thiess says it is realising the benefits of drill automation after undergoing a successful field trial at MACH Energy’s majority-owned Mount Pleasant coal operation in the Hunter Valley of Australia.

In collaboration with Caterpillar and WesTrac, Thiess introduced a new Caterpillar MD6250 drill rig with autonomous drilling capability at Mount Pleasant in a phased 12-month pilot project, it said.

The autonomous drill uses state-of-the-art guidance technologies to assist operators in drilling holes to the exact location and depth specified by the drill plan, resulting in safer and more efficient blasting.

Thiess General Manager Autonomous Services, Matt Petty, said the purpose of the pilot was to test the functionality and application of the technology while determining its viability for Thiess’ team, operations and clients.

“This trial is an exciting opportunity for us to investigate the applicability of the technology at our operations and train our people in the remote management of autonomous equipment,” Petty said. “The results are showing significant productivity improvements, safer operations and upskilling opportunities for our people.”

The phased pilot program is progressing through three stages of drill automation – operator mission assist, semi-autonomous drilling and full autonomy and perception, Thiess said.

The current stage, semi-autonomous drilling, automates the entire drilling cycle for one row, including moving between holes, from a remote operator station, it added.

“The drill is now controlled by satellite-guided precision ensuring the blast holes are drilled exactly to the design coordinates and desired floor elevation,” Petty said. “This stage allows our operators to select a row of holes for the drill to navigate and auto drill. Operators also help to monitor and authorise the auto-tram between holes to ensure safety is maintained.”

In the coming months, the drill will be fitted with proximity detection and collision avoidance technology, enabling full automation, Thiess said.

Mount Pleasant Drill Operator, Zac Brasington, said the remote operation of the drill had proven safety, precision and equipment utilisation benefits for his team.

“Working remotely eliminates operators’ exposure to potential high-risk activities and allows the drill to function without operator restrictions,” Brasington said. “The remote station replicates the seat and controls of the machine’s cab, allowing us, as operators, to control the machine with minimal decrease in functionality or productivity.

“It’s also helping drive consistency at our operation with improved accuracy in hole placement, trajectory and depth.”

Thiess’ team has been working closely with Caterpillar and the WesTrac team on the implementation plan throughout the trial process, it said.

Brasington added: “I’ve also had the opportunity to gain new skills and competencies. It’s very rewarding knowing I’m one of the few operators, worldwide, who is able to operate an autonomous drill.”

The outcome of the trial will help to inform how Thiess delivers automation as part of its services offering, according to the company.

Thiess first began mining at Mount Pleasant on November 20, 2017, following a successful five-month mobilisation period. The contractor is responsible for providing a full mining service and increasing mining production to 10.5 Mt/y run-of-mine, according to its website. The team is also undertaking progressive rehabilitation at the site.

Mach Energy produces first coal from Mount Pleasant in Hunter Valley

Mach Energy Australia has produced and transported the first coal from its Mount Pleasant operation in the Hunter Valley of Australia, just over two years since construction commenced.

Close to the end of December, Mach Energy Managing Director Ferdian Purnamasidi said construction of the initial bypass stage of the processing facility was complete and “first bypass coal” had been produced. This was followed shortly after by an announcement from Aurizon saying it had delivered the first coal from Mount Pleasant to AGL’s Antiene facility.

In the announcement dated December 20, Mach Energy said the project construction stage was nearing completion with the majority of mine infrastructure now in use. “Further construction works on the coal handling preparation plant (CHPP) are expected to be complete mid next year,” it said.

Mount Pleasant hosts of 1,100 Mt of coal resources and 667 Mt of reserves. The operation is fully consented up to the targeted production rate of 10.5 Mt/y run-of-mine coal, according to Mach Energy.

Back in November, CIMIC Group’s mineral processing company, Sedgman, was awarded a contract to operate and maintain the Mount Pleasant CHPP.