Tag Archives: New South Wales

Austin Engineering ramps up APAC truck body expansion plans

Austin Engineering has announced what it says is a major expansion of its APAC truck body, final build and assembly locations with the establishment of six new partnerships located in Queensland, New South Wales and New Zealand.

In addition, Austin is to invest in additional sales and product support personnel in eastern Australia and New Zealand to support its expanded network.

Austin expects this new focus will give it a significant advantage in securing new customer orders and increase revenue in key locations across the Asia-Pacific region.

The company said it had successfully implemented the first stage of its global strategy to reduce operating costs across all operations, with this partnership expansion being the key next step to increase revenue through developing market share.

The partnerships are a continuation of the “hub-and-spoke” strategy being rolled out by Austin globally whereby Austin establishes a network of accredited “spokes” to support its major manufacturing centres, it explained. The partner firms are located close to key mining areas and will undertake the final assembly and customer delivery of truck bodies that are designed and partially built in Austin’s major APAC manufacturing facilities in either Perth, Australia, or Batam, Indonesia.

Austin has already established similar style partnerships and operations in North America, including a wholly-owned final assembly facility in Western Canada and a partnership with equipment manufacturer Melter in Mexico, to support its major US manufacturing centre in Casper, Wyoming.

In Austin’s 2021 financial year, truck bodies accounted for 63% of revenue in the APAC region. Under its Advanced Manufacturing strategy, Austin has completed significant design upgrades to its main line of truck bodies for its APAC markets to improve operational performance and improve shipping logistics, it said. The new hub-and-spoke partnerships will see overall shipping costs and supply chain complexities reduced, improving the performance and economics of Austin’s core offering, according to the company.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “The reduction in operating expenses is already paying significant dividends and now our focus is moving to revenue enhancement.

“In this new phase of Austin – Austin 2.0 – we are looking at the world’s major mining regions to see how we better service our customers with market-leading products and enhanced customer support at commercially competitive rates. It is natural that we are now focusing on one of the largest truck fleets in the world, right on our doorstep in eastern Australia and New Zealand.

“Our newly established Canadian operation is already building its first seven truck bodies from kits built in Casper, whilst our partnership in Mexico was an essential element in securing new truck body orders in that region. We look forward to similarly rapid success in Australia and New Zealand.”

Schlam books Hercules dump truck body order from BHP

Mining products and services provider, Schlam, has been awarded a multi-million-dollar national contract to supply its Hercules dump body to BHP Minerals Australia.

The tender will see Schlam continue to supply dump bodies to BHP Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) sites and BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) sites in Queensland and New South Wales with its world-class trays.

The contract will generate revenue in excess of A$110 million ($79 million) for Schlam, it said.

The Hercules dump body was selected due to its lightweight design and durability, according to the Western Australia-based company.

“Our engineering team was challenged by their counterparts at BHP to push the limits of the Hercules’ design to lower its already light weight and increase payload further,” Schlam CEO, Matt Thomas, said. “This resulted in the development of a new Hercules design that is 20% lighter than other already class-leading Hercules models and is maintenance-free with up to six years of service life due to steel innovations.”

The contract gives Schlam confidence to push ahead with its national and international expansion plans in both the product and service side of the business, the company said.

Thomas said the award would see Schlam transform its manufacturing processes to use the latest technology and robotics, redefining the production methodology for the business.

“We are delivering on our promise to make mining equipment more productive,” he said. “Supplying the highest quality buckets and bodies in parallel with the talent we provide through our mechanical and fabrication services division, the business is going from strength to strength. As we edge closer to the end of 2021, the outlook for Schlam has never looked better.”

Orica to install tertiary catalyst abatement tech at Kooragang Island ammonium nitrate plant

Orica has announced plans to install an Australia industry first tertiary catalyst abatement technology, EnviNOx®, at its Kooragang Island manufacturing plant in New South Wales.

The technology, provided by thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, is designed to deliver up to 95% abatement efficiency, reducing the site’s total greenhouse gas emissions by almost 50%, Orica said.

The A$37 million ($27 million) spent on the Kooragang Island Decarbonisation Project, which will help accelerate Orica’s progress towards achieving its 2030 emissions reduction target, will see proven nitrous oxide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions tertiary abatement technology installed at its Kooragang Island plant from 2022, with commissioning in 2023, Orica said.

To facilitate the project, the New South Wales Government’s Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program will co-invest A$13.06 million, together with Orica’s A$24 million, financed by a five-year debt facility provided by the Federal Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation. The Clean Energy Regulator has also approved the project as eligible to generate Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs).

Viewed as a long-term aid for emissions reduction in high-pressure nitric acid manufacturing plants, the tertiary catalyst abatement technology uses catalytic decomposition to destroy nitrous oxide emissions. Nitrous oxide, generated as a by-product of nitric acid production, is the primary source of GHG emissions at the Kooragang Island facility.

The technology will be installed across all three nitric acid manufacturing plants used in the production of ammonium nitrate at Kooragang Island. It is designed to eliminate at least 567,000 t/y of CO2e from the site’s operations, with expectations of reducing the site’s total emissions by 48%, while delivering a cumulative emissions reduction of at least 4.7 Mt of CO2e by 2030 based on forecast production.

Orica Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sanjeev Gandhi, said: “The Kooragang Island Decarbonisation Project is a powerful example of a public-private partnership towards decarbonisation and marks a critical step in achieving our medium-term 2030 emissions reduction targets and progress towards our net zero ambition. We’re committed to working with our stakeholders to forge a pathway towards a lower carbon future together.

“Thanks to the support of the New South Wales and Federal Governments we have been able to co-invest and move forward on implementing a significant decarbonisation project.”

New South Wales Treasurer, and Minister for Energy and Environment, Matt Kean, said: “This is a great example of what can be achieved by hard-to-abate industries transitioning towards net zero emissions, under our A$750 million Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program announced earlier this year.”

Gandhi added: “The project ensures our domestic manufacturing operations remain competitive in a low carbon economy, bringing with it significant environment and regional economic and social benefits. There are also benefits for our customers, by reducing the emissions intensity of our ammonium nitrate we are in a position to offer competitive and lower carbon-intensity ammonium nitrate products, helping them to achieve their sustainability goals.

“It also allows us to look at longer-term investments in technologies, including production of hydrogen from renewable energy.”

The Kooragang Island Decarbonisation Project was approved in March 2021 by the Clean Energy Regulator to participate in Australia’s carbon market. Orica is eligible to generate ACCUs and was awarded the first optional Carbon Abatement Contract under the Facility Method for the purchase of around 3.4 million ACCUs by the Australian Government. This approach has enabled investment confidence by managing ACCU price risk, it said.

The findings from the Kooragang Island Decarbonisation Project will serve as an important Australian industry case study, demonstrating the potential for tertiary catalyst abatement technology to be deployed more widely across the sector, Orica said.

Orica has also recently partnered with the Alberta Government in Canada to commission a similar tertiary catalyst abatement technology at its Carseland ammonium nitrate manufacturing, reducing emissions by approximately 83,000 t/y of CO2e. It has also assigned approximately A$45 million over the next five years in capital to deploy similar tertiary abatement technology across its Australian ammonium nitrate sites, including its Kooragang Island site.

Redpath to take on underground mining work at Aurelia’s Hera operation

Redpath Australia has been awarded the underground mining services contract at Aurelia Metals’ Hera gold-lead-zinc mine in New South Wales.

The project will see production activities continue at Hera from January 2022 with a primarily NSW-based workforce.

While Hera produced 4,650 oz of gold in the September quarter, Aurelia is working on a feasibility study at the Hera-Federation Complex (including Hera and the Federation discovery), due in mid-2022, that could see production increase.

Redpath Australia has also been selected as the contractor for the exploration decline at this project.

Austin expands service offering with Mader Group strategic support alliance

Austin Engineering Ltd has executed a strategic support alliance with Mader Group Ltd that will see Mader provide assistance as required on a flexible ‘tap-on tap-off’ basis, using its mine-based personnel and workshop facilities to bolster Austin’s existing support services.

The initial focus of the alliance will be Western Australia’s Pilbara and Goldfields regions, in addition to sites in Queensland and New South Wales.

Mader, Austin says, is the largest independent provider of equipment maintenance services in Australia and has a growing global presence. Its workforce is based in and around Australia’s key mining regions, allowing for faster deployment to site and overall response time.

Austin will continue to use its own service teams, which travel to site from Perth, Brisbane and Mackay, but will augment these as necessary to improve turnaround times and service efficiency when commercially appropriate.

Mader Group provides services for the inspection, maintenance and repair of heavy mobile equipment. Its technicians offer mechanical and electrical maintenance including fabrication and welding services.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “Austin’s leading engineering and design capabilities see it produce mining truck bodies and buckets for customers across all commodities and global geographies. The agreement with Mader will support our existing services, initially in Australia, to ensure our customers are given the best quality support for our products.”

Redpath Australia wins cut and flit contract at Whitehaven’s Narrabri operations

Redpath Australia says it has been awarded the Cut and Flit Development Contract for Whitehaven Coal at its Narrabri operations in New South Wales, Australia.

Situated around 28 km southeast of Narrabri on the North West Slopes in New South Wales, the Narrabri operations mine site is one of Australia’s most productive underground coal mines. Whitehaven is the majority owner – with a 77.5% interest – and the operation has approval to extract up to 11 Mt/y of coal from the longwall operations.

Mark Donghi, General Manager – Mechanical Excavation for Redpath, says the project will employ around 55 personnel and the aim is to start recruiting immediately.

Redpath Australia’s Managing Director, Gavin Ramage, said the company is looking forward to working closely with Narrabri operations in delivering the project safely and efficiently.

The company said: “As a market leader in providing advanced development solutions to mine owners across Australia and around the globe, Redpath is well placed to deliver this project for Narrabri Coal Operations.”

NSW regulator recognises Thiess and MACH Energy’s Mount Pleasant mine rehab work

Thiess’ Mount Pleasant Operations (MPO) team has been recognised by the New South Wales Resources Regulator for its industry-leading rehabilitation practices, it says.

Recently publishing an information release about the operation’s rehabilitation controls, the regulator recognised how the team enables long-term landform design stability and manages surface water drainage networks through strong quality assurance measures, according to Thiess.

Thiess, in collaboration with MACH Energy Australia (MACH Energy), has introduced quality assurance controls including the sign-off of inspection and test plans across each construction phase – design, bulk shaping, topsoil placement, ripping and seeding and drain construction, to support progressive rehabilitation and reduce ongoing liabilities.

Thiess Environment & Civil Manager, James Anderson, said these controls provide an unmatched foundation for sustainability, maximising rehabilitation outcomes and managing compliance with confidence.

“The implementation of these controls is an example of how we channel our global experience and insight to create advantages for our projects,” Anderson said. “Our proven systems and processes help deliver immediate efficiencies, reduce rework time and lower life of mine costs for our clients.”

Some 2.5 km from Muswellbrook in the Upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales, the Mount Pleasant Operation’s complex landform design aims to meet end land use objectives while minimising impacts and delivering a more visually appealing landscape for the local community, Thiess explains.

Since 2017, Thiess has provided construction services to MACH Energy including bulk profiling and shaping of mine spoil, construction of drainage networks, erosion and sediment control structures, final surface preparation, installation of habitat features, topsoil ripping, seeding and planting.

This includes delivering the operation’s first rehabilitation two months before first coal was mined.

Thiess Environment Superintendent, Peter York, says the team’s robust processes and strict quality controls are critical to ensuring rehabilitation is delivered on time and to design specifications.

“Our rehabilitation is not just about quantity,” York said. “The final outcomes have to be quality as well, capable of meeting an agreed end land use. To help facilitate this, we work with MACH Energy to identify improvement opportunities to proactively manage environmental risks and adapt to changing regulatory conditions and evolving community expectations.

“Our systematic approach is helping us achieve industry firsts for rehabilitation while restoring self-sustaining native woodland ecosystems.”

Thiess will continue to deliver a full suite of mining services at the Mount Pleasant Operation, including rehabilitation, under a new 4.5-year contract extension commencing in April 2022.

Aggreko ups the mine cooling ante with modular BAC10000s

Twenty years after establishing modular mine cooling solutions in Australia, Aggreko has released an offering for mines going deeper with its latest modular bulk air coolers (BACs).

These 40 ft (12.19 m) mobile BAC10000s coolers are “unique” and relatively new to the mine cooling market, according to Aggreko Australia-Pacific Managing Director, George Whyte.

“They are scalable, portable and boast three times the cooling capacity of our previous largest offering – the 20 ft long (about 6.09 m) containers,” he said.

Aggreko has delivered more than 50 mine cooling projects globally, and always draws on the experience of its engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance teams to stay at the forefront of technology, according to Whyte.

“Aggreko’s mining services pioneered mine cooling as a rental service 20 years ago as a result of mines looking for alternatives to capital refrigeration plants,” he said. “Previously mining companies would need to use capital to install built-in cooling systems which were not scalable, modular or as effective.

“In the past two decades we have witnessed mines becoming deeper and this has resulted in the need for larger cooling capacities and innovation. The need for deeper mines in increasingly remote locations, coupled with rising global temperatures, is forcing operation managers to seek affordable alternatives to cooling and ventilation systems.”

Aggreko Underground Cooling Sector Manager, Mitch Bevan, said the BAC10000s were used at a Western Australia mine last year and will soon arrive at a mine in New South Wales, Australia.

Bevan said part of the new modular BACs appeal were their simplicity and convenience when compared with purpose-built on-site cooling plants. The new BACs used a simple design involving pipes, chilled water and three axial fans – all comprised in a modular shipping container. He expected more mines globally would become interested in the company’s new product offering, particularly in regions such as Africa, Latin America and North America.

“The unit is more suited for larger installations and offers improved efficiency rather than using a large number of smaller BACs,” Bevan said.

“Capital refrigeration plants take a long time for mines to prepare for financially, as well as to install, whereas we can mobilise on relatively short notice. A rental option also provides a great deal of flexibility, which is often crucial for underground vent systems where it is difficult to predict the requirement year on year.”

Bevan said Aggreko re-engineered their cooling towers to come up with the 40 ft modular BAC10000s after anticipating there would be global demand for such an offering.

“Long running mines have continued to grow and their refrigeration requirement grows with the mine, so BACs are appealing as they can be scaled up or easily moved on-site,” he said.

“While mines are expanding, our clients are also focused on energy efficiency, and safer operation – such as more environmentally friendly refrigerants – and we are constantly working on new developments in these areas.

“The water-cooled BACs have less of an environmental impact seeing as the modular container sits on the ground’s surface and requires no serious ground modifications, such as concrete.

“The units only require water and power and, while some mines use diesel-generated power, as time goes on, that will shift to renewable energy. Our company has made major commitments to greener energy to help miners achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. That is why we are constantly exploring and investing in new technologies. Currently, our water-cooled chillers use half as much power as air-cooled options, which is part of their appeal, and we are the only rental company to provide such modular and scalable products.”

The BAC10000s have been successfully used at 29Metals’ Golden Grove mine – a high grade copper, zinc and precious metals mine, about 450 km northeast of Perth, which mills about 1.44 Mt/y.

When the mine underwent an expansion, which required almost two years to up-scale its permanent cooling plant, a quick and effective solution was needed in time for the 2020-21 summer, according to Aggreko. The power specialist was able to quickly supply the BAC10000s to install a 4.5 MWr water-cooled plant.

As well as water cooled refrigeration plants such as Aggreko’s 20 ft and 40 ft BACs, Aggreko also offers air cooled refrigeration plants (with power provided, if required) and underground spot cooling solutions.

“Newer mines are also continuing to come online in Australia and around the world,” Bevan said. “We are supplying modular cooling solutions throughout the entire mining lifecycle.

“We are constantly looking for opportunities to improve on our strengths to assist our clients further into the future. We provide flexible energy solutions and services to the mining sector and provide high standards regardless of a mine’s location in the world.”

Thiess extends relationship with MACH Energy Australia at Mount Pleasant

Thiess has been awarded a contract extension by MACH Energy Australia to continue providing mining services at the Mount Pleasant Operation in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia.

The contract extension, which will commence in April 2022, will generate revenue of approximately A$920 million ($678 million) to Thiess over four-and-a-half years.

Having commenced operations when Mount Pleasant was a greenfield coal mine in 2017, Thiess is to continue providing full-scope mining services including drill and blast, overburden removal, coal mining services and rehabilitation.

Thiess Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman, Michael Wright, said: “Since 2017, Thiess has provided expert planning and optimum mine sequencing to deliver exceptional outcomes for our client. This contract extension builds on our strong five-year relationship with MACH Energy at Mount Pleasant. We’re pleased to continue to drive long-term social, environmental and economic value for the Upper Hunter region.”

Thiess Executive General Manager Australia & Pacific, Shaun Newberry, said: “We’re proud to continue our work at Mount Pleasant where we have a proven track record of delivering industry-leading environmental practices. We also look forward to continuing our strong relationship with the Muswellbrook community to ensure we deliver mutually beneficial outcomes.”

Thiess says it has a strong presence in the Hunter Valley where it provides mining services at three mines.

Remote Energy, Haynes Group to expand Eco-Drive anti-idle haul truck solution reach

Remote Energy has established a formal distributor partnership with Haynes Group, a Sime Darby Industrial Company, to deliver and deploy its Eco-Drive anti-idle solution for haul trucks to Australian mining companies.

Remote Energy’s Eco-Drive, when combined with a DC HVAC unit, provides a robust and reliable solution that enables the truck’s main engine to shut off at idle, while maintaining sufficient power to keep the air conditioning and other critical operating systems running – without fail, the company says.

With haul truck idle times ranging anywhere from 10-40% of total operating time, there are significant advantages to deploying a reliable anti-idle solution. Most notably significant reductions to fuel consumption, resulting in an overall reduction in carbon emissions.

“The Eco-Drive also offers mining companies the opportunity to extend asset life, whilst reducing maintenance and fuel costs,” Remote Energy added.

The partnership will see Haynes Group market, install and support the Eco-Drive to mining clients in Queensland, New South Wales and Canada.

The Haynes Group is, Remote Energy says, uniquely positioned to service mining clients in these regions, employing more than 700 people across a national footprint as a major service provider to some of the world’s largest industrial organisations in BHP Mitsubishi Alliance, Rio Tinto, Glencore, Anglo American Metallurgical Coal, Thiess, Downer Group, NRW and Ergon Energy.

Nathan Mitchell, Chairman of Remote Energy, said: “We have long held the belief that decreasing mobile mining fleet emissions is a significant challenge facing the sector. While there are several emerging technologies in development that will help solve these issues, we believe it will take time for those technologies to mature before they can be used to replace or repurpose existing mining fleets. As a result, there is still a global mining fleet that must discover more efficient ways to operate.

“We see the Eco-Drive as one of these bridge efficiency technologies that can provide significant advantages to existing haul truck fleets. The solution has specifically been designed to be non-intrusive to the OEM design, and provides immediate economic, environmental and operational benefits to end users. We are delighted to be partnering with Haynes; their industry position, as well as their strong ties to the Caterpillar brand and large network, make them a perfect partner to assist in bringing change to a changing mining industry.”

Remote Energy Technical lead, Wayne Panther, said over 500 power systems were currently in operation around the world, showing the company had established a reputation and track record for deploying reliable and efficient, low voltage power solutions.

“The Eco-Drive not only provides an independent power source for the haul truck but has a built-in air compressor for filling the truck’s air receiver tanks on demand,” he said. “This is driving significant efficiency gains, eliminating the need for a service truck to be deployed to refill truck receiver tanks after a rain event.”

Tony Liddelow, VP Commercial operations of Haynes Global, said: “With our extensive network of workshops, field service, and component repair facilities we are uniquely positioned to deliver a seamless supply from installation through to after sales support to our clients. We see the Eco-Drive as the key to delivering a reliable and effective anti-idle solution to our clients.”