Tag Archives: Northern Territory

Thiess re-enters the Northern Territory with GEMCO manganese contract

Thiess has been awarded a three-year contract with GEMCO, a manganese operation on Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory, owned jointly by South32 and Anglo American.

The mining services contract, valued at approximately A$120 million ($79 million), marks Thiess’s re-entry into the Northern Territory.

Thiess says it is committed to efficient and safe mining operations, sustainability, and local community engagement and employment.

Thiess Group Executive Chair and CEO, Michael Wright, said: “This award demonstrates Thiess’ commitment to delivering sustainable mining solutions for our clients, strongly supporting the further development of the local community. For Thiess, the continued diversification into different commodities needed for the energy transition is a key part of our strategy, with manganese playing a crucial role in steel production and having the potential to replace cobalt cathodes in lithium-ion batteries.”

The three-year deal, with the potential for a two-year extension, encompasses a range of services critical to GEMCO’s manganese operation. Thiess will supply, operate and maintain the equipment for the pre-strip mining operations, as well as undertaking the design and construction of support infrastructure, including workshops and related mobile maintenance facilities.

Thiess Group Executive Australia West, David Greig, said: “This contract win represents a significant milestone for Thiess as we re-enter the Northern Territory.

“This contract award is a testament to the collaborative efforts of our Australia East and West regional teams, showcasing the strength and synergy within Thiess. It reflects our ability to leverage expertise from across our company to deliver exceptional outcomes for our clients.”

This contract win follows the scope awarded to FleetCo earlier this year, which included the provision and major servicing of excavators, trucks and ancillary equipment.

Monadelphous wins A$150 million worth of work with Fortescue, BHP and Rio Tinto

Engineering company Monadelphous Group Limited says it has secured new contracts and contract extensions across the mining and metals space in Australia totalling approximately A$150 million ($102 million).

The company has been awarded a contract with Fortescue Metals Group for the supply and construction of an overland conveyor and transfer station at the Christmas Creek mine site in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The scope of work, which includes civil, structural, mechanical, piping, electrical and instrumentation works, commences immediately and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2024.

In addition, Monadelphous has secured a two-year extension to its existing maintenance services contract at BHP’s Olympic Dam operations in South Australia. The scope of work includes mechanical and electrical maintenance, shutdown and project services.

Finally, the company has been awarded a two-year extension to its existing contract with Rio Tinto to continue providing mechanical, electrical and access maintenance services for fixed plant shutdowns at its Gove operations in the Northern Territory.

Core Lithium hits crushing milestone at Finniss lithium operation

Core Lithium Ltd says crushing of lithium ore from the Finniss lithium mine in the Northern Territory of Australia has recently commenced, with the direct shipping ore (DSO) now making its way from the operation to Darwin Port where it will be shipped towards the end of the month.

Last month, Core announced it completed the first sale of a spodumene DSO product (1.4% Li2O) from Finniss.

The 15,000 dry metric tonne DSO sale was tendered on a CIF basis to several pre-screened participants active in the lithium-ion battery supply chain.

Core CEO, Gareth Manderson, said: “The transportation of DSO today is another signification milestone for Finniss, and is a very positive step towards our objective to export from Darwin Port before the end of the year.”

CSI Mining Services, a subsidiary of Mineral Resources Ltd, is providing crushing services at the operation via a relocatable crushing and screening plant designed to achieve a production rate of 1.2 Mt/y.

NRW Holdings’ Primero to operate and maintain Finniss lithium processing plant

NRW Holdings Limited’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Primero Group, has executed a long term contract for the operations and maintenance (O&M) of Core Lithium’s processing plant and related infrastructure at its Finniss lithium project in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Under the terms of the contract, Primero will operate and maintain the processing and infrastructure facilities at Finniss for an initial term of five years, with option to extend.

The estimated value of the contract is A$60 million ($38 million), and follows on from the current contract in execution for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of Finniss, awarded to Primero in September 2021.

The O&M contract signed between Core Lithium and Primero highlights the unparalleled industry expertise and proven track record in lithium processing and operational excellence outcomes, NRW said.

“Primero continues to grow its portfolio of contract operation and maintenance services across the base and battery metals sectors with a strong track record of delivery and giving customers assurance of safe outcomes, accelerated plant ramp-up, ongoing operational excellence practices, and continuous improvement to achieve cost effective and optimised production outcomes,” it added.

Primero says it has the majority of key personnel on hand for deployment into the contract commencing from October 2022 and expects to complete all remaining recruitment and operational readiness activities by December 2022, ready for first production.

NRW CEO, Jules Pemberton, said: “The diversification of the Primero business into longer term operational contracts is continuing to grow with this award showcasing the depth and operational knowledge of the group, especially within the battery minerals sector. The capability to develop and operate assets of this nature is well aligned with the group’s strategy over the coming years and will continue to evolve with build own operate and equity style investments in projects. We look forward to a long-term relationship with Core Lithium.”

In mid-2021, Core released a definitive feasibility study for the Finniss project, marking a major milestone in its goal to become Australia’s next major lithium producer by the end of 2022.

The study highlighted an average production of 173,000 t/y of high-quality lithium concentrate at a C1 operating cost of $364/t and a start-up capital cost of A$89 million ($56 million) thanks to the incorporation of a 1 Mt/y DMS processing plant in the project’s design.

Bis to haul bauxite for Rio Tinto at Gove operations

Bis says it has signed a multi-year bauxite haulage contract with Rio Tinto for its Gove operations in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Bis will deploy an efficient, high payload haulage solution to Gove, enabling a day shift only approach, which will also provide a strong foundation for managing employee attraction, it said.

Bis Chief Executive Officer, Brad Rogers, said the new contract is testament to the company’s focus on innovation and safety.

“I’m very proud we are able to offer a tailored and efficient haulage solution to Rio Tinto in a way that is conducive to a compelling employee value proposition.

“Given the remoteness of the operation – Gove is 1,000 km from Darwin – the ability to meet Rio Tinto’s production requirements in a cost efficient manner, with day shift only operations, will help to deliver a safe and reliable operation. We are excited to commence at Gove and look forward to supporting Rio Tinto at this important operation.”

The haulage and road maintenance contract will see Bis provide off-road haulage of bauxite, road grading, dust suppression and associated support services.

Assets include 230 t haulage combinations, loaders, graders, a water cart and other support equipment. Mobilisation of the new Gove contract begins immediately.

Bis has a long history of providing haulage, material handling and site services in the Northern Territory across a variety of commodities including manganese, iron ore and bauxite, it said.

This latest contract award comes only weeks after the company announced it had also secured a project with new customer, Stanmore Resources, at its Bowen Basin operation in Queensland.

Wagners to haul McArthur River zinc-lead concentrate for Glencore

Following the completion of a competitive tender process, Wagners says it has secured a new haulage services contract with McArthur River Mining Pty Ltd (MRM), a subsidiary of Glencore, for the haulage of zinc and lead concentrate from McArthur River Mine, in Queensland, Australia, to the Bing Bong Loading Facility and the Mount Isa Mines metal processing facility.

Glencore owns and operates combined surface mining, underground mining, processing and smelting operations in Queensland and Northern Territory for the production of zinc, lead and copper concentrate. This includes the mine which is operated by MRM.

Wagners’ scope of works will include the loading of the zinc and lead concentrate at the mine and its haulage to both the Bing Bong Loading Facility and the processing facility in Mount Isa. The haulage services will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the term with haulage services planned to commence in December 2021.

Based on forecast haulage requirements, the contribution to the company’s revenue over the contract term is expected to be in the vicinity of A$33 million ($24 million), Wagners said. This will remain subject to the mine’s production and ability to make the required volume of material available to meet the haulage tonnage forecast.

Wagners’ Chief Executive Officer, Cameron Coleman, said: “Wagners has a long-standing relationship with Glencore and is very grateful to be provided with the opportunity to service the McArthur River Mine operations in the delivery of these haulage services, which is a new project for us. This project will provide many employment opportunities throughout both the Northern Territory and Queensland and will require substantial capital investment to increase our haulage fleet, demonstrating Wagners’ commitment to this area of our business and the resources sector.”

TNG brings Clough into Mount Peake Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project fold

TNG Ltd has appointed a subsidiary of engineering and construction company, Clough, to work with TNG’s project development team and the SMS Group on its flagship Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project in the Northern Territory of Australia.

TNG announced in September that it had decided to progress development of the project with a fully-integrated mining and processing operation within its existing mining leases. As part of this strategy, it was considered by the TNG team important to have a suitable Australian-based engineering group on board.

Following a tender process, Clough Projects Australia Pty Ltd was selected to work with TNG’s team to initially develop an optimised plant layout for the integration of the TIVAN® processing facility (TPF) and beneficiation plant at the mine site, on the basis of the deliverables prepared under the front-end engineering and design (FEED) study completed by SMS group.

Clough, TNG says, will work with SMS and TNG’s team given the severe restrictions on travel between Europe and Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic that have impacted SMS’ ability to deliver a team in Australia.

TNG previously engaged Clough to assess the definitive feasibility study for the project and this new contract expands on this early work to progress the overall mine development, it says.

The optimised layout will be unconstrained compared with the size and shape requirements at the former Darwin site. This offers the potential to capitalise on improving constructability, operability and maintenance for the project, as well as further cost optimisations from integrated infrastructure, the company says.

The integrated plants will be positioned within the company’s existing Mining Lease 29855, which has a size of 1,460 ha. This area is capable of hosting a fully-integrated operation encompassing mining activities and waste storage, the beneficiation plant, the TPF and non-process infrastructure, according to TNG.

TNG’s Managing Director & CEO, Paul Burton, said: “From a strategic and logistical perspective given the continued global COVID-19-related travel restrictions, it is an advantage to have a locally-based engineering group working on this phase of the Mount Peake project with TNG and SMS.

“We expect the integrated plant layout will pave the way for further optimisation work that will tie back into the recently completed FEED study. These work programs are already underway. We look forward to working closely with Clough and our other engineering partners to rapidly advance the Mount Peake project.”

Located 235 km north of Alice Springs, Mount Peake is expected to be a long-life project producing a suite of high-quality, high-purity strategic products for global markets including vanadium pentoxide, titanium dioxide pigment and iron ore fines. The project, which is expected to be a top-10 global producer, has received Major Project Status from the Northern Territory and Federal Governments.

Primero bags Finniss lithium process plant EPC contract

Core Lithium has awarded Primero Group with the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the Finniss lithium process plant in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Primero’s award status has been updated from the initial preferred status awarded in 2019 and continues the long-standing relationship in the development of the project with the Core Lithium team and follows on from the successful delivery of Core’s definitive feasibility study and subsequent study updates, NRW Holdings, the parent company of Primero, says.

The project will commence immediately and is fully funded with site works planned to commence in March 2022 with commissioning of the facility due to commence in October 2022, according to NRW.

Primero’s work on the Finniss dense media separation (DMS) plant will entail project management; engineering and detailed design; equipment and materials procurement; DMS plant construction; quality assurance and construction verification, and ore commissioning on receipt of first ore, according to Core.

Primero Managing Director, Cameron Henry, says: “The Primero brand is synonymous with the processing and operation of battery metals and future energy and the Core Lithium project is another example of the quality of our processing knowledge in these industries. The working relationship with the Core team has been a four-year journey and we look forward to delivering on this contract and continuing the relationship with Core.”

NRW CEO, Jules Pemberton, added: “The NRW Holdings business continues to diversify its business streams into the future metals and energy space with another great award to the Primero Group team in the electric vehicle space with Core Lithium.”

The August definitive feasibility study on Finniss outlined a Stage 1 mine life of eight years with average production of 173,000 t/y at 5.8% Li2O.

Hastings Deering, Cat and Rio Tinto carry out Australia’s first 777 D to E conversion

In what it says is a first for the Australia market, Hastings Deering has successfully completed the conversion of 777D haul trucks into 777E models for Rio Tinto’s Gove bauxite operations in the Northern Territory.

The 777D to E conversion process includes an engine upgrade from an older Cat 3508 to a C32 Tier 2 engine, a transmission upgrade to electronic clutch control, torque converter upgrade and an upgraded cab with the latest electronics and safety aspects.

Nearing the end of mine life, Gove was looking at innovative ways to reduce its environmental impact, extend fleet life and optimise return on investment, Hastings Deering said.

Brendan Coleing, Superintendent, Mining Maintenance, said that the Gove operation has focused heavily on building safe and reliable machinery to meet the targeted life of its assets and has been working to reduce environmental emissions.

“With a 24/7 operation, we need to plan and strategically think about our assets, their maintenance and lifecycle,” he said.

“All machines have availability targets. Ultimately, we want to keep them in the field as long as possible. The 777D to E Conversion project was a way we could continue the journey to do that, with the added benefit of providing improved technology to our operational teams.”

He concluded: “We’re excited that Gove operations was the first Australian mine to undertake this project, and only the second in the world. With a significant reduction in our carbon footprint, fuel consumption and maintenance costs, and an improved operator experience, really, we were challenged with: why wouldn’t we?”

With the first of the 777 trucks now back on site, the Rio Tinto team has seen a 5-6% fuel reduction, proving that effective planning for this fleet conversion has improved economy on site, Hastings Deering said.

With Cat equipment built to perform over multiple lifetimes, the Cat Certified Rebuild (CCR) was the most efficient way to help get the most economic value out of the asset investment, according to Hastings Deering.

A CCR is a full machine rebuild that provides a like-new machine, inclusive of all Cat updates, to help achieve a full machine life supported by the Caterpillar warranty.

In early 2020, the Hastings Deering team worked with Rio Tinto on an alternative solution for engine replacement in its D11R fleet that, it says, reduced costs, fuel use and emissions while extending lifespans. This incorporated replacing the 3508 engines with the newer C32 engines.

“Recent success with repowering our D11 fleet with C32 engines has helped our mining operations move more bauxite due to increased power in the machine,” Coleing said. “This, in turn, allowed us to plan for the 777D to E conversions to take place in the workshop to complete the CCRs.”

Chris Polkinghorne, Mining Support Rep at Hastings Deering, said that the 777D to E conversion was brought about through collaboration with Caterpillar, Rio Tinto Gove and Hastings Deering.

“As a team we worked through what the benefits of this conversion would be, what was required, the planning phase and then how to execute the project in as little time as possible,” he said. “The 777D to E conversion redefines performance adding all the advancements of the 777E truck model.

“For the operator, improved ergonomics provide enhanced comfort, safety, and visibility, to maximise productivity and reduce fatigue.”

Newmont starts Rokion R400 battery-electric vehicle trial at Tanami

Newmont’s Tanami operation in the the Northern Territory of Australia has started trialling a new electric vehicle in its underground operations.

The Rokion R400 will initially be used to transport team members up and down the mine, the company said in a post on Facebook. The vehicle is equipped for the transport of 12 people and comes with a battery capacity of 100 kWh.

Newmont said the vehicle is fitted with good suspension and ergonomics, being designed for passenger comfort.

Early indicators show the vehicle has the capability to complete several trips to and from the bottom of the Tanami mine without requiring recharging, Newmont said.

“We hope the trial proves to be successful, and can become the starting point for the future of electric vehicles both light and heavy at Newmont Tanami,” it added.

This is not the first Canada-manufactured Rokion battery-electric vehicle to make an entrance in Australia. The company has previously tested both a Rokion R200 and Rokion R400 at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s Broadmeadow mine in Queensland.

Newmont, meanwhile, is in the process of expanding the Tanami operation through the Tanami Expansion 2 project. This is expected to increase the annual capacity of the processing site to 3.5 Mt/y, from 2.6 Mt/y, and extend the life of the mine beyond 2040.